There’s an article on the Metro website where Steven Moffat dropped a bombshell! At the Hay Literary Festival, he claimed the BBC thought Doctor Who ‘wouldn’t succeed at all’ without David Tennant. According to Moffat, it was Russell T. Davies who once again came to the shows rescue! ‘I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it. It was Russell T. Davies saying, “you are not allowed to end it”‘. So RTD not only brought the show back from the Wilderness, but may have also staved off cancellation. I find it unlikely that they seriously considered axing the show for a second time, but you never know…
It’s been 9 years since Doctor Who made its triumphant return to our screens. For those of us who watched the old show, that 16 year gap was agony. We welcomed the return and all the new fans who joined the story with Rose.
I remember the day well. The BBC Doctor Who site said “Sit down. Put down your cup of tea. It’s coming back. On BBC One”. And 18 months later we had something we now call “New Who”. I have issues with some of Russell T. Davis’ writing, but I will always be grateful that he believed in the show, persevering, fighting with execs, making the hard choices that made it such a huge hit. He brought it back just different enough to be successful, by some measures more successful than ever, but still very recognizable to us long term fans. I have no doubt that the man fighting the Slitheen is absolutely the man who fought the Cybermen on Telos and the Wirrn on Space Station Nerva
The new series is by most measure far superior to the classic. The budget is huge, the special effects are great, the characters more well developed and scripts more emotional. Having said that, there is definitely a charm to the classic series. If you’ve only seen the last 3 Doctors, I encourage you to drop everything and go watch Ark in Space. t have to go all the way back to An Unearthly Child, but maybe Rose? Or even The Eleventh Hour would be a good place to pick up the action. I especially love that the new series has gone through 3 leading men, with a 4th filming now. And 2 producers and, depending who you count, 5 companions. It’s shown itself to be bigger than any one man. It owes its renewed existence to RTD but we have moved on from him. And love him or hate him, Steven Moffatt has put his own stamp on the series, his version of things, and no doubt his successor will do the same. People will naturally come and go, viewers change as often as the show. This is how it survives. We could have shut it all down when Ian and Barbara left. Or when Rose said goodbye. But we didn’t. It changes, evolves and thrives. That’s why each generation has their very own Doctor. We’ll be heartbroken when they leave, but forget them by the time the new one’s closing credits roll. As it should be.