Tony Fyler gets his tabloid on...
At a London meeting of the Shadow Cabinet before facing his first Prime Minister’s Question Time, new Leader of the UK Labour Party and unreconstructed 1970s-style Socialist Jeremy Corbyn is reported to have announced radical plans for one of the BBC’s great money-spinning programmes – Doctor Who – if he becomes Prime Minister.
Working in concert with new Shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher, Corbyn reportedly wants the programme to appeal to younger viewers as it did in the 70s, and to that end, has instructed Dugher to work with BBC bosses on a strategy to bring back Classic Time Lord Tom Baker in the lead role.
Concerned at what he calls the ‘creeping Scotification’ of the 21st century show, Corbyn is understood to favour a return of the scarf-wearing Fourth Doctor, alongside leggy companion Leela (played still in Big Finish audio to great effect by Louise Jameson), as ‘something for the dads.’
With rumours rising of intense pressure from commercial companies for the Beeb to sell its crown jewel to raise funds and allow the dissolution of the UK TV License Fee (a bug-bear of current Culture Secretary John Whittingdale), Corbyn’s plans have been welcomed by some Classic fans who feel Baker and Jameson represent the programme at its peak, and by left-wing political figures who want the BBC to remain independent of commercial pressures.
But the move is likely to divide Who fandom down the middle, with New Who fans possibly resistant to the return of an ‘even older’ actor to the lead role (Baker appeared in the Fiftieth Anniversary Special and may or may not have a role in the first episode of Series 9). Many feel that while Baker still has what it takes to be the Doctor in the audio realm (he has just finished his fourth season of adventures with the company), a return to a slower, William Hartnell-style role for the lead character may alienate many younger fans who grew up watching Eccleston, Tennant and particularly Matt Smith portray the Doctor in a younger, more active way.
Prime Minister David Cameron has yet to respond to Corbyn’s plans for a 70s Who revival – and neither has Corbyn outlined any similar change in head writer, though Philip Hinchliffe and Terrance Dicks could still both be available to take the role if asked. There are also several years before the next UK election. But it’s possible the future of Doctor Who could become an issue in the polls when ideologies next clash at the ballot box.
Here at WarpedFactor, our position is clear – when in doubt, Vote Saxon!
Tony Fyler lives in a cave of wall-to-wall DVDs and Blu-Rays somewhere fairly
nondescript in Wales, and never goes out to meet the "Real People". Who,
Torchwood, Sherlock, Blake, Treks, Star Wars, obscure stuff from the
70s and 80s and comedy from the dawn of time mean he never has to. By
runs an editing house, largely as an
excuse not to have to work for a living. He's currently writing a Book.
With Pages and everything. Follow his progress at FylerWrites.co.uk