Doctor Who not being canceled, despite ratings decline

Doctor WhoWe know that freaking out over the ratings woes of Doctor Who is one of the favorite pastimes of much of the British press. Yet, freaking out over something does not actual equal said something happening — much is the case with the British sci-fi institution and the network BBC One.

Are the ratings down for season 12? Definitely, and by a fairly large margin versus season 11. Yet, there are some mitigating factors. For starters, season 11 saw a larger-than-expected rise over curiosity surrounding Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor. It was a historical moment, and one that a lot of people wanted to be there for. Ratings typically fall for the second year of someone’s run as the Doctor, and beyond just that, the ratings are naturally falling as more and more people opt to not watch live television. That’s a trend that has taken hold virtually all over the world.

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Are there some people who are unhappy with the season and are not watching for quality reasons? That’s certainly possible, but we don’t see enough evidence that there’s a sizable chunk of them, given where the ratings were for years 2 and 3 of Peter Capaldi’s time on the show. It’s true that season 11 and 12 have both had some low points, but the best episodes of season 12 are far and away better than anything that we saw during Whittaker’s first outing as The Doctor.

Now, let’s get to the good news straight from the BBC itself. Speaking per Deadline, BBC drama controller Piers Wenger had the following to say about the future:

“I worked on Doctor Who myself and produced it for many years and I can honestly say I don’t think it’s been in better health editorially … The production values have never been better.

“It’s an incredibly important show for young audiences, it’s still watched by families in a world where there are fewer shows that have the power to do that. It will always be an important show for us and we’re a very long way from wanting to rest it.”

Remember that Whittaker has already expressed an interest in returning for another run, so you don’t have to worry about that.

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Do you think Doctor Who still has a long TV life left?

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