Brace Yourselves for the Self-Destruction of DOCTOR WHO

The First Doctor – as if you didn’t know

By which we mean the bombastic overexposure of the show in honor of its upcoming (2013) 50th anniversary. The 2012 season still hasn’t begun, nor has the start date been pinned down beyond “Fall of 2012”), and we’re already feeling assaulted by:


Plus – of course – a plethora of interweb posts guessing/gossiping about what’s going to be happening after the 2012 starting gun goes off and how it will relate to the Anniversary Celebration.

Mark Gatiss, hard at work in that wonderful writer way

The latest special is a DOCTOR WHO 90-minute drama called (maybe) AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME. Written by SHERLOCK, BEING HUMAN, and WHO writer (and actor) Mark Gatiss, who’s been tweeting away about it, this “long-cherished drama about the creation ofDoctor Who (Gatiss’ tweet-words), seems to be a sort of docudrama.

“This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original,” Gatiss says in the U.K.’s Radio Times, “and how…William Hartnell – stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children.”

Being huge DOCTOR WHO fanboys (and girls), we’re so eager to see this show we wish it already was done, but as we digest the news we come up with a typical TVWriter™ Good/Bad reaction:

The Good: The headline on the Radio Times article reflects the kind of attitude we as writers have always wanted to see: “Mark Gatiss to pen Doctor Who “making of” drama, An Adventure in Space and Time.”

More Good: That same headline features the actual writer of this specific show as opposed to, say, the writer currently most associated with the show, Executive Producer Steven Moffat. (We think of him as the Whovian Stan Lee. If you know more than just a little about the history of Marvel Comics you’ll know what we mean. Except that we like Stan a lot more.)

The Bad: Too much publicity too soon. Interviews with former WHO Doctors Chris Eccleston and David Tennant, hinting at their participation in the Big Anniversary Universe-Encompassing And Possibly Shattering Episode, which have been appearing everywhere but saying nothing other than, “Hey, we the fans are hoping these guys will be in it,” are the worst sort of hype, and they’re merely the tip of the iceberg. There are also the interviews with soon-to-be-former companion Karen Gillan, the general speculation on the specifics of the new companion who will be following her, the Entertainment Weekly Matt Smith cover swooning – taken one at a time each of these things is a wonderful bonus for fans, but flung together this way about a series that’s still on vacation…well, we’ve gone from amused to irritated and are just about to hit indignant. At this rate, by the time Doc’s 50th rolls around we’re going to be too ticked off to even watch.

Okay, not that ticked off. We could never be that upset. But, all in all, we don’t think the Beeb is doing itself or its flagship series any favors by over-hyping it this way, and we’re worried about potential negative effects on our fave.

How about you?

EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Minions! You used “plethora” properly in a sentence in this post! The secret word, and so early in the day. There shall be treats. Congrats. Oh…and, yeah, not a bad analysis, all in all. But Stan Lee or Steven Moffat , or I, probably would’ve done better. Carry on.

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