50 Glorious Years: Episode 43 - 2005
And as you were. Doctor Who came back in 2005 as though it had never been away. A full season, and one for the modern day with a fresh new take on the programme for the 2000’s but which completely respected the show’s past and its continuity. Led by Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who became a mainstream hit once again, enjoying critical acclaim leading to the series even getting a BAFTA award for best drama.
It wasn’t all plain sailing that year - the first episode leaked on to the internet a few weeks before its broadcast, allowing many fans to watch the first episode before the BBC intended them to do so. And then, shortly after the first episode was broadcast to an audience of 10 million viewers in the UK, there was a sudden shock announcement that Christopher Eccleston was already going to be leaving the role at the end of the season. It was an announcement so shocking to fandom that it seemed to overshadow the bigger news that was released at the same time - that, unlike what had been the case in 1996, Doctor Who was going to continue after its first set of planned episodes. Another season was announced to be happening in 2006 and before that, a Christmas special in December that would introduce the new Doctor. Before most people could even breathe, David Tennant was announced as that new Doctor.
Really, a successful of Doctor Who in 2005 shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The BBC finally went for it, giving the show the budget, the support and the promotion it deserved. Given how well the show did without these factors being in place anywhere near to the same degree, plus the increase in television science-fiction and the talent involved which is naturally drawn to work on Doctor Who, there was no way we could lose. What was surprising perhaps is how much of a success it was - exceeding even the most optimistic of predictions.
By Christmas Day 2005, with the new series surviving the change of lead actor so early in its run, Doctor Who was cemented again as a national institution in the UK. We haven’t looked back since.
Posted by Luca on Wednesday, January 1 at 9:52 am