I was gonna write about the cost of gamedev this evening but really I need more energy to write something interesting about that. Instead I’m going to talk a little bit about why Dr. Who doesn’t excite me any more. Your views may differ and that’s fine, if you still enjoy Dr. Who and think everything I say here that’s totally fine, I’m glad you get something out of Who. We can still be friends!
Mostly it’s because everything the series has become far too bogged down in it’s own lore and the Doctors infallibility. I get that it’s mainly aimed at children/young adult’s and that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to constantly retread the same ground over and over. In a way, he’s become a parody of himself, and it’s something I’ve seen happen again and again in series that just seem to go on for too long.
Of course I’m looking at the series staples, the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Silurians etc. While fun at first blush they never move one from their initial form. The Daleks still want to exterminate, the Cybermen are still kettle headed robots from the 60s and so on. They only really exist as a plot device to put pressure on the Doctor so he can grandstand and showboat in the way only he can. Which is pretty impressive but wears thin when you realise they’ll be back next season, or even worse, later this season. Or of course, heaven forbid, they Christmas special.
I haven’t forgotten the Doctors greatest potential enemy. The Master. Enigmatic, charming and the Doctors equal in just about every way he is be far the series most underutilised adversary. A man who on another day, in a different situation could have been the Doctors friend, or mentor even. Here is a man, with (if predictable) motivations that go beyond the single dimension. Another Time Lord from another time, who might even be aware of some of the Doctors more interesting secrets and yet he rarely makes an appearance beyond a short arc where he should be orchestrating a whole series of unfortunate events.
Not that there haven’t been interesting adversaries in the recent shows. The weeping Angels where brilliantly done in their first appearance but shoehorning them into other situations didn’t do them any favours. Most notably however was The Silence. There’s a stroke of genius. Enemies you instantly forget when you’re not looking at them. Incredible, and the episodes around them were highly entertaining but unfortunately still feel a bit monster of the week. A slow drip feed of them across a much larger arc could have them an even more chilling, horrifying nightmare. Instead they end up as lackeys to another dull faction.
What I’d love to see is a rebooted, modern take on The Doctor. One that forgets all that has come before and completely reinvent both The Doctor and his adversaries. Daleks painted as bad guys through propaganda who maybe aren’t quite as evil as you might think. Cybermen as human like androids living beside humans as second class citizen, struggling for independence and human/sentient rights. The Master, a political engineer, maneuvering adversaries into the Doctors path, manipulating the Doctor into furthering his plans without the Doctor realising. The Doctor as a real underdog, not an all-knowing unknowable, not being best friends with all the famous people from history.
It could still be silly, and scary and serious all at the same time, it can still be The Doctor, but it would be so much more OUR Doctor (Or maybe just mine I guess) than a man from the 60’s with more baggage than a Kardashian on Holidays.
PS. I still love Who