Like thousands of other people, I complained to the BBC the other day about them fucking up the climax of The Time of Angels - pointing out that it was unnecessary, ill-timed and just plain stupid.
I imagine the Beeb has an entire wing of television centre given up to complaints from Doctor Who fans by now, especially given events like the Day of Action where Gary Leigh and Ian Levine redialled the duty officer's phone number one day in the early 90s.
But it's misleading to suggest that only Doctor Who fans could, or should, get annoyed with intrusive adverts, trails and other assorted modern irritations. Which is why I rolled my eyes at the Beeb's response to my original complaint, where the corporation apologised to 'all Doctor Who fans'.
That isn't the point. I wasn't complaining because 'my programme' had been ruined, in the same way that I wasn't complaining when something similar happened at the end of Casanova a few years ago because it was a programme that was especially dear to me.
There shouldn't be any of this uber-trailing on the BBC for various reasons, at least when it comes to drama. Drama that requires a suspension of disbelief, or requires a certain emotional investment or attentiveness in what's on the screen.
Either the Beeb recognises the importance and quality of its own programming or it sees it as a commodity to be leveraged.
There's a natural reaction, created by years of fan stupidity, to write this off as 'Doctor Who fans' going off at a tangent again. But why should only fans complain about insensitive trails and continuity during programmes?
We own the BBC, and we should point it out when the BBC gets it wrong. And if they don't listen we can always deploy Ian Levine and his smashed-up telly.
An intrusive cartoon trail for that Graham Norton show showed over the most important bit of the climax of this Doctor Who episode.
Ignoring the fact that it was tonally completely jarring and took the viewer totally out of the moment, it seems totally unnecessary as you insist on squashing more trails and voiceovers into the credit of the programme.
I'm a big supporter of the BBC, but it's not a commercial entity so I don't understand the necessity to ape the worst aspects of commercial channels.
Please stop sabotaging your own programmes like this.
The 'Over the Rainbow' trail in 'Doctor Who' should not have played out on Saturday and we apologise to all 'Doctor Who' fans whose enjoyment of the show was disrupted. We recognise the strength of feeling that has been expressed and are taking steps to ensure that this mistake will not happen again.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.
This week was The Moff's sequel to Blink; his Aliens to the former's Alien; his Wrath of Khan to, er, The Motion Picture; his Parting of the Ways to Dalek; his... (that's enough Time of Angels comparisons - Ed).
Smith – back to his best with some good material. And look at him running – he runs like Troughton!
Gillan - Proving to be the best companion for ages, and got in a cheeky "I'm not that clingy' line this week. Take that Rose!
Cool opening scene, bizarrely featuring the bloke from The Streets. But it worked.
All of the cast. No-one put a foot wrong. And Iain Glen's in it!
Alien films references. Maybe not references as such, but there were plenty of smart lifts from the Alien films, including the space-faring warrior clergy; the uprated threat and new powers from the Angels; the use of sci-fi tech; and just taking the whole thing up several notches.
A spot of unpleasant violence. One of the things that RTD seemed to arbitrarily rule out was anything that was deemed too nasty. Snapped necks and plenty of guns this week rather bucked that trend.
Moffatt one-liners. One of the things that The Moff really excels at is smart, often throwaway one-liners. Littered throughout the script like angels in the cavern here.
Some old TARDIS noises. Namely the BOINK on landing and familiar hum.
Smith's pivotal speech. Smith nailed it, and every Doc should have a character-defining speech. This was the Eleventh Doctor's.
The bloody BBC. Squashing titles is bad enough; those gormless Saturday night trails with Daleks chasing after Graham Norton and the like between shows are worse; but the Beeb outdid itself this week, plastering an animated Norton right over Matt Smith's face as he was delivering THE speech of the season. Fucking idiots.
Sound mix - still doesn't sound right on normal TVs – too many lines are drowned out.
River Song. The idea of the out-of-synch love story is an engaging one, and Alex Kingston is fine. I find the character just a bit annoying, though. Still, I'm reaching a bit as there wasn't that much to dislike this week.
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins
You can always trust the BBC to fuck something up when it comes to Doctor Who. It must come as a constant surprise to them that someone at the Beeb keeps re-commissioning the damn show, as they seem to do their level best to spoil it at every other turn.
Whether it's the Radio Times trying to spoil it for everyone; Graham Norton's appearance half-way through Rose; dicking about with the show in the schedules; or the latest trick of not only squashing the credits to trail the upcoming Saturday night drivel but adding in an animated Norton (him again!) mincing about the screen during the Doctor's climatic monologue at the cliffhanger in The Time of Angels.
I can think of another couple of occasions the Beeb has utterly pissed all over its won programming in the past: once when it had those little animated green blobs that promoted the CBeebies channel during a pivotal moment in one of the last episodes of Farscape; an a not-unrelated moment when the credits of the final episode of Russell T Davies' Casanova, which has Peter O'Toole slowly dancing, were rudely interrupted by a BBC continuity announces shouting about Phil Mitchell's return in EastEnders.
It's hard to think of anything more jarring, or any point in the story more inappropriate. It shows how clueless the BBC when it comes to its flagship show, a show that is a massive money-spinner for the BBC that it has seen fit to cancel on two separate occasions and virtually ignore for the best part of two decades, as if it were an embarrassment.
A show that RTD had to virtually stake his professional reputation on to get it back on the air at the BBC. It makes you grateful that the likes of Davies and Steven Moffat and David Tennant cared so much about and made sure it was ruined by interference from BBC honchos who listened to focus groups that told them that family drama was dead and shite like The Joy of Text was the way forward.
Would it matter if it were over the top of Total Wipeout or Strictly Come Dancing? Probably not. But Doctor Who is not like either of those shows, and it doesn't lend itself to BBC1's current trails for its Saturday night line-up either.
While the Beeb seems to have every idea of how to milk Doctor Who for all it's worth, it seems utterly clueless when it comes to handling Who. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
BBC ruins Doctor Who
Victory of the Daleks, Mark Gattiss' third episode of the news series of Who under Steven Moffat, gave us new Daleks, Churchill, spitfires in space and a jammy dodger.
But which bits were Karen Gillan's legs and which bits were a bit Raynor?
The guest cast. Ian McNeice is always value for money, but Bill Paterson edged ahead with a lovely little performance.
Karen Gillan was again excellent, and is quite a hottie. Both good things
Spitfire dogfight in space. When did you ever think you'd see that in Doctor Who?
Cunning Daleks. It was about time Nu Who did something different with the Daleks, who have been all-but neutered of their threat, so effectively restored by Rob Shearman a few years ago but so quickly eroded by countless crap scripts.
Weird, I mean seriously weird, pacing. Two-paced, like a treacherous cricket track, it felt like a two-parter cut down to 45 minutes.
The Doctor. Gatiss' lines for Eleven sounded like they were written for Ten. Smith seemed a bit unsure, and seemed incidental.
The new Daleks. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and other truisms. iDaleks, someone called them. Quite.
Talking Bill Paterson out of blowing himself up. Rescued by the performances, but fundamentally crap.
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins
A lot of people are turning up at the blog seeking an answer to this question.
The answer, as far as I know, is that he is not. Neither are any of the other Doctors to the best of my knowledge, though I'd guess Colin is the most likely of all of them to take the plunge.
Some other Doctor Who types who are on Twitter include Murray Gold, Sheridan Smith, Noel Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Jason Arnopp and Paul Cornell.
I've compile a list below of some types you might want to follow.
Doctor Who types on Twitter
• Ben Cook
Feel free to suggest any I've missed.
Oddly enough, there's a party political broadcast floating about the web at the moment starring Sean Pertwee - son of Jon, who was a big mate of Jim Callaghan - and boasting a voiceover by none other than David Tennant.
As if to underscore the Who connection, Pertwee even quotes his father:
My father always said "Don't give up."
"Show resolve," he said. He was so right.
Pertwee is presenting a fairly unsubtle metaphor in this election broadcast for Labour, but it's a polished, and gently powerful message in a good-looking broadcast that brings to mind Hugh Hudson's films for Labour in 1987.
There's been something of an explosion in Doctorly support for Labour recently, with Peter Davison stating that he 'tremble[s]' at the idea of a Tory government; David Tennant calling David Cameron 'terrifying'; and Steven Moffat claiming 'stuff would be s**t' under the Tories.
There's also some recent stuff about The Beast Below containing an anti-Tory message; RTD has made his anti-Conservative feelings known on several occasions; and Andrew Cartmel and Sylvester McCoy recently suggested that their era was anti-Thatcher. And don't forget the left-wing Dalek.
For his part, Gordon Brown says Tennant is favourite Doctor (well, it was going to be either him or McCoy wasn't it?).
Extraordinary stuff. Of course, actors and creatives naturally lean to the Left, and if Doctor Who isn't a show that revels in left-wing, or at least liberal, ethics then I don't know what does. There's a long-running debate as to whether there are any Tory Doctors, with the Third mentioned most frequently, though this has always struck me as unlikely.
The Doctor Who Forum's politics thread currently shows a heavy bias against the Conservatives in a poll on likely voting behaviour of those on the board, which poses some rather chicken-and-egg kind of questions.
What would The Doctor make of it all? It's tempting to imagine Hartnell, wildly off-script and taking advantage of time constraints in 1964 urging 'all of you at home' to vote for the pipe-smoking chap. Then again, with Billy's habit of fluffing names, he'd probably end up backing Herman Walton.
Sean Pertwee and David Tennant in The Road Ahead
Below are some covers from the Radio Times prefacing Victory of the Daleks and the new Dalek design.
It's not clear if these are an all-new design or some kind of off-shoot of the usual lot or some kind of Churchillian invention specific to the episode, written by Mark Gatiss.
For the purposes of the cover, the Daleks are decked out in the primary colours of the three main UK political parties - a gimmick BMW introduced on April Fool's Day this year.
The pictures below are vaguely spoiler-y, so worth avoiding if you don't want to spoil yourself for Saturday.
• The Radio Times has a gallery of Dalek front covers on its site, including the following cracker for Day of the Daleks, by the great Frank Bellamy.
There's a great article on the BBC website today about documents uncovered from the BBC archive relating to regenerations, the first example in particular.
It reveals that Troughton got something of a rough ride from viewers at the time – and that the regeneration process was conceived as some sort of horrifying acid trip.
I've always thought the whole regeneration thing may just have been a back-of-an-envelope kind of thing that could have gone either way.
On several occasions the series has only just escaped cancellation as one of the leading actors takes his final bow, but the transformation between Hartnell and Troughton must have been especially tricky.
It's interesting to posit a world where Doctor Who went the way of Adam Adamant or some other fairly small-fry cult sixties series – and a derisive snort from a big wig at the Beeb could have nixed the resulting 44 years.
There's also some more information on viewers' reactions to new Doctors and press clippings and the like. Seems no-one really gets to grips with the new Doctors at first, though that's a trend that remained throughout all of poor Colin Baker's tenancy, at least until Big Finish rescued Colin and his Doctor.
Much of it presumably derives from the sort of stuff Andrew Pixley used to dig out of the archives, but is worth looking at nonetheless.
I've decided that I'm going to give bullet-point reviews of the new series in terms of what I liked and what I didn't like.
And in true geek style I'm naming the good stuff after Caves of Androzani – the best Doctor Who story ever – and The Twin Dilemma, which is possibly the worst.
Those not familiar with the classic series might care think of it as Blink and Rose; or Midnight and New Earth; or Fireplace and Stratagem.
Anyway, I've enjoyed the new series under Steven Moffat so far, and think Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are shaping up to be excellent.
I'll have to go back and rewatch The Eleventh Hour in the future, here's The Beast Below for now.
Matt Smith's continuing excellence - Gangly, distracted, underplayed, vague suggestion of cunning. Troughton is actually one of my less favourite Doctors, but Smith has caught everything good about The Trout.
Karen Gillan - Porno reaction shots notwithstanding, Gillan makes Amy believable and sufficiently clued-up without being irritating.
The Doctor on the screen - a nice little throwaway visual gag.
Doctor detective work - Is this a new motif for the new series? The Doctor works stuff out by deductive reasoning. Pleasantly different from waving a sonic screwdriver at something and frowning.
The Doctor gets angry - Again, came over as underplayed and real, a great counterpoint to Tennant's SHOUTYNESS-AH!
Churchill and Daleks - Love the lead-in to the next episode.
This isn't going to be big on dignity! - Just an amusing line
Space Whale - As a friend of mine put it: Fucking Space Fucking Whale.
Old, alone, kind, wibble - As subtle as an RTD season finale.
Liz Ten - Curiously annoying.
Wasted smilers - Somehow should have been much more creepy.
For a good period of the night, Twitter's trending topics were dominated by Doctor Who and Matt Smith, as The Eleventh Hour showed on BBC1.
There was a cheeky mention of Twitter by Smith too, which can't have done any harm.
Also, most likely for the first time ever, there was quite a lot of mentions of Logopolis - as the Sci-Fi channel continued its Doctor Who weekend.
Earthshock is also on - look for Adric trending later on tonight.