Saturday, 13 September 2014

doctor who: for better or for worse?

Like my parents before me, I've grown up watching Doctor Who and have cancelled plans just so I can watch it live on a Saturday night. I've been a faithful fan since 'Rose' in 2005, but lately I've began to question why I'm really watching it. Once an episode is finished, I really have to pause and think - did I actually enjoy that? More than once the answer has been 'No. And I'm not quite sure what actually happened either.'

It's like we're in a dead end marriage that both sides aren't getting any excitement or fulfillment from anymore, but we're both too scared to face reality and move on.

I had mixed feelings when Peter Capaldi was announced as the doctor, and not for the same reasons that I saw circulating on twitter, many of which included choice phrases such as 'too old' 'grey hair' and 'not as hot as matt smith :('. I have an immense amount of respect for Capaldi as an actor (and also have a little place in my heart for him and his grey hair - don't tell anybody).

I was just worried that even he would not be able to salvage the show that was once my favourite, and I was disappointed that someone with such good potential was joining at a time when I was so fully out of love with the writers.

(Sorry, what the hell is going on here?)

Now we're about to be 4 episodes in, and I feel like my fears are being confirmed. The premiere opened with a T-Rex plundering around Victorian London (Yes, Dinosaurs, Didn't they already do that last season?) a fairly pitiful attempt at distracting the audience from the misguided storyline. Seriously, that episode was an hour and a half long and I didn't see much being resolved.

Then we had Into the Dalek; a rogue dalek does not appear to be so evil as the rest of them, so naturally the Doctor - and a random bunch of misfits - are obliged to get shrunk down like some scientific Alice in Wonderland to investigate the machine's digestive system. The episode title doesn't really leave much to the imagination. (Also, Fantastic Voyage much?)

On a lighter note, the third episode was surprisingly enjoyable, although that might just be because it made me nostalgic for the BBC Robin Hood - this show saw the formation of a long suffering crush on Richard Armitage. But I digress - this episode was really fun, with some stupid one liners and a completely idealistic happy ending; what I think Doctor Who should be like.

But if Robot Of Sherwood is this season's saving grace I don't know if it's worth watching anymore. To put it plainly, this is supposed to be a family show and if even I can't understand the overlapping timelines and paradoxes that have cropped up over the last few seasons, how are any of us going to introduce our children to it? It could be that my love affair with Doctor Who is finally fizzling out.
But of course, I'll still watch it on Saturday. Just in case.

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