It seems like eons pass in between series of Doctor Who. As with many shows which only run 10 or so episodes in a season, they’re over so quickly, and then there’s another year or more of wait before the show comes back. It turns out that the BBC would love to see more Doctor Who as much as fans would. However, the cast and crew, led by Peter Capaldi himself, have said no to requests for more episodes. The reason, according to Capaldi, is that while they could make more episodes, what they couldn’t do is make more good episodes.
UK’s Mirror has Capaldi’s comments at the Radio Times Festival in London over this past weekend, where he took on the question of doing two series per year. The main issue? The man is tired.
We’ve been going since January 6 and the crew, who are wonderful, are exhausted. There reaches a point where you can’t drive people any harder; we do the best we can to produce our show to an immensely high quality. If you did it all year round there would be casualties; one of the casualties would be the quality of the show.
As Capaldi says, the production values of Doctor Who are fairly high, considering all the special effects used. While this fact is more than a little humorous considering the lineage of the series - classic Who episodes from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s include some comically bad effects - it’s nonetheless true. While one would expect the BBC would be willing to shell out the cash for another series at the same level, the show is ultimately put together by people. If it does take them most of a year to put those 12 or so episodes together, they likely wouldn’t be able to get a second series out in the same year without cutting some corners. Of course, the other problem with producing a second series in a single year is that Steven Moffat might not even be able to, as he has other responsibilities as well, such as Sherlock.
Doctor Who has never been a series that hits home runs with every episode as it is. As much as we’d love to see more of The Doctor, the idea that we would get more of those terrible episodes (and we know that we would) is scary. Nothing is more terrifying than more "Night Terrors" or "Fear Her".
British television has always been more focused on telling a good story than providing a certain number of episodes. Since the relaunch, Doctor Who has always hovered around 12 episodes a season, though they’ve occasionally had more or fewer as the story demanded it. The very early days of Who did many more episodes in a season, though it should be pointed out that they were half-hour episodes back then.
What do you think? Are you happy with Doctor Who as it is, or would you rather they put more episodes out each year? While we might get a few more weak episodes, we’d almost certainly get more great episodes as well.