Before I begin I would like to restate that this post DOES NOT contain anything that may be considered a spoiler for series eight of Doctor Who.
Last weekend the shit hit the fan in a major way. If, by major, you mean “television”. Many would have you believe that – more shocking than the Israel/Palestine conflict; more important than the recent DRIP law push-through; a bigger data breach than Wikileaks – spoilers for Doctor Who are the biggest threat to our safety. Last weekend, just as usual, the BBC did their bit to make sure that those spoilers are out there and readily available to anyone with an internet connection.
Though, to be fair – even by the BBC’s standards – this most recent cock-up was a biggy. The story goes that “five scripts for series eight of Doctor Who were leaked online” resulting in the BBC having to release a statement begging those who’ve seen them to keep the details to themselves. It’s a terrible thing when details are leaked like this, isn’t it? Well, all isn’t what it seems. Because nothing “leaked” at all!
The truth is that the first five scripts of Doctor Who 8 were published online – not leaked, mind you, but published in full, in PDF format (along with MP4 files which many believe were the episodes themselves, though these did not spread like the scripts did). And who published these scripts? BBC Worldwide’s new Miami office. Yes, the BBC published their own scripts on the internet. All one needed to do (and many more than one did) was Google “Doctor Who Series 8 Scripts” and there they were (still are?) for all to see.
Let me repeat that: Nobody leaked these scripts. They were published online by BBC Worldwide! They were accessible by Google Search and readily available for download!
Spoilerphobes would have you believe that this was a cloak and dagger operation undertaken by some shadowy force for the sole purpose of ruining the fans’ fun. There is no truth in that. In fact, those hypocritical fans that kicked off over this “ruining the show” are now posting their own opinions on the scripts they’ve downloaded and read. Even I’ve had the willpower not to read the entire scripts and I’m all for spoilers – the more the merrier!
And this latest fuck-up is just one of many “leaks” facilitated by the BBC or their affiliate companies. Emails made public, episodes sent out on DVD before broadcast, casting news, set photos, etc, etc. It seems that, rather than hanging around the spoiler threads of Gallifrey Base, the best place to get the goss on Doctor Who is from the BBC themselves!
One can only hope that, some time in the near future, there’ll be a leaked email or a Vined Facetime conversation informing the fans that Steven Moffat is stepping down. His arrogance, power-hunger and overbearing sense of self-importance is what’s making the show Not So Much Fun To Follow. His plots are getting increasingly self-referential and think they’re much cleverer than they are. And his risible attitude towards the fans on location – as though we are super-spies with eyes everywhere, rather than a handful of enthusiastic amateurs in the right city – is, in my opinion, a danger to the show’s future.
Russell T Davies was once quoted as saying “it’ll be a sad, sad day when nobody turns up to watch us make Doctor Who” and never a truer word was spoken. Moffat wants nobody to walk down the public streets he films on. He wants everyone out of the shopping centre he’s not allowed to close. His security guards seem to think they’re there to protect the cast from rowdy peasant nerds rather than to assure the safety of the public in the presence of a disrupting and often noisy film crew and their equipment.
In my opinion the show has become huge in recent years and the egos of those connected with it – be they production crew, so-called “superfan” arse-lickers or Moffat himself – have inflated alongside it. It’s as though the show has an all-access pass to anywhere, at any time, and it’s YOUR fault and MINE that these leaks happen. It’s YOUR fault and MINE that clapper-boards are left around on location and dialogue is overheard in public. It’s YOUR fault and MINE that, in today’s tech-heavy world, YouTube videos appear which may (or may not) spoil some underwhelming surprise due in a year’s time.
Bad, bad fans!
That said, if the hype is to be believed and my sources are correct, series eight – and Peter Capaldi – will be great. I can’t wait to see him in action! Not long now! (I have such a love/hate relationship with this show…)