The Time Lord known as Doctor Who has can manipulate a few elements of the universe in order to preserve himself — hell, the guy can regenerate an entirely new body. But he hasn’t always been able to fend off the capricious and sometimes fickle interest of the viewing public. The Doctor was off the air for many years, but since the show’s most recent resurgence things are going strong. Doctor Who is going so well, in fact, that the BBC sees at least another five years’ future in the series.
The Radio Times in the UK talked to Doctor Who overlord Steven Moffat, who expressed surprise at the show’s success since being relaunched with Christopher Eccleston starring as the Doctor in 2005,
I thought it would last 10 years. I didn’t think it would last 10 years with BBC Worldwide trying to get me in a room to talk about their plan for the next five years! It’s going to do a minimum of 15. I mean, it could do 26!
When the show went back on the air in 2005, no one could have relied on the explosive popularity of genre television, bolstered by ever-growing fan communities online, and the support of conventions and other events. But Doctor Who is one of many shows that has seen steady support. And for the time being, that support is not only unwavering — it is increasing around the world.
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Ten years on, our ratings are pretty much the same. Actually, internationally, bigger. No show does that! You’re meant to go down! Doctor Who just stays. It’s extraordinary! When I first took it over, the BBC said to me, ‘We’ve done all our calculations. The ratings will now fall. Expect to lose quite a bit. We don’t mind that. We’re going to keep it going. So long as it’s a good show we won’t mind if the ratings stop being quite as amazing as they were. That’s absolutely fine.’ And they didn’t. They pretty much stayed the same.