Doctor Who Producer Feared Star Wars Would Kill The Show
As the longest running sci-fi TV show of all-time, Doctor Who‘s proven that it can outlast anything. And with Jodie Whittaker stepping into the role of the Thirteenth Doctor this fall, it’s clear that it’s not going anywhere any time soon, either, even with the glut of geek-friendly franchises littering the airwaves nowadays.
Once upon a time, though, it was feared by the show’s creators that a certain other sci-fi series would spell Doctor Who‘s doom. This was back in 1977 and the potential threat to the BBC favorite was, of course, Star Wars.
While speaking at an event to promote the release of Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 on Blu-Ray – that’s Tom Baker’s beloved first season as the Fourth Doctor – former producer Phillip Hinchcliffe revealed that he was sure that such a big-budget sci-fi success story like Star Wars would put people off a (at the time) cheaply-funded TV show like Doctor Who.
“The first shot was of the starship going over, and I said to Dougie [Camfield], ‘The game’s up – we’re dead’.”
Hinchcliffe was thankfully wrong about his fears, though, as Doctor Who and Star Wars have managed perfectly well for the past 40 years without treading on each other’s toes. As for why that is, Hinchcliffe went on to say that he came to realize that there’s something “uniquely British” about the series which means it always offers a fresh alternative to US sci-fi fare.
“But funnily enough, we weren’t dead, because there’s something uniquely British – and BBC-ish – about Doctor Who, which has enabled it to survive alongside all that super development of space adventure stories that’ve come out of Hollywood.”
Though the producer is talking about 1970’s Doctor Who, in particular, the same is true of the modern-day incarnation of the series. Sci-fi fans can enjoy The Last Jedi or Solo on the big screen and get something totally different from the latest season of Who. Speaking of which, season 11 is expected to arrive on the BBC this October, and we’ll have a good idea of what’s in store for us next month at Comic-Con, where the cast will be in attendance for a panel.