The BBC has announced that the fifth series of Doctor Who will not be in 2009, as we might have been expecting, but in 2010.
What we will get in 2009 is a reduced version: three “specials”, presumably longer than usual episodes. These will be written by Russell T Davies, which should finally quash the silly story that he and the rest of the team would quit after series four. And talking of quashing rumours, David Tennant is confirmed to be playing the Doctor in all three of them. However, the BBC are declining to comment on whether he’ll be back for the 2010 series. That might be because David’s a busy boy and it’s hard to pin him down that far in advance, or it could be that there is a plan for a change of actor – at that point David would have been in the job for four years, which is about as long as most of the previous actors stayed around. Personally, I’d love to see him stay for as long as he wants to, and not a moment longer.
So why the gap? I’m sure there will be endless speculation, rumour and total porkies made up by the
Scum, sorry, the Sun. The news report says that David is reported to be playing Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company for an extended period, which would make it hard for him to record a full series – maybe this was a way to keep him for another year. Or maybe it’s a way to keep the production team relatively sane by giving them a partial break.
It is a bit odd to be muttering about what’s going to be happening the year after next – we’ve got a Christmas special and a whole series to look forward to before the dreaded GAP, so I’m not going to worry about the hideous withdrawal symptoms I’ll be suffering in 2009…
 Or the mumbleth, if you’re counting from the beginning in 1963