Doctor Who Blog

Ratings high!

The ratings are in for the first four episodes of the season on Space, and according to this press release which contains minor spoilers about the premise of next week’s episode (so don’t click on it if you don’t want to know), Doctor Who is now the 2nd most-watched show on a specialty channel in Canada. It’s second place to only “Canada’s Worst Driver” (which is on the Discovery Channel). Right now the series is averaging 524,000 viewers in Canada, with The Doctor’s Wife having pulled in 523,000 - some fantastic ratings, all things considered.

The above photo is not from the filming an upcoming episode in case anybody is wondering, but was from the premiere of Series Six in New York last month. With the ratings trending upward every year in Canada, will we see the cast come up to Canada next year after they visit New York? Sadly I don’t think Canadian fans should hold their breath waiting for that to happen, despite the best efforts of Space to hold premieres north of the border. But let’s end on a positive note and celebrate the Canadian ratings success!


You bring up a very good point. We hardly ever see Doctor Who people even hitting the convention circuit. The organizers of this year’s Calgary Expo managed to score William Shatner this year and Nimoy last year, but do you think they’d be able to get Colin Baker or Nicola Bryant or anyone from the franchise, classic or revival? Not a chance.

Closest we’ve come so far is they got Pia Guerra, artist for the now-defunct Torchwood Magazine comic strip, to come in. Which was cool, but not the same as the madhouse they’d have had if they’d scored a cast member.

According to one of the DW news pages, Karen Gillan is going to make her con debut in the UK this summer. So come on Calgary (or Winnipeg or Vancouver or Toronto) let’s get Karen Gillan here in 2012! wink

Mind you, the way DW keeps expanding its roster to include well-known folks like Mark Sheppard and Eliza Dushku (who according to a few reports today is supposed to star in a made-for-web Torchwood spin-off) who do on occasion hit the circuit, it’s only a matter of time.

Posted by Alex  on  05/17  at  03:26 PM

^ Then again, they just announced Nana Visitor will be joining John Delancie in Torchwood: Miracle Day, so maybe we just need to wait for the next Trek convention to see Who franchise actors!

Posted by Alex  on  05/17  at  03:39 PM

My comment wasn’t about the convention circuit really but specifically about the North American premieres. Despite Canadian ratings being better on a propotionally level than the US, the BBC is much more interested in trying to tap into the (potentially) much larger US market. As such they have gotten premieres featuring the cast and Steven Moffat in person that last two years, which is great. Canada by comparison got Steven Moffat (sitting in his computer room in London) via a Skype interview last year. I don’t begrugde them for sending the stars to the US, but given how close Canada is to the US (ie. next door) it doesn’t make much sense to not try to capitalize further on the headway they have already made in Canada. This is not because of a lack of effort or trying on Space’s part - I think it comes down to BBC dis-interest.

Posted by Luca  on  05/17  at  04:00 PM

^ But I think one can connect with the other. For example, the Calgary Expo moved its dates from April to June specifically in order to accommodate Shatner’s schedule. I see no reason why, given enough notice, a convention in Toronto or wherever (though more likely Toronto since Space is based there and it’s the largest city) couldn’t be scheduled to coincide with a premiere. It would be a huge event - just like how (though this was more coincidence I think, or maybe not) San Diego Comic Con in 2009 coincided with the US premiere of Planet of the Dead.

I agree lack of BBC interest makes this a challenge, not to mention the fact they refuse to confirm airdates and the like until very close to broadcast (though one positive of the US influence is they were forced to commit to Easter for Doctor Who and the BBC will likely be forced to commit to early July for Torchwood, because BBCA and Starz insisted on promoting airdates much further in advance). But unless the decision is made to move DW to different schedule - a fall broadcast or winter broadcast - guessing Easter or thereabouts would be a safe guess.

Another possibility is Canada hosting a premiere for an episode other than the premiere or the finale. Imagine if we’d been able to host a premiere for The Doctor’s Wife, with appearances by Suranne Jones and that writer bloke?

Posted by Alex  on  05/18  at  05:47 AM

A premiere in Toronto would be pretty neat for those in Southern Ontario, but would it really have an impact further afield ? In Alberta (Alex’s home province?)for example.

(I know the same could be said about New York premieres.)

Who pays for the premiere? Space? BBC worldwide? Both of them?

It appears Doctor Who is a big hit for Space, but I don’t have the impression that they have a lot of money to throw around. Promotion for them is probably a matter working out how to piggy-back on other organisations efforts (and investments).

I guess I could imagine a one-day tour of Canada: a brief in-store appearance in TO, while flying between NY and Chicago. But does Space even have the resources for that and what sort of publicity might that generate?

Posted by Andrew B  on  05/18  at  06:16 AM

I do really think a Canadian premiere would great though.

Posted by Andrew B  on  05/18  at  06:18 AM

I notice Space will not be showing DW on May 28, coinciding with the American Memorial Day weekend.  Does this mean BBCA and Space will be a week behind the UK for episodes 6 and 7?

Posted by Bob  on  05/18  at  06:51 AM

I think Doctor who has been really really really good recently, the writer they’ve got is doing a much better job than the old one. (In my opinion anyway.)

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