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Dr Who set for film transformation (2011)

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Dr Who set for film transformation: Hollywood Stars Depp And Carlyle In Tardis Running

THE last time the Time Lord made it onto the big screen, Peter Cushing emerged from the Tardis to take on Doctor Who's eternal foes - the Daleks.

Now, 45 years on, the BBC Wales-produced series could again be set for the transformation from small to big screen after Harry Potter director David Yates said he is planning a film version of the cult sci-fi show.

Yates, who made four of the films featuring JK Rowling's teenage wizard, said he was about to start on the job of bringing the Time Lord back to cinemas. He told Variety magazine it would take "two to three years" to get it right.

Cushing, then known as Van Helsing in the Hammer horror films, took on the cinematic role in Doctor Who And The Daleks in 1965 and Doctor Who: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD in 1966.

With periodic talk of a new movie ever since, Yates' comments were greeted with a mixture of excitement and caution by fans of the TV series.

Antony Wainer, of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, believes the show's "epic" concepts of space and time travel would translate well to the big screen.

He said: "The fans and myself are very excited about the concept of going to see Doctor Who on the big screen.

"It would be very interesting to know how the two narratives can run - the televisual narrative and the film narrative and how they cross over."

But Wainer said he believes the concept would reinvent itself for the film market, instead of simply adapting the TV series shot largely in Cardiff.

Yates suggests that neither Swansea-born Russell T Davies, who wrote the TV series between 2005 and 2010, or current writer Steven Moffat will be involved.

"Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. We're looking at writers now, and are going to spend two to three years to get it right.

"It needs quite a radical transformation for the bigger arena."

Yates said he would not rule out bringing in a US writer as long as they could provide "a British sensibility".

Last year, Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands actor Johnny Depp was heavily linked to a film version of Doctor Who.

But bookies William Hill have made Scottish actor Robert Carlyle favourite to take on the role of the doctor in a big screen version with odds of 2/1. Carlyle, who starred in The Full Monty, Eragon and Trainspotting, said he wanted to take over from David Tennant as the TV doctor in 2008, but lost out to current incumbent Matt Smith.

Depp was some way behind at 7/1, with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' Jason Statham (4/1) and Cold Feet and Bloody Sunday star James Nesbitt (6/1) seen as more likely to play a big screen doctor.

In the 1960s, the film makers opted for Cushing because they wanted to bring in a big name cinema star rather than going with the then TV doctor William Hartnell.

And Wainer believes the team behind any new film are likely to again go for cinematic gravitas to pull in a new audience.

It's a view shared by William Hill - who are offering odds of 10/1 on any TV doctor playing the role on the big screen.

Wainer added: "Immediately fans will ask, 'Is there an old doctor in it? Are they going to use the television doctor?' - all those kinds of considerations.

"They recast the doctor (for the 1960s films). It wasn't the television doctor - the doctor was played by Peter Cushing, who was then a very established Hammer actor.

"They went for gravitas that time, so they probably will do again."

A BBC spokesperson said the project remains in development with their Worldwide Production arm in Los Angeles. There was, as yet no script, cast or production crew in place.

Caption: Matt Smith is the TV Dr Who, having pipped Robert Carlyle

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  • APA 6th ed.: Devine, Darren (2011-11-16). Dr Who set for film transformation. Western Mail .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Devine, Darren. "Dr Who set for film transformation." Western Mail [add city] 2011-11-16. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Devine, Darren. "Dr Who set for film transformation." Western Mail, edition, sec., 2011-11-16
  • Turabian: Devine, Darren. "Dr Who set for film transformation." Western Mail, 2011-11-16, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who set for film transformation | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_set_for_film_transformation | work=Western Mail | pages= | date=2011-11-16 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who set for film transformation | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_set_for_film_transformation | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 November 2017}}</ref>