According to the UK’s The Guardian, the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO will have, for the first time, a ‘split season’, airing half of the sixth season of the revived show with a mid-season cliff-hanger and break.
At the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, producer Steven Moffat (SHERLOCK) , explained DOCTOR WHO would run as two separate series (or seasons as we call them) , which will allow him to have two season premeiere and two cliff-hanging seaspn finales. He promises the mid-season finale will be “an earth-shattering climax”.
“I kept referring to a mid-season finale. So we are going to make it two series – seven episodes at Easter building to an earth-shattering climax, a cliffhanger we could never normally do because it would be too long before it came back. An enormous game-changing cliffhanger that will change everything.
What I love about this idea is that when kids see Doctor Who go off the air, they will be noticeably taller when it comes back. It’s an age for children. With an Easter series, an autumn series and a Christmas special, you are never going to be more than few months from the new series of Doctor Who.
Tart that I am, we will now have two first nights and two finales, twice as many event episodes as we had before.”
DOCTOR WHO will run for seven episodes in Spring 2011,and then return in the Fall for another six on the BBC. It’s not clear as yet how BBC AMERICA will be handling the break.
The SyFy Channel has been following this pattern for several years, often doing 20 episodes of a series, and spilting them into two seasons of ten episodes with a break of several months between them.
Steven Moffat also said that he would be staying with the show for now, not planning on leaving “for a while yet”.
Co-star Karen Gillan (who plays Amy Pond on the series). also attending the media event, said only that she was committed to DOCTOR WHO for the 2011 season.
Note: There is a video clip of Steven Moffat discussing the season break at the event to be found at the link above, which could not be embedded here.