It’s not often I break out the old blog these days, although I certainly have a few things in mind that I want to blog about. Let’s start with Saturday night’s Doctor Who. Oh dear God, yes, let’s start there.
I was excited for Doctor Who’s return at the weekend for, with all its faults, it’s a damn good show. And the good outweighs the bad. There’s been lots of coverage, of course, about the new Doctor and about David Tennant‘s departure from the role, but I’m rather more interested in changes in the writing team. Now, all due credit to Russell T Davies (RTD) for resurrecting Who after its 15 year break, but my respect for him largely ends there. RTD cannot write. He’s the head writer of a major television production, and he just cannot write. Something isn’t right. Yes, many will argue that if he’s given the time to think through his stories, and he takes the time to scribe coherent ideas, he’ll manage to come up with the goods. But I disagree. I’ve seldom enjoyed an episode penned by RTD, and Saturday night was no exception. Let’s summarise what happened. We had a wooden companion who we were presumably supposed to like, a handful of vacant and pointless characters who served no purpose other than filling out the numbers, and a sloppy story premise which involved – as it always does in RTD’s episodes – the end of the world. Again. Groan. The first ten minutes were wholly derivative of Midnight (another RTD story), while the remaining 50 were a mix of unimpressive special effects and RTD’s trademark ‘cryptic’ prophecies. There was little discernible story arc and there was even less to engage the viewer and make them care. So the world was going to end again or something. Isn’t it always Russell? The whole thing was just embarrassing. I was bored out of my mind.
One poor episode I could forgive, of course – God knows we’re used to them by now with RTD – but my concern is for David Tennant. He’s been the best Doctor, in my opinion (and he’s had some hard acts to follow) and I feel bad for him that this – this inconsequential, lazy rubbish – will be how he finishes out his days in Who. Tennant acts his little socks off every single time he’s on camera, and he himself must feel dejected that he has this nonsense to work with. I look forward to Steven Moffat taking over the writing team shortly, for he is very talented and he never fails to please, but it will be too late for David Tennant, alas. He’s just going to have to put up with these horrendous stories in the meantime and hope that his fans know that he’s better than them. This fan certainly does.