Is the BBC Slow to Recommission?

A recent article published on The Guardian website has commented on the BBC’s output in terms of drama and how there simply isn’t enough of it due to budget.

Maggie Brown commentates on how the BBC seems to be putting out quality shows but with shorter runs to their name. The newest imagining of Just William is the cause of her contention as the writer notices that even though it’s a great show, the BBC will not be re commissioning it. Maggie feels that this is due to poor scheduling.

Another show she cites is Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, while seeing brilliant ratings and being well received by audiences will be back for just three more episodes this year as Moffat is stretched what with his production of the greatest show ever made (of course it’s Doctor Who).

One particularly interesting aspect of the article is the speed of re-commissioning and the reordering of new shows, in which Brown asks:

“There is also the issue of very slow re commissioning. Miranda Hart has been promoted to BBC1, but reportedly only heard she had won a third series of Miranda after Christmas. And why isn’t the BBC ordering series four at the same time? The suspicion is that programme commissions are being stretched out and their return pushed further into the future, including the World Service.”

Whilst these issues raise a valid point that things have been slower in number and production at the BBC in recent years it’s also interesting to look at Doctor Who within this context and see how lucky we really are.

Doctor Who has been given a new series year in, year out since 2005. We’re treated to additional Christmas specials and specially filmed inserts for charity events and even National Television Awards. This year, the series will come back three times, once in the spring, again in the autumn and once more at Christmas. During all this, we get books, audiobooks and magazines to pass the time with.

The show is always given the green light well in advance and its spin offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, are given fantastic budget and brilliant scheduling.

The BBC may be restructuring its policy on output but throughout all that, they’re keeping the Doctor Who universe alive and well and very much at the front line of their scheduling. Nothing lasts forever but let’s hope nothing will change anytime soon!


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

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