These days when a TV show achieves incredibly massive success, everyone assumes that it's going to get adapted into a movie at some point. Recently the cast of "Downton Abbey" has discussed the possibility of a movie now that the period drama is approaching its final season, and last year George R.R. Martin talked often about being down for a "Game of Thrones" film to end the series.
But what about the long-running hit series "Doctor Who?" Would the BBC ever bring the TARDIS to the big screen?
Definitely not, says showrunner Steven Moffat. "How do we do it without leaching from the television series, which we're not allowed to do because Doctor Who is public funded?" he said, according to the Daily Express. "If it's going to be a different Doctor are we going to try and sell two Doctors at the same time?" he continued. "I know there's been loads of Doctors but there's only been one at a time. You don't have a James Bond on TV and one in the cinema."
Moffat's right, of course: nowadays you couldn't get away with a TV Doctor and a movie Doctor existing simultaneously. What he isn't mentioning here is that "Doctor Who" DID actually try to sell its audience just that once -- and we're not talking about the Paul McGann movie from 1996. Long before that, in 1965, there was a movie called "Dr. Who and The Daleks," which starred none other than British legend Peter Cushing as the Doctor.
The movie was radically different than its small-screen counterpart; Cushing's Doctor isn't a Time Lord at all, but an boring old human man named Dr. Who (yes, he's actually a doctor) who invents a time machine that accidentally sends him, his granddaughters Susan and Barbara, and Barbara's dorky boyfriend Ian to the petrified planet of the Daleks.
At the time, though, "Dr. Who and the Daleks" was the closest thing fans could get to a rerun of their favorite "Doctor Who" storyline, because back then episodes of the show were only aired once and then disappeared forever. Many also went to see went to see the film -- and its 1966 sequel, "Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D." -- just to witness Daleks in color for the first time and marvel at the technical effects. But on the whole, it isn't a part of "Who" fandom that modern audiences care about or even know exists... which just goes to prove Moffat's point entirely.
Don't worry, though, Whovians: just because there won't be a movie doesn't mean you have to worry about your favorite time travelers. As Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine for their latest issue, the show's set to stay on the air for at least five more years -- and possibly beyond.
"As long as the people looking after it are passionate about it and the BBC is passionate about it, there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t do another 50 years,” BBC Head of Commissioning Ben Stephenson added.
FIFTY MORE YEARS? That'd be a full century of "Doctor Who" stories! That sure sounds like music to my ears.