Expert Opinion

Doctor Who aims to destroy from within

A new series of Doctor Who has begun, and it truly is the final straw, the end of the line. Over and out. Those unheeding fat-cat execs have made a terrible mistake, and I predict that the once loyal fanbase will soon turn against the show, the ratings will plummet and things will never be the same.

Never did one expect that they would so foolish to make such a grievous error, wholeheartedly betraying everything the programme stands for.

I am sure that, if you are au fait with the series’ latest developments, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. It is, of course, the change of screening day from Saturday to Sunday.

What is Doctor Who, after all? What has it always been from the beginning? Essentially, Doctor Who is the celebration of the triumph of the individual.

The maverick iconoclast runs away from a home planet full of pedantic bureaucrats to sail the universe, bringing anarchy and freedom to those still trapped under the yolk.

A familiar storyline from any period of the programme’s history sees the good Doctor finding poor, tired, huddled masses cowering under Dalek, Usurian or Nimon rule and aids them in overthrowing their cruel, exploitative masters.

Mission accomplished, off the Doctor whisks to repeat the exercise elsewhere, leaving said poor masses to handle all the fine detail like worker’s rights, mortgages, pensions and the rest.

Vive le revolution! Saturn, the god of dissolution, liberation and renewal, watches over Doctor Who, and Saturday is his day of rule.

Saturday night, therefore, is the definitive time for this anti-establishment series. At a pinch, one can nurse rebellious thoughts mid-week. Hence that time back in the 1980s when Doctor Who fought the evil Coronation Street for Monday audiences did not inherently compromise the series integrity, merely shifted the battlelines from Skaro to Wetherby for a while.

Sunday nights are a different kettle of Zygons, though. This is the night for Songs of Praise, Jane Austen adaptations and Antiques Roadshow - in short it’s the night for dull tradition, conservatism and old age.

It is the night for the nation to re-activate its reactionary nature, ensuring that the population will rise on Monday morning, go to school or work with all thoughts of societal overthrow safely in abeyance.

To place Doctor Who here causes a major ripple in the cultural vortex of space-time. What kind of Time War-type disaster can have taken place to cause this? Take your pick, but at least two possibilities can be posited to account for such disruption of Gallifreyan lore.

The first is that the good Doctor has regenerated into a Tory-voting, money-hungry establishment figure. This is a horrifying prospect for us all, but there is much evidence to vouch for its truth.

It is clear that in the BBC’s eyes, Doctor Who has become ‘elevated’ from a slightly rubbish piece of camp into a slick mainstream franchise - an eternal, middle of the road cash cow that can be milked for every drop. It was fitting that back in the 1960s, those evil fascistic Daleks were the source of pocket money-grabbing merchandising stealing from the mouths of babes.

This left the good Doctor to sail above such capitalistic gaucheness, just as sex and sleeping were equally unimportant.

But the hungry maw could never allow this condition to endure and the anarchist programme had to submit to the conservative organisation that is the BBC in the end - how else will it be able to survive in these times if it can’t send its most lucrative children out to earn a living?  This is the sad tale of submission; our dreams reach their final destination.

The second alternative is that ‘culture’, in the guise of BBC schedulers, is now trying to find a new way to disrupt and destroy from within.

If anyone can shake us from our social torpor, perhaps it is the Doctor - just by landing on a Sunday night.

Now we will see the cold minds of the Animus or the Great Intelligence resisted on a Sunday instead; their indoctrinating, zombifying clutches will be prevented from herding us to our destruction, and maybe we’ll take that spirit with us on into Monday when we will stand up and say ‘no’ to Brexit, ‘no’ to fracking, ‘no’ to neo-liberalism.

As we pray for someone to smash the political impasse we find ourselves in, is it too much to hope that the Doctor will finally be there to help you and me for a change, as well as the Menoptera, the Peladonians and the Sensorites?

If Doctor Who is able to do that, I don’t care if it happens whilst the character is in the body of a man or a woman.

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