Doctor Who featured in the last round of the BBC quiz show, Pointless, earlier this week, though the result wasn’t particularly thrilling for anyone.
For anyone unfamiliar with Pointless, it’s a series essentially like a reverse Family Fortunes, where the producers survey 100 people and contestants have to find the most obscure answer — to win altogether, you’ve got to find an elusive pointless answer, something none of those asked remembered.
On Thursday 18th January 2024’s episode of Pointless, the final question was to name either a title from Jodie Whittaker’s era of Doctor Who or cast members of The Power of the Doctor. (The latter title was exempt from the former question; similarly, Jodie Whittaker herself was exempt from the question about cast members.)
What do you think might be pointless? Something obscure like It Takes You Away? A Flux part like War of the Sontarans? Or perhaps even a New Year’s Day special like Resolution?
If you said any of them… you would’ve won the jackpot.
In fact, not a single person from the 100 surveyed could name any titles.
This isn’t great, needless to say. I figured at least The Woman Who Fell to Earth (the Thirteenth Doctor’s first full episode) or Rosa (the popular Series 11 story) would get some points; alas, instead, these were highlighted on a board as examples of titles no one could recall.
More people could name cast members, though they were a bit all over the place. A few people remembered John Bishop (Dan Lewis), for instance, but not Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan); David Tennant (the Fourteenth Doctor) scored points, as did Sophie Aldred (Ace) and Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor) — oddly, however, it appears Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka) didn’t score any points, nor did the other Doctors who cameoed in the special.
And despite all this, the contestants sadly didn’t win the prize money.
Okay, so instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s highlight some titles we like.
I really like Kerblam!, The Witchfinders, and Orphan 55. Much as I hated the episode, The Ghost Monument is a great title. Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror is an enjoyable episode with a crazy but good title. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos is a terrible episode with a terrible episode, so naturally, I like the name. No one ever remembers it, yet it’s seared onto my brain.
How about you, DWC readers?