Thursday, November 26, 2015

Doctor Who Season 9 So Far by P. Ray

Last year Peter Capaldi brought the Doctor back to his roots - less cuddly, more alien. Some Classic Doctor Who fanatics, like me, saw it as welcomed return to form. This is not a sleight on David Tennant or Matt Smith, but as much as I enjoyed their portrayals of the old time lord, I had always felt that it was missing some much needed grumpiness.

Capaldi and the writing team may have taken it too far though, and bordered on making The Doctor unlikable for the new Generation of Whovians, who still had stars in their eyes from the last two incarnations. Season 9 has been an attempt to find a middle ground where both sets of fans can be happy. No more, "shut ups,” and, “no hugs," and a little more of, "I love my job of Time Space hero extraordinaire". Peter Capaldi still manages to deliver some great cynical one liners, lest people forget that The Doctor's experience and knowledge are vastly superior to anyone within an infinite radius, but he is also more likeable. And that little bit is important. It gives a sense that we want to go on the next adventure with him.

The writers have also done well to break a good deal of the episodes this season into two parts, a welcome call back to earlier Doctor Who, which could take up to 5 or 6 installments to develop a story. My biggest gripe with "New" Who was how rushed it all felt in order to wrap things up in 42 minutes. Usually this manic pace led to a lot of shouting, screaming, and unnecessary amounts of Timey Wimeyness. This season we have been treated to steady character development and detailed exposition. It allows us to care more about what is going on. The season opener, for example, managed to make The Daleks interesting again, and not just a ratings gimmick. We had enough exposition to care about Davros and his manic plans, and enough time to digest all the different twists and surprises the writers could stuff into the two-parter. 

Another important point regarding the writers is quite simply their quality of work on Season 9 of Doctor Who. Last season Capaldi brought the character of Doctor Who out of the mire of teen angst, breathing much needed fresh air into the Time Lord, but people behind the scenes were still a bit off as far as supplying the story-lines to match his excellent talent. This season it seems that these kinks have been ironed out. This has been one of the most well produced and written series of Doctor Who since a certain Capt Jack Harkness was riding around in the great blue box.

Speaking of great companions, that is all the show is missing right now. As much as I have enjoyed Clara's development, I think she has become too much of an equal. Though, I appreciate this line of trust The Doctor has for her, as he has had for other great companions in earlier his incarnations, it is also interesting to put him in the TARDIS with someone who will still be starry eyed when they discover that it is indeed bigger on the inside. Here's to a bright future for one of televisions most enduring characters, and most entertaining sci-fi/fantasy series.

Post by P. Ray

1 comment:

  1. I wrote this before Clara died. Now she is dead and for trying to be like The Doctor. It was time for a change though.