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It's just a damned popularity contest...

... but it really does speak volumes for the programme's success.

Erm, folks. I've got some bad news. It's not "cult" any more.

(and yet still, STILL, a US broadcaster refuses to pick it up. Crazy. Sci-Fi Channel, I'm looking at you.)

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I have a theory about this whole "is x a cult programme just cos it's popular" malarky.

I don't think overall viewing figures have anything to do with it. I think a programme is a cult if it has a small number of *really* hardcore fans. Doctor Who does, as does Red Dwarf - despite the high viewing figures. On the other hand, there are programmes with a small number of hardcore fans that *don't* pass into the mainstream and get high viewing figures... and they're cult programmes, too.

By John Hoare
October 26, 2005 @ 12:53 am

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Yeah, but... there's being popular, and there's being one of the most popular programmes on television.

I don't mean that Who isn't cult because it's a bit more popular than it used to be (and let's add a caution to that statement by pointing out how big it was in the Baker T era); I mean that it has trouble clinging on to the label because it's nothing short of a phenomenon now. Viewing figures are only half the story - permeation into the mass consciousness is something else entirely.

I agree with you that the word "cult" doesn't refer entirely to popularity and viewing figures, though, and that there are a lot of "cultish" attributes that Who still retains. But it really isn't the sole preserve of a cult of fans any more. It's everyone's.

By Seb Patrick
October 26, 2005 @ 1:07 am

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Oh, absolutely. Certainly it isn't the sole preserve of cult fans. It's still a cult show, though. *And* one of the most popular shows on British TV, at the same time.

Which is a pretty incredible achievement.

By John Hoare
October 26, 2005 @ 1:22 am

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It's still too British for Sci-fi to pick up. As much as I love the series, can you see it being shown alongside Galactica? They would probably buy Who if it was cheaper, but the BBC want money for it.

I'm really pleased that Who won big at the NTAs. I think Eccleston's win is particularly deserved, although Billie was great of course. It's good to see Who being officially recognized as being great. It makes it that much harder for the naysayers to discredit the series, despite the fact that they've never watched it. My dad was surprised that it won, but I was like 'Duh! If you'd actually watched it you would have known how good it was!!', instead he just inexplicably slags it off all the time.

By performingmonkey
October 27, 2005 @ 7:32 pm

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