For many, Stephen Moffat has cocked up Doctor Who. While the series coordinator knows how to imbue the show with plenty of flare, many fans would criticize the latest seasons for a lack of substance. And its true, seasons 5 to 7 were a mixed bag. As far as a metaphorical bag of sweets go, the show had some delicious aspects. However, if there’s some shit in the bag, the whole experience is going to be tainted. With season 8 around the corner we can only hope that Moffat will rid the show of many undesirable aspects. Here are my picks for things that either added nothing or just plain ruined the show.
After Amy and Raurri are farted back in time by the touch of an angel, the Doctor descends into a depressive state, temporarily withdrawing himself from time travelling escapades. Whilst sulking, the Doctor enlists the help of Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny to help him stay undetected from the world so he can read books and brood in peace.
First appearing in the episode ‘A good man goes to war’ (Season 6) these pseudo companions are abruptly forced on the audience as true friends of the Doctor, giving no time for any actual emotional connection to any of them. This would be fine if later stories made attempts to fling these characters around as if they were important.
This team Tardis does not reflect that of old, where each member has their own origin, distinct relationship with the doctor and character development. Unless Moffat intends to make up for a lot of lost time then I would rather see these three vamoose. Unfortunately this crew will be featured in the first episode of the new season; whether they will reappear after this point has yet to be stated.
2. Early River Song
Now it’s merely a rumour right now, but the return of River Song is possible in season 8. Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston would certainly be better suited as a couple as the slightly awkward romance of seasons 5-7. Opinion is split on River as a character, but I would say that it is only River early in her time line that has everything we can’t stand. Later in her timeline she is a commanding and interesting character. So by all means bring her back, but not the precocious, awkwardly bubbly, cheesy version.
3. Everything is in Space
Since 2005, the Doctor who reboot has focused heavily on future/space/alien storylines. Whilst these are often exciting and well made, there is a side of Doctor who that is rejected. Earth based and historic story lines need a return. To be fair to the production team, a stonking great budget increase as of season 5 makes the inclusion of epic space battles and latex alien costumes incredibly tempting. Still, a better balance needs to be struck between the future, past and present. Once upon a time contemporary London was in peril every other week. Now we’re lucky if the Doctor stops by to faff about with James Cordan.
4. The Daleks
Despite being the Doctors single greatest enemy, the daleks have been underwhelming of late. During Matt Smiths tenure as the Doctor we witnessed several dalek appearances, none of which have had the same impact as the pre-Moffat era. Remember when one dalek, two miles underground was enough to strike genuine fear into the Doctor (‘Dalek’, season 1, ep.6)? Now, each appearance of the ever growing dalek fleet is less and less dramatic. Either they are defeated easily or they just ponce about spouting evil rhetoric and killing no-one. Unless you are going to use the Daleks right (eg. ‘Parting of the ways season one, ep. 13), then maybe you shouldn’t use them at all. Perhaps it would be best to let them stew in space for a while and return for a better use later.
Moffat has stated that the new series will be ‘more like classic who’, so it is clear we are in for some big changes. There have been plenty of leaked images of season 8 filming for those who are interested in what’s to come. We only have to wait until August to see what we’re in for.