Doctor Who returns to the Big Screen with Harry Potter magic

The director behind the Harry Potter movies, David Yates, has said he’s embarking on turning long running science fiction drama Doctor Who into a film franchise.

In an interview with Variety Yates announced he is joining with BBC Worldwide to turn the cult time travel production into a big screen movie, one of possibly many.

“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” he told Daily Variety, adding “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.” Words which will sound alarm bells with the die-hard Doctor Who fans.

David Yates, director of the last four Potter films, and Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide top executive, are working on plans for the venture which will see the series, which originally launched in 1963, return once more to cinema audiences.

Doctor Who first went ‘big screen’ with two feature films in the sixties, which were based on previous BBC television aired storylines. Peter Cushing played the title role in both 1965 and 1966 movies, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. A less successful film version was produced in 1996, imaginatively titled, Doctor Who: The Movie starring Paul McGann as ‘the Doctor’.

The BBC television series ran originally until 1989, and was revived for a new generation in 2005. It has proved to have a steadfast loyal following, even through the years the series was off-air and is one of television’s most lucrative brands.

“The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time,” Yates continued.

The recent BBC revival has been criticised for not traveling into space remaining largely ‘grounded’ in earthly settings. And while fans may be pleased to hear Yates’ keenness to move into other dimensions in time and space he added that the big screen Doctor Who would not be moulded in the form of the current BBC One series starring Matt Smith in the title role.

“Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations… …we have to put that aside and start from scratch,” Yates told Daily Variety.

The director is currently looking for writers in the UK and America for the project, which will hopefully be more successful than the recent Torchwood British-US venture, which has seen many viewers post on ATV Today that the joint effort has ruined the latest series.