Why it’s ‘Doctor Who’, not ‘Nurse What’… Defending Doctor Who…

Doctor Who 8Doctor Who is getting another face. Which means that there are plans for at least another three years of Doctor Who. Two things to celebrate as a Doctor Who fan. Doctor Who is going to be played by a woman for the first time in over 50 years.

The scale of reaction to this last detail has ranged from celebratory, indifference, a reason to recycle jokes about women (that should be as dead as Adric on a spaceship), and the end of the f***ing world. It’s these last two disappointing reactions that have disappointed me so much I want to address them in this post.

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Doctor Who Season 9… (proof that the Doctor hated Adric too)

Doctor Who 8‘Doctor Who’ should be my go to show, I’ve loved it from my days of watching the original series and for a good few years into the new series, but since mid-way through Matt Smith’s run I began to lose interest. Peter Capaldi tempted me back in, and despite his Doctor I haven’t been fully invested in it since. Did season 9 change that? It came close. So close. The first two stories were pretty good, and I liked the two part format giving us more time in each story. I shared my thoughts on them through this blog. I planned to do the same with the others. But I didn’t like them. Not only did I not want to invest my time in watching them, I didn’t want to use more of that time to write about them, and who enjoys bashing a show they once loved?!

Spoilers ahoy.

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Doctor Who The Girl Who Died & The Woman Who Lived

Doctor Who 8

Doctor Who?
At the heart of Doctor Who is mystery…
Advanced aliens prey upon Vikings… and then 17th Century England… With only the Doctor to figure out how to save them…

Doctor Hmm…
When Doctor Who has a stumble…
I don’t think there’s a season of Doctor Who that doesn’t have one or more clunkers in it, so it was inevitable that we would get one in season 9. This is the first, and hopefully last, clunker of Season 9. Little about either episode worked for me. Modern Doctor Who has proven it can package humour, action, intelligence and horror into stories of substance and merit—just why we have to have ‘comedy’ episodes like this, I don’t know. Yeah, it’s nice to have a breather now and again, but this was just silly, and for me this was not even enjoyable silly, and not even funny comedy. One liners were belted out like a desperate comic in front of a tough crowd, and none of them hit the mark for me.

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Doctor Who Under the Lake & Before the Flood

Doctor Who 8Doctor Who?
At the heart of Doctor Who is mystery…
An underwater base haunted by murderous ghosts.

Doctor Eek!
Doctor Who; scaring kid’s since 1963…
This pair of episodes had a nice bit of tension going on. The base was suitably moody and claustrophobic, and although some of this was lost in the Scottish Russia it was at least bleak and isolated. But the fear came from the ghosts themselves. Hollow-eyed creatures are right up my alley, having my own in ‘The Darkwood Mysteries: The Conspiracy of Shadow & Fire’, and the silent whispering was a nice touch. The scene where Cass is walking through the corridor deaf to the sound of a ghost following her and dragging an axe was particularly creepy.

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Doctor Who The Witch’s Familiar

Doctor Who 8Doctor Who?
At the heart of Doctor Who is mystery…
Did Clara and Missy die? (again!) Did the TARDIS get destroyed? Will the Doctor be able to get him out of his Dalek pickle? Will episode 2 be as good as episode 1? These were the big questions that the cliffhanger offered us last episode…

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Doctor Who The Magician’s Apprentice…

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Doctor Who?
At the heart of Doctor Who is mystery…
Suspended airplanes and the Doctor encountering a young Davros… Two strong hooks, offering instant action and a moral dilemma in its opening. Good start…

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