Monday, 20 December 2010

Twentieth Day of Advent

- December 20th -

The Doctor Who Christmas Special is the new Morecambe & Wise Christmas extravaganza, or The Two Ronnie’s Christmas Show.

Every Christmas Day since 2005 it’s the show that everyone clears the decks for in order to sit down and watch it as a family.

Of course, the big difference between Doctor Who and those two programmes from yesteryear is the viewing figures.

While Doctor Who (quite rightly) pulls in an average of 12.5 million viewers at Christmas this is nothing compared to the 20+ million that Messrs Corbett and Barker, or Eric & Ernie were commanding some twenty years ago.

And yet, around 13 million is still a very respectable figure, when you take into account the sudden increase in terrestrial and digital channels that have become available to us over those past two decades.

For, what is a science fiction show (a genre that is not universally loved, even looked down on in many literary circles) that’s a very healthy figure indeed. Add to that, the fact that Doctor Who has been the second most watched programme for the Christmas week for three years in a row (beaten only by one-off specials that aren’t on during the rest of the year, like Wallace & Gromit or The Royle Family.)

Impressive, no?

Yes! Damned impressive. And, what’s more, it has become a Christmas tradition. So much so, that the Eastenders Christmas episode incorporated an entire family celebration stopping in order to sit down and watch the Doctor Who Christmas special, something that only really happens in programmes for the Queen’s speech!

Doctor Who is now as festive and seasonal as kissing under the mistletoe or playing charades. And I’m pretty sure, in twenty years from now, they’ll be nostalgic ‘top 50’ programmes being broadcast at Christmas that’ll include Doctor Who as one of those considered most Christmassy.

Right Behind Morecambe & Wise, The Two Ronnies, Only Fools and Horses and Her Madge’s Commonwealth Address!

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