Doctor Who: might the Peter Jackson-directed episode actually happen?

News Louisa Mellor 24 Sep 2012 - 09:13

Doctor Who’s executive producer, Caroline Skinner, is willing to talk cash, dates and stories with director Peter Jackson…

Often caught unawares by a question at a bustling premiere or industry event, film and TV people have a habit of declaring their interest in joining whichever project is thrust in front of them. “Sure, that’d be great,” they say non-committedly, kick-starting a flurry of speculative news stories about the next James Bond, Doctor Who or Downton Abbey butler.

In the case of Peter Jackson’s recently expressed desire to direct an episode of Doctor Who however, things may very well move beyond the hypothetical, and into reality.

The Waikato Times (which is fast becoming Den Of Geek’s favourite New Zealand-based news outlet) has pursued their Jackson/Who story to the next stage. After taking Matt Smith’s desire to film an episode in New Zealand to Peter Jackson, they’ve now spoken to Wellington-based Luther creator Neil Cross (already writing an episode for the current series of Who), who’s offered to pen a New Zealand-based script for the show and urged friend Caroline Skinner (Who’s executive producer) to say a few words on the subject.

Those words?

“It is beyond wonderful that Peter is a fan of the show and it’s beyond flattering that he’d even think about it. I’m absolutely sure that we couldn’t afford him but, you know, we can always negotiate. His enthusiasm is just fantastic of course.”

Of course at some point we’d love to bring Doctor Who down under… it won’t be possible until at least a year after the 50th anniversary. We are already two-thirds of the way through the shoots of series seven and although we filmed a couple of episodes abroad I can confirm for the rest of series seven we will be shooting entirely in Cardiff Bay.”

With the Emmys taking place this weekend, both Neil Cross and Steven Moffat were in LA, so Skinner suggests a meeting of minds is planned between the pair:

“Let’s see what those two very brilliant writers come up with whilst they are in LA. Rest assured that we are thinking about it. The landscapes and just the world of New Zealand is of course phenomenal and many movies are set in your beautiful country. It is also an extremely long way from Cardiff Bay so the logistics and the sheer scale of moving Doctor Who to New Zealand is something that would take an awful lot of planning and time.”


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Logistically,considering the time travelling to New Zealand would take from the programmes shooting schedule,it would make a lot of sense to shoot a couple of stories there like they did when they shot in Croatia during series5.I'm sure since he collaborated with Moffat on the first Tin Tin movie, he,d want to work on a Moffat script too,presuming he had the time to work on the whole block if it was possible.I really hope the negotiations work out as i'm sure Matt and Peter would be thrilled to get the opportunity to work together.

One thing that also can be read from this is that the 8 episodes of series 7b to be shown in the Spring ( or as early as Feb), are to be filmed in Cardiff. She said the next opportunity to film in NZ would be the year after the 50th anniversary (2014) do what about the remaining 8 months of 2013 (supposedly series 8)? Does this mean no series 8 next year? We were to have more episodes than ever next year so what's up? I hope it's not just a bunch of specials like a few years ago.

As long as each episode isn't 4 hours long, has extra features on the DVD version, and isn't a 4-parter, I'm happy about this.

16x4 is 64 hours of PJ-directed Dr. Who. Add in around 10% for deleted scenes and whatnot and you're looking at 70 hours of awesome. I'm in.

They'd have to sell it on hard drive instead of DVD though.

Dude, I have a short attention span. I love Doctor Who but it's a miracle I can sit in front of the TV for 45 minutes never mind the 64 hours you're implying, lol. I wouldn't make it past the first hour.

LOL! That's what DVD, BluRays, & Downloads are for brother! Consider it a mini-series of AWESOME! ;p

This sounds amazing, love to see Peter do either the opening special or the finale. The Christmas Special would actually be pretty interesting...

I imagine for 2013 it'll be Series 7 part 2. Then some 50th Anniversary specials. Maybe a feature length episode. After the very -meh factor- of Who specials to date, I'd go for a feature length episode, rather than a couple of soul crushing specials. 2012 is shaping as a very ordinary year for Who, next year better feckin rock!!!

Any chance the Doctor might visit Australia instead?

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