If you’ve got access to the BBC it’s been difficult to miss the return of Doctor Who after his extended hiatus from our screens. The leak of the first episode did nothing but raise the profile and create a positive buzz and so far, having seen the two televised episodes, I really enjoy it. It’s not particularly clever, the effects aren’t anything special, and it doesn’t have the production values of the Star Wars’ or Star Treks of the world, but it’s big, brash, and unashamedly entertaining. There’s something timeless (no pun intended) about things like the TARDIS and the Daleks, and Christopher Eccleston makes a great Doctor – he’s both funny and charismatic, and he can carry off the serious moments too. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t want to stay on for a second series.
They really need to try the same trick of putting it on the backburner for a while with Star Trek. Poor writing and growing antipathy from the audience is killing that show, but I guarantee that if they shelve it for fifteen years and then make a great fanfare about its return it will be big again. Maybe not as huge as it was at its peak, but an improvement on the viewing figures that look to have killed it. Doctor Who’s reception shows that it worked for them and it definitely worked for Star Wars.
It’s good to see the BBC coming out with something as entertaining as the new Who. With all the pressure to become more of a pure public service broadcaster while also having the opposite pressure to stay modern and relevant, I’m glad that they can still show that they have a sense of fun.