General TV stuff New Series

Doctor Who fan complains to BBC shock

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.

My complaint


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.

BBC response


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.

New Series

Caves and Twins: The Time of Angels

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