The Times Online has an interview with Russel T. Davies and David Tennant on their decision to leave Doctor Who this year. It’s not a particularly long or revealing interview, but one bit that stood out for me was their commenting on how the show’s revival made it cool to be a fan again:
The level of media speculation the show generates has never died down. It’s perhaps rivalled only by James Bond. Remarkable, considering it is, or was, a children’s show.
DT Because it’s got that cross-generational appeal, which few other things have. It’s not a working-class thing, it’s not a middle-class thing. The competition winner from Doctor Who magazine was on set today, a 15-year-old girl. When I was a kid, 15-year-old girls didn’t watch Doctor Who.
RTD It’s hard to express the joy of that. For 20 years, this thing was a joke. It was slightly embarrassing admitting liking it. In fact, very embarrassing. You’d see comedians taking the piss out of it. It would crop up on I Love the 60s shows, where they would make it look like rubbish. And to see it being what it always was in our hearts is just amazing. You mentioned it in the same sentence as James Bond. My God, that’s impossible!
I’m an old school Who fan and, while there were some changes that bothered me a bit, I have to admit that the new series has been fantastic at living up to what I once dreamed DW could be in my younger years if only it had had the budget. Of course it’s helped remarkably by the fact that Blockbuster Movie special effects can be realized cheaply enough that even amateur films look amazing these days. There’s any number of stories from the original DW series that would’ve been remarkable if they could have used some of the tools the new series has access to. And the budget, as the new series has a much higher per-episode budget than the original ever saw.