In a recent edition of Doctor Who Magazine Executive Producer Russell T. Davies warned fans of a time when spoilers would be commonplace and to beware �the greatest Spoliermeister of them all � the British press� who would create �ruiners� for the series which may impact on our enjoyment of the new series.
With the transmission of the first episode just weeks away that time has come. Today (6th March 2005) a Sunday Times article revealed plot points without the niceties used by forum posters, newsgroup users of genre magazines � no spoiler warnings and no caution.
The nature of the character played by Zoe Wannamaker and the fate of the British Cabinet were just some of the plot points given away without a thought spared for those who might prefer not to know.
In a world where soap plots are revealed months in advance and stars spoil their own exits with �warts and all� interviews it�s not surprising that the media will adopt a less cautious approach to the plots of �Doctor Who� than is the case with the fanboy�s traditional sources of Who news.
But then, as we�ve been told pretty often, this isn�t a series for the fanboys alone. The new series �needs ratings� Davies tells The Observer�s Rachel Cooke in another article appearing today and that means largely ignoring the demands of fans Davies likens to �members of the Flat Earth Society.� He tells the paper, �It would be mad to take them too seriously [they] are hugely vocal, but there’s only about 2,000 of them, maximum.�
Although the comment raised the heckles of some fans, Davies is right. The new series has already attracted huge interest from the mainstream media, even a few months ago it would have been considered optimistic to expect two serious articles to appear in national broadsheets on the same day.
The BBC�s forthcoming publicity campaign will ensure that no-one is able to avoid the new series and, to grab the attention of a public aware of Dirty Den�s death months before it happened, they are likely to be very generous with some key plot points.
Suddenly it�s less clear if we should close our eyes and ears when the first trailer airs or watch wide eyed at the adventures which await us. Like generations of quiz contestants we�re about to discover that our first answer is final.
However in this case it seems certain that whatever choice we make, a glittering prize awaits us.