The structure of Doctor Who Series 7 has been something of a mystery to fans since last June when the entire future of the show was in baffled confusion for a few hours.
Since learning that the show would appear in the autumn – hopefully on dark nights – fans have expressed relief and satisfaction, but a recent interview with Steven Moffat has suggested that there is in fact more to it than moving the show to be in a more seasonally suitable time slot.
With five episodes due before Christmas, a sixth – introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman – for Christmas itself and then another 8 in 2013, the shape of Series 7 continues to fascinate and befuddle Whovians. And now it seems that the Moff wasn’t responsible for the decision…
“I don’t know, on this occasion, that the thinking particularly came from me, actually. I’ve always been open to anything that shakes [the series] up. I think that decision actually came from the BBC.
“But I’ve been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes Doctor Who an event piece.”
Interesting words. Could this be tacit confirmation that the 50th anniversary episode will in fact form part of the Series 7 recording?
Or is it more about keeping the viewing public on its toes?
“The more Doctor Who becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. You’ve got to shake it up, you’ve got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back.
“So keeping Doctor Who as an event, and never making people feel, ‘Oh, it’s lovely, reliable old Doctor Who – it’ll be on about this time, at that time of year’. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house – ultimately invisible. And I don’t want that to ever be the case.”
We’re not sure that this is exactly true – viewing figures certainly don’t back this idea up, which seems to be a case of creating facts to fit an agenda.