Given our reboot-happy culture, it was only a matter of time before long-running BBC science-fiction series "Doctor Who" got the movie treatment, despite the fact that it's still on the air, and gaining a bigger international audience than ever before. But this afternoon's news that David Yates (who directed half of the films in the mammoth "Harry Potter" franchise) is developing a big screen version still came as something of a surprise. And, with the announcement that it'll depart from established continuity, shunning recent stars like Matt Smith and David Tennant and starting afresh.
Predictably, this has put the Twittersphere in an uproar, but as usual, the fanboy masses are overreacting. For one, the series is such a moneymaker for the BBC that it's likely to continue alongside the movie series for as long as it's profitable to do so. "Superman Returns" didn't mean the end of "Smallville," did it? For another, Yates is at the point where he could get almost anything greenlit, and he's cashing in his chips to make this happen, suggesting that he's as big a fan as anyone out there, and the fact that he's taking his time on the film (he says they're likely to take two-to-three years to develop the script), means that this isn't some quick cash-in. And Yates has proven a sure hand at the Potter wheel, not to mention acclaimed TV dramas like "State of Play " and "Sex Traffic."