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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who thing of the day: ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ canceled

Doctor Who Confidential

Doctor Who Confidential, the making-of series that has run concurrently with the rebooted Who since its debut in 2005, has been axed. The BBC:

For the past seven years, Doctor Who Confidential has put you at the heart of Doctor Who, providing a unique insight into the stars, the show and the entire production.

This journey reaches a fitting finale on Saturday when Doctor Who Confidential premiers a brand new mini-adventure starring Matt Smith as the Doctor. Viewers have seen the story, Death is the Only Answer, being made, watching the entire process from script to screen. Saturday’s episode, entitled When Time Froze, also includes the ultimate feature on River Song, with Alex Kingston providing a brilliant timeline of everyone’s favourite time travelling archaeologist.

The Confidential team captured the rebirth of the show back in 2005 and for over half a decade they have given an unsurpassed, access-all-areas insight not just into Doctor Who, but the magic and mechanics of making successful drama. From an episode directed by David Tennant, to the special edition that broke the news that Matt Smith would be the Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who Confidential has always delivered the very best in must-see behind-the-scenes action.

The final episode of Doctor Who Confidential, When Time Froze, is on BBC Three on Saturday, immediately after The Wedding of River Song…

Why the axe? Money, of course. The Guardian:

[W]ith the corporation facing budget cuts of up to 20% across its output as part of its Delivering Quality First initiative, BBC controller Zai Bennett has chosen to axe the show at the end of its current series.

Bennett is understood to be pursuing a strategy of focusing investment on original commissions in post-watershed time slots. Since taking over, he has decommissioned shows including Ideal, Hotter Than My Daughter, Coming of Age and long-running sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Speaking last month at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Bennett said: “It’s about focusing my budget on 9pm and 10.30pm; those are the time slots that count. Budgets are tight, so we have to be sensible with the money we have.”

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “Doctor Who Confidential has been a great show for BBC3 over the years but our priority now is to build on original British commissions, unique to the channel.”

As Radio Free Skaro notes, the news

is bound to bother some while others cheer.

@KeithAllGamer tells me that a petition to get the show reinstated. See more at Petition Buzz. I’m not sure how effective online petitions ever are, but I suppose they can’t hurt.

What do you think? Will you miss Confidential? I had never watched an episode till just the other week, but I do generally find behind-the-scenes stuff fascinating. And if you want to get future generations interested in working in TV production — as I imagine the BBC might — a show like Confidential is a great way to introduce kids to all the creativity and hard work that goes into making a weekly show.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)



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