Doctor Who Blog

50 Glorious Years: Episode 43 - 2005

And as you were. Doctor Who came back in 2005 as though it had never been away. A full season, and one for the modern day with a fresh new take on the programme for the 2000’s but which completely respected the show’s past and its continuity. Led by Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who became a mainstream hit once again, enjoying critical acclaim leading to the series even getting a BAFTA award for best drama.

It wasn’t all plain sailing that year - the first episode leaked on to the internet a few weeks before its broadcast, allowing many fans to watch the first episode before the BBC intended them to do so. And then, shortly after the first episode was broadcast to an audience of 10 million viewers in the UK, there was a sudden shock announcement that Christopher Eccleston was already going to be leaving the role at the end of the season. It was an announcement so shocking to fandom that it seemed to overshadow the bigger news that was released at the same time - that, unlike what had been the case in 1996, Doctor Who was going to continue after its first set of planned episodes. Another season was announced to be happening in 2006 and before that, a Christmas special in December that would introduce the new Doctor. Before most people could even breathe, David Tennant was announced as that new Doctor.

Really, a successful of Doctor Who in 2005 shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The BBC finally went for it, giving the show the budget, the support and the promotion it deserved. Given how well the show did without these factors being in place anywhere near to the same degree, plus the increase in television science-fiction and the talent involved which is naturally drawn to work on Doctor Who, there was no way we could lose. What was surprising perhaps is how much of a success it was - exceeding even the most optimistic of predictions.

By Christmas Day 2005, with the new series surviving the change of lead actor so early in its run, Doctor Who was cemented again as a national institution in the UK. We haven’t looked back since.


By “We haven’t looked back since,” I think you mean “We didn’t look back in 2005, but have done do so more every year since then.”

The first new season included the Daleks and the Autons, but the planet of the Time Lords was not named, and no companions or other villains returned, except for a Cyberman head - “The stuff of nightmares reduced to an exhibit.” That means, “That is what we used to do, what we do now is different.” The Dalek episode also suggested there would be no further Dalek episodes to take place before 2012, since the species is not recognized in that year.  Captain Jack’s back-story was briefly connected to ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’, and UNIT earned a speaking role by Christmastime.

If you add up the new references to iPods, mobile phones, the Internet, TopShop and ‘Big Brother’ it looks like the new series’ obsession is references to modern life, not cultishness.

The years since 2005 have included geometrically more connections to the series’ past.  Not always for the good.

Posted by Eric  on  01/01  at  08:19 PM

I most definitely agree with Eric. 

There is much navel-gazing going on, as evidenced a few days ago on Christmas: “Doctor who?” “Doctor who?”


Enuf with the fan-wank Moffat.  *Steve shudders* with memories of Star Trek: First Contact—

“It’s like you’re on some sort of star trek.”

Posted by Steven Bernardi  on  01/02  at  06:56 PM

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