Usually, at this time of year (and since 2005), most of the world is sitting comfortably in their homes enjoying a brand-new Doctor Who season and basking in the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) crazy mad adventures through time and space—except, as we all know, there’s NO new Who at the moment, and we all have to wait until the fall to get our time-traveling fix.
Steven Moffat spoke to Digital Spy about that dastardly decision to move Doctor Who’s seventh season to the fall this year, with only five regular episodes to air—the last episodes featuring the beloved Ponds Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the return of River Song—followed by the perenial Christmas special (apparently we’re in for a ghost story this year), which will also introduce the new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.
The remaining eight episodes of the series will then air in the spring and will probably serve to herald the eagerly anticipated Doctor Who 50th-anniversary shindig special.
This is what Moffat said:
“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.
“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.
“Sherlock is the prime example, as far as that goes. Sherlock almost exists on starving its audience. By the time it came back this year, Sherlock was like a rock star re-entering the building!
“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.”