Last November, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their beloved sci-fi adventure Doctor Who, the BBC released the accompanying special, The Day of the Doctor into movie theaters worldwide. With the upcoming debut of season eight, they’re trying to recapture the financial success of that endeavor, and will screen the first episode of Peter Capaldi’s reign as Time Lord in a similar way. Showrunner Stephen Moffat has also confirmed that he has been talking with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson to helm a future episode.
The eighth series of the modern incarnation of Doctor Who is scheduled to premiere on Saturday, August 23, with a feature-length episode entitled “Deep Breath.” If you’re super excited and don’t think such an epic adventure can or should be contained on your television, you can also march yourself down to your local metroplex, plunk down a few hard-earned dollars, and watch this episode on a giant movie screen for one day only.
In the official BBC press release, Moffat says, “Last November the Doctor didn’t just conquer the world on television, he did it in the cinemas too. And like the show-off he is, he can’t resist another go – one taste of the silver screen is never enough. On August 23rd the new Doctor will begin his new adventures on BBC One and in cinemas all over the world. Movie-land beware – Capaldi is coming to get you!”
Though he appeared in the last holiday special, Capaldi’s 12th version of the two-hearted man from Gallifrey was little more than a glorified cameo, and “Deep Breath” will be our first proper introduction. We don’t know much about the episode aside from this brief description: “Clara trying to cope with her best friend being someone else. A terrifying monster.”
Much has been made about this being a darker version of the Doctor, which this quick synopsis indicates, and to further this end, they brought in director Ben Wheatley—most known for twisted, genre bending films like Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England—to helm the first two episodes of season eight.
While Wheatley is a fantastic director, and will certainly add his own unique twists to the show, he’s not the only filmmaker in talks to leave their mark on the franchise. In an interview with SFX, Moffat confirmed ongoing discussions with Jackson (The Hobbit) to take a whack at a future episode. This has been an ongoing process, but it sounds like it’s getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.
The showrunner says, “I think it will happen at some point. He’s still incredibly busy on The Hobbit. I’ve spoken to him face to face, and he would like to do one. I mean, he can do what the hell he likes – he owns New Zealand!”
While it would be huge for the show to have Jackson direct an episode of Doctor Who, the interest comes from both sides. Moffat says that Jackson, a long time fan, is “a nice guy, he quite often drops me a line after a show goes out. He’s into it – it’s just ‘Can you make it work?’”
There’s not actual money involved in the deal, and that all Jackson wants one of the Doctor’s most famous enemies to call his very own. Moffat says, “We give him a Dalek and then he’ll direct an episode. That’s what he wants.”
So do you think this will happen? Will we one day see an episode of Doctor Who directed by one of the biggest directors working anywhere in the world, or is this just one of those pipe dreams that will never actually happen?