What will the Doctor Who film be about?

BBC Worldwide has kicked off development on a new Doctor Who film adaptation. The movie will be directed by David Yates, who is currently seeking screenplay writers.

Interestingly enough, the film, which is intended to be the first of a lengthy franchise, will have a separate continuity from the television show.

Essentially, it is a reboot of the Doctor Who story, intended to appeal to a broader audience, rather than simply an extra-long high-budget episode that ends up in movie theaters – which is the kind of project most fans will have been expecting from a Doctor Who film.

“The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one,” said Yates. “[This is] because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time.”

Fans of super hero comics, like me, might be used to their favorite properties having their canon torn asunder by film adaptation.

However, Doctor Who fans haven’t seen this kind of disconnect since the Peter Cushing films in the 60’s – starting with Dr. Who and the Daleks – which were about a human man named Dr. Who, who had invented a time/space ship which he called the TARDIS, and which are not considered part of the official Doctor Who canon. One can only hope that the new film does not take this version of the story back up again, as charming as it is to look back on.

As much as most Doctor Who fans will likely decry the move, I like it. Doctor Who is all about fresh beginnings – it’s a major theme of the series – and so it’ll be interesting to see the story itself get the regeneration that The Doctor himself periodically receives.

There are so many parts of The Doctor’s story that could be explored here. We could take the tale back to the first incarnation of the character, and see him interacting with the Time Lord society, and even witness him stealing the TARDIS, which is not yet stuck on a police box form. We could visit the Time Lord Dalek war, and find out what The Doctor’s role was in that conflict.

It’ll be several years getting through the development and production process, but now that we know it’s coming, speculation can abound. Most fans will likely just spend their time discussing which actor they would choose, however.

The untitled Doctor Who film has not yet received a schedule for production or release.