Monday, August 25, 2014

Doctor Who; Now Bigger On The Outside.

||| WARNING ||| SPOILERS for Series Eight, Episode One

So; new Doctor Who.

Unlike many others, or so I've been led to believe by the interwebs, I actually like Peter Capaldi's take on it.

I am however disappointed with;

  • The heavy handed narrative ("Not you boyfriend" -- enough already, we get it. You said it a bazillion times in the story and everyone who works on the show and their mother has said it in every press promo/interview they've had a chance to jump into);
  • The over reliance on stunt McGuffins (Oh look Steven Moffat just blew a third of the season budget on an unimportant dinosaur cameo just for farts);
  • And the continued indulgence of retreading previous, Moffatian, plot contrivances (ideas) which, granted, fans love BUT at best work as well as they did because of their 'flash-in-the-pan' sensibility;
  • Also; while most of fandom loved the Eleventh Doctor cameo I thought it signalled a lack of confidence on the part of the creative team (an endorsement of the Doctor from the Doctor?!?! Again with the heavy-handedness and reliance on sappy sentimentality rather than something substantial).

Look; a totally gratuitous dinosaur!

I loved the  intro sequence although the sequence it was inspired by (or outright copied from?) felt even better.

The image of Capaldi on the fob watch WAS kinda silly BUT BBC imprinting their endless fascination with the new Doctor's eyebrows on the title again felt like they were beating us over the head with it -- so yea; not good. And WHY leave out the Gallifreyan elements? I felt that worked.


I yearn for a time when ideas/concepts/plot/narrative relies more on subtleties rather than the heavy-handedness that's been a hallmark of late. This might be the result of catering to the wider global audiences which the show now seems to be ingratiating itself to -- undoubtedly a winning strategy which will retain some of the old fans and garner even more new ones.

Me? I didn't like it so much. A new Doctor was the perfect opportunity to switch up the narrative approach BUT that opportunity has been missed out on.

I might be yearning for a bygone time of storylines reminiscent of the 'Bad Wolf' arc -- I'm probably amongst the very few who are. I do realise what I'm suggesting is not an original though BUT in my view that's the type of storytelling that works best with this show. Sure you can go big and bombastic but that doesn't work as well when it's the modus operandi of the show.

Total eye candy BUT used more self constraint than the show's creative team.

However it looks like most of fandom are satisfied with, and even blown away by, the series Eight premier episode. So while everyone else celebrates I'll contemplate a break from a show that I've trumpeted as a benchmark in science fiction ever since I got into the, restarted, series in 2005.

Why? Because this show no longer is bigger on the inside.

No comments: