Take a deep breath. There’s something I need to tell you.
Doctor Who will end….one day.
It seems impossible today amid the current hype of series 7 kicking off its filming, the 50th anniversary speculation and all the endless tumblrs that Doctor Who might ever leave our screens. Though we should remember it seemed impossible in 1989 too but the proof is there. History was not kind to our favourite timelord but the beauty of the myth is that there can always be another regeneration.
These predictions may seem crazy but they’re based on the Whostory of the late 80s and 90s. Let’s look into the vortex and predict how silence will ultimately fall….
My prediction is that the current run of Doctor Who will conclude at the end of 2014 so grab any collectible promotional item while you still can. Matt Smith will still be the Doctor but Moffat will have left the series in 2013 – the anniversary year. Moffatt will not only explain the riddle of “Doctor Who” but kill the Doctor (again – without any regeneration FX this time).
Matt Smith will be persuaded to return despite his better judgement and it will be up to new show-runner Paul Abbott (Shameless) to endear another series to a public. The final series will actually be a prequel exploring the Doctor’s life on Gallifrey but fails to capture popular imagination and viewing figures decline.
We’ve already had a taste of this. The cancellation of Doctor Who Confidential in 2011 produced a protest twitter account campaign that swelled with thousands of supporters from across the globe. Steven Moffatt himself (well, his twitter account) numbers among the 9806 followers expressing their discontent at the decision that was taken for BBC budgetary reasons. While the campaign did attract some press, to date it hasn’t had much sway over the decision. It really is tough to argue with faceless bean counters over the internet.
I predict that the protest of the future will be a double pronged campaign. Firstly, a couch of chat show hosts will organise some sort of celebrity protest song. Bill Bailey, John Barrowman, Ross Noble and Dame Edna will lend their vocal support to a song to save the Doctor from the BBC accountants. Sounds far fetched, right? Well, they tried it in 1985 when the show was put on hiatus during the 6th Doctor’s era and as dire as it was – it must have had some influence. Even if the response was “OK, please don’t produce any more fan singles”.
Secondly, there will be an Occupy Cosplay movement. Hundreds, nay, thousands of Doctor Who fans dressed in a variety of the most finely detailed costume recreations will set up camp in bus, tram and train stations around the globe. Many will lose their jobs but ultimately they will fail to make riot-like protest. They will attract some curious attention from breakfast television though.
Now, you may think that an unintended benefit of Doctor Who no longer being on the air is cheaper merchandise.
What alternate dimension are you living in?!?!
There is more merchandise around now than there has ever been. Even more than in the 60s Dalekmania phase and the giddy heights of Tom Baker’s 70s. The truth is the merchandise will continue to be made and will not suddenly appear in bargain basements around the world. In fact, unfortunately, it’s probably going to be the strong merchandise market that leads the BBC accountants to think – “You know, I reckon that Who fans would probably still by the merchandise even if we didn’t spend all this money making a new series”.
And they’re right dammit! They could even drop the quality a bit.
I predict that the licence for Character Options to produce figurines and merchandise will continue beyond 2014. Comics will still be made under the IDW brand with a puzzling collection of crossovers. (TARDIS Transformers anyone?) Unfortunately I predict that 2013 will see Big Finish cease production of new audio adventures featuring classic series actors. In 2014 fandom will be rocked by the sudden death of one of the remaining classic series Doctors which will fuel a frenzied second hand merchandise market.
There will be a LOT of rumours and speculations about official projects that BBC may or may not be in talks about preparing to think about possibly taking the option of doing. Every name under the sun will be attached to the franchise in an unofficial way. However nothing official will materialise for quite sometime.
This is where the good news comes folks. There will still be a variety of ways to enjoy the continuing adventures of The Doctor. The tumblrs, the deviant art, the web comics and you tube clips will not end.
There will be some form of new media introduced in 2013. Some sort of info stamp that will see ‘The 5 Doctors’ released for the Nth time to launch the range and see us start our collections all over again. GAH!
It will happen. Fans will grieve but it will happen eventually. There will be two phases. In 2018 there will be an animated TV series. Think “Doctor Who: The Animated Series”. Rumours surrounding animated Who date back to the early 80s with many failed attempts. Most notably mounted by Nelvana of Care Bears fame (pictured below). However, with all the clever animation talent currently floating around online fandom this will be a very cheap way for the BBC to bring the show back.
Despite it’s Saturday morning cartoon image the series will be the new craze among veteran fans, school children and ‘stoners’. The BBC will even produce an animated cinema release for release in the summer of 2019.
Then in 2028 there will be a revived TV series. It will look very different. It will be fresh. It will be a reboot. It will be made by folks in their mid to late 20s became fans as children watching the series in 2012.
So, anyone can play. What are your wild predictions about the future of Doctor Who?
This article was first posted on February 23, 2012