Generally speaking, I couldn’t give a toss about Doctor Who… all of my friends seem to love it, and it’s remarkably close to the sort of thing I should like, but there’s always been something about it that annoys me. Partly it’s the patriarchal aspect… the know-it-all (white) male hero and the starry-eyed girly who follows him around…* partly it’s the dialogue and the plotting, which always seems to be just a few notches short of what it’s aiming for… never quite as clever, or profound, or funny as it wants to be. Mostly though, I think it’s all the time travel that bugs me. Time travel spoils everything, because it makes the “reality” of a show too malleable, and renders the actions of its protagonists meaningless on the grander scale. I mean, they can do a big dramatic episode where The Doctor destroys “the last” Dalek… but Daleks still exist in the past, and therefore they can (and did) return in the future, because of pesky time travel. Meh.
All that aside, I have been lured into watching this latest season (the eighth of the new era, apparently) by the casting of Peter Capaldi in the lead role, and Michelle Gomez as ‘Missy’, a mysterious lady with a keen interest in his antics (and accent!) Overall, I found the opening episode surprisingly enjoyable, even if the generic monster-of-the-week story didn’t grip me as much as the character dynamics. I did make the effort a while back to watch the first appearance of Jenna Coleman in the series, and besides being very cute and charismatic, she’s very good at delivering the snappy dialogue she’s given here, so that’s another reason to stick around a little longer this time.
* Of course, I’m excluding the Sylvester McCoy era when The Doctor was paired with ‘Ace’ (Sophie Aldred), a bad-ass trouble-maker with a bomber jacket and a penchant for blowin’ shit up. Bless ‘er.