Wil thinks it's about time we had a new Doctor Who spin-off. We agree with him...
Doctor Who has never been more popular, it really hasn't.
By that I mean that more people around the globe are aware of what's going on in the world of Who. Sure, there have been large viewing figures before but the overall awareness of the show has never been higher.
2013 saw The Day Of The Doctor simul-cast all across the planet, and doing phenomenal business in cinemas worldwide. This years new episodes of Doctor Who jumped straight to the top of iTunes and other download services when they became available, so I'm quite surprised that the BBC have not taken advantage and capitalised on the interest by launching a new spin off series.
Five years ago we had the main show, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, all of them broadcast throughout the same year. Elements of each series would be mentioned in the other but you didn't necessarily have to watch them all to follow the individual stories. I know some younger kids who watched and loved The Sarah Jane Adventures but had (at that point) never seen a single episode of Doctor Who (and obviously not Torchwood!).
I'm aware that Steven Moffat is a busy man with commitments to both Who and Sherlock (Russell T. Davies managed to juggle the three shows very successfully - just saying), but he doesn't need to be so hands on with any spin off, there are plenty of other great writers and producers who would do a brilliant job.
So, here are 5 potential spin off ideas, which I think could all work...
An 8th Doctor mini-series
I'm thinking that it should have a more adult theme, with a broadcast pattern similar in style to the 5 night run given to Torchwood: Children Of Earth. The 8th Doctor mini-series could possibly be set during the very early days of the Time War, or maybe the show could cover the events that trigger the war in the first place. Either way, Paul McGann's Doctor really needs more screen time.
As the brilliant Night Of The Doctor minisode went down so well, Paul McGann's return would seem quite a logical choice. Plus of all the 'classic' Doctors alive, he really is the only one who could still carry a show like this and make it be believable
I don't think there would be any confusion between this and the main show, people are smart enough to know the difference, and even the casual viewer would very quickly understand the time setting.
I want this so much, I sometimes have dreams about it! Which probably isn't right for a man of my age!!
The Ace Adventures
I mentioned last week that if there was one companion from the classic series I'd love to see make a return it would be Ace. And a one-off appearance in new Doctor Who could lead to something quite amazing. The sad passing of Elisabeth Sladen in 2011 has left a huge Sarah-Jane shaped gap on CBBC. Dorothy Gale McShane is the girl to fill it.
There has never been a better time for Grand Moff Tarkin to get on the phone to Russell 'Tussell' Davies, because The Ace Adventures is so his territory. The T needs to make a return to this genre of television, he's a brilliantly gifted writer who fits this style incredibly well.
I don't really think The Ace Adventures would need a lot of work to get off the ground, the format should be very very similar to The Sarah-Jane Adventures, possibly even a continuation of the show. I would have no problem if she inherited K-9 and Mr. Smith. There's always the chance of 'her' Doctor making an appearance too. McGann's Doctor fits a more adult style, Sylvester McCoy's Doctor would very much suit an occasional appearance in this type of show.
Sophie Aldred is of course no stranger to children's television. She's basically responsible for the voices on just about every animated kids show broadcast today, or thereabouts!
And besides, who wouldn't want to see Ace back?
Adventures In Space And Time
Mark Gatiss exceeded all expectations with the marvelous re-telling of Doctor Who's inception, he gathered such a spectacular cast that it would seem a shame not to utilise them again before it's too late to do so.
With so many early episodes missing from the archive, now is the perfect time to recreate them with David Bradley as the 1st Doctor. Stories including Marco Polo, The Daleks' Master Plan and The Savages could be adapted for today's audience. I don't expect these to be shot for shot remakes, because these stories are 50 years old, and whereas fans like you and I would be happy with the pacing of the originals, modern audiences probably would not. But with someone like Mark Gatiss overseeing this project we could be sure the finished project would appeal to both hard core fans and casual viewers alike.
Adventures In Space And Time could be presented in a format similar to Sherlock's, three 90 minute episodes every couple of years. When Daivd Bradley chooses to move on then it could be time for Reece Shearsmith to don the Troughton wig and continue the recreations.
Clearly if that missing episodes omnirumour does turn out to be true (and it's looking less and less likely) then these remakes might be pointless, but they'd still be a lot of fun!
The Paternoster Gang
Of all the possible Doctor Who spin offs that I could mention, this one seems the most likely to actually happen. In fact I'm surprised it already hasn't.
The adventures of Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax have potential for being presented in a number of ways. Set in Victorian England, it could work as a kids show on CBBC, Strax is perfect for that audience, featuring new and classic Doctor Who enemies and following both fictional and historical events from the time.
I suppose there is always the possibility that a children's show focusing on an inter-species same-sex married couple might lead to a few complaints at the BBC! But it's 2014, I really think kids accept and understand situations like this so much easier than (some) adults do, and it's only ignorance and fear that cause people to complain about things like this in the first place.
However, the residents of Paternoster Row could also work in prime time. The tone of a show set in Victorian London could be quite dark (with Strax on hand for occasional comic relief), after all we know that Madame Vastra has already eaten Jack The Ripper! It's a violent time and there's a lot of crime for these 3 to tackle.
The Animated Adventures Of Doctor Who
Stick with me on this one as I think there's huge potential here.
You know how awesome it is that Big Finish continue to deliver brand new adventures from our favourite classic Doctors. (say- "Yes Wil, we do"). Well why not animate them too?
If you've seen the Tenth Doctor animated adventure Dreamland then you'll know that this could work really well.
The great thing about Big Finish, and this could be applied to an animated series, is it doesn't matter how old the actor is today, they can always appear in their prime. So just because he's in his 80s doesn't mean that we couldn't have new Tom Baker stories to watch on television. Think of it as the lost adventures - I'd watch the heck out of that!
Of course, the BBC could decide to go a different way, and spin-off an animated series featuring the current Type 40 key-holder. There was a fan made Doctor Who introduction created in the style of a 'Saturday Morning Cartoon'...
...and we know that Steven Moffat has gone to youTube before for inspiration when creating the series 8 opening titles. So that could be an option too.
That's my 5 suggestions for potential new Doctor Who spin offs, what do you think?
Would you like to see any of these?
Or maybe you have an idea for a better spin off?
Let us know in the comments below...
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