Christmas Day 2015 until Christmas Day 2016 is the longest we’ll go with no Doctor Who since the show returned in 2005. With the new spin-off “Class” being aimed at a teen audience, there appears to be very little in the way of entertainment for a lot of Whovians. It’s too late now for the BBC to produce and release anything for us to fill in the gap, but what could they have done to make this year easier?
One option is they could’ve created a spin off, predominately targeted at adults. As it’s looking unlikely Torchwood will return under Steven Moffat, he could’ve kick started a similar show before his exit from the main show. Doctor Who was arguably at its peak in the modern era when the show released a series each year along with episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood, so all fans were catered for. In a year without any Doctor Who until Christmas, a couple of new spin offs would’ve been perfect to keep fans adequately fed an acceptable amount of content from the Doctor Who universe. There a few possibilities for such a spin off. Jenny, Vastra and Strax are a trio who are crying out for their own series of adventures. If Torchwood doesn’t return then Rex from Miracle Day who’s now immortal could be seen pursuing aliens in America or here in the UK. Or maybe we could see Ashildr fly off in her TARDIS after Clara returned to Trap Street. I think because of Class, out of those mentioned three, a spin off with Rex would be the most suitable as he’d probably be the best for an older audience. Anything would surely do though. Any of those along with Class would have been better than nothing.
Back in 2009, when Doctor Who didn’t broadcast a full series, Russell T. Davies produced five special episodes, four stories, between Christmas Day 2008 and New Year’s Day 2010. With all the attention going towards these scripts it meant a higher quality of writing. “The Waters of Mars” is my favourite modern era episode and both parts of “The End of Time” are excellent too. If Moffat didn’t have the time to produce an entire series then what we learned from series 6 and 7 was that splitting the series didn’t work. He could have copied RTD and scripted two or three special episodes, to be broadcast individually throughout the year. Episodes like “Blink” and “Listen” have proven that Moffat is that master at writing intense single episodes. If he dedicated himself to writing a few before his final full series then I’m sure they’d be up there with his best as head writer. It would give fans something in the near future to look forward to rather than the long wait until Christmas.
The reality is we have to wait until the Autumn for Class and even longer until the next episode of Doctor Who itself. Of course nobody is entitled to anything, but such a huge and worldwide fanbase surely deserves more content to repay their continuous support. I’m sure some fans won’t mind the wait, for some a break is what the show needed to recharge and then its return will be more impactful. However for the majority, no Doctor Who for a whole year is a painful prospect and it’s a shame the BBC haven’t treated the show in the way it deserves.