Doctor Who movie – Why the Panic

Another day, another Doctor Who Movie rumour. And this one seems to be gaining traction as something actually possible. As expected, there is a wailing and gnashing of teeth, with many people concerned that it would be its own continuity and not fit in with the existing show.

I can see two reasons why this is not a bad thing.

Firstly, take the Transformers movies of recent years. Big blockbuster spectacles. They didn’t exactly resonate well with a lot of the existing fandom, but there are many vocal fans who appreciate them despite not really liking the movies.
The bay-verse Transformers certainly revitalised interest in the franchise, and interest in the toyline. And even if you don’t like the look of them, it allows Hasbro to put money into other TF toys. For me, I bought my first transformer in about 20 years this year. Is was Reveal the Shield: Wreck-Gar – part of a line inspired/funded by the success of the movie toys but of an old character from the 1980s that would (and did) appeal to people who remember him from back then.

It’s also probably at least partly down to the success of the movie that the new series Transformers Prime can exist. It is definitely not the movie-verse. But some of the styling take a few cues, yet are more smooth and rounded and, to be honest, more like “real” Transformers…

…but without the movies, probably no Prime.

Secondly, have you ever seen an in-season movie? I’ve seen a few. Between some of the Japanese shows that I follow and stuff like the X-Files that I used to watch a bit back in the day.

These movies fall into two major categories. They are either totally standalone or pretty heavily integrated into the season mythology. So you’re either paying big money to see a story that doesn’t really count, or paying big money to see an important part of a story that you’re following on a TV channel you already pay for… neither sits well.
Then there’s a third, minor, category. The story that kind of fits, but doesn’t really gel with continuity. They can still be fun to watch, but when character and situations line up that don’t fit with the main show’s plotline, it can take you out of it. Suspension of disbelief can only go so far when the same movie has a character that definitively left or changed at the same time as a power or ability or item being used that was not around when the other character was. Minor, maybe. But if you’re spending more time wondering when it fits, you’re not enjoying the movie.

So, yeah. Something that is its own take on DW would actually sit well with me. As it would either be a really cool what-if, or something crap I can class as not counting.