I love Doctor Who. Hell, I’m writing a series where I review every classic Doctor Who episode just because I want to. I’ve watched modern Who multiple times through. I have a Tardis knapsack and blanket! And this is probably why I’m so disappointed with what it has become.
I like the first couple episodes of last season. I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, and I think that he could be one of my favorites. Sadly, the show is suffering from a lack of character development and decent storytelling. I found the rest of the season to be merely mediocre with some really standout moments of awfulness. (The moon is an egg? Really!?) Now, before people get on my case and start pointing out some bad episodes during pre-Moffat era, let me say that I will be the first to admit that there are some duds in there too. What I’m saying is that there are far fewer than there are now.
I finally got of the courage to the watch the first two episodes of this newest season, and it wasn’t almost enough to make me stop watching. I’m just tired of shoddy writing and no character development. The Doctor is basically the same person he was in the beginning of the last season, which is kind of an ass. It was entertaining at first, but now I’m a little tired of it.
I think that best way to do this would be make this blog in list form. I have a lot of gripes. And you are totally welcome to disagree with me. And if I’m wrong about something, please let me know. But this is my reaction to the first two episodes. Also, spoilers.
- Why get rid of the sonic screwdriver? I love the screwdriver. It’s so handy and iconic. Now he has sunglasses? That seems a little impractical to me. Sure, the Doctor tended to lose his screwdriver pretty often, but how annoying would constantly having to put those glasses on your face be? Also, glasses fall off all the time. I predict him losing those things far more often now. And, what do you do when it’s dark? The only I will accept this is if Peter Capaldi starts singing some Corey Hart.
2. The screwdriver mini plot didn’t make sense anyway. So the Doctor leaves his screwdriver with mini-Davros. Then he goes off to mess around with a tank and guitar for like three weeks. He sends Missy his last confession, so he believes that he is going to die. But when the snake guy shows up and throws his screwdriver in front of him, the Doctor seems surprised to see it. Didn’t he know Davros was going to summon him? Did he forget about leaving his screwdriver with mini-Davros? If this is such a surprise, then why did he send Missy his last confession? It doesn’t make sense. And why didn’t he just take his screwdriver back? He loves that thing!
3. Clara is pretty useless.
Seriously. I think the only reason she was there was so that Missy had someone to say snarky things to. She didn’t do much. Missy was the one who came up with everything. Sure, Clara would catch up every once in awhile, but that doesn’t mean much. The only thing Clara did that was semi-useful was finding Missy (and the Doctor) in the beginning and going into a Dalek. And honestly, I think Missy would have been able to come up with a way in without Clara there anyway. And the Dalek thing just later showed that Clara is rather daft. How could she not figure out how to open the Dalek!? It’s the same way you closed it except that you say open instead. Seriously. What the hell? Put your thinking cap on, girly. I feel that you could have taken Clara out of the episodes and they would have been basically the same with some minor tweaking.
4. What the heck was with the ‘mercy’ thing? Could someone explain to me how something can still happen despite the fact that the Doctor hasn’t gone back in time to do the thing that makes that thing happen? This plot device has been used multiple times by Moffat and I still can’t figure it out. If you know how this is supposed to work, please let me know cause it seems like a little bit of a cop out. Also, please stop using the same plot device. It gets boring. It’s like I keep re-living this scenario over and over again.
Also, if Davros gets the idea of mercy from the Doctor at this time, wouldn’t change everything the ever happened with the Daleks? Wouldn’t that mean that the Daleks were then created with the concept of mercy? Are we going to see a ripple affect because of this? Most likely not, and that’s what irritates me.
5. There was character development and then there wasn’t. The scene where Davros appeared to regret what he created at the moment of his death was actually a really fascinating scene for me. It touched on the idea of redemption and regret which are two things that are incredibly human.
Mostly, I was just glad to see the compassion that I have missed so much from the Doctor. Even when the Doctor was close to death, he was always able to show compassion to his enemy and never relished in destruction. I have missed this in this new incarnation of the Doctor. He seems cold and disconnected. Granted this has happened with the Doctor before, but his companions were always there to help him grow and become a better person. Clara hasn’t done that for this Doctor and has therefore allowed the Doctor to stagnate in character. We see glimpses of his old self every once in awhile, but they are few and far between.
So, of course I was excited to finally see it again. But then Moffat ruined it by having the Doctor know what Davros was up to the whole time.
His actions didn’t come from compassion, but was instead a part of a scheme. I want the compassion and vulnerability back. Those things that made him feel so human to me. I miss that Doctor, and I want him back. I also want a new companion, but that’s a whole other post.
6. Is it just me, or is the Doctor getting a little gun happy? There were moments with the Doctor before Capaldi when if the Doctor grabbed a gun, it was a big deal. I would gasp and freak out about what would happen next.
Now, the Doctor grabs a gun and it’s not that surprising to me. Not only did he grab the gun, but he pointed it at many beings, while threatening to shoot them. Who is this Doctor?! He seems overly violent and far less forgiving. Granted, this is happening with the Daleks. The last time the Doctor legit pointed a gun at a Dalek was with Eccelston, and that was some intense stuff. (Also, probably one of the best episodes.)
I can’t help but feel that one of the Doctor’s quotes basically encapsulates what these recent seasons have like to me. “Of course, the real question is, where did I get the cup of tea? Answer: I’m the Doctor, just accept it.” No, Moffat. I will not just accept it, and that is not a good excuse for shoddy storytelling. Sure, I ask for quite a bit from Doctor Who, but that’s only because I know that it can be amazing. The outline is there. It just needs substance, and I don’t think that has been provided.
Well I think those are my major gripes about the first two episodes. However, I will say that I enjoyed watching Capaldi play an electric guitar on a tank. That was pretty cool. Anyway, let me know what you think. I’m totally cool with lively debate!