Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dr Who rant.

A few years ago, I was introduced to the (new) Dr Who series... and I loved it. So, since we live in Germany and have no TV, we bought us some DVDs.

Season after season, we'd wait for the last one to appear on DVD, and as soon as we had it, there were nights when we went to bed far later than we should, because obviously we had to watch just one more episode. It was wonderful, and fun, and lovely.

And then... Russell T. Davies left the show. (That was 2009.) And then David Tennant left the show. (That was 2010.) The episodes with Matt Smith never rang the same with me as the earlier ones had done, and more and more we both lost that compulsion to spend half of the night watching the DVDs when they arrived. In fact, it took us ages to watch the last DVD season, and the highly praised "Day of the Doctor" was, well, sort of okay for me. I enjoyed seeing Rose again, and the other Doctors, but the story itself was more like meh for me.

A little while ago, we finally bought the Christmas special shown in 2013. (Not part of the DVD box, as usual - so we now have most of the specials twice. Gah.) We watched it the day before yesterday, and oh. Oh. (Might be mild spoilers ahead.)

It was easily the worst Dr Who episode that I have ever seen. It was so bad that I was thinking of deliberately trying to fall asleep after the first twenty minutes. It was so bad that I thought about getting up off the couch and doing some mindless computer gaming or read a book instead. It was so bad that I thought after half an hour "oh my goodness, another half hour left still". There was no plot, just weirdly sequenced apparitions of monsters. There was the Doctor betraying his companion (just to save her, of course). There were lots of explosions, plus there was some weird sexual innuendo at some point (wasn't that supposed to be a children's show, too?) and overall it seemed to me as if someone had just taken every monster from the last few seasons, put them into a box, and after shaking said box poured them out.

Ah, and the monsters... there were, once, rules about the monsters. Such as the Weeping Angels, who cannot move when someone looks at them. Including other Weeping Angels. There was that brilliant, brilliant end of the monster confrontation in the episode where the Angels stole the Blue Box.

Those rules got changed. Or nixed. Or now, they get ignored again and again - whatever of these three choices, it makes the angels less believable for me, and less scary, and less interesting. Similar stuff happened with a lot of other things, and other monsters. Again and again.

I'd like to have proper plots again. And monsters that follow the rules once made for them. More content, and fewer explosions to mask the lack thereof. Small but important things taken care of, not the whole universe, or whole planets, or whatever stuck here or there into another dimension because bigger is always better. It isn't. (That's like trying to mask bad quality with more volume. Not a good idea.)

So now we're thinking about whether to go on watching... or whether to stop. Capaldi probably deserves a chance, but if the show is written in the same style as it was these last seasons, I'm not very optimistic about how that Doctor will develop. Maybe we'll be able to borrow the next season from one of our friends instead of buying it - this time, I would prefer to be sure that I will like what I get before supporting the series with another DVD sale. And that, my friends, is sad.


Harma said...

I did like the timeless air he somehow seemed to show. I could believe that this guy was over a thousand years old, somehow.The new series with Peter Capaldi was a disappointment though. Not the age or the new character, but the story lines. They've gone more "fantasy", with Robin Hood and next Christmas show even Santa! I'm willing to give it a fair chance, but the story lines are week, so borrow the next series.

Harma said...

My first sentence seems to have disappeared. I did like Matt Smith.

Cathy Raymond said...

My husband and I still miss Christopher Eccleston; he was, in my opinion, the finest Doctor Who ever.