Steven Moffat hints at the end of two-part stories for Doctor Who
Steven Moffat has hinted the seventh season of Doctor Who will not feature any two-part stories.
The end of episode cliff-hangers were a stable of the original series of Doctor Who; often or not the Doctor or his companions would be facing certain death at the hands of a something nasty. The original series ran for twenty six years and produced hundreds of cliff-hangers over the course of its run. When Doctor Who returned in 2005 the format of the episodes was changed so they were 45 minutes in length instead of 25 minutes as per the original series (bar a Colin Baker season and a few other exceptions). The number of episodes for each season was also different; just 13 meaning most of the episodes were standalone with only a few two-part stories.
Well writing in the new issue of the Doctor Who Magazine showrunner Steven Moffat has hinted the next series of Doctor Who may lack two-part stories. Yes, Doctor Who may be ditching the two-part stories, and possibly the end-of-episode cliff-hangers as they are now, because the writer feels they actual harm the series than do more good.
“I was looking at the facts and stats and it’s not true that the two-parters save us money. We’ve assumed it for years. They don’t save us money at all. Not a penny. So what’s the point in them? The viewing figures always go down. The AI goes down, even if the second episode is the better one. The press coverage goes down. The trailers are a bit boring. I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.” – Steven Moffat in the Doctor Who Magazine
The sixth season of Doctor Who featured several two-part stories; The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon, The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People and A Good Man Goes To War and Let’s Kill Hitler although the two stories were only closely linked in terms of the River Song (Alex Kingston) arc. The problem with two-part stories is the commonly held belief that part two is always a let down – this is true for most stories that do two-part stories. The resolution to everything built up in the first part is a disappointment to the audience and doesn’t do justify to the first part of the story. There are examples of that within the two-part stories that Doctor Who has produced since it was revived in 2005 and in fact plenty of original series stories were the resolution to a story didn’t do the episodes justice.
However, with the new series a long way off its too early for fans to lament the end of the two-part story. Things change, situations change and who knows; Moffat may well change his mind between now and then and may even be toying with fans somewhat.
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