Last week Hobbit director Peter Jackson sent a large swath of the internet into fits of pleasure when Doctor Who actors Matt Smith tossed out one of the best ideas ever and suggested that Doctor Who should film an episode in New Zealand, and that Jackson should direct. Jackson then threw a giant container of fuel on the fire by saying he was a huge fan of the show and that all they had to do way “name a time and place.” Now a Who producer has joined the mutual-appreciation back-patting, suggesting that maybe — just maybe — this bit of awesome will really come to fruition.
Screenwriter Neil Cross, who created Luther and who is writing an ep of Who later this season, is friends with Who exec producer Caroline Skinner, so Cross nudged Cross and suggested that he should comment about the Jackson rumors. And sure enough, Skinner contacted the Waikato Times, which originally broke the story and said:
It is beyond wonderful that Peter is a fan of the show and it’s beyond flattering that he’d even think about it. I’m absolutely sure that we couldn’t afford him but, you know, we can always negotiate. His enthusiasm is just fantastic of course.
Apparently showrunner Steven Moffat was inundated with emails about the Jackson story, and while Skinner is also enthusiastic about the idea, she says it won’t happen until for some time yet, if at all:
Of course at some point we’d love to bring Doctor Who Down Under . . . it won’t be possible until at least a year after the 50th anniversary [on November 23, 2013]. We are already two-thirds of the way through the shoots of Series 7 and although we filmed a couple of episodes abroad (Spain and the USA) I can confirm for the rest of Series 7 we will be shooting entirely in Cardiff Bay.
Moffat himself also weighed in on the subject, and pretty much stuck with the same party line: “It won’t be for a while but rest assured that we are thinking about it.”
Honestly, this is about the most optimistic response fans could hope for, aside from the Who producers and Jackson managing to sign a deal in total secrecy, which is unlikely in this internet age. It sounds like all the parties are interested, but there still remains the task of coordinating schedules and the logistics of moving an entire production to the other side of the world just to shoot one episode. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it’s wise to take this all with a generous serving of salt until anything official is announced. As you might have heard, Peter Jackson’s schedule is pretty busy for the next few years…