Originally Posted by samwiseb
This has always been my belief as well. I think certainly it holds true with the first season of BSG over its longer and more meandering subsequent seasons. I can't speak for whether it's held true with Doctor Who or not, as I'm not currently watching that show. But writers should at least have the option of collaborating to put out more focused content if they weren't working under a 22-plus episode requirement every season.
The first season of BSG is a good example of small episode order and focused storytelling resulting in almost no underperforming episodes that season. Later seasons had issues, yep, but that first one was tight.
And there's precedence in TNG's production history for the problem of 26 episodes a year raising it's head. I would have to look back through 'The Continuing Mission'
book but back in late 1991 (I think, it was certainly during production of the fifth season) the core group of writers at that time were running dry and ended up taking a collective vacation to try and get some fresh ideas working outwith the environment of the studio and the production offices.
It then went on to yield a run of good season 5 shows (I think including 'Power Play
' and several others in that mid-season batch) but they had to get away from the place first to actually get some headspace to feel creative again for a while.