Doctor Who returns to our screens on the 30th of March and being the 50th Anniversary of the show we also have a big 3D adventure to look forward to later in the year. I love the Doctor in all his incarnations but I have a wee issue – It’s the Moff. Steven Moffat has given us some great TV over the years from Coupling to Press Gang but I’m just not sure about the tinkering with Gallifrey’s genius.
Despite what a lot of people say, I quite like Matt Smith as the Doctor. He might not be as versatile as David Tennant was but he is a different kind of Doctor and they have their plusses and minuses in personality traits. Also I’m aware I’m about to have a grump about a kids TV show – well I see it as a family show and some of the themes are as appropriate to adults as kids.
Moffat wrote a couple of my favourite Doctor Who episodes since its return. Blink and The Girl in the Fireplace were both great stories and allowed the series to do something different with each one. Since he took over the reins from Russell T Davis his stories have been interesting and good, monsters are scary and the scale the show has gone to is impressive. But, and it’s a major but for me (stop your jokes please!) there’s too much about the folklore of the Doctor and his companions are more complex than his monsters and enemies.
For me the companion is our eyes and ears in the Tardis and allows us the audience access to all the amazing adventures the Doctor goes on. In Rory we saw that wide-eyed wonder and then the Great Mark Williams as his dad had it again but Amy never did. The Doctor is supposed to be mysterious, mystical, maniacal and we see his companions humanise him and bring out the best in him. If the companion is too big a story themselves then we’re in different territory and the Doctor is just another character in the series when he should be the lead. Clara Oswin Oswald appears to be another big story character with a strange ability to be Kenny from South Park – dying in each episode then coming back to life. If this is resolved quickly then it’s fine but to drag it out as they did with the Ponds then it loses its way.
Doctor Who should be a big wild adventure. In fact the five most recent episodes did that really well and largely avoided the in-story of the Ponds; it was about the Doctor on an adventure and the Ponds happened to be there. I hope that for this year’s series and celebrations we see that side of the show again more – something that Russell T Davis did so well – and that the Tardis takes us to foes old and new as well as Doctors old and new too hopefully.