Doctor Who in 2012: The plot thickens, or something

Like a lot of people, I was somewhat perturbed by BBC 1 Controller Danny Cohen’s reported remarks at something called the Church and Media Conference that there will not be a full series of Doctor Who next year. In the absence of any, you know, official announcement from the BBC, speculation, outrage and general muttering has been rife. But what do we actually know? Well, we do know that fourteen episodes, all to star Matt Smith as the Doctor, have been commissioned. Most people assumed this would be the thoroughly traditional Christmas special, followed by a thirteen episode series in 2012. At the time, Mr Steven Moffat Sir said this on Twitter:

There's a plan

There's a plan

Now at the time, I assumed that The Plan would be more of the unusually usual – some hideously contrived multi-threaded, warped, twisted, confusing, gloriously silly series-filling plot. But there’s another thing to consider: next year’s 50th anniversary. Now it was something of a tradition in the original series to mark major anniversaries with something a wee bit special, such as the tenth anniversary’s The Three Doctors, the first multi-Doctor story. But the 50th anniversary is a seriously big one, even if we take into account the Great Unpleasantness of 1989-2005[1], which surely needs something suitably Big, if not Huge. But the problem with big or huge is that a lot of time and money and money is needed to achieve it, so perhaps some compromises will be needed.

The other possibility is that whatever Danny Cohen actually said wasn’t what’s been reported. It wouldn’t be the first time a misquote or misunderstanding has led to storms of instant internet outrage. This theory gains a bit of weight following this from Mr M:

Misquotes?

Misquotes?

So, it looks like Mr Moffat has something planned, but isn’t ready to reveal the details[2]. Which suggests that whatever Danny Cohen said, he probably shouldn’t have.

[1] The period between cancellation and triumphant return, broken only by the TV Movie
[2] Signing up guest stars is the kind of thing that comes to mind