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BBC Renews ‘Doctor Who’ For Sixth Season, Report Says

British channel also will keep the Christmas special tradition alive


“Doctor Who” fans have only had a chance to see two minutes of Matt Smith as the new Doctor, but BBC is ready to extend his life.

The British broadcasting channel has reportedly given “Doctor Who” under new showrunner Steven Moffat a sixth-season order, a welcome reward for a show that is just finishing filming of its fifth season this week, according to Digital Spy.

The news reportedly came from series executive producer Piers Wenger, who added that BBC also wants another Christmas special for later this year, penned by Moffat himself.

Smith replaced David Tennant, who had held the keys to the Tardis since Christopher Eccleston departed after a single season, the first of the revived “Doctor Who” series in 2005. Tennant has been The Doctor in every single Christmas special in the modern “Doctor Who” era, the first Christmas special being his first full episode following the first-season regeneration.

The announcement for a sixth season isn’t too much of a surprise for many observers. BBC signed Smith to a three-year deal, reportedly for far less than what Tennant received in the role before. At the same time, “Doctor Who” remains popular internationally, especially in areas where BBC can sell the program, or even sell its own advertising blocks like it can with BBC America.

Also, a decision would likely have to be made based on past history of the show since filming for the sixth season would pick up in July, soon after the first season run ends on both BBC and BBC America.

In press materials released Friday by the BBC, Smith calls his version of The Doctor a “bit more reckless.”

“He’s a thrill-seeker and addicted to time travel,” he said. “He is the mad buffoon genius who saves the world because he’s got a great heart, spirit and soul, but he also doesn’t suffer fools.”

Smith said he helped choose The Doctor’s costume, and dismissed a number of items including a long leather coat, a long blue shirt, and “some short punky stuff.”

“But then one day I brought in my braces and a tweed jacket and it went from there,” he said. “Soon we had the whole outfit, although something still felt like it was missing and I asked if I could try a bow tie. At that point, the execs all bowed their heads in concern, but luckily when I tried it on, we agreed it worked and it has sort of become the signature of my Doctor now.”

“Doctor Who” premieres April 3 on BBC and April 17 on BBC America.

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