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What been going on with the random scheduling of 'Who since 2011?


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Old 28-06-2013, 01:05
steven87gill
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Speaking as a more casual who fan, I'm not too bothered if it's away for a few months, but I remember Steven Moffat in 2011 talking about the split meaning we'd never be more than a few months away from the show, which I thought sounded like a cool idea.

However the next split series didn't air till September last year following year, and was split in a more uneven way, with 5 in 2012 then another 8 this year. I think I remember reading a quote from Moff where he talked about how he'd always wanted it to run during dark nights (forgive me if I sound a little weird, but I'm sure he mentioned something about barbeques as well!)

But the only problem with that, is that we never really saw the benefit of the initial split in 2011.

I mean, I presumed the plan was for series 7 to be split in a similar manner to series 6, and for it to carry on that way for the forseeable future?

It's all just seems a bit random and strange in retrospect, forgive me if I've got the wrong end of the stick.
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Old 28-06-2013, 08:15
Theophile
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There are three main problems.

1.) Moffat has too many other commitments (Sherlock, etc.) and is in burn-out mode.
2.) Scheduling conflicts with the actors (although these are usually worked around).
and
3.) Not enough money in the budget for a full and contiguous series every year.

I mostly go with the first option above. I do think Moffat has spread himself way too thin and I think he is in serious burn out mode. I personally wish that he would leave Doctor Who and do 9 episodes of Sherlock every year (at which I think he is much, much better).

However, there is no absolute way to know that the other two are not major factors as well without inside information.
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Old 28-06-2013, 08:30
Mulett
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Private Eye has a lot of inside information on this and has preempted BBC announcements on 'schedule changes'.

For instance, in June 2011 it carried a story which blamed the Series 6 split on 'poor budget control and scheduling'.

The story went on to state that BBC chiefs were "horrified to learn recently that BBC Wales is proposing not to make a full series of Doctor Who in 2012, but instead to put the programme on hiatus and merely bash out four “specials” as it did in 2009. Which will leave an enormous hole in the BBC1 Saturday night schedule and a bigger one in the profits of BBC Worldwide, and will mean the corporation will be paying lead actor Matt Smith to spend most of the rest of this year doing nothing."

The day that story broke, the BBC quickly moved to deny it. Sam Hodges (Head of Comms at the BBC) tweeted the following: #DoctorWho is returning. Fourteen new episodes have been commissioned with Matt Smith as The Doctor #bbc1

Whilst Steven Moffat tweeted: 14 eps + Matt DEFINITELY. I’ve got a plan and I’m NOT TELLING YOU WHAT IT IS. Now hush or River shoots you with her Spoiler Gun.#formaqueue

Sadly, of course, as we now know the Private Eye story was much closer to the truth than the statements from either Hodges or Moffatt, and all we got in 2012 were 5 episodes of season 7 (plus the annual Christmas episode).

Minute-per-minute, what we got in 2012 was much closer to the amount of Who we got in 2009 (the 'specials' year) than a proper season (in a typical year, we get about 645 minutes of Who. In the 'specials' year (2009) we got 240 minutes - although technically, 'The End of Time pt 2' was shown on 1 January 2010 - whilst in 2012, we got 285 minutes of Who).

So Private Eye basically got the story right, and the BBC actively mislead viewers.

So whilst Moffat and the BBC continue to say the continuing schedule changes and gaps are exciting/moving Who back to traditional autumn home/to build more excitement, my view is that the production of the show has been in chaos since the original crew left in 2009 and the problems are (as Private Eye says) down to 'poor budget control and scheduling'.

Look at this year - its 2013, the show's 50th anniversary! And the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes (the 50th anniversary special and the Christmas episode) rather than the usual 14 episodes. Personally, I think that's shameful
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Old 28-06-2013, 08:52
Theophile
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Private Eye has a lot of inside information on this and has preempted BBC announcements on 'schedule changes'.

Look at this year - its 2013, the show's 50th anniversary! And the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes (the 50th anniversary special and the Christmas episode) rather than the usual 14 episodes. Personally, I think that's shameful
(Emphasis added.)

Amen.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:04
Yoshee
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Look at this year - its 2013, the show's 50th anniversary! And the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes (the 50th anniversary special and the Christmas episode) rather than the usual 14 episodes. Personally, I think that's shameful
Right, because the past 8 episodes just didn't happen...
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:15
Mulett
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Right, because the past 8 episodes just didn't happen...
Read what I said Yoshee: the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes.

The eight episodes we got this year were produced last year. They are part of season 7 which - if not for the production chaos - should have all been shown in 2012 as a single season with a brand new run of 13 episodes (season 8) starting in September this year.

The point is the BBC has skipped an entire season of Who. Not only does season 8 not start in September 2013, it doesn't even start production until 2014.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:17
Granny McSmith
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I agree with the previous posters - it is shameful the way the BBC has treated DW, supposedly a flagship programme, and the way it has lied to fans, aided and abetted by Moffat.

There will be some along in a minute to defend both the BBC and Moffat from these charges, to say it wasn't Moffat's fault and to say it wasn't lies, but "spin", as if that's any better.

Also there will be the usual suspects decrying the supposed "sense of entitlement" that anyone who complains about the situation is supposed to have - a neat way of putting the blame on the wrong people.

No one feels entitled to anything except the most basic respect. Please be honest with us, BBC and Moffat, and tell us what's really happening. And please, Moffat, if you aren't really up to running two shows, then ditch one (DW would be my preference).

I'm a big Sherlock fan. By the time the next series of Sherlock airs there will be around 2 years since the last one. There will be only 3 episodes. We don't know if there will be a fourth series. But I accept all that because I know the reasons, and there has not been any hype about "wall to wall Sherlock" etc.

So why the need to obfuscate everything around DW? Why not just tell the truth, tell us what we are getting, and when? And stop making up idiotic reasons why.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:19
Mulett
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Please be honest with us, BBC and Moffat, and tell us what's really happening. And please, Moffat, if you aren't really up to running two shows, then ditch one (DW would be my preference)
Oh, this made me smile . . thank you Granny!
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:23
Sh'boobie
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What I'd like to know is why the UK finds it impossible to bang out 22 Episode Seasons of a show, as they do for virtually EVERY show in the US.

I've never bought for a second that they fanny about for 10 months a year creating a measly 5 episodes - and it's such a gruelling labour. "Oooh! Where DO we find the time?! Someone, fetch me my smelling salts!"

As Mulett so eloquently put it... shameful.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:38
Yoshee
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Read what I said Yoshee: the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes.

The eight episodes we got this year were produced last year. They are part of season 7 which - if not for the production chaos - would have all been shown in 2012.

The point is the BBC has skipped an entire season of Who (season 8 should be starting in September but doesn't even start production until 2014).
Hmm, right, now I do see where you're coming from.

It's interesting. I've seen a few people bring up this sort of thing lately, and it is evident with things like Series 7 and its rescheduling and series 8 being so late that the BBC aren't really giving the show the full attention they can and probably should anymore. It doesn't make sense at all to me - Doctor Who is one of the BBC's most popular shows, one of its flagship shows, it has now got a global audience which has grown especially since series 6 in 2011, and it's the 50th anniversary this year, like you say...

It's good that they showed the second part of series 7 this year rather than showing it all last year and then leaving us with nothing until this November, but it is a bit frustrating with the inconsistencies and the months of waiting - I think the waits seem longer as we're never sure when the next series is coming (at least from series 1-4 it was always at a certain point in the year). Even though the wait between the end of series 6 and the beginning of Series 7 wasn't that different to what was the normal wait between series was for 1-4, it still seemed quite a bit longer. Maybe because we didn't have a special at some point like we used to with Christmas? Or maybe because the mid-series gaps mean we feel like we're getting less? I don't know. I wouldn't mind Series 6 style gaps if it meant we got the same series structure every year. Half in spring, half in autumn, Christmas special, and repeat. That would let the program run throughout the year, and would be excellent in my opinion - either that or go back to the old sort of structure of series 1-4.

Anyway, I'm babbling. I hope they sort out a regular yearly slot for the show again soon, from next year hopefully...
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:41
TheSilentFez
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Right, because the past 8 episodes just didn't happen...
Those were produced last year, not this year.
EDIT: Sorry, didn't see the post above.


Anyway, the BBC really need to get their act together and start regularly producing a series of Doctor Who each year like they used to, even if that means firing Steven Moffat and bringing in someone new.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:50
Mulett
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It's good that they showed the second part of series 7 this year rather than showing it all last year and then leaving us with nothing until this November, but it is a bit frustrating with the inconsistencies and the months of waiting - I think the waits seem longer as we're never sure when the next series is coming (at least from series 1-4 it was always at a certain point in the year).
I have to agree with you there, Yoshee. This year would have been excruciating with only the 50th special in November and the Christmas episode!

And I think you're right - its not just the constant changes, but the lack of information. Sadly now, even when the BBC makes an announcement about Doctor Who most fans (at best) are suspicious or (at worst) simply don't believe a word of it.
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Old 28-06-2013, 11:10
Sara_Peplow
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Hopefully things will be better next year. We will have a new 12th doctor.
If they start filming it straight after the christmas special. Meanig they should finish in summer 2014.Giving just enough time to show it august or september. That way it wil run right up to he end of next year even if they have to drop the traditional christmas special. We need 3 things for S8. Good monstors old and new, good stories and good guest stars. Hopefull 13 quality episodes to get to know 12.
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Old 28-06-2013, 11:34
Yoshee
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Hopefully things will be better next year. We will have a new 12th doctor.
If they start filming it straight after the christmas special. Meanig they should finish in summer 2014.Giving just enough time to show it august or september. That way it wil run right up to he end of next year even if they have to drop the traditional christmas special. We need 3 things for S8. Good monstors old and new, good stories and good guest stars. Hopefull 13 quality episodes to get to know 12.
Don't forget the return of two part stories too!
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Old 28-06-2013, 11:43
Rooks
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Hopefully things will be better next year. We will have a new 12th doctor.
But the problems weren't to do with Matt, at least that's what we are lead to believe, so a change of lead actor will not be a magical fix.

We might not be on hiatus but it sure feels like it at the moment. I can't recall this kind of sinking feeling about the show since the early 90s. The fact that the biggest news about the show right now is the missing episodes rumour is rather telling. Now that would be big news regardless but I can't help feeling that the rumour has gained so much traction because we have naff all else to focus our energies on (Who-wise) right now.
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Old 28-06-2013, 11:49
allen_who
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Some great posts by mullet on this thread.. good work on the research...

I really cant see us getting much dr who next year... gap year me thinks

In fact I'm beginnin to woner if there will be a christmas special this year.. production needs to start soon really...


Also I think when moff said wall to wall who this year I have to wonder if he's referrin to the fact the special is in 3d ?
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Old 28-06-2013, 11:54
JAS84
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Hopefully things will be better next year. We will have a new 12th doctor.
If they start filming it straight after the christmas special. Meanig they should finish in summer 2014.Giving just enough time to show it august or september. That way it wil run right up to he end of next year even if they have to drop the traditional christmas special. We need 3 things for S8. Good monstors old and new, good stories and good guest stars. Hopefull 13 quality episodes to get to know 12.
Drop the special? No, more likely that they'll just do a 14 episode run, with the Christmas special doubling as the season finale. It will probably remove the Christmas theme from the specials though. Notice that the End of Time wasn't Christmassy.
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Old 28-06-2013, 12:19
ryanellis
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I noticed that this production team have never been able to produce a full series in a year.

Series 5 was filmed from July 2009 - March 2010
Series 6 was filmed from September 2010 - July 2011
Series 7 was filmed from February 2012 - December 2012
And now it looks like Series 8 won't be filming until either September 2013 or probably January 2014.

So I don't think it's about budgets or intentionally splitting the season, but rather that the production team can't get their sh*t together between series quick enough!

I for one hope they shoot Series 8 from September - June/July even if it doesn't start until September 2014. That way they can get Series 9 filming in January 2015 and ready for a September 2015 start. It does seem like they need about 16 months per series...

Also I do think the 12th Doctor should start with a 13-episode + Christmas straight run to let people get to know him! None of this split series nonsense! They could even make the 13th episode the Christmas Special and then shove in the 14th episode at Easter to break up the year!
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Old 28-06-2013, 12:28
Davetherave70
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If we don't get a full series next year, there will be mutiny!
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Old 28-06-2013, 12:35
DiscoP
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I believe series 8 will be a 12 episode run, beginning at the last week of August 2014 but has this even been officially confirmed by the BBC yet?
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Old 28-06-2013, 12:53
Kapellmeister
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This was from a BBC executive back in June 2011 when we all believed everything was hunky-dory with the show:

Private Eye got it right, absolutely spot on. In 2012 there will only be four episodes - not specials, just ordinary episodes. Followed by just ten episodes in the anniversary year - two of which will be the 50th anniversary special in November, and a Xmas special.

Moffat is too busy to write more - with a sitcom coming up that he's making with his wife, Sue Vertue, plus Sherlock 2 and probably Tintin 2, which he appears to be involved in storylining. He simply doesn't want to do any more Who than he has to. He has become 'unmanageable' and because Wenger and Willis are too wet and useless, Moffat is simply being allowed to do what he likes.

The top brass at the BBC have known about the hiatus for over a year now. And drama commissioner Ben Stephenson signed off the 14 eps over two years scenario over a YEAR ago - this has been brewing for a long time. And the BBC is carefully trying to manage the publicity by drip feeding out the bad news.
Clearly there's trouble at mill has been for some time. Wenger, Willis and now Caroline Skinner have all left as executive producers. The great anniversary year is turning into a damp squib.

It's staggering that the US could churn out such high quality serials as 'Buffy' with 24 episodes each and every year and the BBC struggles to produce episodes for what is supposed to be one of its most successful shows.
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Old 28-06-2013, 13:03
mikey1980
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I noticed that this production team have never been able to produce a full series in a year.

Series 5 was filmed from July 2009 - March 2010
Series 6 was filmed from September 2010 - July 2011
Series 7 was filmed from February 2012 - December 2012
And now it looks like Series 8 won't be filming until either September 2013 or probably January 2014.

So I don't think it's about budgets or intentionally splitting the season, but rather that the production team can't get their sh*t together between series quick enough!

I for one hope they shoot Series 8 from September - June/July even if it doesn't start until September 2014. That way they can get Series 9 filming in January 2015 and ready for a September 2015 start. It does seem like they need about 16 months per series...

Also I do think the 12th Doctor should start with a 13-episode + Christmas straight run to let people get to know him! None of this split series nonsense! They could even make the 13th episode the Christmas Special and then shove in the 14th episode at Easter to break up the year!
It's interesting that between 2005 and 2008, the Russell T Davies led production team produced four complete series in four years, in the same broadcast slot each year. In addition, Davies was able to produce the Sarah Jane Adventures from late 2006, and Torchwood also.

And when they decided that there wasn't going to be a 2009 series, we knew about it in advance.

If the BBC had simply announced ahead of time that there wouldn't be a series 7 in 2012, but it would air, in full, during 2013, along with a 50th anniversary special of 90 minutes and a Christmas Special, I think most of us would have accepted that.

It's the murky confusion, the lack of clear communication from either Moffat or the BBC which really riles me. It treats the fans like complete idiots.
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Old 28-06-2013, 13:09
Kapellmeister
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It's interesting that between 2005 and 2008, the Russell T Davies led production team produced four complete series in four years, in the same broadcast slot each year. In addition, Davies was able to produce the Sarah Jane Adventures from late 2006, and Torchwood also.

And when they decided that there wasn't going to be a 2009 series, we knew about it in advance.

If the BBC had simply announced ahead of time that there wouldn't be a series 7 in 2012, but it would air, in full, during 2013, along with a 50th anniversary special of 90 minutes and a Christmas Special, I think most of us would have accepted that.

It's the murky confusion, the lack of clear communication from either Moffat or the BBC which really riles me. It treats the fans like complete idiots.
Especially when it's accompanied by such things as 'more Who than ever before' and 'never more than a few months from an episode'...

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Old 28-06-2013, 13:13
davrosdodebird
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Look at this year - its 2013, the show's 50th anniversary! And the BBC - which promised wall-to-wall Doctor Who this year - is actually only producing TWO episodes (the 50th anniversary special and the Christmas episode) rather than the usual 14 episodes. Personally, I think that's shameful
Erm... no they didn't. They said no such thing.

Not in specifics anyway
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Old 28-06-2013, 13:17
nebogipfel
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This was from a BBC executive back in June 2011 when we all believed everything was hunky-dory with the show:



Clearly there's trouble at mill has been for some time. Wenger, Willis and now Caroline Skinner have all left as executive producers. The great anniversary year is turning into a damp squib.

It's staggering that the US could churn out such high quality serials as 'Buffy' with 24 episodes each and every year and the BBC struggles to produce episodes for what is supposed to be one of its most successful shows.
I don't know the provenance of that quote, but just to preempt quibbling about the "four episodes" bit. In June 2011 the plan WAS for four episodes in 2012 - plus a Christmas special. (four + xmas special, or five in total depending how you like to say these things).

(As we know, the episodes were regular length - but they were going to be marketed as special in the sense of being "blockbuster movie poster" episodes.)

The decision to add a fifth normal episode to the 2012 run was only taken in December 2011. Of course, this simply meant moving an episode forward from 2013 broadcast to 2012 (and writing it such that it fitted with Amy/Rory arc), rather than adding to the 14 total.

As it happens the total turned out to be 16 (five normal 2012, one xmas special 2012, eight normal 2013, one anniversary special 2013, one xmas special 2013 = 16). So that email, from June 2011 wasn't exactly a million miles out with those predictions. Fourteen predicted vs Sixteen delivered. Having said that, we have recently seen a clue that perhaps the two 2013 episodes were pinched from the 2014, series 8, budget. Given that BBC have said there may be only twelve episodes in 2014. If so, it's probably reasonable that this wasn't predicted or known about in June 2011.
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