Science Fiction Film & Television

Bringing Doctor Who back for the masses: regenerating cult, commodifying class

Science Fiction Film & Television (2016), 9, (2), 209–227.

Abstract

Reviving Doctor Who (UK 2005–) for British television was a difficult task. Generating large audiences early on Saturday evenings was challenging for the BBC, facing competition from ITV and audience fragmentation. The regenerated series needed to engage the original series’ fans and attract new audiences. Through analysis of industry, text, publicity and stardom, this essay argues that to attract new audiences the BBC foregrounded authorial style and stardom which lead to positive working-class representations. I argue that once successful, its working-class narratives diminished, commodified in the process of making cult television mainstream.

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Haslop, Craig