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British Actor: BBC Spends Too Much On ‘Doctor Who’

Success of series could be ruining the chance for new shows to be commissioned


Fans were immensely disappointed when the budget for “Doctor Who” was restricted last season. But one actor thinks BBC pays too much for the iconic show.

Trevor Eve, who stars in BBC’s “Waking the Dead” detective series, has expressed his belief that the Beeb is committing too much money to “Doctor Who” and that the channel is losing sight of quality entertainment in a quest for financial gain.

His fear is that if a show is not a massive financial success, then it’s not worth the BBC’s time.

“The program is great, but it was created for kids in 1963,” Eve told The Mirror newspaper. “One doesn’t need to say more. They spend too much on ‘Top Gear’ too.”

In 2009, “Doctor Who” helped BBC achieve record-level profits. BBC Worldwide apparently raised approx. $225.3 million in profits in international markets and merchandising. Both “Doctor Who” and “Top Gear” are now considered to be the channel’s top brand names.

Supporting those figures are the ratings of “Doctor Who’s” latest festive adventure, “A Christmas Carol.” The episode, which featured Michael Gambon and Katherine Jenkins, attracted 10.3 million viewers for its Christmas Day premiere in the United Kingdom, with an additional 727,000 viewers tuning in a few hours later on BBC America across the pond.

Both figures were strong compared to some of the previous Christmas outings with David Tennant.

According to Eve, “Waking the Dead” itself was a victim of its own financial viability and the series should have been axed three years ago. The series, which first premiered in 2000, follows a special British detective team that tackles cold cases.

However, generating funds for BBC meant that the series was brought back for more.

“It should have ended in 2007,” he said. “We made 82 hours -– some excellent scripts and some really bad ones. I’m not saying everything popular is bad, but it’s desperate when nothing can exist unless it achieves financial rewards. Everything is results.”

With that in mind, Eve raised the idea of reality television getting in the way of proper drama, adding that “we even have shows with people judging results. Is there anything on TV that isn’t four people on a panel?”

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