Doctor Who was finally released from the story of Clara Oswald, so would the show go on to actually be about the Doctor or would the new assistant be at the front of the queue once again?
When I saw the previews for the Doctor’s new assistant it was looking pretty grim. The move seemed to be towards an air head who would be more of an annoyance than someone you could root for, possibly being the final nail in the coffin of a show which has really struggled in the last few years.
Despite those reservations I was glad to see that Bill proved me wrong and turned into the best assistant in what feels like quite some time and was a really nice change in comparison to what went before her. I enjoyed how the writers used he as a mouthpiece to pick out obvious things which are so often swept over or readily accepted by the people in the show. She was asking questions which realistically if someone somehow found themselves in this position would actually ask, it was incredibly refreshing.
The addition and return of Nardole was also very welcome. He offered some comic relief, someone extra for the Doctor to play off of and a big name which gives the show a bit more validity. I do wonder why so often the writers have resisted the use of more than one assistant, as it allows for a greater deal of movability in how episodes go. Also with a character who isn’t human you can do a lot more as they aren’t as perishable.
There will be spoilers for series 10 of Doctor Who after this point.
It’s sad to say but this series of Doctor Who will be Peter Capaldi’s last. I think he’s been one of the best Doctor’s since the show came back and has added a level of intensity which hasn’t been seen since Eccleston was in the role. I think the saddest thing about Capaldi’s time in the show is that the writing has been mediocre at best. He’s a quality actor and was never utilised to his potential, there’s only so much a person can do with shite writing.
Series 10 was a bit up and down for me, I enjoyed the last two episodes as they brought back John Simm as the Master and had him interact with the Doctor, Missy and the rest. I liked the twist of him turning Bill into a Cyberman after disguising himself for so many years and the idea of the time passing differently depending on where you were on the ship was a nice touch.
The conclusion was interesting as Missy and the Master managed to kill each other, leaving us with questions over whether this is the end of the Master/Missy…? Almost certainly not. Bill’s ending was very typical of Doctor Who, the usual known character is too strong to be turned fully into a Cyberman (or whatever) and then is somehow saved at the end because reasons…
In many ways that is the problem with Doctor Who, the writing is poor and they are too afraid to make big decisions. They couldn’t help themselves from saving Bill because they aren’t willing to let someone die, it’s a trope which the show has consistently fallen into and it isn’t a positive one. How can you keep telling the audience that people are in danger when they are never actually punished, if there is never any consequences then the danger isn’t real.
The rest of the series was pretty up and down, the episodes where the Doctor went blind were strong because it weakened him giving the show a different dynamic. Other episodes struggled from classic Doctor Who syndrome of weak plot, tacky sets, poor villains and an incredible amount of cheesiness. Ultimately the show struggles with poor writing and being incredibly inconsistent with its quality, the problem being that the good episodes are becoming rarer and rarer.
With Capaldi exiting it meant that a new Doctor was being cast once again and the rumours came once again that it should be a female who is cast in the role and…….it actually happened. Personally I’m not a fan of the decision for a few reasons, it feels like a cheap publicity stunt used to increase viewership (which has been dropping consistently) when the real problem is poor writing.
It’s the same sort of thing you see with James Bond every time it comes to replacing the character, “why shouldn’t it be a woman!?!?” It’s a fair question, why couldn’t a role which changes the lead actor regularly cast a woman to play the role? The problem I have with this is that I think it is lazy. Instead of creating a new show with a female lead and creating something off the back of that, they feel the need to go for the easy route where they take an already established male character and turn it female for the sake of phoney progression.
To be fair, Doctor Who established that Timelords could be male or female with the Master becoming Missy, making the Doctor not being a man a chance in canon. If you look at Missy as the closest comparison to this situation, Michelle Gomez has done a fantastic job in the role, showing that the strength of the character and the performance is more important than the actual gender.
The problem which Jodie Whittaker is going to have is the same problem which so many others have, if the show continues to struggle with viewers she will receive the lion share of the blame. Almost certainly what will happen is that the initial episode or two there will be a massive boost in viewers with people interested to see what is happening, only for it to at best revert back to where the show is currently and her casting will almost certainly be blamed for the drop in viewers when in reality the drop will be down to consistently poor writing.
For the sake of the show I hope that Whittaker’s Doctor is a success and that the new show runner will do a better job than his predecessor, because the show is on a shoogly peg and I don’t think it will be able to take more than a couple of poor series before it becomes totally loose. Let’s be honest though, she can’t be any worse than Matt Smith was.
Series 10 of Doctor Who followed the trend of the last few series of having the occasional good episode surrounded by a lot of naff. Capaldi has himself been an excellent Doctor who sadly never got the writing to match his ability, he’ll be missed but it’s probably the best time to get out seeing as they aren’t really doing anything with him. Bill was a nice addition to the show and it’s a shame that she will only get the one series, the same could be said for Nardole. Doctor Who series 10 was in my opinion a group of good actors, with good characters working with a poor script and making the best out of a mediocre situation, an average series overall.
So what did you think of Doctor Who series 10? Did you realise that Bill wasn’t into guys!?!? What do you think of the new Doctor? Or are you just wondering when we will finally see Jane Bond? Leave a comment and share those thoughts.