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Doctor Who movies on the way

According to an interview with Variety, Harry Potter director David Yates is to, “start work on developing a Doctor Who movie with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s L.A.-based exec VP of programming and production”. The filmmaker said:

“We’re looking at writers now. 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. 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.”

This would be a complete new start for the franchise according to the article, with Yates adding:

“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.”

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Cameron K McEwan was the first owner and site editor of Blogtor Who since its creation in May 2008 until Dec 2015. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Cameron has also written two books, The Who’s Who of Doctor Who and Doctor Who: The Big Book of Lists, and directed a film all about Doctor Who fans throughout the years, Who’s Changing - An Adventure In Time With Fans. Cameron also contributes TV and film news and reviews to BBC Radio London, Metro, Digital Spy, New York Observer and Den of Geek. He lives in London with his one trousers.


  1. I don't really feel comfortable with the whole starting from scratch idea. I didn't really feel comfortable with the old Cushing films either and I fear these will give me the same uneasy feeling. Just me though

  2. No no no no no no no no no no and no. No. Nein. Non. No way jose. A bloody terrible idea. I assume Matt will have left anyway and Moffat but whatever I think this still spells the beginning of the end for DW on TV. Yeates is a hack, albeit a competent one but I hate the start from scratch idea. If that's the case don't call it DW and come up with something original. It'll just piss off fans of the show and potentially piss on the legacy. It could go horribly half humanly wrong. Sigh. Fuck you BBC worldwide.

  3. I don't like this idea at all. Any big screen version needs to be written by Moffat/RTD in tandem. Get whatever director you want, but you can't possibly give the boot to both RTD and/or Moffat.

    And no I do not want Harry Potter to be the next Doctor. Just no.

  4. Nope! I think that's a bad idea. If it was canon with the current series it might work on a good day with the right story. But as a reimagining, I don't think it'll work at all.

  5. If it were done as a flashback to the Time War, it could work without wrecking the continuity.

    However, the way that the last Star Trek film happily dumped all over previous events and characters doesn't bode well.

  6. How about NO?! If they were going to make a movie like they made the 'movie specials' a la Planet of the Dead and Waters of Mars, okay. Exceptable to transform that into a full length movie. Basically, a long ass episode of Doctor Who. BUt starting from scratch? RTD and Moffat didn't really even start from scratch with their itterations of the show; we saw characters such as Sarah Jane, K9, and even one of the old regenerations reappear in at least RTD era Doctor Who.

    There has never been anything wrong with adding lore to anything; as long as you can make it make sense. But completely obliterating something canon from a univserse just because? No.

  7. All this "nay-saying" is what kills a movie project before it even starts. They may come up with something brilliant. Do you want the Doctor to end up like Wonder Woman where no-one will touch her because the fans are so nasty?

  8. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

    That alone tells you this guy has no idea what he's taking about when it comes to this show.

  9. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

    If he thinks it needs a major transformation to make it to the big screen then he hasn't been paying attention to the rich history of the show. And if Jane Tranter is the one saying it, then I can't figure out why she would go with him as the director/producer.

  10. Star Trek fans said the same years ago about the original series and now the 2009 reboot. As long as it's well executed the franchise will stay alive and the concept of a mad man in a box will live. Remember the series has changed sooooo much since 1963 and don't forget the two Dalek films of mid 60s

  11. lol it's a rumor, DWMtweets confirms it.

    People will get hysterical over anything. You'd think after the whole Johnny Depp fiasco they'd be a little more skeptical?

  12. Jack

    It is not a rumour. David Yates has publicly stated to Variety that he is working on it. That is a fact.

    (Incidentally the BBC are now reporting it too.)

    Whether or not the film goes ahead or not is another thing – but Yates is working on a Doctor Who film.

  13. "a Doctor Who movie remains a possibility, but there are no crew members in place. Everything else is rumour."

    "The BBC News page is simply reporting the same rumours already taken from Variety. It is NOT confirmation of a movie being made."

    – DWMtweets

  14. Jack

    Yates is working on it, fact. He's stated it to Variety – one of the world's biggest, if not THE, entertainment newspapers.

    As I said, whether or not it comes to fruition is a different matter.

  15. We should all be so proud that DW has transcended its humble roots and elevated its mythos to something on par with Dracula, Batman, etc. Not every iteration in every medium will be good, but why deny the chance for a potentially great addition to the franchise (and one that's so flexible at its core)?

    A lot of fuss is avoided by not syncing film and series continuity. This would be problematic if both were ongoing simultaneously.

  16. "As I said, whether or not it comes to fruition is a different matter."

    So why is this blog reporting it like it's a definite fact that a movie is on the way?

    Further DWMtweets posit that there is no studio interest.

  17. Um, just a note to say that VARIETY magazine has reported MANY "rumours" as solid fact in the past, and what they "report" is usually sketchy at best until it's actually being made with script in hand…and even then…

    Also, As to a DW movie that reboots and starts from scratch…that's a bloody HORRIBLE idea.

    Just effing no. BBC please LEAVE THE SHOW ALONE!

  18. Nooooooo! U can't make a movie out of doctor who it would ruin it and if u do fans will lose intrest.If u do do it please on behalf of doctor who fans keep it like the tv series.

  19. I say this as a Star Trek fan (Bigger Who fan), The ONLY REASON THAT MOVIE WORKED WAS CAUSE THE FRANCHISE WAS DEAD! There is absolutley no reason to make a Doctor Who movie, not when the show is, at least I would argue, the stongest it has ever been.

    A reboot spits in the face of fifty years of television history, from Hartnell to Smith, and I for one will not support it.

  20. Nooooo! U can't do that. Please on behalf of doctor who fans don't do that I beg u it would ruin doctor who. And if u try and start from scratch it just won't make sense. And if u don't listen to these comments then at least keep it like the tv seires.

  21. Jack:

    In the blog post the words used are: "David Yates is to, start work on developing a Doctor Who movie".

    To start work on.

    I would say that the fact an internationally renowned filmmaker announcing he is involved in a Doctor Who movie is worth posting about. At no point have I said that the movie is a fact, merely the fact the he is working on one.

    If you think it's rumour, fine – I get it. This post will not be changed unless David Yates comes out and says he was lying, pissed or high when he made the comments.

  22. And further, before anyone else chips in, "start work" does not mean they are starting filming.

    As you can see in the article he is looking at writers, so obviously filming is some way off – if at all.

    As pointed out, no studio is attached at the moment.

  23. Just like X-files and their TV/movies. Look what the movies did for the series… Almost destroyed it. There's an amazing thing with amazing history. Go with that don't wreck it. Remember its us hard cores that really keep you alive

  24. If the show was axed I'd be happy to have a film franchise instead but I'm not sure if I want both at the same time. The casting of the Doctor is crucial and I think going down the big name route would be wrong. Until more news comes I'm on the fence.

  25. Starting from scratch, eh? Alright, but call it something else and let it go down in history as an inferior, Hollywood-ised rip-off of Dr Who =)

  26. Doctor Who movie? Why not?

    Starting from scratch? NO WAY.

    Wiping the history from Doctor Who would be like neutralizing the bacteria in the Doctor's body. It would kill it.

  27. Come on it's not that bad news, firstly it probably will never happen.

    And let's say it does get made and it's terrible, who cares? It's not gonna spoil the rest of the show, there have been some pretty terrible stories in the DW universe but is still awesome.

    So let's just stay positive, it might even be good

  28. And I just want to add that 'starting from scratch' does not necessarily mean rebooting the franchise, it could mean that they just have a different doctor at an unknown regeneration running about the universe without any ties to events in the show.

    It could also mean nothing as this movie does not currently exist.

  29. Yates destroyed the Harry Potter saga with his take on it.
    Jane Tranter helped the marvellous return of Doctor Who in 2005 trusting the franchise in the hands of Russell T Davies.
    What will happen?
    If the result is like the two Peter Cushing movies… forget it.
    If the result would be like reboots as "Star Trek" or "X-Men-First Class"… go for it!

  30. It's the starting from scratch bit I hate the idea of. What's the point? Do they think cinema goers are stupid and won't understand there may have been a past to the franchise? Or that they'll draw in a totally new audience? Because they won't. Doctor Who is still Doctor Who, the people who don't like it won't watch a movie just because it's starting all over again and current fans will hate it because all that time they've invested in the history of the show is being thrown away.

    Imagine if Yates had said, "J.K Rowling did a fantastic job with the books but we've got to start Harry Potter again from scratch to get it to the big screen…"? All hell would have broken loose. So why should DW suffer that fate?

    Just hope it never happens and is mearly a pipe dream but I fear not.

  31. Gabriella 3rd –

    Those two franchises were dead on their own feet. That's why they worked.

    Doctor Who clearly isn't and indeed is still going strong as a TV series. If it too was dead on it's feet, like in the 90's when they last attempted this, then I would see the point. But it's not. It's doing very well and it just seems like BBC Worldwide might be a little envious of it's little brother in Wales and wants a much bigger slice of the pie.

  32. I am not aganist the idea i mean like with all the same cast and movie length it would be awesome but not absoloutly not starting from scratch because doctor who is awesome on tv , but who would love to see matt smith , karen gillian , auther davill and alex kingston on the big screen with the tardis going through the vortex in 3d

  33. I am not aganist the idea i mean like with all the same cast and movie length it would be awesome but not absoloutly not starting from scratch because doctor who is awesome on tv , but who would love to see matt smith , karen gillian , auther davill and alex kingston on the big screen with the tardis going through the vortex in 3d

  34. While I am perfectly happy to see Doctor Who get more exposure, and more opportunities for people to appreciate the gem that this is, I deeply resent the intention to 'start from scratch'. It implies that whatever we have been enjoying all these years were not worthy to be brought to the big screen.

    So, are we supposed to put RTD and Moffat to pasture, after all that they had done, and sacrifice Doctor Who before the 'great' altar that is Hollywood?

    If Yates is so keen to start from scratch, may I suggest he utilise his amazing talents to other projects more worthy of his time? Doctor Who's humble history is not worthy. The geek in us is not ready to go Twilight yet!

  35. I've missed less than 10 episodes of Dr Who since 1963,sad! I do not like the idea of another film, the previous ones being mediocre at best. There is plenty of life left in the TV series; I confess to being sceptical when RTD took over but he did a fantastic job, but I found some of the stories under the first year of the "Moffat tenure" a little weak, the last series was better. Matt Smith is doing a good job but bring back RTD in some capacity! Definitely no film!

  36. No thank you. Mr. Speilberg spoilt War of the Worlds by making a film that was absolutely nothing like the book. So leave a film of Doctor Who alone or it will more than likely have the same fate as War of the Worlds even though Mr. Spielberg is not involved. There is no need to start from scratch as it will no doubt be nothing like the original idea. Keep the Tv series but – a film. No thank you.

  37. What I don't understand about so many movie producers is this: how did they get into the position they are in to begin with? The lot of them don't seem to be entirely intelligent at all. Not many members of the general public are going to go see a Doctor Who movie. Your main target, therefore, is the fans of the show. Why wouldn't you want your movie, then, to target this popular property's audience? This show already has a properly established universe. To make a movie that excludes the people currently playing the Doctor and his companions makes no sense at all. Or even they could go back to someone who played the Doc and his companions and make a movie out of an adventure they had off the TV screen. Do something in the already established universe of the show. Do to anything else is beyond lunacy. It's like what the owners of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" franchise are doing – making another movie, but outside of Whedon's already established universe. That's stupid beyond all reason, and doomed for failure. I love Doctor Who, but I'm not going to go see a movie that starts from scratch. It's as simple as that.

  38. I do want a movie, because it's basically xmas specials with (hopefully) even better everything. I JUST DON'T TRUST DAVID YATES AND STEVEN KLOVES. their take on harry potter was disappointing. i don't want that to happen to doctor who :(((
    I don't understanddd… why not just hire RTD or Moffat??? Moffat's work on tintin was awesome!

  39. Here we go with the BBC jumping on the movie bandwagon and ruining their most precious franchise. Firstly, David Yates as a direct is a bad move, as it was him who ruined Harry Potter (yes they were still popular, but the Chris Colombus ones were the best). Secondly, we have a good selection of writers that have done successful Who stories. Not just Moffat and RTD but people like Gareth Roberts, Gaiman and a long list. But will they choose a good writer? No. Thirdly, it's going to be non-canon like the Cushing movies. This just stinks of milking the cash-cow. Sorry BBC, but to me this movie does not exist.

  40. am tempted to start a petition: "Say No to the Hollywoodisation of Doctor Who", but am a complete technophobe. Leave the Doctor to the people that know him – would be delighted if RTD (or someone who has similarly always loved the show) were do it, but not a completely new team. Doctor Who has been loved for so long by so many generations (I watched it MANY years ago as a child, hiding in my Dad's jumper at the scary bits)that it has become a British institution. They are going to have to be very careful indeed if they are to avoid destroying it.

  41. In the Doctor's own words "Don't… Just Don't"
    I'm all for a movie or even movies if done right, but "start from scratch" NO!!! How do they think they can start from scratch with an institution that has been around since 23 Nov 1963 (47 Earth Years and over 900 Time Lord years.) If they are going to reboot DW they might as well stick all of us fans in the TARDIS and blow her up, that's what they will accomplish anyway. As much as I love DW I will not support this idea the way it is being presented. The BBC is pissed if they think this will make anyone happy.

  42. The film is in "development hell" and what this means is that it has a very fair chance of never being made !!

    To release this info at this stage frankly is very cynical. Clearly the BBC intends Season 7 to be the final one on tv and this film thing is a sop to the fans. In all probability the film will never be made !!

  43. TOTALLY AWESOME!!!! I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and even own the last one. It's great to hear that there's a Doctor Who movie on the way. I'll wait!!! I love DW too,and it's cool that the director from HP will be working on these!
    I'm probably the only one being good about this,maybe don't start from scratch. It might ruin it.
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