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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

Doctor Who thing: Steven Moffat threatens fans, wants to keep a lid on 50th-anniv promos

An Adventure in Space and Time

This is bizarre, to say the least. Via Geekosystem:

With the 50th anniversary coming up, the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 was pretty intense. There was even a spiffy trailer! Sadly we weren’t lucky enough to be there — and according to showrunner Steven Moffat, we’ll never get any future Doctor Who exclusives if somebody puts the trailer online, because they won’t exist. Say what now?

Moffat also tweeted:

Two trailers were shown: one for the 50th-anniversary episode, and one for the making-of docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time. Usually the way of these things is that stuff gets shown first to the Comic-Con audience and then almost immediately afterward, the trailers get posted officially online, not just to discourage those who do film trailers and then throw their crappy iPhone videos up on the Web, but just to, you know, get fans excited about the stuff we’re eager to be excited about.

But those two videos have yet to appear in any official capacity online. So, Moffat doesn’t want us to see them? Why not?

Apparently it’s fine to write about what was in those trailers, as Radio Times and EW have done; Charlie Jane Anders has a detailed breakdown of both trailers at io9. So apparently that’s okay, but letting those of us who weren’t at Comic-Con see the trailers is a no-no.

I don’t get this. At all.

As commenters have been pointing out at those links above, there’s an extra level of strangeness when it comes to Doctor Who. The BBC is publicly supported by British taxpayers — if you have a TV in the UK, you have to pay for a TV license, with the money going to the BBC — so BBC content that is specifically kept from license players is something like an affront. (British fans have noted this in the past, too, when there has been exclusive extra content for the North American audience.)

What could possibly be the benefit to withholding trailers like this?

Photo of David Bradley as William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time from the BBC’s Doctor Who site, and not leaked or smuggled or pirated or anything.

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


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