Doctor Who: Diminishing Returns, Degeneration, and Cancellation

. . No comments:
Stacy Embry addresses the possibility of no new season of Doctor Who in 2016...

The BBC and trusted sources are hinting about a limited series 10 for Doctor Who, or, at the extreme, no new Who in 2016. There are even rumors of a degeneration back to the Eighth Doctor!

Awhile ago, I wrote an article about Doctor Who's popularity, not so much waning - just not growing exponentially as projected. I shared my sincere concern about the viability of a static program funded by the national treasury. In daring to be an American interpreting the British signs, readers and pundits called me Chicken Little and actually mocked my suggestion that the fiscal world could ever slow the juggernaut of their beloved show. I trusted my speculation by writing on it, and currently find myself, in a word: Right.

Suddenly, I'm Cassandra with no one believing me?

I do feel a vindication, yet no joy, in the validation of my OP/ED. See, with austerity and the world's financial instability coupled with noted individual viewing alterations, Doctor Who was/is in jeopardy. The BBC is low on funds, couple that with the radical casting of Peter Capaldi and the wary weariness of Steven Moffat, and it has made the show again ripe for a prolonged hiatus.

Now, the talk of everything from privatization to limiting the number of episodes is clearly irritating the vocal Moff. He's in such a position of power that if he pulled Sherlock and Who... he could almost single-handedly break the BBC.

The loser is the audience, and Mr. Capaldi who is still being marginalized. Some people are crying bait/switch... but Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor has become a profound fulfillment of the dynasty. The articles that claim his age, his interpretation, his... whatever, may have doomed the series are only applicable for those who misunderstand the show. I admit, I initially had a bit of a challenge there myself, but Capaldi's incarnation of the Doctor won me over by Robot of Sherwood. On balance, I'd put the past season up against most, if not all of new Who.

Still to be honest, I believe that it is binge watching that has truly diminished this treasure of a show. Humans don't value all of space and time for a flat fee. There's no resonance, no nuance or investing - just banal consumption. And this delivery method makes recouping an investment at the Netflix contract rate quite difficult. Nor does it allow the BBC to value the work, just the merchandising. And the fine balance of writing, acting and producing quality work for quality's sake seems to no longer be enough. How can they register when you watch first viewed episodes one right after another? If "video killed the radio star" then Netflix killed the "video star."

About the future of Doctor Who, this kind of speculation actually hurts. A hiatus, limited season, forced degeneration, any of it, just makes me sad.

I can't bring myself to say I told you so, but...

Risk-adverse, Stacy would not even enter the TARDIS in case it suddenly set to motion. Yet, gentle reader, she feels compelled to clarify that she writes opinion or editorial pieces. By using logic and reasoning, she always hopes to coherently provoke honest discourse.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Warped Factor
Daily features, news and reviews from the world of geek!