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Published on July 15th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Who’s Safe?

Take a deep breath, sit back and relax. Doctor Who is safe. For the past few weeks there’s been speculation over the show’s future and whether the end of Doctor Who was beginning to appear in the distance. This is largely due to the BBC’s recent announcement that the next series would have some but not all episodes shown in 2012, the rest to be aired in 2013.

But that means nothing these days. Sure, it would be nice to have lots of episodes of our favourite show week in week out just like back in the 1960’s. But times have changed, audiences have a shorter attention span and budgets aint what they used to be.

However, whereas most shows get a nod and a wink to let them know that they’re coming back, the people at the Beeb have gone out of their way to reassure the public that Doctor Who is going nowhere.

Julian Payne, the BBC communications numero uno, finally confirmed what plenty of Doctor Who fans have known for a while:

Doctor Who in 2011 has had one of its strongest performances, with 10.3 million people tuning in. It is business as usual…we are preparing for the new series and Steven [Moffat, head writer] is hard at work on the Christmas show.”

So there you have it, full confirmation that nothing is wrong and that we will get to see the rest of the eleventh Doctor’s two hundred years of adventuring before someone in a spacesuit kills him in America!

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About the Author

What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!




5 Responses to Who’s Safe?

  1. 23skidoo says:

    I’m puzzled at all the fear and loathing going on. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s not uncommon for British shows to take a year or more between seasons, anyway. 2 years for Torchwood; 3 and 4 years between Red Dwarf seasons at one point; Merlin at one point was going to have a gap year because of the split season on Doctor Who. It’s as if people remain gunshy after DW was pulled back in 1989.

    Now, granted, there is proof now that nothing is 100% safe. It used to be said that Star Trek on TV was untouchable, and then Enterprise was cancelled. Action Comics and Detective Comics, both of which started before Hitler invaded Poland, were going to run forever; they end in August (to be replaced with new publications using the same title). So it can’t be said that Doctor Who is indestructible.

    But at the same time, people seem to be ignoring all the facts in evidence – BBC Worldwide naming it the #1 seller; the fact it’s consistently the #1 non-soap/reality show in the UK ratings; the fact it continually scores well for BBC America and Space; it leads iTunes and iPlayer views; the fact DW is scheduled to be a major tenant of the new Cardiff studios in 2012; I could go on.

    Chill – even if DW goes off the air for all of 2012, it’ll be back for 2013 and continue beyond. People said the gap year specials in 2009 were the end of the series, too, and they were proven wrong.

  2. krumstets says:

    It’s great to hear that the show is safe, but I still don’t get why they can’t afford to make a proper season next year?
    Is it money or is it due to pressure of work load on the production staff?
    Number one show domestically and scoring very high internationally….what exactly is the problem here?
    Why are they not making a full season for broadcast in 2012?
    But maybe I should do as 23skidoo suggests – Chill – at least it IS still in production.

  3. Meredith Burdett says:

    Maybe it’s a way of making sure that ratings for the Beeb stay strong. This year Doctor Who is shown in the spring and then later in the Autumn. Perhaps that’s the plan for the next few years and this series has been the “test” to see if splitting the show in two works.

    Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s biggest assets, imagine it as if they’re utilizing it as a consultation device to see where to achieve the biggest ratings win because they have such a strong confidence about it.

    Plus they can release the DVD’s at different points over the year for more merchandising profits AND Doctor Who is never more than a few months from being back on the screens.

    Autumn 2012-series 7 part one, December 2012-Christmas special, Spring 2013-Series 7 part two and so on and so on. Get the show away from Britain’s Got talent and put it against other shows that no one will watch. Result? Huge, unbeatable ratings…

  4. BJAMES says:

    It is great that the show is doing so well, and that the BBC is finally affirming and acknowledging that. But as I stated in previous posts regarding this issue, and as krumstets stated above, why does this not insure getting a proper season? More successful, worldwide, than it has ever been, bringing in more revenue (merchandise, licensing of merchandise, worldwide sales, etc)than ever before, is it too much to ask for the desired 13 episode season (12 episodes, and Christmas Special)? And if Doctor Who is indeed the Flagship, the Breadwinner so to speak, why should it suffer that support to pay for other shows that make a lot less revenue for the BBC? Take care of the Flagship first, I say. The “Hey, at least it’s still on, at least we’re getting something, so be grateful” mentality is flawed to say the least. The world economy means we are always paying more and getting less these days. But a show like Doctor Who is rare and unique, in that it keeps lots of people happy (people who spend money to see it and support it by purchasing merchandise galore), and it keeps a lot of BBC brass employed at what have to be more than decent salaries. The BBC should focus on putting the money where it belongs, back into the source that makes it, rewarding the shows success, and nurturing its other productions secondly. No excuses, period.

  5. bobbygaga says:

    This whole split season thing is so bitty and piecemeal. Shorter episode runs mean that you can’t build up any momentum in the narrative and undue prominence is given to the duff episodes because they are still fresh in the viewer’s minds as the show comes to an artificial dead stop.

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