Doctor Who Ratings Slip - Now the Blame Game Begins

am-i-a-good-man One season with the new Doctor and at the close of it the verdict is in. Fans of Doctor Who still haven't totally warmed up to Peter Capaldi as the 12th (or 13th depending) Time Lord. It isn't that he's not a good fit for the role it is simply most fans are still infatuated (and rightly so) with the over abundant performance of the previous actor who played him ... Matt Smith.

The ratings on BB1 in the UK and BBC America in the States also give witness to the frustration being felt by many of the viewers of the long-time staple in sci-fi programming.

The ratings certainly are not dismal (nearly 5.5 million in the UK), but they do show a significant enough drop over previous seasons that some at the BBC are beginning to wonder if it is a matter of their chosen lead or has the Doctor reached viewer saturation and need a rest after this coming 2014 Christmas special.

Blame cannot be laid at the feet of the scripts as this season has shown some phenomenal writing ... nor can it fall squarely on the shoulders of the production staff. Steven Moffat, though hated by some, continues to steer the TARDIS and its Time Lord in the right direction.

That leads one scapegoat left -- Peter Capaldi. I am of the opinion that Peter is certainly not to blame for the slight fall-off of viewership, but his performance of this regenerated Doctor is so startling and so radically different from the previous three who came before him, particularly the hyper-exuberant Matt Smith, that fans simply haven't caught up yet to just how fantastic a change it is. This Doctor is the product of having finally come face to face with the warring side of his nature, that side the Time Lord has spent millennia keeping from himself and the rest of the universe. However, it is a side most familiar to his enemies, the Daleks, the Sontarans, Cybermen, and especially The Master (or Mistress) in 2014. They do not fear the Doctor because he is a Time Lord, but they see in him a destructive force so great that it brings even them great dread. As Peter Capaldi’s Doctor starts becoming more aware of this hidden darkness within himself he even dares to ask Clara that all important and revealing question, “Am I a good man?”

I would hope that the BBC and those in charge of making decisions as to the future of the show give Capaldi, Moffat and the writers time to continue fleshing-out this new Doctor and give all the fans room to finally realize the brilliance behind his new face.

I believe that in time Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of Doctor Who will be rated as one of the finest in its six decade-plus existence.


  1. joe bender says:

    Terrible article. Amazing how the writer has decided for us how we feel about Dr. Who. As if the writer's opinion is law and we all feel the same way. As a watcher of Doctor Who since 1978 Ican make many people's opinions felt that, no Dr who is not "being steered in the right direction". Dr who for many fans, especially male fans, have watched this show be turned into a soap opera. That is far more focused on the doctor's companions rather than on the Doctor. Also as a man it is difficult to watch a show that constantly makes a mockary of masculinity and male knowhow. Most males on the shopw are often portrayed as lacking intellectually and cowardly at best. The show attacks men every second it can. The current show often revovles around degrading men and promoting women as inherently superior. This also includes degrading the Doctor who rarely seems to be aware of anything. Once a highly intelligent character has now been degraded to simply being a passenger in a story that is often led and completed by his companion. Thecurrent Dr Who is less about science fiction and more about being a platform to promote the producers politics. Which often revolve around a hatred of men, promoting lesbianism and attacking all forms of organised religeon. That is not the Doctor Who I grew up with. Some of the sickest scenes I have seen on any television show appeared on Dr Who and that other rubbish called Torchwood. Yet you can't figure out why the ratings contibnue to drop on dr who. Well I guess not everyone is interested in being degraded over the course of an hour. Not everyone wants to have homosexuality showhorned down their throats all of the time. Most intelligent people appreciate having free choice to accept or not accept certain ideologies of 'choices'. But in the new policestate anti-democratic sickness known as the UK and usa people no longer have free choice. Tv reflects the values, or lack of them of the producers.

    • Dear oh dear. I was in agreement with you about the way Doctor Who has been heading and why it isn't working any more, particularly for many of us old school fans.
      Until you made it clear that you are just a sad little homophobe who also (paradoxically?) seems to be a bit of a woman hater too.
      I really don't think an open-minded, contemporary and progressive science fiction show is the sort of programme you should be watching with your attitude.

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