UPDATE: 11/06/15 4:00pm PST: Welp, the bad news is that news travels slowly between London and Los Angeles. The good news, though, is that tabloids don’t get to just say things and get away with it.
Below, I wrote about a story by the UK rag The Mirror which claimed there would be a lot fewer episodes of Doctor Who in 2016 due to star Peter Capaldi wishing to direct a film and some TV episodes. Showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat has since responded to those claims, though—with a firm confirmation that Series 10 will be just as long as 8 and 9.
In a statement made to the (much more reliable) Radio Times, Moffat called the shortened series rumors “bunk.”
“We’re making a full series. I can confirm that,” said Moffat. “I’m making a full series of 12 episodes, plus a Christmas special. I don’t know when it goes out. That’s up to someone else. And even if I did know – which I genuinely don’t – I wouldn’t be allowed to say so as I have absolutely no say in it whatsoever.
“[But] it’s not being reduced in size. We’re not making fewer episodes. That’s all complete bunk. I can confirm that absolutely.”
Capaldi also commented on the short series rumors, saying “That’s not what I’ve been told… that’s not what I’m contracted for.”
Now, to be fair, there still MIGHT not be more than six episodes and a Christmas special to air in 2016, but Series 10 won’t be shortened. If the BBC decides to air six in the fall and six in the spring, that’s their decision.
We’ll keep you up to date on anything that develops further. Just more Doctor Who, please and thank you.
If you’re like me, you’ve been loving Peter Capaldi‘s portrayal of the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who in Series 9 even more than in Series 8, and you’re probably also already looking forward to seeing what the guitar-playing, sonic-spec-wearing Time Lord will do in Series 10. Well, shift your TARDIS down a gear, because it looks like there will be a lot less Doctor Who in 2016—about half as much, if reports are to be believed.
UK tabloid The Mirror is reporting that Capaldi requested there only be six episodes, plus a Christmas special, next year to allow him to direct a film loosely based on the Glasgow punk band The Dreamboys. If that sounds familiar it’s because The Dreamboys are the band Capaldi was in alongside Craig Ferguson growing up. In addition, he hopes to direct a couple of episodes of HBO’s Veep for his The Thick of It buddy, Armando Iannucci. Those projects will necessitate a shorter Who schedule, despite the BBC actually asking for more than its typical 12 episode order.
Capaldi has been quoted in the past saying the lengthy schedule takes its toll on everybody. “If you did the series all year there’d be casualties—and one would be its quality,” he said, later adding, “There’s a point where you can’t drive people any harder.”
Nobody is a bigger fan of Doctor Who than Capaldi himself, but he also recognizes it takes up the bulk of the year—for 12 episodes plus a Christmas special (in addition to the press they must do for all of that), the actors are working 9 or 10 months out of the year straight. For someone as in-demand and eager to take on other projects as Capaldi, it’s pretty exhausting. We also can’t forget that Capaldi is 57 years old, and though he’s in great shape, he’s no spring chicken. The schedule was too much for Matt Smith and he was only in his early 30s when he left.
There’s no word if there only being six episodes plus a special in 2016 will mean that’s all Series 10 will consist of, or if they’re going to do another split series as they did with Series 7. We’ll keep you up to date on any further developments.
What’s your take on a shortened Doctor Who series next year? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!