I did have in mind to write a short piece about why I was so trepidatious about this up-coming series of DOCTOR WHO.
Why was I feeling this way?
Well, let me run through what we’ve had so far in the Moffat era:
- Series 5 – his first as show-runner, was absolutely brilliant! It was fresh, sharp, entertaining, hung together wonderfully, and in ‘The Pandorica Opens’/’The Big Bang’, gave me what is still my favourite two-parter in DOCTOR WHO history.
- Then there was series six, which in the intricacies of its series long arc, seemed something more to admire, than enjoy.
- Series 7, split in two halves is very much a series of two halves, with the Pond segment having run out of steam, while the more understated Clara half does actually hold up. Even if Moffat, immensely talented writer that he clearly is, can never get the mystery girl stuff to really work.
Into the Capaldi years….
- Series 8 I thought was frequently excellent, but didn’t really work as a whole. No doubt that’s because I wasn’t as much a fan of the two part conclusion as others were. The build up to it, which required The Doctor to suddenly (and conveniently) forget that he mostly likes soldiers, felt forced to me; while I still can’t get over the ludicrousness of Cyber-Brig, I’m afraid.
- Then it’s series 9, which actually is excellent. A fantastic series which rivals series 5, and in ‘Heaven Sent’/’Hell Bent’, has my second favourite two-parter.
So that’s five series – two brilliant, two flawed but good, one I didn’t care for.
Looking at it written down like that, it really isn’t a bad record. Yet my nervousness comes from the fact that having had a brilliant series last time, the odds are the best we can hope for now is a good but flawed. One whose faults will nag away at me even as I enjoy the best episodes
The return of the Mondasian Cybermen, John bloody Simm coming back in a potential Master/Missy mash-up….
It just feels like some really exciting buttons are being pushed. I have no idea how good it is going to be, but instead of nervousness, I am actually allowing myself to feel hope.
Roll on twentypast seven this evening!
Addendum One – Curious info from P-Cap’s interviews earlier this week that he’s already filmed his regeneration scene. Given that we know he’s in the Christmas special, how is that going to work? For what it’s worth, my RIDICULOUS FAN THEORY THAT WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY BE PROVED WRONG is:
We’re going to get some kind of multi-Doctor episode at the end of the year. Either 12 and 13 working together, or a prolonged regeneration where they keep switching back and fore, one to the other.
Addendum Two: The bulk of the above was written earlier this week. I was excited then, but this afternoon, myself, Mrs Jameson and Baby Jameson went to the superb Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay. If you thought my anticipation levels were high Monday, they’re nothing to now!