All those red alerts, all that dancing
As you probably have heard, BBC Worldwide have gone public with an appeal to fans not to spoil the surprises of the first five episodes of Series 8 for other fans. As it appears, the shooting-ready scripts for the first five episodes with the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, have been leaked online. Apparently, the leak is connected to the transmission of the scripts to the new BBC base in Miami, Florida. Part of the statement released by BBC Worldwide reads:
“BBC Worldwide is currently investigating a security issue around Doctor Who Series 8 where unfinished material has inadvertently been made public. We deeply regret this and apologise to all the show’s fans, the BBC and the cast and crew who have worked tirelessly making the series.
“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.”
This isn’t the first time that BBC Worldwide have goofed up: first, they send out copies of the Series 7 boxsets too early, nearly spoiling the events of The Name of the Doctor for parts of its fanbase, and then there were rumours of a leaked email heralding the exit of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor some time before the BBC would have liked to make an official announcement. Plus, I seem to recall an incident of someone pressing a button too soon and an Anniversary prequel being published a day early?
An episode guide, spoilers, and so, so many men
In other news, The Gallifrey Times has updated its episode guide to Series 8, presumably not aided by the script leak. Proceed with caution: only click the link if you don’t mind spoilers and seeing set pictures of on-location filming and the Doctor and Company in full costume.
Something that I think I can talk about without spoiling anyone — mostly because it just doesn’t come as a surprise anymore — is the fact that all the episode scripts were written by men, and that all directors are male as well, with the notable exceptions of Sheree Folkson and Rachel Talalay. There have been recent Doctor Who novels written by women, Jacqueline Rayner is an integral part of the New Series Adventures team — but funnily enough, the last episodes written by a woman were Helen Raynor’s Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks and The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky. On the whole, only a handful of episodes or serials have ever been written entirely by female writers. The show has a slightly better history with female (executive) producers, but it’s still utterly ridiculous how few women have been able to join the writing team, especially in the past few years.