Sunday 15 April 2012


I earlier mentioned that I did not intend this to be a Spoiler Blog, so perhaps I ought to define what I regard to be a spoiler, and why I dislike them.
The fact that the Daleks were coming back this year (and the Weeping Angels) was revealed at the Official BBC Convention, and printed in the Official Doctor Who Magazine a couple of weeks later. This is therefore common knowledge and in the public domain. That Episode 5 will be Amy & Rory's last - and the one featuring the Angels - was similarly revealed in the same manner.
That Daleks from all eras were going to be appearing in Episode 1 was confirmed in a tweet from Steven Moffat, with a photo of a 60's Dalek.
This week the crew have been in New York, filming in Central Park amongst other locations - very public locations at that. Again, a NY shoot was revealed both at the Convention and in the pages of DWM. There are quite a few pictures such as this one doing the rounds:

Nothing particularly spoiler-y as you can see. It would have been different if an unannounced guest star / character / monster was in the frame, but all the pics I've seen show just the 3 regulars. No pictures of Rory with a spear through him or getting shot / blown up.
Would it be spoiler-y for me to say that River Song will also be in Episode 5? It hasn't been announced anywhere officially. However, I simply can't see her not being in mum and dad's final adventure. Alex Kingston wasn't seen in NY, but then again neither were the Angels, so the key scenes (the potential spoilers) are being recorded in studio or in an enclosed location - which is great for those of us who want to sit down in October / November and watch the drama unfold.
Knowing a monster or character is going to be in an episode, or that the Doctor will be regenerating at the end, doesn't necessarily spoil my enjoyment of an episode. I still want to see how they will be included, how an event comes about. It is the storytelling that I want to remain a mystery until broadcast.
Who are the worst spoilers of the lot? Why the BBC themselves of course. The news of Chris Eccleston's resignation was poorly handled by the BBC, who obviously hadn't reckoned on the programme's massive and instant popularity. He had only been on screen 5 minutes when we learned he had quit.
Do you remember this RT cover?

Issued on the Tuesdays before the programme was broadcast. "Don't worry, it's not like we're giving away the cliffhanger" said the Beeb. What was the cliffhanger to The Daleks in Manhatten? Why, the big reveal of Dalek-Human Hybrid Sec of course.
Now I don't know what the cover did for RT's sales, but as an attempt to get more people watching it was a complete failure. Nearly 2 million less people watched this episode than had watched Gridlock the week before.
Then there are the programme personnel who leak stuff to the press / internet. And they can only be production staff as some of the images seem to come from within the studios themselves. I remember seeing Davros' tunic hanging on a rail in one picture. This wasn't likely to have been taken by a passing member of the public. Only someone with access to Wardrobe could have taken it. Then there was this image:

We now know it is a capture from the video marking David Tennant's departure from the show - cast and crew miming to The Proclaimers' "500 Miles". It gave away that the Master was coming back, and that Timothy Dalton was not only guesting but would be playing a Time Lord (who were all supposed to be dead)! Major spoiler. Again, this video was not in the public domain at the time. Someone within the BBC had to have leaked it.
Tabloids often quote an "insider" when they reveal a future plot point. Sometimes these reveals are utter nonsense (David Jason as the Master, and an Auton replica of David Beckham from Mme Tussauds leading an attack on Downing Street in Series 1. I kid you not). However, a lot of the time they do prove to be genuine plot points.
Last year The Girl Who Waited was being rumoured to be called "The Green Anchor". The writer has claimed his story was never once called that, so where did the name come from? Well of course the (largely) studio bound story featured Red Waterfall and Green Anchor symbols. Yet again, someone associated with the production must have blabbed.
Back in the 1980's, when the internet was a much smaller (and saner) place, John Nathan-Turner used to put fictitious episode titles on his noticeboard to see if they would be leaked and maybe work out who the culprit might be, so spoilers are not a new phenomenon by any means. (One of the titles he used was The Doctor's Wife. Silly name for a story...).
So, if you really want to appreciate and enjoy the forthcoming new stories as they unfold this Autumn, stay clear of about three quarters of the internet and don't keep taking the tabloids.

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