Towards the end of Matt Smith’s run as the 11th Doctor and throughout Peter Capaldi’s run as the 12th Doctor there has been something nagging at me I really couldn’t quite put my finger on what was bothering me, that is until the series 9 premiere.
Before I go on I must let you know I’m rather new to Who, as in relatively new since the show has been on for 50+ years. I didn’t start watching until Matt Smith came on board, so my first interaction with the Doctor was 11 and my first companion was Amy. Now as many of you know, the running gag among Whovians is that your first Doctor and Companion is always your favorite and really I’m no different. 11, Amy, Rory, and River are all my favorite and those episodes I truly love and this isn’t just because they were my first.
Like any Whovian I just didn’t jump on and continue from there, I took full advantage of Netflix and Amazon Prim and binged watched the hell out of what I had missed. It was through this binge watching as well as the Series 9 premier that I figured out what was bothering me with the last season and a half of Who.
When the BBC brought back Doctor Who it evolved the series. It had a bigger budget, better writers, and was more accessible. Also what was nice about the new Doctor Who was that it was a bit of a soft reboot for the series. It recognized and celebrated the past but made it’s own way through the mythology.
So for the 50th Anniversary special The Day of The Doctor show runner Steven Moffat wanted to throw in some nods to the 50 years of Doctor Who. This was fun for the special, it brought back U.N.I.T and other call backs to the previous Doctor Who Series, including the short that showed the 8th Doctor regenerating into the War Doctor.
Like I said these were nice call backs to the original series but Who had evolved into something new. Doctor Who was more of an adventure/Sci-Fi show than it had ever been, but at the end of Series 8 and now with the premiere of Series 9 it feels like the show is taking a step backwards in trying to be like the previous Doctor Who series.
In Saturday’s premiere episode U.N.I.T just seemed to be tacked on to only serve as unnecessary plot fowarding. If Missy wanted to get Clara’s help why stop all the planes and get U.N.I.T involved, it seemed like it was just tacked on there to pad the run time. Seriously, nothing U.N.I.T did in that episode was relevant at all.
Overall I just don’t like the idea of the Doctor working with any government agency, it just doesn’t seem to fit the character. The entire run of 9, and the latter (post Tourchwood) 10, and all of 11 were some of the best episodes. The Doctor along with his companion were off on adventure and only briefly working with others to help save a planet, person, galaxy, or the entire universe.
The last season, for myself at least, has felt very disjointed from what has been set up since 9 appeared on the scene. All of this call back to the previous Doctor Who feels to me that Moffat has finally run out of ideas and is trying to use nostalgia to hide it. Last series was a bore and pretty unforgettable. Honestly the only highlights that come to mind are the Christmas episode and series finale, oh and the dreadful Danny Pink. I don’t know if it was the actor or the way he was written, but dear (time)lord (heh) he was terrible and I was glad when they killed him off.
Plenty of fans have felt Moffat should step down as the show runner and pass the reigns off to someone else. I’m still on the fence about this but last series has been least favorite since the show came back, which is sad because I really like Capaldi in the role of the Doctor, so before I grab my torch and pitch fork and join the rest I’ll give Moffat this season to turn things around.
So there it is dear reader, some of my complaints over the state of Doctor Who. To me the series seems to be taking a step backwards. How did you feel about last series and the Series 9 premiere? Let us know in the comments below.