Doctor Who News no image

Published on May 22nd, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

WOW! What a Cliffhanger!

So, the Doctor as a Ganger! Who would have guessed that one coming? Other than the many readers of the Daily Mail, that is, who abused their position as a (somehow) top-selling daily newspaper to give away the cliffhanger of The Rebel Flesh!

Isn’t it time someone made a stand?

The thing is, The Grand Moff himself can only do so much. Ranting about people leaking The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon spoilers on a radio phone in is the extens of this powers, sadly, although the odd Twitter mention for folks to avoid certaing newspapers is always useful. A few years ago, spoilers would rarely appear in the newspapers – certainly not those that occur at the episode’s cliffhanger – but these days it seems that everything is fair game.

What the Daily Mail have done, of course, has a precedent. A few years ago, the Human Dalek Sec cover of the Radio Times promoting Daleks in Manhattan caused a massive storm among spoiler-phobes, although the difference there was that the stunning image was released on the front cover of a BBC magazine.

Could the BBC prevent the Daily Mail or (in the case of last week’s The Doctor’s Wife reveal) The Times from printing these images and detailed (if misunderstood) episode summaries by withdrawing their review copies?

Probably not.

Sadly, the BBC need those organs to promote the show just as much as they need Doctor Who to sell copies/paywall subscriptions. Both sides know this.

The best way we can hope to prevent these types of spoiler leak from occuring is to avoid all mention of the show in newspapers in the lead up to an episode. Sadly it isn’t always possible.

But keeping Doctor Who in the public eye in a positive way with excellent special effects shots is ultimately more important than keeping the lid on a spoiler for 12 hours.


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About the Author


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+.

4 Responses to WOW! What a Cliffhanger!

  1. avatar penfolduk01 says:

    To be fair to the Daily Mail
    (a) I don’t read it
    (b) The BBC teaser trailers had clearly suggested there would be a Ganger Doctor, even though not explicitly shown.

    It is somewhat annoying though.
    Although not as annoying as a certain TV magazine making a big thing of who would get injured in Eastenders on it’s cover and main article. Only to give the character name in it’s weekly synopsis page…

  2. avatar 23skidoo says:

    Does Doctor Who really need to have the review copies anyway? OK, for a season premiere or an event episode like Doctor’s Wife, OK. But not for every single episode. It’s not as if this is some new show no one knows about.

  3. avatar krumstets says:

    The Daily Mail thrives on upsetting its readers and promoting indignant rage over whatever issue it can exploit.
    Dr Who is popular and well liked, that is reason enough for the tabloid press to try and knock it.
    And try to spoil the fun for everyone…..

  4. avatar Greig Byrne says:

    The Daily Mail is good for one thing – borderline pornography that you can see at work.

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