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


It’s true, 45 minutes is fine but if Doctor Who thinks I’ve got an extra 15 minutes per week to give it then it’s got another think coming.


The most watched and downloaded television drama on the planet uses this format.


I don’t get much time to watch tv. Maybe 5 or 6 hours a week. Sometimes one night I’ll get 2 to 3 hours

I can fit more 30-45 min shows in to that time than I can hour long ones.

It’s genuinely off putting for me

I make exceptions for certain things like GoT, but DR Who is nowhere near that level


To be honest, I’d rather just sit for another half hour and watch a movie


There’s a lot of competition out there for our time and it’s getting increasingly more competitive

Dr Who will need to be pretty shit hot to justify that run time


I was just pointing out that not all one-hour shows run to one hour; most are the length of the extant Nu-Who episodes.

Also, I can’t think of any good hour-long, 10-episode UK shows. US shows with their script room environments yes, but not the single writer stuff made in the UK (I’m sure there must be, but nothing springs to mind).


Fair enough. I don’t watch so much TV that the difference between a 45-minute show and an hourlong show is really a big deal for me (and Doctor Who frequently runs over 45 minutes anyway), but I can see how it would make a difference if you’re trying to fit in multiple shows a night.


Nine episodes of 70 minutes each, so close. :wink:


Doctor Who is an amalgam anyway, it has never been a single writer show.

Single writer BBC shows do tend to extend only to 6 episodes.

I did want to quote Our Friends in the North which Dave mentioned as I think it is one of the best dramas ever made but to be fair it is a little unique and BBC2 turned their entire annual budget over to make it an experiment.


Tick in the box :grinning:

Need more.


It tends to be a single writer per episode, though. We need the writersroom approach.


Joking aside, the model here is clearly something like Chibnall’s own Broadchurch, which he wrote himself and is three series, each of 8 x 60 minutes (yes, 45 minutes if you skip the ads, but a lot of people watching it won’t). It was hugely popular and Chibnall is comfortable with the model.

My one real reservation for longer running times is that it might be harder for younger kids to last a full episode - but as long as the show is good, I don’t think it will make a huge difference compared to the 45 minute episodes.


No we really don’t. :smile:

I’m quite strongly opinionated on that one. The semi-auteur aspect of Doctor Who is a vital part of the show and something I cherish. Let it be flawed but don’t let it be the same as the rest on offer.


So the obvious conclusion is, either length is fine but more of the writers need to learn how to write something that works in the length they’ve been given.


Broadchurch style? :confused:

Do you mean The Key To Time style?




Yes, I’d forgotten the Key to Time, although in fairness, it’s incidental at best to most of the series. It’s almost entirely irrelevant to Androids of Tara, only of passing importance in Stones of Blood and Pirate Planet and a macguffin in Power of Kroll and most of the Ribos Operation.


And going back to the length vs quantity argument, I think it’s desirable to have more rolls of the dice at coming up with a good story than hoping an extra 15 minutes will improve the ones you’ve got, but I suspect the latter option is the much cheaper and cost effective one. And it will presumably eliminate the need for Doctor-lite episodes and hopefully reduce the chance of burn-out for the cast.


Again I think it’s one of those ‘it depends’ things. Done well it would remove the couple of duds we usually get each series. Done badly it’s your scenario.


True. But I suspect the episodes we lose will be the quirky, experimental or more thoughtful ones. If you look at the RTD seasons as a template, the Doctor-lites are an obvious first target (bye bye Blink), the late season two-parters would likely lose an episode (Satan Pit becomes a much more frantic single episode without the deep, ruminations about faith and that) and then one of the other stand-alones, likely a showrunner episode (The Long Game, Midnight, Gridlock) to lighten their load. Not that lightening Chibnall’s load doesn’t sound appealing, mind.