I woke this morning to discover that Doctor Who fandom was in turmoil. The reason? Matt Smith has signed for a movie to begin filming in May.
You may be saying to yourself, “What’s the big deal?” And no, it’s not a big deal. Smith is an actor, and actors like to work because actors, like all of us, like to eat. But to some Doctor Who fans, this news was greeted with dismay. They know that the 50th-anniversary episode is filming in April. And after that? We don’t know. Now we know that, assuming Matt Smith continues as the Doctor beyond the 50th-anniversary special, that filming won’t begin until at least summer, which means that there may not be much in the way of Doctor Who product on television late in the year.
The truth is, we really don’t know. However, I’m thinking that this is a likely scenario for how we got here…
“Benedict! Martin! I’ve got some bad news. I’m spending all my time writing Doctor Who, Mark’s working hard on his other project, and we’re not going to be ready to film Sherlock in January like I’d planned. We’re going to have to push off Sherlock filming for a few months so I can get caught up.”
“Can’t be a lot of months, Steven. Peter’s locked in the new Hobbit dates for May.”
“Three episodes, I think we can do that in ten weeks. Working backwards, we’ll have to start the first week of March. If you have any offers you can fit in between Christmas and March…”
“My agent passed me a script for a Julian Assange biopic. I was going to turn it down because of the schedule, but if I’m free I’ll consider it again.”
“Sounds good. We’ll talk again soon, once I’ve put this Doctor Who thing to bed.”
“Matt! I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Good news, I’ve finished a draft of the Anniversary special script. Bad news, I still have to write my Sherlock script so I’ve not given any thought to scripts for series 8.”
“Our plan to start filming after the Anniversary special…?”
“Not looking likely. I’ve talked it over with Caro, and we’re going to aim for filming in July.”
“May and June are free for me, then.”
“Absolutely. If you have any offers you can fit in between the Anniversary special and July…”
“My agent took a call from Ryan Gosling’s people. Indie film, six week shoot.”
“Sounds good. We’ll talk again soon, once I’ve put this Sherlock thing to bed.”