Saturday, 8 May 2010

Doctor Who Running

Someone on a list I'm on commented that the current series of Doctor Who has shorter episodes that previous series... that sounds like something to test! I used the Doctor Who Reference Guide for running times for Series 1-4, and got Series 5 from the episodes themselves.

Series One: Average running time is 43'51". Shortest: 41'45" (The Empty Child). Longest: 45'29" (Parting of the Ways). There are no particular longer than normal episodes to worry about. This is shortest running time of all series.

Series Two: Without Christmas Invasion, average is 45'02". With, average is 46'04". Shortest: 43'18" (Army of Ghosts). Longest (ignoring Christmas): 47'11" (The Satan Pit).

Series Three: Without Runaway Bride, 45'26". Without Runaway or Last of the Time Lords, 44'56". With both, 46'29". Shortest: 42'55" (Family of Blood). Longest (ignoring Runaway, Last): 46'52" (Daleks in Manhatten).

Series Four: Partners in Crime to Journey's End: 46'53". Without Journey's End: 45'31". With Voyage of the Damned: 48'42". The Next Doctor to The End of Time, Part Two: 62'49". All: 52'25". Shortest: 42'57" (Silence in the Library). Longest (ignoring obvious): 49'23" (Turn Left).

Series Five: Average so far: 46'28". Average without The Eleventh Hour: 41'58". Shortest so far: 41'45" (Victory of the Daleks). Longest (ignoring 11th): 42'37" (Flesh and Stone). So... yeah, looks like these episodes are shorter. Read a comment that this may be for more ad friendly markets (eg US).

On the other hand, I note that two of the shortest episodes are Moffat's. Maybe he writes short episodes? Average of his episodes for Series One to Four is 43'40". With Series Five it is 45'10", or 43'01" without 11th. This is shorter than Series One average! So while the Doctor Who production office might be eying ad markets, the Moffat effect of short episodes is clearly not without power itself.

(To get the average, I translated minutes+seconds into seconds, averaged that, and converted back to minutes+seconds. And I have this in an OpenOffice spreadsheet, so may revisit this later.)


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