Doctor Who returns to our screens in a matter of weeks, but we’re holding out hope for another spin-off.
Having first appeared in 2011’s “A Good Man Goes To War”, the Paternoster Gang (consisting of Silurian Madame Vastra, her human maid and wife Jenny Flint, and their Sontaran butler Strax) have since appeared in several important episodes of Doctor Who. As well as featuring in several of their own prequels and web-based videos, our favorite Victorian crime fighting gang have also cropped up in “The Snowmen,” “The Crimson Horror,” and the series 7 finale “The Name of the Doctor.”
Since they first united to help the Doctor save Amy from Demon’s Run, fans have been crying out for a spin-off show. Their subsequent appearances have been a bit more polarizing, with several fans wanting more, and several others wanting a painful and permanent death for the trio. The “pro-Paternoster” camp have won out, as Vastra, Jenny, and Strax will all be back in full force to welcome Peter Capaldi into the role of the Twelfth Doctor when series 7 premieres with “Deep Breath” on August 23.
Here at Hypable, we love the Doctor’s merry band of misfits, and love the idea of a fully-fledged spin-off show. To try and convince the naysayers among you (or those who haven’t really given it much thought), we’ve prepared a list of seven reasons why a Paternoster Gang spin-off show would be a great idea. Check them out below, and be sure to let us know what you think!
1. Fill the ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off void
Not too long ago, Doctor Who fans had so much new content pouring in all of the time that it was often hard to keep up. With Dreamland only lasting one series, the tragic and abrupt conclusion to Sarah Jane Adventures, and the seemingly never-ending hiatus of Torchwood, suddenly we feel a bit starved. A Paternoster Gang spin-off would fill the void in any Whovian’s heart, while maintaining enough uniqueness to separate if from past efforts. Which leads us on to…
2. Bridge the gap between series
Unlike fans of American television shows, Doctor Who fans often have to suffer long and agonizing waits between each new series. Not including specials, Capaldi’s debut run comes fifteen months after series 7, which itself didn’t begin until nearly a year after series 6 (and had a six-month hiatus in the middle of it). Each new batch of episodes are always worth the wait, but a new spin-off would help bridge the gap between one series finale and another’s premiere.
3. Potential cameos
Last year’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary gave us a feast of Doctor returns, including Tom Baker, David Tennant and Paul McGann alongside Matt Smith and John Hurt. Ever since, fans have been wanting more appearances from Timelords past. Understandably, the production team wants to give Peter Capaldi a clear run to establish himself. But a spin-off would allow these fan-pleasing cameos without interfering with canon. Matt Smith has stated on several occasions that he’s already asked Steven Moffat when the “earliest” he’ll be allowed back into the universe is. Since we know the Doctor has history with Vastra, Jenny, and Strax that pre-dated their Who debut, this would give the Eleventh Doctor a quick potential to return. We could even go further back, seeing the first time the Doctor (a different incarnation) met the trio in a similar style to the River Song arc. Clara, the Great Intelligence, and other villains from the show could also make guest appearances.
4. The Victorian setting
The gang’s home of Victorian London gives the period-drama loving BBC a chance to put a unique spin on the era. With aliens, historical villains and even famous figures able to appear in the show, the mish-mash of genres provides plenty of opportunities for unconventional storytelling.
5. The ‘Sherlock’ spin
Sherlock Holmes is a hot property right now, with The Moff’s own hit show, the Robert Downey Jr. movies, Elementary, and the upcoming Ian McKellen film all picking up plenty of fans industry buzz. Since Madame Vastra has had more than a hint of the great detective about her (with references to the Strand magazine, her sleuth status, and more), a Sherlock style Silurian has plenty of potential as a show.
6. The perfect blend of scares and humor
Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are a diverse trio. With the former providing plenty of scares for children, the latter often giving comic relief, and Jenny bringing a relatable, human presence, there’s plenty on offer. The gothic, Victorian setting allows for plenty of melodramatic scares – but the hi-jinks of Strax in particular will have the children emerging from behind their sofa and laughing hysterically.
7. Flesh out the characters
If there’s one criticism we have of the Paternoster gang thus far, it’s that they’ve never really been given the character development they deserve. Often playing the support for big, important episodes, they don’t really get the chance to go beyond their bog standard stereotypes. Giving them their own show would give the characters a chance to breathe, and make them more rounded personalities if they ever pop up in Doctor Who again.