Folks, it's tough being a Doctor Who fan in 2016. Without any new episodes this year, save for the Christmas special "The Return of Doctor Mysterio," the absence of the sainted physician and his blue box of salvation has been pretty hard to deal with. And it may not get any easier, as Steven Moffat's departure looks like it could trigger a clean slate of sorts, as new rumors are stating that both Peter Capaldi and newly minted companion Pearl Mackie may be out for Season 11.

We cannot warn you enough that these claims are, for the moment, merely rumors that have come from The Mirror, the publication who loves to break "scoops" that may or may not pan out in terms of Doctor Who. However, it's the justification that's cited as the reason behind the supposed shake-up that has us worried, as it's something that's loomed over Capaldi's exemplary tenure as The Doctor. The following explanation is attributed to an unnamed BBC source:

BBC management wants a return to the format from the David Tennant era, when you had a dashing male lead and young female companion. Merchandising has dropped off sharply in recent years and there is a strong desire to boost the show's popularity among kids.

Ask any die hard Doctor Who fan, and they'll tell you that the franchise hit its modern peak saturation during the David Tennant years, as both the dedicated fandom and the newly minted Tennant obsessives, drove the popularity of the show sky high. However, once David Tennant and then showrunner Russell T. Davies left after a handful of specials in 2010, Steven Moffat's tenure started a slight, but eventual decline from the heights of marketing mania that the younger Doctors had enjoyed. However, by time Peter Capaldi came into play, things weren't as rosy, ratings-wise as they used to be for Doctor Who.

Doctor Who Bill The Doctor

It's hard not to see the possible decision to reverse course and regenerate The Doctor, complete with a new companion, as nothing short of a rejection of Steven Moffat's methodology of late. With Moffat always intending to make the character an older figure, he'd finally gotten his wish when Capaldi was cast after Matt Smith's departure in 2013. Now, with a BBC supposedly bent on a return to the "dashing male and young female companion" formula, complete with "more accessible story arcs," it's starting to feel like Doctor Who may change tactics yet again.

Whether this potential change over is for the good of Doctor Who, or for the BBC's intended vision of the show, remains to be seen. Just know that should any sort of movement be made on these rumors, be they confirming or denying their content, we here at Cinema Blend will keep you informed.

In the meantime, you can expect The Doctor to return at Christmas in "The Return of Doctor Mysterio," airing on BBC and BBC America this Christmas Day. In addition, Season 10 with Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi, is expected to air in 2017.

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