back to article Doctor Who faces extermination

Doctor Who will reportedly be exterminated next year after the end of the fourth season of the revived series. Producer Russell T. Davies has decided to bring the hit sci-fi show to a close so he can concentrate on other projects, The Sun reports . The paper adds that Davies and other senior staff are feeling the strain of the …

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  1. Pete Silver badge

    16 hours a day .... and that's the best they can do?

    The title says it all really. We're led to beleive they work their collective nuts off for 9 months a year, and all they manage is the rather dire plots that Dr Who has shown recently.

    They shouldn't resign, they should be sacked.

  2. Ralph B

    The Last Incarnation?

    I'm not terribly surprised. Storylines that would have been creakingly played out over 6 weeks in the 60s & 70s, get handled in a single episode in today's Doctor Who. It shows the enthusiasm that Davies & Co. have for the subject matter, but it could never be sustainable in terms of effort and ideas. The candle that burns twice as bright, etc.

    Plus, wasn't this due to be the last possible incarnation of the Doctor anyhow? Ah no, I see from wikipedia that he's used 9 of his 12 possible regenerations. I guess that means we can have a swansong revival in another 10 to 20 years.

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Why kill off?

    The show is a hit, why kill the character off? if he doesn't want to do it anymore then he can say so and someone else can take over.

  4. Martine Croxall

    Hubris, thy name is Davies

    The assumption that Dr Who is inextricably tied to Russell T. Davies is bizarre arrogance in the extreme from him. Several obvious candidates exist for Executive Producers to take over, most of whom could be expected to do a better job.

    But no. The BBC will not pull the plug on its highest-rated Saturday prime time programme because a few gays are a bit sleepy.

    Although maybe letting it lie fallow for a year might not be a bad idea.

  5. Tim Hale

    Typical

    Quick! It's popular! Get rid of it or it'll distract from the reality shows and premium rate phone-ins!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Noo!

    Say it ain't so!

    Mind you, Russel T doesn't actually own the franchise, does he? Is there the slightest chance that another director might pick up where he's left off?

    I can't see the Beeb letting something as successful as this drop entirely, can you?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh no!!

    Ah, it's in The Sun, it must be true!!!!!

  8. Waggers

    Why axe it?

    Why not hand it over to someone else to carry on? It seems a tad unfair to the fans, and somewhat control-freakish. The attitude seems to be "nobody else can do it but us, and we don't want to do it, so it won't be done." Who do they think they are - Microsoft?

  9. Rob

    hhmmm...

    .... the sun reports, I'll wait and see if that's our only source of information.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple of minor points...

    Firstly, the Sun is hardly the gold standard for reporting on this series - they regularly come out with stories of people leaving, or other problems, with are rapidly proven to be untrue.

    Secondly, even if the producer and crew want to leave - so what? They all work for BBC Wales, and can be replaced. It doesn't seem likely a popular, successful and most importantly profitable series would be canned just because the backend staff got restless. The rights holders can just someone else to do the jobs.

    Now if it was on the BBC website, and said the BBC had decided to kill the series, maybe that would be believable.

  11. Declan

    I'll believe it when I see it

    "plan to resign en-masse". Yeah right. I wouldn't want to be the first person in the line to go in and hand in my notice. I've a feeling the queue may be a lot shorter when you come out of the bosses office.

  12. supermeerkat

    Nonsense

    Not gonna happen. The Sun doesn't bother to check its facts.

    RTD will retire from Doctor Who, but the show will continue - it's a flagship program AND cashcow for the BBC.

  13. Peter Darby

    "It says in the sun"

    Must be true. They've never printed a Doctor Who story that's turned out to be crap, EVER.

  14. Les

    At least it's from a reliable source...

    Given that Mr Murdoch's comic is *such* a paragon of accuracy and reliability, this *must* be true, and we're all indebted to El Reg for bringing this to our attention.

    Or, with sarcasm set to *off*, I would say that this seems unlikely. If RTD does decide to move on to other projects, there are others who could take over running Doctor Who. Any decision to cancel would be made by senior BBC management, not by the production team.

  15. Liam

    TYPICAL!

    the first series made by the BBC in AGES that didnt suck and was well written, is now canned!

    im still unsure what the hell i pay my license fee for? so the yanks can see it all for free? so the radio i pay for gets given to the rest of the world for free?

    i have no interest in period dramas (im under 60) or what shite i might find in my attic and am a better interior designer than laurence and pals on his bloody designer pals so i dont need their help to redesign my house.

    what the hell do we pay for now? 2 channels of TV (cos 3 and 4 always say intermission from what i can see) and radio that everyone else in the world gets for free? and is that worth £130ish a year? thats a whole lot less than i pay for hundreds of equally shite channels from virgin media....

  16. proops

    Thanks goodness for that

    What a load of crock these recent series have been. I'll be glad if the writing team gets pulled. Is Dr. Who just about being on earth (a white European earth usually) in recent history? When do we get to discover new worlds? It's a work of minimal imagination.

  17. N1AK

    What a crock

    9 months of 16 hours a week!?

    29 episodes over two years has taken them 8640 hours each? 300 hours per episode EACH!

    In which time 24 has managed more than 48, lost has managed the same, and Eastenders have done what? more than 200!

    If it's true it's shockingly wasteful, but then no one expects the BBC to manage value for money.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind the viewing figures...

    nip into Forbidden Planet or a good toy store and have a look at the sheer volume of merchandise in there. Do you think the BBC really wants to cut off such a lucrative source of income?

  19. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    A suggestion...

    Let Stephen Moffat take over- He's written the best episodes of series 1 and series 2 (The Empty Child and Girl in the Fireplace).

  20. Stephen Davies

    The Yanks

    Do pay for the BBC shows they broadcast. BBC Worldwide sells TV & Radio to otherparts of thr world.

    If anyone can legally get 100's of channels from Virgin Media for less than £130 per year would they please enlighten us all so we can sign up.

    The Virgin Cable service costs money. For £31 per month you can get TV, Phone and Broadband(only sometimes and not in the evenings at any speed higher than 128kb)

    BBC Radio is broadcast on the internet free so yes the rest of the world can pick it up. Have you listened to some of the utter dog poo that comes out of parts of the USA?

    Under this banner is BBC World Service. Reaching all parts of the globe in local languages. Top notch Service especially the footies on Saturday afternoons...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody already said it...

    Speaking as a Big Gayer, I've noticed that with most gay run businesses/franchises you tend to get half the service for twice the cash.

    Our Russ is just proving the point, and showing what a pompous ass he is into the bargain.

    Luvvies. Feh!

  22. Neil Davies

    Oh, the rumour mill still turns!

    Weirdly enough, I first heard of this rumour over a year ago when, the BBC announced they were commissioning two series (at the end of series two). Some fans started saying that it must follow that Series 4 was the last. My thinking at the time was that to get that kind of commitment from the BBC is pretty unusual - they famously cancelled the series 'This Life' before the second series was aired based on the viewing figures of the first series. As we all know now, the series subsequently became amazingly popular and few understood why it wasn't being made any more. I suspect this story in the Sun is probably just some lazy old hack doing a Google search or something like that and reporting the Fan hysteria at these rumours as fact.

    Oh, and by the way - the 12 regenerations thing never stopped the Master. More's the pity, as Anthony Ainley's Master was a bit of a panto villain at times. But correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't there an old story in the 1980's where the Doctors final incarnation appeared (as a guy called The Valyard)? That means he has less time than we thought.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RTD moves on, but doesn't have to kill the show

    The show doesn't begin or end with RTD.

    Whilst he's been great for bringing the show back, he's causing damage with a lot of the silly childish stories. The best thing is for him to take a back seat rather than be so obsessively involved.

    Just hope his other interests doesn't include the awful Torchwood though. Yeah, kill off Doctor Who and continue the "i'm gay, he/she's gay, everyone's gay. Let's have Doctor Who with snogging" Torchwood.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stephen Davies...

    10 per service per month for NTL = £120 for the TV

    then i got it 1/2 price for a year 'cos we lost skyOne - i pay 16£/mth for 2meg line (almost always runs at 2megs i have tested at various hours of the day), free local phone calls and hundreds of TV channels!

    world service isnt available to the english is it? (or is it hidden on freeview somewhere i havent sen?) so why the hell should it come from my license fee? yes, radio 1 is ok - but thats cos £millions from the TV LICENSE FEE is moved accross. i mean how can they do that? chris moyles gets 600£k from the TV LICENSE FEE for his 3 hours a day.... thats not what i am forced to pay my license fee for is it? i know us radio is poo - but then its free for them... i pay for mine!

    i know american tv pays for the uk shows - but US citizens see them for free dont they? that irks me as im charged plenty for the privelege.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    World Service

    FYI BBC World Service is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    IMO the licence fee is extremely good value for money, I really only watch the BBC channels and Channel 4 these days (although not so much channel 4 now that Big Brother is back on). There's bugger-all on ITV or five. Even Sky One is pretty crappy, its schedule is made up of eternal "The Simpsons" repeats and one or two major shows (24 and Lost).

  26. Egregious Egregious

    Fantasy

    Now that she has free time, perhaps the producers can once again approach J.K. Rowlings to write an episode of "Dr. Who."

  27. tim chubb

    why dont they....

    just scrap the god awfull side projects, torch wood and that cbbc pile of wonk, sarah jane investigates.. i mean rebadging the famous five, and having plots that insult the depth of geordie racer or through the dragons eye (i am talking about both sideprojects by the way) bound to leave them more time to think of seriously average plots.

    that said i would be very welcome to see a change in the writing team, it seems to be becoming an increasingly cliquey writing circle, made of RTD and noteably the bloke from league of gentlemen. and what is up with each episode having a "message", like racial overtones, or neo nazism bad. though this could just be due to them trying to cram too much into too short a time...

  28. Pete Miller

    Title

    you can get 200+ channels of **** from sky for a one off payment of £75 at ASDA - that's £75 for life, not per annum

  29. Dillon Pyron

    US popularity

    It's right behind BSG on SciFi.

    As far as US crap, I listen to KUT (NPR), Bob (60s-07) and Virgin on iTunes.

  30. Kevin Hall

    Who decides?

    It isn't Russell T. Davies' decision anyway. Doctor Who belongs to the BBC and they'll be the ones to axe it if they feel the show is tired. It's current incarnation is not terribly interesting, the "Monster of the Week" gambit is hardly very profound - give me Tom Baker any day :)

  31. Peter Brooks

    AT BLOODY LAST

    Thank god they're killing it off for now, the current production team just keep revolving around the same themes for the same reactions.

    I'm fed up of seeing the Darlek's used over and over again, make em a surprise!

    I also hope Russel TD never touches Dr Who again, I can't stand the guy. If you've ever watched the behind the scenes bit on BBC Three he likes to take credit for everything, the sun does not shine out of his tardis.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Media Subscriptions

    In response to Liam's post about paying Virgin Media £130 p/month... you've been had, mate. Steve Burch has admitted that they're desperate for your custom - you should phone their retentions department and say that you're disappointed that Sky removed their channels, and that the interactive channels don't work, and that the EPG is naff compared to Sky's, and that paying £5 per month for VOD is a joke now Sky+ is free, and that your set top box keeps on freezing and rebooting itself at midnight to update the EPG, etc... They'll give you the whole kaboodle for about £10 per month. So you can buy me a beer for saving you over a grand :-)

  33. Chad H.

    Media Guardian

    Media Guardian (theguardian.co.uk, click "Media" reports a leaker saying RTD wants to quit, but the same source also says that the show will go on. They're also reporting the BBC's denials (saying that his future involvement hasnt been decided).

  34. Andy Bright

    US

    Yeah it did ok over here, not quite as popular as BSG or either of the Stargate series, but not too shabby either in terms of viewing numbers.

    The SciFi channel in the US would continue to pay decent money for it I suspect, in fact they've been known to pick up and pay for successful shows before, Stargate being a prime example.

    As SciFi do collaborate with Sky (not to mention the HBO network collaborating with the Beeb for things like Extras and Rome) it seems likely to me that if the BBC are willing to sell the franchise - perhaps the UK SciFi channel could pick it up, or even Sky.

    Decent shows with good ratings are hard to come by in ready-made packages - so I very much doubt this will be the last of Doctor Who.

    And who knows, with a few extra quid behind it maybe you'll get those other world episodes the show is crying out for.

  35. Mike Green

    Quality has definitely been variable.

    Hopefully when RTD goes it'll pick up, as has been previously said, all the worst excesses come out when it's an RTD script. Stephen Moffat seems to have to best Who sensibilities, make him script editor and get some decent lighting people, a lot of the time BBC sci fi is seriously over lit. AND GET HEM OFF THE EARTH MORE AND GET RID OF PHONE CALLS TO FAMILY MEMBERS. Who isn't a soap, you have any number of those. Make it sci fi with some proper science, not just the doc zapping everything with his sonic screwdriver...

  36. Ed

    Russel...

    Its generally accepted (at least on IMDB) that Russel T Davies writes the worst Doctor Who episodes. When other people get a chance to write, we have had some really great episodes (like last weeks).

    I don't see Doctor Who being ended unless they really run it into the ground, I think this years season has been very successful, probably better than last years.

    I agree with other people in that I think there should be longer stories - trying to create an entirely new story and associated characters for each episode must be hard work - more double or even triple episodes would be fine. They could even "save the world" more than once in each location :)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Dorado

    Just as it was getting good it was axed. Thanks in part to The Sun and its Hell Dorado front page headline! Goodbye Dr.

  38. Jan Buys

    RTD

    ... is not the one in charge of the series. Get the series a new fresh and enthousiastic team and we're off for more doctor goodness

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally I feel sorry for Russell T. Davies

    It's not just 16 hours a dayspent on Dr Who. Don't forget the 16 hours a day on Torchwood as well.

    Err...

  40. Mark York

    Can't do the maths, 12 regenerations means 13 Doctors.

    Susan: "Is he really..?"

    1st Doctor: "Yes. Yes, I'm afraid so. Regeneration?"

    5th Doctor: "Fourth."

    1st Doctor: "Goodness me! So there are five of me now!"

    The Valeyard is\was a potential distillation of the negative side of The Doctor, between his 12th & 13th Incarnations.

    Exceptions

    The Master - Extended his life by hi-jacking the body of Tremas, The High Council of Time Lords offered him a whole new regenerative life cycle to rescue The Doctor, re-engineered himself for a new regenerative lifecycle in the VNA's with outside help from the Tzun & then in the TVM he stole yet another body.

    DWM also has him assume another body in The Glorious Dead.

    The Scream of The Shalka has him existing in a cybernetic suit.

    You may want to hide behind the sofa for the next line

    RTD may or may not have him as being Mr S........

    You can look now.

    The Suns scaremongering\getting it wrong aside, each actor typically (Yes Eccleston I'm talking about you) assumes the role for 3 years\series, so that's aproximately another 9 series on top of the current planned 4th (barring accidents).

    Apart from that I agree with the comments about ditching the kitchen sink\domestic angle, the gay agenda, lowest common denominator gags ie farting & deus ex machina rushed conclusions etc.

    Instead keep the intelligent writers\scripts, humour, the current production values, tight pacing, but allow more intelligent story development with two parters with proper cliff hangers.

    Thats my tuppence worth.

  41. Josh

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BBC can't axe it! It's the most spiggin' awesome show they're ever going to have!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not worried

    I mean, if they kept Inspector Morse around until the chap who played him died, and I never *once* was able to follow the plot or understand the dialog enough to enjoy it, then surely they're not going to give up on Doctor Who so soon.

    Good lord, they've already invested at *least* a hundred quid on plywood and colored light bulbs to produce the thing!

    Being a Yank* myself, I'm hoping to see an Americanized adaptation. Perhaps on NBC-- they seem to be pulling a Hindenburg these days. I can picture it now-- replace the Tardis with something gigantic and covered in missiles, update the oh-so-ambiguous 'companion' to a much more tangible love interest. The sonic screwdriver would be way too cerebral for US audiences (esp. given that the majority of them would find a conventional screwdriver foreign and strange), so it would need to be replaced with a gun. ...wait! Not just a gun, but an entire lab full of people who do nothing but churn out plot-hole-filling-non-Newtonian guns of all types, to satisfy any gap in story continuity, no matter how grave. It will have to be sponsored by Pepsi, of course.

    In all seriousness, though, I doubt the BBC would abandon such a lucrative cash-cow. The new episodes are good-- it's obvious when a franchise hits rock bottom: The fans turn on it with a vengeance you would seldom expect to see from grown men in spandex uniforms with rubber ridges glued to their foreheads.

    *Though I have never particularly felt Yank appropriate-- Yankee refers to the people of the New England region. I'm from the West, never been further East than Denver, and we folken view the New Englanders as a type of strange subset, much the same way the English must feel about the Scots.

    'Course, it would be unfortunate to call Western Yanks something like "Wanks" so I guess I'll live with it.

  43. Paul

    Is the Reg short of stories today?

    Cos this unconfirmed unlikely rumour from The Sun is a complete waste of space.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good Riddance

    Let me first state I am not a homophobe.

    As far as I am concernd I'll be glad if RTD and his Mates stop writing Dr Who. I can't comment on the last series because I stopped watching it last year. There was only so much "Gay" I could take. Hopefully the next writer (gay/hetrosexual/bi-sexual/necrophiliac/whatever) will write Dr Who without having to fource their sexuality down our throat (so to speak).

  45. AJ

    RTD Get A Grip!!

    I cant believe this man really thinks the whole series will finish just because he has got bored and wants to try his hand at something else. Who does he think he is, he is not all that and the whole DR Who franchise does not revolve around him!

    I never watched Dr Who before till it restarted and I must say now its amazing. I seriously cant see the BBC getting rid of it when its so successful. Maybe a fresh perspective will take the show in another direction, have better ideas, longer running storylines, better locations and be a bigger hit.

    For RTD to think it will end when he leaves shows his arrogance. You only need good direction and great storylines to make it successful. They have 2 great cast members with the current DR and companion so the show can still go on.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Cardiff

    Why is it Cardiff every week? That's the most annoying bit for me. We need someone else to take over and change the style.

    TV execs can't still seriously think that viewers can only follow single-episode storylines? Can't they see how succesful story arcs have been in Lost, BSG, 24, and now the fantastic Heroes? Oh hang on - they're all American. You know - the nation with the (allegedly) shorter attention span much lambasted in things like Max Headroom (remember 'blipverts'?)

    OK - the old episodes were only 30 mins, but a 6 or 8 episode story was still 3 to 4 hours of TV. We effectively had a new mini-series every 2 months. Bring back stories that take 3-4 hours to tell. Build up proper suspense, get a bit of character development, build emotional attachments to characters before killing them etc.

  47. Mac

    The relevant info

    Is in this quote from the Guardian's piece on the matter:

    "A senior BBC Wales drama source told MediaGuardian.co.uk that Mr Davies may be preparing to leave the show.

    "Russell has always said that he wouldn't be with the show forever and he has made no secret that the hours are quite exhausting," the insider said.

    "But there isn't any way it would be axed even if he left. He loves the show and he does feel that maybe it would benefit from some new blood.""

    Not like the Sun to report complete crap now, is it?

  48. Hedley Phillips

    TARDI

    We can't call it a TARDIS anymore because in these new series, Doctor Who does not travel in Space. He goes from one part of Earth to antoher with some badly made up 'monsters'. The most popular monsters are still those from the original series, i.e. Daleks & Cybermen.

    The shows are too fast and too light on any depth, everything is solved with the sonic screwdriver or some cheeky backchat from an insanely grinning doctor.

    But, my children love it. and don't get me started on that awful TorchWood. That was such a load of rubbish.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop .... Carry On

    Isn't it a bloody farce?

    I think the solution is to set up a separate production company which is not aligned with the Welsh or London Tourist Boards.

    I am sick of the happy clappy sunshine lighting on Dr Who - the UK is not like that - the rain is cold and comes in sideways, and it happens all the time.

    Move production to Manchester and ditch the current team, and all the add-on programs.

    Bunch of smug bastards.

  50. kevin pownceby

    dr who

    Ok then quit, then someone else can have a go, & then maybe you can find an actor thats unknown, & that actor will stay with the show for longer than two weeks, ha ha.

  51. Liam

    mistake

    in reposnce to earlier - i only pay 16/mth.... not 120! mannnn i would shudder at paying that lol!

    5/mth for VOD? its free isnt it? when it works! plus the bloody menus have been killed now by monkeys that dont understand how people use guides. for example.... program starts in 10 mins - so you try to select it then are told 'its too close to the start for you to bookmark it' wtf? that makes no sense!

    still its cheaper than sky!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cardiff!!!!!!!

    Hey Guys, calm down! It IS only a kids TV programme. And if you think it's bad having the show located in Cardiff every week, you should try living in the bloody place!!! We have politicos here who make Brent Ken Livingstone look honest!!! As fare as the licence fee is concerned, what did Auntie Margaret say? It is not a TV license, but a BBC license! (Wonder what else TV could mean?) And if you were wondereing what "Brent" stands for it means "Bent Red Ken." Cryptography? bah, who needs it!!!

  53. |333173|3|_||3

    Old style Dr Who

    What is needed is a return to the old style of Dr who, like it was when John Pertwee (my favourite Doctor) and Tom Baker were Doctors.Long series of episodes, with recurring villans (the Master, Daleks, Cybermen), with continueity between the episodes. Less of the flashy CGi and more stroyline would be good too.

    The new cybermen are actually more like Daleks in humanoid shells than the original Cybermen, which were straignthforward robots, although of course a Dalek is a complete creature, whereas a new Cyberman is simply the CNS in a mechanical body.

    THe Daleks in the Cult of Skaro episodes are old daleks, from the time war, not the new daleks which appeared in the episode at the end of series 1.

    It would be good if a Time Lord refugee ship were found, along the lines of the Void Ship in the Torchwood Institute att eh end of Season 2., Either that or the doctor could land inside an abandoned TARDIS, and travel back in its timeline, to get back to teh version of the past when there were otehr time lords, and so save them. An explanaation fo how he killed off the time lords would be good too.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm maybe it'll result in some better storylines, or is that too much to hope for ? It's all been a bit "and in one bound he was free" type of stuff since it returned. I really thought the last one over 2 episodes might be better but no. Not only does it start by the Doctor running scared of a few aliens ?!? It ends by the aliens being less aware of how to blow up their own ship than the Doctor. Once it had been blown up, they suddenly become powerless, and the next thing you see is the Doctor acting out of character subjecting the aliens to cruel and unusual punishments. All of which is narrated by the alien that is supposed to be frozen in time ? Good grief. How did that pass quality control ?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The rot HAS set in

    The first two series of the modern Dr Who only had, IMHO, one REALLY duff episode between them (Love and Monsters). With the current series only the first two episodes were of any merit, the rest have been mediocre (Daleks in New York) or utterly dire (42, a dire monster chase penned by Chris Chibnall, who was also responsible for the naffest Torchwood episodes) and the last two weeks episodes with those oh so scary (not) scarecrows.

  56. Andrew Moore

    Advance warning please!

    I'm not sure about the veracity of the Sun's reporting but just in case....thanks for the early warning so I can arrange trauma counselling for my 9-year old son and most of his mates!

  57. Derek Foley

    Its at its peak...

    Being an old school Dr Who fan, and in my late thirties now, I enjoy the new series, apart from the occasional cringeworthy moments. I've loved the show since childhood and re-watching many old episodes several times, I do agree with most of the posts above, and thus feel in an ideal position to comment.

    The new series has excelled due to the new audience demographic, and a decent budget, the parents watching know and love the old version, the updating has been enough to make it look good - and there is enough detail in the new series referring to the past to keep traditional fans (like me) happy.

    The soap style family aspect I guess is to make it "family viewing" and make it have broader appeal to Mum and Gran who like Eastenders, so again, if it keeps it on our screens, as a fan, I can live with it.

    The acting and lead character development is far better than the old series, and no, I don't think we should return back to the old formulas of a 3 hour story, which lets face it comprised of needless occasional crap cliffhangers and the doctor being seperated from his companion and running between protagonists (yes I'm referring to Genesis of the Daleks)

    I do agree with the issues of a 45 minute episode - Being a "24" fan, I found the recent episode "42" very amusing... I'm sure they could have put a digital countdown clock in there somewhere, but that would have made it too obvious!

    I don't think the gay issues in the series are rammed home :) too much, don't forget sci-fi is a reflection of modern life and its issues in another format. I think the other poster was confusing things with Torchwood, despite what everyone thinks I like Torchwood as a spin-off, and it does seem more adult orientated, both in content, themes and scope, which is quite refreshing. I found this years Christmas special way too kiddie orientated, and way over the top on the acting front from the spider queen, but hey... Dr Who has always had stereotypes for bad guys.

    The current series (3) is noticably more intelligent than the last two, perhaps the production team are bending to criticism. The Recent 1913 based episodes too were very well conceived in their scope, the ending of the second parter was exactly the kind of end I always hoped to see in a historical episode, driving home the point about time travel and lifespans for non time-lords - the emotional depth being sadly lacking in the original series.

    The last episode "Blink" was an absolute "tour de force" for once, a great intelligent adult story that seemed more like an episode of a serious horror movie or drama series than WHO - it actually involved a plot that actively uses time travel, which you would think Doctor Who stories would employ given the hero is a time lord, and it genuinely reminded me of the later McCoy episodes and the doctor's four dimensional understanding and god-like omniprescence, and pre-planned events unfolding to his strategy.

    The statue monsters were brilliant, real 'behind the sofa stuff' - the first genuinely brilliantly conceived spooky race introduced in the new series so far, the whole episode was a shining credit to the production team, the writer, the show and the whole format - a real pinnacle achievement in my opinion.

    I do hope to see more past continuity, Dr Who has done story arcs in the past, e.g. Turlough, whose deal with the Black Guardian really gave the fifth doctor episodes substance dramatically - I think we need a new companion that is devious and scheming - to make it edgy and less formulaic - this too will elevate it away from the "family theme", and hope to see old enemies and more past companions too - Bring back Tegan and the Sontarans, although people would now say they look too much like the rhino people from episode 1 series 3!

    The New York episodes had great production values, especially with the scenery, design and CGI, but the whole thing for me was spoiled by the Pig People, it did smell(!) of the prosthetics dept having surplus foam rubber during that episode - I realise the genetic experiments idea, but what about the Ogrons, and robomen from Dalek Invasion of Earth - much more intimidating and less daft - that said, the pig derived pilot creature in season one was genuinely well executed (in both ways).

    I'd even love to see more episodes that play with the issues of time-travel, like series one's "father's day", what about a story wrapped around the events and footage from Earthshock! Forest Gump / Back to the Future II style, With some re-shoots and decent cybermen split screen effects this time. Perhaps with the Doctor revisting his decision to leave Adric to die...

    I can only hope that the BBC does not let standards slide with the show as it did during the McCoy era, which truly put the nails in the coffin last time - with ludicrous confectionary based monsters and second-rate showbiz B list celeb guest stars (and companion). (Real fans know who I'm referring to)

    May Dr Who have "legs" hopefully for several years to come - and may the Dalek (note use of non-plural - as there's only one left) not have them - EVER

    Derek c Foley

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