I've posted a couple of times about earth-bound Doctor Who, pleading that it get off earth. The news (thanks to britgeekgrrl for the link) is not good: Cost 'keeps Doctor Who on earth'.
RTD said that:
he would not be using forests and quarries as stand-ins for alien landscapes, as was often the case in classic Doctor Who episodes. "The mockery we would get walking into a forest and saying that we're on the planet Zagfon!"Oh, come on! Give the viewer a little credit for imagination. And besides, SG1 does that all the time. I've seen a lot of big-budget CGI but I'm happy to believe that a quarry with some unusual plants made of polystyrene in it is on another planet. And the old methods might be cheap but a painted screen can be surprisingly effective.
Davies [...] admitted the series had become London-centric, despite being produced by BBC Wales. "For your ordinary viewer, it's the default setting," he said. "You've got big vistas and things, and it's good for the image of the programme."Eh? Mate. Not to me, it isn't. And here's another little trick. You don't have to go outside to be somewhere else; much of 'The Girl in the Fireplace' proved that.
However, the writer said he would "love to shoot on the streets of Manchester".Sigh. It's still yer basic England, innit. If you can't afford proper SF, then why do it? Oh but wait.
Two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, are currently in production.Let me guess where they're set.
OK, there have been some excellent stories in pseudo-London--'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances' were among the best--but my other favourites, 'The Girl in the Fireplace', and 'The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit'; were off earth--at least partially in the case of 'Girl'. What used to be a space-and-time-spanning series has become very cramped and insular. It's just the TARDI now?
Bring back the quarries and the polystyrene, I say.