Jun 15 2011 12:09pm

No Doctor Who For a Year?

It’s currently being reported that the BBC has announced that a full series of Doctor Who will not air in 2012, despite Steven Moffat’s announcement last week to the contrary.

The rumor first surfaced at the beginning of June and was followed by two reports from Bleeding Cool illustrating the behind-the-scenes woes the show has been undergoing in regards to producer changeover and lack of executive direction, citing them as a possible reason behind a delay in the show’s schedule.

Yesterday, BBC rep Danny Cohen announced that the show would indeed be delayed, and that the seventh series of the show, while still a full 14 episodes, would only begin airing in late 2012, with the rest of the episodes following in 2013. Meaning that once series 6 concludes this fall, there’ll be an entire year with no Doctor Who.

However, despite stated confirmations from the above linked sources, there are a couple of things that cast this news into doubt.

First, BBC rep Danny Cohen announced this at the Church and Media Conference, an event unrelated to Doctor Who. This news was repeated through Twitter by BBC Entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba, but as of this article’s publication BBC News itself has not reported on the revelation and a statement has not been released by the BBC confirming or denying the claim.

Second, Steven Moffat himself has refuted at least part of the claim, referencing plans for the show’s 50th anniversary in 2013 and chalking it up to “misquoting.”

Dr Who: misquotes and misunderstandings. But I’m not being bounced into announcing the cool stuff before we’re ready. Hush, and patience.

While it seems that delaying series 7 to late 2012 is an option being considered, it also seems that Moffat is endeavoring to ensure that such a delay doesn’t take place. While hardcore fans have long since proven they will wait decades for The Doctor, one wonders if a delay of such length would hobble the show in the eyes of new and casual viewers, especially after the current season’s split.

Stubby the Rocket is the mascot and voice of the staff. It long ago learned to be patient with The Doctor.

1. JCHicks
I hope BBC and Moffatt make an official announcement soon of what's going on because it's hard, as a fan, being bounced back and forth like a Ping-Pong ball. No Doctor in 2012? That would be horrible!
Ryan Britt
2. ryancbritt
@JChicks. Well, we're all hoping The Moff comes through with the real statement. Right now, we are rolling around in big grains of salt.
A.J. Bobo
3. Daedylus
On the other hand, a long break might give me a chance to actually catch up on the show. I'm a couple of season behind right now and not finding as much time to watch as I'd like.
Michael Poteet
4. MikePoteet
I think a year with no new Who would be devastating on "this side of the pond" (ha!) -- as you point out, the tried-and-true fans may be used to it, but asking Amerian audiences to wait a full year before a cliffhanger (presumably) is resolved, especially on a series many of them are new to...? That's askin' an awful lot.
Chris Lough
5. TorChris
@4. We had the same thought. BBC America has done a tremendous job of connecting with the American fanbase this year and I personally think this would nullify a lot of that hard work.

Then again, Mad Men's currently on a year-plus gap, so this isn't totally unprecedented in terms of American television. Still hard not to feel a bit worried, though.
Ursula L
6. Ursula
When they say it won't be a "full series" perhaps it will be something similar to the year of specials?

The split-season this year seems like it might be a way to transition from an all-spring schedule to an all-fall schedule, without having a year-plus gap.

Or a half-season next year might mean allowing for more stuff to be done the following year, to do the anniversary up right.
7. Olivethebreloom
As an American viewer, I am quite worried at the prospect of a year without The Doctor... because even if I will wait that long (Perhaps track down some of the classic series), Most of my friends are very new to the series and would probabl abandon it if there were no new episodes.
Pleae let Moffat be the true one!
Michael Poteet
8. MikePoteet
@5 -- And, upon further reflection, given that TV-viewing is being rapidly transformed by DVRs, streaming video, and so on, maybe broadcast schedules ultimately don't matter much anyway.
Dave Bell
9. DaveBell
We don't have a formal date yet, but the second half of this season would most likely start broadcasting on the last weekend of August in the UK.

If that was taken as the target for the start of the next season (and Matt Smith has signed the contract for that season) it would take the show clear of the Olympics. Summer has never been the time for the big shows on British TV.

There will be a Christmas Special. Again, Matt Smith has signed the contract.

An autumn-season timing would also fit well with the anniversary in 2013

I could still be wrong, but it does fit with what I know of how broadcasting in the UK works out on timing and stuff.

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