(*WARNING! BIG OL’ SPOILS COMING RIGHT UP FOR THIS SERIES OF DOCTOR WHO AND PROBABLY OTHERS TOO*)
I like the idea of ‘Doctor Who‘, but in recent years I’ve really started to just not actually like this show all that much at all. It’s actually more of a pain to have to watch it every week if I’m being honest. It’s really gone downhill since David Tennant left and hasn’t really shown very many signs of improving very much.
I will say that I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he’s pretty good. He’s older and grumpy and fed up with having to save everyone all the time. But deep down he’s still a real good dude and helping people is what he does, he just does it with a bit more anger and a few less morals now. New companion Bill Potts is okay. She’s got some good moments, but still falls into the companion trap of being quite annoying sometimes. Michelle Gomez as Missy is not bad. She’s kind of interesting sometimes, though can also get a bit pantomime and annoying sometimes. Even some of the stories are kind of okay sometimes, but mostly I dislike them all.
And here’s why. This show never manages to stick with any decisions. The Doctor going blind. Bill being dead/a Cyberman. Missy being a good guy. The Doctor regenerating. All great ideas that they had to play with, but all squandered and not capitalised on. But those aside for the moment, this sort of mentality is also what ruins the tension and drama of any and every episode! Every single time things are looking real dark and bleak and you wonder how the heroes will survive, suddenly the Doctor reveals he knew everything all along and it was all part of the plan! Everything is fine because he stopped the threat ages ago. Or he manages to talk someone out of doing something through just blabbering on about a whole lot of nothing. It’s just not exciting!
The Doctor being revealed to be blind was cool. How would he save the world? Oh wait, he’s got some magic glasses and then he can see again almost immediately. John Simm’s Master is back? Great! Oh wait, he’s almost immediately beaten and then just wanders about quipping all the time. Even a great moment between the Master and Missy is ruined by being rushed through way too quickly. Bill as a Cyberman? How will they get out of this one? Oh wait, her weird water girlfriend can just magically save her and they fly off together… Yawn. The trailers even teased a regeneration! And it appeared to be happening halfway through the series, but then it didn’t. Look, I know they would never do that, but how awesome would it be?! Even in the final episode, the Doctor should have died way before the end, but he definitely should have regenerated at the end! But then he didn’t…
Look, there’s still some good/okay stuff in there. Some of the new monsters are kind of interesting, as are some of the stories and dynamics, but it all just gets ruined by Moffat’s (I’m blaming him, he ruined ‘Sherlock‘ too) poor storytelling and characters. It’s no fun for us to just get development of the Doctor, a little bit of story for the companion and then nobody else. Who cares about Matt Lucas’s Nardole?! And revealing Missy was in the prison and then just not really doing anything with it is a real letdown.
I don’t want to be watching an hour long episode (or even two or three parters!) knowing that at the end the Doctor is going to solve it all and wrap it up with a neat bow in five seconds because he knows everything and sorted it out ages ago. It’s no good. This series was just disappointment after disappointment. I hope that with a new Doctor and a new showrunner after Christmas will give new life (no pun intended) to this show. Having David Bradley appear as the First Doctor is kind of interesting leading into the Christmas special, but I have very little hope it’ll be all that good.
JACK’S SCORE: 2/5