Monday, May 13, 2013

Doctor Who?

Nerd alert, folks. If you're not into Doctor Who then might I suggest going to flurrious's blog and checking out her wonderful blend of snark, sarcasm, and despair. It truly is hilarious. However if you are no stranger to the TARDIS then come along, my friends, while I rant just a bit.

So this season has been, and I'm being generous here, lackluster.  We got a new companion in the form of the amazingly gorgeous and perky Jenna Louise Coleman, a new TARDIS control room, and a new mystery for the Doctor to solve, i.e. Coleman's Clara. And on top of all this the story lines are all converging toward the massively hyped, and impossibly expectation-heavy 50th Anniversary Special. So why, then, has this season teetered on the brink of suck since the get go? There have been a couple of decent episodes, Cold War with its Hunt For Red Octoberness, and The Crimson Horror, which felt very much like a throwback to the days of Classic Doctor Who, but this weekend's Nightmare in Silver proved that even Neil Gaiman doesn't seem to know what to do with the Doctor right now. It was ok, but just ok. I'll freely admit that I think the Cybermen are kind of silly, but that wasn't the problem with the episode. So what was/is the problem? I'll tell you what I think, and it pains me to say it.

Jenna Louise Coleman and Matt Smith have zero chemistry together. I don't know if it's a matter of the writers trying to create an Amy Pond type relationship within 6 episodes, or the actors just don't click, but I don't believe that the Doctor really cares about Clara as anything other than an intriguing anomaly, and I really don't buy her level of devotion this soon. Not to mention how totally nonplussed she is at all of their adventures at the stage where previous companions have still been freaking out. Maybe the reasons for that are going to be part of some big reveal later, but right now it just seems like lazy writing to me. Karen Gillan leaves the show, we get a new companion, and she acts very much like Amy Pond. The relationship between the Doctor and the companion usually takes much longer to develop, and I'm just not buying it this time.

I'm still enjoying the show, though I must admit I really don't care what the Doctor's name is, but I sincerely hope that after the season finale next week the writers take a good, hard look at what they're doing, and bring their A game back, otherwise we may very well be witnessing the beginning of the end...again.


Shane Thomas said...

I largely agree with most of this. Do you mind if I link to this when I do a post-mortem of the series?

Rick Tetrault said...

Not at all. I'd be honored. :-)

flurrious said...

I think I've only seen one episode of Doctor Who, and I hesitate to say that I only watched it to see Peter Davison because it will probably turn out that his episodes are hated so much by true Doctor Who fans that they refuse to acknowledge their existence. At least that's my stance toward the final season of Lost. And the second season of Lost. And parts of the third, fourth, and fifth seasons of Lost. I'm actually not sure why I watched Lost.

Rick Tetrault said...

Davison is not reviled at all, though he replaced 'my' Doctor, Tom Baker, and I was still young enough to object to stupid shit like that so I never saw any of his episodes. He was on Lost? (I tried to get into Lost but just couldn't do it)

flurrious said...

Oh no, he wasn't on Lost; I was just trying to think of a show that I watched religiously, but also kind of hated. If you didn't watch, you didn't miss much. The first season was great and after that it had a distinctly written at midnight quality.

Davison, however, was on an episode of Magnum P.I. as the inept major domo of an English estate. (Why do I know these things? They aren't useful to anyone.)

Mary F said...

This season had so much hope piled on it. It then turns out to be filed under damp squib. It's not that I hate it. It just fails to grab me at all. Ideas sound good but just turn out to be a disappointment on screen. As for the Doctor's name? Why the hell would anyone care? The stunt titling has gotten boring.

My main problem is the sex pest Doctor. Kissing someone who is that put out they slap him. Followed by puerile screwdriver innuendo. How the hell did that get a place in the show? Then the Cyberplanner turns out to be in Dirty Old Man mode. Necessary how?

I've never liked the 45 minute format and this season seems to have highlighted its weakness.

I dream of a show based on single stories, with guest actors having enough time to become characters you can empathise with. No arc. No mystery about the companion. No snogging.

Moffat's left it past his time to go. He's dragging it out like the Tenth Doctor did. Let's bring in a non fan show-runner. Try that out.

Rick Tetrault said...

Pardon my repetition, but it pains me to say this but I agree with you on all counts, Mary. (the pain comes from losing faith in Moffit, not in agreeing with you, dear Mary) ;-)