Former BBC Boss Thought Doctor Who Was Garbage


The past five years have arguably seen Doctor Who become one of the most popular shows on television, no thanks to top-tier casting and some bold creative choices on the part of the BBC.

There was, however, one member of the BBC old guard who outright hated Doctor Who during the 1980s. That person was Michael Grade, ex-BBC One boss who stripped the show of its budget and even threatened to cancel it altogether due to its lowly production values (his words, not ours).

Grade temporarily postponed Doctor Who in 1985, and while his feelings towards the sci-fi show have warmed (slightly) in the intervening years, he’s still not overly fond of the series, as his recent interview with the Evening Standard (h/t Yahoo!) attests:

I hated Doctor Who. I said to the producer, ‘Do you go to the cinema much? Have you seen Star Wars or ET?’ He said yes. I said, ‘I’ve got news for you, so has our audience.’ What we were serving up as science fiction was garbage.

Choice words, indeed. If you’ve paid close attention to Doctor Who‘s history, you’ll know that the series did eventually return in 1986, only for Grade to fire Colin Banker from the Time Lord role, branding his performance as “absolutely God-awful.” Yeesh.

Viewership continued to decline, prompting Grade’s successor, Jonathan Powell, to place Doctor Who on ice, only for it to reemerge 20 years later thanks to the 2005 revival. Fast forward to now, and Jodie Whittaker has helped usher in a bold new era for the Doctor, and long may that continue.

Series 12 of Doctor Who will air via the BBC in the early stages of 2020. And if that seems too far away, you’ll be pleased to know that January 1st will herald a special festive episode featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord.