The BBC is reportedly planning on axing Doctor Who from television screens in favor of several television movies that will be dotted throughout the year.
Viewing figures for Doctor Who have been dwindling and reducing over the course of the current season, which has led to the show reportedly being in a “crisis period.”
A source for the BBC told the Mirror, “Doctor Who’s decline is very worrying and needs to be addressed. At this stage all options are being considered. Everyone accepts that drastic action may be needed.”
The show is allegedly undergoing a huge change, as Jenna Louise Coleman, who has portrayed Clara Oswald on the show since 2012, has already confirmed that she’s leaving Doctor Who, while it’s even been teased that Peter Capaldi could be departing too.
The 57-year-old Scottish actor, who is portrayed the Time Lord for the second season, allegedly wants to spend more time with his family.
Because of these issues, the BBC are considering scrapping next year’s season of the show. This will then be replaced by feature-length television movies instead.
Over the course of the show’s first three episodes of the recent season, Doctor Who’s viewing figures have continued to plummet, and they’re now below four million.
However, despite these poor figures, Doctor Who continues to be the BBC’s biggest seller across the world, as it earns the corporation around £60 million ($100 million) every year.
But the BBC is reportedly worried that the show might stop making this amount of money, and BBC executives are currently considering a number of issues for how to rejuvenate the sci-fi show.
One of these options is to end the 12-episode long series that was originally planned for 2016. Instead, they would replace these with a number of feature-length episodes that have the same running time as a movie. These would then run at numerous points over the course of the year, including Christmas, Easter, and in the summer.
This is an approach that the BBC has had huge success with on Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and has been co-created by Doctor Who’s current head-writer, Steven Moffat, as well as its current writer, Mark Gatiss.
Meanwhile, there is allegedly another plan that the BBC is considering for Doctor Who’s future, which would see the show rebooted with a brand new cast in 2017.
This could even see a female Doctor Who cast to replace Peter Capaldi, which hasn’t been ruled out by Charlotte Moore, who is the BBC1 controller. However, their number one choice to play the lead role in Doctor Who would be Richard Madden, who has previously appeared in Game Of Thrones and Lady Chatterley.
However, when a BBC spokesman was approached to talk about the possible changes to Doctor Who’s current season, they responded, “We are only three weeks into this year’s run. It is far too early to discuss the next year’s commission.”
Meanwhile, during his recent appearance on Larry King, via Metro, Peter Capaldi revealed that the BBC is “seriously under threat.”
After being asked by King, “How are things in Britain?,” Capaldi was extremely honest, explaining that the current cuts by the Conservative government are threatening the BBC.
“The organisation that makes our [Doctor Who], the BBC – is one of the great, great organisations of the world, the most special, special organisation. I think it’s under threat. I think it’s seriously under threat from the government,” he detailed.
King then asked Capaldi if the BBC’s funding was under threat, to which the Scot declared, “Yeah and for its very existence. I think the government doesn’t think the BBC supports it. I think because it is not answerable to shareholders and it entertains ideas – all kinds of ideas about Britain and about history and about the world and about art – I think the government, they don’t want to pay for it.”
He continued, “It’s one of the most important things that’s happening in the country and the BBC represents the spirit of our country. It’s so important that people don’t let this magnificent thing vanish. It is that dangerous.”
[Images via BBC]