David Yates On For Doctor Who Movie

The Cloister Bell is ringing...

You hear that distant clamour? That’s the sound of a million heads exploding across the Internet even as you read this. Why the kerfuffle? The BBC and Harry Potter veteran director David Yates are teaming up to craft a big screen version of Doctor Who.

Yes, Gallifrey’s most famous son (sorry, Master) has been rumoured as a cinematic project before, but this time it’s looking much closer to official – even if “much closer” still means “a few years away.” "We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," Yates said in a statement picked up by Variety. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

But there’s an added wrinkle. Much like the two 1960s’ Peter Cushing-fronted movies, this will be a totally standalone adventure with nary a whiff of Matt Smith and co. "Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch," Yates says. Yes, folks, it’s real: the Doctor is now a brand and the Beeb is happy to spin off some completely independent version. Anger? Debate? Oh, both of them are kicking off right now.

Oh, and for those furrowing their brow at the screening and muttering “Doctor what?” A) that’s a bad pun and B) Doctor Who features the adventures of a Timelord called The Doctor, an alien who travels through space and time in a ship called the TARDIS, which remains stuck in the disguised form (at least on the outside) of a police box. The series originally ran from 1963 until 1989 before the Beeb cancelled it. But it returned wonkily for a US TV movie in 1996 before storming back triumphantly in 2005. It has been going strong ever since.

"The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time," Yates says about the idea. Yes, but it’s also one that comes with a massive, vocal fan base. So what do we think, folks? Bad idea? Brand-diluting disaster in the making? Or a chance to see some huge-scale adventure with all the wit and charm intact? You may start your arguments both here and on Twitter. Geronimo!