Reviews Comments: And it was all going so well.
And it was all going so well.
I love Doctor Who. That is, the 1963-1989 series. Despite its age (dodgy special effects, occasional cheesiness, hammy acting) it was entertaining and was written for intelligent audiences and respected those audiences. My favourite Doctor was always Sylvester Mc Coy (please don't lynch me), playing the Doctor as an enigmatic schemer with a dark past. In close second came Jon Pertwee, followed by Patrick Troughton and then Tom Baker. In fact, every actor to play the Doctor has brought their own charm to the role and pulled it off well. Classic television stories such as "The Sea Devils", "The Curse of Fenric", "Earthshock" and "The Invasion" rank up as some of my all-time favourite television episodes/serials. Now things have changed. Now we have to deal with the utter garbage the Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat eras of the new series have provided. I was just as excited as the next fan when I heard the show was getting a modern reboot. RTD did a good job on the first two seasons (with exceptions being the episodes "Love and Monsters" and "Fear Her"). After that, something went awry. Season Three was mostly rubbish, with daft plots ("The Lazarus Experiment", anyone?) and plentiful Deux Ex Machina ("Last of the Time Lords", the vortex manipulator/sonic screwdriver dramatic tension-killing combo, etc.). Season Four was even more rubbish, with Donna being the unfunny comedic sidekick and the episodes somehow managing to be even more daft than the last season ("Partners in Crime", I'm looking your way), culminating in the disappointing "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" two parter where the only thing Davros and the Daleks do is sit around and talk a lot ("I WILL! DESTROY! REALITY! AND! YELL! A! LOT!") Steven Moffat's continued the trend. Matt Smith may make a good Doctor, but the overall tone and feel of the show has changed so drastically it's now less like Doctor Who and more a dumbed-down action adventure series that tries to be clever, with daft and convoluted plots such as in the episode "The Pandorica Opens" (Rory's back? But, wasn't he like, erased from existence?) River Song is annoying, it's obvious Moffat's pulling ideas out of his ass whilst alluding to a planned arc (that he obviously doesn't have) while slipping in snooze-fests such as "The Beast Below" and "Vampires in Venice". I've lost faith.
Okay, this probably isn't justified, but I hope it's okay if I quickly give you a tap to check for nostalgia goggles? Is the 1963-1989 series being conceived to teach basic science and history to children (and later dropping the history and science to just being horror for children) what you mean by an intelligent audience and is it possible you've just grown up since and demand more from something which doesn't directly connect to your younger years? On the other hand, the things you single out as being stupid, are things which are admittedly either stupid or meant to be very light fun for the younger end of the target demographic, so I don't think there's much reason to doubt your observational skills. Despite being a fan I find myself agreeing with almost all your criticisms
comment #9125 Tomwithnonumbers 6th Aug 11
I know some of what I say is a bit harsh, but you know what the funny thing is? The classic series was before my time. I discovered it when I was only about six years old, picking up a VHS copy of the Patrick Troughton story "The Invasion" from a local library. And from then on, I would watch as much Doctor Who on VHS as I possibly could, rewatching some of my favorites over and over again (such as "Day of the Daleks" and "Inferno"). So, I liked the new series at first: series one and two were alright, but something went wrong after "Doomsday". I'm not nostalgic, but rewatching all the classics on DVD and then watching the new series, you begin to notice things. The new series seems to get increasingly more stupid after series two. It begins to lose its connections with the old series, relying on daft plotting and bad guys that do not threaten the Doctor whatsoever, as all he needs to do is whip out his sonic screwdriver and wave it around a bit, thus solving all his problems. The old series might have done this a few times, but often the Doctor would save the day by the skin of his teeth (in "Spearhead from Space", the Doctor only just manages to save Britain from the Autons) and it gave the threats more credibility. In the new series, the Doctor prances around hopeless villains and defeats them with lazy writing.
comment #9152 QuantumSheep 7th Aug 11
Give Moffat time. RTD wasn't bad, but at points ridiculously campy. Moffat does scary, I mean psychological horror, better than any other writer, book, play, tv or film, aside from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Tennant's Doctor was brilliant, cheery and quirkily charming on the outside, but this was soon shown to be a mere veneer for the sheer anger and PTSD post time war, witness 'The Waters of Mars'. He also showed shades of a grand manipulator and darkness that was unnerving, and in this respect he has been compared to Mc Coy. Matt Smith's Doctor is one who is very definitely defining himself as a mix of 4 and 10, with cheerful craziness and outright obliviousness added to the ruthlessness and rage that have defined the post time war regenerations.
comment #9406 Theenmityofages1994 22nd Aug 11
"That he obviously doesn't have"? What makes you think that?
comment #11556 Jobbeybob 26th Nov 11
The fact that he 'supposedly' abandoned it for Series 7 in favor of random, strung-together adventures. If it's so easily tossed out, it's pretty clear he doesn't have one.
comment #17475 JamesPicard 29th Dec 12
"Tossed out?" What exactly do you mean by "tossed out"? And also, the Sonic Screwdriver is NOT the Deus ex Machina that people are making it out to be. The Doctor performs MINOR actions with it, it has some pretty clear limits. Plus, he uses his head to win, never just the sonic, mate. The sonic is never used as an all problem solving robot, something I think that you have been blinded to, among other things. Also, Davros can't really do much BESIDES sit around due to him having only his upper body minus one arm left. Also, "dumbed down action adventure series?" How the HELL is this series DUMB? It is very intelligent, and there are many things in it that people may be unable to grasp, unless they examine it properly. For example, with Rory's existence, the Rory that was present for most of that episode was an Auton duplicate(remember the Auton?They were in Classic Who too) formed from memories from Amy Pond's house by The Alliance of all of The Doctor's villains, for a reason I will leave unspoiled. Some episodes weren't fine for you? Fine. But give the rest a chance. How much of New Who have you watched, exactly? Because I think that you need to watch through all of these episodes before you make up your mind.
comment #21107 MHMhasf1998 13th Sep 13
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