"Hello I'm Peter Cregeen & I cancelled Doctor Who." Another top quality Doctor Who DVD documentary.
Endgame is a 45 minute long documentary featured on the second disc of the British 2 disc special edition DVD of the final classic Doctor Who story Survival (1989) (yeah, the one with Hale and Pace...) & goes into detail about why Doctor Who as a series was cancelled after a 26 year run & what plans had been made for the following season that as it turns out was never made.
The documentary features interviews with amongst other's stars Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, writer Ben Aaronovitch & script editor Andrew Cartmel who it's nice to be able to put a voice & face to since I've seen his name appear in Doctor Who credits so often. Then there's Peter Cregeen who was head of the BBC at the time & he openly admits he was the one who cancelled the show in this, his very first on screen interview. Cregeen claims he felt Doctor Who had been running for a long time & needed a break & in retrospect as a fan of the show I actually agree with that because lets fact it the Colin Bker years weren't great & the Sylvester McCoy years were embarrassing, I'm not that old & the first Doctor Who story I can remember watching was Terror of the Vervoids (1986) from Colin Baker's last season & then the schedule changed & the show went up against Coronation Street which is probably the single most popular show ever on British TV & I remember that I taped a few episodes because my mum & dad were Coronation Street fans like most of Britian & watched them that way but if I didn't tape them or forgot then I thought to myself 'well I probably didn't miss much anyway' & wasn't too bothered. This was a time where people were embarrassed to admit they were a fan of Doctor Who & I think the break has done it good because the new series has been a big success & is consistently better in terms of production vales anyway.
Sorry, got a bit carried away there. This has just about everything you need to know really from people who seem to be pretty honest, it's also interesting to hear Colin Brake who at the same time was writing for the BBC's Eastenders program & he specifically says that the BBC drama department were embarrassed by Doctor Who & anyone of any note considered it a poison challis in the fact that if you worked on it your career was over. I'm not sure that's true but it's obvious the people who mattered at the BBC hated the show & it is claimed they wanted it to fail which by putting it up against Coronation Street it did.
There's also some stories & ideas about where the series was going & a couple of story outlines that were planned for the following season, to be fair considering what was said here I'm almost glad a 27th season didn't happen. The major absentee from all these documentary's is obviously John Nathan-Turner who is no longer with us & had wanted to quit Doctor Who for several years & it's said here he was offered the job of producing Bergerac but he ranted he'd only do it if he could fire John Nettles & not set it in Jersey! Just about everything I learn about this guy makes me dislike him even more.
This is a great documentary especially for anyone who has gained an interest in the old series because of the new one & want to learn about it, the problems it faced & I guess the internal politics at the BBC where certain top level people wanted one of their own show's to fail because they hated it so much. I doubt there's much here for seasoned die hard fans as most will probably already know most of it but for those with a casual interest in the show & want to find out more than this is great stuff as are all the documentary's & special features found on the brilliant Doctor Who DVD range.
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