The mediaguardian website reports new dramas about pirates and the Three Musketeers are being developed to fill the gap when Doctor Who has a gap year in 2009. The time travelling adventurer has been a ratings winner for the BBC over the last three years, but will take a rest from production next summer, autumn and winter. Three specials will be made for broadcast in 2009, but that still leaves a yawning gap in the BBC's Saturday night schedule, especially as Doctor Who is appointment family viewing.
According to mediaguardian [registration required], the BBC itself is developing a family drama series based on the Dumas novel about swashbuckling adventurers in France, while top indie prodco Kudos is working on a show about pirates. [ITV is also looking to jump on the same Jolly Rodger, apparently.] The question is which show will make it to air [if any], and which will be made to walk the plank?
Twice in recent years the BBC has tried to craft a Saturday night drama from the Arthurian legends about Merlin the wizard, with nothing making it to screen. Tackling pirates is always going to be a challenge, as filming on water is notoriously difficult. Still, Kudos could do worse than look at a series called The Red Seas in 2000 AD - cracking good pirate fun with a supernatural twist. Juicy.