Doctor Who News

Well, according to the news (Radio 4, as well as the BBC News web site), the time has finally come, and Russell T Davies is hanging up his sonic screwdriver and leaving Doctor Who.

Doctor Who News

This was always inevitable for someone who has such a high profile television career (for example listed here), who is bound to have turned down a lot of other jobs over the past 5 years.

So lets have a ponder about his contribution:

  • Let’s face it, he got Doctor Who back onto television when it had been basically written off after the failed revival of 1996. And not only did he get it back on tv, but he made it successful. That’s a phenomenal achievement for something which had some fairly low expectations. The fact that he was a respected figure in the tv industry meant that the BBC trusted him with a decent slide of cash to make the first series. And the fact that he loved with the show with the passion of a fan meant that he was really excited about, and wanted it to succeed not for the good of his career, but because he just loved it. For that I’d buy him a drink any day.
  • But I have to be honest, I don’t think that the episodes that he himself has written have been the best. I get the feeling that he works best as a creative visionary, but that other people are better at the actual nuts and bolts of writing stories. If you have an honest look at an episode list (such as this one), I think the best episodes in each season were those written by other people. And he has written some of the worst ones (notably Love and Monsters in series two).
  • I think we can admit that he is a bit obsessed with sex. This has obviously come out (pun intended) more fully in Torchwood, but it has also become a feature of Doctore Who during his reign. To be honest, I can live without that.
  • He has tended to ground Doctor Who much more than in the past, in both ways. There have been more earth-based episodes then before, which is aimed at making it a bit more accessible, and real for people. I can understand that. But he also created characters with much more baggage than usual, with families to worry about and come back to. That’s probably a bit more realistic, but at times there was a danger of drifting out of sci fi into soap.

He’ll be a hard act to follow, having produced some great Saturday evening television, and having set high expectations for the series going forward.

But the good news is that Stephen Moffat has written some of the best episodes of the new series, and he has been a fan since childhood as well, so I guess he’s as safe a pair of hands as we good hope for.


4 Responses to “Doctor Who News”

  1. Niall Says:

    Excellent summary of the good & bad of his reign! I’ve been disappointed by some of the quality, and have given up totally on Torchwood. Beyond the baggage that other characters have had, I’ve also been disappointed with the way The Doctor appears to be getting so bogged down emotionally, but maybe that’s a price to be paid for getting airtime – as it used to be probably doesn’t work for programme commissioners anymore …

  2. Gerard Says:

    I’m actually glad to see him moving on. There’s only so much one person can do, and Davies has overhauled the Doctor Who franchise completely as you mentioned.

    It’s time to let someone else have a stab at the series, as there’s often too much filler in between the key story arc episodes. Hopefully Moffat will be able to turn the quality of episodes around.

  3. Alan in Belfast Says:

    Niall – second series of Torchwood was a lot better than the first. I’d go so far to utter the heresay that it was nearly as good as some of the last Doctor Who series …

    It’ll be interesting to see how the switch from Davies to Moffat changes the feel of the show, and changes the direction of the story arc. With so many of the key senior people moving on – Phil Collinson left at the end of series 4’s production, and Julie Gardner is going too in January 2009 – it’ll definitely be under new management.

  4. flashingmyspongebobs Says:

    As much as I love Doctor Who, I expect I’m not in the same nerd category. After all I’m a mere 24, so I was the ickle kid that hid behind the sofa, I imagine you where the almost teenager. Anyway I prefer to just like Doctor Who because I love the show and not go into any great depth about it. On a totally shallow level, David Tennant is hot!!!!!!!!!! I have to appreciate the eye candy. Also Norwin if David Tennant called to speak to me and you pretended to be me, I would have to kill you in a terrifying manner. Hmmm I think it would involve pickled onions, horses and tickling muahahahahahahaha! How does that sound?