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Old March 13 2013, 12:33 PM   #55
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Re: The Life And Scandalous Times Of John Nathan-Turner

diankra wrote: View Post
Australis wrote: View Post
So, Jonathan Powell didn't like Who and didn't like JNT, and thought they deserved one another?

If anyone is the arsehole in all this, it's him.
That is what a lot of us have thought for a long time: that Powell is the real villain in setting the 85 cancellation in motion, and in the failure to make any real attempts to turn the series around afterwards (beyond those that resulted from the new creative energy Andrew Cartmel eventually brought in), and that we've been a bit unfair in blaming Michael Grade just because his showman instincts made him put himself in plain sight and take the blame.

The problem with Powell, IMHO, is that he was an excellent producer of 'prestige' drama, but his time as head of drama and BBC1 Controller was a disaster, as - aside from a few occasions when a prestigious production also became a mainstream hit, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or some Austen adaptations - he had no instinct at all for popular programming, and his attempts to come up with it went too much for the lowest common denominator. His time saw a string of disasters like Eldorado, or flops from previously sure-fire production teams (Virtual Murder, Trainer, Moon and Son, Call Me Mister...).

Still, on the strength of the review, his comments seem astonishing, as it sounds as if he's coming close to admitting he was trying to force JNT to resign, which is constructive dismissal. But then JNT is gone, and dead men can't sue.
What makes me smile and keeps me warm at night is that Jonathon Powell is still alive... and Dr Who is the BBC's flagship programme.
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