Doctor Who's "Rose" leaked on the internet

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 7 March 2005

The next few weeks are going to be a minefield as a I try to avoid anyone who might tell me anything about the new Doctor Who series. I have a vague dream that I will be able to sit down and watch it with the wild-eyed enchanted naivity I enjoyed as a child. Naturally, since I work at the BBC, and I know far too much about the new series production already this is going to be impossible. The media are not helping me, either.

Today Russell T Davies was the front page feature in Media Guardian talking about the revival, in an article that included plot details from a couple of episodes and chunks of dialogue. There was also extensive coverage of the series over the weekend in the press, with more no doubt to come. I don't really recall the extent of the advanced knowledge I had of the details of the 1996 TV Movie, but I'm fairly sure they could have been distilled into "Paul McGann, America, Master", and little else. This time around it seems impossible to avoid - the BBC Radio Two documentary Project: Who? about the revival is due to transmit before the first television episode, and I have no idea how spoilerish the content of Doctor Who Confidential on BBC Three is going to be.

Still, todays big Doctor Who news was the leaking of first episode "Rose" onto the internet. In reporting it the BBC News Online story revealed what the opening action sequence was going to include (although, frankly, the BBC Wales piece on the start of filming gave that away just by virtue of where it was filmed)

I have a professional interest in this as well though, as over the last few months I have spent some time in sessions devoted to looking at the future scenarios for how people find BBC content. All the time there has been the lurking spectre at the feast of the very tech-savvy portions of the audience downloading what they want legally or illegally, and paying no attention to the concepts of programme scheduling, channel or genre. I have sometimes felt like one of the very few voices in the BBC saying "but my broadband enabled friends don't even have to be that tech-savvy to have watched all of a new series from the U.S. before it has debuted over here".

This is, to my knowledge anyway, the first time that a major BBC One production with the might of the BBC's marketing machine behind it has been leaked in this way, and it could impact both in terms of viewing figures (negligible) and overseas sales (and with no confirmed U.S. broadcaster signed up potentially this is more significant). It will be very interesting to see how the BBC reacts. Of course, as is my luck, it would have to be with a show so deeply nerdified that it can be easily dismissed with a wave of the hand and a muttered curseword "geeks".

And it means I know I'll probably be surrounded by people who have seen it whilst I desperately cross my fingers and still hope to avoid spoilers before March 26th.

Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor charts how the Guardian has covered Doctor Who since it was revived in 2005. If features interviews with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and the men in charge of the show's fortunes: Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. It also includes interviews with a host of other Doctor Who actors including Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman and writers including Neil Gaiman and Mark Gatiss. There are contributions from legendary author Michael Moorcock, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy, and specially commissioned illustrations from Jamie Lenman.
Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor” - £2.99 for Kindle & iBooks.

Keep up to date on my new blog