Are you excited for the return of 'Doctor Who'? | The Tylt
Are you excited for the return of 'Doctor Who'?
The last season saw a new writing team, new showrunner and groundbreaking casting for the Doctor. All this was a little too much for some fans, but the fact is Jodie Whittaker has made a great addition to the legacy. She’s bright, compassionate, goofy and energetic, reminiscent at times of predecessors Matt Smith and Peter Davison, but mostly her own novel interpretation. She comes with a very diverse set of companions, British citizens of African, South Asian and European backgrounds, and a variety of ages. Chris Chibnall’s take is less of the huge, sweeping story arcs that confused and frustrated Whovians during Steven Moffat’s era. This much change is bound to come with episodes that work and some that don’t. This has been true with every season of “Doctor Who.” But occasional fumbles aside, episodes like "Rosa" and "Demons of the Punjab" were excellent examples of Who as a means to observe and enjoy historical narratives.
While some fans (of the basement-dwelling neckbeard variety) opened their Cheeto-dusted maws to cry accusations of virtue signaling, misandry and other nonsensical claims at the Doctor’s change of sex, the fact remains that—incel whimpering aside—the show’s got some real problems. And Jodi Whittaker’s gender is not the issue. The problem is, simply, weak writing. The monsters aren’t scary. The stakes never really feel high enough. The companion role, meant to act as a proxy for the audience itself, is split three ways. The result is not that there’s a well realized Doctor and a larger-than-usual cast of great companions. No, the result is that none of these potentially excellent characters are ever really fleshed out, and as a result it’s just hard to care about what happens to any of them.
Lastly, though “Doctor Who” has always been more focused on the “fi” of sci-fi, it would be nice if the solutions to the problems in the shows at least felt a little more sciencey. The show has a longstanding tendency to be illogical and unscientific, and Chibnall isn’t even trying to address that.