Doctor Who used to have a pretty aggressive schedule, showing 13 episodes a year plus a Christmas special during the Eccleston and Tennant seasons. But ever since Steven Moffat took over running the show, the pace of new episodes has been slowing. We only had five episodes, plus the Christmas special, in 2012.
And now, it's looking as though we'll be facing a similarly long gap between new episodes in 2013, if a banner the BBC put up at the London Toy Fair is anything to go by. The banner claims we'll get the remaining eight episodes of season seven this spring, starting March 30, and then... nothing, except for the 60-minute anniversary special in November. There's not even a mention of a Christmas special. And then, presumably, season eight starts sometime in 2014.
As Bleeding Cool somewhat drily observed: "Steven Moffat has said that his show would "take over television" for the anniversary. That's starting to look like something of an exaggeration." It's definitely a bit disappointing, since it appeared as though we would be getting onto a schedule of seasons airing in the spring and fall every year. Of course, the word "includes" implies we might be getting more than that, too. Meanwhile, there's also a docudrama about the original creation of Doctor Who, plus some other restrospective programming ("Revisited").
In any case, the fact that the anniversary special is only 60 minutes long appears significant, too — this is basically the same as one of the show's Christmas specials, although the length may change once they've filmed the thing. My guess is, it'll deal with the "Fields of Trenzalore" thing Moffat set up back in 2011, and will probably feature brief cameos from some past Doctors — I'm guessing using the same sort of timey-wimey, in media res stuff Moffat always loves to do. That's just a guess, though. [DoctorWhoTV]