Doctor Who Executive producer Russell T Davies has spoken exclusively to SFX about the future of Doctor Who.
The show returns this Spring for a fourth series, and will encore as four specials in 2009 before returning for a fifth full series in 2010. While there has been no official comment on the future of Doctor Who beyond that, Davies reveals that the establishment of this transmission pattern will help to ensure the show's longevity.
"Doctor Who is now one of the BBC's biggest flagship shows," he tells the magazine. "And this sort of pattern will guarantee it being on air for twenty years. It's no good looking at that American pattern of making seven years if you're lucky - that's just not going to work. Who wants it to die after seven years? It's much bigger than that. It needs looking after, in the sense that it needs pauses, it needs its legend revamping every so often. If you build these pauses in now and say this will always happen, that's part of the plan now - it's literally a twenty year plan, which can't be guaranteed, because different people will be in charge in years to come - but if you present them with something rock solid, that is working, and has a unique transmission pattern that shouldn't be interfered with, then it will stay."
In the interview Davies also tackles such topics as the casting of Catherine Tate, the rise of the online critic and the true story behind the return of Billie Piper. In addition, he confirms that UNIT, the fictional military organisation returning to the show in the new series, is now the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, and not the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce as it was previously known.
The full interview is in SFX 168, on sale across the UK on Wednesday 12 March.