BBC can't hide behind the sofa

WHO was it for you? If the viewing figures are to be believed, the long-awaited return of Doctor Who was a runaway ratings success for the BBC, attracting up to 10.5 million viewers for the first episode on Saturday night.

Last week, the BBC announced a second wave of job cuts, many of them falling in Scotland - the theory being that such cuts will placate the government (which is critical of the BBC’s coverage of Iraq) and free cash for more highbrow programming. Experience suggests that the BBC fails when it tries to second-guess the politicians. As with Doctor Who, which has been in limbo for 16 years, the BBC does much better when it listens to its loyal viewers rather than trying to be politically correct.

Episode 1 of Doctor Who was long on style and short on plot. Some would claim that sums up the BBC in these post-Iraq days.

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