It appears that long held rumors of Doctor Who coming to the big screen are about to come true.
Reports indicate that The BBC will be working with Harry Potter director, David Yates, who has been tapped to helm the Time Lord's theatrical debut film. However, there's a catch. -- It won't star any version of the Doctor that we know.
That's right, current Doctor, Matt Smith and even the last one, David Tennant will be benched for the nearly fifty year-old franchise's big film debut. The search, therefore, is on for what will go down in the record books as the Twelfth Doctor, all while Smith, the Eleventh Doctor will remain on the television series.
Did the TARDIS just experience the worst temporal error in history? What's going to happen with the franchise?
The idea of Doctor Who already experiencing the dreaded "r" word (reboot) in the movies will probably make the skin of some fans of Steven Moffat's television brainchild crawl just a bit. However, David Yates is no stranger to fan-obsessed franchises. As he describes the task:
"Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch."
Adding: "The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time."
He also expressed plans to bring Harry Potter writer, Steve Kloves on board, who would bring the film the authentic type of "British sensibility" that he successfully embedded into the Potter franchise. However, he does plan on bringing in some American writers to somewhat balance the palette.
In actuality, the concept of a "one off" Doctor is not without precedence. After the series ended its initial run in 1989, it would not be back until 1996, when Paul McGann starred in a Doctor Who revival TV movie. (With a regeneration send-off from predecessor, Sylvester McCoy.)
While officially acknowledged as the Eighth Doctor, McGann's tenure was always considered an oddity since he would only play the Doctor in that one movie and did not participate in the obligatory regeneration send-off to his eventual successor, Christopher Eccleston, who kicked off the current series in 2005. Thus, there is gap in the canon.
So, while it is rather disappointing that we won't get to see the television series get its props with current Doctor, Matt Smith on the big screen, the idea of multiple Doctors may not completely cheapen the franchise. This is especially true, if (as Yates sort of hints,) they can set the film in the past and somehow make it so that this new Doctor is actually a missing link in that storyline gap which exists between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston's Doctors.
Another option that might also be attractive, may be an origin tale which tells the story of how The Doctor escaped his home planet with the stolen TARDIS and began his adventures. (Which might designate this new Doctor as "The Zeroth Doctor.")
...Of course, that's just speculation and they could go all Hollywood on it and headline with Will Smith as The Doctor that teaches the Daleks how to get jiggy wit it, while Russell Brand provides the wise-cracking voice of the TARDIS.
We shall see.