Because before this series, none of them had directed Doctor Who. Zip. Zero. Nada. I have as much experience of directing Doctor Who as they do. (the closest is Way, who worked on Torchwood and some Who Tardisodes).
And that list has no Euros Lyn. No Graham Harper. Both of whom have done sterling work with RTD and Tennant (and have nothing on at the moment, according to the IMDB).
Is it just me, or is that risky? You’re turning your back on a lot of understanding, skill and knowledge there, which for a new production team may have come in more than handy. What’s more as a viewer, if I saw their names on the screen I knew we would be ok, as a safe pair of hands was at the tiller.
@MerseyMal rightly points out that Harper was the only person with experience in 2005 so this is not unprecedented, but the bar was set far lower then too compared to now.
Of course, I suppose it is not totally unexpected given Moffat’s desire to make the show his own and to make it sufficiently different to its predecessor, but still I think it is a gamble.
And when you dig a little deeper, it is interesting when you see the background of the directors of seven of the episodes. Moreover, it backs up what I believe the type of promotion we have been seeing reveals – that new Who is being pitched for a younger audience.
Adam Smith, who directs the opener and Weeping Angels two-parter, and the director of episodes two and three Andrew Gunn – both come from a youth TV background, working on Skins and Hollyoaks respectively.
Toby Haynes – who directs the two-part closing story – also cut his teeth on MI High and Hollyoaks, as well as Spooks Code 9.
Yes, they have gone on to work on other shows – notably Life on Mars, Being Human and Ashes to Ashes – which bodes well given their pedigree as @seaneeboy suggested on Twitter, but given the similarities between their CVs, I think it shows a clear skill set that Moffat (who also started off in children’s TV with the sublime Press Gang) is looking to employ.
I may be wrong, with plenty of other shows popping up on the directors’ imdb pages while Morshead and Campbell come from an ‘older’ TV background, but it feels like a pattern, especially when placed alongside what we have seen so far.
Am I right (or a window licking conspiracy theorist) and more to the point is it a good thing? Well, we forget sometimes that Doctor Who is meant to be a children’s show to a degree, albeit with a lot of adult fans too, so why shouldn’t it go that way?
The set up was bound to change too, otherwise we’d still have RTD and Phil Collinson calling the shots.
But I don’t really want to watch Gallifrey 90210 either (although as @eddierobson says, change on that level is massively unlikely) , and still need some convincing this is the right way for the show to go if that is Moffat’s plan.
I guess the only way to find out is by watching on April 3, but if we get a lot more super-fast jump cuts and flashy pans than usual, I think we will know why.
UPDATE: Den of Geek have posted a spoiler free review of Doctor Who’s first episode, The Eleventh Hour, which includes this paragraph:
For arguably the biggest difference with this Doctor Who is it feels younger. That’s perhaps an inevitable observation given the age of the two leads, but there’s a feeling here that Moffat is playing on the fearlessness of youth as well in his writing. We’re not going down that path in detail because this is most certainly a spoiler-free write up. Yet even the way the show is directed by Adam Smith has a very modern urgency at times. However you look at it, there are certainly little evolutions to be found here.
I FUCKING KNEW IT!!!! SUCK ON THAT BAINBRIDGE!!