Sunday, June 7, 2009

BBC Considers Splitting Fifth 'Doctor Who' Season


Think it's bad enough that fans have to wait more than a year to get a full season of "Doctor Who"? Imagine how tough it will be if the newest Doctor, Matt Smith, is put in peril with his new companion Karen Gillan, only to find out you'll have to wait six months to find out what happened.

That's kind of what's up BBC's sleeve right now as the network plans out its 2010 schedule.

Word is circulating that BBC could split Season 5 of "Doctor Who" into six-episode and seven-episode segments. The reason? To avoid competing against World Cup soccer, it's quite possible that half the season will air during the normal springtime season, but the rest could be a direct lead-in to the annual Christmas special, io9 reports.

BBC has not commented either way, but right now fans could get the first episodes of Smith's run beginning in April 2010, ending just before soccer starts in June, and not returning until October.
"Doctor Who" remains one of Britain's highest-rated scripted programs, so surely it can compete with World Cup soccer? Think again.

The Season 2 episode "The Satan Pit" went head-to-head with England's first match in the tournament in 2006 and ended up becoming the lowest rated episode of the modern series, io9 said. At the same time, a split could allow "Doctor Who" to retain viewers who typically dash off to enjoy summer weather.

BBC has been doing some crazy things with the Doctor Who universe. The fifth season was delayed a year, only to be replaced by a series of specials, this year to accommodate David Tennant's stage schedule (only to see Tennant and the network part ways anyway). "Torchwood" also had its third season truncated to five episodes, which will air in a single week later this month on both sides of the pond.

So crazy scheduling? It just might happen. But once nice thing that could come from it is a pretty solid 2010 of "Doctor Who."


The Doctor...

"All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

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