Feature-length specials rumoured for 2016

October 4th, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

A new rumour has surfaced today which claims that the BBC are planning a handful of feature-length Doctor Who specials to air throughout 2016.

According to the tabloid speculation, showrunners have hit a “crisis period” owing to what they describe as a “plunge” in ratings after overnight viewing figures for the latest series have thus far failed to pass the 4 million mark. Consequently, the series will allegedly be taking a break next year – which would compliment a previous report – to accommodate a “drastic” cast reboot for its full time return in 2017.

If – if – it turns out to be true, Doctor Who would air three specials next year, including the now traditional Christmas Special, in a temporary format which has inevitably been likened to the successful model acquired by Steven Moffat’s other acclaimed franchise Sherlock. As always, treat the developments with a pinch of salt until there’s any official news from the BBC but feel free to share your own views on the matter by voting and commenting below.

Feature-length specials rumoured for 2016. Good or bad news?

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6 comments on this article
  1. JC
    October 4th, 2015 at 12.47pm | #1

    I think it’s a dangerous strategy that could go either way.

    Series 8 was really not very good, in my opinion and others, and I think PART of that has been reflected in the underwhelming viewing figures for Series 9 so far, despite some fans’ reliance on “Yeah, but people watch it on catch-up” to boost the numbers to over 6 million.

    Series 9 needs to make up for that, but even if it does, it’ll only be back to where it should have been at the end of Series 8. If the BBC decide to do a year of specials, they have to rely on the disinterested viewers tuning it a few times next year and rely on the especially important quality of those few episodes to satisfy those in the main fan base, who demand quality and won’t just be grateful for what they get.

    The specials year of 2008/2009 was what it was, but I wouldn’t like to go through that again. For me, The Next Doctor, Planet of The Dead and Waters of Mars were sub-standard episodes that I’ve rarely watched again and yet they were part of a year of so-called Specials. They were filler for the main event of the 10th Doctor’s regeneration when, ideally, I think each of them should have been a Series Finale level story.

    The way I’m feeling about Doctor Who at the moment, I’m not sure I’d still be a fan after a year of “specials” and so few of them at that. Class, the new spin-off that may be a replacement for Doctor Who next year, isn’t inspiring much hope or excitement in me either.

    I don’t think it’s a good idea. It may come back stronger than ever in a year’s time, but how many of the fans from before the break will have given up trying?

  2. The 13th Doctor
    October 4th, 2015 at 12.56pm | #2

    Tabloids sensationalising again.
    Truth is Moffat will find it too hard to do both Sherlock AND Doctor Who. So he’s cutting back.
    Although, I don’t see why he couldn’t just hand the job to another scriptwriter, Jamie Mathieson would be fantastic as chief writer for the show, for example.

    The worldwide ratings are good, and in our watch-when-it-suits-us culture, it’s no surprise the figures for the overnights are lower.
    Sky+ (inc. other rec)

    Also, other catch up players have adverts, itvPlayer, All4, etc. Have you tried catching up on a programme with those? It’s bloody frustrating, hence, choosing instead to watch live & using BBC’s catch up more.

    In short, the papers & the overnights are both unreliable sources on how popular the show is.

  3. Steve
    October 4th, 2015 at 7.42pm | #3

    @The 13th Doctor “Truth is Moffat will find it too hard to do both Sherlock AND Doctor Who” – Er…so how come RTD could do Doctor Who, Torchwood and the SJA series? Moffatt has always been a bad choice. The falling figures are representative of that! Also, under SM the seasons are getting shorter!

    The sad side of this is, PC is going the way of the 6th Doctor and next year could be his last! The poor stories and terrible companion he has has dragged the program down and it is not PC’s fault.

  4. Valcoor
    October 7th, 2015 at 12.37am | #4

    Capaldi’s a fantastic choice of Dr. The only thing holding him back, is bad script writing and clara.
    It doesn’t matter how good an actor you are, when you’re handed a crap script.
    I’d love to see Moffatt hand over to someone else.
    It’s good to know that he’ll get a new companion, I just hope that the new one is better than the old one (which won’t be very difficult).
    Perhaps we’ll get Jenny as a new companion. The Doctor and Daughter, hmmm that’s an idea worth exploring.

  5. Steve
    October 7th, 2015 at 7.25pm | #5

    @Valcoor No it is not a good idea. I thought the whole Doctor/Daughter thing was dreadful beyond belief!
    It will not make any difference because the BBC have already announced that if it continues after next year, they want a new cast! Moffatt should be shot!

  6. Siergiej
    October 9th, 2015 at 10.50am | #6

    @Steve Um, no they hadn’t. It’s just a Mirror speculation, and those guys were wrong on many ‘rumour has it’ occasions before.

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