This is really a test of my personality. Is the glass half full or half empty...
Doctor Who season 6 (which feels like a very strange thing to say since the show has been on since the 60's, but never mind) is returning to the BBC for their spring break. It will run for a while, then a mid-season cliffhanger. The show will return in the fall to finish off the season.
The split transmission is the result of a request from Steven Moffat to write a new Doctor Who story arc which involves a big plot twist in the middle of the series. By splitting the series Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting Doctor Who cliffhangers and plot twists ever, leaving them waiting, on the edge of their seats, until the autumn to find out what happens (Scifi Pulse).
Moffat is spinning this as a glass whole, full glass:
The split series is hugely exciting because viewers will be treated to two premieres, two finales and more event episodes. For the kids it will never be more than a few months to the next Doctor Who! Easter, Autumn, Christmas (Scifi Pulse)!!
I really want to see it that way too, but (long slow sigh) it feels like more of gimmick to me than a feature.
Don't get me wrong. I grew up on the mid-season cliffhanger, but they are talking about this like it has never been done before. I am also a little concerned that this the sort of thing that might jump the series over the shark.
Since Doctor Who returned to the air, its greatest feature has been the tight stories and the mystery that drips out from episode to episode. Once you insert a mid-season cliffhanger, then the finale has to top it... That is a dangerous game to play, especially with a series that just destroyed and recreated the universe.
Don't get me wrong. I am excited to get more episodes of Doctor Who a year, I just don't want them to do anything that will take the focus of the characters and the stories.
All that said, I trust Stephen Moffat. He is a fan like us, and he wouldn't do this if he didn't feel it was what was best for the series. I also assume (sorry Uma) that this is the year they will start to reveal the secrets of River Song, and that she will "kill" the Doctor in the mid-season Cliffhanger. But that is pure speculation.