As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Breakfast with Steven MoffatBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Steven Moffat appeared on BBC's Breakfast this morning to chat about his two festive 'blockbusters', Doctor Who and Sherlock. Speaking of the Doctor at Christmas, he said:
It's the right and proper thing, he's the ideal hero for Christmas Day, he's as close as a hero can come to actually being Santa Claus!
Talking about the storyline for the Christmas Day special, he said:
There's a slight flavour of Narnia in this one, yes - it's not the same story at all by any means. Last year we pretty much did A Christmas Carol beat-for-beat, but this time it's just a sort of flavouring of that really.

The Doctor ends up in debt to someone, his life is saved by someone, and a few years later he returns to save their Christmas because these children have just lost their father - of course being the Doctor he just endangers them terribly, but that's sort of what he's like.

Inevitably the movie came up, to which he re-iterated:
It's an imaginary film. David Yates - a very brilliant director - was talking off the cuff and slightly off-message. We're not going to do a film of the nature that he described, which would be rebooting the story and having a different Doctor and being in a different continuity - that would never happen, that would be insane and that would be insulting to the audience. I hope one day we will do a film, maybe even soon, but it will be very much an offshoot of the television series with the same Doctor and all that. (and you doing it?) Yes.
The interview is available to watch via the BBC Breakfast site until the 27th December.

Meanwhile, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe guest stars Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir talk about their experience filming the episode in the latest BBC behind-the-scenes clip:

Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir, BBC, via YouTube (also via BBC Doctor Who Adventure Calendar)

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Specials - Movies

Moffat discusses Movie developmentsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Steven Moffat was a guest (alongside Matt Smith!) this afternoon on BBC Radio 5 Live's Richard Bacon Show, during which the question of the potential "reboot" film being made came up; he responded:
David (Yates) was talking a little out of turn, there; a very, very brilliant director but no the film as described by him, of course we're not going to do that - a film that contradicts the television series, it would be a heathen thing to do ... I would be 'beheaded' to do such a thing!

It would be wonderful to do a Doctor Who film, but when and if we did - and hopefully we will be doing it - it will be very much an offshoot of the television series and we'll be part of it, and it will star the television Doctor, of course - anything else would be heresy!
The complete interview with Matt and Steven - which covers the first hour of the programme - can be heard on the BBC iPlayer for the next seven days.

You can also watch a video of the interview in which Matt discusses how Doctor Who got him into science.

Matt Smith discusses science, Richard Bacon show, via the BBC Radio 5 Live site (may not play outside United Kingdom)

Meanwhile, the Express suggests that David Tennant is set to return to the role of the Doctor for the movie:
Tennant, who has proved fans' most popular Doctor during the programme’s modern era, is set to make a "cameo appearance" in the new movie with recent Harry Potter director David Yates at the helm.

"It's felt it would be very fitting to have David involved after everything he’s done for the show," said an insider.

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Matt Smith - Movies - David Tennant

Doctor Who Film UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Director David Yates attended the BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards on Wednesday evening, where he was awarded the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing in recognition of his work on the Harry Potter series of films.

Speaking after the ceremony, Yates responded to questions about his involvement and fan interest with the potential Doctor Who film, telling MTV News:
I can't really talk about that because its such a long way away. We're principally looking for a writer, and we'll start with that. Everything has to start with a great script, so that's more important than casting.

I've lived with (fan) pressure for so long. What's pressure? I don't know anymore! It's fine, it's good. It's such a wonderful character and such a wonderful world. It's exciting.

It's a long journey and we're going to take our time with it. Right now I'm looking forward to a vacation, frankly!

David Yates talks to MTV News, via MTV - may not play outside the United States

Doctor Who's lead writer Steven Moffat has responded to the comments made by Yates via Twitter, saying:
To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot. David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet. You've seen the rubbish I talk when I'm cornered.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Movies

A Gamble with Time (Lord)Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Since the announcement by director David Yates on the development of a movie version of Doctor Who, the casting of an actor for the role has attracted speculation through the media.

The Radio Times suggests a variety of potential Doctors, ranging from young popstar Justin Bieber through to another sci-fi stalwart William Shatner! Other names include Hugh Laurie, Colin Firth, Ricky Gervais, Lady Gaga and Morgan Freeman.

IGN ran a poll in which some 7000 readers voted Hugh Laurie as their favourite choice, with the runners up being Gary Oldman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Ewan McGregor. Entertainment Editor Chris Tilly said: "As one of the UK's most celebrated TV characters of all-time, fans are thrilled about the prospect of a 'Doctor Who' movie, with talk immediately turning to who should play the lead role. And with his combination of wit, intelligence, charm and eccentricity, Hugh Laurie was the runaway winner of our poll, with fans believing the Brit to be the perfect man to play the Time Lord on the big screen."

Betting firm William Hill have placed David Morrissey as their favourite - in the lead-up to 2008's The Next Doctor the actor was the firm favourite to take over from David Tennant as the eleventh Doctor; another contender for the role as the announcement of who would replace Tennant in early 2009 was Chiwetel Ejiofor who is currently William Hill's second favourite.

IndieWire also offers up Chiwetel Ejiofor as a potential big-screen Doctor, with other suggestions including Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Kebbell, Tom Hardy and Andrew Garfield.

Movie odds aren't a new thing, of course; back in 2010 Paddy Power were offering 2/1 on Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp as becoming a movie Doctor!

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Movies - Betting/Odds

Doctor Who film in the works?Bookmark and Share

Monday, 14 November 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Variety have reported that preparation has begun to turn Doctor Who into a feature film, to be helmed by director David Yates (Harry Potter) in association with BBC Worldwide Productions under the auspice of Jane Tranter (VP of programming and production).

Yates told Variety:
We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena. The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time.

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. 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,

Tranter has commented on the potential of a Doctor Who film before; asked about the possibility when outlying her plans for BBC Films back in 2007, she answered: "I would not rule out a film version of Doctor Who, no."

The BBC confirmed development via their Doctor Who Facebook presence:
There's been a lot of talk today about the possibility of a Doctor Who movie - a feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles. But, as of yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place.

Perhaps the most famous attempt to produce a film occured in 1992 with the BBC Enterprises project The Dark Dimension, aimed to be released during the show's 30th Anniversary the following year. Others include Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, an attempt by then Doctor Tom Baker and Ian Marter to take Doctor Who to the big screenin the 1970s, and a long-term project by the Daltenreys group (aka Coast to Coast) in the late 80s/early 90s.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Movies

Dalek Films Soundtrack CD ReleaseBookmark and Share

Saturday, 12 September 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
TV/Movie CD publisher Silva Screen have released details on a new CD covering the music from the two 1960s Aaru films Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD.

The restored soundtracks feature the scores composed by Malcolm Lockyer and Bill McGuffie, with additional sounds from Barry Gray; the CD will also feature contemporary single releases, plus a 20 page booklet covering production notes and memorabilia.

The CD is due for release on 5th October; track details below.

Dr. Who and the Daleks

1. Fanfare And Opening Titles
3. The Petrified Jungle
4. The Petrified Creature And The City
5. Four Return To TARDIS
6. The Medicine Box And The Climb To The City
7. City Corridors
8. Captured By The Daleks
9. Susan Leaves The City
10. The Jungle At Night
11. Susan Returns To The City
12. Escape From The Cell
13. The Trap
14. The Swamp
15. The Mountain
16. The Cave
17. The Jump
18. The Thals Approach The City
19. The Countdown
20. The Countdown Stops
21. Finale And End Titles

Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

22. Smash And Grab
23. TARDIS Departs (Sound Effects)
24. Opening Titles
25. TARDIS (Sound Effects)
26. London 2150 A.D. (Music And Sound Effects)
27. Daleks And Robomen
28. Message To Grandfather And The Dalek Saucer Takes Off (Music
And Sound Effects)
29. The Mine Workings And The Cottage
30. Preparing The Bomb Capsule (Music And Sound Effects)
31. Smash And Grab (Reprise) And End Titles

The Singles

32. The Eccentric Dr. Who
33. Daleks And Thals
34. Fugue For Thought

Dr. Who And The Daleks - Bonus Tracks

35. Fanfare And Opening Titles (Soundtrack Version With Effects)
36. TARDIS Effects
37. Dalek City Effects

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Movies - Classic Series

DW Tops Film Hopes PollBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 August 2008 - Reported by DWNP Archive
Posted By John Bowman

Doctor Who has been named the show that people would most like to see adapted for the cinema.

A Radio Times online poll in July and August saw some 2,300 readers take part, and they put the revamped series top of their movie hopes. Torchwoodcame ninth.

A breakdown of the figures isn't revealed but Friends came second, Red Dwarf third, Heroes fourth, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation fifth, Spooks sixth, 24 seventh, Lost eighth and The Prisoner tenth.

Star Trek was voted the show that had made the most successful move to the silver screen, and Helen Hackworthy, the editor of, said: "While Trekkers have had a number of big-screen delights, Who fans are hoping that the success of the new incarnation of Doctor Who will see it make the jump to a cinema near them."

The news follows comments made by incoming showrunner Steven Moffat at the Edinburgh International Television Festival at the weekend in which he said he had no objections to a Doctor Who film - but it would have to be "great and fantastic".

Giving cautious backing to the notion, he emphasised that if it did happen filming should not interfere with the series.

In the BBC News report, Moffat said: "I'm not against it. I don't think it's the most important thing for Doctor Who.

"A movie is one 90 minutes a year. So yes, so long as it never gets in the way of the show. If it gets in the way of the show that's appalling.

"It's been in the cinema, with Peter Cushing. It would be good to see it in the cinema so long as it's great and fantastic."

At the festival, Moffat also ruled out having an older actor play the Doctor as and when David Tennant leaves. "It's a practical issue. This is a show that's hard for even the young, super-fit David Tennant to keep up with. It might kill someone over 60," he said.

FILTER: - Movies - Press

Movie Rumors ContinueBookmark and Share

Thursday, 4 October 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

Rumors are circulating through the media of a forthcoming Doctor Who movie. Billie Piper, rumored to be set to return as Rose for series four, is now being cited as starring alongside current Doctor David Tennant in the film. "It's all been hushed up ... but yes, it's definitely happening," a source reportedly told the Daily Star. "David and Billie were a superb combination on the small screen, so it seems only right that they appear in the film."

These reports are coming out following a statement made by BBC Head of FictionJane Tranter,who recently told Media Guardian that she is keeping the possibility of a Doctor Who film open. Tranter is quoted as saying, "I would not rule out a film version of Doctor Who, no." There has been no announcements regarding the return of Piper or a forthcoming film released by the BBC.

FILTER: - Movies

Tranter on Who film and futureBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Media Guardian reports that Jane Tranter, BBC Head of Fiction, is keeping the possibility of a Doctor Who film open. Tranter is quoted as saying, "I would not rule out a film version of Doctor Who, no." The article also discusses the future of the television series for the next several years, as previously revealed; however, Tranter suggests that David Tennantmay remain in the role for Series Five in 2010.
Ms Tranter also hinted that actor David Tennant, who plays the current Doctor, was likely to return to the role for a fifth series, even though he has agreed to play Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company next year.

His decision means that the fifth series will not be shown until 2010, two years after the fourth series airs next year, effectively creating a "gap year" filled by three Doctor Who specials starring Tennant and overseen by head writer and executive producer Russell T Davies.

Ms Tranter also refused to be drawn on speculation that Steven Moffat was being lined up as a replacement for Davies - who is believed to be on the verge of leaving the show - or that actor James Nesbitt was being lined up take over from Tennant.

"All we can say is that David is a fantastic Doctor and that he is doing Hamlet," she said.

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Production - Movies - Press

McGann denies movie rumorsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 30 August 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

Following rumours that a movie was in the works featuring the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann has denied that he is to reprise his role.

Speaking to SyFy Portal's Alan Stanley Blair at the recent Collectormania show, Paul officially denied the rumours with the following statement:

"I've heard as well, yeah I've heard,". "Well they haven't called me, but often you hear it first through rumour. But you know... yeah I'd go back and do it ... as long as I don't have to wear a wig."

FILTER: - Movies