Monday, August 25, 2014

Doctor Who Cares Anyway!


Pardon me while I rant a bit.

I had hopes that the new Doctor Who as portrayed by Peter Capaldi (visually an excellent choice) would be a welcome break from the overly exuberant hijinks of the last several years, a return to a more episodic more sedate style of storytelling with a more sober and resolute Doctor.

After one overheated episode I fear for the worst. There's entirely too much navel gazing in these stories, too much internal reference leaving the casual watcher a bit numb. The sentimentality drips off the screen in cloying pools as we get yet one more farewell sequence (how many did we get last season...three, four, seven?) . It makes me miss the days when episodes were distinctive and one had little to do with another. It makes me miss the days when despite the show being for kiddies it featured adults behaving more or less like adults.

As the back story of the Doctor yarns has accumulated and acuumulated, the attic of the TARDIS is getting positively cluttered. With the promise of a whole new regeneration cycle, I hoped (in vain I guess) that we were starting afresh with new story lines and a more open playing field free of the cumbersome history with which the Doctor Who series has become overloaded. I'd love to see a season free of Cybermen and Daleks, though the latter might be tough to pull off.

I'd like to see some fresh new monsters perhaps, or other types of mysteries. Let's have the Doctor deal with something other than his own convoluted history. Let the soap operaitcs recede behind the adventures for a while and gives us all a breather.

There's still a lot to see this season, and I'm judging on precious little evidence, but right this minute it feels like something of a missed opportunity.

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8 comments:

  1. You know, Rip, seeing that cover, I'm struck by how similar Peter Capaldi's Doctor is to Peter Cushing's. They even have the same initials. If Capaldi had a moustache, they'd almost look like twins.

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    1. If Capaldi can bring any of the gravity of a Peter Cushing to the role I'll be pleased.

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  2. Capaldi has constantly mentioned Jon Pertwee as being "his" Doctor when he began watching the show as a kid, and wanting to bring elements of that incarnation into his character.
    I'm willing to give it a couple of eps to see if things shake out.
    For the record, I hated the Matt Smith era...

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    1. I hope that's right. It's going to take a few episodes and I hear it gets better, but that debut had too much of what I've grown very weary of.

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  3. I didn't care a lot for the Matt Smith era or really much of Tennant's either. There were some good episodes within them, but generally speaking. I don't blame them as much as the writing or direction. But I really felt like the stories were aimed for the younger wteen audience.

    The longer story arcs didn't work for me, and I longed for just an episode self-contained, like the old days, where you didn't need a lot of knowledge about continuity or whatever. For me Smith's era started to get more interesting with the addition of the companion Clara. I much preferred her over Amy. I too was hoping for a change away from some of the manic/silly episodes (granted there's some of that in the classic stuff too). Since Moffat also writes Sherlock, a detective episode might be nice, or something along those lines. The seasons is just starting, so we'll see what happens.

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    1. Smith could be fun, and the story lines at first were okay, but then they kept spinning back into them, adding layers of complication. The series became more about the companions than about the places they went. Clara is better, but only just. Some of the things in the newest episode about her personality make me dread what's coming. Clara always seemed very capable and sadly she seemed a bit less so in this one.

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  4. These days Moffat seems to give Sherlock 100% and Doctor Who the minimum amount of effort to get a passing grade.

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    1. The difference might be Mark Gattis, who partners with Moffat on Sherlock and plays Mycroft. He was also the writer on An Adventure in Time and Space which I praised in a another review just above this one.

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