I feel more like it is Doctor What these days. I am no longer fully excited to tune in and see what this week’s episode brings in terms of questions, mysteries, answers, ideas. But I will say, and sadly it damns with faint praise, that this season is a lot better than last season. At least. I feel like writing about it again — that’s something.
I have 4 quibbles.
- The writing
Getting rid of the experienced writers and replacing with a writers room – was that the best decision? The number one complaint on most of the posts I read from my echo chamber, is the writing — And I agree.Furthermore, there is very little quotable stuff that is shareable. There is a woodenness between the doctor and “friends”. A “friend” would not just stare as a friend blankly and then apathetically turn to do something else – when Graham told her he was afraid of death. That is not my Doctor. My Doctor would have said something wise – having died and been reborn many times, and having faced countless losses, something, Anything could have been written here that was more memorable than the denigrating nothing.
On the plus side, this season at least has some sort of overarching plot, people need a reason to keep watching. Sacha Dahwan just classes it all up. He is fantastic. I loved him in Iron Fist, and Outsourced – Manmeet – Love him to pieces!!
I know many have complained that it is a bit preachy. I don’t mind that too much, this is a kids show and some will be new to the information which might improve their lives, there is a lot to like about this season, there has been an improvement. As this is a kids show, Death is handled in a very cavalier fashion. In the A Team nobody ever died.
But some missed opportunities that are almost unforgivable in their carelessness. (See Captain Jack)
This season it feels a bit more interesting, at least there is some action. But the exposition still feels a bit heavy, tell more than it shows. Hopefully this will improve.
- The Doctor
I really wanted to like Jodie Whitaker as Doctor Who. I am sure she’s lovely and this is not personal at all. I even painted a large acrylic with her in the TARDIS, when she was announced. I just wanted to absolutely love what she did with the part. And I don’t. I just don’t.I don’t know if it is delivery, or needing to keep a perfect camera face at every angle, or just that she has never been all that into Doctor Who before she got the role. She is louder than the rest, and it is not unusual for groups of friends to be standing around as spectators rather than active participants. And yes, there are improvements along this line, I have noticed companions having more to do. But it’s still a bit clunky.
- Following in the footsteps of Russell T Davies and Steven MoffatThe thing that Steven Moffat did beautifully, was Everything in his stories has a place and a purpose, and it all the pipe is laid well in advance because he had this vision. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be any writer having to follow in his footsteps. His last series is something I am still thinking about. I have been watching it. His writing and stories are solid. But let’s not get side-tracked here, something to explore another time perhaps. What went wrong?
Russell T Davis would NEVER have had John Barrowman on set and not had some interaction with the Doctor directly. He was so good at creating character empathy.
- Captain Jack
I will say only this.You Do Not Have John Barrowman On Set And Not Write a Scene with him and The Doctor.
I don’t care about next season. As a fan, who has been waiting for John Barrowman to return, a Key figure in canon, The Face of Bo, I would have expected That Moment in This Series, and in Next Series. I don’t care how you contrive it. You’re writing it from Nothing anyway. This is an almost unforgivable wasted opportunity.
Where are the quotable quotes? The shareable memes? The light quirky interplay.
Okay so I know it isn’t what it was, nor will it ever be again. It is getting better, and hopefully with some constructive input, it will continue to improve — Hopefully is such an insecure word but it is better than the alternative, Despair.