Just a few random thoughts and pictures

I’m sorry, what?!?

We all know TV companies and their employees can be a bit thick at times right? The thing is though, you’d think a quiz show would make an effort to  at least employ a vaguely adequate researcher…

It seem not. The UK’s Channel 4 has caused quite a storm by saying an answer given to a Doctor Who question was incorrect, causing the couple playing to lose the game, and several £100,000, by doing so. The show is called Million Pound Drop, and contestants start with a million which they then bet on their chosen answer from a selection given to them. If they answer correctly they keep what they’d bet, answer wrong and the cash placed on that answer drops through a trap door. Simple enough concept, right?

The thing is though, the couples answer wasn’t actually incorrect, at least not according to most people. The question was quite simply “Who played Dr Who for the longest period?” (and don’t even get me started on the phrasing  of the question) and the answers they could choose from where; Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant. The couple weren’t sure, so they split their current cash, £650,000, between McCoy and McGann. The wrong answer “trapdoors” then opened and all their cash was lost, as host Davina McCall informed them the correct answer was David Tennant.

Of course fans are in uproar, as you’d expect, with the general consensus being that despite only being seen in the TV show between ’87 to ’89, McCoy WAS still the Doctor right up until he regenerated at the start of the movie in ’96, which is a total of 9 years. DT on the other hand was only the Doctor for 4 years, from ’05 to ’09.

What has me the most confused about all of this though is some of the comments I’m seeing about it in “news” articles. The most astonishing one being from Antony Wainer of the A Doctor Who Appreciation Society,  who it’s claimed said: “There are different ways to interpret it.”

I’m sorry, WHAT? What is there to “interpret”? Either he was the Doctor or he wasn’t. In my opinion that guy should be sent to look at the BBC’s OFFICIAL Doctor Who website, smacked at the back of the head, then fired.

Ok, rant over. I’m off to get some more coffee, and maybe some chocolate, and I’ll pop back to read all your comments later.


November 8, 2010 - Posted by | A Bit Of A Rant | , , , ,


  1. Wow… ambiguous question. Those folks really got shafted.

    Although… from a canonical story-line point of view, wouldn’t the longest lasting incarnation be the first one? And I can’t decide, also from canon, whether Seven or Eight was the Doctor longer.

    Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… They zip back and forth in time so much, who can tell? No pun intended, of course… 😀

    Comment by Jacy | November 9, 2010

  2. in canon yes, but the way they do this show they get a maximum of 4 answers to choose from, so it’s always a case of “who out of these is?” rather than simply “who is?” So I’m sticking with McCoy from the choices given, and it seems most people who’s comments I’ve read on DW themed blogs etc are too.

    If the questions had been “for the most episodes” or similar, then it’s a different answer, but “for the longest period” indicates a time-frame to me, so if the BBC says he was the Doctor for nine years, start to finish regardless of the period where there were no eps to watch, then his stint was the longest of the choices on offer.

    Comment by develish1 | November 9, 2010

  3. Oh, what are we even discussing? the only question I see here is how someone can sue a quiz show for money he/she never actually owned 😀

    no, really, don’t get angry just because quiz show writers are not geek enough. actually, I do see the logic in their answer. I mean, they didn’t ask “Who WAS the Doctor…”, but who PLAYED it, so basically I understand it as “who was on stage for the longest period”. and from that point of view, I suppose DT wins. or?

    Comment by Belle | November 9, 2010

    • not sure how it works in the US, but in the UK these days, contestants are required to sign a contract before taking part, so actually they would almost certainly be able to sue if it were proved that they were prevented from winning in some way.

      There have actually been several instances in the past where TV companies have had to compensate people who lost due to the shows research being faulty, as a result it’s expected that they wont post a question that they don’t have an accurate answer for. In this case even the TV company are basically admitting they aren’t sure if they were right or wrong, hence the controversy.

      Comment by develish1 | November 10, 2010

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