As far back as 2013, it became known the Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, would like to helm an episode of Doctor Who. Back then Jackson was busy with the Lord of the Rings franchise but he did stress that while a lot of the media thought he was joking, he was actually being serious – having been a long-time fan of the show.
Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, was also on board with the idea, but said it would be dependent on finding the right storyline for Jackson to direct. Nothing ever came of it at the time but now, the rumor mill has started up again, and it’s fuelled by none other than Jackson himself, aided and abetted by the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
In what could be the strongest hint yet that Jackson will direct an episode of Doctor Who at some point, the director posted a video to his Facebook page (see above) which shows him at home with his daughter. She sits at the laptop while he is polishing his Oscars and deciding if he can be bothered to reply to yet another email from Moffat asking him to direct.
There seems to be a sticking point over the time frame and location; with Jackson saying he’s willing to cut it down to just a six month shoot or even four months, on location in New Zealand, while Moffat wants him to do a twelve day shoot in Cardiff, Wales. They are interrupted by the arrival of the Doctor, with a contract from Moffat for Jackson to sign but another arrival soon ensures the Doctor’s departure, leaving Jackson to head off to watch The Walking Dead.
Jackson would certainly be a good fit for Doctor Who; he’s well versed in the fantasy genre and certainly used to working with CGI and special effects. Plus, of course, a Jackson directed episode would be a huge coup for the show and the BBC, and it would be sure to pull in a lot of extra viewers.
The video is great fun, and very tongue in cheek, but all joking aside; is this a big hint that Doctor Who could be directed by an Oscar-winning movie director? Well, Capaldi is in Auckland right now ahead of an appearance at Peter Capaldi in Conversation at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, so maybe Jackson gave him a call to set this whole thing up.
We do at least know that Moffat is on board with the idea, having told Digital Spy:
“He’s mentioned it, and then we e-mail him and he doesn’t reply! I think his plan is we’ll go to New Zealand and spend six months making it, and our plan is he comes to Cardiff and makes it in 12 days, so there’s that disparity! He’s a genuine big old Doctor Who fan; I think his schedule is difficult. I don’t know – maybe [it’ll happen]. But I’m not quite sure what a movie director who can do anything he likes gets out of our budget and our schedule, because the skillset required is pretending you’re Peter Jackson, without a budget.”
In spite of Moffat’s ‘maybe’, it certainly seems as though we could be leaning toward a big announcement of some kind; Moffat has already said he is planning Doctor Who season ten, creating storylines and confirming writers and directors – so maybe, just maybe, this funny skit is Jackson’s way of preparing us for some good news soon.
We’ll keep you updated with any advancement on these rumors. In the meantime, the Doctor Who season 9 finale, ‘Hell Bent’ airs this Saturday, December 5th, on BBC1 and BBC America.