BBC Rumored To Be Considering Cancelling Doctor Who

Image via BBC

Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s flagship shows. It has a pedigree stretching back to 1963, is a cultural behemoth, is popular around the world and its vast array of merchandising means it’s a reliable money-spinner. But now, with the series reportedly about to move onto its fourteenth Doctor, online scuttlebutt says the BBC could be looking to cancel it.

The story comes from someone on YouTube, so get those salt shakers out as you might need more than a pinch to believe it. In a recent video, though, Nerdrotic’s Gary Buechler claimed that Doctor Who‘s cancellation is “on the table,” and that there’s “another rumor that goes with that.” What that other rumor is, however, is anyone’s guess, as he didn’t elaborate further.

But could the BBC really cancel Doctor Who? Well, it’s worth remembering that they’ve done it once before. Back in 1989, they axed the show midway through the Sylvester McCoy era, arguing that it had become dated, that the special effects were considered embarrassing and public perception was low. So, it’s certainly not impossible that this could happen again.

That being said, I don’t think Doctor Who is in the same position in 2021 as it was in 1989. Sure, the twelfth season of the revival had relatively low viewing figures in comparison to other runs, but the previous Whittaker outing was a huge hit. In addition, while ratings are obviously important to the BBC, they’re publicly funded and so don’t have to respond to immediate pressure from advertisers. Beyond all that, the show will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023 and there are already rumors of a big multi-Doctor episode being in the pipeline.

In any case, if Whittaker regenerates at the end of the upcoming season 13, she’ll have had three runs in the role, the same as every revival era Doctor. I’m desperately hoping current showrunner Chris Chibnall departs along with her, though, as I’m not a fan of his storytelling style or the direction he’s taking the series in. But regardless, I think it’s safe for a while yet.

However, if it got a new Doctor and a new showrunner and viewing figures continued to fall… Well, perhaps the time would be right for Doctor Who to take another extended break.