Let’s just imagine. After six years in the public eye, adventures in space and time (catchy phrase), at the end of The War Games the Doctor says farewell to companions Zoe and Jamie and then goes off to serve his punishment among his own people. THE END. Could it have happened? Should it have happened? Let’s chat…
It certainly could have happened, with the BBC wishing to welcome a new decade with new programming and embrace the growing move to colour television with easier (cheaper) to make programmes. Would it make sense though? I think it might have, for two reasons, one narrative and one cultural.
The Doctor Who narrative 1963-1969
There’s a classic V-shaped symmetry to the story (I could say arc or journey, but let’s not). We learn at the start of the Doctor (and Susan’s) exile from their own people, now six years later he is back with them, if not happy but there is closure. It would be easy to stop the show there with the backstop of another escape if a revival were ever considered.
The cultural aspect
Let’s not overlook the bit thing that happened in 1969; man landed on the moon. There are a few Second Doctor stories reflecting the Space Race (The Moonbase and Seeds of Death) and now history (or humanity) had caught up with the show, or so it seemed if you were alive at the time. Suddenly now Doctor Who had served its purpose. With the end of a decade, putting the show to bed would have made perfect sense.
I’m not suggesting I think it should have happened, but there were reasons why it would have made sense. There are any number of other shows that don’t renew, and in today’s world it’s hard to imagine a show like Doctor Who emerging and still having some currency in 2070! Just imagine…
If you’d like another view on how Doctor Who might have been, here’s a post on the DWC: THE TAPESTRY OF TIME: A “WHAT IF” IN DOCTOR WHO HISTORY. And if you’d like to read more about The War Games and even download a trimmed down version, there’s DoctorWhoFlix with their version: The War Games.