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Doctor Who Thread of Space and Time: Discussing Twice Upon A Time (SPOILERS)


Merch alert!!!


Oooh, I wonder if they’ll expand if these do well.

I want an Eric Roberts Master in this style.
I know you’re all thinking it.


So apparently the BBC were considering having Moffat end his run with the end of series 10 and just not having any Christmas special for Doctor Who this year - until Moffat agreed to step in and do the Christmas episode.

It would have meant no new episodes of the show for more than a year (from July this year to Autumn next year).

I’m not usually one to jump on the BBC and complain that they’re mistreating the show - it sounds like they were just trying to cope with a scheduling issue that prevented Chibnall from starting with the Christmas episode - but I’m glad that we got a Christmas special just to keep a little bit of momentum going during the long break.


Perhaps you should start?

I think they’ve mismanaged it for years.


Agreed. The BBC’s scheduling has been a mess for all of Capaldi’s run.

And I’m not convinced that having the show on in the Autumn (and putting it up against X-Factor and after Strictly Come Dancing) works well. It means that the show starts later.


I generally try not to get too worked up about these things. I’m happy we get the show in its current form - even if I do sometimes wish it was treated differently - and knowing the pressures that the BBC are under at the moment, I’m grateful even for that.


I’m not.

Really, this isn’t about the BBC being under pressure, it’s about their inability to schedule a show properly. That’s a management issue, not political pressure from the government or Murdoch.


Budget has always been an issue for the show, and I think it’s a bit naive to separate that from the political pressures the BBC faces, especially at the moment.

It’s no coincidence that we’ve had only had four full seasons of the show over the past six years. That’s a money issue as well as a management one.

I recommend reading some of the Private Eye coverage of the show’s various problems over recent years, it’s quite illuminating (both when it comes to the budget issues and the various personal issues surrounding the management of the show). It is a combination of lots of factors, I don’t think we can separate the show’s problems from the larger BBC pressures. Neither can we say its solely down to those more political factors, though.

Like I say, I don’t find it worth getting worked up over this stuff as I don’t think it makes much difference - other than maybe letting fans feel better by venting (like they vent and moan about everything else connected to the show).

Even if it could be handled better, I’m still grateful to have the show, given how close it seems to have come to falling apart in recent years - and falling off the schedules altogether.


And yet other shows continue, without this drama.

I can complain about how the BBC manages Dr Who because there are other shows that don’t suffer the same way.

Moaning about a female Doctor or the some other fan prejudice is not the same as complaining about scheduling and trying to lump it all together as “fan” issues isn’t going to change that. Especially when some of that moaning is also coming from people on the show.

Broadcasting is a job, a business, even public service broadcasting, and if it’s done badly it’s going to get called on it.

You may not feel that it’ll change anything, but the only reason the show came back from the wilderness is that there was a clear presence of people who wanted it to. If they’d given up and gone away the show would’ve stayed dead.

So I’ll withdraw what I said earlier; you don’t have to moan if you feel you have nothing to moan about.

But I do.


With not much in the way of news for the show at the moment, here’s quite a fun hypothetical from Digital Spy:

My immediate response is ‘probably not’, but it could be fun to see them try. I know quite a few soaps have done it in the past, but given the complexities of Doctor Who I imagine it would be a far more complicated undertaking.

(I always have a feeling with these live shows that people are watching them hoping for a slip-up or mistake, though, which might make for a fun blooper but isn’t really what I watch DW for.)


Aye, I like Live episodes cause I enjoy seeing where the seams are and a bit of frantics…but mistakes…eh I’d save that for bonus features on a DVD. Not something I’m trying to watch as an episode.


Didn’t Casualty just do an episode in a single take? I want to see Doctor Who do that.
Somebody call Alfonso Cuaron!


It might be interesting to try.

Did you see the live Quatermass Experiement from a few years back (with Jason Fleming, Mark Gatiss and David Tennant)? That worked okay. It could be doable, but it would probably be a very different sort of episode in terms of what effects were doable and in terms of production design.


Wasn’t a chunk of the First Doctor’s run broadcast live?


I’ve seen talk of some of Hartnell’s episodes being recorded ‘as live’ - with a minimum of editing, retakes etc., which is why some mistakes and verbal slip-ups stay in the finished episodes - but I don’t know about them actually going out live.


That completely passed me by somehow.


I saw it, I didn’t think it was great.

To be honest, I’m not interested in gimmicks like this. TV isn;t theatre, where they have a long time in rehearsal to get their timings right and then a run to really polish it.

A lot of TV is pre-recorded for a good reason. :slight_smile:


I’m guessing here, but I assume that the sets used, lighting used, makeup would have to be rethought for a live episode. Would that be correct?


Just on the subject of scheduling, logically, if you had a franchise like Doctor Who, you’d be wanting to make it habitual watching. The Christmas episide practically is now, why would they ever think not doing one would be a good idea. It’s not like the BBC are bursting at the seams with much loved shows that have the staying power of Who.

Every year we should get Easter start to the series and Christmas special, like clockwork.


That live Quatermass was pretty ropey. I don’t think Doctor Who would work live - there’s far too much that could go wrong if you did anything more complicated that a conversation in the TARDIS (so maybe a Comic Relief sketch would work live?)

Hartnell era wasn’t broadcast live, just recorded as live, with I think only two recording breaks per episode. But shows contemporary to it were done live - Coronation Street, Z Cars, I think. There’s a good (probably apocryphal) story about Brian Blessed on Z Cars actually, where they were going live (or as live) and he, as a police officer, was interrogating a suspect. The other act got so panicked by Blessed’s intensity that they skipped a good chunk of their lines and confessed early.

There’s a good documentary (or two) on the Classic Dr Who DVDs about that kind of stuff and the era of black and white TV in general.