Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I think there's certainly a tendency to look at what reasons might make a US sale of the new Doctor Who difficult. And obviously, the BBC wants this to go to a wider network that BBC America -- it's one of the few statements that we actually have seen about the show in the US from any official show. (Oddly, you can't link to that page directly, but if you click "Contact Us" on one of the BBC Doctor Who pages, you'll see what I mean...
So it's natural to look at why the show hasn't been able to, as yet, pick up a US distributor.
I think the main issue is that we're all anxious here -- but we're still not at all in an unusual delay for a BBC series to get over here, even to something like BBC America. BBC America is only now showing something like the first season of Paul Abbott's Shameless, taking about a year, it took eighteen months for The Office to get to America, it took a year for Monarch of the Glen to get here, it took over a year for MI-5 to get to A&E. It took eighteen months for Ab Fab. About fifteen months for the first series of Coupling and League of Gentlemen. And almost two years for Ultraviolet -- though that isn't a BBC series, it's still part of the pattern.
I had been somewhat more optimistic six or so months ago, especially since there was almost no delay for Russell T Davies's Mine All Mine, and there was little delay in the last series of Coupling, but the first apparently was a co-production (which Doctor Who is not) and the second had an existing relationship (which a new Doctor Who series does not ).
That is probably more indicative of the nature of the American market than the show -- even though it clearly was a goal to get the American market on board early, since we have documentation that the Executive Producers were in LA, presumably trying to sell the series, back when the show was in pre-production.
I'm actually quite happy that they didn't bend over backwards to make a show for the American market; usually any time that you so deliberately try to make a product like that, you fail to please *anyone*.
But the new Doctor Who series is a definite hit in the UK, and it's apparently been successful in both Canada and Australia. And there is unquestionably a demand for the series in the US -- after all, the largest Doctor Who fansite is based here. So it's just a matter of time before it ends up somewhere here.
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