Bringing the doctor to New Zealand

Last updated 08:49 24/08/2013
Steven Moffat
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GREAT INTELLIGENCE: Doctor Who executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat.

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Doctor Who's executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat says he will give New Zealand director Sir Peter Jackson the Dalek he wants to direct an episode.

Moffat, speaking to Frank Skinner at the AdLibComedy event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Thursday, said The Hobbit director would direct an episode of the show.

''He's serious about it,'' Moffat is reported by various media outlets including the BBC Radio Times to have said.

''We talked at The Hobbit premiere - he just wants a Dalek. So we'll give him a Dalek and he'll direct an episode.''

BBC spokeswoman Emma Hammond told the Waikato Times Moffat, also the brains behind Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbach, was not available for interview after his appearance at the festival.

Wellington based Doctor Who writer Neil Cross, who has said he'd like to set an episode in New Zealand, is also at the festival with fellow writer Neil Gaiman.

He could not be contacted either.

Doctor Who is usually filmed at BBC Wales' Cardiff Bay studios, with some location work in Britain and Europe. But the show's star Matt Smith suggested a trip down under in an interview with the Waikato Times last September which quickly had Sir Peter asking him to name a time and a place for filming.

''I think he'd like to us to go to New Zealand,'' Moffat said at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. ''I think it's entirely possible.''

Sir Peter, up to his eyeballs in the second of his trilogy based on JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, posed with his collection of Dalek and Cybermen costumes from the classic era of the 50 year old BBC show for Entertainment Weekly in March. Then he teased:

"They don't even have to pay me. But I have got my eye on one of those nice new gold-coloured Daleks. They must have a spare one (hint, hint)."

The Hobbit associate producer Matt Dravitzki, speaking on Sir Peter's behalf, sais yesterday: ''This is all rumour and hearsay and we have nothing to report. We're making The Hobbit and we will be for another 18 months yet. The story seems to be perpetuated by the media rather than the people involved.''

But Bring Doctor Who to NZ Facebook page founder Paul Barlow, from Hamilton, said Moffat and Sir Peter were playing games with fans.

''It's like telling us we're going to get a really big Christmas present, but they won't say what it is or which Christmas we're going to get it . . . if we get it at Christmas at all,'' Mr Barlow said.

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He expected New Line Cinema not to release Jackson from his contract for The Hobbit trilogy for one episode of a television show even if it was one as big as Doctor Who in tis 50th anniversary year.

''I reckon if there's anything official it won't be till after he's wrapped on The Hobbit, which would be mid way through next year at least. It could be 2015 before we see it happen here.''

''With the 50th anniversary episode coming up on November 23 the BBC will want to hold off any formal announcement involving Peter Jackson for fear of overshadowing that television event!" 

Jackson and Moffat are obviously fast friends, having collaborated on Tin Tin, with the Doctor Who show runner having fun with a Red Carpet News interviewer at the British Academy of Film and Television Award in May.

When asked if there was anything he could do to push Sir Peter along Moffat grinned: ''Like what? Bribe him? Blackmail him? What are you suggesting? Kidnap him? Put him in a crate and ship him to the UK? He'll be terrified. Poor old Peter. Peter I'm not going to kidnap you, it's OK!''

Actor Peter Capaldi will assume the role of the Doctor from Smith on Christmas Day and last week Cross said ''never say never'' about the prospect of Capaldi filming an episode in New Zealand with Sir Peter at the helm before he left for Edinburgh.

- Stuff


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