Peter Capaldi

Feature-length ‘Doctor Who’ specials in 2016?

Posted Filed under

Doctor Who could apparently air in the form of “feature-length specials” in 2016 instead of a regular season.

The reports follow previous rumours in Private Eye in August that “there will be no full series of Doctor Who in 2016″ due to showrunner Steven Moffat’s Sherlock commitments.

The Mirror now claims that “worried BBC chiefs are considering scrapping next year’s series of Doctor Who and screening feature-length specials instead”.

The newspaper says that “the cult show has hit a crisis period” after UK viewing figures fell four million for the first time. They fail to mention that international viewing figures remain very strong and that the final UK ratings were perfectly healthy.

Doctor Who 9 The Magician's Apprentice Jenna Coleman Peter Capaldi Clara Twelfth

The article speculates that “they would film a couple of Sherlock-style ­feature-length ­specials plus a Christmas episode”.

A BBC source is quoted as saying: “Doctor Who’s decline is very worrying and needs to be addressed. At this stage all options are being ­considered. Everyone accepts that drastic action may be needed.”

The Mirror also writes that “rebooting Doctor Who with a new cast in 2017″ is being considered, with Game of Thrones star Richard Madden “topping the wish list”.

Lady Chatterley's Lover Richard Madden

A BBC spokesman commented: “We are only three weeks into this year’s run. It is far too early to discuss next year’s commission.”

Since the show’s return in 2005, there has been a full season each year apart from 2009, when specials leading up to David Tennant’s departure were shown instead, and in 2012-2013, when Season 7 was split either side of 2012’s Christmas special.

The BBC told CultBox in August that “it’s too early to confirm the schedule for future series at this point.”

We’d take the rumours with a pinch of salt until anything official is announced, although another split season over 2016-2017 does seem quite plausible at this point.

> Buy Season 9 on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy Season 9 on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Doctor Who continues next weekend with ‘The Girl Who Died’.

> Here’s everything we know about Season 9 so far.

What format would you prefer Doctor Who to take next year? Let us know below…