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Season 7 started on September 1, 2012 and ran for 5 weeks. They didn't start the season again for 6 months (until last week).

All previous seasons ran in sequence without a large gap.

Any reason why they broke up season 7?

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Budget issues. Since 2010, BBC's budget for Doctor Who has been shrinking, causing issues for the series. One of the efforts to deal with the issue is to spread out production and airing of the show, decreasing the number of episodes made each year. This is why Series 6 and 7 have done the 'split season' thing, airing half a season, then airing the rest a few months later.

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Surprising considering this reboot has arguably raised the popularity of this show by a huge amount, surely. –  TylerShads Apr 3 '13 at 15:25
    
The second link ("2010") explains that it's politics. –  Keen Apr 3 '13 at 15:26
    
It would have been more reasonable to say Moffat is just taking the money and putting it into Sherlock rather than BBC spend it on advertising. A shame. –  TylerShads Apr 3 '13 at 15:28
    
@TylerShads - I love the BBC, but it is funded by essentially a tax on owning a television. Not everyone who owns a TV in the UK wants to pay for expensive series like Doctor Who. It is under political pressure to reduce its size and budget. –  iandotkelly Apr 3 '13 at 15:31
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@iandotkelly More and more I pray for this Netflix model to work. It will be such a revolution that will herald in so much for Series like this. As long as other networks see the potential. –  TylerShads Apr 3 '13 at 15:34
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From an interview with Steven Moffat (May 2012):

There are going to be five Doctor Who episodes in the autumn, then a Christmas special, then eight more in 2013 - what was the thinking behind that structure?

  • I don't know, on this occasion, that the thinking particularly came from me, actually. I've always been open to anything that shakes [the series] up. I think that decision actually came from the BBC.

    But I've been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes 'Doctor Who' an event piece.

    The more 'Doctor Who' becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. ''You've got to shake it up, you've got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back.

    'Sherlock' is the prime example, as far as that goes. 'Sherlock' almost exists on starving its audience. By the time it came back this year, 'Sherlock' was like a rock star re-entering the building!

    So keeping 'Doctor Who' as an event, and never making people feel, 'Oh, it's lovely, reliable old Doctor Who - it'll be on about this time, at that time of year'. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house - ultimately invisible. And I don't want that to ever be the case.

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Thanks. This is a great read. It's more of a description of the benefit, then the reasoning behind why it was broken up. –  Mathew Foscarini Apr 3 '13 at 22:10
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