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Doctor Who: The return of the Weeping Angels

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Steven Moffat Steven Moffat | 17:32 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Good Doctor Who monsters have to come back - it's a rule. But my feeling is that you always have to bring back a monster and do something different with it. So although Blink was a very popular episode, it was also a very spooky, cerebral episode.

These Weeping Angels episodes are really the polar opposite, these are like a big action movie - albeit an action movie with bad guys that can't actually move! It's a very different feeling.

A Weeping Angel bares its fangs in a cave in The Time Of Angels episode

Last time, the implication was that they were hiding out on earth, as scavengers who are just surviving - they didn't have a big terrible plan. This time there really is a big terrible plan which goes beyond mere survival, and is almost like a war.

The best way to explain the difference between Blink and these two episodes would be to say that I think the best conceived movie sequel ever was Aliens following Alien. It took the same monster into an entirely different type of film.

That is very roughly the model for this. Blink was a small, low-key one and this is the highly coloured, loud, action-movie one.

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Filming this scene (above) was a completely surreal experience. I'm used to the fact that in television the first day of filming will probably be something fairly inconsequential and involve a minor character getting shot, or a close up of a hand or something. It's not usually something big and iconic.

But, by sheer chance, the very first scene that we shot involved The Doctor and Amy arriving on a planet with River Song and looking at the crashed spaceship.

So it couldn't have been more iconic - the Tardis was there! It was also perfect paparazzi fodder because it had everything you could possibly have, which wasn't intentional actually.

I vividly remember arriving on that beach. I saw the Tardis in the distance, which was very much the culmination of all that time waiting to get started - which you could argue was two and a half years, or 40 years for me.

River Song, played by Alex Kingston, walks across the beach with red high heels in hand

First walking onto a big, grand, typical Doctor Who location and seeing the bright blue box waiting was so odd for me. We'd be so careful up to that point, and not put the Doctor Who name on any of our signs but still the paparazzi and fans found us within about 20 minutes!

I was stood on set with my phone, looking at pictures of myself which fans had taken already on the web. On one occasion I saw a photograph of myself watching the filming, which had been uploaded so quickly that I hadn't moved from the position I was in by the time it was on the web!

My other memory is of this day ending early because the tide came in unexpectedly. I did slightly wonder if this would be the shape of things to come.

That scene on the beach was about three pages longer originally. The rain on the second day of filming was so torrential that I suggested I could cut three pages, provided I could relocate them in a new Tardis scene.

I ended up adding the scene which sits immediately after the credits, with River flying the Tardis better than The Doctor. That's a lovely scene, and a much better start to the show, but it's all a consequence of torrential rain and the tide coming in.

On the second day I ended up sat in the production van, very grumpy, hastily rewriting scenes. The story of those two days is really about the plunge from the extraordinary romantic beginning with the Tardis and the big iconic scene, to the reality of actually trying to film it. It was a great lesson in having to cut pages and deal with the reality of the challenges we face.

Later on in the episode there's a really nice accidental moment where The Doctor hangs from the strap on the ceiling and it breaks. The very first time Matt did it, it was an accident - he wasn't supposed to do that, it's just typical Matt, breaking everything - but the director liked it, so he kept it in.

The version we see on screen isn't the real accident, it's him doing it on purpose, but I do think it is very funny. I think particularly the looks from the girls and the fact that he doesn't mention it at all - he just tries to carry it off as a sort of Stan Laurel moment. It's extremely charming.

I think the thing that has come back with Matt is the idea that The Doctor is a bit silly at times. He's a slightly silly old buffer in a few ways.

Matt Smith as The Doctor looks around a cave in The Time Of Angels episode

We find out he's a bit rubbish at flying the Tardis and he trips over his feet and breaks things. Both Chris and David were quite cool Doctors, and while Matt certainly isn't short on cool, he has an amazing clumsiness. He's halfway between Indiana Jones and Stan Laurel.

The Doctor has a belief that he is cooler than he actually is. For instance in that first episode where he yells "Who da man?" and everybody cringes.

It's those moments that really show where the old man comes through in Matt's performance, because there is nothing wrong with a young man shouting that, the awkwardness is when your dad tries to say it. That's The Doctor through and through.

Steven Moffat is executive producer and lead writer for Doctor Who. The Time Of The Angels can be viewed on iPlayer. Part two of the story - Flesh and Stone - will be broadcast on BBC One at 6.25pm on Saturday, 1 May

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    What we have to remember is that although this version of the Dr has a young body, there is 900 years inside that head, so for him to act like an "old Duffer" is probably acceptable on occasion.
    Matt & Steven have really made this new series different. Its action, excitement and superb story telling.
    Everything a Dr Who should be.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having now got the Daleks out of the way early on I'm hoping that this episode will the one where the story arc begins to get really interesting. The Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead episodes with River Song left so many questions unanswered that I've looked forward to her re-appearance more than any character.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very much looking forward to the return of River Song AND the Weeping Angels, though I will probably be chewing my cushion by the end of this episode out of sheer terror. The mention of a DASTARDLY PLOT is not helping matters, Moffat! But I am always happy to hear about Matt Smith breaking things, it's adorable and hilarious at the same time.

    *waits impatiently for Saturday*

  • Comment number 5.

    Steven,

    This episode sounds brilliant - really enjoying the series so far. In fact I believe your son said it was the scariest episode ever!

    With that in mind, how do you feel about it potentially going out at 6.20pm on Saturday in what will be a Very Warm(18C-22C) Sunny Saturday Evening. Do you have any strong opinion on this?

    My opinion is that I think the timing of the show, that early, works well in the Winter months, not so sure about Spring/Summer - which might explain why the current series is achieving very high Time-Shifts at the moment, with somewhat average Overnights TBH.

  • Comment number 6.

    I love the sound of the Doctor impersonating the TARDIS in the clip. So funny. If thats the result of a rewrite then I'm glad the tide came in!

  • Comment number 7.

    Steven,

    are you at all concerned that the playing the fool aspect of MS's Doctor is going to undercut the character too much if he is also surrounded by overly strong female characters?

    So far your writing for Who has amazed and delighted, so I am taking a liberty asking because you haven't dropped the ball. :)

  • Comment number 8.

    Steven

    Great Blog - always intriguing to know the thought processes of the warped minds that write and produce Doctor Who, especially when scripts change for the simple fact that "it rains heavily in Wales".

    Whay really sets the programme apart is the sheer quality - everything from the writing to the actors, the special effects to the monsters. (Who thought of pastel daleks?).

    Did you and Russell T just decide to set the bar so high that anyone who follows is destined to look average? Or do you think that it is just a case of building up momentum so that quality will constantly be attracted to the show?

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi there, Steven.

    Lovely insights into your experiences taking over. I think it's safe to say that both new leads have caught everyone's imaginations beautifully and there is a lot of love already for the shape of the new Who adventures.

    As ever too, your scripts crackle with wit, which is a joy in any show.

    With a hugely heavy heart though, I feel sadly compelled to say that we're struggling with loving the overall effect so far, three eps in. So much about it we want to love, but it's being hindered for us and many chums by the current Try To Make It Look Like A Movie approach.

    Crucial to storytelling, surely, is pace. Light and shade. The moments of action and wild ride stuff have meaning against the aching depths of the Doctor's on-going circumstance - that's the magic, isn't it. So why does the production constantly tell us what to feel, leaving no space at all for that crucial thing - the viewer's own emotional connection?

    It's all shout. It's CONSTANT MUSIC. That big-budget drown everything in music approach is just what makes the classic Hollywood blockbuster so vacuous - Dr Who is surely the antithesis of a Hollywood blockbuster.

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease turn off half of Murray's score. Please allow us to feel some emptyness. Give Murray some time off for all the hard efforts of screen time.

    Hate criticising - we love the love and talent you put into the show. But it's such an iconic bit of TV creative, I feel weirdly compelled to comment on a forum about it.

    See how I politely didn't mention the sig tune? Took nerve to hold it in.

    Cheering you on from the sofa still.

  • Comment number 10.

    Loved the first two episodes, was not overly keen on the third (although I feel its going to become better after we see the new Daleks in action (however my kids loved it)


    Cant wait for this episode though, strangely I got the Aliens vibe from the next time teaser.

  • Comment number 11.

    I rather liked last weeks episode but couldn't help think that the new Daleks which were all different bright colours looked like iPods.

  • Comment number 12.

    Love that the new Doctor is a bit of a clumsy old professor. However I hope that clumsiness isn't going to be harped on too much and seem like ineffectiveness - for exmaple Amy has saved the day out of nowhere for the last 2 episodes running. The odd "I am *very good*!" moment never hurt the Tenth Doctor, did it?

    Also politely not mentioning the theme tune ;-)

    Keep up the great work!

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Thoroughly looking forward to this story. 'Blink' was one of my favourite episodes of the revamped series, and the Weeping Angels were genuinely creepy. Those horrible, sightless eyes and those impassive stone faces leave a lingering effect. Also great to see Professor River Song back from another of my favourite stories.

  • Comment number 15.

    nice article - this was my all-time favourite episode. but is "a slightly silly old buffer" a mis-print for "duffer" ???

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm loving Matt Smith as The Doctor, and Karen as his companion. First episode was brilliant. Second episode was OK...had some good moments. Third episode was really poor, especially with the new Daleks. I couldn't help but think of the Teletubbie theme music in my head as I saw them. However, I am looking forward to this next story, and I hope it is the beginning of the show finding it's "footing" this season.

  • Comment number 17.

    Watched this since the first Dr. Like what I have seen so far; love the new Tardis.

    RU going to bring back the Doctors Daughter? If so some from of Tardis for here would be a good idea? The "new adventures could give a clue" Also is the Prof; Benny?

  • Comment number 18.

    When I was a child I always looked forward to watching John Pertwee as the Dr. I would sit there on a Saturday evening and watch with my family. My 9 year old daughter now does exactly the same thing with her family. I personally am quite looking forward to the Weeping Angels episode, however, we may not allow my daughter to watch as she was quite unsettled by Blink. Regardless of this, I still think that the new Dr Who programs right from the first series with Christopher Eccleston, have been absolutely brilliant, and brings back to me that excitement I always felt when I was a child waiting for the next episode. Thank you BBC and the Dr Who writers.

  • Comment number 19.

    Looking forward to saturday, to see how 'this' Doctor deals with an old enemy.

    Enjoyed the updated Daleks, complete with bright colours, really puzzled me seeing a Khaki Dalek, with 'utility belt' and Union Flag, a real second World War foot soldier. Hilarious Cup o Char (Tea) gentlemen??,

    Always remember 'Spoilers!!!'.

  • Comment number 20.

    OK - my earlier comment removed as I included a a link to DWPA - sorry about that.

    Here's the body of the text again:-

    Thanks for the blog Steven.

    All the Doctor Who Podcasts - of which there are well over 40 at the last count - are talking Doctor Who none-stop!

    As for the Weeping Angels - most of us fans are really looking forward to this two-parter.

    I bet it's going to be a cracking story :-)

    Please keep blogging here Steven.

    As the T-Shirt says.... 'In Moffat We Trust' - as recently worn by Taras at the Apple Store in New York.

    Cheers, daveac

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Steven,

    Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are perfect in their roles, the hard work of you and all of the team working on the show is very much appreciated!

    More blog notes please!

    Simon (Doctor Who viewer since 1966)

  • Comment number 22.

    First off - I LOVE the new Doctor! I had my doubts when I first saw the pics and, even more, when I saw the first few previews. But I've just accepted him as the Doctor so quickly, it amazed me! Matt Smith is PERFECT as the Doctor. Now, on to other things,.. We've replaced the Daleks, but would it be possible to get the ORIGINAL Cybermen in? I mean, they DO still exist, right? We saw a head in the episode "Dalek", but ever since the Cybrus Cybermen, that's all we see now. ALSO, why can't we ever have a visit from the 8th Doctor? Possibly even a special or movie (The Time War?) with the 8th Doctor. Blink was an episode that Gave David T a break, and it was great,.. Love and Monster not so much,.. So, why couldn't you have like a 'flashback' episode as a break episode and show some stories with the 8th Doctor? Just a suggestion/request.

    Thank you,
    David Carpenter

  • Comment number 23.

    Had no doubts that this new series would be amazing and so far it has delivered.

    Steven - you are in my humble opinion one of the greatest writers in TV. I loved Jekyll by the way - thought it was witty, sinister and damned clever. A bit like your Doctor Who's have been.

    Good luck and keep going - I hope this is just the start of a brilliant and long lasting Moffat-era of Dr Who.

  • Comment number 24.

    Steven

    Many thanks to the production team, for all the hard work, Series 5 has been a long wait.

    As a 53 year old fan of Doctor Who,I hope to see the series on air for many years to come, and it is my hope that this new series would build on what has been a fantasic four years.

    Matt Smith can certainly make the part his own, no doubt about that, and I love the new look TARDIS (inside and out, but please, I do not understand what you have done with the Daleks? SORRY, THEY LOOK SIMPLY STUPID, EVERY OUT OF PROPORTION DALEK TOY THAT THERE HAS EVER BEEN, ONLY NOW FULL SIZE.

    Why change what was not broken? Rank by colour is fine, but please keep the props that looked the part, these latest ones do not.

    The episodes so far have a much different feel, by no means the same sense of drama, as with the previous four series and specials.

    However, time I guess will tell.

  • Comment number 25.

    I have watched the first episode again and I found that it was better after another viewing. I hope that Matt settles in the role of the elderly man in a seemingly young body. He has a striking face and he is suited to the clothes and I like the bow tie. Didn't Heinz Wolff wear a bow tie? There was a brilliant man for you. A scientist who wore a bow tie made him memorable. I think I have a photo of the chap.

  • Comment number 26.

    As a licence fee payer could i ask why it seems the any negative comments re this new series of Doctor Who are being deleted or censored.

    Not everyone thinks Mr Moffat is doing a good job, and is changing far to much in his attempt to wipe out all that RTD accomplished with the series.

    I wish people would listen to the comments of those that are not happy, and are very concerned with the way the show is progreesing.

    Rumours have it we are in for yet another change. That of the iconic instantly recognisable sound of The TARDIS landing and taking off!

  • Comment number 27.

    Well sorry i am missing david as the doctor, Matt is ok but for me he is not as good actor as David i beleive David was the doctor with David i felt i was there with him in this imaginary world with someone called the Doctor with Matt Im just not getting that when he talks about gallifrey, for me Davids facial expressions told a story without him having to say a word, i felt his pain about the time war,i only hope in time Matt will get better, love Karen great figure and nice to see a companion in a skirt for a change.

    Its not thrilling me like it use to at the moment and they have destroyed the theme song. I also do not like the way the show is going and i agree with the poster CG if your negative about the show your post is deleted i am a dr who fan and always will be i was 6 when i first watched an episode and i am now 43 but Mr Moffett and those at dr who need to remember that it is not just children that watch this show it is also the children that grew up with it that watch it and if people dont like it then the ratings will be affected.

    Janine manchester

  • Comment number 28.

    At 8:41pm on 23 Apr 2010, CG wrote:


    Not everyone thinks Mr Moffat is doing a good job, and is changing far to much in his attempt to wipe out all that RTD accomplished with the series.

    -------------------------

    I loved the RTD years, he brought the series back from the dead, but to suggest that Steven Moffat is intending to wipe out all that has gone before is completely ridiculous.

    Steven Moffat knows as much about Doctor Who as any of us.

    We are in safe hands.

  • Comment number 29.

    Comment 27 - firebird 999

    Matt Smith has had just THREE episodes and you're already comparing him to David Tennant's 36 stories (47 episodes)?

    Give the fella a break!

  • Comment number 30.

    Change often generates negative reactions, I hated Peter Howell's theme when I first heard it, but now I think it is one of the best (although I am not sure why the key change compared to the Delia Derbyshire version?). So maybe change is something that takes getting used to rather than necessarily a bad thing? However, super-sized, super plastic, Power Ranger colour Daleks, please do me a favour. Still they should sell plenty at Christmas which may explain the change

    I loved Eleventh Hour, I enjoyed Beast Below but Victory of the Daleks had so much potential in the first half and seemed to throw it away in the second. How many minutes did it take to retrofit the Spitfires with Gravity Bubbles? I don't have too much problem with technobabble but the speed of that retrofit seemed to be pushing credibility. Did I miss something to explain that time shift?(it is possible I know!)

    Let's see where the crack is shoe-horned into this week. Maybe I will love it when it is all explained. I hope I do :-)

  • Comment number 31.

    I understand that change can sometimes be a good thing and appreciate that Mr Moffat had he's own ideas which he wanted to bring to the show. However, I do feel he's given little if any consideration to the fans of Dr Who, who during its revival have given it such amazing support.

    Theres almost a feeling of playground behave like when a child snatches a toy and runs away to hide with it. The truth is that Dr Who belongs to the license payers and the world wide fans and I feel that Moffat has ignored this.

    If he really truely felt that so much change had to be made to the show, then why not ease those fans, who are still mourning the departure of RTD and David Tennant, into it gently. Why did everything have to change so dramatically and all in one episode.

    The new theme doesnt really bother me, but WHY did it have to change? What was the point? New screwdriver? New Tardis? New Daleks? Really, what was the point of any of it other than the new production team simply wishing to make a statement that says "Were doing it now, so like it or lump it".

    Personally I think its an insult to the previous team.

    I watched the episode Family Of Blood the other night, and there simply is no comparison between Matt Smith And David Tenant.

    I gave it a shot, but with scripts like "Doctor to Danny boy, Doctor to Danny boy", Im bailing Im afraid.

    PS, Steven Moffat rocks as a writer of ideas, but this seasons scripts are just bland! The odd failed attempt by Matt Smith to deliver an angry looking face suggesting an inner emotion, just simply doesnt work.

    I shall be flicking to the "Watch" channel from now on.

  • Comment number 32.

    If you check out this feedback thread, then overall so far so good Steven.
    Stories, apart from the last half of Victory of the Daleks - all got a bit too silly, even for Who IMO - and their basic premise (and acting) of the stories have been good.
    My big problem though is that, I know you wanted to do a mini-reboot but please dial back some of the changes. The outside of the Tardis is good but the inside has too much "bling". Fortunately we don't see much of it in shot at once, so it isn't that noticeable.... I only really thought this in the Confidential shows.
    I'd like to echo some of the other comments from the Blogosphere about the Daleks... to quote the Doctor... "What? Did you think no-one was watching?"
    Sorry. These are a "bling" too far. I know Mark wanted colours back to hark back to the films and, that's fine, but old Who also had rubber monsters and naff special effects and we don't want to bring those back. Not all old Who is good. The RTD Daleks may have needed to be taller for the new actors but, basically, they looked the part. These new ones just look like they are made out of plastic.... and its obvious. What's that big grey box on the front of all of them? ... just doesn't look right.
    Also, the new Dalek eye view from inside isn't better either. The old view was plain, single colour and didn't detract from the shot being filmed. The new has a big rectangle in the middle of the shot and orange around the focus of the shot... it just distracts the viewer.
    Not scary or menacing at all.
    Finally, I know its already all been filmed but stop with the obvious focusing on the cracks in the universe. We *KNOW* it's important, let us find them in the shots, stop smacking us over the head with them.

  • Comment number 33.

    Still very unsure about the new direction of Dr Who.

    I was not keen on Ep1. Way too much shouting and seemingly pointless running about with an overlong joke about what the Dr wanted to eat.

    Ep2 was much better. Slightly understated in some ways (Though, space whale? saving a future version of humanity, was almost expecting a Russian to be looking for a "nuclear Wessel")with a couple of nice twists and turns thrown in.

    Ep3 with Winston Churchill and the Daleks. What can I say... NO... You don't want to do that... I hope the reintroduction of the weeping angels and the Cybermen are done better.

    Really unsure about Matt Smith too. Possibly it's because his face just reminds me too much of Rudd Van Nistelroy but I suspect that it's because he's either not right for the role or just not found his feet yet.

    Karen Gillan is still a hell of a find though and she could be the glue that holds the entire series together, although I am somewhat worried how Mr Moffat will treat he wedding/marriage/family situation.

    When I commented after Ep1 I gave it a B+ and that is where I still assess it to be. I used to genuinely enjoy coming home from whatever I had been doing switching on my Sky+ box, going to my planner and watching DR Who, regardless what else I had recorded.

    I still do watch it but unless it gets better I might have to take the ultimate action and remove the series link.

    Steven Moffet might be putting the nail in the Dr Who coffin. I hope I'm wrong but I can't be the only one thinking this way.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Steven.
    Just want to say I love the series so far, you've been my favourite writer for the show since the Empty child/Doctor dances, from then I've thought of you as the Robert Holmes of the new series and now you're in charge! congratualtions I can't imagine what that feels like. I'm looking forward to tonights episode.
    I had my doubts about Matt Smith before I saw him in action, excellent choice! "what I always dooo, stay out of trouble, badly" sealed it for me.
    Karen Gillan is an excellent choice for Companion, they seem to just bounce off each other, you know? anyway.
    Mark Gatiss to write Victory of the Daleks! sweeet. I literally cheered when the retro, early 60's comic style Daleks arrived and exterminated the others! too much needs saying but I'll just say thanks! you've saved Doctor Who!! peace Steven.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi! me again. objective assessment...
    since 2005 with a fair number of exceptions, some of them outstanding! something has bugged me. All the Doctors are wonderful, I like each and every one, I look at Colin Baker's Doctor and he always makes me think of Frasier! he was the Frasier Doctor lol! all 3 new Doctors are no different, to be honest my favourite so far has been Christopher Ecclestone, probably because as soon as I heard the show was returning I think it was Anthony Stewart Head and Christopher Ecclestone that came to mind, mainly Ecclestone. I've distracted myself but I'm not starting again.
    I can't say much without breaching terms and conditions so I'll give a child like perspective on the previous era.
    It was like you're a young child and your Mum invites an older boy you don't know round to play, he then plays with your Doctor Who stuff and does alot of it wrong, it's silly to complain about but is not unfounded, in a weird way.
    One over hanging issue... on screen exterminations, without sounding crass, the first season had plenty, although Dalek behaviour was odd in places there were plenty of exterminations, has the BBC had too many complaints about this? I'm not one to say effects and shoot outs over story, far from it! really I'd rather have an effect free story entirely dialogue driven than some special effects laden toy advert but Daleks! they need to be set loose! one or two per story just isn't enough and you know it! my nephews have also commented on this! take Genesis and Resurrection of the Daleks! classic stories, LOADS of exterminations and mild horror!
    One last ickle thing... Please save the Cybermen! please! the Next Doctor was a nightmare!! we want Mondas Cybermen! help us Steven Moffat, you're our only hope!..

  • Comment number 36.

    All I will say about the actors is Matt Smith - better than expected, a boy professor version of Patrick Troughton. Karen Gillan? The best companion since Sarah Jane Smith if the stories improve.

    Big problem with new Doctor Who though - the STORIES ARE WAY TOO SHORT and therefore end up rushed! All of these deserve at least a two parter, the Matt Smith stories up to now have been fun but too silly and underdeveloped.

    I have big hopes for the future, however.

    Don't worry too much about the opinions of self-obsessed fanboys, Mr. Moffat. I speak as someone who remembers William Hartnell live (just!). And I like the iDaleks, personally :O)

  • Comment number 37.

    I completely agree with the comment regarding the intrusive music. I enjoy an underscore as it does lend to the mood and help with non verbal sequences but the volume is excessive and makes dialogue scenes difficult to follow.

    If I have one complaint though it's the amount of material revealed prior to the airing of an episode. Spoilers. I mean the jellybean Dalek surprise was completely ruined by all the spoilers. Not least the radio times front covers.

    Would it be possible to bring back the 'Tardisodes' in lieu of the spoiler clips? Non revealing teasers? The joy of the of the classic era was just not knowing what happened next. It maintained the excitement and the thrill of anticipating the story arc.

    To end on a bit of praise though, Matt Smith is fantastic as the Doctor. Inspired casting. He does seem to be channeling all the previous incarnations as well as imbuing the role with his own bonkers personality. Love the energy and enthusiasm of the new team and continued enthusiasm of the old hands.

    And thank you for the return of River Song. She's wonderful. (",)

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am 52 years old and have been watching Doctor Who since the very first episode when I was 5 years old and never before have I felt such a burning desire to complain to the BBC as I do now. Tonight's episode was fantastic and had me glued to the screen like I was a child again. Then at the climax of a cliffhanger, this orange and yellow banner flashed on and I thought at first it was part of the programme, some find of graphic for the doctor or river song to help them get away. But no, it's a damn advert for the next show and as soon as I realised it had nothing to do with the plot I was livid and it has spoilt the enjoyment for me totally. I expect this kind of crassness from itv but never thought it could happen on my favourite bbc show. I am highly motivated to do whatever I can as a humble licence fee payer to prevent this ever happening again. Steven, you wrote a great show and I am sure you had nothing to do with the banner ad being flashed up. I hope that if you put yourself in my shoes, you will see that this kind of thing is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and do all you can to stop these banner ads from ever being used in the broadcast. Of course I can buy the dvd in the near future but that's not the bloody point. GET A GRIP BBC.

  • Comment number 40.

    This was television at its very best. Gripping, nail-biting and genuinely creepy at times. The character of Professor River Song is enigmatic and colourful, and the relationship between the Doctor and Amy is charming. The Tolkeinesque Maze of the Dead fits beautifully with the dark fairytale atmosphere of the current series. The forty-five minutes just flew by, and I'll be counting the days until next week. I was perched on the edge of my seat for three quarters of an hour.

    However, I agree with some of the other posters on this blog. The appearance of the 'Over The Rainbow' logo towards the end of the story was hideously distracting, and very, very annoying. I hope this doesn't happen again.

  • Comment number 41.

    Fantastic episode, really enjoyed that.

    Do me a favor though, ask the BBC not to stick stupid cartoons over the cliffhanger.


    This is the BBC, not Five

  • Comment number 42.

    I too watched the first episode of Doctor Who as a child. This was a great episode, and it was just ruined at the climax by that stupid advert at the bottom. I was completely absorbed in the story, and then had my head yanked back into my living room. Stupid, stupid, stupid, and stupider because I wasn't even watching the programme live.

    TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE, I agree. Please don't ever ruin the programme like that again, BBC.

  • Comment number 43.

    Fantastic episode - can't wait for the conclusion. However, couldn't agree more about advert for 'Over the Rainbow' advert during the climax of the programme totally ruining the atmosphere. I hope that Steven Moffat uses his influence to stop this happening again.
    I have also complained through the BBC Complaints link - the first time I have ever felt annoyed enough to do this!

  • Comment number 44.

    What kind of science fiction fan wants to see Over the Rainbow?

    Of course they stick the reminder over the end to stop video pirates selling DVDs, same goes for the naff voice-overs.

    Next they'll be advertising Eastenders over the titles...

    Bad show, Aunty!

  • Comment number 45.

    Brilliant episode, especially afer last week's shambles.

    But, I agree with MarkB and Grame Hewson's comments above about the advert popping up during the episode's climax, this isn't Monster Trucks followed by Pets Do The Funniest Things, it's drama where the pleasure is in being completely drawn in for 55 minutes. I never wanted to ever find myself saying this, but it's not what I pay my licence fee for.

    Here today, gone tomorrow TV execs should be ashamed of themselves for apeing the worst in commercial TV (they won't be, it will be another good example where they've demonstrated 'Managing Change')

  • Comment number 46.

    I must agree with the comment about the intrusive graphics appearing DURING the show. I have seen this sort of thing all over the freeview channels and it is very distracting and annoying. I imagine the programme makers do not want it and the viewing public certainly don`t. I hope the BBC don`t adopt it over all their shows. The other annoying thing, was the immediate announcements over the top of the end credits and music. What is the point of programme makers going to all the trouble of making them, for some unknown person to talk all over the theme tune and squash the credits to an unreadable size?

  • Comment number 47.

    I phoned the beeb to complain about banner ad at the end on 03700 100 222

  • Comment number 48.

    In answer to bit, my family watch 'Over the Rainbow' but we love science fiction too!! Don't know what sort of fan that makes me.... Still doesn't stop me being annoyed about that advert!

  • Comment number 49.

    Excellent programme ruined by the stupid advert right at the climax of the story. Nice one BBC. This creeping nonsense that assumes it's viewers can't work out for themselves what's on next, has destroyed the endings of programmes/films for me on other channels. I've managed perfectly well for the past 45 yrs, thanks very much, don't need leading by the hand now.

    If this practice isn't stopped I may have to consider giving up watching TV to avoid the feelings of anger brought about by advertising foisted on us at inappropriate times which ruin the ending.

    BBC - we expect better from you.

  • Comment number 50.

    Perhaps you could do a follow-up blog post where Steven Moffat lets us know how he feels about his carefully-crafted drama having its climax spoiled by a cartoon Graham Norton advertising a show designed to fill Andrew Lloyd-Webber's pockets. That would be an interesting read, I'm sure.

  • Comment number 51.

    Another brilliant episode, as usual. Such a shame we had that stupid Graham Norton cartoon ruining the end!

  • Comment number 52.

    Having been a fan of Dr Who from the start I think that the joy of each regeneration has been the change between each Doctor and the next. Having a different approach keeps the whole thing fresh. A show like Dr Who shouldn't be written with the same old characters and plots but remain inventive and should always challenge viewers a little more each series.

    Having said that, everyone will have his or her own pet likes and dislikes. I like the character Matt Smith creates though I feel he is getting upstaged a bit by Amy and in episode 4 very much so by River Song (who would make a great female Dr Who even if that would complicate some plot lines). The central character is the Doctor - don't let him disappoint!

    Amy is excellent, the plots are improving and there are good characters developing all round (loved the Bishop, verger etc in episode 4 - "the church has moved on, Doctor"). The new Tardis (it has been 'new' many times before) is complicated but it is something to 'explore' as the series goes on - no problem with that.

    The bigger, colourful Daleks are weak. They look as though they contain ordinary human beings rather than repulsive little horrors. They also look too much like kids' toys - which is presumably what they're about to be. And they seem to have Victorian bustles round their rears!

    The constant music is overpowering and often makes it difficult for some of us to hear the quieter dialogue properly. Episode 2 was particularly bad. Good drama relies on the words. Music is more effective when it's special.

    David Tennant was so good it will take time for Matt to establish his own track record, but I think he will do it. Saturdays are still a television highlight of the week!

  • Comment number 53.

    And I forgot to say that stupid, stupid advert was utterly crass - markB chose the right word.

  • Comment number 54.

    I have been really gripped by the new Doctor Who series. Which is why I was SO annoyed by the ridiculous Over the Rainbow banner that appeared in this episode at the most exciting moment barely seconds before the end of the programme where the powers that be then squished the closing credits to remind us that the programme following was Over the Rainbow.
    I have never phoned the BBC to complain nor had I ever joined a BBC blog to complain until this evening where I have now broken my duck TWICE.

    BBC - stop treating your viewers and license fee payers with such contempt.

  • Comment number 55.

    Great episode of Doctor Who tonight, can't wait for next week, but...

    DO NOT ADVERTISE THE NEXT PROGRAM THAT IS COMING ON JUST AS YOU HAVE BUILT THE TENSION TO FULL TILT!!!!

    Absolutely stupid and foolish and whoever was responsible for that idea should be moved down a pay grade two!

  • Comment number 56.

    So who at the BBC had the bright idea of sticking a banner with a cartoon Graham Norton across the screen right in the middle of the Doctor's speech to the Weeping Angels?

  • Comment number 57.

    Steven - I would hope you were on the phone Saturday night after the way BBC Presentation ruined the cliffhanger of part one! Shocking.

  • Comment number 58.

    Totally agree with those who found the banner at the end of tonight's episode annoying. Not only was it pointless but it spoiled a fabulous episode. I feel sorry for Steven Moffat, the whole production team and the actors. All that effort expended on created the build up, tension and drama as we approach the climax and then the BBC go slap a cartoon banner for "over the rainbow". Yes because we all decided to start watching a brand new episode half way through and not pick up the announcers verbal ad. for rainbow before the start, followed by the announcer's verbal reminder during the closing credits. Do us a favour BBC - you're not Watch Channel - please live up to your reputation for quality public service broadcasting. Please please do not get obsessed with putting what comes after before what's being broadcast in the here and now - to do so devalues what you are, what you do, and what you show.

  • Comment number 59.

    Steven - great story - much better than the dodgy Dalek story last week. But who sanctioned the killing of the cliffhanger with the 'next time' sequence seconds later? That seemed a little odd/dumb.

  • Comment number 60.

    Terrific episode which I really enjoyed.... up until...

    Utter shame about the banner ad. I would suggest that the BBC really need to question whether programme quality has any correlation with viewing figures and audience loyalty. As a viewer, why would I be interested in returning to watch a show next week if the experience of the drama is going to be deliberately ruined with distracting obtrusive graphics? If you sabotage the programme's enjoyment by 20%, what does that do to audience figures? Is the purpose of the cliffhanger not to generate an emotional tension that can only be satiated by tuning in next week? And yet, and yet, that tension was squandered. My involvement in the story was deflected, and now I frankly don't even care what's supposed to happen next.

  • Comment number 61.

    I really have tried to think of something positive to say about the new series of Doctor Who however I cannot muster much.
    I feel that the regeneration into a new Doctor was change enough and we should have been allowed to get used to Matt Smith's incarnation of the Doctor without all the additional changes coming at the same time.
    I have watched all four episodes - the first three on BBC1 and the repeats on BBC3 - and have tried to keep an open mind about this programme but I'm afraid to say I do not beleive in Matt Smith's Doctor and furthermore I'm at a loss as to the reason for the bland plotlines. I have not been able to warm to Karen Gillan's character either as I find the character Amy Pond bolshy and irritating - however I did also find Rose Tyler incredibly annoying.
    I will not claim to be a lifelong fan of Doctor Who and only really began watching the series in 2005. I did not rate Christopher Eccleston's Doctor to the extent I did David Tennant's, but the strong plotlines, and the development of the other characters really added to my family's enjoyment of the show. I should know as my four year old son is a huge fan and we regularly watch the old episodes on DVD together.
    I can't understand the need to have changed the Dalek's and feel they now resemble overgrown kitchen equipment. The new version of the theme tune is passable and I do actually enjoy Murray Gold's music during the show and having CD's from previous series' prove how powerful the music can be as the episodes are instantly recognisable and you are transported back to them when you listen. I was in two minds about the new logo and actually this does not offend me too much - although like the Dalek's - was there a need for this to change? On the plus side I absolutely love the new TARDIS and the new Sonic Screwdriver looks good too.
    I would have been very interested to see whether the viewers' response to the new series was any different had Russell T Davies continued to write the stories, before being gradually phased out to allow Steven Moffat to take the helm. I feel keeping some continuity would have helped develop the new Doctor and Amy's characters better.
    I will persevere with the series as I do hope my initial feelings are proved wrong and that Dr Who will continue to be much loved by our family for may years to come.

  • Comment number 62.

    Love the new show. It's got that 'wired' feel that the best of the classic series had. The production design and acting talent are just perfect, the stories have been quite light so far but I feel drawn in and anticipate a much darker time ahead for the 'so weird he's cool' Doctor and his feisty and gorgeous companion.

    I'd been so enjoying the new show. Then this. This stupid tension destroying 'strap' that the BBC plastered all over the ending of tonight's episode, actually as the Doctor pointed the gun and said... THE speech, the one that had been being trailed since before the start of the series - the 'There's one thing you never want to put in a trap' speech. We had the BBC's smiley Mr. Smarm, Graham Norton in animated form wiggling across the screen trailing the variety show due to start next on the channel. Instantly I was back in my room in my chair surrounded by my clutter and not down there in the catacombs with the Doctor surrounded by malevolent statues. Moment gone, destroyed.

    Needless to say, I've emailed AND phoned the beeb, requested a response (more effort for them), written to the forum pages, tweeted and so forth in my disgust and disappointment. I'd been looking forward to the episode since I knew about it and felt betrayed that the investment I'd put getting really into it was lost right when it mattered.

    To rub salt into the wound, less than 20 seconds later the credits rolled and were as usual squashed over while a PIP clip of the next show with voice-over played ANYWAY. Why couldn't you just wait till then? How many viewers did you keep by running the stupid graphic those few seconds earlier.

    Mr. Moffat, I hope you're livid about it. I'm hoping that an army of Doctor Who fans will complain each and every week if the BBC want to just try keeping this up.

    If they wanted to gauge viewer reaction, I hope they consider it well and truly gauged. There can't be anyone in their right mind who is a fan of these graphics, but there are many many people for whom the impact of your hard work and brilliant writing has been lessened by them tonight.

  • Comment number 63.

    My family is really enjoying the new Who. Well done to all.

    Loved this episode in particular. Adam Smith has done a great job directing Ep 1 & 4, I hope there are more to come from him.

    But, please, no more ads! Doing this to the cliffhanger was totally disrespectful to the programme, the hardworking production team and the viewers

  • Comment number 64.

    I really want to love this new season/series of the rebooted Doctor Who but I continue to be disappointed. I gave it a 2/5 on a review website, not because of the Angels (which I love) or River Song (whom I enjoy, somewhat, I'm rather preferential when it comes to women in the Doctor's life) but because of the continuing trend in the Doctor-Amy relationship, which I find very disappointing.
    Amy is possibly the brightest, quickest, and most spunky companion the Doctor has ever had. She doesn't seem to tremble or faint at the sight of danger, she jumps into it and tackles it full bore. She's more Doctory than any of the previous companions with the possible of exception of Rose in the second season of her run as a compaion. She saved the day in the second episode, the world in the third, and she figured out how to get rid of the Angel in the trailer while the Doctor and River were scrambling around trying to find a way in -- but he treats her like a piece of baggage, a tag-a-long raggamuffin that he barely pays attention to except when he notices that she just saved the day right out from under him.
    This behavior really bores me. In the first episode and the second episode I had the impression that the Doctor and Amy were going to be this great Save-the-World team, but in Episode 3 he summarily dumps and heads off to face the Daleks (even though she still winds up saving the world while he blunders his way through regenerating the Daleks and letting them go) and in Episode 4 he effective IGNORES her when she's not turning into stone or under attack -- she's not on his 'team' at all here, she's being treated like an unwelcome passenger. I got into Doctor Who after the show returned because 9 and 10 worked closely with their companions to save the day and depended on them. The teamwork is what sold me - ordinary human women helping a Time Lord to find the answer to things that would have otherwise killed him or other people. He had fun working with them, and he opened up to them and he considered them... friends and partners. He treats Amy like a toy poodle. He pats her on the head when she does something well and scolds her when she strays, and if that continues... I'm not going to stick around. Self-assured and overly-confident goofy dorks who think they know everything and don't think very highly of their 'companions' do not equal heroes in my mind - I'll go watch something else.
    I miss 10. I'm starting to miss 9. I loved 11 during his first episode and enjoyed the second for what it was, but if the Doctor keeps treating Amy like an annoying houseguest I'm going to drop the show, and I know a lot of other people who feel much the same way. I didn't enjoy watching the Old Doctor Who because the Doctor's companions seemed like useless baggage most of the time and because he behaved like a chauvinist, and if that's what we're going back to, I'll just keep watching 9 and 10 and let the series go on without me.
    Also, I have a quibble about 11. I've been giving him time, but he doesn't seem to have the fire that 9 or 10 did. When 9 got worried or upset about something he wore it on his sleeve for everyone to see, he was PASSIONATE... but 10 was magnificent. When he was angry about something he burned like the sun and, watching him, I FELT like I was in the presence of a near-immortal time-travelling demi-god who was Much. Displeased. with the youngsters for messing about, and when he was sad, it felt like the universe ached for him.
    MAYBE 11 is still growing into his role, but his fury seems very fake and he doesn't seem to let lesser emotions touch him at all. I like the bonkers side of him, I'm enjoying that as an evolution from the timey-wimey Doctor (different and good, not better), but he doesn't seem to let anything else touch him, almost as if he's above it all, and that bores me too.
    Davies, 9, 10, Rose, and Donna made me love Doctor Who by reinventing the stodgy old white guy who behaved like a chauvanist into a fun, eccentric guy who considered brilliant women his friends and partners in adventure. iDaleks aside, this series comes from that reboot. If it doesn't stay true to the reinvention of the Doctor, I'll be moving along, sadly returning him to the pile of shows I cannot relate to.

  • Comment number 65.

    Been a great fan of Doctor Who since the 2005 revival and I've followed every adventure the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctor have gone throughout the seasons. After a bumpy start in the last two episodes (2nd and 3rd), Time of the Angels is a great way to bring the show to the glory of its original run (the annoying Over The Rainbow graphic thingy really spoils the overall suspense for some). Keep up the good work, Steven!

  • Comment number 66.

    Having slept on it, I think the ad was run by a mole from Sky or Conservative Central Office because it has made me want to scrap the licence fee. Why should we pay the salaries of the cretins who do these things directly? Make them earn it in the real world.

  • Comment number 67.

    Mr Moffat. I am going to give you the highest compliment I can think of to give, and that is, that the Doctor and River are like Steve and Susan in Coupling. The affection and banter and history that was instantly believeable and wonderful to watch and listen to.

    Well done to you and well done to Matt and Alex for pulling it off so convincingly.

    Cant wait for next week!!

  • Comment number 68.

    FANTASTIC!

    I agree with many of the previous comments -- the Daleks episode was pants, I don't know why you changed the theme music so much, and so far Amy's seems to be being given a bit of short shrift. But this was the best episode I've seen in a long time! Very suspenseful, and even most of the incidental music was terrific. (I agree with momotempo's and Alan's comment about the music otherwise -- please cut back on the loud, overused ooh-aah stuff that's been so prevalent since the Doctor's return.)

    I definitely prefer the two-parters, 45 minutes is just not enough time for a whole story: the suspense and pacing are great for 30 minutes and then the whole episode completely falls apart.

    I'm not keen on the constant makeovers of the TARDIS, especially that it's all brand-spanking new and glowy on the outside. It's an old type-40 and is *supposed* to be tatty, remember?

    Steven, I think your episodes have been consistently amongst the best episodes of the new series. Girl in the Fireplace for example I watched twice in succession. I thought RTD's dialogue was usually very witty, but never cared for his over-the-top plots. I'm glad to see you've taken over and eagerly await what is to come. Keep it up!

  • Comment number 69.

    For everyone else that was as appalled as me at the advert over the climax of the show, I'd suggest you make a formal complaint as well here -

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

    Hopefully if enough people do that, they'll stop this stupid practice before it goes any further!

  • Comment number 70.

    Steven, I might as well add my voice to the many complaining about the on-screen advert ruining the dramatic climiax to your episode. I'm sure you are just as annoyed and I hope you use your showrunner status to kick some BBC scheduler butt.

    The show is great so far, lose the Star wars references though. Amy is a good companion, but please don't let her get too "so??!" whenever she can't figure out what's going on. Getting a bit too close to Harry Enfield's Kevin/Perry type characters.

  • Comment number 71.

    steven i would like you to let us know how you feel about a wonderful episode of dr who being overshadowed by some nomarks decision to place that dreadful advert..i would also like you to be able to make a difference..from an artistic point of view its a quitting situation..

  • Comment number 72.

    I watched Doctor Who on HD, where there was no snipe for Graham Norton (thank God, or Danielle Nagler!) so I came across these complaints by accident. I've looked at the SD backup recording, and words almost fail. It's vandalism.

    In an organisation which is famous for its 'refer upwards' culture, how could such an UNBELIEVABLY CRASS idea not get quashed long before it came to be inflicted on the audience?

  • Comment number 73.

    I agree with those who thought that it was the best episode to date, but I also agree with those who thought that what they did at the end was silly; and over on the Points of View Message Board, it has overshadowed discussion of the episode itself, which is a real shame:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=7452997&skip=0&show=200#p95314250 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566?thread=7460501&skip=0&show=200

  • Comment number 74.

    It's very simple. As much as I love Dr Who, if they put that ad on next week I shan't watch it again. I'm not going to be treated like a Dorothy-loving imbecile.

  • Comment number 75.

    Full of admiration for Stephen's writing and the way it was realised in the first part of the Weeping Angels story. This is easily the best of the series so far, and may rank in the all-time list once we see the denouement. I wondered how the angels could become something other than "one trick ponies" but, as ever, Stephen has cleverly added to their powers and ratcheted up the horror a few more notches. It's going to be a long week!

    As noted by so many other people, the cartoon banner right over the climax of the episode was simply unacceptable. Whoever made that decision should be fired as they clearly have no empathy whatsoever with the Dr Who viewing public. I don't think I've ever been so annoyed at the BBC in my life - and I am one of the sport haters who complain about MY programs being bumped for over-running football matches etc. This time the BBC have made a deliberate (but unthinking) effort to destroy one program to promote another, considerably inferior, show. Shame on them. I'm told the cartoon did not appear on the HD broadcast, so perhaps it's a marketing ploy aimed at getting us to switch to that channel. If so, it may well succeed.
    .

  • Comment number 76.

    Love the new Doctor, all of them in fact, but one thing worries me! Was anyon else bothered by River Song saying that The Tardis shouldn't sound the way it does? It sure concerned me... it's a non negotiable constant in the Universe of Doctor Who, I will continue to watch because it may have been a mistake, ant thoughts?

  • Comment number 77.

    Another viewer who thought an excellent episode was ruined by that banner at the end for the tacky reality programme that followed.

  • Comment number 78.

    Brilliant episode spoiled by the BBC.

    Having built up the tension beautifully with the writing, acting and the set design, the BBC showed utter contempt for you, the crew and the viewers by puerile advertising at the basest level.

  • Comment number 79.

    Steven - enjoyed the show last night.

    But I am afraid you really must make a stand for artistic integrity against the crassness of BBC presentataion which allows a cartoon banner to appear at the end over your work. I was so amazed I missed the ending and will have to watch again.

  • Comment number 80.

    I've just done the following google search:

    "dr who next programme banner"

    ...and I ended up here.

    I was looking to find out whether anyone else had made a comment or complained about the appearance of the Graham Norton banner slap bang in the middle of a critical point in the Dr Who episode. Seems I am not alone.

    The appearance of the banner just grated so much. Does anyone at the BBC think carefully about these kind of things or is there just an automatic setting that pops in the banner 'n' seconds before the end of a programe?

    It's a shame that when I think back to the episode (which was not half bad, by the way), that the first thing that pops into my head was 'that bl**dy banner'.

    I'm now off to give the BBC some official feedback. Hope everyone else does too, but no doubt we'll get a generic response stating how few people complained and how the Focus Groups love the banners.

  • Comment number 81.

    The Time of Angels episode was a triumph spoilt during the concluding moments by an intrusive, childish and downright inappropriate IPP featuring a poorly rendered cartoon representation of the odious and pointless presenter of the following programme.

  • Comment number 82.

    Mr Moffat,
    This was a fantastic episode, and my hat goes off to you and your writing. I was a bit worried that bringing the Weeping Angels back could have been pretty much a repeat of the previous episode, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through!
    Until... THAT BL**DY STUPID PRANCING BBC GRAPHIC RUNIED IN 5 SECONDS THE MOMENT THAT THE PREVIOUS 54 MINUTES HAD BEEN BUILDING UP TO!
    I have never complained to the BBC before, but felt compelled to this time. Their actions are either those of utter idiots, in which case whoever sanctioned this should be sacked immediately, or they are the actions of people who do not care a monkey's for their audience, in which case the person who sanctioned this should be sacked immediately.
    If the BBC do nothing about this, I will personally go and post dog poo through their letterbox. Hourly.
    Please, please, Mr Moffat use your influence to try and stop this from ever happening again.
    (P.S. Great episode again, by the way!)

  • Comment number 83.

    I've already submitted a complaint and posted on the PoV message board but what were the BBC thinking of? When will they get it into their thick heads that the viewing public doesn't want IPPs disrupting the programmes they're trying to watch. The same goes for DOGs.

    Awaiting the usual weasel worded excuses.

  • Comment number 84.

    Steven,

    Please use any influence you have to ensure no more of these ridiculous IPPs get used on 'Doctor Who'. Last night's was exacerbated by being during the cliffhanger of a two-parter, but are bad at the best of times. What were they thinking of?!!!

    If the BBC wants to mimic Five and US stations, then perhaps it's time to put the BBC on an equal footing and scrap the TV licence? Until now, I've always supported this, but I'm starting to change my mind.

  • Comment number 85.

    As another viewer who saw the very first episode of Dr Who, I remember my apprehension when I heard about its revival under RTD. I'd seen too many of my childhood favourites badly "re-imagined". As the first new episode, "Rose", came to an end and Rose ran in slow motion towards the open Tardis door with the falling note that signals the outro music, I knew everything was going to be just fine.

    Like many others, Stephen's episodes have been my picks. "The Empty Child", "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Blink". The new series has started off well enough - the brilliant young Amy packing her suitcase and rushing out into the garden to await the Doctor's return!

    The Weeping Angels episode was great. I hadn't twigged it was a two-parter and so got caught for the first time since I was a child by a Dr Who cliff-hanger!

    If only the BBC hadn't spoilt it in the way they did. BBC1 has previous form here of course. A recent "Ashes to Ashes" played "Shipbuilding" over the closing credits - a lovely song that for me captured the era perfectly. It was a shame to have a shouty man drown it out telling me what was on next.

    What I can't understand is how anybody believes these are good things to do to quality programmes. BBC1's controller is Jan Hunt, who came from Channel 5 I believe, so perhaps that indicates where BBC1 is going. I'd like to know why she things it's acceptable. The usual response is that "our branding team tell us viewers enjoy it" but Jan, what do you expect your branding team to tell you? "Oh, it turns out it's universally despised and you should sack us all immediately"?

    Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it. Even if the controller herself were to apologise, we know she'd be secretly whispering into their ears "Don't worry, give it a few months and we'll have another try".

    The odd thing is that as we all know, after the election the BBC will come under pressure to justify themselves and the BBC's allies will be drawn from the very people that Hunt seems determined to alienate. If I'm going to have my viewing punctuated by DOGs, IPPs, credit squeezes, shouty men and promotions between programmes, I might was well watch commercial TV.

    Stephen's a great writer and deserves far better treatment than this.

  • Comment number 86.

    As I watch Dr Who on BBC HD I didn't see this Over the Rainbow advert.

    However, had I done so I would have been furious and I can understand the comments here.

    This is simply not acceptable practice in my opinion.

  • Comment number 87.

    Anyone who is annoyed about thisw banner is missing the point. OTR makes money for the BBC, from phone voting. If the BBC wants to keep the licence fee, it should cancel these exploitative programmes, and leave them to ITV.

    On the other hand, if the BBC wants to go down the trash TV route, they should refund the licence fee to anyone who asks, and the national asset that is the BBC's back catalogue should also be free via iplayer, as it was paid for by the public.

    Avoid these ads by killing the shows they promote at source!

  • Comment number 88.

    There was live action trailer with Norton before. There was a cartoon Norton in the ident. There was THAT STRAP with the cartoon Norton and another announcement over the credits.

    Guess what BBC... I KNOW that "Over the Rainbow" is NEXT. I get it. Added to all this promotion is the fact I can read a TV guide, I have an optional on screen EPG and I'm clever enough to remember that Saturday night = "Over The Rainbow".

    I know the "In the multi-channel age...." argument, and all that rubbish - but really.... Who on earth thinks it is appropriate to ruin the dramatic conclusion of a story in such a way.

    Questions should be asked and lessons should be learned.

  • Comment number 89.

    I have complained about the use of the banner this week. If it's used again next week then I will complain again. It's absolutely unacceptable to ruin the end of an episode in this way.

  • Comment number 90.

    Ross ultimately left the BBC for insulting the "national institution" that is Manuel/Andrew Sachs. What chance Norton the same way? Presumably he is also outrageously overpaid? How many episodes of drama would you get for his salary Steven?

  • Comment number 91.

    #85
    -------------------------
    BBC1's controller is Jan Hunt, who came from Channel 5 I believe, so perhaps that indicates where BBC1 is going.
    -------------------------

    Oh no! I stopped watching Channel 5 when they started with their desperate snipes/IPPs and plasma burning DOG, and now I find one of theirs (Jay Hunt, in fact) is well and truly inside the gate!

    It's like being chased by one of the angels...

  • Comment number 92.

    The story is certainly an intriguing one, but I have to say so far am underwhelmed by the new series. I don't know whether it is because Matt Smith simply doesn't have the screen presence of David Tennant, or whether the scripts aren't giving him the opportunity to shine or that Amy Pond is being given centre stage far too much (does nothing phase the character?), but something seems to be lacking.
    this is such a shame bearing in mind the excellent stories penned by Steven in the past.
    Matt Smith needs to portray an ancient soul in a young body a lot more than he has been and needs to assert himself as the central character.

  • Comment number 93.

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention the banners. STOP RUINING A DRAMATIC MOMENT by having a colourful "next on BBC1" banner flash up. you have a trailer before Doctor Who, a reminder right after it, you don't need a reminder DURING It as well!

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm coming round to the view that if the BBC is going to behave like Channel 5, Sky and ITV, then it should be funded like Channel 5, Sky and ITV. The BBC cannot have it both ways.

  • Comment number 95.


    Putting Quality First

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2010/03/putting-quality-first.shtml

    "We will refocus licence fee investment around five clear priorities: the best journalism; inspiring knowledge, music and culture; ambitious UK drama and comedy; outstanding children's content; and events that bring communities and the nation together. We will focus on the areas which most clearly build public value and which are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in by commercial players."

    The obtrusive drama destroying banner advert is in no conceivable way consistent with this strategy.

  • Comment number 96.

    Great to see the Weeping Angels back Mr Mofatt! Our 6yr old was particularly excited and not disappointed in the slightest. In fact the regeneration of the Doctor hasn't phased him at all, we ALL love it. My favourire scene was Amy trapped with the angel coming out of the screen, brilliant!

    Could you please ask the Beeb to not have a silly cartoon go over the Doctor again please? Thanks! :)

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with many of the posts that ep 3 was rather weaker than the rest. I notice it's the only one, so far NOT written by Steven Moffat...
    I loved every other episode so far, and I don't really mind the new-look Daleks, maybe because I've only watched Dr Who since Christopher Ecclestone, rather than recalling them from earlier series, as I'm only in my 20's.
    Steven, write more episodes yourself; even in the RTD years, your episodes were the BEST!

  • Comment number 98.

    PS. I thought CE and DT were both excellent Doctors, and was especially a fan of DT... but seriously, since The Eleventh Hour, I think Matt Smith is the BEST DOCTOR EVER. Towards the end DT got too emotional too often (RTD's fault!), but Matt and Steven Moffat have brought humour back in, and I love that River song can basically tease the Doctor as much as she likes. FANTASTIC!

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm in Wales where we weren't subjected to such an atrocity as this intrusive IPP, but how far behind can we be! I too have always agreed with the way the BBC is funded, but with programs being reduced in length to be marketed to commercial stations, extended 'commercial break' length gaps between programs and now the ridiculous pre-, post- and during marketing fails I'm starting to agree with the view of others on here.

    Act like a commercial station, get funded like a commercial station.

    Stop this idiocy and regain your respect. If the BBC is the only set of channels not doing that they they will have stamped thier own unique identity on the conciousness of the nation. No DOGs, no IPPs, no Idents... yay, the BBC. The commercial stations certainly wouldn't compete.

    Although as Stefano Mori points out, part of the charter states:

    "and events that bring communities and the nation together."

    This certain seems to have brought the nation together in near universal condemnation. Does that count?

  • Comment number 100.

    Didn’t anyone tell you that there is one thing you never put into a trap, if you are smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there is one thing you never put into a trap… and that is adverts for upcoming programmes during broadcasts of current ones.

    It’s bad enough having to watch what little well written programming you have sandwiched between relentless PR for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next money making venture, but running a cartoon of Graham Norton’s cartoon alter ego during Dr Who was a big big mistake, really huge.

    I now wonder if the shiny red shoes we see the River Song character arrive in were in fact a reference to the Wicked Witch of the East and we are going to see all BBC programmes scripted to contain subliminal messages to make us tune in to Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. Or is the takeover of our public broadcasting service by commercial enterprises another Dr Who plot line?

 

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