Avoiding the Line of Fire

We all knew that something like this might happen. Doctor Who has been going through a renaissance over the last six years with a hugely popular and unrelenting comeback, two spin-off shows and a spot as rightful “top dog” in the BBC’s arsenal of ratings winners.

But something had to give at some point, nothing remains the same forever and change is inevitable. But that’s not necessarily to mean that the end of days has arrived.

Where is this all going you ask? We’re talking about the recent culling of Doctor Who Confidential, the documentary show that has highlighted the making of each Doctor Who episode since it’s return in 2005.

There’s been outcry, there’s been anger, there’s been frustration and there’s been a general disbelief that a show as popular and original as this has been taken off the air in its prime, with hardly any explanation and no build up. Campaigners have started working away furiously with petitions to get the show reinstated and internet forums have been ablaze with conversations asking one question: just what were the BBC thinking?

But, faithful readers, as sad as it is to see a show as vibrant and entertaining as Doctor Who Confidential leave us, we must be thankful that it’s not Doctor Who that’s been cut down or put back into the line of fire. Yes, they’re changing the structure of the show in the run up to the fiftieth anniversary and yes, we have to wait longer for a new series then we normally would but there has to be a point where we all just say “it’s still going strong on telly fifty years later”.

Right now, the BBC has to make some big cuts in order to continue to keep its head above the water, something in the Doctor Who world had to give. One day, Doctor Who Confidential may come back. Yes, one day… but until then there must be no regrets. Because in fairness, all the campaigning in the world by loyal fans and viewers is not going to change the BBC’s mind on this one, which is going to make it a slightly more bitter pill for some to swallow when they realise that.

Confidential has done some truly brilliant work over the last six years. It’s brought us closer to the cast and crew of the show, shown how all the weird and wonderful creatures have been made but most of all, its shown how much love is felt for the Time Lord and his TARDIS by all those talented people involved in bringing it to the screen.

Things will be slightly stranger when a new episode of Doctor Who finishes and there’s no Confidential episode to back it up. But maybe it won’t be all that terrible. At the end of Series 6, the Doctor claimed to Dorium that he had got “too noisy” and needed to “step back into the shadows”. Maybe without a “making of” show after an episode, kids who tuned in might be even more inclined to stay behind the sofa.

After all, if you can’t explain a monster, that just makes it scarier…



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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!


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