Tagged: Doctor Who
October 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm #24721
“You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene KranzOctober 15, 2018 at 3:19 am #24723
I haven’t watched it yet and I really don’t have much interest in it. If I hear that the writing has improved above the atrocious depths it’s gone to in the past couple seasons maybe I’ll tune in. But after the episode Kill the Moon I instantly lost all desire to watch any more Doctor Who. It was just so insultingly bad, it destroyed a show for me that I’ve been watching for over 30 years.October 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm #24724
Two stories are not a large enough of a sample size to tell you if the series has improved. You will have to wait until the end of the season. I stopped watching Doctor Who years ago, and it had everything to do with things happening in my real life and nothing to do with the series.
All I can tell you is that Kill the Moon was a “new” season 8 (2014) episode. Per this article, series 8 (2014) had an average of 7.3 million viewers in the UK. Series 10 (2017) had an average of 5.5 million viewers. So, it wasn’t just you that was having issues with the Capaldi era. I would have to search, but series 10 had the lowest ratings of either era. In some ways, I see nasty parallels between the heights of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the lows of Voyager and Enterprise.
From my perspective, the new series producer had changed the tone and direction of Doctor Who in comparison to the previous era. One of the problems I had with the revived series is the overuse of some Doctor Who villains, especially the seemingly annual appearance of the Daleks.
“You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene KranzOctober 16, 2018 at 3:49 pm #24732
For what it’s worth, Chibnall has said that there will be no returning villains this season. (Keep in mind that both Moffat and Davies gleefully admitted that they’d lie to the press and the fans to preserve surprises within the show, but Chibnall has been pretty outspoken on the record about wanting to rely less on the show’s extensive existing mythology.)
I think there are many analogies to be drawn between the reign of John Nathan-Turner, the producer from 1980-89, and Moffat, who could have broken ties with the whole Time War element that Davies introduced, but instead took it and ran with it, sometimes to great effect – i.e. Day of the Doctor – and sometimes to just plain weird effect, i.e. nearly any Time War reference in the Capaldi era. I think JN-T and Moffat are each guilty of staying too long, and are each guilty of letting the show’s quality suffer because they were distracted by other endeavours (JN-T’s all-star Christmas panto productions and his all-consuming attendance of conventions; Moffat’s involvement with Sherlock and developing the still-upcoming Dracula series with Mark Gatiss), and are each guilty of doing far too much referring to the show’s past, which can be overdone even in a major anniversary year. Both also knocked out of the park with their respective anniversary episodes (The Five Doctors, Day of the Doctor), and – despite low ratings in each case – showed they still had some ideas left in their respective final seasons (season 26, series 10).
I’m liking the new season and the new Doctor so far. I will admit, however, that my own Doctor Who fandom has slacked off somewhat, partly because I had to overexpose myself to it to get the VWORP! books done. There were times during the Capaldi era when I was half a season behind. And despite the fact that I’m still more likely to get excited about something Big Finish is doing vs. what’s happening on TV, I’m way behind on my Big Finish listening (partly because their output in the Doctor Who universe alone is overwhelming in terms of the commitment to either time or finances). I really liked Capaldi’s Doctor, but I think he was seriously undermined by Moffat’s writing.
Something both Moffat and Davies were guilty of was falling in love with their own companions. Davies couldn’t let Rose go – Martha’s entire season as the sole companion in the TARDIS was spent listening to the Doctor bemoaning the fact that she wasn’t Rose – and Moffat couldn’t let Clara go (she should have left a season earlier).
Can Chibnall learn enough from their mistakes (and their successes) and inject new life into Doctor Who? I hope so. Kill The Moon in particular was an episode that I watched more out of duty (I’ve got books to write) than out of excitement (“hey, there’s a new episode of Doctor Who on!”)…and let’s face it, it was giving the knock-the-moon-out-of-orbit-with-nukes premise of Space: 1999 a run for its money on sheer ridiculousness. If one’s going to be scarred by an episode of Doctor Who… that’s a pretty good one to be scarred by.
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