It’s a controversial sentiment, but is the multi-award wining, international bestselling, all-original, iconic Doctor Who even remotely important to the BBC anymore?
I ask because this weekend the BBC decided that the cliffhanger for Matt Smith’s first two-part adventure was the absolute perfect moment for an onscreen advert for ‘Over the Rainbow‘.
If you missed it the offending onscreen graffiti can be seen at the end of this post.
It’s not the first time the BBC’s obsession with free adverts for West End musicals has manifested itself to the detriment of Doctor Who fans.
The other week Who wasn’t simulcast on the BBC HD channel because BBC HD’s coverage of football spanned Who’s BBC One slot and someone within BBC scheduling then decided that plugging the Wizard of Oz was more important than screening Doctor Who in HD as close as possible to its insanely early new time slot.
Such contempt for a Saturday night drama show isn’t unheard of at the BBC, just witness the lack of on-screen support given to the unloved yet excellent Casualty, but given the continuity announcer then promoted the upcoming Wizard of Oz advert over the top of Doctor Who’s closing titles it was just plain unnecessary, but then so are all of these onscreen promotions which assume the audience is too thick to know what’s coming on next.
The BBC has issued a fairly minimalistic apology, and it’s welcome that for a change they’ve admitted to making an error, but someone needs to explain how that error came to be made in the first place and give assurances it won’t be repeated in future.
I’ve never understood how televising glorified casting sessions/adverts for commercial ventures fell within the BBC’s public sector broadcasting remit but when the BBC’s obsession with reality-based, light entertainment froth starts impacting on the audience for an original, scripted drama series there’s clearly something wrong within the corporation.