Just after we hung up our keyboards last night, the web exploded in a frenzy of posts regurgitating Variety’s story about a Doctor Who movie.
I very briefly considered jumping back on line but a suspicion/hope that this was yet another Doctor Who rumour which had gotten lost in translation or repetition – as a fan during the wilderness years of the 1990s I know how easily this can and does happen – stopped me doing so.
But while the BBC’s subsequent statement seems designed to calm the frenzy around the story, it doesn’t exactly kill it off.
So what do we think of the idea of a Doctor Who film which stands alone from the multi-award winning, internationally successful TV version?
Personally I think it’s a bloody stupid idea.
Of course, knowing the BBC and its tendency to allow new channel controllers to come in and axe sows just because they predate them, there’s no chance Doctor Who will still be on TV in two or three years.
But even if it’s not, rebooting the franchise for what could well end up a single film is pointless and unnecessary.
The show’s format is elastic enough to accommodate any stylistic change needed for a film without artificially separating the big and small screen stories.
The X Files proved it was possible to take a TV show, and its cast, and put them on the big screen within the chronology and narrative the audience was already familiar with.
Plus, this summer’s biggest film was The Inbetweeners, a fantastically successful move of a TV show to the big screen which actually continued, and concluded, the story started on the small screen.
That’s surely the sort of film Doctor Who fans want? One which seamlessly fits into the canon we all know and, let’s admit it, love?
We don’t know a lot about the film and if the BBC statement is to be taken as fact, its currently the entertainment equivalent of ‘vapourware’ but the little we do know sadly suggests a pretty underwhelming experience.
Let’s hope BBC Worldwide breaks the habit of a lifetime and listens to the fans whose pockets it so delights in mining.