Imagine our excitement, this morning, as we arrive in the office to an e-mail outlining plans for Doctor Who's sixth season. As Whovians, we were excited to read that the upcoming sixth season will be a two-parter set (and shot) in America, penned by showrunner Steven Moffat, and featuring Alex Kingston as River Song (who's becoming somewhat of a regular). Unfortunately, among the good news there was also a note outlining the show's transmission dates: the sixth season is going to be split in half.
The first 7 episodes of the new season will start in spring next year, while the latter 6 will air in the autumn. The BBC assures fans, that "by splitting the series, Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting Doctor Who cliffhangers and plot twists ever." We shouldn’t argue with that; considering last season's two-part finale, written by the executive producer, was one of the most impossible cliffhangers of the modern series.
However, viewers began to dwindle by the end of last season’s 13-part run and we can’t help thinking the new season’s been split to stop it from happening again. Setting the series opener in the States, and having it co-produced by BBC America, is bound to go down well with US fans too--but you’ve got to wonder how much the commercial side is influencing the creative direction.
Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are expected to fly to Utah next month to shoot "pivotal scenes" for the premiere episodes. In them, The Doctor and his companions will visit the White House and the deserts of Western America. The two-part episode is set in the 1960s and follows on from this year's Christmas special.
Still want more information? Here's Moffat and co. offering more spoilers on the upcoming season…