Monday, December 21, 2015

Why I'm Losing Interest in Doctor Who

While Doctor Who's special effects and scenery is aesthetically pleasing, lately I've been disconnected with the storyline and characters. It started with the introduction of Clara. Jenna Coleman is a great actress, yet her character Clara had been difficult for me to accept. As my friend had pointed out so eloquently, "Moffat is trying too hard to make Clara important." And I agree. Coleman, being the great actress she is, magnificently played the role of the girl who saves the Doctor. Although the writers' intention of her importance is for the fans to favor Clara, this has backfired. It seems that they are recycling characteristics from former companions. (How she humorously clashes with the Doctor. How she pushes him to make difficult decisions. How she puts her life on the line to save him.) Perhaps if there had been episodes of the Doctor's grieving period since the Ponds, I'd have appreciated Clara better. Instead the show went from one sassy female to another and I'd have preferred a breather in between the companions.

Alongside Clara, it also seems that the storyline is being recycled. It is a characteristic of the Doctor to be a warrior without a gun-- he is a peace talker. He promotes nonviolence. This is something about him that will never change, but I felt that the writers have been playing on this characteristic too much lately. This is evident in the first two episodes of season 9 ("The Magician's Apprentice" and "The Witch's Familiar") and the two part episode of the Zygons (episodes seven and eight) and in the very last episode of the season ("Hellbent"). I feel that these episodes focus more on peace making rather than action, adventure and mystery. Personally if I want to see or hear about peace promotion I'd watch the news, or go on tumblr, or listen NPR. I choose to watch Doctor Who for the action, adventure, and mystery. I watch it to escape the real world and when Doctor Who borrows from the real world, I am bored. My teacher told me that the episodes of the Zygons were a response to the immigration crisis but the writing feels dull. It is all political, not mystery. It is predictable. I fast-forward to the ending of the Zygons and wasn't surprised that he had saved the world using words.

As a writer, your first audience is yourself. But when you're career relies on a TV audience, it's important to write for your viewers instead of your own personal political feelings. But who am I to judge? I can just choose to ignore the show. I only really watch it River Song anyway.