Why Is Dr. Who So Popular?

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There is a significant difference in the way that the US television industry works compared with the TV industry in Great Britain. The money thrown around by US executives at ABC, NBC and Fox is scary, but it has promoted some of the biggest names in the industry in the last few years such as Lost, House and 24.

The TV line-up across the pond is meticulous and very impressive with its new trend of serialised shows extending over a season to a 20+ episode run, whilst in the UK, the likes of Luther, The Misfits and other various Drama shows are restricted to four-episode runs each year.

Dr. Who has revitalised the way in which the UK does television. Since its return to our screens in 2005, with Christopher Ecclestone starring in the lead role, it’s gone from strength to strength, largely down to the impressive array of talent put forth by David Tennant and current time-lord, Matt Smith. Unlike the cream-of-the-crop US shows, Dr. Who has longevity; the first ever episode premiered on UK screens November 23, 1963, and has had audiences gripped since with over 700 episodes and a viewership number north of seven million for the current series.

What Dr. Who Represents

For one thing, the idea of Dr. Who, much in the same way as a certain Mr. Bond, has become quintessential with the British persona. The British people are incredibly proud of their nationality and the much-loved sci-fi figure of Dr. Who represents a triumph in British pop-culture. When it first appeared, no one had seen anything quite like it; time-travel and monsters were things barely dabbled in within British culture and iconic creatures, such as the Daleks, soon found themselves ingrained deeply within the richly wound tapestry of British TV.

Bringing Sci-Fi Back

When it made its return, it didn’t set about changing the way viewers saw the science-fiction genre but instead settled itself as an example of classic sci-fi, not wishing to conform to contemporary trends but continue telling the stories that the previous audience had already cherished, and pushing it out there for a new generation who took to it immediately. It catered to two generations and ensured it adapted effectively to suit the audience, without ever losing the appeal that gave so many so much joy once upon a time.


Essentially, it acts as pure escapism; for one night, every weekend, viewers can sit back and watch an hour of ridiculous, logic-defying action accompanied with astute dialogue and direction as well as low-budget special effects, and have a thoroughly good time, letting imaginations run riot and flow freely. Its silly and quirky moments cater to all ages and all varieties of audience, but its ability to throw in a poignant and emotional episode every now and then, when required, is lauded by critics and fans and has truly cemented its status as one of the most post-modern and greatest TV shows of its kind, and indeed, in TV history.

‘Why Is Dr Who So Popular’ was wirrten in collaberation with www.audiogo.com, the UK’s leading audiobook publisher and retailer.