The Internet basically imploded earlier today when Variety released a report that Harry Potter Director David Yates was working on a reimagined, movie version of Doctor Who. Sure, this rumor crops up every few years or so, and always causes the Internet to explode (before the Internet? Dungeons and Dragons tables or something)… But this time, it was through Variety, and with a top name (English) Director attached, adding some veracity to the report.
"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 their report. "We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too.”
…Which is a huge problem, because as we frequent watchers of Who know, the good Doctor travels in a flat powered by crisps, NOT an apartment powered by french fries. Anyway.
Then, later on in the day, both the BBC and the Doctor Who Insider magazine tweeted that things are in development as they always are, essentially discrediting the Variety report. Which means one of three things:
1) Variety has some info on this that the BBC doesn’t want getting out yet.
2) David Yates is idly working on an idea for a Doctor Who movie, but it’s not official.
3) Something has happened to the fabric of time and space!
Regardless, chances are there’s going to be some sort of Doctor Who movie (okay, a new one, I know there were several terrible ones before this) at some point, so the question becomes… What’s it going to be like? They’ll probably keep the essentials: time travelin’ alien; companion tagging along… And that’s it.
Would they want to keep a blue police box in the mix, when no one outside of Doctor Who watchers and old fogeys know what that is? Probably not. Not even a telephone booth would really make sense to a younger audience anymore. I’m not going to say The Doctor’s TARDIS will be an espresso machine, or he’ll travel using the latest Nokia cell phone (god, I hope not), but the TARDIS almost has to take a different form, if the idea is to appeal to new audiences.
What about the villains? There probably will be something to shout out to fans, but like J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, we wonder if there wouldn’t be a new spin on an enemy like The Daleks, or The Cybermen. Maybe they’re super into using Google Plus or Twitter? That would be interesting… By which we mean, boring.
As for Companions, the worst case scenario, of course, is an adorable moppet in tow, perhaps even the dreaded, “Doctor, you’ve been alive for so long, you don’t think you left any children behind you? You have to reconnect with this five year old, because this is a family movie!” That depends on a lot on whether Doctor Who ends up as a family movie – which my gut tells me it will be – or something appealing a little more to the adult audience – which it won’t be. So moppets ahoy!
Could this be the return of David Tennant as Doctor Who?! (probably not)
The age of the Companion, though, depends on one other very important detail: how old will The Doctor be? Yates has worked with former, beloved Doctor Who David Tennant before, so it’s possible, but improbably, he’ll bring Tennant back on board as the Timelord. What’s more likely for Tennant is that he’ll have another role in the movie, either as a cameo, or the geeky alien guy who fixes the TARDIS when things look down and out, a shout out to the fans, while still allowing the movie to maintain its own continuity.
As for the Doctor? Fans cried foul when the 25 year old Matt Smith was cast in the part, and for our money, he’s been superb (though those same angry fans might still disagree). So would they go for a, dare I say it, Kid Doctor Who? This is probably far too on the nose, but what about a Harry Potter style reboot for Who? A 10-year-old boy thinks he’s alone in the Universe, always looking up at the stars. Turns out, he’s a Timelord, an alien time traveler, and along with his sidekick T.A.R.D.I.S., a robot dog, heads back to the planet of Gallifrey to learn how to use his amazing powers, and maybe save the Universe!
I just vomited to death, but just a bit.
Anyway, at this point, this is all rumor and circumstantial evidence (except the article in Variety, of course, which is pretty definite), and the movie is far from a done deal. Except… Next year is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. And the number of episodes the BBC has been ordering has been dwindling. Perhaps to make way for some sort of movie cast announcement next year? And perhaps, all this push the past year to get a wide, general American audience for the Doctor Who TV show might have been part of something more calculated on the BBC’s part?
So what do you think, Geeks? Assuming there is a Doctor Who movie, what would you – and would you not – like to see?
Watch our writer Alex Zalben as he chats with the MTV Movies blog about his picks for a possible alternate TV Doctor Who: