Wednesday, 13 April 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who did it again in Canada with over 899,000 viewers for the CBC broadcast yesterday of episode two, "The End of the World." Doctor Who came in fourth for the evening primetime slot behind programming's usual suspects: American Idol, Amazing Race, and Law and Order: SVU. As in the UK, the Canadian viewership is slightly down this week, but that was to be expected.
BBC Television issued a response to a complaint (reported as widespread, but in actuality it was limited to only a small handful of comments, if that) about the violence in episode three, "The Unquiet Dead." "Doctor Who is famously remembered by adults as being the family teatime programme which they watched from behind the sofa as children. The series has always been shown in the early evening and, while the monsters may be scary, the content is carefully considered for a pre-watershed audience," says the BBC response. "The programme sets out to balance the right amount of humour, drama and suspense in each episode. In The Unquiet Dead broadcast April 9th, the comic character of the Welsh undertaker and a larger than life Charles Dickens together with the laughter and bravery shown by the Doctor and Rose in the face of danger were, we believe, vital elements in putting this "ghost story" into the right context for a family audience. This is a balance we will strive week by week to maintain and remain vigilant about. Doctor Who has never been intended for the youngest of children and in line with the BBC's scheduling policy, the later a programme appears in the schedules, the less suitable it is for very young children to watch unsupervised. We would suggest it would be a programme which 8 year olds and above would enjoy watching with their parents. Programmes for very young viewers are clearly indicated in the listings. The programme is well trailed giving a clear indication of its content." News services covering this report include the Daily Record and the Times.
Also, in addition to the report earlier about the MSNBC cable network mentioning Doctor Who in the story about the Charles-Camilla wedding, we've had reports that this same report was also featured on yesterday morning's Today show on the NBC network here in America.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Rod Mammitzsch, Sara Neale, Paul Hayes)