Monday, 29 July 2013

That Was The Rant That Was 28.7.13

A couple of very important statements from the BBC this week. The first is that the 50th Anniversary story will receive a simultaneous broadcast globally - meaning, of course, that whilst we in the UK get to see it on a suitably cold and foggy Saturday evening (my weather predictions are a damn sight better than the Met Office's), others will see it early in the morning or late at night depending on your time zone.
The other announcement pertains to that troublesome Comic-Con trailer. The fact that the BBC had to release such a statement at all shows you the strength of feeling about this - and has lead to a more general concern about just how special this anniversary year is actually playing out.
The BBC are at pains to assure us that the trailer was only shown at Comic-Con, San Diego, and is not generally available in the US - as some people did think this was some kind of US vs UK thing.
The fact still  remains that the trailer's content can be freely commented upon / described - just not actually watched, which seems a bit daft to me. I appreciate events such as Comic-Con should get exclusives - but why can't an exclusive be time limited? As in you get to see it first and everyone else has to wait (but does get to see it eventually - i.e. a week or so later). Doctor Who seems to be the only "product" at Comic-Con where there seems to be a deliberate attempt to prevent presentations being broadcast. I thought it was about selling things to the widest possible market - not just a few hundred people in a room, a lot of whom are bloggers, journalists and so forth, and not necessarily producers and show-makers.
I could have sworn that when the Superman - Batman  crossover movie was announced, the image was released to the world. Henry Cavill et al did not say "Here's the image, but -  by the way - you're not allowed to show it to anyone".
For me, Steven Moffat does not come out of this very well. He seems all too quick to threaten. When the finale was leaked early on US Bu-ray a few months ago, it was "Don't leak or you won't get a special clip". This time round, "Leak, and I won't give Comic-Con another exclusive ever again".
Sheer petulance. Is the BBC really going to skip Comic-Con in future?
They've shown us some key Dalek images and we've read about the other scenes - Ten experiencing "sonic envy" and repeating Troughton's comments on seeing the Pertwee TARDIS etc - so why not just stick the blessed thing on the official site? It's not like we're asking them to stick the whole bloomin' synopsis on wiki.
Which brings me to the general concern about just how special this year has been so far.

  • We've had a Prom - London based - which sold out in seconds and is not anything that hasn't been done before. We've also got to wait to see it broadcast.
  • We've got a Convention lined up - London based - which has also sold out in seconds. 
  • We have the BFI screenings - London based - which have very limited availability to the general public. The 8th & 10th screenings have been announced. Wasn't there a 9th Doctor?
  • The 8 episodes broadcast this year were actually stolen from last year (we only had 5 episodes in 2012, remember) - robbing Peter to pay Paul, as the old saying goes. Moving things around to make it look as if you're getting more than you think is nothing more than a cynical ploy.
  • BBC DVD seems hell bent on ripping us off left, right and centre - delivering a Series 7 box set that some people will have waited over a year for (only to find they could have bought the Parts 1 & 2 sets already and got the same material - and they need to track down Widow / Wardrobe separately anyway); The Tenth Planet released early alongside loads of vanilla releases (some poor quality) of previously released stuff for a lot of money; Terror of the Zygons released early (for a lot of money) as a vanilla release along with, amongst other things, a plastic figure with one Doctor's head simply stuck on the body of another; and No Completion - in that we don't know what unnecessary "Special" Edition the second episode of The Underwater Menace will be stuck on next year. It had better be an individual release with the missing two episodes animated.
I strongly suspect that, rather than Anno Domini 2013 being a special year for the programme, November 2013 will be a special month for Doctor Who - because a flurry of activity around then will be really what it all boils down to. And remember, Series 8 won't be on TV until autumn 2014 - and then probably only half a series yet again.


  1. Moffat is a c**t. Sorry that's a very rude word and this is not a trolling comment but that's the only way I can describe him. He's a jumped up, bitchy fan who is in love with his own perceived level of power and I can't effing wait until he goes and the door slams shut behind him. Pi** off and good riddance. Its the worst time to be a fan, worse than the wilderness years and in fact its just about turned me off being a fan for life.

    1. I think I've said before that I believe he doesn't give the programme his totally undivided attention. He needs to work out what his priorities are - in terms of the series and the fans. Yes, I know, you don't run the programme based on what fans want - but at least lend an ear to them through your minions. RTD not only ran Who, but Torchwood and Sarah Jane as well. Moffat seems to struggle with just Who and Sherlock - which is only 3 episodes every couple of years, and Conan Doyle has done all the ground work anyway.
      Personally, as he says he is due for the off anyway, he should have let his successor pick the 12th and bowed out with Matt Smith.

    2. Thanks Gerry. I feel badly about my above comment, I breached my own standard of conduct there. I don't normally post in that manner but it just seems like this was supposed to be a great year to enjoy the celebrations, but it just seems we;ve been shortchanged. And when you realise as you say in your post that Peter has been robbed to pay Paul, and yet we're expected to be happy about it - combine that with endless reissues of DVDs, naff story arcs and poor character development, it starts to leave a sour taste.

  2. A lot of fans are not happy with the current state of Doctor Whodom so I can fully understand people loosing their cool (so to speak)when voicing opinion on the current showrunner. All I'm going to add is that he's a great episode writer but a crap showrunner. I am honestly worrying about his choice of 12th Doctor.

    1. I agree. I don't want to come across as totally anti-moffat. There have been some brilliant stories, but some questionable decisions. I just don't want this year to be an anti-climax.