In spite of ratings to the contrary, the following article claims that DOCTOR WHO, one of the most beloved shows on television, with one of the most intense fan bases anywhere, is bleeding viewers. While TVWriter™ believes that’s pure nonsense, we also find ourselves agreeing with much of what the post says about the show, especially the quality of the writing. What do you think?
by Nick Cannata-Bowman
Doctor Who has been a fixture in science fiction for the better part of the last 50 plus years. It began as a joyful, campy display of some of the most laughably terrible special effects television had to offer. Since then, its status as British cultural icon has led to bigger budgets, scores of fans, and worldwide recognition. Its rebirth began back in 2005, when Russell T. Davies brought the show back after a nine year layoff. Christopher Eccelston was the face of the first new-look Doctor, followed by David Tennant a year later, Matt Smith after him, and most recently Peter Capaldi.
Steven Moffat took over for Davies not too far into the new run, and so the modern Doctor Who continued to evolve. Lately though, things have started to fall flat. Even the most die-hard of fans found themselves losing interest late into Matt Smith’s role on the show, something only exacerbated when Peter Capaldi took over full-time. So what exactly has befallen the once-great sci-fi epic?
THE DOCTOR GOT MEANER
Fans familiar with the progression of the Doctor are familiar with the defining personality traits of each modern doctor. Christopher Eccelston was a stripped-down version of a previously flamboyant character, beginning a walk down a decidedly grimmer path for the Doctor’s personality. David Tennant after him was kind yet stern, with sharp features to match. He always carried with him a certain guilt over the burden of being the last of the Time Lords, leading into the reactively younger and more carefree Matt Smith iteration.
Finally, we were left with Peter Capaldi, the more mature and notably older version of the Doctor. It was more than a little jarring to go from the warm, goofy demeanor of Smith to the crotchety and sometimes mean-spirited Capaldi version. This in turn made it hard to adjust for fans, leading many to jump ship mere episodes in to the latest season.
EACH SUCCESSIVE STORYLINE GOT HARDER AND HARDER TO FOLLOW
The latest season featuring Capaldi was by far the most convoluted and difficult-to-follow of any we’ve seen in the Davies/Moffat era. A basic rundown: The Doctor is regenerated to kick off the season, and immediately is forced to handle the problem of a dinosaur terrorizing Victorian London. The rest of the season follows the intrigue surrounding brief cuts to minor characters post-death appearing in what looks like a heaven-like white void run by a mysterious woman known only as Missy. Later it turns out that Missy is in fact the Master, the Doctor’s arch-nemesis, in charge of an army of Cybermen set to take over the world as we know it.
If that makes your head-spin a little, don’t worry: You’re not alone. As Moffat has delved into the Doctor Who mythos every season, it’s become more difficult than ever to understand what’s happening….