So, the Doctor as a Ganger! Who would have guessed that one coming? Other than the many readers of the Daily Mail, that is, who abused their position as a (somehow) top-selling daily newspaper to give away the cliffhanger of The Rebel Flesh!
Isn’t it time someone made a stand?
The thing is, The Grand Moff himself can only do so much. Ranting about people leaking The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon spoilers on a radio phone in is the extens of this powers, sadly, although the odd Twitter mention for folks to avoid certaing newspapers is always useful. A few years ago, spoilers would rarely appear in the newspapers – certainly not those that occur at the episode’s cliffhanger – but these days it seems that everything is fair game.
What the Daily Mail have done, of course, has a precedent. A few years ago, the Human Dalek Sec cover of the Radio Times promoting Daleks in Manhattan caused a massive storm among spoiler-phobes, although the difference there was that the stunning image was released on the front cover of a BBC magazine.
Could the BBC prevent the Daily Mail or (in the case of last week’s The Doctor’s Wife reveal) The Times from printing these images and detailed (if misunderstood) episode summaries by withdrawing their review copies?
Sadly, the BBC need those organs to promote the show just as much as they need Doctor Who to sell copies/paywall subscriptions. Both sides know this.
The best way we can hope to prevent these types of spoiler leak from occuring is to avoid all mention of the show in newspapers in the lead up to an episode. Sadly it isn’t always possible.
But keeping Doctor Who in the public eye in a positive way with excellent special effects shots is ultimately more important than keeping the lid on a spoiler for 12 hours.