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Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

Where’s Our Prelude?

We shared a fun prequel to Asylum of the Daleks a couple of days ago, one that featured Matt Smith as the Doctor and a man in a hooded gown. It was fun – but it wasn’t intended for UK consumption.

This is something that has upset a few fans, such as our own Alasdair Shaw.

I’m downright mad.

I’m a BBC licence payer, have been ever since I left my parents house. I was a tad miffed when I found out I’d have to buy a freeview box (there’s a misnomer straight off, they get upset if you try to leave the shop without paying for it) to watch BBC 3 and upwards and I was downright huffy to learn that the analogue signal was about to vanish and I’d have to keep the freeview box to keep watching channels that I’d already paid for.

But this is the last straw. The BBC have taken my money and used part of it to film a prelude that they won’t let me see. It’s only available in the States.

Well that’s not entirely true; YouTube has shown me the prelude albeit after the episode in question.

Where is this going to stop? Are we heading towards a day where our colonial cousins get the Doctor before us?

Or am I just ranting?

Given that we don’t know the nature of the funding for the short prelude – BBC, BBC Worldwide, BBC America? – it’s a tricky one to call. But the fact remains that as Doctor Who becomes increasingly popular, we’re going to find that our overseas brothers and sisters are going to demand more attention.

After all, remember The Five Doctors…?

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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+.




5 Responses to Where’s Our Prelude?

  1. Krumstets says:

    A gift of exclusive content to American viewers is a thoughtful gesture from the BBC , it acknowledges the support of fans across the pond and the growing popularity of the show in the states.
    Of course there is a smidgeon of envy from those of us who don’t get to see it first , but why not show our appreciation to our fellow enthusiasts and recognise their appreciation for the show with these prequels ?
    It’s not as if we never get to view them .

  2. Steve says:

    It’s been available on UK iTunes since Monday…apparently it was always intended to go up, but didn’t because of a tech issue

    • Spider-pope says:

      It may be a thoughtful gesture, but it was paid for with our license fee.


      • As stated above, we don’t know that. If the money came from BBCWW or BBC America, then it wasn’t license fee money.

  3. Kate says:

    Let me share an American point of view on this…

    As an American who has been a Doctor Who fan since the series rebooted, let me tell you, we have been screwed over numerous times. Do you know how long it took us to get “Voyage of the Damned” and “The Next Doctor”? Seven months. Who wants to watch a Christmas special in July?!

    I would download the episodes from anywhere I could get them online because it was the only way to actually get to SEE the episodes before months had passed. We all know how the Internet is – within a week, people have no problem spoiling what went on. It was awful to know that the entire series had run when you hadn’t gotten the first episode, and you had already found out all the big surprises and such. Life as an American DW fan only improved once BBC America started same-day airings with “The End of Time” – but even now, you have to stay off the Internet for about seven hours (at least where I am) or you’ll get spoilers for it. Because even my friends in England will post spoilers right after the episode airs (deliberately, I think).

    I understand that all of you Brits have to pay a license fee. But, consider this – Americans have to pay not only for a cable or satellite package, but we may very well have to pay extra to access BBC America – my family pays about $15 a month more, primarily so that we have just that channel. And we get it interrupted with commercials, constantly.

    So yeah – maybe your license fees were being used to film a clip that you didn’t get immediately. But don’t be mad at Americans. Because while your license fee and what it pays for is annoying (hey, I get that – being forced to pay $231.75, the cost at the current exchange rate, just to watch TV would tick me off too), I, as an American, am paying at least $55 a month* – $660 or £414 a year – in order to watch “Doctor Who” *with* commercials. You could have it a lot worse.

    *rate figured based on the fact that Direct TV, one of the TWO satellite providers in the US, features BBC America in its $55 package, whereas Dish Network has it in the $60 package.

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