Doctor Who's executive producer, Steven Moffat, and its star, Matt Smith, have been busy countering rumours that the BBC’s commitment to the show is waning, and that the Doctor’s companion is to be killed off.
Following the announcement that there will be two series of Doctor Who in 2011, Moffat, writing in Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat addresses the issue, saying that fans worry too much: "I know this because I’ve been [one] since 1963.
"My favourite [rumour] is that this is the BBC’s cunning plan to reduce the number of episodes. Right. Okay [. . .] It’s the BBC’s cunning plan to reduce the number of episode, by going to the extraordinary and fiendish lengths of . . . making exactly the same number of episodes
"[. . .]Quite honestly, you could go over that one a million times and it still wouldn’t work.
"My least favourite rumour: this is the BBC’s cunning (but slightly generous) plan to give me enough time to work on Sherlock as well. Okay. [. . .] The BBC in their cunning and generosity have decided to reduce my workload by the devilishly clever stratagem of . . . making no difference to my workload whatsoever."
It was, in fact, Moffat’s idea to have two series of Doctor Who next year, in order to accommodate a “huge cliffhanger” that they wouldn’t normally consider at the end of a series:
It would be too long before it came back [It’s] an enormous, game-changing cliffhanger for the Doctor, Amy and Rory. It will change everything for them. You will see the Doctor’s life change forever, you will gasp in astonishment at the true nature of his relationship with Amy and you will cry out in horror as Rory Williams stumbles to the brink of a tragic mistake.
Meanwhile, Doctor Who star Matt Smith has reassured fans that he won't let assistant Amy Pond be killed off – and vowed: "I'll save her."
In recent weeks, suggestions have surfaced on the Internet that Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) is to exit the long-running science-fiction drama during one of the two series to be broadcast next year. However, according to a PA news release, it’s not likely to happen in the foreseeable future.
Smith, who replaced David Tennant as the Doctor on 1 January 2010, said he’d miss Gillan if she left and thinks there’s a lot more to be explored in the relationship between the two characters. He said:
She can’t die, Amy Pond can’t die. No way, I’d be sad. I’d miss Karen.
I just think for this particular Doctor, his bond with Amy, I think there’s a lot more mileage in it yet. I think there’s a long way to go. So I can't see it happening any time soon.
Don’t worry, I won't let it happen – I’ll save her, I’ll save the day.
It’s not the first time the character of Amy Pond has been killed off. During The Pandorica Opens, the penultimate episode of the most recent series, which ended in the summer, Amy died at the hands of the Doctor’s male companion, her fiancé, Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), only to be brought back to life in the final episode, The Big Bang.
Doctor Who will return to TV screens at Christmas in what Moffat describes as “the most Christmassy Christmas story ever”. The as-yet-untitled episode also stars Sir Michael Gambon (who plays Dumbledore in the harry Potter movies) and the Welsh opera singer, Katherine Jenkins, in her first acting role.
Death of the Doctor
Before then viewers can see Smith’s eleventh Doctor star alongside two of his former companions, Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) in the Who spin-off drama, The Sarah Jane Adventures, in a story, Death of the Doctor, written by Russell T Davies (Torchwood). Manning – who played opposite Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor in the early 1970s – reprises her TV role after nearly forty years.
But even before Death of the Doctor, fans have yet another Who spin-off to look forward to – this time Doctor Who Live a stage show that’s a sequel to the 1973 TV serial Carnival of Monsters. The show – starring Nigel Planer (The Young Ones) as Vorgenson and Smith in pre-recorded material – will be shown in nine UK cities during October and November.