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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old December 12 2012, 07:35 PM   #16
Brendan Moody
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
I really don't understand why you'd all expect a complete 13 part season every year.
As noted, the fact that Russell T. Davies and co. delivered them for four years running is a big factor.
I imagine that Moffat's team work to the dictates of BBC scheduling, which would include budgetary concerns, etc.
If there's one thing that's always been clear, it's that the BBC wants as much Doctor Who as possible. Remember how peeved Peter Fincham was when he grasped that there was going to be a gap year in 2009 rather than a fifth series?
It's not very common for tv shows to come back every year in the same months as before. Extended breaks and revamped schedules are the norm, not the exception.
That's an overstatement. Occasional breaks and schedule revamps occur, but moving around as much as Doctor Who has since 2009 is the exception, not the norm. Being Human, Downton Abbey, Merlin, Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes... all recent, all managing to run several years in a row with no more than a couple months' schedule shift over those years.

I don't "expect" a 13-part season every year; I grasp the argument for an occasional gap or schedule revamp. But the plan for Doctor Who is shifting a lot more than it used to, and I don't think it's surprising that people wonder why.
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Old December 12 2012, 08:59 PM   #17
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
If there's one thing that's always been clear, it's that the BBC wants as much Doctor Who as possible. Remember how peeved Peter Fincham was when he grasped that there was going to be a gap year in 2009 rather than a fifth series?
It's pretty obvious that Doctor Who's going to be one of the most expensive shows the BBC produce, and I shouldn't think the same amount of money is there as it was in 2005-2009. If the Beeb are really that pissed off with Moffat's performance, wouldn't they move the show over to a new production team?

Occasional breaks and schedule revamps occur, but moving around as much as Doctor Who has since 2009 is the exception, not the norm. Being Human, Downton Abbey, Merlin, Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes... all recent, all managing to run several years in a row with no more than a couple months' schedule shift over those years.
All have been big recent hits though. 7 years down the line, if they're still going, they would be subject to more changes and schedulers' whims. The norm is what happens to all the other shows. And it seems that Doctor Who is now in that same cycle. It's passed its big success peak, and has now settled down into a comfortable thing that people like. They can rest it and move it about, it'll still find its audience when it comes back on.

I don't "expect" a 13-part season every year; I grasp the argument for an occasional gap or schedule revamp. But the plan for Doctor Who is shifting a lot more than it used to, and I don't think it's surprising that people wonder why.
Well, when you've been watching telly as long as I have, you don't come to expect anything. Shows come back when they come back.
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Old December 12 2012, 09:06 PM   #18
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
It's pretty obvious that Doctor Who's going to be one of the most expensive shows the BBC produce, and I shouldn't think the same amount of money is there as it was in 2005-2009.
I'd imagine that is the reason, and specifically, that BBC Wales's budget has been cut (like all the rest of the BBC), so they can't afford to make all the series they like, so they keep pushing Doctor Who back to split its costs over two financial years (regardless of what BBC1, Worldwide, etc, would prefer).
What's frustrating is the contempt for the viewers of not simply admitting that - or whatever the explanation actually is.
It's not as if it's limited to Who - tune into Feedback on Radio Four, and every couple of weeks you'll hear a criticised BBC exec whose answer comes down to "Because I say so, and my opinion must be more important than yours because I've got the job and you haven't, so just shut up and watch/listen to what I'm good enough to give you," - but it is irritating. Because we're not idiots who can't handle the truth - well, not all of us.
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Old December 12 2012, 09:13 PM   #19
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
It's pretty obvious that Doctor Who's going to be one of the most expensive shows the BBC produce, and I shouldn't think the same amount of money is there as it was in 2005-2009.
Nope. Doctor Who gets the standard BBC 45-minute drama budget. It doesn't get any special consideration for the extra costs that go into making it. Anything on top of that it gets by doing deals with BBC America.
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Old December 12 2012, 09:18 PM   #20
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
If the Beeb are really that pissed off with Moffat's performance, wouldn't they move the show over to a new production team?
I don't think they're "that pissed;" I just don't believe they're the primary source of the recent schedule fluctuations.
All have been big recent hits though.
I think you'd be hard pressed to make a quantifiable argument that any of those shows bar Downton Abbey was ever more of a hit than Doctor Who, which is still performing essentially as it was in 2005, is right now. Some long-running shows peter-out in gaps, delays, and specials, and some don't, for a variety of individual and specific reasons, not because that's the way of all celluloid.
Well, when you've been watching telly as long as I have, you don't come to expect anything. Shows come back when they come back.
I don't think the amount of years anyone has been watching telly has anything to do with it.

I'm not utterly averse to the idea that budget is a factor, but the prospect that the only thing BBC Wales could think of to do was to cut production of its most popular programme in half in that programme's 50th anniversary year... well, if that's the actual reason, there's a serious failure of imagination going on. And just last August, Moffat said that while of course he would always like more money, "Doctor Who is incredibly well looked after by the BBC." Is that just PR? Maybe, but the same possibility exists for any other explanation he might give or deny.
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Old December 12 2012, 09:24 PM   #21
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Perhaps from 2013 we'll still have 14 episodes a year. Just split between Spring and Autumn. But in order to do one year with only 6 episodes airing.
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Old December 12 2012, 10:13 PM   #22
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
I don't think the amount of years anyone has been watching telly has anything to do with it.
Why not? My experience means I've long since passed the point of expecting anything from the tv companies.

Anyway, the point is, I'm not aggrieved by the recent scheduling decisions. Doctor Who is my favourite tv show, but I don't need it to be shown to me at any regular times. There's plenty of other things to do in the meantime. Whatever PR bullshit mind games Moffat likes to play, well that's not affecting me - I don't take it as a personal affront. I don't care. I'm happy when the programme comes back on, but there's loads more Doctor Who to occupy me the rest of the time.
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Old December 12 2012, 10:31 PM   #23
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
I don't think the amount of years anyone has been watching telly has anything to do with it.
Why not? My experience means I've long since passed the point of expecting anything from the tv companies.
An old man sits on his porch rocker at dusk, smoking a pipe or doing something equally picturesque. His grandson sits on the porch floor beside him.

"Quite a storm we had last night," the old man says.

"Yep," his grandson replies. "Not out of the ordinary for December, though. More or less what you'd expect."

"Well, as to that, when you've been watching the weather as long as I have, you don't come to expect anything. Storms come back when they come back. Why, once it snowed like that in April."

The young man hesitates. "Did it, grandfather? That must have been quite a time. But still, you know, it doesn't usually snow in April, and it usually does in December. And they say storms come for a reason. The, um, weather experts, and all."

"Weather experts!" The old man snorts. "Thinking there's all these patterns to it, and they still get things wrong half the time! Don't you listen to them, my lad. Don't you bother!"

"But," the young buy continues after another pause, well aware that he's out of his depth when it comes to meteorology, "even when they get things wrong, can't they usually explain why? What changed unexpectedly, or what improbable thing happened that made their forecast go wrong? I mean, isn't there still a logic to it? And isn't the weather usually one way in one month and another way in another? Even if strange things happen sometimes?"

The old man smiles indulgently. "You'll see what I mean when you're older, my boy. My experience means I've long since passed the point of expecting anything from the weather."

Anyway, the point is, I'm not aggrieved by the recent scheduling decisions. Doctor Who is my favourite tv show, but I don't need it to be shown to me at any regular times. There's plenty of other things to do in the meantime. Whatever PR bullshit mind games Moffat likes to play, well that's not affecting me - I don't take it as a personal affront. I don't care. I'm happy when the programme comes back on, but there's loads more Doctor Who to occupy me the rest of the time.
Has anyone in this thread claimed to be aggrieved, to be taking anything as a personal affront, or to need Doctor Who shown to them at regular times? It's possible to be sarcastically dismissive of PR bullshit mind games without feeling any of those things. I'm sure there are people out there in the dark corners of the Internet who do feel those things, and that's a little sad, but what's it got to do with the present discussion?
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Old December 12 2012, 11:18 PM   #24
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

I give up.
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Old December 13 2012, 02:06 AM   #25
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

That's very disappointing. I knew the split season would be wrong. Is it Moffat pushing this or the BBC?
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Old December 13 2012, 03:19 AM   #26
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Carols by Candlelight wrote: View Post
That's very disappointing. I knew the split season would be wrong. Is it Moffat pushing this or the BBC?

I'm fairly certain the split season was Moffat's choice. I can't see BBC madating that such a short season be split up.

Besides, split seasons are more an American thing, and even then there's been debate for years as to whether it actually helps a show or hurts it. Splitting a season seems more like part of Moffat's agenda to make Doctor Who more appealing to Americans.

Of course, my main problem is that Doctor Who has had practically no presence at all in 2012. Five episodes, plus an upcoming Christmas special, three new novels, one of which was a novelization of an unaired script from 1979. A graphic novel which has actually been sitting on the back burner since Tennant's run and had to be updated to feature Smith instead of Tennant. Character Options was forced to create something new in order to have Doctor Who toys for Christmas. If it weren't for the steady stream of new DVDs from the classic era, you could say there was practically nothing from Doctor Who this year.
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Old December 13 2012, 03:22 AM   #27
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

Except the giant ton of Big Finish audio plays.
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Old December 13 2012, 03:27 AM   #28
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

True, which of course those have been in regular production even before the 2005 revival.

I guess my point is there has been practically jack shit done with the incumbent Doctor this year. Hell, of the three new novels I mentioned, only one was about the Eleventh Doctor.
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Old December 13 2012, 05:13 AM   #29
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Besides, split seasons are more an American thing, and even then there's been debate for years as to whether it actually helps a show or hurts it. Splitting a season seems more like part of Moffat's agenda to make Doctor Who more appealing to Americans.
We split seasons that are twice the size, simply because we don't allow for as much lead time before airing the first episode of the season as the BBC does. The split is causing BBC America headaches (and money for ads to get the viewers back come spring); it's not making anything more appealing...
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Old December 13 2012, 01:13 PM   #30
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Re: 2013 Transmission / Shooting Details

ATimson wrote: View Post
We split seasons that are twice the size, simply because we don't allow for as much lead time before airing the first episode of the season as the BBC does. The split is causing BBC America headaches (and money for ads to get the viewers back come spring); it's not making anything more appealing...
The BBC in general is causing BBC America headaches.

The BBC's inability to decide when "Asylum of the Daleks" was going to air made it almost impossible for BBC America to promote the season before it launched -- they couldn't produce posters, ads, commercials, etc., that had a specific date.

Specifically on the split seasons, BBC America doesn't have the budget for promoting both halves.

Also, on split seasons on American television in general...

We had a discussion at work about split seasons, and we were trying to figure out who to blame. (My coworkers were upset at the midseason break for The Walking Dead.) The thing is, no one's to blame. American television has always had split seasons, it's just that we never advertised them as such. Shows usually take a breather in the schedules during November and December. The networks use that as a time to put specials and other events on the schedule, while the programs can catch up productive-wise and build up another bank of episodes. It was always an informal thing, but shows like Battlestar formalized the broadcast break into a narrative break.
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