On the first day of this new year I watched a repeat of what is now a BBC institution - the Dr Who Christmas special. I can't understand why Dr Who is as big as it is - compared to its American competitors the acting looks wooden, the scripts cheesy and predictable and the special effects cheap. However the christmas special is a watercooler moment, watched by the majority of the country, the first one, three years ago was great, so perhaps this would be too.
What I saw was one of the worst pieces of television I have seen all year. Set in outer space on an intergalactic cruise liner called the Titanic (and looking identical to the ill-fated ship but for some rockets on the end) the Doctor engaged in a predictable romp using his full arsenal of cheeky looks and quips that could be foretold within the first five minutes. So short on originality it was almost a remake of the The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Yet again robots go wrong and turn against their makers, an evil mastermind is behind it all and Dr Who uses his sonic screwdriver and made up jargon to overcome whatever adversity confronts him. I had to switch off before the end. When HBO is pumping out wonderful drama, can't the BBC do a little better than this? Am I missing something, what's all the fuss about Dr Who?