The Doctor sends the empty people to their room in The Doctor Dances

Spoilers: The Childish Destruction of Surprise

I’ve never felt unbridled anger about a spoiler. Not until now. Anyone who follows us on Twitter will have seen my reaction to what can be described as the biggest spoiler in Doctor Who since… Christopher Eccleston quit, I guess (and the spoiler in question isn’t comparable to that situation, before you get over-excited.)

The Doctor sends the empty people to their room in The Doctor Dances

Leaked by Bleeding Cool (and we won’t be linking to them in this instance because, frankly, you don’t want to know this one) the spoiler – concerning The Snowmen – is a revelation that will likely prove extremely relevant in Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary year.

So why did they leak it? Is it genuine?

Based on their report, it certainly seems genuine. Apparently Bleeding Cool received the information from journalists who attended the recent press screening of The Snowmen. Those journalists had signed an NDA, the basis of which was “don’t print anything”. It seems that yesterday’s news (originating on the Radio Times website) concerning significant casting for the voices of the Christmas episode’s monstrous snowmen was wrongly revealed, and Bleeding Cool reckoned they could go one better.

Now, the difference is that Radio Times almost certainly signed the NDA when attending the press screening. Bleeding Cool didn’t, because they weren’t invited.

That’s right. Diddums.

Blogger Brendon Connolly – whose work we regularly link to and is generally a reliable source to boot – stated that

“I can’t even tease these spoilers without giving a little away, really.”

Believe me when I tell you, readers, that he shouldn’t have bothered.

(It’s worth pointing out that Blogtor Who mentioned a spoiler along the same lines in a speculative tweet, something that was quickly deleted. It’s a shame Bleeding Cool aren’t considering the same degree of conscience.)

I’ll tell you something, Kasterborites. We’ve never been invited to a press screening in the UK. We have, however, been invited to two in the USA.

We’ve also – thanks to the involvement of various artists – been exposed to more spoilers than you can shake a stick at since about 2006/2007. At no point have we ever revealed anything intentionally that was not already widely known by the time of publishing and over the past two years have exercised a strict practice when it comes to spoilers (largely to foster a good spoiler-free atmosphere for our contributors!)

Despite my initial anger at what can only be described as a childish reaction to not having been invited to the screening (and I’d happily be corrected with a compelling argument), I am now absolutely baffled by why the writer concerned would a) think the revealing of any spoiler as a good idea under those circumstances and b) choose that particular spoiler.

Just a few months ago Steven Moffat and Matt Smith appealed to fans not to let any spoilers out concerning Asylum of the Daleks. Kasterborous was proud to be among those that kept the surprise presence of Jenna-Louise Coleman a secret. There was a general mood of acceptance that spoilers were necessary and that those exposed to them would play ball.

Things were nice.

Bleeding Cool and Brendan Connolly have potentially just blown that wide open. For the sake of a few hits and ad revenue (thirty pieces of silver, etc…).

So, for the sake of all that is Doctor Who, for your ultimate enjoyment of The Snowmen, we would recommend firstly that you don’t go searching for this particular spoiler. Better still – and despite the hard work we and other loyal fans put into our websites – we suggest you take leave of Doctor Who websites until you’ve seen The Snowmen.

That’s right – go offline, sort out your Christmas/seasonal shopping, read a few books and put it to the back of your mind until the big day.

I’ve been spoiled. I’m still pretty angry about it. But you don’t have to be.



Christian Cawley

About

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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