Ah, The Doctor. My Doctor…
As many of you may be aware, saturday just gone was the mid-season finale for this season of Dr Who. This has been the 2nd season with Moffat at the helm and Matt Smith at the other helm. Following the episode Cake&Lies ally X&HT put up this post singing it’s praises, and my response to Rob was ‘Great post, I disagree entirely’
And here is why.
I’d like to start by saying I am a Dr Who fan. I am a science fiction fan. I own all of the recent series on DVD, I even have figurines.
But, and this is a big one, I am not a fan of this latest series.
Dr Who has always been a fan of the last minutes twists and turns, the deus ex machina in human form. It has always asked some pretty big questions along its way. But the day has come where I think Dr Who has jumped the shark.
With the latest season, the acting has been top-notch: Matt Smith has made the Dr his own and whilst not yet matching Tennent, he is certainly a worth addition to the canon. Karen is the right balance of ballsy assistant and scared human and I must offer my props to Arthur Darvill for making Rory my favourite character in a long while. Also, the look and feel of the show has never been better, the BBC America money has been put to good use, the visuals and sound are deserving of all the praise heaped upon them.
But all this goodness is being undone by the stories. Recently I was asked to sum up the series in one word and the first one that came to mind is ‘Soulless’. All the pieces seem to be there and going through the usual motions, but it some how feels…empty.
And, in my opinion, is due to the apparent fascination by Moffett and his team, with what I’ll call ‘Lost-esque Storywriting’. This latest series has been labelled with words such a ‘confident’ and ‘adult’ which has somehow simply become a byword for lazy plotting masquerading as intrigue and having confusing and unanswered storylines. Lost did this for 6 seasons, winning and losing fans along the way, but overall can be considered a success.
But Dr Who seems to be missing the mark, it seems to be so concerned with cramming as much intrigue and twists into half a season as it can, it has forgotten all about character. The Dr, save for brief moments of self-doubt in The Doctors Wife and A Good Man Goes To War, has been succesively one dimensional, Amy and Rory more so. And it is a damning shame that a character as complex is River Song has been relegated to simply saying sweetie and looking flirting at the Doctor. They have seemed to too concerned with ‘cool moments’ (and some of them are damn cool) than exploring what it means to be be all this Dr Who universe can be.
That being said, there are some stand-out moments in this season, The Doctors Wife being amazing, the flashes of The Doctor trying to get Rory and Amy’s attention through time as well as the montage of The Doctor assembling his team in A Good Man Goes To War. But the flipside has been some horribly ham-fisted moments, be it the idea that Doctor means Warrior on certain worlds (as its sister idea that we get the word Doctor from The Doctor) or the repeated use of Nixon to get our heroes out of trouble in the season opener.
All in all, its just been a bit disappointing. I will stick with the show, it has the potential to be the best thing on the BBC, it just hasn’t been this season…
But maybe I’m wrong, convince me if you can…