Doctor Who Series 9- Purgatory

The Doctor is back for another incarnation of Doctor Who! After teasing Clara’s departure in the Christmas special at the end of series 8, a series which very much struggled to find its feet, the show moved forward to where we are now.

Spoilers for series 9 of Doctor Who will be found below this message.

I have watched Doctor Who since it returned all those years ago with Christopher Eccleston’s smiley little face and I don’t know if it is a case of fatigue or simply that the show in its current incarnation has run its course, but I really struggled with this series.

The sad thing I that Peter Capaldi is a fantastic Doctor, however he is working a pile of shit from the writers. Doctor Who has always suffered from a mixed bag when it comes to writing, but this series was something else. Gone was the fifty fifty split between good to cheesy episodes, instead what replaced it was full on eye rolling nonsense.

A massive part of the problem with series 9 of Doctor Who was Clara, who has been a massive part of the problem with the show since she was introduced. It’s fair to say that at times it doesn’t feel like the Doctor is the main character of his own show, rather that Clara is the centre piece. I don’t know if they made this shift because they wanted a female lead or if it was something as petty as thinking that because Capaldi is older he couldn’t carry the show on his own, either way it really hurt this series.

The addition of Me could have been fine but it felt like a Game of Thrones grab and the character was incredibly up and down that instead of being pleased to see her it was the total opposite. That in many ways is the problem with making a sub character such an important part of a series, if they hit then you’ve got a winner, if they don’t then you’ve fucked the entire series because they are so important to what is going on, Me was the latter.

There were some highlights though, I thought the episode where the Doctor was stuck in purgatory was by far the strongest of the series. The irony of it being that Capaldi was there on his own without any of the added extras which the show has felt it necessary to add so that the show seems more hip.

I also really like the idea behind the doubled up episodes. It gave episodes a chance to breath and stories a chance to be told. The problem with things like this is that it can be really effective when used sparingly, if it is over used as in this case it ends up having the opposite effect. Not every story needs more than one episode to be told, which led to a number of stories being unnecessarily spread out, leaving the audience on cliffhangers which never materialised as anything.

Speaking of unnecessary things, how about the tendency in this series for killing people only for them to miraculously come back to life? If you do it once then fine, when you do it so often it doesn’t work. The actual conclusion to the series saw Clara and Me swan off to travel about with each other, both now immortal, after having outsmarted the Doctor… They also told us one of the reasons why Clara is so important and of course it made absolutely no sense, however when you’ve written yourself into a corner just make something nonsensical up and you’ll be fine.

Often times it feels like the writers of Doctor Who think they are writing subtlety and intelligently, in reality their writing leaves a lot to be desired and more often than not is clambered together in a manner which an amateur writing class would find below par. In many ways it’s ironic that this series best episode was the one where the same things keep happening again and again because to be honest that’s sort of what it felt like watching this series, the only downside being that someone didn’t come along and put you out of your misery.

Looking forward the “loss” of Clara will hopefully be a positive one for the show. It would be nice if they went back to the Doctor not being a side show in what is meant to be a show about him. You obviously never know and I doubt they will be back but both Me and Clara potentially could return, hopefully not but the door has certainly been left open.

It’s a shame for Doctor Who because I think they had a great cast this series, Capaldi is a fantastic actor and Coleman is pretty decent too. The problem ultimately is in the writing which is sadly piss poor. I can forgive tacky sets and costumes, in many ways that is part of the charm of the show, what I can’t forgive is poorly formulated plot and a show falling into the worst of Doctor Who traits. It’s a show I really want to like but in reality it’s a show which I’m not sure has much left in the tank.

If you’re interested then check out my review of series eight of Doctor Who.

O what did you think of series 9 of Doctor Who? Are you glad to see Clara go? Maybe you’re wondering who does the Doctor’s eyebrows? Or are you just wondering how the Doctor all of a sudden learned how to play guitar? Then leave a comment and share those thoughts!

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