The Moffat-Yates Saga: Will there be Two Doctors?
|NEWS - NEWS ANALYSIS|
Harry Potter director wants to make a Doctor Who movie separate from the show, but Doctor Who showrunner doesn't think so...
A while back, it had been announced that David Yates – the man who directed some of the best of the Harry Potter films – was planning on making a big screen version of Doctor Who. The problem being that Yates’ vision was of a completely different Doctor, absolutely separate from the established canon of the series. Many Whovians (myself included) called foul, and questioned how someone could even imagine such a thing. After all, it was attempted in the sixties, with Dr. Who and the Daleks, and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. Both films starred Hammer Studios veteran Peter Cushing as Dr. Who, an eccentric human inventor who created TARDIS, which only resembled the ship on the outside, the inside looking like an indoor lab. The two films took Terry Nation’s first two Dalek stories from the original series and transposed them for the films, which little resemble the much better program. The films were made more for a younger audience, and are more a curiosity for Who fans than anything else.
And up until recently, Yates has been adamant that this was how things were going to work, and nothing was going to stop him. Nothing, that is, except for Steven Moffat, who has recently become quite vocal again about the project. He had this to say at San Diego Comic-Con:
"There will not come a time when there's a separate kind of Doctor Who. What was talked about there was the there would be a separate Doctor and a different continuity. Of course it won't. That would be silly. Everyone knows that's silly. The BBC knows that's silly, and is not going to do that."
All of this seems to still stem from the last round of comments from Yates, where in March he told Bleeding Cool’s Hannah Shaw-Williams this:
"Yes, I'm definitely doing a Doctor Who movie, but I think where everyone got confused was that we're not making it for five years, or six years -- it's a very slow development. I've got projects backed up between now and about 2015, and it's something I'm very passionate and excited about."
"Steven's a genius. I love his work, I think he's incredibly clever. I love what he's done with Doctor Who, love his Sherlock Holmes. He's such a gifted man. But this is something that's a very slow burn, and I'm hoping to sit down with him at some point and have a chat. It's just something that we've been talking about for a little while."
And there are those who do support such a project. Sci-Fi Pulse’s Ian Cullen believes that Yates has the chops to pull it off, and even uses the Cushing films to prove his point (personally, I would think that would invalidate the point, but I digress). And Elliott Serrano, a writer for The Chicago Tribune's RedEye publication under the Geek To Me title, had this to say:
"There's no reason why they can't co-exist. No reason why that movie can't be sort of like a gateway for folks to get into the TV show. [In comics] You have Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man. They're just trying to make these characters accessible to a wider audience. Is it necessarily going to be great? There's no guarantee there, although I think that David Yates is a great director and has a great sensibility. He did an awesome job with the Harry Potter movies, and I think (a Doctor Who television and movie series) can co-exist."
I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Yates, and I look forward to any other project he wishes to put forth. But to make a Doctor Who film that exists entirely separate from the Doctor that we know and love seems, as Moffat has so eloquently put it, silly. There has been talk of bring the Doctor back to the big screen since RTD’s earliest days on the show, but only now has it gained enough momentum to become more than rumor or pipe dream. And if done correctly, it could be a great tool for bringing in new fans who might not have already approached the series. But as of right now, Moffat considers this a “non-story”, and with the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who coming up, I’m certain he has much bigger things to worry about.
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