It has been confirmed that iconic BBC sci-fi series, Doctor Who, is set to hit the big screen, with Harry Potter director, David Yates, at the helm.

However, it appears unlikely that latest incarnation of the Doctor, Matt Smith, will be cast in the lead role, despite his popularity with TV viewers. Yates has indicated that the film will not follow on from the current series, but will instead take a fresh approach to the Doctor Who concept.

Yates stated that “Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch.” The script is yet to be written, and Yates is working alongside the head of L.A.-based BBC Worldwide, Jane Tranter, in order to find a writer. They have also stated that they are going to spend at least two years putting together this feature-length venture  in order to ‘get it right’ – hardly surprising, considering the fanatical fanbase will probably want to exterminate the team if they get it wrong.

The Doctor Who series originally ran from 1963 to 1989, before being rebooted by Russell T. Davies in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston playing the Doctor, before handing the role to David Tennant later that year.

There have previously been two ‘Dr. Who’ feature films, in 1965 and 1966. These were both based on stories from the Doctor Who series, but confusingly didn’t feature the Doctor himself, but an eccentric inventor called Dr. Who (using the abbreviated form of the title) who was played by Hammer Horror stalwart Peter Cushing. There has only been one Doctor Who feature-length production, Doctor Who: The Movie, which was a straight-to-television film starring Paul McGann as the Doctor.

Despite the fact that this will be much more of a big-budget Hollywood production, Yates and Tranter are said to be keen to retain the ‘British sensibility’, which would no doubt be essential in attracting the type of cult following which the small-screen series has always been enjoyed. The pair have also worked together previously on a number of other BBC TV series’, such as The Way We Live Now and State of Play.

We’ll keep you posted!

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