Think of this article as a sort of follow-up to my very first, Doctor Who BAFTA TV Success. I try to publish articles shortly after the announcement of news from the BBC itself, although “shortly” seems to mean “two weeks”. But anyway, Doctor Who has won yet another award.
Given Wikipedia needs an entire article to list its victories, it’s no surprise it’s been given something else. Awards are becoming so common for the show that one can now only feel less impressed every time it does so, especially as it seems the BBC don’t appear to feel this way. And why should they? If Doctor Who wins an award, it deserves announcing. It is, after all, their flagship show, and it’s only right to inform the fans when it’s honoured by an organisation, even if nobody’s heard of this one. It’s slowly becoming the case that nobody cares what award the show wins, just if it wins one.
And from a previous post, regarding the announcement of a world tour, it’s important to publicise the show as much as possible. The Day Of The Doctor won the British Academy of Television’s Radio Times Audience Award (not really very prestigious, but that’s the opposite of the point being made here), as well as a Guinness World Record for Largest Ever Simulcast of a TV Drama (it should be “Widest” Ever, but it’s not). And so if an award is won now, the BBC may as well mention it just to add to the kudos they’ve already achieved. But such is the price of success.
The award in question is a Banff World Media Festival’s 2014 Rockie Award for Best Science Fiction And Action, plus Best Scripted.
Interestingly, the press release barely goes into any detail. Everything I just told you there was spread across three sentences, and the rest of the article reminded everybody of the previous recent awards it’s won from BAFTA and Guinness. Which only proves that there’s not really much to say, but they want to say it for the publicity and figure nobody will mind if that’s not even the main focus of the article – if you’re wondering what is, it’s the show’s continued existence.
But never-mind that. Now that I’ve already said why such posts as these are released by the BBC, and that I’ve already acknowledged its lack of new information, what information we have been given is still interesting. First, the Banff World Media Festival. Honestly? Never heard of it. But that’s not important. Nobody’s supposed to care who’s given the award, just that it’s been given. It sounds important, since it’s comprised of media journalists and has “world” in the name. Is it some sort of lesser-known global academy awards? Let’s say yes for now. Second, the “Rockie Award”. One of my problems with the show’s official website is that it’s a publicity machine. But that we know. I’ve already ranted about that enough in this post. But if there’s another reason for me thinking it, I’m going to mention it. And there is. And it is thus: it tells you nothing. After getting the most basic of information out of the way, it begins to monologue about its previous greats, rather than telling the reader anything else about what they’ve already said. We get it, it’s won other awards before now, tell me about this one. The problem is that awards are so meaningless now that they don’t really have a good reason to give much information about it, but if that’s what they think, why bother mentioning it at all? Oh, yeah, the kudos. Sorry.
So given that they don’t explain what the Banff World Media Festival or the Rockie Award is, at least the awards given still make perfect sense… except they don’t! They also tell us nothing. For example, “Best Science Fiction and Action”. What’s that, then? I mean, obviously, sci-fi is pretty flaming obvious given the show’s of that genre. But action? I’d hardly call it that. It’s a bit action-y at times. The Doctor hanging from the TARDIS, suspended by a helicopter is action, I guess, but nothing else really springs to mind. But still! It won the award, so let’s not argue.
Then there’s the other one: Best Scripted. Since the press release didn’t specify whether a specific episode or writer had won that or just the show itself, it’s a bit difficult to judge.The Day Of The Doctor may have the best script of any episode, yes. Steven Moffat may have written some of the New Series’ best episodes (albeit none as Head Writer). And if it were that episode that were nominated, then I can understand why it would win. But the show on a whole? i don’t know when the nomination window is, but assuming it’s any-time between this year’s festival and the last one, only that and The Time Of The Doctor would be nominated. And well, the latter had a pretty weak script if I’m honest. And if it means anything from last year… maybe even more so. The Rings Of Akhaten is my personal Worst Episode, although the general consensus seems to be that belongs to The Twin Dilemma. Then there’s The Crimson Horror and Hide. While I liked The Bells Of Saint John a bit, it seemed on the whole too “live in the moment-y” and didn’t manage to be anything good in the context of itself. There’s Cold War, which is underrated and is an example of an episode that isn’t bad being considered bad anyway for not being particularly good. Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS, which is an atrocity in itself and Nightmare In Silver, while having dark moments, was an embarrassment to the Cybermen as it did entirely the opposite that it had been advertised as doing: making them scary. Did it? No. If anything, it made them into teddy bears. Oh, the rant I haven’t written yet! Trust me, if I ever decide to post a rant about that episode, you’ll know about it. There is of course The Name Of The Doctor but that’s like every other Moffatsode (I, too, am a fan of making fake words) in that it doesn’t manage to be anything inside its own story. It only becomes better with the assistance of further narrative.
But I’m not going to argue. I mustn’t do that. While it’s hard to believe, I’m not bitter. If those people thought Doctor Who is this year’s best-scripted action/sci-fi, I’m not going to take that away from them. There’s nothing better than liking something, and I never criticise someone for doing it. And, hey – it’s another award. And awards are good, right? I’m sure BBC Cymru|Wales will have a room entirely for Doctor Who‘s awards over the years, and if so, they’ll almost definitely be adding this one to the cabinet. I just wonder if they’ll be able to see it over all the others…