By BEN TODD
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It has been one of the BBC’s success stories of recent years.
As Doctor Who begins its latest series with disappointing viewing figures, however, some fans are asking if the plotlines are too scary and too complex for its largely family audience.
Early figures for the second episode of the new series starring Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as companion Amy Pond show that more than one million viewers turned off the show.
Menaced: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond in episode two of the hit show
It secured 5.39million viewers – down 1.01million on the series opener the week before. Overnight figures for that first episode were down by almost 1.5million on the equivalent episode last year, although ratings released yesterday showed it had a final total audience of 8.86million.
Even so, the apparent downturn in popularity has led to doubts among some avid viewers over the plotlines being pursued by executive producer and main writer Steven Moffat.
Line-up: The cast of Doctor Who from left to right. Alex Kingston as River Song, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams, Matt Smith as The Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Some fans also say the plots have become too complicated and involved, but others say it is important for the show to experiment.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Doctor Who is a show for all the family. It’s well known for getting viewers hiding behind their sofas and children expect episodes to provide scares and thrills.
‘Doctor Who is never gruesome, cold-blooded or gratuitously violent. All content is carefully considered for a pre-watershed audience.’
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