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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Chris Chibnall offered Series Eight Slot

There's a fair amount of news going around about Chris Chibnall just now. First off, we've already mentioned his participation in the TV Drama Writers' Festival, where he's been speaking about his most recent show, "Broadchurch". An ITV crime drama starring David Tennant and Arthur Darvill, the first series finished airing 15th April, with another year already confirmed. BBC America has bought the American rights, to air 7th August 10pm, and has just posted a trailer here.

The Mirror decided that now was a good time to publish an interview with Chibnall, in which he mentioned that Moffat had asked him to return to the series: “If we can get the schedules to work I will write for series eight, but obviously Broadchurch is my priority and that’s no small commitment. If their schedule and our schedule can work together then I’ll nip in and do one. Steven has asked and that’s very nice but it will just depend on the detail of schedules.” He also commented upon how much he enjoyed writing for Matt Smith as well: “I’d love to work with Matt again, he’s absolutely brilliant. I’d ­absolutely work with him at the drop of a fez. Matt is a brilliant actor and he can effortlessly become an even bigger star than he is already. The thing is he’s transformative and brilliant I think it’s great he’s off doing this movie role as a little break.” He also discussed "Broadchurch" and his interest in doing period drama.

Which is very interesting and all, but the headline for the article - "Doctor Who star Matt Smith could be heading to Broadchurch, writer reveals" - was thoroughly debunked by Chibnall just hours after the interview was posted to the Mirror website. He posted on his Twitter account that it was a "recycled old interview" and that he never mentioned casting Smith in "Broadchurch". The Radio Times helpfully reiterated his statements almost immediately, so that would seem to be that. One can only speculate as to why the Mirror decided to run the article now, rather than back when "Broadchurch" and "Doctor Who" were actually airing; perhaps, as Chibnall suggested, it simply was a slow news day and they were publishing unused material from an interview with him back in April. Despite the publicity blitz ITV1 gave the series ahead of broadcast, nobody really expected it to do anywhere near as well as it did. Maybe someone at the Mirror noticed that the BBC America "Broadchurch" trailer had used their admiring "Drama of the Year" quote and thought it was a good time for an article. The interview claims that Chibnall is just finishing up work on "The Great Train Robbery," a BBC One production, but his contribution to that was writing the scripts, not producing. The BBC started filming the two ninety minute films in March, so it's fair to guess that the interview did take place some time around then. Chibnall's in good company for his latest project, at any rate; there have been umpteen dramas and documentaries about the 1963 heist, including a 1988 film with Phil Collins and a 2012 ITV series starring Sheridan Smith (Big Finish Audios) as the titular "Mrs Biggs" and Daniel Mays ("Night Terrors") as Ronald Biggs.

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