The Doctor Who News Page has the scoop that Doctor Who Confidential is broadcasting its final episode on BBC3 this Saturday. The behind-the-scenes program about the making of Doctor Who is no more.
I can’t actually say I’m all that sad. As a Doctor Who fan I want to know everything about the making of my favourite series, but a 45 minute show about the making of the 45 episode I just watched has always seemed a bit… self-indulgent. Particularly since a) the information given to viewers is so controlled it’s often a repackaging of PR bullet points and b) consequently it spends a lot of time showing how the most mundane parts of the program are made. Who can forget the demonstration of the Car Cannon in The Sontaran Stratagem? The lengthy bit about taking David Tennant down the stairs in a wheelchair in The End of Time? The mind-numbing tedium of learning about the catering services at Upper Boat in The Doctor’s Wife?
The only real concern I have is how this will impact the DVDs. With the web content shrinking away from interesting behind the scenes stuff, the more interesting DVD features being completely lost, the cut-down Confidentials were the only behind-the-scenes content. But perhaps that’s what will happen next: Confidential will move from being a BBC3 show to being web and DVD content. I hope so.
There were some great Confidential episodes to be sure. David Tennant’s written and directed feature on remembering classic Who “Do You Remember Your First Time” was superb. The episode on the making of The Fires of Pompeii about the logistics of shooting in Rome was riveting. And I loved the first couple of seasons when they had less padding (it was only 30 minutes), more cool montages to pop music and more classic Who content.
But when it comes to the past few seasons I’m in agreement with BBC3’s assessment right now: the money would be better spent making original programming. Worldwide and 2Entertain can pick up the tab and keep the fans happy, and do it in a format that isn’t quite so bloated, PR heavy and tedious.
(In the interest of fairness though… if you’re outraged and want Doctor Who Confidential to continue, there is a campaign mounting on twitter, with the hashtag #savedwc)
Posted by Graeme on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:02 am