This week Whovian Leap gazes into the crystal ball.
Who knows when the satisfyingly double-digited Series 10 will hit our TV screens, but one thing is for sure – Steven Moffat and his inner sanctum of cast and crew are likely to keep schtum and leave fans scratching their heads in the dark for some time to come.
We are still revelling in the handful of episodes of Series 9 which are left to us, yet our thoughts are slowly turning towards the future. Aside from “the when” of Who, many of us are also wondering about “the what”. We all have our own expectations of Series 10, myself included.
First up, the scheduling of the show. Everyone seems to think that Doctor Who is currently on too late, Capaldi and Coleman included. We all look back fondly on the days when Doctor Who was a tea-time staple for the kiddies. And quite rightly so. Younger viewers are the Whovians of the future and the sooner they jump on board the better, anxious parents permitting.
Someone needs to do some serious foot-stomping at the Beeb, as RTD and fellow execs surely did, to guarantee the show a fixed Saturday 7pm timeslot. The BBC schedulers need to know, quite literally, who’s boss. Audience figures are bound to rise if viewers actually know when the show is on.
Doctor Who needs to be a touch lighter in tone. Controversial though it may sound and quite possibly make Season 24-phobic fans quiver in their boots, but Doctor Who ought to be funnier and sillier. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have top-notch comedy credentials with “Coupling” and “The League of Gentlemen” respectively and would have no problem in penning scripts to tickle our funny bones. A quick call to Gareth Roberts and he would soon be at the keyboard hammering out another riotous runaround romp for our delight and delectation.
Series 8 was arguably too dark and depressing. The current series has started to reverse the trend, with sonic sunglasses, a rock guitar and a Doctor who smiles again. With a little more pantomime or “Scooby Doo” moments, we could head further in this direction and remind the public that Doctor Who is a fun show after all. We would all love to see Peter Capaldi flex his comedy muscles. After all, Steven Moffat is famed for “throwing the switch the other way”.
As for the new companion, Peter Capaldi is right in saying that she should be “earthy”. She should be rooted in reality and surrounded by family members. I never thought I’d say it, but I miss the days of Rose, Jackie and Mickey. The series needs a healthy dose of kitchen-sink drama and soap opera. Sci-fi lite is the order of the day. If the show becomes more earth-bound, then an alien threat will feel more real. Yeti. On the loo. Tooting Bec. Nuff said.
We should bring back the “celebrity historical”. A famous figure from the past played by a big name performer is a guaranteed way of exciting viewers and press alike. The theme music should be “rockier” and more dramatic, as it was in Series 1 and 4. It needs to convey the speed and excitement of travelling through time and space. For the precisely same reason, the Doctor Who logo should whizz across the screen, just as it did in the RTD days, before the “next time” clip.
The BBC should reinstate the mid-week episode commentary podcasts to maintain interest between episodes. There should be shameless stunt-casting in order to get everyone chattering about the show. Personally, I am still waiting for an appearance by Ant and Dec!
Series 10 will hopefully continue to scare us with new monsters and old favourites alike. I can’t say it often enough, but the last of the great classic series foes, Nabil Shaban’s slimy ‘Sil’, is long overdue for a return. And this time, just to shake things up a bit, why not give him a hoverboard like Dan Dare’s egg-headed enemy the Mekon?
Are we jumping the gun, speculating about Series 10 whilst Series 9 is still airing? Probably.