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The Times coverage of series 1 date
The thrill of the chaise 2005-03-06
Elevate, exterminate: Daleks conquer stairs in new Doctor Who 2005-03-06
For 25 years, Doctor Who's creaky charm captivated a nation 2005-03-06
The Doctor faces his newest adversary ... the Canadians 2005-03-09
Doctor Who puts accent on a new look to old show 2005-03-10
Forgotten timelord 2005-03-11
The Return of the Time Lord 2005-03-18
Billie the kid 2005-03-19
Piper at the gates of dim 2005-03-21
The Whys and Whats of Who 2005-03-26
Doctor faces a high-tech challenge 2005-03-26
Blonde Bombshell 2005-03-26
Oh Lord, he's still stuck in the past 2005-03-27
Just what the Doctor ordered 2005-03-28
Who's the daddy as 10m find time to see the Doctor 2005-03-28
The Right Medicine? 2005-03-30
He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits 2005-03-31
Casanova actor seduces the Doctor Who casting agent 2005-04-01
Dr Who too scary for young children 2005-04-14
BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor 2005-04-15
Casanova regenerates into the new Doctor Who 2005-04-16
Who's Afraid? 2005-04-19
Nigel Andrew's View 2005-04-23
Rovers' returns 2005-04-29
Back behind the sofa — it's a Dalek 2005-05-02
Wanted: One Time Lord, Tardis optional 2005-05-06
Let's not be beastly to Daleks 2005-05-16
An absurd ruling takes the fun out of Doctor Who 2005-05-16
The censors ... will ... exterminate 2005-05-17
Unsuitable for children 2005-05-17
Doctor treated 2005-05-19
Legislate! Legislate! 2005-05-19
BBC advises Doctor Who fans to stay offline until the bitter end 2005-06-14
Sought, located 2005-06-15
The Doctor's fate is sealed with a first kiss — or two 2005-06-16
I'm prepared for my role as BBC Man, but how to fit Big Specs into the new Dr Who? 2005-06-25

BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor (2005)

2005-04-15 Times.jpg


The BBC has withdrawn warnings that Doctor Who should not be viewed by children under the age of 8 after an outcry from fans.

Politicians and devotees of the programme criticised the corporation after 'Me Times revealed a BBC edict stating that the new series was too youngsters.

More than one hundred parents have complained that their youngest children suffered nightmares after last Saturday's episode, which featured killer zombies in Victorian Cardiff.

But Tim Collins, the Shadow Education Secretary, who is a Doctor Who fan, argued that a little fright is a good thing. It's about the battle between good and evil," he said "There are monsters in it but they are always vanquished I think the programme has always been intended to provide a legitimate scare to children, an enjoyable scare" It was perfectly appropriate for six-year-tide, he said However, Mr Collins bated a compromise Shadow Cabinet position that Doctor Who should not be viewed by children aged 3 and younger a policy used in his own home.

On websites devoted to the programme, the warning became the main topic of debate, supplanting discussions about which actor should become the next Doctor. Most agreed with Anthony Dry from Liverpool, who wrote on the BBC message board: I'd say it's more terrifying watching Strictly Dance Fever or Ant and Dec — pure horror.'

Fearing a revolt by licence-fee payers, the BBC issued a statement withdrawing advice that under-8s should not be allowed to watch the show. A spokesman said 'We leave it to the discretion of parents to ultimately decide what is suitable for their children."

The Unquiet Dead instalment, written by Mark Gatiss, featured corpses possessed by aliens and a grandson strangled by his zombie grandmother.

BBC executives are checking whether future episodes, inducting the return of the Daleks, contain scenes likely to provoke a similar outcry. Warnings will be given before the programmes if they contain scenes that might disturb younger viewers. The BBC's Programme Complaints Unit will investigate whether there were sufficient warnings before the 7pm broadcast

The BBC's producer guidelines state 'It is vital to consider the expectations that audiences have of particular programmes and timeslots.'

But scary scenes and storylines are integral to the series and vital to Doctor Who's international sales potential.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, has received complaints about The Unquiet Dead and will investigate whether the episode breached pre-watershed guidelines.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Sherwin, Adam (2005-04-15). BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor. The Times p. 13.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Sherwin, Adam. "BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor." The Times [add city] 2005-04-15, 13. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Sherwin, Adam. "BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor." The Times, edition, sec., 2005-04-15
  • Turabian: Sherwin, Adam. "BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor." The Times, 2005-04-15, section, 13 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor | url= | work=The Times | pages=13 | date=2005-04-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2019}}</ref>