We’re almost five weeks away from finally seeing new Doctor Who on television, but that doesn’t mean the good Doctor is free from dodging rumors.
Following Season 10, showrunner Steven Moffat is stepping aside and Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) will be coming aboard to take over. To date no news has surfaced about any impending changes creatively behind the scenes, but at least one rumor is swirling about the Internet. According to a report posted by The Mirror, big changes may be on the horizon for the BBC’s iconic franchise. A nameless insider from BBC spoke to The Mirror and said, and I quote;
“BBC managements want a return to the format from the David Tennant era, when you had a dashing male lead and young female companion. Merchandising has dropped sharply in recent years and there is a strong desire to boost the show’s popularity among kids.”
While many Whovians are a bit leery on this news, there are a couple of faults to point out from the rumor. For starters, ratings have only been sagging because new episodes of Doctor Who haven’t aired in almost a year. (The upcoming Christmas special will be the first episode since last Christmas.) Over here in the States, BBC America reported record numbers of live viewership for the Season 9 premiere. However, across the pond, BBC has continually shifted Who‘s time slow in efforts to build on viewership – but also airing the show outside of family-viewing time.
Secondly, the notion seems ludicrous that newcomer Pearl Mackie would get the boot after just a single season. While the young actress has only inked a one-season contract, the average time for a companion during Who‘s revival is two seasons minimum. Then again, Chris Chibnall may want to start his new tenure off with a clean slate. Peter Capaldi has previously stated he’d very much carry on for another season if he was requested. Personally, I’d rather see Capaldi carry the mantle of Doctor Who for as long as possible, as he’s infused his trademark dry sarcasm with the Doctor’s madcap mayhem.
As for the report? Given that The Mirror is very hit-or-miss in accuracy, take their words with a grain of salt. Fan Fest will continue to monitor the rumor mill for any Who gossip – and hopefully some truth about the upcoming changeover.
Currently Doctor Who is halfway through lensing Season 10, with Capaldi returning for his third season and Pearl Mackie in her debut season as Billie. Season 10 will debut this April on BBC and BBC America. Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio will debut on Christmas Day.