Steven Moffat, the current show runner for the popular British science fiction series, has confirmed that the between-season hiatus will be the longest since the show started back up again 6 years ago.
New episodes won’t be seen until the fall. Although Moffat jokingly attributed the delay to a personal preference for Fall season starts, the truth likely has more to do with budgeting and actor scheduling.
“Doctor Who in the summer? All that running down tunnels, with torches, and the sunlight streaming through your windows and bleaching out the screen?” Moffat wrote in an article published in Doctor Who Magazine.
“All those barbecues and children playing outside, while on the telly there are green monsters seething in their CGI-enhanced lairs? It’s just not right is it? Be honest.
“For me, as a kid,” he continued, “when the afternoon got darker and there was a thrill of cold in the air, I knew that even though summer was over, the TARDIS was coming back! So yes, that’s part of the plan, that’s part of the reason for this little delay. But it’s not the whole story.”
Moffat began running the show with the most recent season, which he split into two parts for production reasons, though the long gap between the season halves – and thus an important cliffhanger – was unwelcome by many fans.
There are reports that Doctor Who’s budget has been cut significantly by the BBC heads, and this may have contributed to the delay between seasons.
If Moffat believes that he cannot make a good show with the money they’ve given him to work with, then the best way to make the show continue to work would be to lower the number of episodes produced per year. If he only produces six or seven episodes in 2012, he’d want to put them at the end of the year, to decrease the amount of time between halves of the season. He could then produce the second half of the season with the 2013 budget, and air those episodes in the spring.
If this is his plan, and he continues to produce Doctor Who on this schedule, then our wait between seasons seven and eight will be even longer – from Spring 2013 to Fall 2014.
There is one more episode of the Sixth season of Doctor Who, the holiday special, which will air on Christmas Day this year.