Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2015: Falling Out Of Love With The Doctor

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2015, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

Back in 2013, I posted about my love for Doctor Who. Since then, the series has gone through many changes, most notably a new Doctor. The Doctor is now in his twelfth regeneration, ignoring the War Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi.

And since this change, I’ve come to realise I’m really not enjoying the show as much as I used to.

Gone are the days when I would eagerly await Saturday evenings, a brand new episode full of adventure. For this series and the last, I’ve not watched a single episode as it aired. I’ve caught up online, sometimes weeks after airing.

The series just does not feel like Doctor Who any more. An over-arching plot has replaced the new monster every week element that it used to have. To me, the series has almost lost its sense of fun. The episodes don’t feel like adventures. The opening two-parter of the current series was one of the dullest episodes of the show that I have ever watched. And I am so, so bored of the Daleks. They are not scary, and they never will be. But they keep going back to them.

Me too Clara, me too.

Me too Clara, me too.

There are moments where Peter Capaldi feels like the Doctor: that childishness, his inquisitiveness, his social awkwardness. But ultimately, I don’t really like the Twelfth Doctor. He pities himself, and is halfway to giving up on everyone and everything. This is not me criticising Capaldi’s acting in any way, but the producers/writers etc and how they have chosen to represent the Doctor.

However, I absolutely love the Mistress – Michelle Gomez is just fabulous. She pretty much captured my heart as the crazy staff liaison Sue White in Green Wing, and it was clear she would do a fantastic job on Doctor Who. If we can’t have River Song, at least we’ve got Missy.

I’m not giving up on the series, not just yet. It has meant so much to me that I still want to cling to it, hoping that it returns to the good ol’ Doctor Who I remember and love.

Do you watch Doctor Who? Are you enjoying the current series as much as the past ones?

26 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Month 2015: Falling Out Of Love With The Doctor”

  1. I must admit I’ve never been much of a fan Doctor Who and as someone who’s British I’ve always been a little disappointed in myself because of it. As a big history lover you’d think I’d jump at the chance to watch a show about time travel, but I’ve never been able to get into it, no matter how hard I try. I still ended up watching it when it was first rebooted because my best friend was a big fan, and I must admit I did really enjoy the series featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, but I’ve never fallen in love with the show. It doesn’t help that I hate Moffat’s writing.

    Having said all that, I totally understand why it’s as popular as it is and I love seeing how passionate the fans get; I see them on tumblr having entire debates about the smallest thing in one of the episodes, and I love that enthusiasm because I have that enthusiasm too, even if it isn’t for Doctor Who. I’m sorry to hear you’re not enjoying it as much as you used to – I hope it improves for you soon!

    1. It definitely feels like a bit of a cultural institution here, but you shouldn’t feel disappointed in yourself for not enjoying it! 😉 I didn’t get into the series until it had been back on the air for five years or so.

      Yep, people definitely get super passionate, ESPECIALLY on Tumblr for sure 😛 I just want Matt Smith or David Tennant back, haha… not gonna happen 😦

  2. I cannot disagree with you more on this. But I suspect you’ve come to Doctor Who since its revival in 2005.

    What Moffat is doing this year is allowing the stories time to develop, time to breath, time for the worlds to feel lived in. He’s making the new show feel like classic Who and I love, love, love, love it! I love that we build to cliffhangers. I love that we have the Doctor acting like the Doctor. I love every doggone minute of this season and think it may be the best one in new Who yet.

    1. That’s no problem, each to their own! 😛 And yes, I started watching in 2010, just before Matt Smith became the Eleventh Doctor. I’ve watched a couple of the older episodes but they just don’t grab me. And they were also removed from Netflix 😦

      I’m not such a big fan of multiple two-parters 😦 I’m glad you’re enjoying it a lot more than me though, they’re doing it right for someone clearly! 😛

      1. Couple of things when it comes to dipping into classic Who.

        1. The stories selected by Netflix weren’t exactly what I’d call the best examples to really resonate with new Who fans.
        2. Classic Who isn’t meant to be watched in one sitting. The stories are structured to build toward the cliffhanger and were meant to be seen a week apart. This leads to a bit of the start of each episode summarizing what’s come before in case people didn’t remember or had missed the week before. It’s not terribly obvious when you watch then with a bit of a break in between. But if you watch them all in one gulp, it becomes a bit more obvious and can be a turnoff.
        3. To see what Moffat is going back to, I suggest the third and fourth Doctor eras. Just as Smith paid homage to the second Doctor in his take on the character, I feel like Capaldi is paying homage to Pertwee and Tom Baker.
        4. BBC America ran a couple of weeks of Tom Baker “best of” over here and those might be a good sampling of stories from that era to give you a feel for it.

      2. Yeah, it seemed like a really random selection of episodes. They’ve not been available at all for two years now I think 😦

        Thanks for the recommendations, Michael! I don’t know if I’ll make time for Classic Who, but if I do I’ll make sure to follow these 🙂

  3. I started watching Dr. Who back when it was black and white with the original Doctor as a kid. I have continued to watch it off and on for years including now. Each regeneration gives us a different perspective or side of the multiple aspects of Dr. Who. I enjoy them all and yes I agree with you that the female partner is a great addition to the show. Both of these characters combine together to make the new Dr. Who for me most enjoyable .

    I have found over the years that I myself like Dr. Who have had to change my views and or opinions on things. Hopefully I am experiencing the “old age makes us wise” and not just going crazy.

  4. Michelle Gomez is just plain crazy, I loved her in Green Wing and I miss that show so much!! I feel the same about the Doctor, I love Peter Capaldi but I kinda miss Matt Smith and David Tennant’s doctors, they both had so much charisma and could go from bonkers to menacing in a drop of a hat.

    I am about two weeks behind on it just now as I will watch it when there is nothing better on.

    1. That show was just… so so perfect. I rewatch it quite regularly and it has me in fits every time.

      I’m two weeks behind now as well, it will be three tomorrow! I might spend this weekend catching up on TV though – at least in the evenings as I’m working all weekend…

  5. I think I most liked the doctor in the David Tennant days, especially with Donna & Martha. I’ve not been as into it lately, though I’m still watching it. I would totally watch a Missy & Clara show, they were pretty funny together.

    I 100% agree with you about the Daleks. I wonder if it’s because we both weren’t into classic Who, but the Daleks are just not scary (or even that interesting) to me. Given how often they seem to show up, I am actually kind of wondering why that hasn’t added some extra angst to the show–it seems like the War Doctor completely failed to destroy the Daleks, but he did succeed in getting rid of pretty much all the Time Lords.

    1. Couple of things when it comes to dipping into classic Who.

      1. The stories selected by Netflix weren’t exactly what I’d call the best examples to really resonate with new Who fans.
      2. Classic Who isn’t meant to be watched in one sitting. The stories are structured to build toward the cliffhanger and were meant to be seen a week apart. This leads to a bit of the start of each episode summarizing what’s come before in case people didn’t remember or had missed the week before. It’s not terribly obvious when you watch then with a bit of a break in between. But if you watch them all in one gulp, it becomes a bit more obvious and can be a turnoff.
      3. To see what Moffat is going back to, I suggest the third and fourth Doctor eras. Just as Smith paid homage to the second Doctor in his take on the character, I feel like Capaldi is paying homage to Pertwee and Tom Baker.
      4. BBC America ran a couple of weeks of Tom Baker “best of” over here and those might be a good sampling of stories from that era to give you a feel for it.

    2. At first Martha was a little annoying, but then she turned into this totally independent badass character. And Donna… ❤ Love her.

      I think that is the reason, or at least part of it. My dad used to watch the show when he was little, and he said that he used to have to hide behind the sofa when the Daleks were on screen!

  6. It’s been a while now since I’ve been in love with Doctor Who. It was one of my favorite shows for years, but I’ve had to readjust my expectations (which is a little heartbreaking to do). I still watch the show, but it’s the sort of thing I put on when I need to have entertaining background noise while I’m crocheting or working on a project. I do like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor though, but I agree with you that his characterization and stories have been pretty weak. I keep hoping that the show will get better, but at this point, it will need a complete overhaul.

    Have you tried reading the Doctor Who comics? I’ve enjoy the recent series a lot because they’re similar to how the TV show was when it was good versus what it is now. They have series for all the New Who Doctors (and the 8th too).

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely the ‘oh I better catch up with that show before it gets too far ahead’ category now, rather than watch it as it airs. Some shows I still like, but now it feels like I’m watching them when I’ve caught up on everything else – and DW is starting to go that way.

      No, but I have read a few of the novellas 🙂

  7. Part of the reason why the Daleks are used each series comes down to simple economics.

    The Daleks were invented by Terry Nation way back in 1962 and Nation was smart enough to retain ownership of the Daleks. When he passed away, his estate got the ownership rights. In order for the BBC to use the Daleks on the show, they have to cut the Nation estate a check. I think there’s also something in the contract that the Daleks have to be used annually or else they have to re-negotiate the contract. You may not be aware but in series one, there was a great deal of going back and forth on whether or not the Nation estate would agree for the Daleks to be used. To the point that Rob Shearman had to re-write Dalek multiple times because the Daleks were on again, off again for use in the show.

    Also, the Daleks equal ratings for the show. And the BBC wants ratings. 🙂

  8. I think series 9 has a bit of the earlier seasons’ feel of Doctor Who with the monster/adventure-a-week set up (well, every two weeks since most of series 9 has been set up in two-parters). And on retrospect, I think series 8 wasn’t as blatant with the overarching arcs compared to series 6 and 7 (ugh); or at least that’s how I remember it right now, haha. I had no problem with it in series 5 because it worked and it was something new and different (or at least more prominent) compared to RTD’s time but then Moffat got really blatant with his arcs that it became…tiring =/

    I’ve been enjoying this series so far, and Peter Capaldi’s run as the Doctor (I think we’ve talked about this before? Oops, sorry, I can’t remember, haha). He brings a lot to the table and to the Doctor, which helps when I’m trying to ignore Moffat’s writing (is it bad that I can point out now in an episode that’s written by him and someone else whenever a chunk of dialogue or a scene is written by him? *blushes*). And I’m certainly liking it more than series 6 and 7 (which is the lowest I’ve felt as a Whovian to date).

    Sorry for the passive negativity, lol, my issues with the show is stemming from the showrunner, really; I felt like we should’ve had a new showrunner when Peter Capaldi came in to change up the direction and approach of the show. But I’ve been feeling a bit more upbeat these past two series and enjoying the episodes more again, so that’s something 🙂

    1. Yes, at least it seems to be missing that overall arc that I didn’t like so much about the Matt Smith era.

      We quite possibly have! Haha, I can’t tell, impressive that you can 😛

      No problem, this is for expressing opinions after all 😉

  9. Yes, I miss the monsters every week – a new, cool, intriguing one! Those were the days. Also, I’m in total agreement with you on the Daleks business. Just stop it with the screechy “assimilate”. Or at least, there’s no need to involve the Daleks every other episode – it’s starting to feel that way. I still haven’t given up on the twelfth doctor yet. I’m not as excited about the whole franchise as I used to be (not since David Tennant, in fact) but am still holding on!

    1. Ooh yes, new monsters! Although I wouldn’t say no to some more weeping angels. I think my favourite episode with the Daleks was where they somehow managed to convince Winston Churchill and the British government that they were ‘helpers’, so they were serving tea etc in his War Room!

  10. I loooooved Doctor Who, but I think I’ve only seen 2 episodes with the twelfth Doctor…and I really don’t have much of a desire to watch much more than that. It’s really frustrating because there was a time when I binge watched every episode on Netflix just so I could be caught up and watch the episodes as they aired on TV. I’m kind of sad that I feel like I’ve given up on it, so I’ve been thinking I should try give the twelfth Doctor a second chance.

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