Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bye bye Doctor Who Confidential

The recent news that Doctor Who Confidential is being dropped at the end of the current series has provoke tow quite contradictory reactions in me.

On the one hand the recent series of Confidential have been, to put it mildly, rather rubbish. It's been full of inconsequential fluff rather than a good behind the scenes look at the series. Extending the length to forty-five minutes didn't help.

On the other hand Confidential was the very show which convinced me to make the plunge and get digital television. (Yes there was once a time when digital television wasn't everywhere. In fact here in London we've barely started the digital switch-over.) I'd been thinking about it on and off for a while, but it was the prospect of bonus Doctor Who material that was the eventual tipping point in my decision to get my first digibox/decoder or whatever they're actually called. So it's a pity to see it go.

But then nothing lasts forever.

This does highlight one worrying thought. The number of Doctor Who spin-offs have been steadily diminishing - Totally Doctor Who, the Sarah-Jane Adventures and now Doctor Who Confidential all gone for one reason or another, whilst Torchwood's fate seems uncertain. This leaves just the series itself. The rationale for the various spin-offs was to build a "firewall" around the series, giving it greater support and protection. Now the series will be left to fend for itself.

Ever since the news in 2003 that Doctor Who was being revived, fans have wondered for a long time how long it will last. I'll be honest - I don't expect the current incarnation of the show to last twenty-six years. Everything comes to an end at some stage or another. But I don't know if the end of Confidential brings that end forward or not. The main series hasn't relied on it for some time now.

Of course as previous cancellations have shown, just because the series may come to an end doesn't mean that's it for ever. The show's format is such that given the right circumstances it can be revived many times and it has become a modern day icon of almost mythological proportions. I have no doubt we will see many future incarnations of the show itself.


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