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Nov 15 2011

A Doctor Who Movie?

I…um…hmm. I just don’t know about this.

“Harry Potter” director David Yates is teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi TV series “Doctor Who” into a bigscreen franchise.

Yates, who directed the last four Potter films, told Daily Variety that he is about to start work on developing a “Doctor Who” movie with Jane Tranter, head of L.A.-based BBC Worldwide Prods.

“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” he said. “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”

I like Doctor Who, but I’m not a fanatic. (I can tell. I have friends who are.) Peter Davison and David Tennant are “my” Doctors, Nyssa and Martha “my” companions, even though some of their scripts were appalling. I’m tickled at what Steven Moffat has done with the show. I’m a little in love with Rory.

Fear the Pretty

But I’m just not sure about the movie, partly because I stopped watching the Harry Potter films after the first one Yates directed. Like any good geek, I’m a bit possessive of my stories. I know that the worst that can come of this is a bad movie I won’t want to see, but…still.

What do you think?

21 comments

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  1. 1
    raymoscow

    I like it as a weekly TV show, usually.

    As a movie — well, it’s been tried, and it wasn’t very good.

  2. 2
    Matt G

    Bring back Tom Baker! He’s “my” doctor Sarah Jane died recently, but she, Leela and Romana are “my” companions.

  3. 3
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    This will either be really really awesome, or really really bad.

    Either way, I’d probably watch it out of sheer curiosity.

  4. 4
    Salmo

    Yeah, they’ve been “developing” this since like 2000. Not gonna happen. Although I do thing a good thing to do would be to return Life, The Universe, and Everything to its Doctor Who roots, Doctor for Slartibartfast, Rory for Arthur, Amy for Trillian, and Captain Jack for Zaphod.

  5. 5
    magistramarla

    If they do a good job with this movie, it would be a great way to bring Dr. Who to a larger audience. Of course, that is a big if.
    I’ve been watching Dr. Who since the early ’70s, so I’m a huge fan of Tom Baker.
    The current Doctor is OK, but I feel that David Tennant would be better for a big-screen film. He has a better on-screen presence for such a project, and his accent is much easier to understand for an American audience.

  6. 6
    Ing

    They’re saying it’s a remake with no connection to the show.

    The worst way to make a movie possible.

  7. 7
    Ing

    If they do a good job with this movie, it would be a great way to bring Dr. Who to a larger audience. Of course, that is a big if.

    Think of what that means to Hollywood. Now surely you realize why this is a horrible idea.

  8. 8
    geocatherder

    Tom Baker and David Tennant are my Doctors. Both Romanas and Sarah Jane are my companions, though I like others. (Even though I’m insanely jealous of Lalla Ward capturing Richard Dawkins.) I doubt I could bear to watch a movie that had no connection to the show.

  9. 9
    Keith Harwood

    I’ve been watching Doctor Who since “An Unearthly Child”. The two Peter Cushing films were remakes of previously broadcast stories and weren’t much cop and The Doctor refered to himself as Doctor Who, which was a big no-no. The Paul McGann TV film, although considered canonical, was pretty dreadful. The chances of Hollywood being able to produce anything like Doctor Who are pretty near zero. If they make anything with Doctor Who in the title, I’ll probably go back to Inspector Spacetime.

    Is it compulsory to name favourite companions? If so:
    Susan (I was a wimpy schoolboy at the time, so a wimpy schoolgirl looked attractive), Leila (“Shall I kill him?”, “No, you can’t kill people just because you don’t like them.”, “Why can’t I?”), the first Romana, Rose, Donna. Oh yes, and Sarah Jane. And Liz Shaw should be in there somewhere. And Ace of course (“Did you get rid of that nitro-9 like I told you?”, “Yes, of course.”, “Right, give it to me.”) Oh hell, there’s no such thing as a favourite companion.

  10. 10
    Alex

    I hope it is horrible; i won’t watch it either way, and if it is bad i get to torment all my Dr Who obsessed friends with it.
    I like the first 3 star wars movies and batman and robin (bat nipples) for the same reason :P

  11. 11
    Adamo

    Maybe this will be just another in a long string of Americans messing with BBC hits and wrecking them. The new show with Maria Bello, Prime Suspect, is the first that’s not too badly mangled.

    I’d like to put in a plug for Dr. Donna, and while not strictly a companion, for River Song.

  12. 12
    Aliasalpha

    Well I’ve not seen enough information to have any specific pessimism, just the general “Movies of TV shows are shit”. The only positive I’ve seen is the involvement of Jane Tranter who was a very large part of bringing the show back in the first place

  13. 13
    dizzlski

    I’m not looking forward to it, just like I didn’t look forward to the Sherlock Holmes movie. It was kinda fun, but it was pretty much an anti-holmes film until the very, very end. The new SH tv program was much better, and each episode was about movie length. Big movies of classic tv shows rarely give a damn about the originals, fans should care the same.

  14. 14
    Philip L

    The fact that the movie project has been in development hell since Russell T Davies got the job at BBC Wales to bring the show back to TV does not inspire confidence! The Paul McGann movie was a travesty and a movie made now and standing outside the TV show’s continuity would be an oddity like the 1960s Cushing films.
    (I envy Keith having followed the show since 22 November 1963! They were showing Pertwee when I became aware of the show, at the tender age of 5.)

  15. 15
    Avicenna

    I too am a big Last Centurion fan.

    I do think that the Doctor would do well on the big screen only because there already exist two or three part Dr. Who episodes which together form a movie (Okay! Maybe some editing is required to make it fit the idea of an excellent movie) so I think it is extremely doable.

    The problem is what would you do? The current Doctor is trying to expand the boundary of his universe. He himself admits that he has become too big. You would have to run a previous doctor simply to fit into the time frame.

    The Army of Ghosts/Doomsday double episodes make a decent movie (if only for the sheer fan factor of Dalek + Cybermen, plus the entire second episode is filled with awesome quotes)

    I would not mind a Rise of the Daleks movie if and only if they ask Stephen Hawkings (a big fan of the show) to play Davros.

  16. 16
    hoverfrog

    I enjoyed the Paul McGann film and I’d probably enjoy a new film too. I can suspend my disbelief having a hero who changes faces and flies through time and space in a police box that’s bigger on the inside. I’m pretty sure I can suspend my disbelief to a film version too.

  17. 17
    badandfierce

    It’s been done before. It’ll probably be done again. Dr. Who’s been in more than one full-length movie, though not a big budget thing. Hell, the eighth doctor exists only in movie form. And while it was far from a good movie, eight has a certain amount of charm. (I had to develop a bit of an affection for him when I was assigned him for a group cosplay. We had all ten doctors! …It was only ten at the time, anyway.) Doctor Who is too big, too old, too venerable, and too strong for a bad movie to do it any damage, and a good movie might be fun. I have no strong feelings on the subject at all.

  18. 18
    TV200

    They should use the script for Doctor Who and The Krikketmen.

    But seriously, what I wouldn’t mind seeing would be a Doctor Who: Time War movie. Bridging the gap left by the terrible TV movie, and the series reboot. That would give Paul McGann a chance to really show what he is capable of. I’ve listened to a lot of his Big Finish Doctor Who work, and he’s pretty good in that.

  19. 19
    Keith Harwood

    I didn’t see The Unearthly Child in the UK, I saw it here in Oz round about 1965.

  20. 20
    Philip L

    My mistake, Keith. 1965 sounds right – the screenings here in Oz started at different times in the various states as the film cans were shuffled round the continent by the ABC (Melbourne started on 20 February; Sydney was probably earlier and other capitals later) so you would have been treated to all but three of the Hartnells and a complete run of Troughton stories (alas for the missing episodes). I’m a Melburnian myself and in 1977 or so they were showing repeats of Pertwee alongside the first screenings of Tom Baker.

  21. 21
    Sheikh Mahandi

    No more Dr Who movies, the essence of the Dr has always been the suspense of week to week following the series waiting for the resolution of the previous weeks cliffhanger situation.
    My favourite “companion” is Melody Pond a.k.a. River Song.

  1. 22
    Concerns grow over the off/on again new Doctor Who movie

    [...] involved with the last batch of Harry Potter films. This was something that Stephanie Zvan at Almost Diamonds blogged; But I’m just not sure about the movie, partly because I stopped watching the Harry [...]

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