* Or series 33 depending on your point of view
Doctor Who series seven has been given the greenlight with Matt Smith returning for another 14 episodes (including a Christmas special). This was announced by Sam Hodges , Head of Communications for BBC1, Fiction, Daytime and HD via Twitter and later confirmed by Steven Moffat on the same social networking system.
Hodges Tweeted: “#DoctorWho is returning. Fourteen new episodes have been commissioned with Matt Smith as The Doctor #bbc1”
Moffat followed up with: “14 eps + Matt DEFINITELY. I've got a plan and I'm NOT TELLING YOU WHAT IT IS. Now hush or River shoots you with her Spoiler Gun.#formaqueue”
This unusual method of announcing such news seems to have been prompted by two other news stories in the past few days that sent the internet into a flurry of speculation about the show’s future. Satirical magazine Private Eye Tweeted: “So. Farewell then #Doctor_Who -- full story on the chaos at the BBC (and in the Tardis) in the new issue of Private Eye ” in a clearly desperate attempt to boost sales, while The Sunday Mirror claimed that Matt Smith was off to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune. The Private Eye story then claimed: “Programme chiefs in London were horrified to learn recently that BBC Wales is proposing not to make a full series of Doctor Who in 2012, but instead to put the programme on hiatus and merely bash out four specials as it did in 2009. Which will leave an enormous hole in the BBC1 Saturday night schedule and a bigger one in the profits of BBC Worldwide, and will mean the corporation will be paying lead actor Matt Smith to spend most of the rest of this year doing nothing.” No need to worry about your licence fee going to waste now though (and, oddly, their own story didn’t even back up their sensationalist “Farewell then #Doctor_Who” claim).
However, as some internet speculation has pointed out, niether of the BBC tweets (from Moffat and Hodges) mention when series seven would air. Let those conspiracy theories gestate…
Meanwhile, at least one writer (other than Steven Moffat) seems to have been revealed for series seven: The Doctor Who News Page reports that writer John Fay is listed as writing an episode according to his representatives’ website, Culverhouse & James Ltd (although the reference appears to have been removed now). Fay wrote two episodes of Torchwood: Children Of Earth , as well as another episode of the upcoming Torchwood: Miracle Day .