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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.


Doctor Who Movie In The Works By Harry Potter Director David Yates

Worlds are colliding! Variety is reporting Harry Potter director David Yates is setting up a big screen adaptation of the long-running British sci-fi television show Doctor Who. I…have many feelings and thoughts about this. 

“We’re looking at writers now,” Yates said. “We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”

Yates, who directed the last four Potter films, will be developing the Doctor Who with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s L.A.-based exec VP of programming and production. The series features a time travelling alien known only as The Doctor, on his adventures through time and space with several companions.

You may already be aware, this isn’t the first time the beloved TV series has been made into a movie. Doctor Who and the Daleks and Doctor Who: Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., starring Peter Cushing (who isn’t counted as one of the 11 Doctors) were released in the 60s while a television movie starring the 8th Doctor, played by Paul McGann, aired in 1996. The American film with McGann hoped to draw in an audience from the U.S. but failed to do so. It wasn’t until Russell T. Davies’ reboot series began in 2005 that Americans really started taking notice of the show.

“Yates made clear that his movie adaptation would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach to the material,” writes Variety. ”Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch,” said Yates.

“The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time,”  he said, adding that he and Tranter are open to non-British writers for the adaptation.

“We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too,” he said.

This could be a fantastic thing for the BBC series as a whole but it is quite possibly a horror for long-time fans. The fact that current canon and actors would not be used for the film is a scary thing but could help to introduce new fans to the 50-year-old series. Personally, I’m shaking in my boots.

Express YOUR feelings and thoughts, readers, we know you’ll have something to say about this.

EDIT: The official Doctor Who Magazine has since tweeted, “To those hearing Doctor Who movie rumours, it’s just the same rumours which have been going round for years. Nothing’s currently happening!” In addition, Senior Brand Executive for BBC Wales Edward Russell tweeted, “Off Twitter for a few hours and the Doctor Who world explodes. There’s always talk of a movie. Perhaps? Maybe one day. But not right now!”

So what’s the deal exactly? Yates doesn’t seem the time to mouth off about a project as big as this without it being true and he didn’t say this was just a dream of his. Could it be happening through channels the Doctor Who folks themselves aren’t even aware of? It might make sense if they didn’t want the current showrunners getting upset. We will see…

EDIT #2: The BBC America twitter account has now added fuel to the fire by tweeting, “DW film remains in development w/ BBCWorldwide Prod. in LA. No script, cast or production crew in place.”

(via Variety)

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  • Anonymous

    Another instance of creative bankruptcy. I’ve had enough remakes. Even though I barely qualify as a Whovian, having only watched a few Matt Smith Doctor Who episodes, I think this is a terrible idea. I think (and hope) it will flop commercially, if it even makes it to the production stage.

  • Wendy

    This needs to go away along with the proposed Whedon-less Buffy movie and the BSG ‘reboot.’

  • Sean Seger

    My guess is this is a real thing.  Only once the word got out and the response was…less than spectacular…they decided to backpedal.  Probably, this is still going on, but they’re going to go low key for now, and hope the next time it pops up in the press people will be less angry.  That’s my thinking, anyway.

  • Mika “Ipstenu” Epstein

    Schrodinger’s Movie.

    Or Pregnant/Not Pregnant.

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    Why can’t they do it like the X-Files movie and keep it in continuity? If they wanted to make a film they should have planned for this for 2013. Thats the only good way the film could be made. 

  • Kath

    Maybe they should sort out the, pardon my French, shitfest that has been the last season or two of Who before a movie goes into production?

    That last series (both parts) were largely utter tripe. Come on, guys, you can do much better.

  • Emma M.

    No. Just…no no no no no. There is absolutely no way this could be pulled off in any way even approaching the realm of well. It’s a television series for a reason.

  • Abel Undercity

    I’m sorry, but it’s waaaaaay too early to start hyperventilating about this project. Once they attach Keanu or Nicholas Cage as the Doctor, then it’s time to panic.

  • Anonymous

    This is one of those, I’ll believe when I see it things.  I have heard talk about a Doctor Who movie since I was in high school.  I think if it does happen, it is gonna be really hard to translate to the big screen.  

  • Francesca M


  • Anonymous

  • Maxwell Jahner

    If any show can have 2 people playing the lead in different mediums at once, it’s Who.  I only found the show about 6 months ago, but haven’t watched much of anything except it since.  Russell T. Davies & Steven Moffat’s views on Who are beautiful & different, the older versions, enjoyable but sometimes too much for me.  As long as they keep this new Doctor in the same timeline, either younger or older, and stick to canon (well, as much as they currently stick to canon), I think it could be fun.  

    I’ll be there, at midnight, sonic in hand should this project ever take off.  ^_^

  • Mike Perry

    Ah! There’s our shark jumper! Waiting in the wings for a few years off… I hope he crashes into a rock between now and then,…

  • Francess Dunbar


  • Totz_the_Plaid

    Did you even READ the article? Yates said he wants it to be completely SEPARATE from canon. No. Just NO.

  • Jeremy Sadler
  • Adrian Silich

    ^ I love you. 

  • Adrian Silich

    What a disaster. 

  • Kate Lorimer

    heh, its been done before – twice in fact :)

  • Anonymous

    Maybe the movie will be set in the same universe but not star the Doctor, but another Time Lord…

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I mentioned that in the article.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • K

    I would love to see a different, non-canonical movie made. I think sometimes, with a show that has as much history and mythology behind it as this, fans can sometimes get too wrapped up in what it WAS, rather than just enjoying the present of what it IS. I think this would shake things up, get some fresh ideas and stories in the Doctor Who pool, and either for better or for worse it would give us a side of Doctor Who that we hadn’t seen before, which, in my opinion, is always a good thing.

  • K

    To me, it sounds like they’re planning more of a “reimagining” than a remake. Doctor Who is a fantastic show, but let’s not let our love for the show impede the creation of a movie that could be equally fantastic. If it’s non-canonical, then what’s to worry about? If fans end up hating the film once it’s out, they can just ignore it and just return to the established Whoniverse.

    Perhaps since you’re new to Who, everything is still new and fresh for you (as it should be), but there are lots of fans out there who, in my opinion, just focus too much on the past, and nitpick the show to death. Nothing seems to make those people happy. I think this movie, whether it’s bad or good, could provide fresh ground for them to explore, contemplate, and examine in way too much detail, and that in turn would allow them to see all the reasons why they loved the original show in the first place.

    I just think a new, non-canonical movie would be fun, and would help to remind people that not everything about Doctor Who has to be so gravely serious. After all, just having fun is what the show has always been about, since day one.

  • Anonymous

    By that time, it will already be too late. We’ll end up with Nicholas Cage playing Nicholas Cage as The Doctor with Companion Megan Fox as the love interest. No thanks!

  • Anonymous

    That would be an interesting idea, but they’d have to use Doctor Who canon & backstory to pull it off. I also doubt there would be enough interest since it won’t have the same name recognition.

  • Kimberly

    Count me in as another person who’d watch this. Seriously, if any series can handle having a movie not part of the original canon, it’d be this one. Lots of shows do it, now that I think about it.

    I’d have no problem watching a new Doctor have a one movie spanning adventure.

  • Kimberly

    Yes, well, a lot of people here are either new fans or are forgetting that, either intentionally or accidentally. :)

  • Kiera DeCanio

    I also thought of the Buffy movie…This is a horrible idea. why can’t they just make a movie that follows the story line of the current show, X-files Style? By that, I mean the first movie, not the latest one.

  • Melissa Francis

    I would be ok with a Doctor who movie but I think disregarding the current cannon would be silly and upset a larg part of the target audience. If they used a current doctor it would be ok.

  • Anonymous

  • Kate Lorimer

    ooops sorry, I must have temporarily suffered blog-blindness lol

  • Shard Aerliss

    Kill me.

  • Shard Aerliss

    This is just a repeat of RTD earlier this year saying “I’m going to make a Doctor Who movie with American money!” and then the BBC saying “er, who owns the rights?”

    I guarantee this is RTD’s doing.

    Do not want. Do not want. Do not want.

    Now, a movie made in the UK, by the BBC, for the current audience, following canon using the current cast and crew? Yes please. Oh man, a whole feature length Doctor Who OST by Murray Gold? Heaven.

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    I have actually reversed my thinking on this matter. I believe that we have learned valuable lessons from movies like Batman Begins, Casino Royale, and Star Trek. With that being said they should use this opportunity to go back to the beginning of the story and do something really special with the advancements we have afforded us in this day and age. With the character’s growing popularity it would only seem natural to go reintroduce the character to not only those who have watched since the beginning but to also the generation of fans who have no way to truly know who they are following as they either have no way to acquire 48 years worth or simply can’t sit through the poor production quality by today’s standards.

    With that being said we have 2 more regenerations before the natural end of our television time lords life and at that point I think that this series should reach its natural ending point with honor and dignity. It will still be the longest running show in history and will forever be loved by the fans. All good things must alas end. And we have the opportunity to end with a bang and then become something even bigger. 

    Afterall it would be hypocritical to say that a reinvention of this character is something we couldn’t accept as for the last 48 years it is what the character has relied upon.

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    The target audience would be the world. Not just Doctor Who fans. 

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    We have learned some good lessons by rebooting Batman, James Bond, and Star Trek. All we need is competence, direction, and to hold true to the roots of the character. 

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    13 movies, 13 regenerations. New epic story. 

  • Joshua Paul Hawkins

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. 

  • Kirsten Perkins

    This is a horrible idea! I’m American and I will be the first to say that Americans should not make a DW movie. Look what happened to Torchwood when it came to America. Need I say more? Plus, how can we have a Doctor Who movie without using the actual history and storyline? That cannot end well. And like some other comments before mine, I am also hugely against a Whedon-less and SMG-less Buffy movie. Rubbish!