Deconstructing Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
In a message today to the Outpost Gallifrey Forum, author Peter Anghelides attempted to deconstruct some of the disinformation surrounding the forthcoming new Doctor Who series with details freely available on the web about some of the people behind it. We felt it was too important not to share with readers of our news page.

In response to who Julie Gardner and Mal Young are: Julie Gardner is head of Drama at BBC Wales (see picturehere). And Mal Young is BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series.

Here's how Drama Commissioning responsibilities are described on BBCi.

You may also find it interesting to peruse some of the public domain documents on BBCi. There's a lot of rather idle speculation on this forum about what may or may not happen, but you can get some excellent clues in document such as this BBC Producer Briefing Day document (it's a PDF) about what the BBC are looking for in their drama series.

It is a transcript of the Genre Session they ran on April 1 this year (yes, I know, April 1). From it, you'll see information about the ratio of spend between returning drama series and serials/events; the longevity they expect of newly-commissioned series; the difference between commissions on BBC1, BBC2, and BBC3; etc. No need for wild guesswork or speculation, even at this early sage: this is published opinion of Jane Tranter herself (BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning).

Or check out the Commissioning site on BBCi, including the section about Drama.

My point is that there's a wealth of available information in public domain. We're happy enough to graze a myriad DW sites on the web, so perhaps we should spend some time looking at what the BBC actually tell us!

Now you can try and work out why I have called this thread "Five is the magic number".

We guess, as do our readers, that the BBC "is looking for a drama series that'll run for five years - provide some innovative and character-driven drama (either period or futuristic will do) and come off with a bang for a large viewing audience. My, but doesn't that sound like a made-to-order job for Doctor Who." Of course, all this is speculative, but it's a good primer on what we might expect from a future serise. (With thanks to the brilliant Mr. Anghelides for his insight, and Forum user "No Heroics" for the 'five year' summation)

FILTER: - Production - Series 1/27