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Published on July 16th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Matt Quits?

Murdoch tabloid The Sun has printed a story concerning the future of Doctor Who star Matt Smith – suggesting that he may quit the role at the end of his second series.

Doctor Who star Matt SmithSmith has only just come to the end of his first series as the Time Lord – in general, he’s made a great impression, and certainly seems to have worked very hard in the role.

According to the tabloid rumour-rag in question, Matt Smith has a “pal” who has told the paper:

“Matt plans to quit after the next series. He is eager to try new things and thinks Hollywood beckons.”

Whether Hollywood beckons or not, an actor of Matt’s verve and intelligence should know that the leafy suberb in California has little sway over the movie industry these days. Obviously it’s short hand – Smith wants to do more movies.

But does he really want to quit Doctor Who so soon? The article confirms that Smith is committed to a second series, and according to the BBC,

“Matt is filming the Christmas special and then goes on to film the second series. Beyond that, the BBC and Matt won’t speculate on things.”

Here’s hoping that we get at least three series out of Matt Smith.

(Via Den of Geek)

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About the Author

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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+.



42 Responses to Matt Quits?

  1. avatar Carn says:

    I’ll believe it when it happens, not by some rumour from a crap ‘newspaper’

  2. avatar Paul says:

    Matt has made similar comments in The Radio Times. I personally think there are a lot of indicators that Nu Who is going to end next year, and the show won’t be back again for some time.

    • avatar Kevin says:

      Not a chance. Doctor Who is now the BBC’s biggest earner.

  3. avatar Bow Ties Are Cool says:

    I think I remember Matt saying in his DWM interview that he’d like to still be playing the Doctor when he turns 30.

  4. avatar Paul says:

    And Colin Baker said he wanted to remain as the Doctor for seven years.

  5. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    Any chance you could share some of these indicators with us Paul? From where I’m sitting, all the indicators are that the BBC and the production team are committed to continue producing Doctor Who for many years to come. If you’ve got evidence to the contrary though, I’d like to see it.

  6. avatar bobbygaga says:

    This crap really gets me down. I think I’ll wait for some sort of official confirmation.

  7. avatar Paul says:

    1/ Matt Smith was given a two year contract, and now we hear for the second time, first in the RT and now in The Sun, that he’d leaving when it’s up. I know The Sun is a rag, but they do get some things right. For example, correctly stating that Billie Piper was going to quit the show after series 2.

    2/ There was no proper season of Doctor Who in 2009, just four specials. Why? Also RTD’s contract was not renewed. Why again? Possible answers are that the BBC are finding Doctor Who very expensive to produce, and they aren’t happy with the ratings as they generally stand. Perhaps getting Moffat in was a way of trying to boost the ratings a bit more, however, as it turned out, the general ratings average for series five is considerably down on the RTD era, which doesn’t look good from any perspective. Also…

    3/ This years Doctor Who was up and down the Saturday schedule like a tarts knickers. With start off times ranging from 6.22 pm, to 5.59 pm, to 7.02pm, to 6.41pm, to 6.39pm and finally to 6.06pm. You don’t have to be a scheduling genius to know that this kind of screwing about can really damage a shows standing, and usually, when a station starts doing this to a programme, it’s because they want to justify their canceling of it c.f. Top of the Pops.

    4/ The press appear to be turning on Doctor Who, and even the radio times have printed material that has been really quite damaging. Eccleston’s reasons as to why he left the show being a case in point.

    5/ Stations are turning away from big SF/Fantasy shows. Ashes to Ashes, Robin Hood, Survivors, Torchwood and Primeval have all been either canceled, or threatened with cancelation. Even SJA has only been garanteed two more seasons. Also, no more new SF/Fantasy programmes have been commissioned to replace them. This suggests that it’s only a matter of time before the show that inspired this rash of SF/Fantasy programmes is taken down itself.

    6/ Finally, there is the shift in the current political climate. Classic Doctor Who was a Cold War show, and one of the main reasons why the show fell out of favour originally was because the Cold War came to an end and the show failed to move on. However, when the show returned, it was against the backdrop of George W. Bush’s War on Terror. So the Doctor was again able to fight “evil Aliens/foreigners” without any fear of being called an unreconstructed xenophobe. But now America has a Black President, British troops are planning a withdraw from Afghanistan, and Bush’s ludicrous War on Terror has been dropped for good, so were then, does that leave the equally ludicrous Oncoming Storm?

  8. avatar G1000 says:

    Well, that’s one loaded way at looking at things, Paul.

    There are some valid points there, but there seems to be an awful lot read into them. Not sure I’d agree. And point six is so spurious. Make the link if you wish, but it reads as just plain silly.

  9. avatar Paul says:

    So G1000, it doesn’t strike you as remotely significant that almost every alien race the Doctor has met is in someway evil, an intending to stage an invasion of some form?

  10. avatar Rick714 says:

    >>1/ Matt Smith was given a two year contract,<>2/ There was no proper season of Doctor Who in 2009, just four specials. Why?<>Also RTD’s contract was not renewed. Why again?<>the general ratings average for series five is considerably down on the RTD era, which doesn’t look good from any perspective.<>This years Doctor Who was up and down the Saturday schedule like a tarts knickers.<>The press appear to be turning on Doctor Who, and even the radio times have printed material that has been really quite damaging. Eccleston’s reasons as to why he left the show being a case in point. <>Stations are turning away from big SF/Fantasy shows. Ashes to Ashes, Robin Hood, Survivors, Torchwood and Primeval have all been either canceled, or threatened with cancelation. Even SJA has only been garanteed two more seasons.<>Also, no more new SF/Fantasy programmes have been commissioned to replace them. This suggests that it’s only a matter of time before the show that inspired this rash of SF/Fantasy programmes is taken down itself.<>Finally, there is the shift in the current political climate….<<

    You descend into irrelevent posturing here. I wonder why you even bother to post here when loathe the whole show/process/situation? Once again, the maxim stays true:

    You can please some of the people all of the time,
    and you please all of the people some of the time,
    but you can never please an internet fan.

  11. avatar Rick714 says:

    My previous post was really condensed down and chopped up but the last thought represents it well enough.

  12. avatar Paul says:

    “Rick714 wrote:

    You descend into irrelevent posturing here. I wonder why you even bother to post here when loathe the whole show/process/situation? Once again, the maxim stays true:

    You can please some of the people all of the time,
    and you please all of the people some of the time,
    but you can never please an internet fan.”

    Thank you for trotting out the usual fanatical fan argument that “if you dislike various aspects of the show, you much by definition hate it all,” and “you can only be a true fan is you love the show unreservedly.”

    As for point six, I’m just amazed that you can’t see it. I’ll go through a point by point, episode by episode dissection if you like, but judging by the tone of your post, I don’t think you would like it one little bit, so I don’t think I’ll bother.

  13. avatar ChrisL says:

    Y’know, it’s the ridiculous immature/childish reasoning as expressed by “Rick714″ that really gets my goat!
    Just because somebody is critical of Dr Who doesn’t mean they hate the show and questioning whether or not they should post here is frankly appalling! For god’s sake grow up!

    If only sycophants are welcome here, because anybody else is considered “not worthy”, then this site can go and whistle up it’s own time vortex!

    Shameful, absolutely shameful.

  14. avatar Pcm979 says:

    While I’m loathe to believe the Sun on anything except matters of breast size, this still scares me. I hope it’s false, and if it isn’t then I hope someone gently tells Matt that breaking out in Hollywood is a myth, or at the very least a hundred-to-one chance. Leaving after only two years would be the biggest mistake he’d make in his life.

  15. avatar Paul says:

    “ChrisL wrote:

    If only sycophants are welcome here, because anybody else is considered “not worthy”, then this site can go and whistle up it’s own time vortex!”

    To be fair to Kasterborous, Rick714 doesn’t own, or speak for this site and I have, on the whole, found kasterborous’ reporting and willingness to accept the occasional criticism both refreshing and commendable. This is indeed, one of the best DW sites on the net.

    As for Rick714, he is a superb artist, and his comic book adaption of “The Daleks’ Master Plan” is going great guns,so perhaps we should cut him just a little slack, eh?;)

  16. avatar Sol 3 Native says:

    Hi Paul, I’m not sure your reasoning on some of those bits of evidence really withstands scrutiny.
    In order for simplicities sake:
    1) Are contracts longer than two years that common for actors? If so that may have been his intention at the time but given the extent to which he’s praised the show it’s quite possible that he’s changed his mind (people do) and that the Sun is recycling the RT quote on a slow news day as part of the anti-BBC narrative running at the moment?
    2)I think that was the plan for 2009 for a long time and I don’t get the impression that RTD was forced out of the job but had other projects he wanted to work on. Furthermore to suggest that the ratings needed boosting after his run seems ridiculous, it was an enourmously popular era for the show. Also when the ratings for this series are properly looked at there is in fact no dramatic drop this series.
    http://www.denofgeek.com/television/529040/doctor_who_ratings_putting_things_straight.html
    3)Equally could represent a faith in the show and its viewrship.
    4) If the press are turning on Dr Who it’s only part of the Conservative revival and attacks on the broder BBC. Many influential TV critics still sing the show’s praises (Caitlin Moran, Charlie Brooker).
    5)a) Has Dr Who even been straight up SF or Fantasy? It’s much more diverse with its genres I think.
    b) Can you think of any other kids TV shows that get two series commisions? That to me was a huge vote of confidence.

    I’ll leave 6, not something I’ve contemplated but an interesting theory. This isn’t intended to shout you down but rather to provide an laternative perspective on the evidence you’ve provided. : )

  17. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Paul I admire your directness and honesty even if I dont necessarily agree with everything you say-some things I do I may add.

    Sarah Jane was comissioned for two series to be filmed back to back to thus save costs.

    I also feel the show is subject to a limited shelf life anyway given that many of the younger actors are now young adults and outgrowing the demographic the show is aimed at.

    I also feel and still do that the RTD missed a golden opportunity to develop the show and move it to Saturday or Sunday teatime which I understand the BBC asked him to do but he said no because the show would need to be rebooted.

    In terms of comissioning si-fi, Torchwood has been comissioned for a fourth season and indeed Primeval for two more series which I understand BBC worldwide could have a hand in.

    I feel that if the BBC are unhappy with ratings or whatever else for that matter, then they will have shake up with the production team and try again.

    Lets be honest, aside from EastEnders, Strictly Come Dancing the occasional football match hosted by Gary Lineker, that comedy with those funny kids in whose name ecapes me, and one or two comedy quiz programmes,they dont have much else to offer and indeed that people want to watch.6-8 million per episode is only achieved by very few of these programmes as well.

    PS Rick714.

    Amazing work on the Dalek Master Plan. Fantastic.

  18. avatar Paul says:

    “Leosw4 wrote:

    Sarah Jane was comissioned for two series to be filmed back to back to thus save costs.

    I also feel the show is subject to a limited shelf life anyway given that many of the younger actors are now young adults and outgrowing the demographic the show is aimed at.”

    I agree with all of this, however, as with Grange Hill and also Doctor Who, if they wanted to extend the life of SJA all they’d have to do is introduce new characters.

    “I also feel and still do that the RTD missed a golden opportunity to develop the show and move it to Saturday or Sunday teatime which I understand the BBC asked him to do but he said no because the show would need to be rebooted.”

    As far as I understand it, CBBC wanted an adventure series featuring the “young Doctor Who” but RTD, quite rightly said, “No way, I’ve got a better idea.” However, although the pilot of SJA did have a later timeslot when shown a few Xmas’ back, it failed to get the audiences required.

    “In terms of comissioning si-fi, Torchwood has been comissioned for a fourth season and indeed Primeval for two more series which I understand BBC worldwide could have a hand in.”

    But as I said in my previous post, both faced cancellation at one point, and Torchwood will not be returning until 2011, and then, it will be greatly changed.

    “Lets be honest, aside from EastEnders, Strictly Come Dancing the occasional football match hosted by Gary Lineker, that comedy with those funny kids in whose name ecapes me, and one or two comedy quiz programmes,they dont have much else to offer and indeed that people want to watch.6-8 million per episode is only achieved by very few of these programmes”

    All true, but Doctor Who is more expensive then the above programmes you mention and I feel thatthis may very well be the deciding factor.

  19. avatar Andrew says:

    I’d never believe anything the Sun prints, who is this “pal” anyway. As for Paul’s predictions on the getting axed next year, I hope that’s wrong but he makes some good points. I do fear that BBC cuts by this government maybe a crucial factor in some things getting removed. And don’t Tory governments coincide with turbulent times?

    However I think the BBC are far more away of Doctor Who’s money making potential now, which must be several times greater than it ever was in the past. And the developments in technology, live viewing figures are often low. Hot summer days, World Cup and Wimbledon is always going to be a factor.

  20. avatar Pcm979 says:

    Is this really the right place for this discussion? It seems to be going off-topic here.

    Hey, let’s try and start our own rumour. I heard that when Matt quits next year, the next Doctor will be played by Lady Gaga.

    Let’s get that on the first page of a tabloid by monday. Chop chop, people.

  21. avatar Paul says:

    Andrew wrote:    

    However I think the BBC are far more away of Doctor Who’s money making potential now, which must be several times greater than it ever was in the past. And the developments in technology, live viewing figures are often low. Hot summer days, World Cup and Wimbledon is always going to be a factor.

    If this were a commercial organization, I’d agree, but we are talking about the BBC here, and often their decision making seems very left field. When Doctor Who was canceled back in the 1980s many fans and commentators at the time showed that the programme paid for itself many times over, and was bought every year by over 130 countries, but it made no impression at all.

    As for the money the Nu Who has been getting from toys, books and stuff, you’d think the BBC would be happy about that, and they’d do everything they could to support it, however, last year they showed just four new episodes, and as a result, the sale of Doctor Who merchandise collapsed, and the impetus was completely lost. What kind of business plan is that?

    Also, although many would agree that Moffat is a better writer then RTD (where DW is concerned, anyway) no one can deny that RTD’s promotion of the show was outstanding. Even taking care to read the info on the backs of toy cartons to make sure all the details were correct. And yet in spite of all this money making effort, RTD’s contract was no renewed!

    Again, why was that? It’s not as if he had anything new lined up to work on. It’s no even as if he himself was bored with Doctor Who, as he’s still working on SJA and has finally managed to flog of fourth series of Torchwood, so what happened?

    I think it’s going to be a long time before we find out, however, my guess is a lot of the answers will be down to internal power struggles and petty animosity.

  22. avatar Paul says:

    “Hi Paul, I’m not sure your reasoning on some of those bits of evidence really withstands scrutiny.
    In order for simplicities sake:

    1) Are contracts longer than two years that common for actors?”

    Lengths of contracts can vary, however, if Matt was given a two year contract, then if he is to say on after that, a new contract will have to be written.

    “If so that may have been his intention at the time but given the extent to which he’s praised the show it’s quite possible that he’s changed his mind (people do) and that the Sun is recycling the RT quote on a slow news day as part of the anti-BBC narrative running at the moment?”

    That’s a hell of a lot of “ifs,” and The Sun does not attribute it to Matt, which they could have done if they were using the RT as their source. Also the quote in the RT was made only a few weeks ago.

    “2)I think that was the plan for 2009 for a long time and I don’t get the impression that RTD was forced out of the job but had other projects he wanted to work on.”

    What other projects? There weren’t any. Even Torchwood: Children of Earth was completed in 2008.

    “Furthermore to suggest that the ratings needed boosting after his run seems ridiculous, it was an enourmously popular era for the show.”

    There was an enormous amount of publicity for the show, but the average ratings weren’t spectacular. Indeed, the show has done better in the past.

    “Also when the ratings for this series are properly looked at there is in fact no dramatic drop this series.
    http://www.denofgeek.com/television/529040/doctor_who_ratings_putting_things_straight.html”

    Actually, there’s a lot of messing about with figures in that article, which, by it’s own admission does not include the episode ratings for the final two episodes which, for an end of season two parter, was the lowest for many years.

    “3)Equally could represent a faith in the show and its viewrship.”

    Looks like they got then one wrong then, if that even was the case.

    “4) If the press are turning on Dr Who it’s only part of the Conservative revival and attacks on the broder BBC. Many influential TV critics still sing the show’s praises (Caitlin Moran, Charlie Brooker).”

    It’s more than that. Private Eye has also had a go. Either the press have got bored with the programme, or various pro RTD journalists are putting the boot in, but whatever the cause, some of the shine has clearly come off the programme for some people.

    “5)a) Has Dr Who even been straight up SF or Fantasy? It’s much more diverse with its genres I think.”

    We can spilt hairs as much as you like, but the BBC sees it as fantasy SF and that’s the important thing.

    “b) Can you think of any other kids TV shows that get two series commisions? That to me was a huge vote of confidence.”

    It’s standard practice to commission a new show for two seasons, and things have got to be massively bad for the second series to be aborted, c.f. Bonekickers. Now, I’m someone on here’s going to say, “but Doctor Who isn’t a new series?” and that’s true, but for some reason the BBC are treating it as if it were. Officially, the first Matt Smith series was not called series five, or series thirty-one, but series 1, and that’s how they’re treating it. It’s probably the result of a clever dodge by Moffat.

  23. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    Clearly, I’m not in receipt of the facts on Russell leaving the show, but I’m sure I remember reading an exchange of emails in The Writer’s Tale discussing what Russell would do if the BBC tried to change his mind about leaving. It really does appear that the decision to leave was Russell’s and not the BBC’s. When you say that he’s not working on anything new – how do we know that? He may have new projects that we just haven’t heard about yet. Also, it’s pretty obvious that he really wanted to go to Hollywood, and learn how television drama is produced stateside.

    The reasoning behind the Doctor Who-lite 2009 has been explained in great detail many times over. I see no reason to believe that it was a simple matter of the BBC not supporting the show.

    The scheduling for series fnarg was annoying, granted, but again, I don’t think it’s strong evidence of the BBC looking to ditch the show. You’d have a point if it had been moved to 18:30 on a tuesday on BBC2, but it remained a saturday tea-time treat right through the series, without even a cancellation for the Eurovision song contest, as has happened in the past.

    The BBC has continued to provide excellent support for this series of Doctor Who. High profile interviews on shows like Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Grahame Norton (ach! cough! splutter! there goes my allergy again!), and BBC Breakfast. The tour bus, screenings across the country, the American tour. No evidence at all that the BBC is looking to sideline the show prior to ditching it.

    SJA continues to be well supported too. Having 2 series commssioned in advance is clear evidence of that, but I can see that SJA does have a limited shelflife, unlike Doctor Who.

    I’m aware of the links between sci-fi and the Cold War. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t find the argument convincing when specifically related to Doctor Who. Star Trek, yes, undoubtedly, but not Doctor Who. DW is just so eccentric, so British, and has a format that allows really creative and original storytelling. It just doesn’t fit into Cold War allegory sci-fi (although some stories do). I don’t think we’ve undergone a major political shift since 2005 either, so can’t see how this would influence the BBC’s thiking on Doctor Who. I’m sure many interesting discussions could be had on this subject, but in all honestly I don’t think I could ever be convinced that the current political climate would have any bearing on the BBC possibly thinking of axing the show. Unless of course, you bring budget cuts into the equation.

    I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious – but print jounralism, and most especially Murdoch newspapers hate the BBC. When you have to rely on advertising revenue, it must be infuriating to be face with a competitor who has a guaranteed income from the licence fee. While Doctor Who is very popular, it’s hard to slag it off without alienating your readership. But creating doubt is a good way of damaging the show, while still appearing to be supporting it. Clever tactic.

    You make some excellent points Paul, but I can’t agree. I really don’t think that the BBC is anywhere close to turning its back on Doctor Who.

  24. avatar Paul says:

    >Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    Clearly, I’m not in receipt of the facts on Russell leaving the show, but I’m sure I remember reading an exchange of emails in The Writer’s Tale discussing what Russell would do if the BBC tried to change his mind about leaving. It really does appear that the decision to leave was Russell’s and not the BBC’s. When you say that he’s not working on anything new – how do we know that?Also, it’s pretty obvious that he really wanted to go to Hollywood, and learn how television drama is produced stateside.The reasoning behind the Doctor Who-lite 2009 has been explained in great detail many times.The scheduling for series fnarg was annoying, granted, but again, I don’t think it’s strong evidence of the BBC looking to ditch the show. You’d have a point if it had been moved to 18:30 on a tuesday on BBC2, but it remained a saturday tea-time treat .The BBC has continued to provide excellent support for this series of Doctor Who. High profile interviews on shows like Friday Night With Jonathan Ross,Grahame Norton (ach! cough! splutter! there goes my allergy again!),and BBC Breakfast.The tour bus, screenings across the country, the American tour.No evidence at all that the BBC is looking to sideline the show prior to ditching it.SJA continues to be well supported too. Having 2 series commssioned in advance is clear evidence of that, but I can see that SJA does have a limited shelflife, unlike Doctor Who.I’m aware of the links between sci-fi and the Cold War. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t find the argument convincing when specifically related to Doctor Who. Star Trek, yes, undoubtedly, but not Doctor Who. DW is just so eccentric, so British, and has a format that allows really creative and original storytelling. It just doesn’t fit into Cold War allegory sci-fi (although some stories do).I don’t think we’ve undergone a major political shift since 2005 either, so can’t see how this would influence the BBC’s thiking on Doctor Who.I’m sure many interesting discussions could be had on this subject, but in all honestly I don’t think I could ever be convinced that the current political climate would have any bearing on the BBC possibly thinking of axing the show.I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious – but print jounralism, and most especially Murdoch newspapers hate the BBC. When you have to rely on advertising revenue, it must be infuriating to be face with a competitor who has a guaranteed income from the licence fee. While Doctor Who is very popular, it’s hard to slag it off without alienating your readership. But creating doubt is a good way of damaging the show, while still appearing to be supporting it. Clever tactic.<

    The Radio Time, Private Eye and the Daily Mail are not owned by Murdoch.

  25. avatar Paul says:

    I’m posting this again, as the it doesn’t appear to came come out right the first time.

    >Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    Clearly, I’m not in receipt of the facts on Russell leaving the show, but I’m sure I remember reading an exchange of emails in The Writer’s Tale discussing what Russell would do if the BBC tried to change his mind about leaving. It really does appear that the decision to leave was Russell’s and not the BBC’s. When you say that he’s not working on anything new – how do we know that?Also, it’s pretty obvious that he really wanted to go to Hollywood, and learn how television drama is produced stateside.The reasoning behind the Doctor Who-lite 2009 has been explained in great detail many times.The scheduling for series fnarg was annoying, granted, but again, I don’t think it’s strong evidence of the BBC looking to ditch the show. You’d have a point if it had been moved to 18:30 on a tuesday on BBC2, but it remained a saturday tea-time treat .The BBC has continued to provide excellent support for this series of Doctor Who. High profile interviews on shows like Friday Night With Jonathan Ross,Grahame Norton (ach! cough! splutter! there goes my allergy again!),and BBC Breakfast.The tour bus, screenings across the country, the American tour.No evidence at all that the BBC is looking to sideline the show prior to ditching it.SJA continues to be well supported too. Having 2 series commssioned in advance is clear evidence of that, but I can see that SJA does have a limited shelflife, unlike Doctor Who.I’m aware of the links between sci-fi and the Cold War. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t find the argument convincing when specifically related to Doctor Who. Star Trek, yes, undoubtedly, but not Doctor Who. DW is just so eccentric, so British, and has a format that allows really creative and original storytelling. It just doesn’t fit into Cold War allegory sci-fi (although some stories do).I don’t think we’ve undergone a major political shift since 2005 either, so can’t see how this would influence the BBC’s thiking on Doctor Who.I’m sure many interesting discussions could be had on this subject, but in all honestly I don’t think I could ever be convinced that the current political climate would have any bearing on the BBC possibly thinking of axing the show.I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious – but print jounralism, and most especially Murdoch newspapers hate the BBC. When you have to rely on advertising revenue, it must be infuriating to be face with a competitor who has a guaranteed income from the licence fee. While Doctor Who is very popular, it’s hard to slag it off without alienating your readership. But creating doubt is a good way of damaging the show, while still appearing to be supporting it. Clever tactic.<

    The Radio Time, Private Eye and the Daily Mail are not owned by Murdoch.

  26. avatar Paul says:

    Okay. Third time lucky.

    “Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    Clearly, I’m not in receipt of the facts on Russell leaving the show, but I’m sure I remember reading an exchange of emails in The Writer’s Tale discussing what Russell would do if the BBC tried to change his mind about leaving. It really does appear that the decision to leave was Russell’s and not the BBC’s.”

    The Writer’s Tale is not a genuine exchange of emails, in that both Cook and RTD knew it was going to be published. Also, RTD is a ruthless self promoter, and so he is certainly not going to write ‘The BBC have not renewed my contract. They say Moffat is a better writer, and also a bit cheaper. I’ve tried ringing the programme controller, but my calls are never returned. I think this is the end of the gravy train.’

    “When you say that he’s not working on anything new – how do we know that?”

    Because RTD is a ruthless self promoter, and if he was working on something big, then by golly we’d be hearing about it.

    “Also, it’s pretty obvious that he really wanted to go to Hollywood, and learn how television drama is produced stateside.”

    So, RTD thinks to himself, “I’m going to give up another five year contract with the BBC to produce the flagship programme Doctor Who because I really want to find out how television drama is produced Stateside”. Come off it! That’s just silly.

    “The reasoning behind the Doctor Who-lite 2009 has been explained in great detail many times.”

    Please remind me. What was the official story?

    “The scheduling for series fnarg was annoying, granted, but again, I don’t think it’s strong evidence of the BBC looking to ditch the show. You’d have a point if it had been moved to 18:30 on a tuesday on BBC2, but it remained a saturday tea-time treat .”

    Well, that depends on what time you eat your tea. Basically, there were a number of times where I would switch on an episode and find it had already been running for five minutes, and I was looking to watch the programme, so think of the effect this would have on the casual viewer. As for moving it to 18.30 on a Tuesday on BBC2, well, that would be obvious sabotage, and so they’re not going to do that. Basically, the argument at the moment can be put, ‘Oh, dear. Doctor Who’s ratings are a bit down this year. Perhaps it’s time for a rest.’

    “The BBC has continued to provide excellent support for this series of Doctor Who. High profile interviews on shows like Friday Night With Jonathan Ross,”

    Appearing with Jonathan “Oh, dear, my contract has not been renewed by the BBC. Do you think it was something I said?” Ross, is no great shakes.

    “Grahame Norton (ach! cough! splutter! there goes my allergy again!),”

    Well, exactly.

    “and BBC Breakfast.”

    Does anyone actually watch that?

    “The tour bus, screenings across the country, the American tour.”

    My heart goes out to Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, but that really was just a little pathetic.

    “No evidence at all that the BBC is looking to sideline the show prior to ditching it.”

    The BBC is made up of many departments, and some of these departments are in competition with each other. Some are going to support Doctor Who, some may actively work against it. This kind of infighting is not new for the BBC. Let’s take Star Cops for instance. This show gets a Radio Times cover, but it went out in the summer and the scheduling was all over the place. The reason? Jonathan Powell didn’t like SF. Now, let’s look at ‘The Dark Dimension.’ A script is written, a director is brought in, and then the guy organising it all at BBC Worldwide goes on holiday for two weeks and it’s all canceled behind his back.

    “SJA continues to be well supported too. Having 2 series commssioned in advance is clear evidence of that, but I can see that SJA does have a limited shelflife, unlike Doctor Who.”

    We have been told that SJA is going to have two more series made, and that’s it. However, SJA can go on as long as Doctor Who, if they wanted. All you do is introduce new kids. It worked for Grange Hill.

    “I’m aware of the links between sci-fi and the Cold War. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t find the argument convincing when specifically related to Doctor Who. Star Trek, yes, undoubtedly, but not Doctor Who. DW is just so eccentric, so British, and has a format that allows really creative and original storytelling. It just doesn’t fit into Cold War allegory sci-fi (although some stories do).”

    Many stories do. Do I really have to list them?

    “I don’t think we’ve undergone a major political shift since 2005 either,”

    Aside from the fact that the UK is now bankrupt, that both the US and the UK have got new governments, and that we’re no longer fighting a war on two fronts, things haven’t changed at all!

    “so can’t see how this would influence the BBC’s thiking on Doctor Who.”

    And yet later you fully acknowledge that the future of Doctor Who can be influenced by social political forces like Rupert Murdoch. Doctor Who does not live in a vacuum. It’s a populist programme, so it has to appeal to populist sentiments.

    “I’m sure many interesting discussions could be had on this subject, but in all honestly I don’t think I could ever be convinced that the current political climate would have any bearing on the BBC possibly thinking of axing the show.”

    If a show fails to move with the times, it usually gets canceled. Moffat has made some headway by getting rid of the rather pernicious racism we got under RTD, but he hasn’t really been able to replace it with anything as equally potent, only nerdy stuff about cracks in time.

    “I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious – but print jounralism, and most especially Murdoch newspapers hate the BBC. When you have to rely on advertising revenue, it must be infuriating to be face with a competitor who has a guaranteed income from the licence fee. While Doctor Who is very popular, it’s hard to slag it off without alienating your readership. But creating doubt is a good way of damaging the show, while still appearing to be supporting it. Clever tactic.”

    The Radio Time, Private Eye and the Daily Mail are not owned by Murdoch.

  27. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    We could go on all month with this one! And probably bore the pants off many of the site’s users. Thing is, Paul, I think it’s natural for long-term Doctor Who fans to worry about the show being cancelled, after all, there is prescident. Maybe I’m being obtusely optimistic, or you’re being pessimistic – it’s hard to tell without being in receipt of the facts. I hope you’re wrong, and I hope that you hope I’m right!

    Just one thing though: ‘pernicious racism’ – what’s all that about?

  28. avatar Paul says:

    “Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    Just one thing though: ‘pernicious racism’ – what’s all that about?”

    It’s what you get when a TV show decides the best way it can retain its viewership is to play on the fears of of immigration and the loss of cultural identity.

  29. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    Do you mean Turn Left? In my opinion a standout episode in a very strong series of Doctor Who. In that story, Russell clearly sympathises with the Italian and Asian families that are shipped off by the Army. It’s not playing on fears of immigration, it’s a comment on what can happen when society breaks down. There’s nothing remotely right-wing in Russell’s writing, and I can see no justification for your claims of racism.

  30. avatar Paul says:

    “Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    Do you mean Turn Left?”

    No, I don’t mean Turn Left, but now you mention it there are a number of ethnic stereotypes in that episode that do spoil it somewhat.

    >It’s not playing on fears of immigration, it’s a comment on what can happen when society breaks down.<

    Yes. I agree.

    "There’s nothing remotely right-wing in Russell’s writing,"

    Well, that's debatable. He's seems liberal on some issues and rather right-wing on others. I think RTD probably sees himself as liberal, but his writing often subconsciously reveals something else. For example, he states in Doctor Who confidential that he's against the death penalty, and yet throughout "Boom Town" it is implied that Margaret Slitheen is beyond any kind of redemption. Indeed, at the end of the episode she suffers personality death, in that she is taken right back to being an egg, and has to start again. That seems pretty right wing to me.

    "and I can see no justification for your claims of racism."

    I can. Indeed, the anti-immagration message is suffused right the way through the RTD era, and it's in Torchwood as well. Now, there are two ways this discussion can continue. You can blow your top, and call me an RTD hater, or you can think about what I'm saying, and talk about this sensibly.

    If you want to go with the second option then take another look at "Rose," "The Unquiet Dead," "Dalek," "Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways," and then contrast that with "The Long Game," and then ask yourself, what is it that is different about this episode compared to the other's in the list?

  31. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    No point in blowing my top Paul, I may not agree with you, but that’s no reason to be rude.

    However, I don’t think that this is really the place for this conversation. We’ve veered wildly off-topic (just as much my fault as anyone’s!). Maybe you could start a topic in the forums, and we can discuss it there?

    Cheers!

  32. avatar Paul says:

    “Paul Cavanagh wrote:

    No point in blowing my top Paul, I may not agree with you, but that’s no reason to be rude.”

    The fact is Paul, that there are many DW fans on the internet who are total nutters and who would blow their tops at the slightest provocation. So far, indications are that you are not one of these aforementioned nutters.

    “However, I don’t think that this is really the place for this conversation. We’ve veered wildly off-topic (just as much my fault as anyone’s!). Maybe you could start a topic in the forums, and we can discuss it there?”

    Where are the forums? Can you send me a link?

  33. avatar Paul says:

    Okay, Paul Cavanagh I’ve just signed up to the forum on this site. The topic is called “Evil Aliens in Nu Who”. When you find it, we’ll start proper.:)

  34. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    Via Digital Spy: Karen Gillan denies Matt is leaving in an interview with the Daily Telegraph “Matt will be sticking around,” she said. “I think those rumours were made up.”

    Paul – unfortunately I can’t access the forum at work, but I’ll post soon. Honest!

  35. avatar Paul says:

    So, according to Karen Gillan, a direct quote from Matt Smith that appeared in the Radio Times (a magazine produced by the BBC), was a made up rumour!!!

  36. avatar AspieMum says:

    I think the best thing to do is wait and find out when any official announcements are made. If Matt does leave I hope they get a new Doctor rather than quit making Doctor Who. It is a well loved program so many people would be disappointed to see it go and it gets good ratings.

  37. avatar The Doctor says:

    Well, it’s plainly clear that “Paul” (straight-up name, using quotes to distinguish him from Paul Cavanaugh) dislikes “Nu Who” (as he refers to it) and is anxious to see it off the air. His willingness to believe what he reads in rags, disregard any other information including comments from the actors themselves (Karen Gillan’s comments for example, and as for the 2009 specials, they have been explained in great detail, all of which Paul either is ignoring or disbelieving) and beliefs that he has formulated in his own head take precedence and stand above all else. He counters every comment that shoots a hole in his “theories” simply by repeating his previously-stated references, which rely on what’s been reported in unreliable rag papers.

    I agree with PCM979 and Paul Cavanaugh: this constant droning of repeated statements is boring the pants off of the people on this site, and is drifting waaay off topic. I also agree with Paul Cavanaugh in that racism does not come into play with the revived series – certainly no more than it had with the Classic series: aliens – no matter their planet of origin – have been shown as trying to take over the Earth since the beginning of SF films, be they for TV or the silver screen. (Star Trek [all], Lost In Space [series], Galactica [Classic and re-imagined], just to name a few, have all had alien races trying to conquer Earth. To enter the silver screen realm there was Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, This Island Earth, Independence Day… Is there really a need to go on here?) So “Paul” your racism and fear of immigration theory with regards to Nu Who is invalid unless you list EVERY SF production.

    So, repeat yourself again and again like a broken record, quoting the rags anytime someone shoots a hole in your theories purporting that Doctor Who’s days are over (or coming to an end). Continue to see “the conspiracy” of racism and immigration where you will. Disregard reliable sources in favor of your own to prove that you are right and that everyone else is wrong. We have a name for people like you; we call then “Tea Baggers”. (They like to call themselves the “Tea Party”, but they’re causing more harm than good with their theories of conspiracy, and their spreading of false rumors that are found or perpetuated in rags rather than in reliable sources. You’re doing the same thing by blasting the current Doctor Who series.)

    And for the record, RTD was quoted as saying that he was “stepping away from” Doctor Who to concentrate on the Sarah Jane adventures and the concerted effort with Starz on Series 4 of Torchwood. The BBC never released a statement that RTD was “fired” from the Who production, nor did he, and I believe if that were true, one of them would have let it be known.

    “Paul”, it’s obvious that you hate the new Doctor Who series; you have made that over-abundantly clear. So why don’t you just stop watching it? Allow we other 90 percent of the Earth’s population who love the show enjoy it, and watch it in peace, without having to read your poison.

    Now let’s end this repetitious drivel and get back on topic, shall we?

  38. avatar The Doctor says:

    P. S. Paul Cavanagh, many apologies for misspelling your name. I have several friends – all unrelated to each other – whose surname is Cavanaugh (with the U in it), and spelling it that way has become habit. I hadn’t realised that I misspelled your name until after I spotted it again AFTER I submitted my comments. So once more I apologise for that.

  39. avatar The Doctor says:

    P. P. S. “Paul”, I forgot to include in my list of TV series and films above, the novel “War of the Worlds” (H. G. Wells – 1898): a race of Martians try to conquer Earth. As you can see it was written in the late 19th Century, so your racism/immigration theory when it comes to being the basis for Doctor Who is unfounded; that premise has been around for far longer than that. (Read a little of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “The History of the Kings of England” and you’ll see works of fiction concerning such matters go back as far as the 1100s.)

  40. avatar Simon says:

    Wow, people are always so pissed off that actors may have lives outside of Doctor Who and their spin-offs, aren’t they?

    I doubt very very much that he’s leaving right now – “the fall of the Eleventh” is, however, an indication of when he might be hanging up whatever hat he has for the 12th Doctor. Fans should just learn when to shut up about it.

  41. avatar Mr. Brum says:

    Just a few reasons why I think it is ludicrous to say Doctor Who has racist undertones, or could be viewed as a racist, anti-alien/foreigner show:
    1. The brilliant Martha Jones, as a most heroic companion.
    2. A far-in-the-future black Queen of England.
    3. A human woman NOT showing ‘the best of humanity’ when she unnecessarily kills a captive “alien” she was supposed to help keep alive in “The hungry Earth”.
    4. An Indian actress truly showing ‘the best of humanity’ in that same episode.
    5. Mel – Amy’s best friend since her school days portrayed by a black girl who turns out to be none other than a young River Song.
    6. Rose Tyler and Ricky being an item. (Yeah, she dumps him, eventually – but because he lacked ‘cojones’, although he seems to grow some of those later LOL)
    And the list goes on, and on… It’s true there is racism out there, but DR is far from a good example of it…

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