Doctor Who series 8: BBC apologises for leaked scripts and footage of Peter Capaldi in new role

Fans have been thanked for minimising the impact of a 'damaging mistake'

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The Independent Culture

The BBC has apologised for the recent leaking of new Doctor Who scripts and footage, blaming it on a “damaging mistake”.

A rough cut of first episode “Deep Breath”, starring Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Time Lord, ended up on the internet over a month before its scheduled 23 August broadcast date.

The footage, which also features Jenna Coleman as the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald, is in black and white without special effects.

It is believed that the error occurred when the scripts, along with other materials, were sent to BBC Worldwide’s new Latin America office in Miami for translation ahead of the planned global simulcast, but this has not been confirmed.

 “We would like to thank Doctor Who fans everywhere for their amazing efforts in helping us contain the recent leaks,” a statement from BBC Worldwide read.

“The mistake was damaging and resulted in the exposure of five scripts and the first six unfinished episodes from Series 8 on a publicly accessible FTP site.”


Although the risk that more content could emerge has been acknowledged, the statement reassured fans that “the impact has been contained to a limited amount” thanks to “fansite moderators and Doctor Who devotees”.

 “BBC Worldwide has taken this issue extremely seriously and disciplinary action has been implemented as a result of the incident,” it continued, emphasising its “sincere apologies” to showrunner Steven Moffat, the cast, production team and fans, all of whom “expect so much better”.

A premiere screening of the forthcoming sci-fi series is set to take place in Cardiff on 7 August before the team kick off their promotional world tour.

The first full-length trailer was released last Sunday. It involves a dinosaur outside the Houses of Parliament, Daleks and Cybermen. “Where are we going?” Clara asks, to which the Doctor replies: “Into darkness.”