Conventional wisdom dictates that I’m not too sure I’m excited about this. As announced yesterday in Variety, there is a Doctor Who feature film in the works. I say this solely based on the fact that this isn’t a new idea. There have been a couple of big screen adaptations of the exploits of the Traveling Time Lord, neither of which I’m a big fan of. While there were several failed big screen attempts by the BBC along with a somewhat forgotten 1996 one-off television “film” starring Paul McGann, there were, in the early days of the series, two films starring the late, great Peter Cushing, Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965) and Doctor Who: Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.” (1966) that did make it to the screen.
This time, however, could be different. A little too early to tell based on the several paragraph announcement, but with Harry Potter director, Peter Yates, at the helm, along with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s exec VP of programming and production, I’m not ready to give up on it yet.
In the announcement, Yates said: “We’re looking at writers now on both sides of the Atlantic. 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.”
We’re looking at writers now? Both sides of the Atlantic? Really? I know the Harry Potter films were written by an American, I just think there is something wrong about someone this side of the pond writing Doctor Who. That’s just me. Also, not sure what the “radical transformation” is that Yates refers to. We all know the story as aptly described by Variety’s Adam Dawtrey. Super-intelligent alien, in human form, battles cosmic bad guys aided by plucky human companions. Sounds pretty simple to me. I have one suggestion…Neil Gaiman. No need to look at writers any further. Ok, that part’s done.
Yates explained “radical transformation” by adding that “the movie adaptation would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach to the material.”
Unfortunately, another reason why I’m going to hold final comments until this gets flushed out a bit more. It’s worked in the past, just not with Doctor Who for me.