“Doctor Who” will stay on the small screen for now, according to showrunner Steven Moffat. The writer recently clarified that he wasn’t opposed to the idea of a movie, but he didn’t really understand how it would work while the television show was on the air.
“If someone can work out how [a movie] actually works, I've got nothing against it, but no one's ever been very clear about how it actually works,” Moffat told Radio Times on Wednesday. “It's not really got that far and it's not my job. I can neither action it nor stop it.”
Rumors of a “Doctor Who” movie were confirmed in 2009 when the BBC revealed that a script was in development. When Sony’s emails were leaked last year, there was an email talking about “tremendous interest” in the project, according to BBC News. Yet Moffat said that not much progress has been made.
“We haven't really, to be honest, got an answer to it,” Moffat explained. “All this story is nothing – there's not been a story for years.”
Moffat’s main concern is the TV show. If “Doctor Who” has a movie and a film at the same time, it could be a different storyline and a different doctor, which would muddle the continuity. Last month, he made comments that seemed as if he was against the possible film. “If it's going to be a different Doctor, are we going to try and sell two Doctors at the same time?” Moffat told the Daily Express last month. “I know there's been loads of Doctors, but there's only been one at a time. You don't have a James Bond on TV and one in the cinema.”
His comments were related to former director David Yates’ (he is no longer attached to the project) comments that the movie would be a standalone film. “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,” Yates told Variety in 2011.
The “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” showrunner clarified on Wednesday that while he wasn’t opposed to the idea of a film, he worried a movie might have an adverse effect on the television show, which will have at least five more seasons. “I'm very happy for there to be a movie, very happy [for there] to be a theatre show – anything you like – but the TV show is incredibly important and must not be hurt. Everybody knows that,” he told Radio Times.
“Doctor Who” had a movie in 1996 that was made for TV. It featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and was intended to relaunch the series. The relaunch fell through until Russell T. Davies came onboard in 2005.
“Doctor Who” Season 9 returns to BBC America in the fall. Do you think there should be a movie outside of the show? Sound off in the comments section below!