The popular documentary strand that accompanied almost every new episode of Doctor Who from 2005 until the end of the 2011 season of the science-fiction series is to return to TV this summer, it has been revealed.
Today’s Radio Timesbroke the news, confirming that the identity of the person who is to play the Twelfth Doctor “will almost certainly be announced next month [August]” adding that the BBC has been giving “serious consideration to unveiling him (or her) on a surprise Doctor Who Confidential.
In 2009, when Matt Smith was unveiled as the actor chosen to play the Eleventh Doctor, replacing the then-current Doctor, David Tennant, the announcement was made during a Doctor Who Confidential special, which was watched by a staggering 7.5 million people.
Doctor Who Confidential was a popular companion series that was broadcast on BBC 3 following each new episode of Doctor Who itself. Each week, the documentary strand would go behind the scenes of the parent show, highlighting different aspects of how the long-running drama is made. During its seven years of production, there were also a number of specials broadcast at times when the parent show wasn’t on screen.
Doctor Who Confidential remained immensely popular with fans, and has been credited for encouraging many to opt for various fields within the TV and film industries. When, in 2011, Zai Bennett announced, as controller of BBC 3, that he was scrapping the show, there was disappointment, not only from viewers but from Doctor Who production staff, too; including Doctor Who ’s head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat. He said at the time, “[It] seems hard to grasp. All shows have their time, and all shows end, but not, in all sanity, while people still watch and love them […] I’m not supposed to say it, but I’m going to anyway: bad day, bad decision.”
Subsequently, an online Save Doctor Who Confidential campaign was set up, with a petition garnering close to 60,000 signatures. But, all was to no avail, with BBC 3 refusing to change its mind. Despite that, however, mini-Doctor Who Confidential-type webisodes have continued to be put out on the Internet.
The Twelfth Doctor will make his/her debut in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, which will also be Smith’s final episode. The 30-year-old actor – who has already filmed his first Hollywood movie (How to Catch a Monster, with Ryan Gosling) – announced in June his decision to step down from Doctor Who at the end of this year.
Filming of the 2013 Christmas special is expected to commence in a few week’s time. Smith’s penultimate story – a 3D feature-length episode to be broadcast to coincide with Doctor Who ’s 50th anniversary, on Saturday, 23 November – will also star Tennant, John Hurt and, it has only just been revealed, another former Doctor.