Topic: The new Doctor Who
I’ve been trying to give this a chance; but we’re now six episodes in, and I’m just not into it. I also find it odd how much praise the new episodes are receiving, and even the ratings are good. I’m a bit perplexed by it. The rest of the post will contain spoilers if you haven’t yet seen the episodes.
If I had to sum up the reason I’m not enjoying it, I would say the show has now become more drama than a fantasy sci-fi adventure. Whittaker is not the problem; I think she could be a fine Doctor. However, she’s not being given the material to work with. In fact, my sense of the stories so far is that Whittaker’s Doctor is delegating out tasks to the point that she’s almost irrelevant. I’ll put it this way - I don’t watch a James Bond movie to see him ask what everybody else thinks they should do.
Really, I’ve begun to wonder if the Doctor is now actually the surrogate voice of showrunner Chris Chibnall - a showrunner in over his head asking everyone else what they think the production should do. Just look at the episodes so far and how bereft of imagination they are.
The first episode felt like and looked like a 1990’s direct to video low budget sci-fi movie. Alien hunter stalks the city in a sports hunt for humans. Then he pulls off the helmet. Tooth head!
The second episode is what’s left of a racing contest on a planet of ingenious traps like flying bed sheets and rejected sports gear robots from Sliders “Rules of the Game”.
Rosa was an exception and was done pretty well even though the villain was underutilized. But again, look at the grand ending. The Doctor tells the others how Rosa’s mark on history will last forever, and she flings open the door to show them. Do we see the flagship of the Earth Fleet named Rosa Parks? Maybe the planet Rosa inhabited by people who uphold the ideals of civil rights? No. We see a rock. I felt like that kid in the Charlie Brown Halloween special.
Then there’s the giant spider episode with Donald Trump. We can forget for a minute that this story is just another tired Trump bashing exercise; but the spiders aren’t even as good as those in “Eight Legged Freaks” with Kari Wuhrer. What’s the big resolution? The big spider grows too large and suffocates under its own weight. Nobody did anything to make it happen; it just happened.
Then we get to the spaceship adventure, and who’s the threat of the week? It’s Stitch from Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch”! And I don’t mean as a metaphor; I mean literally. Disney could probably win a copyright infringement lawsuit against the BBC.
The most recent episode - didn’t even watch it. Not sure I will.
Looking back at Doctor Who since it returned under Russell Davies, the show hasn’t always had the big budget or the best actors; but it always had imagination. Whether it be Cat people, carnivorous shadows or that big ole face in a jar, it was there. An adventure. A spectacle. There was always a plot thread - a big epic story that connected the entire season whether it was obvious or not. Halfway through Chibnall’s first season, and I’m not seeing it. It’s all gone.
I don’t know. I guess I’m posting this just to see if Ive lost my mind. Everyone I see seems so into it and loving it. I don’t get it. Is it because the Doctor is a woman for the first time? Are people afraid to say it’s bad for fear of diminishing that? If so, that may be the one genius thing Chibnall has done in his Doctor Who run - he hid his inability behind a social agenda.