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Published on May 22nd, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

NAO = The End of Time Itself?

Okay, coalition government, what have you got for us this time?

By the looks of it, the Conservative-Liberal Democrats have had a few words (and by a few, I mean 36 pages worth) with the National Audit Office (NAO) and apparently loved them so much that they decided to give them full access to the BBC’s money-spending habits!  How very kind of them.

Doctor Who - is BBC drama set for further cuts?If you recall, this comes as no surprise to anyone who was closely following the BBC’s popularity amongst the candidates for Prime Minister pre-”election,” as both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had indicated plans to hand over the keys of budget-scrutinizing to the NAO even before David Cameron took office.

While many are fearing that the BBC is under threat of being commandeered by the government and possibly being used to push political agendas, the government has stated plans to “maintain” its independence… at least for now.  You may remember that both Who-producer-incumbent Steven Moffat and his predecessor Russell T. Davies have expressed fears of a Tory government bringing about the downfall of the BBC altogether.  Back in December, Davies predicted that under this government, the appearance of a BBC defeat would not be evident at first:

“They want the votes but once they get in they are going to be absolutely vicious. I think the BBC has got five or six years left.  They’ll dismantle it slowly. It’ll get smaller and smaller until it just supports Radio 4 and some news.”

Could this be the first of many rungs on a ladder to the BBC’s certain doom?

And what does all this mean for Doctor Who?  Naturally, if the BBC is wiped from the face of the earth, so will be our favorite weekly forty-five minutes of television.  But long-term concerns aside, what if the government has a look at the Beeb’s Whovian budget and determines it too hefty?  Will the show face more cuts?

Even if the Doctor’s bank account gets slashed a little more, we likely needn’t worry.  We’ve already seen how the production team is able to fare with less money, and so far they’ve given us one of the best seasons yet of the new series.  Where Doctor Who is concerned, less cash tends to yield a broader scale of creativity.  More brainpower leads to better stories.  Improved episodes contribute to a happier society.  Good news can be found in every piece of bad news, right?  I suppose we’ll have to wait to find out as this “BBC vs. the government” drama begins to unfold.

(Via Digital Spy)


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

5 Responses to NAO = The End of Time Itself?

  1. avatar SpaceLizard says:

    If the BBC is done away with, couldn’t a commercial network buy the rights to Doctor Who? It’s certainly lucrative enough to interest them.

  2. avatar Rick714 says:

    Continuing the appreciated, optimistic approach…

    Doctor Who really is at it’s best when it’s forced to be creative and as always, it’s down to the writing, which is in good hands. While it would be a crime to have the BBC dismantled, governments have done far more stupid things so of course it’s possible. I hope that they manage to fit in the 50th anniversary (season 34) of Doctor Who before the end comes, if it does.

    Note to the Mill: perhaps a good, long term side project that might yield great benefits would be to start working on the CGI models of past Doctors now…

  3. avatar Patrick Riley says:

    Ah, but SpaceLizard, you have to ask yourself, would Doctor Who really be the Doctor Who we know and love if it was run by a commercial network?

    And Rick, as for your CGI comment, I’ve been thinking the exact same thing!

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