So here we are, just over halfway through what the Canadians have dubbed The Year of No Doctor Who, twelve months in which there’s less Doctor Who than there has been at any point since the series returned to our screens back in 2005.
Except that’s not quite true; there might be fewer new episodes of televised Doctor Who this year than there were in 2009, or 2012, or 2015. But in any other sense, the idea that there is less Doctor Who now than there has been since 2004 couldn’t be further from the truth.
The notion of this being The Year of No Doctor Who put me in mind of an urban myth that was doing the rounds a few years ago, which stated that there were now more people alive on this planet than had ever died – collectively, that is, since our species first evolved. At first, this idea seemed ridiculous – and as it turned out, it wasn’t true. But closer inspection revealed that the maths wasn’t quite as ludicrous as it first appeared. If each generation trebles in size and lasts for two generations before it expires (and this isn’t, as an average, especially hard to believe), then the exponential growth of the species will always keep its living members at a greater number than the sum of the dead. In fact, as best as I can work it out, the population needs to do little more than double with each generation for this to remain true.