While there are plenty of shows that can be considered international successes, one series that can be credited with uniting fans young and old all over the world is definitely the BBC’s long-running sci fi series, Doctor Who. Of course, no show is ever completely safe when it comes to staying on the air, and Doctor Who is not the cheapest to produce. Showrunner Steven Moffat, however, is confident about the future of the series.
In an interview with Variety, Steven Moffat had this to say about what is coming for Doctor Who:
It’s definitely going to last five more years, I’ve seen the business plan. It’s not going anywhere. And I think we can go past that. It’s television’s own legend. It will just keep going.
Steven Moffat certainly has a point about Doctor Who having earned the status of television legend. Running off and on for more than fifty years now, the last nine seasons of the Who reboot have hooked a rabid modern audience. Doctor Who is certainly not the first nor will it be the last modern series to last for nine seasons, but the format of the show is one that defies conventional expectations. The main cast has changed so many times since the reboot began back in 2005 that the ninth Doctor and Rose almost feel as though they come from a different universe than the twelfth Doctor and Clara.
While many fans were dismayed to learn that current companion Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara will be leaving the TARDIS by the end of the Season 9, Peter Capaldi will be staying on as Twelve through at least the tenth season.
Technically, it has not yet been confirmed whether or not there will be an eleventh season for Capaldi to return to as the Doctor. While Moffat’s boast of five more years in the BBC business plan sounds good, fans will rest far from easy until official word actually comes down from the BBC. After all, the BBC has been dealing with budget issues lately that have loomed over its programming--even the long-running stuff.
Ratings for Who have varied on both sides of the pond throughout the reboot run so far. The show that was always a staple of British viewing became a cult hit in the United States, but audiences have responded differently to different Doctors. Capaldi’s run as Twelve has had a more positive reception in the U.S. than in Britain. With the BBC obviously caring more about its own programming than what it can import over to BBC America, the future of Doctor Who has felt more uncertain than ever over the run of Twelve.
Despite sporadic dips and rises in the ratings, however, Doctor Who is going strong. Nary a Halloween can pass by without somebody crying out “Allons-y!” a la David Tennant’s Ten or wearing a fez a la Matt Smith’s Eleven, and even Christopher Eccleston's fantastic one-season-wonder Nine is not forgotten as Twelve continues to rule the airwaves. Hopefully, Steven Moffat’s prediction will come to pass and audiences will still have plenty of seasons of Who yet to come.