If you have been reading my reviews of Doctor Who this series, you know that my outlook shifted as the season moved forward. I started out all sunshine and roses, excited for the possibilities a new Doctor and Moffat’s writing could bring. It has been a rocky journey, with moments in each episode that I appreciated and many that fell flat. As the series comes to a close, with only the Christmas special left in Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor, I find myself disillusioned with the franchise and hoping for drastic change in the next few months. I like Capaldi as Twelve, I really do. Unfortunately, the combination of a new Doctor, lack of chemistry with his companion and the horrible writing of series 8 has me in dire need to understand what it is that went wrong. Let’s start with what worked and what didn’t in “Death in Heaven”, and go from there.
We are only 3 episodes away from the series 8 finale of Doctor Who, so I feel it’s time to admit it. I am completely bored with this season. The only interesting part of the series so far has been Missy and The Promised Land plot line, and we get so little of that in between the grumpy kermuffin Doctor and romantically torn Clara, it is taking all my strength to watch and write each week WITHOUT complaining.
In the eighth episode of series 8, we get a pretty decent monster-of-the-week mystery, fabulous costuming and lovely music that reminded me why this show reaches across generations and captures the hearts and minds of so many different types of people. Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie murder mystery, this story poses more questions than it answers, and we see the Doctor doing what he does best; saving people, hunting things, the Timelord business.
Since we took a week off, this post we are combining the last two episodes of Doctor Who, which have highlighted on the relationship between the Doctor and his companion, the link to and representation of a long term connection to humanity. Both episodes reveal a Doctor who shares a precarious bond with humankind that has become damaged by prejudices, preconceived notions and the Doctor’s struggle with his own heroic nature.
In the fifth episode with Twelve, we finally get a glimpse of the man we know the Doctor to be–the man who risks it all to help others. While last week’s episode explored the mytharc of the Doctor in an abstract and thoughtful way, in “Time Heist” we see Twelve chose a familiar path, and, although he has been acting very different than Eleven, we are reminded that the Doctor made a personal commitment to help the universe, and he will continue to see that oath through, regardless of the cost.
The countdown to new Who has begun and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. For the last twelve days, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman have traveled the world, from London to Rio, promoting series 8 of Doctor Who. This morning in Parliament Square, the TARDIS landed and London prepares for New Who this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the new season and will watch every Saturday ON MY OWN TV because I ordered a bunch of new channels to bring you timely TV talk for Fall. Still, while I have stayed positive and professional, this nostalgia started about ten seconds after crying my eyes out on Christmas 2013, like a good Wholigan.