There’s been some renewed chatter in the air about the possibility of the popular British science-fiction television series Doctor Who making its way to the big screen, thanks to WikiLeaks recent publication of the a sizeable portion of the emails that were hacked from Sony Studios last year. Within those messages‘t between Sony president of International Production Andrea Wong and Sony Pictures chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton there was strong interest for such a project from both Sony and the BBC, though Wong noted that the BBC was receiving strong pushback from the show’s production team, chiefly executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat.
Speaking with the Radio Times this week, Moffat once again voiced his concerns about the logistics surrounding a possible big screen adventure and what effect it would have on the franchise.
You can’t make a movie that damages the TV series… That’s the only thing I’d say about it. I’m very happy for there to be a movie, very happy [for there] to be a theater show – anything you like – but the TV show is incredibly important and must not be hurt. Everybody knows that.
Additionally, Moffat again noted that the mandate under which the BBC operates states that they do is in the public interest and that no commercial considerations should play into their decisions.
I’m sure there’s money to be made out of it but that’s not the point, is it? We are British, the BBC. We are there for the art…
If someone can work out how [a movie] actually works, I’ve got nothing against it, but no one’s ever been very clear about how it actually works. It’s not really got that far and it’s not my job. I can neither action it nor stop it.
Now on that point, I think Moffat is downplaying himself. As seems clear from the January 2014 emails that revealed that Sony was interested in a Doctor Who movie, as the producer and chief creative force behind the BBC’s two most internationally popular shows – Doctor Who and the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Sherlock – the BBC does have a vested interest in keeping him happy. And he can definitely leverage that if he, for whatever reason, doesn’t want a Doctor Who movie, so I dare say we won’t be getting a Doctor Who movie for a while.