Now we would all like to think that our favourite Time Lord will last forever, but television is constantly changing, and Doctor Who has had to adapt to keep up. Steven Moffat stated that he wanted the Day of the Doctor to set up the next 50 years, with Chris Chibnall set to take over. But already Doctor Who had arguably peaked in the U.K with David Tennant’s era in terms of general popularity, and peaked with Matt Smith internationally. So there is no guarantee that Chibnall will be able to keep it going for too long unless it proves a big success.
The first thing that I will look at is the stories. Doctor Who hasn’t even been on our screens for all of these past fifty odd years, and already most types of Sci-fi stories and historical stories have been attempted, with some repetition in stories already. Now Mr Moffat has of course introduced the search for Gallifrey, which we were promised would set up the next 50 years. This gave Doctor Who the opportunity to shake up its format, just like it did in the 70’s by stranding the Doctor on Earth for a few years. Just 2 years later the Doctor found Gallifrey while he wasn’t even looking. Back to business as usual then.
Canon is constantly being challenged with the more stories that are being produced. This is not necessarily a big problem, but can get on our nerves. For example, Skaro was destroyed in Remembrance of the Daleks and then magically wasn’t destroyed in Asylum of the Daleks, or the Doctor leaving Gallifrey due to the hybrid (,please can we retcon this soon guys?)
Now with the glorious concept of regeneration we have been treated to multiple actors playing the part, and have seen them executed perfectly. Each Doctor has been different and the actor played the part in their own way. But just how many different ways are there of doing it? We have had grumpy Doctors, fighting Doctors, mad Doctors, human Doctors and any other characteristic you can think of. I’m sure I could never get bored of seeing someone new take on the role, but how many ways are there to skin a cat? (Horrid expression.) Each time the Doctor has regenerated, the show has regenerated too, often with new companions or new sets or writers. This always brings a new feel to the show; after all, change is needed from time to time.
Today, Doctor Who is considered one of the BBC’s top assets, bringing them in lots of money from lots of countries, I’m sure. And so cancellation may not look that likely now. But perhaps after the 507th Doctor, the fans may be begging for the show to stop, in order to stop their heads from exploding from all the continuity issues. Ultimately it is not always up to us fans, or even the show makers to decide Doctor Who’s future. The show was unfortunately cancelled in 1989, leading to ‘The Wilderness Years’ with no Doctor Who. That’s right, no Doctor Who! That is something hard to imagine today, with new adventures coming all the time. After all, look how much we complained about only having one episode in 2016! So if in years to come, the BBC decides that Doctor Who just isn’t what it was, then it may come to a timely end. But who knows, as the Curator would say. Maybe it will be up to us devoted fans to bring it back to life, just as RTD did in 2005.