I told you I would be back with this stuff.
Evidently Twitter exploded earlier today with the news that Series 7 would NOT be entirely broadcast during 2012. Some people are taking this in stride, some are freaking out and declaring THE END IS NEAR AND WE ARE GOING TO DIIIIIIIEEEE!!! while curled up in the fetal position and cuddling our security scarves and fezzes.
First of all - the panic mode response is understandable. Whovians know well that Doctor Who can be taken away just as much as it can be brought back. Even those of us who didn't experience the Wilderness Years feel it - if there's even so much as a sniff that Doctor Who is not doing well for the BBC, we automatically assume the worst. And through the use of Twitter and Facebook and what-have-you, bad news travels like wildfire - even news that might not have been reported or understood accurately in the early moments of its breaking. Consequently, panic gets compounded and everyone goes nuts.
However - after careful thought and consideration - this is not a bad thing. Take a deep breath, everyone - NOTHING BAD IS HAPPENING HERE.
To illustrate: here's a list of facts (all are from reputable sources, even if I don't have those sources handy):
1. Doctor Who is consistently rated among the highest programs on BBC. Series 6 also garnered record numbers for BBC America and the Canadian Space Channel (and it was one of the most well-advertised shows - you couldn't walk anywhere without tripping over a Doctor Who on BBCA advertisement. If a station spends that much money on something, they have an interest in seeing it succeed).
2. The BBC has commissioned 14 episodes for next season. They may not all be aired in 2012 - in fact Lizo Mzimba from the BBC tweeted that some episodes will be aired in 2012 and some will be aired in 2013. My guess is that it'll be over Fall/Winter 2012-13 with a break over Christmas or something.
3. Both Steven Moffat and Matt Smith have signed on at least through 2013. Emphasis on at least.
4. London has the 2012 Olympics. Now, you may not know this, but the Olympics are a Big Freaking Deal. I was in high school during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics and that sucker was EVERYWHERE. For two weeks no one cared about the Utah Jazz or college sports or anything else that is usually on the minds of Utahns in February - everything was constantly Olympics, Olympics, Olympics. All the local sports teams had to be on the road during the Olympics because the sporting venues were needed for Olympic events. Even before the Olympics - after Nagano and Sydney - there was so much hype and lead-up going in that you couldn't turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper or go to a school assembly without seeing something Olympic-related. And these were just the Winter Olympics, which are typically smaller than the Summer Olympics. I imagine that the BBC is going to have to rearrange a few things for London 2012 - and seeing as how Doctor Who has been airing in the late spring-early summer, that may have to change.
5. After listening to Radio Free Skaro's latest episode with the guys from Tachyon TV, I am personally convinced that it would be better to air Doctor Who in the fall/winter. Personally, I have more time to sit down and watch TV in the fall and winter just because the weather's colder and it's a calmer time of year. There are less things going on in the fall, life has become more routine and settled and it's just a good time to unwind from all the crazy party-type stuff that's gone on through the summer (I am convinced that summer is the most stressful time of year - even more than school or finals or even Christmas. At least you have a reasonable limit on how long Christmas is going to last). Not that I wouldn't watch Doctor Who in the summer (are you kidding me? I just came off of seven straight weeks of Series 6!), but I would love to be able to look forward to Doctor Who in the fall.
5a. Which is exactly what we're getting this September - Series 6, part 2 in the fall.
6. Four Words: Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary. November 23, 2013 marks 50 years since Doctor Who first aired and EVERYBODY is going to be doing something for that. I'm certain there will be a special aired on that date, but I think it would be even cooler to have an actual season of Doctor Who in full swing for the 50th anniversary. Proving that this little show that started out as a kids' educational program can weather all kinds of cast changes, production woes, executive meddling and criticism and come back as strong as ever with as many fans that love it - whether they're fans who grew up with it in the 70s and 80s or if they're newbies that just started with the new series.
So do not despair, my friends. For once, Auntie Beeb knows what she's doing