British director Ben Wheatley is best-known for his 'modern-day folk horror' films like Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England, but he'll be turning his hand to more family-friendly fare in 2014. Wheatley has agreed to helm the first two episodes of Doctor Who's eighth series next autumn (the first to star Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor).
Ben Whealey has commented:
"I am very excited and honoured to be asked to direct the first two episodes of the new series of Doctor Who. I've been a fan since childhood. I’ve been watching the current run of Doctor who with my son and have discovered it all over again. The work that has been done is amazing. I'm really looking forward to working with Peter Capaldi and finding out where Steven Moffat is planning to take the new Doctor."At first glance, it seems like a strange choice, but Wheatley's early career included directing TV with Johnny Vegas sitcom Ideal and short-lived sketch show The Wrong Door. It'll be interesting to see what sensibility he'll bring to Doctor Who, or if he's been chosen because the first few episodes of series 8 has subject-matter that's very much in his ballpark.
Wheatley is easily the biggest name the BBC have hired to directing an episode of Doctor Who, but I wonder if his addition serves a deeper purpose—similar to how The Descent's Neil Marshall helmed a Game of Thrones episode because it needed to be cinematic but within a HBO budget. Is there something only someone like Wheatley could be trusted to handle in Capaldi's first adventure, or did he get the job because he's a 'celebrity fan' who will inspire some online articles (like this one)?
[source: Screen Daily]