'Doctor Who' Cancelled? Not On Your Life

Rumors are being reported that we could see hit BBC show Doctor Who cancelled. As previously reported on Inquisitr, an unnamed source from within the BBC has leaked the information that the show is "struggling" and "in crisis," and that 2016 will see Doctor Who cancelled in favor of fewer feature length episodes. This would not be the first time this has happened, with David Tennant's 2013 run being a good example. And according to the Mirror, the hit show has hit a crisis period, with viewers dropping below four million, which they say could result in the tenth season of Doctor Who being cancelled.

[caption id="attachment_2469182" align="alignnone" width="670"]doctor who Much-loved tenth Doctor David Tennant did a year of feature-length specials[Image Courtesy BBC][/caption]This gloomy prediction, however, ignores a few key facts. The figure of four million viewers as the cue for a crisis is suspect for a couple of reasons. The BBC's core benchmark for deciding whether or not to continue with a show is generally known to be one million viewers, so there's not a lot to suggest that an audience four times that size would be sending anybody into panic mode. On top of that, these are the absolute viewing figures, being only the people who view the show at the time of broadcast and doesn't take any account of people who stream the show or watch it on a mobile device. DWTV also points out that a set of figures reported several months ago are unlikely to have caused a "crisis" just now. It's hard to imagine Doctor Who cancelled because of a slight dip, still above benchmark, for a show that reliably clocks $60 million dollars a year for the BBC.

Somewhat more credible is the thought that we might see Doctor Who cancelled because of problems with the cast. There are rumors swirling around that Peter Capaldi wants to leave the show to "spend more time with family," and Jenna Coleman is leaving the show, with no clear word as yet on who will replace her. A Doctor who wants a sabbatical and no companion sounds very much like a repeat of the 2013 situation with David Tennant, but there's problems with this scenario, too. Firstly, tracing those Capaldi rumors back to their source reveals that there isn't, in fact, a primary source. It's not impossible, but it seems unlikely in light of Capaldi's official comments at the Radio Times festival recently, where he unequivocally stated that he was not thinking of leaving the show "any time soon."

[caption id="attachment_2469176" align="alignnone" width="670"]Doctor Who Peter Capaldi has made no official statements about leaving Doctor Who.[Getty Images/Kevin Winter][/caption]It's much more logical to see these "Doctor Who cancelled" stories in their proper context. Aside from the fact that papers like the Mirror have been reporting Doctor Who's cancellation since the show's reboot in 2005, there is also the background story of a war for the future of the BBC. The current conservative government of the UK wants to radically alter the way that the BBC is funded, and a slew of high profile celebrities have come out against the changes. They say that the changes and funding cuts in prospect will lead to the destruction of the BBC and may very well lead to a situation where we see shows like Doctor Who cancelled. In fact, both Moffat and Capaldi have said that if the BBC had been funded this way from the start, the space to create shows like Doctor Who would never have existed.

[caption id="attachment_2469187" align="alignnone" width="670"]Doctor Who People have been reporting that Doctor Who might be cancelled since the show's reboot[Image Courtesy BBC][/caption]With the BBC being a state-owned broadcaster, it's not too hard to understand that the threat of seeing Doctor Who cancelled as part of a "war by press leak," a very common way for various U.K. government entities to take each other on. It's a fairly simple chain of reasoning to follow. Doctor Who could very well be simply making the point: "threaten our funding and we'll threaten your cash cow."

Regardless of whether we get a full Season 10 or a series of feature length Doctor Who movies next year, it's highly unlikely we'll see Doctor Who cancelled any time soon.

[Picture via Getty Images / Brad Barket]