Too Much Tennant

The BBC has come under attack from The Mail this week under accusations of populism as the public service broadcaster utilized the services of several actors in more than one show, including Doctor Who star David Tennant.

In the article entitled “How Doctor Who (with a little help from Hamlet) took over the BBC” (which interestingly took 3 people to write) the fascist rag noted that Tennant will have made 75 appearances on TV and radio by the end of the Christmas period December 14th to January 3rd, 2010.  Interestingly many of these appearances are repeats, rather than Doctor Who promo work.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans (of the Culture Media and Sport select committee) said:

‘The BBC’s public service remit was always about bringing on fresh talent. Relying on such an overkill of one particular person is freezing out a lot of opportunity for a lot of up and coming people.’

He added: ‘Even the most dedicated fan might have thought that the BBC was turning into the David Tennant Corporation.

‘I know thanks to digital TV we have 200 channels, but 200 channels of David Tennant doesn’t seem to be much choice.’

For the interests of clarity and an archaic concept that I’m keen on called “truth” we would point out that David Tennant isn’t on 200 channels. We counted 9 including BBC HD.

Meanwhile the BBC responded:

‘These appearances were spread over several weeks and channels. We would not expect any one audience to see more than a handful.’

Over the past 15 years, both ITV and BBC have plied the British public with dramas starring David Jason, Sarah Lancashire, Michelle Collins, Kevin Whately, Robson Green and many, many more annoyingly familiar faces. Exactly how does David Tennant differ from any of these (other than being infinitely more watchable?

Of course, there are more important thanks going on in the world – something we should bear in mind and throw this nonsense into the wind with a nice bit of satire in The Shropshire Star:

“We can only apologise,” the spokesman added. “We’ve had him on everything from Desert Island Discs to Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and he even stood in hosting Jonathan Ross’s Radio 2 show on Boxing Day. But for one hour last night I’m afraid we simply didn’t mention him or Doctor Who.

“But hopefully the outrage will deflect attention from the fact that the Dr Who Christmas Day special wasn’t much cop…”


Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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