joy magnetism: Whew! Or, is that Who!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Whew! Or, is that Who!

Magnet #135 - Doctor Who - Ten (again)
(U.S. folks, caution: There be Who spoilers here.)

Yep. Dodged that one with a bullet.

For the past week, the world's been been waiting to see if the BBC had managed to pull off the biggest secret in Doctor Who's broadcasting history - regenerating David Tennant's Ten off the show, and casting the Eleventh Doctor. I swear I think I got more damn Google alerts about David Tennant in these past seven days than I have since I created the alert last year.

Finally, we have our answer - not only didn't David Tennant leave, he became a Doublemint twin! And now, all TPTB at Doctor Who and the BBC can rest at ease.

Except, apparently they haven't. What's also been interesting this week is the massive crackdown that the Beeb is finally getting around to doing. After a whole season of full episodes being available all over the net, the BBC spent this week been pulling vids and accounts left and right, sending out cease and desists, and in general, flexing their BBC muscle - obviously to protect their show copyrights and licensing fees and what not.

Since 4 or 5pm New York time Saturday, only a few hours after the show had been broadcast in the UK, I've been watching as content just disappeared from almost every outlet, as if the Daleks themselves were at work. In fact, it's like the BBC specifically targeted this time period, because they knew the traffic would be just enormous. Seriously, it's like the middle of the night, and vids were still getting yanked.

What's even more surprising is the will of the people: the material's getting re-uploaded, almost as quickly as it's taken down. Poor BBC web team, I imagine it's like trying to take out an anthill in your backyard - the more you kill, the more and more pop up from underground.

If I were to be perfectly honest, I've always generally landed on the side of big business - it's their material, and they've the right to protect it however they see fit. When it's uploaded without permission, no one involved with the show gets one red cent from that airing. So in the end, we're hurting the little guy, and the people that poured their blood, sweat and tears into this project. Yep. That's me with my business cap on.

However. There's the fangurl part of me - you know, the one who'd move to the UK just to be on the same viewing schedule - the one who just wishes they'd held off one more week, and then did their crackdown.

Of course, that fangurl is the one who watched the finale tonight at least four times, the one who will watch the episode when it airs on SciFi in four weeks, along with every other airing of it on BBC-A and SciFi this summer and for months to come, and most important, the one who will buy the damn DVD box set at its highly inflated (though generally worth it in the end) prices when it's finally available in the US.

No, I have no answers for you here. I just wanted to say that while the Doctor Who finale (and its truly devastating ending[s]) was pretty good, the real show tonight was the BBC vs. the Internet.
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julie said...

still not quite sure i like rose being with the doublemint. it may be the tucked in brown t-shirt.

joy said...

I still maintain that Rose ended up with the Donna/Doctor, so of course he's not the real Doctor, no matter what the real Doctor says.

Also, I gotta be honest, when I saw him fixing the TARDIS with that shirt on, I full-on expected him to turn around and that shirt be some sort of graphic tee. I swear, for a guy who's 37, David Tennant sure has cornered the market on graphic tees.

The Geek said...

See, you say "here be spoilers" and that just makes my ears perk up. It's like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Or corn on the cob in front of my dog (she's a weird dog).

So of course I read your whole post, did not understand any of the references, and am now excited and vaguely angry, with no good reason to be either. I try to stay away from spoilers, but when they're right in front of me... I just HAVE TO look.

I need to work on my self control.

joy said...

Yeah, sorry about that, GG.

While I love spoilers myself, I just couldn't find it in me to totally ruin anyone in the U.S. who didn't want to be spoiled. Especially after the week I've had, chastising and reviling the BBC, RTD, and David Tennant for possibly pulling off their big damn secret.

I can't remember the last time I was so unspoiled for a show. No, I can - it was the series 2 finale for Robin Hood. For which I will still never forgive them.

Anyway, by my count, you're just about to close in on Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. Pay attention, as that will be paid off again, at the end of series 4. Much to one's Doctor/Rose shippiness, tempered by a very rational WTF.

The Geek said...

Oh, I should clarify: when I said I'm vaguely angry, I didn't mean because you "spoiled" me (which you really didn't--you kept things generally vague), I mean because you were angry at the BBC and other issues, and after reading your post I shared your indignation without having enough information to know why I was indignant.

I usual spoil myself like crazy... I'm quite surprised this is the first time I've looked into the Who future since I started watching.

joy said...

Oh, GG, there's a part of me that wants to shield you from learning any spoilers of things yet to come. :-)

It's funny - I have one sister who doesn't want to know, and another sister who totally does. So that made Saturday night fairly interesting, as they were on the road together when the eppy was posted, so the cellphone was being passed between them with "I don't wanna know!!!" in the background. Heh.

Cameron McEwan said...

What amazed me about the whole 'regeneration' issue was the people were actually placing bets on who DT would transform into!

A seconds work on the net would have shown him in the Christmas Special and the press release confirming his involvement in the specials next year.

Still, it was all very exciting in the UK!

joy said...

Yep. Though, for juuuuust a minute, I was convinced that those Christmas spoiler pics were an elaborate set-up to throw everyone off the trail.

Goodness, could you imagine the furor had it gone the other way.

Richard Starkings said...

Because of the nature of copyright, the BBC has to be seen to be actively protecting its shows... as does anyone who holds Intellectual Property. My guess is that the creators of the show -- and the techs assigned to take down the links and the lawyers sending out c&ds -- love to know that the show practically promotes itself... it's the best viral marketing campaign never created!


joy said...

Very good point, Rich. I hadn't thought of the "being seen to be protecting their copyright" aspect of it.

I wish they could calculate the viewing figures outside of the UK, that'd be interesting to see, for sure!