This story contains some spoilers for the “Doctor Who” episode “The End of Time, Part 1,” that aired Dec. 25 on BBC and Dec. 26 on BBC America.
Are some of the things you’re hearing about “Doctor Who” post David Tennant, Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner sounding a little retro to you?
Well, that’s by design. Steven Moffat is looking to restore the BBC icon to its classic roots that some are describing as an effort to integrate fans of the original “Doctor Who” series. However, others say it’s more about what Moffat likes.
“Every showrunner has brought their own personal touch to ‘Doctor Who,’ and [Moffat] is someone who just can’t get away from the episodes we all grew up with,” a source, who wished not to be named, told Airlock Alpha. “There is just something to the original show that made it magical, and finding a way to bring that back is something Moffat has been working hard to achieve.”
And Moffat has already done some things that have fans wondering. Changing the look of the Tardis to a more classic appearance, adjusting the “Doctor Who” logo to appear as if it was simply touched up from the 1980s, and even reports that new opening credits have been commissioned that will feature the likeness of the new Doctor, played by Matt Smith, an obvious homage to past opening credits that did the same for many of the actors who played The Doctor over the decades.
But that’s not where it’s stopping.
“The re-introduction of Gallifrey was not just a late-[season] twist,” the source said. “The idea is to create a transition from the RTD version of ‘Doctor Who’ to the Moffat version. And Moffat wants to go back to as close to the original program as possible.”
It’s not that Moffat had any issues with the way Davies brought the show back, or what it become, the source said. Moffat himself wrote some of modern “Doctor Who’s” better episodes including “Blink” and “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “The Doctor Dances.”
However, now that Davies has successfully brought the show back with full network backing, there is an open door to restore “Doctor Who” to much of its original self.
While that could encourage classic fans who avoided the new show to return, there is some fear that it could alienate new fans that were brought in by Davies.
“We’ve heard some concern from [BBC], but not a lot,” the source said. “They have a lot of confidence in what Moffat brings to the table, and they’re ready to trust his judgment on this.”
And BBC hasn’t shied away from trying things out in the past. This past year, it went light on both “Doctor Who” and its spinoff “Torchwood,” ordering reduced seasons for both, and creating more event programming. While “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” are expected to return to regular season orders in 2010, BBC still feels its “less is more” strategy worked well as transitions to new leadership and new direction.
Either way, fans won’t have to wait too long to see what Moffat has up his sleeve. The new “Doctor Who” is expected to premiere in the spring on BBC.