Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Views on 50th Coverage in UK

Disclaimer: This post is my own opinion and does not reflect the views of The Doctor Who Bar.  Despite being the 2nd in command of the bar I am writing this as purely a columnist.

The BBC have announced what wonders we can expect for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

I am completely underwhelmed and unsurprised by the poor output they are providing.

Here is a list of it courtesy of the BBC One Facebook page.

- In a special one-off programme, Professor Brian Cox will try to answer the classic questions raised by the Doctor – can you really travel in time? Does extra-terrestrial life exist in our galaxy? And how do you build something as fantastical as the TARDIS?

-The Culture Show will present ‘Me, You and Doctor Who’ with lifelong fan Matthew Sweet exploring the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama, arguing that it’s one of the most important cultural artefacts of modern Britain.

- BBC Two will then wrap up its coverage with the previously announced ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ written by Mark Gatiss

ON BBC Three:
-'Doctor Who: Monsters and Villains Weekend’ will countdown to the top Doctor Who monster as voted for by you.

- 'Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide’ will introduce those less familiar to the show to a wealth of archive material and act as a guide to all things Who.

- We also have one further exciting commission to be announced later this year which will see the celebrations finish with a bang.

- Audiences will be introduce audiences to the first Doctor, William Hartnell, with a special re-run of the first ever story, which marked the start of 50 years of history. The four episodes are being shown in a restored format, not previously broadcast in the UK.

There will also be programmes across #CBBC including two live #BluePeter specials.

ON BBC Radio 1:
- A documentary will look at 'Time Lord Rock (TROCK)' as a genre of music inspired by the Doctor and his journeys through space and time.

ON BBC Radio 2
- 'Who is the Doctor' will look at the lasting appeal of Doctor Who and ask how much of its continued success can be attributed to its basic formula.

- In ‘The Blagger’s Guide to Doctor Who’, David Quantick will give the iconic Doctor the Blagger’s treatment. He’ll be finding out the answers to questions such as why do Americans think Tom Baker is still Doctor Who? How many Doctors have there really been? Were the Daleks really named after an encyclopaedia?

- Finally, Graham Norton will be broadcasting his weekly Radio 2 show live (Saturday 23 November, 10am) from the Doctor Who Celebration in London.

I think the Graham Norton bit will annoy a few fans in the UK who remember his voice being heard during Rose and also his animated image popping up on screen in other episodes to advertise what was on next.

Some of those things appeal to me more than others but I am not posting this to slate what the BBC are saying they are showing.  Merely I am saying is that all?  Some may say what more do you want surely that is a lot.  Perhaps it is but let me explain about other countries 50th celebration of the show.

Australia and NZ have shown the following serials from the shows original run:

An Unearthly Child, The Aztecs, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The War Machines,  The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Dominators , The Mind Robber  The Seeds of Death Spearhead from Space, The Daemons, The Three Doctors, Death to the Daleks, The Ark in Space, Genesis of the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars, The Hand of Fear, The Robots of Death, City of Death, Kinda, Earthshock, Snakedance, Frontios, Resurrection of the Daleks, The Caves of Androzani, Attack of the Cybermen, Vengeance on Varos, The Mark of the Rani, The Two Doctors, Revelation of the Daleks, Paradise Towers, Remembrance of the Daleks, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, The Curse of Fenric, Survival and the Eighth Doctor TV Movie

America has seen:

The Aztecs, The The Tomb of the Cybermen, Spearhead from Space, Pyramids of Mars, Earthshock, Vengeance on Varos, Remembrance of the Daleks and the Eighth Doctor TV Movie.

These markets have also seen a series of specials entitled The Doctors Revisited.  These specials as the name suggests have been looking back at each Doctor and are set to continue with 3 more specials for the Ninth to Eleventh Doctors.   The 1st 4 have also been released on DVD in America and 5-8 are scheduled for release at the start of October, with the final 3 being released in December.  I should also add these countries have aired the specials and repeats on BBC owned channels.

The UK has had none of this.  I have to ask why?  When we have a) probably paid for these specials to be made with our licence fee and b) when we pay for the show in itself to be made with our licence fee.  Yet we are getting treated like we do not count or matter.  I applaud the BBC for making the programmes for the UK mentioned above which may or may not get shown in other countries but why not show the revisited specials and why not make BBC Four a home for more repeats from the original run.  I run a Facebook page here which was originally set up after The Hand of Fear was repeated as a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen but now in the shows 50th year it really is something they should be doing.


  1. I understand what you're saying but that is a lot. As someone who lives in Australia, yes it is good to have the repeats airing (which is bringing new fans to the show) but there is nothing to celebrate for the die hard fans. We would love the have these specials air (the Blue Peter episodes not so much) but at the moment there has been no word that they ever will.

  2. I would hope these other specials will make an appearance on UK:TV or other stations in Australia.

    Just wish as the people that pay for it all to be made we would get the Revisited specials and more repeats from Original run.

    1. The Doctors Revisited is now to be shown in the UK: