Devastating news from tonight’s National Television Awards. For the first time since its 2005 revival, Doctor Who has failed to be voted favourite TV show by the slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers of the nation. Our favourite show has received a big thumbs down in the judgment of those who vote in the X Factor but not in a General Election.
So, is this a time to return to the staples of Russell T Davies and David Tennant? Well no. If we want ratings for ratings’ sake, we shouldn’t go anywhere near New Who. Ours is a nation which throughout the last 5 years has given trashy pap like Eastenders and Emmerdale nearly double the ratings that Doctor Who got. And soap is the best writing around, RTD himself has always said so in his campaign to get the nation to buy into the idea that shit is good so that no-one will ever be able to criticize anything he or his pals write.
Forget calling for a return to the days of whining Roses. Doctor Who should go down the soap route. All we need is for Steven Moffat to weave a rape, a pub fire and a sheep molestation into every episode of Series 6 and we can achieve the Nirvana of the lowest common denominator.
Or, if the field of soaps is too crowded, what about modelling Doctor Who on Skins. Throw out all the established New Who writers, replace them with a group barely old enough to vote and then sit back and watch them write the most unbelievable fantasy story ever in which they reimagine themselves as the teens who got the sex and the coolness instead of the zits and the nerdishness.
Alternatively, I could just about live with the fact that the Doctor Who audience now only consists of people who like the show for itself and is no longer artificially swollen by a claque of sinister hormonal groupies who fantasize about the lead character sitting on their face.
Doctor Who as cult TV instead of an actor’s personality cult? It might just work.