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Thursday, 17 June 2010


Stephen Fry ran the risk of upsetting Doctor Who fans everywhere with his words at The Bafta Annual TV speech.


“Infantilism is the problem [with TV today],” Fry said. “It’s just shocking. The only dramas the BBC will shout about are Doctor Who and Merlin. They are wonderful programmes, don’t get me wrong, but they are not for adults.”

I know millions of grown-up Doctor Who fans will disagree violently with me here but whenever I catch an episode I find myself thinking, “Hmm. Matt Smith’s amusing. The girl looks good. But the plots, the villains, the deus ex machina endings… I’m sure I would find these scary and suspenseful and unpredictable if I’d just grown out of rusks.” At 29, though, I’m afraid I don’t get any more out of it than I would an issue of the Beano (the Beano is still going, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Or is it? God I’m old). Sadly I don’t suppose I’ll ever get to find out what so many adults see in Doctor Who unless I suffer a serious brain injury.

Fry then went on to liken the show to a chicken nugget - we all fancy one, now and then.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat defended the show saying: “It was designed specifically to be a family programme, that’s what it’s for.

“It’s the junction between the children’s programmes and the adults’ programmes.

“It’s the one that everybody sits and watches. So it is for adults, it is for children, it’s a rather brilliant idea - why don’t we make a television programme that everybody wants to watch, very, very specifically.”

On whether the show resembles a chicken nugget he retorted: “This is very, very high end, a very high quality show. There is absolutely no comparison to junk food at all and he knows it. That’s Twitter he’s thinking about.” - low blow!

THE ARCHIVE SAYS: I was a Doctor Who nut when I was a kid and being in several episodes kind of fulfilled a lifelong dream, but I must admit to not liking the show the way I used to. Is it because I'm older? Well, partly I suppose but I still enjoy a lot of the old episodes, some of them are most definitely not for children. Though the new incarnation leaves me cold - I was impressed with Matt Smith's first episode but after that - well, I stopped watching after episode three. And I must also put my hand up to not having watched all of Tennant's last two series.

Is Doctor Who for kids? I don't think so - I think it's more for the child inside us all but the new Doctor Who is certainly produced with one eye on all those lucrative toy sales.


C.K. Dexter Haven said...

Fry's comments would've been infinitely more interesting if he'd said that HOUSE is for dysfunctional adults. ;) Say something shocking, Stephen!

I.J. Parnham said...

Fry reckons Who is for kids? Blimey, whatever next? Perhaps soon he'll claim QI is for smug, pompous know-it-alls who aren't even a tenth as funny as they think they are.

Although I do find it odd that out of Hugh and Laurie I'd have never guessed that Hugh would be the one who would gain a bizarre US accent and be a hit while Fry would be left to rant on his Mac and Twitter.

Shauna Roberts said...

Like your new blog design.

In America, most of the adult shows are infantile, so Dr. Who in some ways is a breath of fresh air. Like you, I don't care for the new doctor, but I'm still watching it.