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Doctor Who & the Licence Fee

It’s all go in Edinburgh this weekend as the International Television Festival pushes on, with big talks by BBC Director General Mark Thompson and an appearance by Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat.

Doctor Who - Steven MoffatAll focus – thanks to the Murdoch-backed media and a few pointless cases – is on the BBC licence fee, and whether it should be cut. We’ll hang fire on that for the time being and ask the more pertinent question – what effect would a cut on the licence fee have on Doctor Who?

Steven Moffat knows.

“It sounds like a punishment rather than a saving.

“Are licence fee payers protesting hugely? No. They shouldn’t, we give them lots of rubber green people in Doctor Who.

“Alien invasions are accomplished by at least three of them. Any cut in the licence fee and we’d have solo invasions. That’d be rubbish.”

Of course, he’s generalising here. A cut to the licence fee needn’t necessarily affect television. Given the vast outlets for BBC programming both on TV and online, not to mention radio, should a cut be enforced, with the right management any cutbacks would be applied to services that don’t have the same profile as the BBC’s main channels or programmes. Reducing repeats and channels that are missing a genuine purpose and direction would be a good start.

(Did someone say “BBC Three”?)

(Via Digital Spy)

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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