I’m at a bit of a crossroad. I love Doctor Who, but I’m seriously considering not watching until he regenerates. I know, I know, it seems extreme.
I don’t hate Matt Smith. He’s taken a while to grow on me; I have come to enjoy him as The Doctor, not as much as David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, but I do like him. He is a great Doctor with an incredible ability to evoke every feeling possible from you when watching him (The Doctor’s Wife and Vincent and the Doctor). Lately, the only feeling that he’s bringing about is boredom. I am ready for him to move on and a new Doctor to take shape (cough, cough… Tilda Swinton).
I can’t blame him for my current feeling towards the series. Some of the blame lies on Steven Moffat and the other writers for “fumbling the ball,” lately. I’m quite partial to the Russell T. Davies/early Moffat days (not just because Tennant was The Doctor for the majority of them), and I’m really missing that era. I feel the writing was a little more creative and enthralling, then. I’m not saying Moffat has become a horrible writer or anything; he has written some of the best episodes of Who, ever (Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead). I just think he hasn’t been putting a lot of effort into writing DW. At times, it feels like he’s throwing darts at a dartboard of ideas and going with whatever he hits.
Take for example, The Bells of Saint John, the most recent episode. One might figure that for a mid-season premiere and after a seemingly long break, this episode would be more of a nail-biter, but it ended up being a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. This episode felt more like what the series premiere of a US version of Doctor Who would be rather than the actual British series. [If a US version ever happened, I would rain hellfire down on whatever studio was producing it. You can be damn sure of that. And I wouldn’t be the only one.]
A non-threatening object is killing people (sort of) when they’re not expecting it, because they don’t expect it to be dangerous. Sound familiar?
No one expects a statue to zap them back into the past to die a slow, normal death but if you take your eyes off of them… Bam! Blink, and you’re dead.
No one expects to be downloaded into a database of souls just by clicking on a mysterious wifi source but once you do… Bam! Click, and you’re dead.
See the similarities? Like I said, a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. And I think the writers knew the episode was gonna be like this, and that it wasn’t going to as good as Blink, so they threw in a scene of The Doctor riding a motorcycle up the side of a building. What?! Like I said, feels more like a US version premiere. They also had him use the TARDIS to pop inside a plane that’s about to crash in order to stop it from crashing–that’s something I could see The Doctor doing, not hot-wheelin’ up a building. It’s just too “action star” for The Doctor. All flash and no substance.
I think the relationship between The Doctor and his new companion, Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman), works really well. They do have an amazing chemistry, kinda like a mix of Doctor/Donna banter and sass with a bit of Doctor/Rose flirtation. I’m hoping this will develop more as the series goes along, and she’s not killed off again.
My main concern is about the writing. Will it get better as the season continues? Will the stories envelop me more like they did in seasons 1-4? Will they make me want Matt Smith to stay for another season? As of now, I’m ready for him to leave after the 50th anniversary special. I mean, he could regenerate in the next episode, and I wouldn’t mind.
And while we’re on the subject… Given that I’m iffy now about the current state of the writing for the series, I’m a tad bit fearful for the anniversary special. I really hope that Moffat doesn’t screw it up and does something like remake The Three Doctors. I’m ecstatic that David Tennant and Billie Piper are returning, though I don’t know in what capacity. My fingers are still crossed for Christopher Eccleston and John Barrowman returning as well, but only time will tell. I don’t think I will, but there’s always a chance that if Moffat screws this up, I might stop watching. I think a successful anniversary special is what I need to restore my faith in Moffat and maybe even help me to like the idea of Matt Smith staying on for another season.
But for the time being, my dilemma is should I keep watching and hope that I’m not disappointed or take a break until the anniversary special and save myself the anguish? What to do, what to do?