Despite the fact that we're a little less than a month away from the start of an all new era for Doctor Who with the full arrival of Peter Capaldi's version of The Doctor, the show doesn't have an official presence at San Diego Comic Con this year, eschewing the chance to once again anchor the convention's Sunday Hall H schedule because they are busy filming this season's episodes. And after the wait we've had to endure, we surely don't want them to delay filming for any reason.
While Doctor Who isn't in the building at San Diego Comic Con, though, the show still has a way of hovering in the air and so it's no surprise that there is still big news about the upcoming season premiere, a fresh image from this season (above) and a little bit more info about the possibility of a known Whovian and blockbuster director getting behind the camera to direct an episode of the show.
Peter Jackson's interest in directing an episode of Doctor Who has been openly discussed for more than a year now, but a mixture of Jackson's upcoming freedom from the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit franchise and Who showrunner Steven Moffat's remarks to SFX Magazine make this seem like it is closer to becoming a reality than ever before. Here's Moffat:
"I think it will happen at some point, [...] He's still incredibly busy on The Hobbit. I've spoken to him face to face, and he would like to do one. I mean, he can do what the hell he likes — he owns New Zealand!"
One imagines that since they are already filming episodes for the latest Doctor Who season and since Jackson is hard at work prepping the third Hobbit film, nothing will come of this talk in the immediate future. Still, perhaps next season will make sense for all sides - and we'll either get something that is appropriate in scale and scope for someone with Jackson's aptitude for epic storytelling, or we'll get something a bit more intimate that recalls his earlier work. Either way, I'm sure we'll all be positively fascinated with the end result.
In other, but related news, we already know that Ben Wheatley will direct this season's premiere episode, 'Deep Breath', off of a script from Moffat, and that it will premiere on August 23rd, but today the BBC let it be known that they would again unleash the Doctor upon movie theaters for the premiere.
This is a strategy that worked out quite nicely for Doctor Who with the 50th Anniversary episode - and with the lower cost associated with digital projection systems, it's worth wondering if the BBC and Doctor Who are ahead of the curve on what may be a new trend for event episodes like season premieres and finales.
Would you pay the price of admission to see a king sized episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead alongside a gaggle of other superfans? Are networks willing to bet that you will in an effort to maximize their profits? Kinda feels like the answer to both of those questions is, "You bet!", but we'll have to wait and see.
Doctor Who returns on August 23rd on BBC America and, apparently, in select theaters.