Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Doctor Who Debut Date in the UK & US - A Fan's Rant!!

When will Doctor Who debut?   Spoilers Sweety!!!!

Okay, I am mad at a few things here.  First off, did you know that the debut date of most American shows this fall were known (to the public) as early as July?  So why does the BBC always wait until the last minute with their release dates?  Doctor Who starts in 2 weeks and there is no official world yet??? WTF?  Wait a minute, I thought there was an announcement a while back.  This happens every year.

Everyone knows that the show will be out on the BBC on September 1.  Fans have spent hundreds of hours scouring the internet, watching commercials and looking for clues for the date.  Hundreds of posts online have discussed this.  I bet people are already discussing season 8 and 9's debut dates.  And lucky DW fans, they get to discuss and wonder about it up to two weeks before the actual debut date.

I don't know which makes me more furious, the fact that the BBC is holding back the information or that the fans are going crazy about it. Either the BBC is so disorganized that it just doesn't know the date until the last minute or that it is so full of itself that it feels to make a spectacle of release the air dates.  They do this with other shows as well but they know that it will drive DW fans crazy.  Don't be misguided here, the general public don't care.  When they are told the date, they will watch.  It is only the fans that are really invested and only a smaller amount of the more 'Involved' (I am being nice) fans.
Hahahaha, look at those nervous fans!!

The BBC scheduling is different than the US.  It is more fluid.  One only has to look at the debut times throughout the year to see that Doctor Who starts at different times each week.  Lack of commercials will do that I guess.  I call it bush league but anyhow.

Again, the BBC has the right to wait but do fans really need to be this intense about it?  Is this some weird way to get the fans hyped up for this season?  It sure is.  What better way to drum up interest in a show then to dangle the season debut date over people's heads.  Still, only fans will care and notice which is odd because it is the fans that are usually all in on the show.  They would be pumped no matter what.  Perhaps it is a way to artificially boost the interest in a show for people who don't care.  The tricks and gimmicks used to get people to watch include "Someone will die"  "There will be a sad ending for the Ponds" "The Daleks are back in greater numbers" and "is Amy dead in the Doctor's arms?"  All of this is meant to tease the audiences and this should be enough.  Why present us with a cliffhanger in the form of the debut date.  What is next?  "Tune in tomorrow when we find out what time Asylum of the Daleks is on!!!!"  WOOOHOOO!!

Well, it works, whatever the BBC is doing, it works.  I personally have found Doctor Who to be barely on my radar and yet here I am discussing it, for good or bad.

Now, BBC America is doing the same thing and good for them.  The problem, and this is the only legitimate problem for fans in all this, the debut date for BBC America is a week later.  Sorry, but that is not good enough.  In this day and age, at a drop of a hat, fans will get the episode elsewhere.  Having commercials and eventually editing the episodes is by far enough reason to not watch it on BBC America but a weeks delay is a killer.

Fans would love to discuss these stories online and now that has been compromised.  For a full week American fans need to stay away from spoilers and will not be able to take part in the Doctor Who experience - thanks a lot BBC America for that.

So relax everyone and don't worry, the BBC will give you fair warning on when Doctor Who will air (at least a few hours).


  1. Nice article. Personally, I think it would benefit BBC more to make the date available sooner rather than later. People like to make plans and start setting DVR's. Also, when they announce the start date, they can hammer it into people. Doesn't that generally mean more viewers, thus higher ratings?

    As far as the one week delay, it's very discouraging. It certainly encourages people to acquire the episode in whatever way they can. And having to wait an extra week, they will do just that. When it's on the same date as the UK, more people are prone to actually watch it on BBC-America. Result? More viewers, thus higher ratings.

    Truly, sometimes I don't understand the reasoning's at the BBC.

  2. British TV schedulers have traditionally always played this game - a bit like poker. This goes back to when there was much more rivalry between BBC & ITV. Neither side wanted to show its hand and advertise a big production too soon - in case the other side then put something else up against it that would sabotage its viewing figures. Recording & Internet catch up etc. should have put an end to this nonsense - but overnight figures still seem to matter.
    I posted on my blog (Tardismusings) earlier today that the Radio Times listing magazine is clearly implying a Sept 1st launch date in the UK. However, I also understand BBC America is now saying 8th September. The BBC UK date is just a guess based on the RT - it isn't officially announced. However, I'd be surprised if they would be advertising Doctor Who in a weekly listings magazine - and then not showing it in that week.