“Ten years on, our ratings are pretty much the same. Actually, internationally, bigger. No show does that! You’re meant to go down! Doctor Who just stays. It’s extraordinary!So it seems the BBC is still enthusiastic about the programme, which is good news for fans! Ben Stephenson, the BBC Head of Drama Commissioning, added:
When I first took it over, the BBC said to me, ‘We’ve done all our calculations. The ratings will now fall. Expect to lose quite a bit. We don’t mind that. We’re going to keep it going. So long as it’s a good show we won’t mind if the ratings stop being quite as amazing as they were. That’s absolutely fine.’ And they didn’t. They pretty much stayed the same.
I thought it would last ten years. I didn’t think it would last ten years with BBC Worldwide trying to get me in a room to talk about their plan for the next five years! So it’s going to do a minimum of 15. I mean, it could do 26! That’s not to say it’s easy. It’s not easy to find new people. It’s not easy to find new Doctors. That could be the danger – that you start to think that it’s easy. There’s nothing easy about doing Doctor Who.”
“You can’t take shows like Doctor Who for granted. The minute you take them for granted, they’re dead. You’ve got to constantly approach it like it’s a new thing rather than go, ‘That always works, we’ll keep going with that.’ That would be a sure and certain death. You want to keep bringing people in, you want the people who have always loved it, you want the people who loved it as a child and you want to find new fans.Doctor Who Magazine #485 is available now.
The brilliant thing about Doctor Who is that it’s so adjustable. It doesn’t have to be ‘There are 13 episodes and they start in September’. Of course, the fans want it to keep coming back with regularity but we could choose, as they did with David Tennant, to do a year of Specials. I’m not saying we’re planning that, because we plan to keep it regularly in the schedules. But because it’s such an amazing format, because you can constantly revive it and re-imagine it, then as long as the people looking after it are passionate about it and the BBC is passionate about it, there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t do another 50 years.”
[Source: Doctor Who TV]