Not enough thought is going into solving what has become the annual Dr Who mid-season blues.
Simply dusting down an old monster costume (2005), ringing up Peter Kay (2006) or doing a few line drawings of Paul McGann (2007) is not good enough. No, a far more imaginative and enjoyable strategy suggests itself, something they’ve been doing in America for decades, but which – sadly – has never caught on here.
It is, of course, the clips show.
Ran out of ideas for your next script, Russell? Give us some of your greatest hits! Or rather – because that would make for a very short episode indeed – the other writers’ greatest hits! There’d be no shame whatsoever in running one, two or even three clip shows throughout a specially extended season, each told from a different person’s perspective (the Doctor, Martha, Kamelion) and packed with choice moments from adventures old and new.
“Don’t mind me,” Dr Who would chortle, looking up from his scrap book to notice that Rose and Tegan had just walked into the console room, “just taking a 750-year-old hike down memory lane!” At which point we’d hurtle off round the galaxy for a glittering catalogue of brusquely edited bon mots and excursionism, occasionally cutting back to the TARDIS to have someone proffer a useful bit of exposition (“Phew! I certainly won’t be listening to any ticking clocks again in a hurry!”).
Then at the end the credits could roll over a selection of Dr Who bloopers, during which someone would swear profusely, Russell T Davies would get caught on camera, and a Dalek head would pop open to reveal John Barrowman inside.
Forget the Doctor’s wife, or whatever this next episode is called; on with the clips!