This time last year Whovians were enjoying the exploits of the Doctor as he just met the personification of his beloved TARDIS in ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ and his ganger in ‘The Rebel Flesh.’ This year, however, we’ve have to wait much longer than we’re used to and some fans are wondering what show runner Steven Moffat had in mind with the delay.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Moffat addressed the thought process for the scheduling delay. Although he doesn’t completely admit that the decision was his to make us wait, he does agree with the move:
“I don’t know, on this occasion, that the thinking particularly came from me, actually. I’ve always been open to anything that shakes [the series] up. I think that decision actually came from the BBC.”
“But I’ve been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes Doctor Who an event piece.”
Moffat believes that making the fans wait for the start of season 7 would only enhance the viewing experience akin to feeding a starving man:
“The more Doctor Who becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. You’ve got to shake it up; you’ve got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back. “Sherlock is the prime example, as far as that goes. Sherlock almost exists on starving its audience. By the time it came back this year, Sherlock was like a rock star re-entering the building!
So keeping Doctor Who as an event, and never making people feel, ‘Oh, it’s lovely, reliable old Doctor Who – it’ll be on about this time, at that time of year’. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house – ultimately invisible. And I don’t want that to ever be the case.”
This year, we’ll only get to see 5 new episodes culminating with the Amy and Rory’s departure. Then there will be a break before the Christmas episode is aired introducing Jenna Louise Coleman as the new companion. Then sometime in 2013, the last 8 episodes of the series will then air.
Fans have been long debating about the astuteness of this move and many feel the inconsistency of the show’s scheduling may cause a decrease in viewership. The shuffling of the show was one of the reasons for the start of the show’s demise in the 1980’s. Without a doubt, however, when ‘Doctor Who’ does return this fall it will be an event not to miss and I wouldn’t be surprised if the show trended on Twitter on that day.
What do you think of Moffat’s reasoning? Would you rather have ‘Doctor Who’ air at the same time each year or do you think anticipation is a good thing for the show?