The BBC is having something of a torrid time across the pond in merry old England.  Accused of bias on every hot button political issue of the day and seemingly out of touch with its core audience as it appears to be obsessed with metropolitan progressive trends rather than fulfilling its role as a public service broadcaster, it’s very future is being questioned.

The political posturing has been accused of infecting everything.  Panel shows are accused of featuring guests who all reside on one side of a political spectrum.  Still the clear global leader in nature documentaries it is unable to finish a show without a segment on environmental issues.  Even the adventures of a certain Galifreyan across all of time and space appear to have taken on a lecturing tone.  The new version of Doctor Who has been criticised for including jabs at everything from Brexit to Trump leaving viewers feeling as if they are being scolded at times.

This is part of what has led to what would be termed, for other shows at least, a catastrophic ratings collapse.  Will the BBC learn from its mistakes?  Will they have a think about how to halt the slide of one of their flagship shows and most successful exports?

Will they heck!  The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger was asked directly about the ratings issues, potential for changing or resting the show and he responded with a statement that feels like a police officer moving rubberneckers past a particularly gruesome car crash – “Nothing to see here, move along!”

Whittaker with her companions.

He tries to claim that the current version with Jodie Whittaker and showrun by Chris Chibnall is just fine:

“I worked on Doctor Who myself and produced it for many years and I can honestly say I don’t think it’s been in better health editorially. The production values have never been better. It’s also not just funded by the BBC, it’s funded by lots of international partners.

It’s an incredibly important show for young audiences, it’s still watched by families in a world where there are fewer shows that have the power to do that. It will always be an important show for us and we’re a very long way from wanting to rest it.”

Sunday’s penultimate episode hit a low of 3.7 million overnight viewers.  The catch-up and PVR figures did little to drive this higher.  This is a show that used to regularly touch 9 million since relaunch with Christopher Ecclestone in 2005.

Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will return for a thirteenth season with BBC blessings but it is not clear how long this show, and indeed the institution that birthed it, can continue in their current form.