First there was the Save 6 Music campaign, then there was Save BBC4 – and now Doctor Who Confidential fans have become the latest group of viewers and listeners to take on the establishment with an online campaign.
As RadioTimes.com reported yesterday, this Saturday’s edition of the sci-fi companion show will be the last. It is understood the programme, which has been screened alongside the main show since it rebooted in 2005, will make way for a new emphasis on primetime television for BBC3 under the leadership of channel controller Zai Bennett.
At the time of writing, 88 per cent of more than 2,700 RadioTimes.com readers who voted in our poll agree that Doctor Who Confidential should not have been cancelled.
But why all the fuss? Shows get cancelled all the time – what makes DWC so special?
“It’s educational, informative entertainment,” a SaveDWC spokesperson, who asked to remain nameless, told RadioTimes.com.
“What we, the fans, aim to achieve is basically save good television… in the last series of Doctor Who Confidential we have seen how incredibly important it is to keep shows like this around.
“Doctor Who Confidential recently went around schools showing kids how to write stories and giving them the chance to meet the Doctor and see the Tardis… It really is very frustrating because what I personally believe makes great television is the fact viewers have a say in these decisions. I feel that because the BBC have made this decision in some office in London, behind viewers’ backs, is incredibly worrying.”
The campaigner is happy to concede the programme as it stands could possibly benefit from a revamp, but remains adamant that cancelling the show altogether will be to the detriment of Doctor Who fans.
“OK, so maybe Doctor Who Confidential had its flaws with 45 minutes to
fill, but Doctor Who is 45 minutes long, so surely a 15-minute piece of Doctor Who Confidential would give us a ‘Doctor Who
hour’, if you like – and, if need be, an extended one for massive episodes
like the finales and Christmas Specials.
“The bottom line is, we have made a group to support Doctor Who
Confidential and get the kids tuning in after Doctor Who to show them
how you write and how it gets put together.
informative entertainment and I don’t see why that should be left in the
garbage while shows like Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum are still
going. These shows are designed to laugh at what is wrong with
society rather than bring kids up with big ideas and big dreams of
working on sets like Doctor Who or maybe even being the future of the
“This is why it needs to continue on our screens.”
So what next for the campaign?
“We’re taking it one day at a
time, really, but I think it’s fantastic the way a lot of their viewers
have taken me up on this campaign.
“The Confidential team are behind us, most of
the Doctor Who people who write for the show and also the narrator of the show,
Russell Tovey, who even followed the campaign [on Twitter].
“Each time something like
that happens you realise, yes, I was right to start this campaign.”
Indeed, acclaimed sci-fi writer and author of Doctor Who episode The Doctor’s Wife, Neil Gaiman, today Tweeted his support: “@SaveDWC good luck! I think Doctor Who Confidential is one of the best shows about television out there, even eating aside the Dr Who…”
The SaveDWC spokesperson added: “The past 24 hours have been incredible, the fact that I managed to
gather this tremendous support is very encouraging.”
RadioTimes.com contacted BBC3 regarding the Save Doctor Who Confidential campaign but they declined to comment.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news