Doctor Who first full episode leaked
He's battled aliens, monsters, robots and (most memorably) the scariest statues ever carved, but it appears Doctor Who has met his match with a very 21st century foe - hackers.
The BBC has been hit by yet another problem for the upcoming series of Doctor Who with confirmation the first episode of season eight, Peter Capaldi's debut as the 12th Doctor, has been leaked online weeks before its air date.
Scripts for the first five episodes had already surfaced after they were downloaded by hackers who discovered the BBC Worldwide's server in Miami, where translations were being made, had been left unsecured.
At the time it was believed the work print of six episodes from season eight, including the premiere titled Deep Breath, had been missed, but late Monday copies began to appear on illegal download sites.
Black and white, covered in watermarks and with effects missing, the video copies are still clear enough to be watched and show what Who fans have been waiting eagerly to see, Capaldi in action.
Who forums and social media sites lit up with impromptu reviews, with some fans saying Capaldi was taking the character in a much-needed darker direction after the fun of Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. Others were shocked to see the beloved character apparently willing to put others in harms way to meet his ends.
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who, with Jenna Coleman.
Either way, fans were clearly watching and talking about the episode they should not have been able to see until late August.
The BBC and Doctor Who producers moved quickly to ask fans not to watch the leaked episode, pointing out it would in no way measure up to the completed product, but by Tuesday morning more than a thousand copies were available online with the number growing.
A BBC Worldwide spokesperson told Radio Times the server had been shut down and an investigation was under way.
"This is part of BBC Worldwide's ongoing security investigation into leaked unfinished Doctor Who materials," the spokesman said. "This content is currently being removed and originates from the same Miami server disabled last week, it is not a new issue."
Fans were urged not to watch the leaked episode or discuss plot lines.
"We would like to make a plea to anyone who might have any of this material and spoilers associated with it not to share it with a wider audience so that everyone can enjoy the show as it should be seen when it launches. We know only too well that Doctor Who fans are the best in the world and we thank them for their help with this and their continued loyalty."
So far only Deep Breath has surfaced.
For those willing to wait, there is another - legal - way to see what's in store for Doctor Who, thanks to an extended trailer released by the BBC.
More than one minute long it reveals new aliens and cyborgs, a Tyrannosaurus Rex attacking London and the Doctor's most dangerous enemy the Daleks.
Most importantly, it shows a very different, much tougher Doctor heading (in his own words) "into darkness" and asking his companion Clara (Jenna Coleman): "Am I a good man?"
"I... don't know," she replies.
Sydney Morning Herald