Thread: Movies and TV Doctor Who
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:34 AM   #154
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Wow.
Quote:
WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?

Within hours of the last Private Eye being published, a panicked BBC press officer was on the blower begging to have our story about how problems behind the scenes meant there would be no full series of Doctor Who in 2012 read down the phone to him. There then followed a fumbling attempt at spin.

At 5.25 that evening BBC1’s head of communications announced on Twitter: “Doctor Who is returning. Fourteen new episodes have been commissioned with Matt Smith as the Doctor.” What the BBC would not say, however, was how many of those episodes were actually scheduled for next year.

As angry Who fans bombarded the Eye with online demands that we issue an “apology and retraction”, showrunner Steven Moffat went on the offensive. “Private Eye seems like such fun until it’s YOUR friends they’re spreading nasty, inaccurate gossip about. How horrible,” he tweeted the following morning. Which bits of the story he considered inaccurate, he would not say.

But BBC1 controller Danny Cohen was quite happy to confirm what was accurate. Cohen used a conference appearance a week after the Eye was published to officially confirm a lack of Doctor Who for 2012. “There will be some episodes, but there won’t be a full series. We won’t have a 13-part run.” He blamed Moffat’s workload, specifically the fact that he is also the executive producer of Sherlock, the second series of which he is working on right now for the BBC. “That’s the genuine reason,” he assured questioners.

Moffat himself, meanwhile, took to Twitter again with a terse message: “Misquotes and misunderstandings. But I’m not being bounced into announcing the cool stuff before we’re ready.”

He reckons? Two days later, the BBC News website gave him one hell of a bounce, publishing a story with copious quotes from Cohen, putting the full blame on Moffat for the fact that there will not be a full series of Doctor Who next year: “Sherlock success will hit Doctor Who, says BBC1 boss.”

It took just minutes for a furious Moffat to strike back on Twitter: “The scheduling of Dr Who has got NOTHING to do with Sherlock.” In response to a message from fellow writer Neil Gaiman as to whether he was “being shafted”, Moffat replied publicly: “It’s not your imagination. Unbelievable. Unacceptable.” While the BBC amended its story to include Moffat’s denial, Cohen has declined to issue any kind of clarification.

So there you go. Doesn’t sound like there are any problems behind the scenes at all, does it? But in the meantime BBC Worldwide has already started reining back its plans for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary in 2013 because it’s worried that demand for merchandise will have dropped due to the shortage of episodes between now and then – especially if the BBC goes with one plan now being mooted for the handful of 2012 episodes, that of broadcasting them stripped across a single week.
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