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Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film 357

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Variety reports that David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, is teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi TV series Doctor Who into a Hollywood franchise. 'We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right,' says Yates. 'It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.' But not everyone is enamored with the idea of Doctor Who on the big screen. 'I fear that high production values and the inevitable sexualisation of the lead characters that a Hollywood treatment brings will destroy the show,' writes Andrew M. Brown in the Telegraph. 'The ecosystem of a great television programme is a delicate thing. Please, Hollywood, don't spoil Doctor Who."
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Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film

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  • Lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:05PM (#38062272)

    Please, Hollywood, don't spoil Doctor Who.

    That's like asking the school bully not to beat you up and take your lunch money.
    He does it every day, he's going to do it every day, and now it's your turn.

  • DO NOT WANT! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cheerio Boy ( 82178 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:08PM (#38062322) Homepage Journal

    What the hell?? I mean why would anyone...oh yeah...greed. Forgot about that for a moment.

    I sincerely hope that this does not get made.

    Anybody got any Daleks or Cybermen we can sic on these guys?
  • Do not want! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:10PM (#38062344)
    The last thing Doctor Who needs is the Hollywood treatment. Please tell me this is a bad dream.
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:11PM (#38062346) Homepage

    Take a short miniseries and stretch it out to a full series to milk it and make the plot run like molasses. Add in a lot of mindless action with big explosions and helicopter chases, because that's what American shows look like, right?

    I'm afraid of what they're going to do to Doctor Who, but if Torchwood was any example, keep Hollywood's dirty hands off it.

  • Just Say No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jIyajbe ( 662197 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:12PM (#38062362)

    No no no, for the love of God, no!!!

    A major aspect of the show is the fact that it is small-screen. Its roots are in the campiness that the early shows had, and that occurred because of the tiny budget and fast turnaround. The effect of that can still been seen today.

    The campiness and fun will be eliminated in a Hollywood blockbuster treatment, and it will turn into just another sex-and-explosions vehicle.

  • HHGTTG (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:14PM (#38062400)

    It'll be as just as good as Hitchhiker's Guide!

  • Everyone, relax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:15PM (#38062416) Homepage

    Dr Who has been around for 50 years. It has survived pretty much anything you could throw at it. It will survive hollywood.

    I have to wonder, however, if the folks doing the market research realize just how adverse Dr Who fans will be to a big budget movie. One of the appeals of Dr Who is the low production value of it, and the ability to take risks that goes along with that. It's unconventional, it's interesting. These are two attributes that hollywood has demonstrated a knack for destroying. Further, one of better attributes of Dr Who has always been it's "continuity" ( which is hilarious in and of itself ), of it's long scope story arcs. Again, not a "movie" thing.

    A Dr Who movie will need to somehow work in the back story, build an interesting plot and come to a conclusion. All within 2 hours. Unless they plan for a series of movies, which would make more sense. That way they can build the backstory and get the plot rolling, then continue in the second movie and finish up in a third. But that might be too much of an investment for a relatively unknown franchise ( unknown to anyone outside geekdom at any rate ).

  • It could work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:23PM (#38062536)

    I read the article which provided the argument against turning Dr. Who into a movie, and I disagree with most of the points. A few comments:

    1. Length. TV episodes are one hour, which requires a tight plot. A movie would add an extra hour, which the writer of the article claims would ruin that. He says he's from the Tom Baker generation (I was too), but he seems to have forgotten that during the Tom Baker era, the show was a bunch of miniseries. Much longer than a movie. Even now, there are plenty of two-part and three-part episodes, and really the only difference between that and a movie is that in TV there's an incentive to add a cliffhanger each hour. Turning it into a movie actually gives them more freedom because there isn't that incentive.

    2. Sexualization of the characters. First, this isn't necessary even in a Hollywood film, so it might not happen. Second, he complains about the Doctor getting younger and younger to give him more sex appeal, but that's already happening on the TV show. Hollywood has nothing to do with it. Third, in the latest incarnation there's already sexual chemistry between the Doctor and his companion. Granted, it's all misdirection and misleading the audience into thinking there's more there than there really is, and other than one kiss, Amy has been completely faithful to Rory. But you can't deny that the sexual chemistry between the Doctor and Amy is there. Again, this is all without Hollywood.

    3. Cheap sets and props. True, that's been a hallmark of Dr. Who from the beginning, and some of it still remains in the latest series. However, there's plenty of high tech special effects these days in the show. Will the big screen change that ratio in favor of the high tech at the expense of the cheap? No doubt. But nostalgia aside, who really cares?

    So all of his concerns are things that are already happening in the show. Could Hollywood blow it? Sure. But if so, it won't be because of any of the things he complains about. The smartest thing for Hollywood to do would be to hire the writers from some of the better episodes of the past few years. Stick with what makes the show great and let the Hollywood format support the story rather than supplant it.

  • Re:Everyone, relax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:26PM (#38062592)

    Well- take a look at the last Star Trek movie (and the next one coming out) - that was not designed for Star Trek fans.

    It was written for the Non-Star Trek fans. (Heck, my wife hates Star Trek but enjoyed that movie).

    Hollywood knows the real Dr. Who fans will watch anyway out of curiosity- but they will write it for those who are not fans... just like the last Star Trek.

    Win/win for Hollywood.

  • Re:DO NOT WANT! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:26PM (#38062594)

    So don't watch it. Gee, that was hard.

  • Re:It could work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:30PM (#38062652)

    Second, he complains about the Doctor getting younger and younger to give him more sex appeal, but that's already happening on the TV show.

    Are you seriously suggesting that Matt Smith was chosen for sex appeal? I highly doubt there are many women who would ooooh and ahhh over Matt Smith on the streets... those that would- only because he is famous. In Matt Smith they picked the ugliest man possible... but, I personally think he is a fantastic actor and plays the part well. Probably the best recent doctor.

    Third, in the latest incarnation there's already sexual chemistry between the Doctor and his companion.

    Not just his companion- but several other human's- including Queen Bess- and River Song.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:50PM (#38062950)

    They finally added River so The Doctor could have a legitimate romantic interest without having to constantly work in the romantic tension with his companion. Personally I thought the tension was a legitimate character element, but it does get tired after a while.

    As for turnover, Tennant had a longer tenure than everyone except Tom Baker. What I'm wondering is that since the Doctor seems to be getting more cracked every incarnation, I wonder who they're going to get to top Smith.

  • Re:Everyone, relax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot AT spad DOT co DOT uk> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:14PM (#38063274) Homepage

    The difference being that when Star Trek was released, the Trek franchise was pretty much dead in the water, whereas Doctor Who is currently pretty damn successful; it's either going to have to be canon (and thus a commercial failure) or non-canon and thus not really Doctor Who.

  • I totally agree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by negatonium ( 1103503 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:25PM (#38063428)
    Doctor Who has passed into the realm of Modern Mythology now. Just like Dracula, Superman, and Star Trek has now become part of our "mythology". These characters and stories may take a rest from time to time but there will always be someone to come along and retell/re-imagine/re-work them. Doctor Who is just too fertile a ground for good stories to leave too long. Heck, we are still getting milage from Sinbad, Hercules, and Atlantis! The theatrical Who movies of the '60s didn't kill a much younger series... no worries here.
  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:28PM (#38063472)

    I see a lot of comments in this threat that Doctor Who has already jumped the shark. I concur, and I haven't even seen anything later than David Tennant. When in your opinion did Doctor Who go irrevocably off track?

    In my opinion it was way back with Sylvester McCoy when the seventh Doctor blew up Skaro's sun with something-or-other of Omega. I just can't handle the idea of The Doctor committing genocide -- and smirking while he does it. Contrast with the fourth Doctor's moral dilemma in the Genesis of the Daleks, and you can see the quality of the writing had already sunk very from from its peak.

    At this point I would rather let it die and remember it fondly, the way it was.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:08AM (#38070144) Homepage Journal

    Oh, for Pete's sake. I've been watching those Dr. Who "classic" episodes recently, and even at it's best Dr. Who was never *The Prisoner* or *The Twilight Zone* for chrissakes. It's a fun and cheesy "sci-fi" series that doesn't mind being corny or flirting with camp so long as it was entertainment for the whole family. That meant not having The Doctor do any yucky kissing that would offend junior, while giving Pop the occasional shot of Zoe's besequined bum in that catsuit of hers.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the classic series, but in the same way I can enjoy "Buckaroo Banzai" without confusing it with "Blade Runner". I love the ridiculous monsters, executed with such cheesy verve. About the only thing I really don't like is how mind-numbingly bad the dialog is in many (although not all) classic episodes. Some of that dialog makes George Lucas's Star Wars Dialog sound like *Casablanca*.

    Now why even bother doing a new series that does the same old thing? Are you going to out-Tom-Baker Tom Baker? You can't get that movie serial vibe again because people are just too media savvy. The corn threshold is so much lower.

    So I think they've done a very good job keeping the cheesy spirit while spiffing up the production values. The cast and guest talent are top notch, episode pacing is crisp, and the writing for the most part witty, canny and thoughtful. But the writing is inevitably where the new series has to fall down now and then. This is a series that ran for 26 seasons before the modern incarnation, the main character has almost god-like intellect and the stories involve one of the most logically messy themes in science fiction: time travel. Dr. Who has always needed some ad hoc and not very credible limitations in what the Doctor is allowed do. So I think we have to accept a certain amount of story arc continuity sleight of hand, especially given the long history of the series.

    That said, I fear that using Great Temporal Reset Button in two successive seasons probably indicates the writers have written the show into a corner that can't be fixed without a fallow period or a series reboot that destroys a lot more than one season's continuity.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe