Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Doctor is in

The Family are enjoying the current series of 'Doctor Who'. Now, I do get a little fed up with the occasionally overbearing social conscience of the show*, but nevertheless it is a British programme made with wit and flair.

So with this in mind, when we chose a TV service we specifically went for the 200 channel option so we could get BBC America. It turns out this plan wasn't entirely flawless. 'Doctor Who' is on BBC America, but it's last year's seriesseason. If we want to see the current season it's on the SciFi channel, which we also have. Still, I was expecting that BBC America would be full of the sort of programs you associate with the BBC, period mini-series, dramas, documentaries. This is not the case. The BBC would rather sell their decent programs to other US channels, and stuff its own schedule full of lifestyle shows and old comedy. Have a look at the schedule, today there are:

one old episode of That Mitchell & Webb Look
two old episedes of Coupling
two old episodes of an old series of Doctor Who
three episodes of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
four episodes of You Are What You Eat
four episodes of How Clean Is Your House?
four episodes of Bargain Hunt
five episodes of Cash in the Attic
plus the news

So five old comedies and twenty lifestyle "documentaries". Truly a feast of the old and the dreadful. 'You Are What You Eat' isn't even made by the BBC, they must buy it to show on this channel. God knows what an American stumbling upon it must think. I feel quite shameful.

* Examples?
  • The Doctor equating the slavery of the Ood with our third-world textile industry. A man of his near omniscience, surely he's aware that free trade is taking those on subsistence wages into comparative wealth. China's average wage for manufacturing workers has increased 14% every year for the last 10 years. That's a near quadrupling of wages. India's average wage is up 80% over five years and each year's increase has been larger than before.
  • The culmination of the previous series saw a world dictator brought down by having the global population think lovely thoughts about the Doctor. Star Trek would at least have come up with something involving neutrinos.

1 comment:

  1. BBC Prime in S.A. is exactly the same, but also includes many ITV GMTV programmes etc. Also they sell good things to other channels, but mostly they are also old. Nothing new is exported it seems. Still have not seen series 4 and 5 of Strictly Come Dancing! Have had the opportunity to see 1, 2 and 3 many times.