Earlier this year when Peter Capaldi was announced as the twelfth actor to play Doctor Who, there was some speculation about how extensive his reign as Time Lord would be. Early reports stated that the number of episodes could be reduced to 12. Whovians can now breathe a sigh of relief, it has been announced that season eight of the BBC’s venerable sci-fi adventure will be a full fun of “at least” 13 episodes. At the moment it is unclear whether or not this number includes the Christmas special where Capaldi should be introduced.
Season eight is slated to begin production in early 2014, with Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers) handling the directing duties for the first two episodes. Let’s all hope they don’t do that thing that every show does nowadays where they split the season into multiple parts. Doctor Who did it for both season six and seven, much to the chagrin of many fans. Being as that’s how TV is going these days, we’re probably in for a segmented season, not much we can do about that. If nothing else, Wheatley should bring some interesting darkness to the series.
When it comes to Doctor Who, most of the recent attention have, understandably, been focused on the impending 50th anniversary celebration later this month. The special episode, “The Day of the Doctor,” airs simultaneously in most countries on November 23. If you’re lucky enough, or interested in such things, you can also watch the special in select movie theaters in 3D.
Writer and showrunner Stephan Moffat spoke about the hectic work load on Doctor Who:
There’s always a point in production, usually half-way, maybe two thirds, through a series when you realise you’re juggling at least one aspect of each show at once: maybe a press launch for one, another in the edit and I might not have written the last one. You wake up in the night thinking about 13 emergencies, each of them equally calamitous. As a lifestyle choice, it’s questionable.
That sounds like a busy time. You may wonder how Moffat, who also works on the BBC hit Sherlock has any time handle the writing side of his duties. He said:
One of the hardest things for me to do is work out when I’ll have time to write. A whole week can disappear when I haven’t had a moment to sit down. I was amazed recently when I got a script ready in time for the tone meeting.
Many fans feel like, between building up to the anniversary special and the split seasons, there have been woefully few episodes on the air in recent days. Hopefully after the festivities have been dealt with, the series can get back to the Doctor’s adventures through time and space.