Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Doctor Who >> View Post
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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Ancient One 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,517
Subj: Re: The Beginning of the End?
Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 at 11:25:01 am GMT (Viewed 88 times)
Reply Subj: The Beginning of the End?
Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 at 01:08:27 am GMT (Viewed 140 times)

Previous Post

A while ago on these pages I made the prediction that the BBC might use the Covid-19 pandemic, and it's effect on production schedules as an excuse to delay the production of Series 13, pushing it further and further back until contractual limitations meant it would be impossible to make, at which point the show would be rested indefinitely.

Last week Rhodri Davies, Director of BBC Wales, made this statement online:


Now, as the BBC have pointed out this is not a statement that production has been delayed. BUT, it's important to keep in mind that no announcement was ever made as to when production of Series 13 would actually begin.

How does this line up with the previous two series?

Series 11 went into pre-production in October 2017, began filming on October 31st, and began airing October 7th 2018.

Series 12 went into pre-production in November 2018, began filming January 23rd 2019, and began airing January 1st 2020.

Series 13... Hadn't even had ANY pre-production work done on it before the lockdown hit.

BBC listings guide and magazine Radio Times recently speculated that filming on Series 13 *may* begin in September 2020, with an air date around October 2021.

But given we're now in late June, and many other already delayed productions are queuing up for studio time and post-production facilities, that may be overly optimistic.

So was Rhodri Davis' statement the start of the process, preparing fans for a proper 'production delayed' statement to come?

Stay tuned.

As you point out it took near enough a solid YEAR for them to produce series 12. They started shooting in January, and were finishing shooting somewhere around October or November. The material would have still being going through the post-production process to add effects etc, and there was some questioning as to why it was it was taking so long to shoot a season that had two less episodes to produce than in the Steven Moffatt/Russell Davies era's...

There were no obvious answers, though one theory I had was that because the budgets had been pruned and pruned perhaps there simply weren't enough hands to actually make it to schedule anymore. Less people means a slower rate of progress. So with that painfully slow Production rate in mind it makes perfect sense that with the Pandemic and its after-effects, shooting series 13 would take... considerably(?) longer to shoot yes. It's just logical.
The potentially interesting thing to consider when you put all of these things together though is that by having such delays now, and the lower budgeting likely to be affecting the speed of production, mounted on the back of continually sliding ratings, the BBC's enthusiasm for the series might have reached a crossroads. Has it become a Problem Child rather than a Timeless Child?

Even though there are contracts with overseas broadcasters to honour I can see the BBC perhaps opting for shorter seasons, or breaking the season into two blocks. It depends on what they can get away with contractually. Because when you assess the ratings trend for series 12 it takes no great intellect to see that series 13 is going to be potentially disasterous. If you are a BBC scheduler, in charge of putting this programme somewhere, where could you put it if it isn't performing on a Sundays anymore, and would have no chance on a Saturday's therefore...?

Someone at the BBC is surely asking these questions.

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