News: Peter Jackson To Direct An Episode of Doctor Who Series 10?

Peter Jackson seems to have announced his next project... an episode of Doctor Who!

In the middle of the night last night, Peter Jackson inconspicuously posted a video to his Facebook page. It's a cheeky bit of self-aware comedy in which he and his daughter are seated at his kitchen table, and she is bugging him about actual work he should be doing while he's busy polishing his pile of Oscars. But then the video takes a turn... and seemingly turns into an announcement that Jackson will be directing an episode of Doctor Who for next year's series ten!

"I've come from the future 
to warn you that The Hobbit
is too short a novel to be three films!"
Granted, he doesn't actually state that he has signed on to direct an episode... but when The Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, shows up in the video (along with another surprise guest-star), what else could it possibly mean? This won't be the first time that Peter Jackson has done some work related to the series – he and Ian McKellen made a very funny cameo in one of the videos surrounding its 50th anniversary, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot – but getting such a high-profile filmmaker to actually direct an episode of Doctor Who is huge. This is the latest in a series of moves by showrunner Steven Moffat to place the beloved show on the same level as prestigious cable programs like Game of Thrones. Moffat has brought on famous writers like Neil Gaiman to pen episodes, and has signed A-list guest-stars like Richard E. Grant, Nick Frost, John Hurt and GoT's Maisie Williams, but getting an Oscar-winning film director to step behind the camera is certainly taking things to the next level. Coming off of one of Doctor Who's finest seasons, this is just another reason to be very excited for series ten.

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This is also a very good move for Peter Jackson. The last directorial work we've seen from him was the much-maligned Hobbit trilogy, which he recently described as a very messy and troubled experience in a brutally honest interview. It looks very much like his run of mega-budget epic filmmaking got too big, and hurt his creative process; an admission of what fans had already suspected. Getting back to his roots with a more modest budget and an emphasis on creative storytelling could be exactly what Jackson needs. After all, he made his name on smaller-budgeted films like the wild grand-guignol Dead-Alive and the powerful psychological drama Heavenly Creatures before he moved up to the Hollywood A-list. Directing an episode of Doctor Who could be just the thing to get him back on track after The Hobbit, and will also likely result in a truly great entry for the series.

Hopefully this video will be followed shortly by an official announcement from the BBC. But really, it's only fitting that the guy whose wild sense of humor gave us Dead-Alive would make the announcement in such a hilarious way.

- Christopher S. Jordan