Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat fears movie and TV writers are facing a tidal wave of leaks as technology has made it impossible to keep plotlines secret.
A rough cut of Peter Capaldi's highly-anticipated debut as the Time Lord in the cult sci-fi show emerged online this month (Jul14), six weeks before the episode was due to air.
It came after several scripts for upcoming Doctor Who episodes also leaked on the Internet, and writer Moffat admits it is useless to try to prevent leaks - so he merely hopes fans won't spoil the fun by viewing episodes of the show before they are ready.
Moffat tells WENN, "There isn't any way to handle it. There isn't. What do I do? Just say to everybody bring their hard drives into (London's) Leicester Square and put them in that skip? What am I going to do?"
"I tell you what I did, I sat in my house and went 'Oh nooo, bugger'. There's nothing else I could do. Hope. That's my official policy. Let's all really hope."
Bosses at the BBC have apologised for the leak of Peter Capaldi's debut as Doctor Who, branding the incident a "damaging mistake". The Oscar winner's highly-anticipated debut as the Time Lord was slated to be broadcast next month (Aug14), but six weeks before the full episode is set to air, a rough copy of the show as well as five scripts and six more episodes from the season were posted on the Internet earlier this week (begs14Jul14).
Writer Steven Moffat urged Doctor Who fans to resist the temptation to watch the leaked copy, and now executives at the network have said sorry for the incident.
A statement from company bosses reads, "We would like to thank Doctor Who fans everywhere for their amazing efforts in helping us contain the recent leaks. The mistake was damaging and resulted in the exposure of five scripts and the first six unfinished episodes from Series 8 on a publicly accessible FTP site.
"While there is still a risk that this leak will result in more of this content emerging, so far the impact has been contained to a limited amount of this material through a combination of fans efforts and the plan that we put in place using new technology and internal manpower to limit any illegal activity.
"We would particularly like to thank the fansite moderators and Doctor Who devotees who have actively protected the programme. BBC Worldwide has taken this issue extremely seriously and disciplinary action has been implemented as a result of the incident.
"Our sincere apologies again to Steven Moffat, the cast and production team who toil long hours to make the show in Cardiff, the BBC, and of course the fans who expect so much better."
According to BBC.co.uk, the leaked video and scripts are believed to have been stolen from a BBC Worldwide office in the U.S.
Lately, it seems like a franchise is not truly a franchise until it’s gotten its gritty reboot. Superman had Man of Steel, Batman had the Christopher Nolan trilogy, and Doctor Who now has Twelve to bring some dark realism to a show about a man who travels around space and time in a mysterious flying police box. Previous seasons have seemed to mix the show’s campier, sillier side with a few serious moments, but the first full trailer for Peter Capaldi’s time at the helm of the TARDIS promises a season that is decidedly darker than Matt Smith or David Tennant’s runs.
But Doctor Who is not a show that has exactly shied away from darkness before. Between the horror that creatures like the Weeping Angels or the Silence bring and the show’s many tragic deaths and departures, not to mention the ramifications of the Time War that haunted the Doctor for years, there has always been plenty to temper the more ridiculous aspects of the show. However, this time around, the show seems to be re-focusing on the darker functions of the Doctor’s story, with goofier elements like dinosaurs rampaging through London taking a backseat to questions about the Doctor’s morality.
In fact, this darker edge seems to be the selling point for the new Doctor. That’s most likely due to the fact that Capaldi is an established dramatic actor, and we as an audience are used to seeing him play darker moments or roles. Even his most famous character, the aggressive and very profane Director of Communications Malcolm Tucker was arguably more of an anti-hero than a straight-forward good guy. Though Capaldi is often funny, both on and off screen, he’s better known for being brash, mean and sometimes evil.
Doctor Who started to take a darker turn towards the end of Smith’s tenure, with much of his happy-go-lucky façade slipping to reveal the guiltier, tortured side he hid underneath. Bringing in Capaldi gives the show a better opportunity to explore some of those more serious elements, as Eleven always needed to hold on to his goofier side. Twelve, however, is a blank slate, which allows the writers to properly delve into the grittier side of space and time travel, and being responsible for the fate of an entire planet. And since the anti-hero is so popular right now, it makes sense for Doctor Who to hop on the tortured male lead bandwagon with someone who is adept at playing that role.
Of course, no matter how good Capaldi will be as Twelve – and given everything we’ve seen him in thus far, it’s likely to be a fantastic performance – it remains to be seen how well Doctor Who as a whole will be able to pull off its gritty reboot. Recently, the show’s darker moments have been somewhat hit-and-miss, so it would be a challenge for the writers to maintain such a serious tone for the entire season. Recently, the show has struggled to ensure that its serious moments have the right amount of impact, thanks to show runner Steven Moffat’s disregard for continuity and love of resurrecting characters from the dead. A tone like this requires consequences in order to be effective. Audiences need to be worried about the fate of Clara and the Doctor, scared by their actions or the actions of the enemies they face, and since Moffat doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of lasting consequences, it doesn’t bode well for the new season.
However, if Doctor Who is able to maintain its balance between camp and drama, it should be able to ensure a memorable run for Capaldi. The goofiness will offset some of the tension, allowing audiences time to relax, breathe and enjoy the time they’re spending with these characters, as well as taking some pressure off of the consequences of the show’s darker moments, while the grittier elements will be able to raise the show’s stakes as well as allowing them to explore new territory with the Doctor, both in terms of location and character development. Although, if they really run out of options, they could always just have Twelve verbally eviscerate the Daleks. That should help them find the ideal blend of comedy and darkness.
The eighth season of Doctor Who premieres on August 23 on BBC One.
Actor Peter Capaldi's highly-anticipated debut as Doctor Who has leaked online, six weeks before its broadcast date. The Oscar winner was unveiled as the new Time Lord last year (13), taking over from Matt Smith, and he was introduced to viewers in a special Christmas episode of the sci-fi hit in December (13).
Capaldi's first full episode as the time traveller is due to be broadcast next month (Aug14), but a rough cut copy has been posted on the Internet.
Titled Deep Breath, the early edit is in black and white and is yet to have any special effects added.
However, writer Steven Moffat is urging Doctor Who fans to resist the temptation to watch the leaked copy, saying, "Someone has screwed up. The launch of a new Time Lord is the most exciting but the most dangerous moment in the show - so let's keep Peter Capaldi's first episode special."
The leak is the latest blow to BBC bosses, who were already reeling from the news last week (beg07Jul14) that the scripts for five new Doctor Who episodes have been posted on the Internet.
It is believed the rough cut of Deep Breath has leaked from the same source.
Doctor Who stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna-Louise Coleman are embarking on a tour around the world to meet some of the sci-fi show's most dedicated fans. The 12th Doctor and his companion are set to visit six cities across the globe to attend fan events, beginning 7 August (14) in London.
The Doctor Who team will also make stops in Sydney, Australia, New York City, Seoul in South Korea, Mexico City, Mexico and conclude on 19 August (14) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Writer/producer Steven Moffat will join the duo on select dates.
Before you get too ahead of yourself: Matt Smith appearing on BBC’s Sherlock is nowhere near close to happening. In fact, Steven Moffat, showrunner for Sherlock and Doctor Who, may even be toying with the fans. (First rule of BBC: never trust Moffat.)
That being said, Moffat did fuel the crossover fire between the two successful series in a recent interview. (If you have any doubt about how much fans want a crossover between Doctor Who and Sherlock, try Googling “Wholock.”)
"It's not something we're particularly striving for. There's enough inevitable crossover talk between those two, it might be disconcerting for either of them to appear in the other's show,” Moffat said of fans’ desire to see Smith go head to head with Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.
However, Moffat wouldn’t necessarily ban Smith from auditioning or being cast in a non-time-lord role on Sherlock since he’s passed the Doctor torch to Peter Capaldi (cue the tears of mourning for Eleven).
"I love working with Matt. He's a phenomenal actor. I'd jump at the chance to work with him again. I don't know how likely that is to be on the set of Sherlock,” Moffat said. “If there was a perfect part for him, there's no rule against it. We wouldn't want it to be stunt casting, because stunt casting doesn't work, so it would have to be just because he was overwhelmingly right for it."
While it’s not confirmed that Smith will ever appear on Sherlock, it’s also not confirmed that he won’t. Let the Wholock speculations continue with renewed fervor!
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to New Who – Tennant vs. Smith, Russell T. Davies vs. Steven Moffat, the hating Martha contingencies, the Clara-has-no-personality clubs – but I think I can safely say that all parties awaited the recent Christmas special with similar fervor.
But did it deliver? Alas, it seems that most Doctor Who fans agree that it did not. It should have – it had all of the trappings of a great episode: a regeneration, a Doctor-as-fake-boyfriend (my favorite sitcom trope), a surprise-naked scene, flirtations with a fabulous priestess, a town called Christmas, and wooden cybermen – heck, silence even fell "when the question was asked." It should have, by all accounts, been awesome, but it decidedly wasn't. What went wrong?
The list above, though full of strengths, was actually one of the problems – there was simply too much going on to cram into one episode. With so much plot, we were presented with an equal number of confusing plot holes. True, there were an awful lot of answers in this episode – pretty much every question set up in the Eleven arc, except the eponymous "Doc-tor WHO? Doc-tor WHO?" (groan). Sure, it was great to find out that the terrifying Silence were engineered to be the perfect confessors, but the idea that the Time Lords created the cracks in the universe that we've been chasing since series 5? Disappointing, just like the mysteries of "The Impossible Girl," "The Girl Who Waited" and River Song (does she have an obnoxious moniker?).
Also, two flirtations in one episode was too much, even for New Who's Lothario-esque Doctor. It was hard to sustain the Clara/Doctor love storyline with Tasha Lem around, no matter how fabulous she happened to be (also, personality-wise, she was a dead ringer for River Song – a clue to a new mystery, or Stephen Moffat's inability to write women rearing its ugly head again? Only time will tell). The whole "she's just your type" joke didn't play well against the "I secretly fancy [him]" joke, not to mention all of the meaningful face-caressing going on (I'm still mad we didn't get the kiss we deserved).
There were a lot of truly great moments in this special – the way that the Doctor decides to spend his last regeneration defending Christmas, his farewell to Amy, the final removal of the bowtie (sob), and our first glimpse of Twelve – all pitch-perfect. But like a stomachache-inducing binge of Christmas cookies, this episode just had too much of a good thing to truly give Matt Smith the send-off he deserved.
* The Naked Doctor was another example of "too much of a good thing" – it just didn't fit in with the episode. Besides, there may be no beating Naked!Ten in "Journey's End."
* The fake-boyfriend storyline also failed to live up to its promising sitcom-esque potential. It could have been glorious!
New Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi was the only actor who auditioned for the latest incarnation of the Time Lord. The Thick of It actor was announced as the replacement for Matt Smith in August (13) and is gearing up to make his first appearance in the long-running sci-fi show later this month (Dec13).
Capaldi's unveiling on a U.K. TV special ended months of speculation over who would land the coveted role, but the show's executive producer Steven Moffat now reveals there was only ever one man in the running.
He says, "We asked and he was incredibly excited to come and audition. We didn't tell him that he was the only person auditioning because that would be oddly pressuring.
"He's one of the best actors in the country and is very beloved. I was at the BAFTAs (awards), shortly before we were contemplating Peter, and heard the cheer he got from the audience.
"Nobody has a bad thing to say about him and that's not a minor issue when it comes to casting a Doctor. They've got to be lovely. And he's a huge fan of Doctor Who."
Celebrated TV screenwriter Peter Moffat was honoured with a top prize at the 2013 Writers' Guild Awards in London on Wednesday (13Nov13). Moffat picked up the Best TV Drama award for legal series Silk, starring Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones, seeing off competition from another of his shows, The Village, and hit crime drama Broadchurch.
Legendary playwright David Edgar was also feted at the ceremony, winning a prize for his "outstanding contribution to writing and writers".
The prizegiving is held annually by The Writers' Guild of Great Britain.
Doctor Who fans from around the world will be able to watch the show's 50th anniversary episode at the same time. The feature-length installment of the sci-fi favourite is set to be shown on the BBC on 23 November (13), when current time lord Matt Smith will appear alongside his predecessor David Tennant, and producers have announced the episode will be broadcast in at least 75 countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Australia and Mexico, at once.
Executive producer Steven Moffat says, "The Doctor has always been a time traveller - now he's travelling time zones. On the 23rd of November... it will be 'The Day of the Doctor'!"
Smith will step down as Doctor Who at the end of the year (13), and he will be replaced by the 12th TV time lord, Peter Capaldi.