Peter Davison: Cheap Modern Drama Quality “Inevitably Shows”

A lot has changed since the 1980s. Clothing and hairstyles were somewhat extreme. There was war in the Middle East. And a woman – would you believe it?! – was in charge of the UK! Yep, things are very, very different.

One thing that really is different is television. Whereas in the 1980s, there were only three terrestrial channels – BBC1, ITV1, and Civil Unrest 24/7 – we now have upwards of 200 channels and nothing but cats. (Heh.) That might seem a good thing, but when was the last time you went on ABN TV? Exactly. And yes, there are now Christmas films being played on lesser channels. I love Christmas, but I’m sure that fact will get many people to consider the art of garotting. You might even say there are too many channels, and one person that seems to agree with that assessment is Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.

While publicising his upcoming autobiography – which the DWC is very much looking forward to! – Davison said:

“The difference [today] is that there are so many more hours to fill. They have to make dramas very cheaply and very quickly. It inevitably shows. For the viewer, it’s much harder to find something to watch. Sometimes when I look through the 150-odd channels available on my television, I still can’t find anything.”

It’s hard to disagree, let’s face it. TV is a marvel, something we always overlook. People say stuff like,” it’s only television,” forgetting the hours of entertainment it gives us, and ignoring the way it can expand our minds. It’s an art.

But it’s not all good art. On one channel, you might see Vincent van Gogh; on another, you might see Damien Hirst. It’s up to you to decide which you think is better. All I’m saying is, I love Starry Night.

Yes, art is subjective, but there are some corners of the televisual universe that’ve bred the most terrible things – like The X Factor. *Shudders*