I’ve made no qualms about my dislike of Doctor Who over the past five years or so but with each year I begin afresh with an optimistic view that this will be the season that will change my mind. It’s a perfect time too, what with a fresh new companion, a showrunner switch around and a fast approaching new lead actor, this is the time to be keeping my eye keenly on every new detail.
At the moment, new companion Bill Potts is a marvellous addition to the show and a step in the right direction. Chris Chibnall is the new showrunner and whilst it would be nice to have a woman running the show, he’s very much proven his credentials with the fantastic third series of Broadchurch. Then we have the new Doctor, who half the fan base agree must be either a woman or person of colour and the other half want Kris Marshall.
I want a black gay companion and a female Doctor at the same time, if only to really put it to those who oppose the idea abhorrently but primarily because Doctor Who is the only show ever made that can be anything it wants to be and to not make important progressive steps is ludicrous.
Yet it’s not just that, of course, I want the show to really expand itself and bring new, wonderful stories to the screen. Departing showrunner Stephen Moffat has many great ideas but his writing has stagnated over the last couple of years and with the BBC messing about with splitting or shortening series, the nature of the show we grew to love feels like it’s only getting back to basics.
I want the adventures to be adventures and the stakes to be high. I want more than one companion, an alien, a male, Captain Jack Harkness or people who aren’t just kitsch comic relief (sorry Paternoster gang). And I don’t want any more stories that have The Doctor as a god, facing death or the biggest, scariest worst thing in all of the universe again and again.
The Doctor is a lonely wanderer, an absurd genius or a roguish idiot and his adventures should reflect the infinite amount of ideas the show can produce. Also, dial down on the cinematics, the trailers are absurd to the point of being like a five-year-old made them on Windows movie maker and really, the show always felt more grounded when it didn’t look like grey sludgy CGI.
Really, all I want is the show to go back to those first five golden series where imagination and wonder and character walked hand in hand, instead of character half forming around one misshapen conceit.
I love and will always Doctor Who but it’s time for it to regenerate, after a final swansong for Stephen Moffat who, for better or worse, has held things together thus far.