Doctor Who. We get it right, now.

Posted on June 26, 2010


Pride comes before a fall. And no-one likes a smug twat.

You’d think I’d have read what I’d written before I pressed on with this blog.

I can’t resist, however. It’s a Saturday night. And the final (still interrupted) credits of the final episode of Doctor Who have rolled past on our Sky-plussed recording.

Moffat and his co-executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis have done a tremendous job with the fifth series of the programme.

Every single episode starring Matt Smith and the brilliant Karen Gillan has grabbed my attention and – aside from a momentary lapse with the Dalek episode (yes, their redesigns were brilliant but the story and its execution wasn’t all that) – left me suitably entertained at the end.

But more than that, I’ve been transported back in time – back to the 80s when my imagination was given full reign by the impact a small TV budget had on John Nathan-Turner’s production team. That combined with the sparkling dialogue and the invaluable chemistry demonstrated when the two of them converse with one another has left me – a long term Doctor Who fan – feeling suitably satisfied.

It’s as though someone at the BBC has taken someone else to one side in a corridor somewhere in Broadcasting House in Cardiff and whispered “we need to improve things – that Jon Jacob wasn’t terribly keen on what Russell T Davies did”.

They didn’t, of course. I’m certain that everyone was quite happy with the return of Doctor Who when Ecclestone was at the helm of the TARDIS and when David Tennant started leaping around the place.

And to a certain extent both leads did well. Tennant was a good Doctor – Waters of Mars was for me his best excursion. Ecclestone didn’t have long enough to grow in the role.

But Matt Smith has eclipsed both of them. And Karen Gillan is one of those brilliant signings you know deep down it’s going to be impossible to replicate. Both of them ooze personality off-screen when they’re not demonstrating their obvious talent on screen.

Yeah OK, so I’m gushing. And I know plenty of people will callously dismiss this post because this blog’s disclaimer makes clear who pays my wages.

But casting that relatively insignificant fact to one side, the crux of this is that as a Doctor Who fan I feel as though I’ve been reunited with something I loved as a kid. I don’t know how that’s been achieved – don’t think for a moment an entire series of Doctor Who Confidential is really going to give you an idea of how it was really done – and to a certain extent I don’t care either.

What’s important is that it’s been achieved. And in achieving it, I’m reminded that domestically speaking the BBC has got at least one thing right for me this year.

It’s taken 5 years and three Doctors. But the BBC got there in the end.

Posted in: TV