UPDATE: Capaldi Denies “Six Episodes Of Doctor Who in 2016” Rumour

UPDATE: Concerning the story below, Peter Capaldi has told the BBC’s entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba that he has no knowledge of any cut in episodes: “That’s not what I’m contracted for.”

Here’s the original story:

Doctor-Who_capaldiThe Mirror is claiming that there will be only six episodes of Doctor Who next year, citing Peter (“part-time Doctor”) Capaldi’s wish to work on other projects as the cause.

Let us underline the point: the BBC has made no official comment about this yet, and normally we wouldn’t report something that appears to be just rumour. However, it does tie in with a number of other unsubstantiated reports that 2016 may be another gap year of sorts for the show; not entirely absent from the screen, but either with a series of specials, such as David Tennant’s final year in 2009, or a season in two halves spread over two years, such as with series seven.

Also, we’re deeply suspicious of The Mirror’s explanation for why it’s happening. The quotes in which Capaldi apparently told BBC bosses, “working harder was not on, for both himself and the ‘exhausted’ crew… ‘If you did the series all year there’d be casualties – and one would be its quality,’ he said. ‘There’s a point where you can’t drive people any harder,’” have the whiff of creative paraphrasing, and don’t ring true. The show’s had seven full seasons made and broadcast within a year and ran for four years without a break at the start getting steadily better each season; US shows make considerably more episodes of shows per year.

That’s not to say occasional breaks may not be a good thing for recharging creative batteries but it seems highly unlikely Capaldi was some kind of campaign cheerleader for a downtrodden crew. That whole element of the story seem to have been retrofitted because someone came up with the punchy headline hook “part-time Doctor”.

More likely, the fourth season of Sherlock will have something to do with it. That will be in production in 2016 and will be taking up an awful lot of Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat’s time.

Thus is pure speculation, but if there is anything to these rumours – which seems increasingly probable – then the most likely explanation is that it’s been planned for a while to allow Moffat time to work on Sherlock, thus giving Capaldi the opportunity to pursue other projects, such as directing episodes of Veep and his own semi-autobiographical movie project about the punk band he once used to be in, Dreamboys.

Of course, it may be all be pish.


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