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Food for thought…

Over the last couple of days, much of the talk around the walkways and cloisters of TV Today towers has focussed on the departure of the BBC’s controller of fiction, Jane Tranter, to take up a post with BBC Worldwide in America as vice-president of programming and production.

Tranter’s departure is a vastly significant development, as she leaves behind a BBC drama department that’s in the best, most successful shape it’s been for years. Hit after hit (and Bonekickers) has arrived with almost unprecedented regularity, while ITVs drama output has become increasingly out of step.

It’s no wonder then that the press have been focussing on Tranter’s replacement in the drama department Ben Stephenson, and what her departure might mean for BBC drama as a whole… Few, however, are focussing on Tranter’s new job, and what she might be getting up to on the other side of the Atlantic….

“It’s obvious, innit?” said a very wise and sage colleague. “She’s off to make a domestic version of Doctor Who tailored for the American audience…”

I should point out this is in no way based on insider information or industry gossip, it’s just wild and very idle speculation for a gloomy Wednesday afternoon. But Tranter is credited as one of the architects, along with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, of bringing Doctor Who back to television. The show is also one of BBC1’s biggest series and one of Worldwide’s most lucrative exports and merchandising portals. Yes, it sold to Sci-Fi in the US, and did well by that channel’s standards. But just think about truly extending the Doctor Who brand to reach the widest possible global audience…

Like I said, this is all based on supposition. I’m just saying, that’s all…

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