Moffat says those 2-part episodes have been hurting Doctor Who

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Dec 16, 2012

Every day, fans (us included) speculate what will be included in 2012's seventh season of Doctor Who. In the most recent issue of Doctor Who magazine, Steven Moffat revealed one thing that season seven won't have—two-parters. Seriously.

As to the reason for the shift, Moffat said, "I was looking at the facts and stats and it's not true that the two-parters save us money. We've assumed it for years. They don't save us money at all. Not a penny. So what's the point in them? The viewing figures always go down. The AI [Audience Appreciation Index] goes down, even if the second episode is the better one. The press coverage goes down. The trailers are a bit boring. I want to be able to say, every week, we've got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what's going to happen next week! That's the form for next year."

Interesting point of order on this—the AI's change from part one to part two on any given episode is usually negligible. In fact, there are many occasions when it goes up. Look, AI is a nice way of saying "Did the audience actually like the episode?" In the grand scheme of things, that matters very little to the BBC. What does matter is viewership.

We're not prone to calling the Moff on the carpet, but let's cut to the chase—this is about money.

If we're going by which episodes put British butts in seats, the best episodes of this last season were The Impossible Astronaut and Let's Kill Hitler, clocking in at 8.86 and 8.10 million views respectively.

Why did they do so well? In the case of The Impossible Astronaut, it was a mix of it being a premiere and all the press surrounding the question of who would die. Then there was Let's Kill Hitler, which, frankly, succeeded on the title alone.

With that said, it should come as no surprise that our Mr. Moffat said of Let's Kill Hitler, "That was so exciting. I'm thinking, 'Can we do that every week?' You can sod off with poetic understatement." Being even more direct, he added, "I want slutty titles and movie-poster plots. I want big pictures and straplines."

With mixed reactions to the continuity-heavy season six, all of this actually makes a kind of sense. Still, this marks another major change for the show. Will you keep watching if Doctor Who tries to be Die Hard in a big blue box every week?

(via Doctor Who TV)