In 1989, when the BBC’s Head of Series Peter Cregeen told fans to expect “a longer than usual wait” for Doctor Who‘s next outing, not even the Time Lords could have foreseen the 16 year wilderness that followed.
In a recent interview with the Radio Times, show runner Steven Moffat has commented on this controversial hiatus-cum-cancellation, and what it meant for the show’s enduring legacy.
That gap is important. It confers something very special on this most special of all shows: immortality. Doctor Who, for once and for all, is the show that comes back. Axe it at your peril, someone like me is going to call you a fool, and lots of people like you are going to read along and nod.[quote]
Moffat also remarked that the audience “just said no” in way that had never happened in British television before, meaning that the programme “just kept on going.”
[quote]While the BBC folded its arms and shook its head, there were books by the likes of Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss and Paul Cornell. There were audio adventures, starring all the old Doctors. There was an action-packed American tele-film, and endless rumours of Hollywood movies. Doctor Who Magazine, whose purpose was to document the making of the TV show, carried on perfectly happily without the TV show being made.
In some ways, it could be argued that those 16 years were some of the most prolific in the show’s history. Many fans encountered the Doctor for the very first time thanks to the range of products that suddenly popped up on the shelves, (this article’s author being one such fan), and there’s no denying that it’s a significant, if slightly painful, chapter in the life of Doctor Who.
So is the show now immortal? Well, as the nineties proved, it’s a programme that’s very, very difficult to kill…
(Via Radio Times.)