BBC Confirms ‘Doctor Who’ Won’t Have A Full Season In 2012

It would take a Time Lord to sort out this mess.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Last week, the BBC announced that Matt Smith had signed on for an additional season of "Doctor Who." And that might be the only good "Doctor Who" news we hear for a while.

Amidst rumors of pending delays for next year's seventh season of "Doctor Who," the BBC's Controller, Danny Cohen (as reported by the BBC itself) said that the upcoming of 13 episodes (plus the annual Christmas special) would be split between 2012 and 2013. Additionally, Cohen seemed to lay the blame for the delay at the feet of "Doctor Who" showrunner and executive producer, Steven Moffat; who happens to also executive produce and write "Sherlock" for the network as well.

"[Moffat] needs enough time to get ['Sherlock'] done and then start work on the next series of Doctor Who," Cohen said during the 2011 Church and Media conference. "There will be some episodes [of 'Doctor Who'], but there won't be a full series, so we won't have a 13-part run [in 2012]."

On Twitter, Moffat offered this response: "The scheduling of [Doctor] Who has got NOTHING to with Sherlock. On the plus side THE BBC SPELLED MY NAME RIGHT!!!!"

The most prevalent rumors are that the delay are in part due to budget and scheduling issues involved in completing all 13 episodes on time. Last year, the BBC reportedly slashed the production budget of "Doctor Who," but the series didn't seem to suffer for it.

More recently, the British Magazine Private Eye has blamed the show's current problems on executive producers Beth Willis and Piers Wenger for alienating and "dismissing" longtime "Doctor Who" producers Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett, among other issues. However, Moffatt was quick to defend his friends against the Private Eye report.

If there is one silver lining to this situation, it's that Matt Smith will still be playing the Doctor in 2013 when the 50th anniversary of the franchise arrives. In his remarks, Cohen did confirm that special plans to celebrate that milestone are already underway. And I wouldn't be surprised if some former Doctors end up returning to the series as a part of those plans.

What do you think about the current "Doctor Who" situation? Let us know in the comment section below.