“OMG DOCTOR WHO IS GOING TO GET CANCELLED”

24th May 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

“Worst Ratings For Over 20 Years” Shock!!!

Or, alternatively:

– Hottest day of the year so far meant barely anyone was watching telly. Top-rated show of the night only got 6.2 million. So it’s not like Who is suddenly getting tonked by whatever’s on the other channel. In fact, it’s still beating it.

– It would take a sustained drop in ratings, for at least the duration of a full series, for this to become anything like a “problem”.

– The indications are that the BBC don’t seem to care hugely about Who‘s overnight ratings any more – which would explain the recent inconsistency over scheduling. They know that plenty of people will watch it timeshifted or on iPlayer – it’s no longer about specifically getting the ratings one that one occasion on BBC1. So long as the indications are that roughly between 6 and 8 million people are watching it, somehow, each week, then the show is as safe as houses.

– Besides, 4.5 million viewers in 1989 and 4.5 million viewers in 2010 are two very different things.

None of this is attempting to blindly put a “brave face” on ratings that, in isolation and out of context, do look poor. Merely an attempt to get a little perspective before the inevitable hysteria (and no, I haven’t checked the GB forums yet) kicks in. But the pure figures only tell part of the story. So if this makes you panic, you’re a FOOL.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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15 Responses

  1. Jonathan Capps

    I like to think that is the down to everyone in the country thinking Chris Chibnal is shit, rather than the weather.

  2. Back in series 4, the equivalent two-parter – Silence In The Library – got only 5.4 million viewers in the overnights.

    The show stayed on air and the guy who wrote it went on to become the executive producer – so if the pattern continues we have nothing to worry about… oh wait. Bugger.

  3. The final figures are apparently 6m BBC1 + 0.5m HD which, I think, means it’s still got the lowest viewing figures of the revived series. Although 6.5m viewers would keep most Saturday night drama production teams quite happy so hopefully the mentals will calm down now.

  4. Jonathan Capps

    Apparently, there are 3 Tennant episode that did worse:

    http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/06/hungry-earth-final-ratings.html

    These time shifting figures have been amazing this year, though.

  5. Rich

    Even though this article DOES put ratings in a much better perspective, these low ratings are STILL a problem, even with time-shifting. Now, a great deal of that will be because DT has just left, and the ratings always drop in the first series of a new Doctor, so they may go up slightly next year. But, the main problem is not this, it’s that the BBC has no damn respect for the most famous show in Britain, and the oldest SiFi franchise in the world! What the heck do they think they are doing with these earlier timeslots and less and satisfactory advertising campaigns. Don’t they realise that no one is home at 6pm? Its a damn cheek. Doctor Who’s home has always been at 7pm on a Saturday, and that’s where all of the extra ratings come from, I would sorely like to meat the buffoon that is scheduling this.
    Also, Doctor Who should return to its autumnal roots. Water of Mars, ratings, almost 10 million. How thick are some of these BBC bosses? Drama’s do BETTER, when there are people at home to watch them, NOT when everyone is out on the beach. That is why Doctor Who is about the ONLY show on in the summer, because it’s being scheduled by a total dunse. Thank you BBC. Thank you for endangering the finest show Britain, possibly the world, has ever produced, by being a load of idiots.

  6. > the BBC has no damn respect for the most famous show in Britain

    Yeah, that’s it. *sigh*

  7. Well personally I’m in canada and I love dr who… and I am so sick of shows that are getting canceled after one or two seasons and this one I thought was a really good remake personally.

  8. Andy M

    I would sorely like to meat the buffoon that is scheduling this

    Don’t mind me, I just thought this needed repeating.

  9. Desiree

    My husband & I live in the states & we love Doctor Who. I really hope they don’t cancel it!

  10. RCH

    Erm…

    1) It’s not a remake it’s a continuation of the original series and TV Movie; and

    2) The next series is currently shooting and as it’s one of the BBC’s most successful franchises EVER, I doubt it’s going anywhere soon.

  11. Mateo

    No matter the “hot weather”, “time-shifting”, and all the rest of the excuses, there’s no mistaking the interest has really been going down. Oh sure, they could dress up Pee Wee Herman as “the Doctor” and there will always be the die-hard fans (“I still love Dr Who”!).

    For example I watch time-shifted stuff all the time, but as far as the new Doctor Who episodes, it’s taken me a awhile to get around to actually viewing any of them. Maybe it’s the stories, the scripts, the actors… dunno what it is, but despite all the snazzy SFX and hi-production values, something’s missing now in this new Moffat/Smith incarnation.

  12. Hendiadys

    Maybe it’s the stories, the scripts, the actors… dunno what it is, but despite all the snazzy SFX and hi-production values, something’s missing now in this new Moffat/Smith incarnation.

    Well actually the budget was lower this year, so maybe the slightly less lavish SFX and production values were what was bothering you. Or maybe you’re a David Tennant fan rather than a Doctor Who one? A lot of people have that. Unless you can be more specific, we can only fish around in the dark really.

  13. I think the problem is we need a asian doctor

  14. Rham

    Tbh I think the main Problem is the total change in the Dr Who team, as in David Tennant Left due to the Executive Producer leaving who was a good friend of his and the new way they wanted Dr Who to go wasnt in standing with what has went before, Matt Smith is another problem, though no doubt hes a quality actor and another genre would show this, as the Dr im afraid its like a 12 year old coming into the bill as a Chief Inspector it just doesnt fit.

    Also there are a lot of Dr Who Fans who loved DT, so why Hendiadys felt it nessesary to seperate them I have no idea. the overall quality just doesnt feel the same since MS and Chris Chibnal’s teaming up together, im awaiting the end of the current series and the Xmas specials before giving my full Judgement.

    Cheers

  15. Seb Patrick

    David Tennant Left due to the Executive Producer leaving who was a good friend of his and the new way they wanted Dr Who to go wasnt in standing with what has went before

    There’s just one tiny flaw in this statement, though.

    It’s UTTER BOLLOCKS.

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