If you were to go off the scores on this website, you would assume the glory days of Doctor Who are long behind it. You couldn't be more wrong!
Depending on who you ask, most Whovians will agree (somewhat grudgingly) that NuWho took a dive in quality somewhere between series 6 and series 7. Somewhat grudgingly, I am one of those Whovians. Though it never fell into unwatchable territory, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were definitely the hardest years of the show to get through. Showrunner, Steven Moffat seemed to have an abandoned almost all sense of character development and genuine emotional resonance in exchange for convoluted plots, macguffins, and deus ex machinas. Once lovable companions, Amy and Rory turned into caricatures of themselves in their 5 episodes of screen time in series 7 and had to work every acting muscle in their body to move me with their tragic fate. The next companion, Clara, was even worse off. Her whole character hinged on a mystery about "The Impossible Girl" and the actress, Jenna Coleman never got a chance to shine. Hell, even Matt Smith's incarnation of The Doctor had begun to grate on me, becoming a caricature of someone who was already a caricature to begin with. The 50th anniversary special seemed to be starting to right the ship again, but as good an episode as it was, it was mainly just fan service and still a bit lacking in emotional resonance. Finally came Matt Smith's final episode, the Christmas-themed "Time Of The Doctor". As convoluted as any episode that served the central arc of Matt Smith's Doctor, it did manage to wrap things up without too many plot holes and brought some genuine emotion back to the show as we were treated to Matt Smith's touching farewell (raggedy man, goodbye) before he regenerated into Capladi's Twelfth Doctor (who didn't like the color of his kidneys).
That episode was Christmas, 2013. It wasn't until the end of August, 2014 that we'd see Capaldi again, but when we did, he made more of an impression than any Doctor on NuWho before him.
He's introduced into series 8 flirting with a female T-Rex. In his premiere episode, it's established that the faces of Eccleston, Tennant and Smith were appealing young faces meant to disguise the old, embittered soul hiding beneath. He now apparently trusts Clara enough to feel he doesn't have to hide who he really is. And just who this incarnation of The Doctor is makes up a large portion of Series 8's overarching narrative. This doctor doesn't like people for the most part. He's willing to get others killed in service to the greater good, he's crazy enough to stalk monsters that may not even exist and he has an almost militaristic approach to how he handles crises. The audience is left to wonder the same thing the Doctor asks Clara: is he a good man?
Hard hitting philosophical debates make up this season's dark heart and it's all the better for it. Also, Clara goes from being a plot device in series 7 with almost no distinguishing personality to being the emotional core of series 8. It's a huge testament to the cast and crew that Jenna Coleman gets saddled with a love interest that gets written out of the show by the end of the season and somehow their short-lived love doesn't feel like a plot-device and only strengthens her character that much more.
Before you go thinking Doctor Who has regressed into a sci-fi soap opera, lets talk about action and creativity. Here's a few phrases bandied about throughout series 8: Skin-balloon, Dalek Anti-bodies, Pefect camouflage, Fear is a superpower, The moon is an egg (your acceptance of that one will depend on how versed you are in the sciences of gravity and mass and how much you're willing to cede that we know next to nothing about all the different ways physics can be manipulated), We surrender!, I name you The Boneless!, Don't cremate me, Cyber-corpses. Plus, one huge reveal in the 2 part season finale about one of The Doctor's oldest enemies.
Following that up was Capaldi's first Christmas special "Last Christmas", the best of it's kind since Tennant's debut in "The Christmas Invasion", in which the show found a tone that perfectly fits the Twelfth Doctor like a pair of sonic sunglasses. Somewhere between darkly disturbing and heartwarmingly silly we find this tone. Thankfully, it carried over into series 9 and continues to add to the many reasons the show has never been better.
No longer completely dour and embittered, Capaldi's Doctor now has a reckless abandon that is exhilarating and frightening all at the same time. He shreds guitar and jokes around, but he'll also throw other people under the proverbial bus if it means saving Clara and if you threaten anyone the Doctor loves, he quickly reminds you why his enemies once called him The Oncoming Storm.
Mysteries that usually found their answer in some form of convoluted plot contrivance are now answered on a more personal level (see: the mystery of The Doctor's familiar face in Capladi's first episode that just got solved a few weeks ago with an absolutely beautiful answer that only strengthens who this version of The Doctor is inside).
Far from running out of creative steam, series 9 just delivered one of the greatest stories the show has ever produced in the form of 2 part adventure "The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived" which details the biggest mistake the Doctor has made in a very long time as well as the origins of a brand new recurring character played by Game of Thrones' own Maisie "Arya Stark" Williams. The creative energy on display in the best episodes of Series 8 is running rampant throughout every episode of Series 9. We're only halfway through this incredibly engaging season and we've had Handmines (hands with an eye in the palm, buried underground that grab you and pull you under), Frozen skies, The return of the Doctor's 2 worst enemies, The return of a deadly planet, Daleks by the truckload, Some actually scary "ghosts", genius use of paradoxes, and excellent non-violent solutions to impending doom. Also we deal with issues such as Clara's upcoming departure from the show as she gets as headstrong and reckless as the Doctor himself and the subtle, but ongoing mystery of the Doctor's Confession. Oh and we get what could be Doctor Who's first dick joke by the midway point of the season.
To sum it up: If you've dropped out of the show during or after Matt Smith's run because of convoluted plots and emotional/character negligence or because you were worried/have been told that Capaldi is a terrible Doctor and the show has gotten boring and preachy, you are missing out on what is becoming a renaissance for Doctor Who. A perfect combination of the early Moffat/Smith years in the form of some of the most adventurous sci-fi concepts ever conceived and the Davies/Tennant years in the form of the most emotionally grounded character development Doctor Who has ever seen. To top it all off, Moffat has brought the 2 part story model back with a vengeance in series 9, while reinventing almost everything a 2 part adventure can be and allowed the creativity a real chance to breathe. 10 years later, this show still meets and excedes expectations in the most unexpected ways, producing its strongest outing yet in the first half of series 9 with the promise of only getting better in the second half.
Whatever the reasons for the low scores on this site for the past 2 seasons (my guess is herd mentality combined with apathy. "Series 7 was a disappointment so I'll bet 8 and 9 are even worse" says one guy who doesn't bother to verify his claim. "Yea I'll bet you're right" said the majority of fair-weather fans were who also couldn't be bothered to verify the first guy's statement) I assure you they do not accurately depict the significant upswing in quality over the past 2 years. Two of the worst 2 parters the show has ever done "Aliens In London/World War Three" and "Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution Of The Daleks" are rated higher than the series 9 instant classic two parter "The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived". The outstanding premiere "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar" is rated the same as the Pilot episode from series 1, which was very lacking in depth, drama, spectacle and tone. None of these are lacking in said series 9 premiere.
DON'T LET THE SCORES FOOL YOU! Witness the Capaldi renaissance for yourself!
I did not like Capaldi's Doctor last year (though I loved Clara) but this year he has found himself. More precisely, Capaldi has found The Doctor. He is much more comfortable with the role and is reflecting more a mixture of prior Doctors but with a fresh approach. One can see, besides the clips of his predecessors, his being a continuation of all of the incarnations that preceded him.
While I still love Clara, I'm not altogether happy with her new gung-ho attitude - nor why the writers/Moffat are driving it. She was always capable (underrated in that regard in many reviews here) but she is more looking for trouble this year than just capably reacting to it. That has me concerned. Nevertheless, she remains one of my three favorite companions (Sarah Jane and Rose being the other two)
Honestly, I had stopped watching the it when Matt Smith came on but it's fine. This is a very unique show where everything is constantly changing including the actors and the tone. I understand that and it's what I love about it.
I'm back to watching it and Capaldi is simply AMAZING. He brings so much to the character and you can feel some nostalgia from the classic era as well. It's such a great feeling to fall back in love with a show.
I lost a bit of an interest when Matt Smith was on, I didnt think he was too good Doctor. But after Peter Capaldi was cast, and he became a great Doctor, I love the show again. Classic or new, no difference, it is all great, just some episodes are bit more silly than others but, well, thats how it is with all TV shows :)
The change is what keeps this show going, and they do so marvelously every few years.
Have enjoyed The Doctor for decades (used to rate it a 9.5), but lately, the stories have turned a bit ABC Family/USA'ish for our tastes. We don't watch Doctor Who for subtle lessons in morality or ethics. Yes - while those do play a role in any character, they shouldn't be the target subject. Hope they get off the "PC", "let's teach you to be a better person" train and get back to great story lines and pure entertainment.
Okay, I will be brief, the show seems to be planned to the milimetre, and seems to have great protagonism and amazing use of creativity combined with a sci-fi sense of action. The doctor has become the lead character for my cousin and my father. It is just so well designed... they NEVER run out of intriguing ideas and emotional storylines... simply grand. The doctors will change, but the charm for science action is untouchable...
Since the topic of these days seems to be Capaldi's reiteration of the Doctor, I wish to say this in my own terms. I do not compare the different Doctors or their actors because the show has stated on many occasions that the Doctor changes with each regeneration. That is what I believe some people have forgotten in their choosing over who's their favorite Doctor. I love David Tennant's version of the Doctor, but that does not mean that I don't care for the others or that I'm going to rant on them because I miss him. I do, but I'm not going to do it because that doesn't show any respect towards the new Doctor. The Doctor changes his looks and his personality; he changes his ALL. Nothing is the same from before. Now, with Capaldi's Doctor reiteration, I can understand that some people want a younger Doctor as they had it before. Yet, none of those who are complaining seem to understand that the Time Lords gave the Doctor (the 11th Doctor, or the 13th) NEW regenerations. That means he gets twelve new chances. So, it's like starting over again. He's older now, but then he'll get younger. At least that's what I hope the plan is. The show is superb, though I do feel as though they are dragging out the Clara arc a little bit too far. All would have been well, and calm, if they had ended it with the Doctor leaving to her to die peacefully of old age. Maybe the season this coming august will be her last. Other than that, I do wish they had kept the Master a male (even as a different man) instead of a female. If the Master can regenerate into a woman, why can't the Doctor? Though, I'm certain many people would be highly upset if the Doctor did indeed turn into a woman. I cannot help but wonder how Jack would react to that (I laugh at the thought).
Before russell t davies revamped dr who when it returned, the story was king because the fx departments could not every episode they seem to be trying out a new sonic screwdriver situation has now got to the same state that k-nine got, to lazy script writing .If the doctor has something to do dig out the sonic screwdriver and everything is solved.
When Matt Smith bravely stepped into David Tennants shoes the usual uproar ensued as heart broken whovians had to digest yet another stranger in their TARDIS... David was arguably the best Who of the new series, and a contender for top 3 of all time. I say that with extreme prejudice as David was this generations first real Who - and he was brilliant. The stories and the scripts - well, hmm, lets not go there. Just quietly, sometimes i wonder how different the show would have turned out if Chris Ecclestone got his way with Russel T Davies and made WHO less flash and more substance...
I digress, where we we? Oh, yeah, back to Matt Smith... eventually Matt become beloved to most, and he won over a younger audience with his charisma and sex appeal which was a god send to the show and its ratings. Matt was International and Universal in his appeal. He was warm, intelligent, deep and capable of touching your heart and ripping it out. The material he had to work with was disgraceful.
In the end his final appearances were heart wrenching as we were forced to say goodbye.
OH Heck, so now we get this old Scottish Doctor who is also charming and insecure. Its a new who, completely. On the exterior we have a flashy TARDIS and sort of a Steam Punk feel. The TARDIS is more machine than being now and the Doctor is more callous than he's ever been.
I'll admit it - i was one of those outraged fans who couldn't believe the Doctor was going to be played by an old dude who already played a part in a previous episode - it just seemed stupid to me.
But like most whovians, i wasn't going to not watch series 8. No, i was going to watch it and look for every error, every stupid mistake and seriously justify my position of Anti-Capaldi.
Here's the part where i back-flip. Not every episode has been great. The stories havent been that awesome. The TARDIS, well it looks like a spaceship now - i guess thats okay. Dammit though, Capaldi is a brilliant actor. He really has brought depth and soul to the show. Capaldi's cheeky impersonations of previous Doctors is endearing. Look out particularly for his Tom Baker impression in Mummy on The Orient Express as he discusses percentages with himself.
As mentioned earlier, Chris Ecclestone walked away from the series simply because he couldn't stand the complete dribble he had to spew - and after him it seemed to just escalate with each new Doctor - from Wibbly Wobbly to Timey Wimey and so on. While i love Doctor Who - the inane dialogue is grating a lot of the time. I think Moffatt can be credited with watering down the dribble to a tolerable level.
And i guess thats why im so pleasantly surprised this season. Capaldi and Coleman work wonderfully together and the show is finally adult and watchable.
For those of you still unconvinced, try just listening to an episode and i think you'll find it's wittier than its ever been and worthy of your time
Well, how did Danny Pink's descendant get to be tied to Clara's timeline, unless Clara's pregnant? Maybe. We could argue the whole "let's go back and fix the timeline" angle, and save Danny for real, but that leads nowhere.
I was hoping for a lengthier reunion with The Master, maybe he will return with a masculine form, and looking more Machiavellian, as he should! Slicked back black hair, and a goatee! I liked how the opening featured Clara's eyes, not 13's (yes, 13!).
The whole Cyberman history has been shattered completely, whatever happened to Mondas? Oh well, I like Capaldi's 13th Doctor (Yes! 13!). He has bits of Tom Baker, and even Colin Baker's arrogance (but not the smugness).
Can't wait til Christmas, to see what Father Christmas has in store for the Doctor! I wonder if Simon Pegg will cameo?
I dont normally join things like this or post things, but this has to be said. Im 39 and have been watching Dr Who my whole life and Capaldi feels life the first doctor of the new generation that is real.... hes odd, older, wiser and has very little time for ignorance. just as Doctor Who should be... great choice.
Oh, my. I used to LOVE the show. But then it came series 8.
For me, series 8 has been the worst series since New Who's debut in 2005, and Capaldi has been the worst Doctor. I'm not going to compare things now with CW, because I really don't think it should be done. I know NW is set as the continuation of CW, but people should understand it's not the same thing. It's a different show and it has different watchers (of course there are watchers that used to watch the classic series back in the day, but you know what I mean). So, yes, it makes more sense to compare 12th mainly with 9th, 10th and 11th, than with 1st to 8th Doctors. And to compare series 8 of NW with series 1 to 7 than with CW.
Anyway, what I mean is that, IMO (of course), series 8 has been too boring and it doesn't fit the show (NW) and, Capaldi doesn't fit as the Doctor after Eccleston, Tennant and Smith. They're making a great and fun show a terribly dull one and, using the "we're trying to make it a bit more like classic old Doctor Who" excuse isn't working. Because, as I said, this is not the classic old Doctor Who. This is the new one. The one that won a lot of fans worldwide, that is (or was) followed by people that want to have a lot of fun, that don't want to watch a grumpy and boring guy that lacks charisma wonder arround.
This is a show about humanity, the universe, a madman in a box and a machine that goes "ding!"
This show makes me laugh and cry, it has me on the edge of my seat, it makes me ponder about the wonders of the universe, it makes me think. A lot of people think it is a children's show and therefore don't watch it. That says more about them than about children. First of all, there are very few occasions (if any) while watching when it's evident that it is a chidlren's show. Second of all, this show takes chidlren seriously. It has complicated plot, characters in all kind of shades of gray, it deals with death and loss and evil.
The first few episodes of the new Who are really weird if you didn't use to watch the Classic series. But give it time. Dr. Who was the show that truly opened the world of sci-fi to me.
On it's eight (new) season now, this show is still good. Of course, not all episodes are fantastic. But one of the latest ones, "Kill the moon", had me simultaneously heart-broken and hopeful. I am not afraid to admit I shed a few tears. It's what this show does.
Get in the TARDIS (It's bigger on the inside) and prepare for the journey of your lifetime!
The new Doctor Who series is so .... long winded. TV writers, in fact all writers, are supposed to pay attention to the pace of a script. Doctor Who Series 8 has had some of the longest scenes I have ever seen and in most cases those scenes do not help to progress the story. PS - Peter Capaldi is NOT Doctor Who material. American audiences are loosing interest. It's time for a new Doctor Who and a new show runner - and not a show runner who has been in the business for twenty years.
Watched Doctor Who since I visited England in 1969 and was treated to three episodes of the then Doctor. In the middle of a story and although I love science fiction, it made no sense at the time. Fast forward two months after I returned home and the local PBS station started showing a "new" show Doctor Who. Fell in love. Doctors reincarnate (come and go for non fans) and I have loved every one at one point or another. It is the enduring quality of the show that makes me tune in with no preconceived expectations
Awesome this new Doctor! He is kind of confused all the time, at the same time he is cryptic and reflexive. Totally different from the previous Doctor, which is my favorite so far. Matt Smith's Doctor was kind of childish, Capaldi's Doctor is too old. I think it's Clara that will define this new Doctor.
I did not enjoy The new Dr. Who at all. Too old, not funny, does NOT look the part. The writing was OK He is a good actor, I have seen him before BUT NOT as Dr. Who. Matt Smith, Fantastic!!!!! David Tenant, Fantastic!!!! Forgot his name even the Dr. before David was great. Did I miss where Amy & Rory went? I LOVE River Song, And Grace so good!! Martha Jones, Great, Yes Clara is GREAT also. It's hard to accept new actors. You did well up to now. This new Dr. has to go!!!! Sorry Wrong choice. I want one of the others I mentioned BACK, Especially Matt & David
T'was a boring Sunday afternoon, and there was nothing to watch. I accidentally turn the channel to a starting episode of and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. It seems like the Show is about a scientist who find relics and often time-travels. I'm not really into nerdy-sci fi per se. but it was quite interesting to watch, so I can't complain.
Never watched the classic Doctor Who series. Started off with the 2005 reboot. The stories were quite good, the acting was "okay" to say the least. Season 1,2,3 and 4 under Russell were pretty good. Was starting to like the show. And then Steven Moffat happened. With episodes like Blink and the silence in the library, I thought season 5 would exceed my expectations. But it was one of the most disappointing seasons of Doctor Who.
I am not saying Russell's stories didn't have plot holes, but they were not as major as the ones Moffat's stories have. The story arch(s) of season 5-7 are really messed and extremely inconsistent. Moffat tries to be smart and ends up being the exact opposite. Russell didn't try to be smart with "Time travelling paradoxes' for the most part. He tried to be smart writer and was pretty good at that. Moffat's time paradoxes are extremely rubbish. And people who think Moffat uses any science whatsoever are really fooling themselves.
Season 1,2,3 and 4 finales felt like finales. The scale was big. There were real things in jeopardy. Real consequences after it. And season 4 finale was the best Doctor who finale. All the important characters from the 4 seasons teamed up to eliminate the big threat. Season 5-7 finales were just normal "Moffat" episodes where major plot points are swept under the rug and he tries to sound smart while doing it.
The end of time (part 1 and 2) were brilliant. It tied up so many things in such a good way. The Doctor's farewell was probably one of the most emotionally intense scene I've seen on Doctor Who. The essence of the show died with David Tennant's Doctor.
Ever since 2005, Doctor Who has been the best thing on television by some considerable distance. It can be easily considered to be one of the most imaginative, multi-faceted, clever, brilliantly acted, emotionally engaging and unique shows ever made. Although I personally feel the greatest episodes and arcs reside in the near flawless Series 5 and 6 (under the stewardship of the vastly under-appreciated storyelling genius that is Steven Moffat), every series of this wonderful show brings something brilliant to the table.
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