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Doctor Who is one of the most legendary franchises of TV history, expanding and reinventing itself time and time again for more than fifty years now. It's a British institution that made its way across the pond to win over legions of American fans as well. That said, current showrunner Steven Moffat believes that Doctor Who doesn't have the resources to be the best show it could be, saying this:
We have a smaller budget than other shows that look cheaper. We don't have the top budget, not by the standards of a colossus of the TV world. I don't think it's as good as it could be. I want more than three monsters on screen at a time.
The show was actually somewhat known for its lower budget during its earlier years on the air; many of the distant planets the Doctor has traveled to have looked suspiciously like gravel quarries in Wales. Steven Moffat's reveal to iNews that he thinks Doctor Who could benefit from a larger budget makes it hard not to wonder what the show would look like with a little more money. Doctor Who has done well enough without an abundance of monsters, but I can't blame Moffat for wishing he had more resources to craft the series.
Given how huge Doctor Who has become on an international scale, it's actually a bit surprising that the BBC would pinch pennies with it. Of course, the BBC has had to make cuts all around in recent years, but Doctor Who is such a big name that I'd think it would be a logical high priority. Steven Moffat weighed in on why Who doesn't have a reputation that calls for a higher budget:
There's a cultural sense sometimes that Doctor Who is the little engine that could, it's this plucky little British show. But it's actually one of the giants. It's one of the least well-funded of the giants but it's operating at that level. Why? It's a massive show.
Steven Moffat has been open about how difficult running Doctor Who has been for him since taking over for Russel T. Davies in 2010. The budgetary frustration must have hit him very hard in some of his more trying times, such as when he was trying to work out the big 50th anniversary special or writing out Matt Smith or... all of Season 7, apparently.
As it happens, Steven Moffat won't have to worry about Doctor Who's quality or budget for much longer. He's due to step down as showrunner after the upcoming Season 10. He'll be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chiball. It will mark a brand new era, as current star Peter Capaldi will be leaving the series as well.
Season 10 of Doctor Who will hit BBC America on Saturday, April 15 at 9 p.m. ET. The premiere will feature the grand debut of new companion Bill and will mark the beginning of the end of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, so be sure to tune in. Check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to figure out all your other small screen options.