The upcoming series of Doctor Who promises a few twists to the sci-fi stalwart’s recent formula, with almost every story filling a double episode, Peter Capaldi performing one instalment all on his own and another in the ‘found-footage’ style. Clearly, it’s a place for writers to try to innovate the genre.
But if you’re hoping the series could one day follow the lead of soaps like EastEnders and Coronation Street in taking to our TV screens live, then think again – Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat is having none of it.
When asked at a screening for the premiere episodes of series nine what adventures he could give the Doctor and Clara in a live episode, he replied: “I think I’d give them the adventure of the next showrunner. And I wish them the BEST of luck. “
More seriously, he went on: “I wouldn’t do it, I’ve gotta be honest – I’d run like hell from that, because the thing you don’t know about Doctor Who is the state it’s in when we sign it off.
“It’s… wow. The postproduction on Doctor Who – it’s like a whole other show. All these geniuses come in and make it into this completely real world.”
He concluded: “So I wouldn’t like personally, for me, a live episode. In the case of Doctor Who, we would be denied the creative input of some of the greatest postproduction crew on the planet. Why the hell would I wanna lose those guys?”
Moffat thinks that another genre shift for the show is slightly more likely – namely, a one-off musical episode in the style of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Scrubs.
“Who knows – anything could happen, I guess,” he said. “Maybe!”
“It’s a hard one. A musical Doctor Who. It’s like saying, ‘do you know what this show isn’t – it’s just not camp enough.’ Really?”
“Anything is possible, that’s the extraordinary thing about Doctor Who. I’ve just never heard an idea for [a musical episode], or had an idea for one, that remotely worked.”
Ok, so maybe a musical episode’s not that much more likely than a live one – but we still live in hope. Ever since we heard the idea, we can’t get the image of a Peter Capaldi-style synchronised dance number out of our heads….
Doctor Who series 9 begins on BBC1 on Saturday 19th September at 7:40pm