Following the latest Doctor Who leaks, it’s clear that BBC Worldwide is a leaky ship. From scripts to full rough cuts some of us have seen far more of the new Doctor than we would like (even I haven’t managed to come out unscathed). But let’s face it, this isn’t the first clanger the Beeb has dropped when it comes to keeping things under wraps. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and see some of the other spoilerific leaks from days gone by.
Rose Blooms Early
It was a big hit before it even reached TV screens in 2005, as the first episode of the newly resurrected show hit the net on torrent sites and became massively pirated, thanks to a worker in a Canadian TV station who got a little too over excited and decided to share it with the world.
Not that it did the show any harm, here we are almost 10 years later as proof of that.
Location, Location, Location
Yes, thanks to the rise of social media and smartphones we have spent many years catching glimpses of sets, actors, monsters and more from the likes of Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Series 8 has been a big hit in this respect with big clips turning up from a number of episodes, and even pictures from the series finale (don’t worry I wont go into detail on content) that potentially give away some pretty big moments.
Can we blame the BBC for leaks like this? Well yes, you would imagine that something as big as Doctor Who‘s finale would have a tightly controlled set and plenty of security, if shows like Broadchurch can manage it, why not Doctor Who? Seriously, set security on Broadchurch 2 was as tight as a dolphin’s blow hole when I was there.
In 2013, The Name of the Doctor was massively anticipated; no one could wait to see what was going to happen in the build up to the 50th anniversary. Unfortunately some of us didn’t have to wait, as BBC Worldwide accidentally sent out the pre-ordered Blu-ray box sets of the whole series two weeks early and giving it away, quite literally.
Thankfully in this case the fans proved that they are better than most and kept quiet about the episode, though they did tell us just how good it was and that it would be worth the wait, which did amp up the anticipation for the rest of us. So thank you BBC… sort of.
A Novel Idea
Of course, stories appearing too soon is not a new problem, as older fans will know. Back in 1983, for the shows big 20th anniversary fans were treated to ‘The Five Doctors’ the target novel appearing in shops the day before the show aired. To many fans at the time this was the ultimate temptation, but, true to form even those who bought it the day before still waited until after the broadcast to dig in.
Ultimately we live in a time where spoilers are everywhere, but luckily almost all are now clearly signposted (thank you Doctor Song and your catchphrase) and a lot easier to avoid. And should any further leaks spring from Worldwide, no doubt there will be a number of faithful fans on hand to promptly plug them up again and bury the evidence till its safe for the rest of us, and to them I tip my fez in thanks.
How do you feel about leaks of this degree? Are spoilers simply something we should learn to live with or do you think more should be done to ensure total lock-down on anything and everything? Let us know below.