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Series 7b is really Series 8... anyone else feel like we're being conned?


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Old 08-05-2013, 04:46
Joe_Zel
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They did take action by reducing the number of scripts Moffat wrote for series seven. But as highlighted above, the BBC will want the main writer to do the big episodes - opener, finale and Christmas. But series seven still suffered problems - Caroline Skinner departed, an indication not all was well. So now they have a new producer and let's hope he has the authority and remit to support Moffat getting things back on track.
I didn't ask had they took action, I meant specifically hired more than one show runner, ie. someone on the same authority level as Moffat. The show clearly needs it.

Then Moffat can do his big episodes without shouldering the burden of running the show himself whilst doing his other projects.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:58
nebogipfel
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I didn't ask had they took action, I meant specifically hired more than one show runner, ie. someone on the same authority level as Moffat. The show clearly needs it.

Then Moffat can do his big episodes without shouldering the burden of running the show himself whilst doing his other projects.
That's what I said - they've hired a new executive producer. We must hope he does what you're asking. I've read people on Gallifrey Base say that he will be given a remit along these lines - of having clout. (ie people claiming some sort of insider knowledge). Time will tell if it works out.

Their previous remedies appear to have included the departure of Wenger and Willis, reducing Moffat's episode count, spreading series seven over two years and the appointment of Caroline Skinner.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:04
Rooks
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If their monitoring of social media extends to popular Who forums then they'll already know the thoughts of many people. I also know people have complained. And I am fairly sure, not least because Private Eye said so, that the BBC themselves didn't want a reduced episode count.
It does, though a few threads on a few forums would rate quite low in importance as it's easy to dismiss as fan behaviour.

I don't see the point of complaining via Twitter about the poor PR since 2011. There's no point demanding more episodes in 2013.
It's not only complaints about the PR, it's complaints about the way the show has been treated. People have long memories, they remember the decline of the classic series and do not want the same to happen to New Who so it's understandable people are jumpy and nervous about the situation. Episodes in early 80s were still getting good ratings but apathy from the BBC lead to reduced budgets and changes to the scheduling. Fans were divided about the path the show was taking and becoming increasingly critical of the showrunner (watch any convention video from the timeperiod, it could have been filmed yesterday such is the similarities).

It's not the same in 2013 but there's a lot of similarities so I get why there's a lot of negativity around at the moment.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:20
Mulett
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It's not only complaints about the PR, it's complaints about the way the show has been treated. People have long memories, they remember the decline of the classic series and do not want the same to happen to New Who so it's understandable people are jumpy and nervous about the situation. Episodes in early 80s were still getting good ratings but apathy from the BBC lead to reduced budgets and changes to the scheduling. Fans were divided about the path the show was taking and becoming increasingly critical of the showrunner (watch any convention video from the timeperiod, it could have been filmed yesterday such is the similarities). It's not the same in 2013 but there's a lot of similarities so I get why there's a lot of negativity around at the moment.
Agree 100%.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:40
nebogipfel
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I also understand the fears and also remember the show in the eighties. I do sympathise with Mr Levine and others. The BBC have helped nurture these fears with a string of either unfortunately worded or intentionally misleading public statements. A mixture of press releases,interviews and tweets.

If they had presented things with more skill they would have calmed people down better. This goes right back to that cack handed "fourteen episodes all starring Matt" press release in June 2011. Not helped, of course because that came just after they tried to cover up the actual reason for the series six split with the nonsense about the arc plot needing a three month cliff hanger, and luckily that meant we would "never" be more than a few months away from more episodes (as long as this "never" is restricted to just series six, of course).

Instead of coming clean at that point they failed to support Cohen's accurate statement, briefed against him via Twitter (he was only joking and was misquoted etc) and then published rubbish about barbeques in a Doctor Who book. And so it went on.

Which was unfortunate because I think the show is in a better position than in the eighties. The ratings were still pretty good then but the show was something of a shadow of its former self in terms of the quality of what was on screen. Whereas these days the quality of the show is really very good. It is not a laughing stock in the press (quite the opposite), viewing figures are better than just "ok" and it is practically becoming mainstream (sort of) in America.

So loud protests aren't needed, I don't think. My guess is a return to thirteen episodes for series 8. With any luck all in the same calendar year.

But I don't underestimate the capacity of the BBC to fail to properly get to grips with problems.
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Old 08-05-2013, 14:12
Rooks
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So loud protests aren't needed, I don't think. My guess is a return to thirteen episodes for series 8. With any luck all in the same calendar year.
That's a terribly British way of looking at things

The problem with quiet indignation is that it's as good as saying "This is acceptable, I'm not happy but I'm not going to make a fuss". Personally I prefer that old saying "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" But then I'm a moaning so-and-so

My own guess is that we won't get a 13 episode series 8. They may call it that, like they called the two very dissimilar parts of this "series 7" but really it won't be. And I'd be very surprised if we see any new episodes in 2014 other than the Christmas specials.

There's a possibility we might get some episodes at the end of 2014 but logistically it's unlikely to be earlier than that. Unless Matt's movie only has him gone for a few weeks and he'll be back filming the series in July as normal. Pretty unlikely though and we know Jenna made comments alluding to another long break upcoming.

Mind you, something is sticking in the back of my mind about the Ryan Gosling movie. The BBC would have only permitted him to work on this movie if it didn't interfere with the show right? I'm assuming Matt has a contract for Doctor Who and that contract would give him the option to take other work as long as their wasn't a clash of interests or filming. Which means that the BBC intended a break in the filming of the show. It's not enforced by the unavailability of the lead actor. Which really does raise the question in my mind as to what on earth is going on at Doctor Who HQ.
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Old 08-05-2013, 14:21
nebogipfel
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The next filming will definitely be September, not earlier. The Christmas Special. And then, at some point, filming for more episodes beyond that (filming and broadcast schedule of those - no clues given). Ed Russell said that much quite clearly via Twitter.

Having gained an understanding of some of what series seven was all about, it seems we are starting all over again with series 8.

You're right about my attitude to all this re: protesting. It's something I discuss but nothing about it makes me want to go to the BBC about it. Just a bit of good old British tutting.
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Old 08-05-2013, 14:42
Rooks
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You're right about my attitude to all this re: protesting. It's something I discuss but nothing about it makes me want to go to the BBC about it. Just a bit of good old British tutting.
Yep and there's nothing wrong with that. I prefer to be a whinging fan

Not sure about filming dates, I'd estimated it would be at least September before filming restarted, possibly a little later than that purely because it takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 4 months to film a movie and I suspect Matt would take a short break in between. Certain other people have suggested that the Christmas Special will be the only other episode filmed this year (other than the anniversary). That means that a 9-month filming schedule would have any new episodes in Autumn next year at the earliest (and again would probably be split into two parts). A Feb 2014 filming start on the next series would be consistent with Jenna saying they'd be a long gap. Which would yet again mean another missing series.
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Old 08-05-2013, 14:53
Joe_Zel
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Mind you, something is sticking in the back of my mind about the Ryan Gosling movie. The BBC would have only permitted him to work on this movie if it didn't interfere with the show right? I'm assuming Matt has a contract for Doctor Who and that contract would give him the option to take other work as long as their wasn't a clash of interests or filming. Which means that the BBC intended a break in the filming of the show. It's not enforced by the unavailability of the lead actor. Which really does raise the question in my mind as to what on earth is going on at Doctor Who HQ.
He's filming the movie during the standard production break between series. Series 7 finished filming before Christmas, 50th anniversary special has just finished. Then he'll be back from his movie in September to film the Christmas special and presumably be free to begin filming series 8 around that same time or in January.

They always have a break. I can't imagine that, had Smith not had a movie to go and do that the Christmas special would be filmed in summer or that they'd start series 8 earlier. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the script hasn't even been written by Moffat yet. He'll probably wait until Sherlock 3 is completed filming.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:07
Simon Watkins
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He's filming the movie during the standard production break between series. Series 7 finished filming before Christmas, 50th anniversary special has just finished. Then he'll be back from his movie in September to film the Christmas special and presumably be free to begin filming series 8 around that same time or in January.

They always have a break. I can't imagine that, had Smith not had a movie to go and do that the Christmas special would be filmed in summer or that they'd start series 8 earlier. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the script hasn't even been written by Moffat yet. He'll probably wait until Sherlock 3 is completed filming.
Three points; [LIST][*]The "standard break between seasons" for filming, has to be about 3 months if you want to maintain the 13 episodes per year, plus 1 special quota. They already had one 4 month break *before* starting filming The Anniversary Special!
[*]In the RTD era, filming the Christmas Special in Summer was a normal part of the routine.
[*]Yes, I agree. Moffat probably hasn't written The Christmas Special yet, let alone any of season 8. (There's a clue there as to the more likely reason why there's been no other filming this year!)[/LIST]
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:30
nebogipfel
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Hmm..maybe they should give up on all this script writing thing and do it improv styles instead. Paul Merton for next showrunner. Actually, that might be how The Wedding of River Song was done. Just throw on a load of CGI after filming.

(PS Loved "Wedding". But blimey, it was bonkers).
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:07
DiscoP
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Mofatt said ages that he has plans for series 8 but doesn't a series have to be commissioned before they can start writing scripts for it?

A lot will depend on what Matt decides to do as well I guess.
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:23
Joe_Zel
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Three points; [LIST][*]The "standard break between seasons" for filming, has to be about 3 months if you want to maintain the 13 episodes per year, plus 1 special quota. They already had one 4 month break *before* starting filming The Anniversary Special!
I didn't mean it's the same amount of time they always have. I just meant he's clearly off filming his movie in the usual time off they have between filming seasons.

Just basically a way of saying production hasn't closed for him to go and do his movie, production would have closed anyway.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:27
Rooks
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I didn't mean it's the same amount of time they always have. I just meant he's clearly off filming his movie in the usual time off they have between filming seasons.

Just basically a way of saying production hasn't closed for him to go and do his movie, production would have closed anyway.
Didn't "Series 7" finish filming over 6 months ago? I see episodes such as "The Crimson Horror" were filmed last July. If that's correct, barring the odd reshoot, this isn't the usual break in filming series.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:37
Joe_Zel
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Didn't "Series 7" finish filming over 6 months ago? I see episodes such as "The Crimson Horror" were filmed last July. If that's correct, barring the odd reshoot, this isn't the usual break in filming series.
No. Episodes aren't filmed in chronological order.

Series 7 finished filming before Christmas. 50th anniversary special finished in the last week.

Production closes now before starting up again in September.

It's like talking to a brick wall sometimes on this forum. I didn't mean the usual amount of time, but the "usual" closing of production after completing a season.

It was in response to people inferring that filming was postponed so Matt could do a movie. He's obviously doing a movie in the gap he would have had anyway.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:53
Rooks
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No. Episodes aren't filmed in chronological order.

Series 7 finished filming before Christmas.
Correct, but most episodes had finished filming by September last year and, as far as I'm aware, all episodes were finished by November. So, the production break had already happened from November to April (when the Anniversary story started filming). We are now on a second production break between series.

And really, "talking to a brick wall".. no need to be rude is there.

Besides, my point was that, in normal circumstances the filming of the anniversary episode would have been the start of the production block for the next series (since the break in production had already occured). They would have started filming the next series from March this year for broadcast in the autumn. This is clearly not the case so either Matt's film is the cause of this second break (unlikely) or something else is.
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:11
Joe_Zel
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Except Matt's movie clearly isn't the cause since we've been told series 8 hasn't even been commissioned or started writing. Moffat is at the "ideas stage".

With Sherlock 3 filming ongoing it wouldn't surprise me if the Christmas special wasn't even written yet either.

So, my main point is that even if he didn't have a movie to go and do, there would be no filming to be done. Production would still close.
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Old 09-05-2013, 21:47
nebogipfel
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don't worry joe zel. I knew what you were getting at. rooks and Simon were making a different point. both are true. There's nothing about the current lack of filming that is because Matt Smith decided to go to America. They decided there would not be any filming over the summer, so Matt found himself a film to do
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Old 09-05-2013, 22:06
Simon Watkins
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don't worry joe zel. I knew what you were getting at. rooks and Simon were making a different point. both are true. There's nothing about the current lack of filming that is because Matt Smith decided to go to America. They decided there would not be any filming over the summer, so Matt found himself a film to do
Yep. We're both saying moreorless the same thing. Two sides of the same coin. Just a spot of misunderstanding - I'm as much to blame as anyone.

It's not your usual situation, no. But neither is it the case that Matt Smith has dictated this hiatus, I don't believe. The hiatus is most likely because we have no scripts to run with, and Matt has availed himself of this opportunity to find some work, on account of that fact.

That, to me, sounds far more likely than anything else.
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Old 10-05-2013, 15:02
DiscoP
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And just to prove me wrong that 24 wouldn't work if it had any less than 24 episodes, they're bringing it back with 12 episodes:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/s9/...-episodes.html

(Sorry, I know that it has nothing to do with Doctor Who but it does relate to something that I wrote a few pages back which also probably had nothing to do with Doctor Who )
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:11
andy1231
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Perhaps they will call it 12 instead.
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Old 10-05-2013, 16:33
nebogipfel
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Perhaps they will call it 12 instead.
If the BBC Doctor Who PR dept were involved they'd call it 25.
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Old 10-05-2013, 19:33
Rooks
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Pretty fair to say that, unless he wears a wig, Matt definitely won't be filming Doctor Who for a few months now
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Old 10-05-2013, 20:16
emby2
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Pretty fair to say that, unless he wears a wig, Matt definitely won't be filming Doctor Who for a few months now
Didn't Karen wear a wig for Pond Life? It's not impossible
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:37
Mulett
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Good luck with that, but I bet I can guess what their reply will be. They will say that they haven't announced their full plans for November yet and scheduling decisions were made for creative reasons. Do I win a prize if they anything along those lines?
You weren't far off, DiscoP. Here's the BBC response to my complaint;

Thank you for contacting us regarding the scheduling of ‘Doctor Who’. We understand that you feel that statements made about the scheduling of the 7th series were misleading and statements made about the scheduling of the 8th series were untrue.

Series 7 comprises 14 episodes including a Christmas special which aired from September 2012 to May 2013. We regret if it wasn’t clear that these episodes would be spread over two years.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ and a 50th anniversary special is planned. There has been no announcement about broadcast dates for series 8 but ‘Doctor Who’ is still going strong in its 50th year.

We appreciate you would like to see even more episodes of this programme and we’d like to assure you that we’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback that’s compiled daily and made available to staff across the BBC, including programme makers, channel controllers, and commissioning executives.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.


I have resubmitted my complaints as I don't feel they have actually answered my complaints about misleading and untrue statements about the production and scheduling of seasons 7 and 8. In particular, that the show's much publicised move to the autumn has proven to be completely untrue.

I've also complained that this response, itself, includes an untruth with the line "Doctor Who is still going strong in its 50th year". Actually, we have seen a 42% reduction in episodes over the past two years.

I know not everyone feels I should even bother complaining and that I should feel grateful for the episodes that have been made. But I personally think its important to challenge the BBC when it publishes untrue or misleading statements - particularly when its about my favourite TV show.
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