Doctor Who Season/Series 8 started on 23 August 2014. It is the first full series with the 12th Doctor (played by Peter Capaldi). With the start of the series I was looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi’s take on the 12th Doctor, as my first Doctor was the 11th played by Matt Smith. Since then I went back and watched the series from the restart of Doctor Who with the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and then the 10th (David Tennant). I was one of the few people I knew who actually wanted to give the 12th a decent chance to portray the doctor. For my money I really liked Capaldi’s portrayal of the doctor in some episodes and in some other episodes they really dropped the ball. The biggest problem with this series in my opinion is that if felt that the Doctor was not the star of the show anymore.
I am not sure why this series of Doctor who didn’t really work, but I personally think they tried focusing the series more on Clara and Danny Pink’s relationship – which is fine, but when you have a new Doctor who has to find his own and make his own voice in the show – concentrating on two dull characters aren’t really the best option. This is especially true with someone as fascinating and interesting as the Doctor.
I really do wonder what happened in the writing room of this season of Doctor Who, as it amazes me just how bland and terrible some of the writing is this season. If you compare just how brilliant the writing was for Sherlock and compare it to how terrible some of the stories were for this season (“In the Forest of the Night”) – I am at a loss for words.
It wasn’t all terrible – I really enjoyed Into the Dalek, Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline and Dark Water. If anything good can come of this season, I really hope that Rigsy could comeback as an official companion of the Doctor.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
Here are some of the more key things in the series that I liked and didn’t really like. If you haven’t seen the series yet please turn back as this is spoiler central:
The Return of the Master, or rather Missy:
I like Missy, I really thought that was cool that the Master came back as the Mistress or Missy and I really hope that she will come back to the series in a future episode. For those saying she can’t die by being shot by the Brigadier – I am not sure she was killed but rather more disappeared or teleported. She might have set things in motion with the Cybermen but she’s smart so probably some way she must have setup something to teleport her instead of killing her when she being shot by a Cyberman. Also she is very crazy and that’s what I enjoy about her. Her insanity really shows.
The Brigadier. Why…?
So at the end of the series the Brigadier kills (maybe) Missy and then the Doctor salutes him one final time before he blows himself up. Honestly – I have never really seen any of the classic episodes of Doctor Who, but I know of the Brigadier and what a bad-ass he was. It just felt like Moffat was trying to show off with bringing back the Brigadier as a Cyberman. Honestly just leave him be and let him rest.
Rory and Amy
Well this is something I read online and it kind of makes me sad, but when the Cybermen was raining down onto the cemeteries, Rory and Amy also came back as Cybermen. I like the idea of them walking around as Cybermen hand in hand, but knowing their remains are now lost forever, it kind of makes me sad as they were some of my favourite companions.
What happened to the budget?
In some of the episodes the effects were just amazingly bad, especially in Dark Water – the part where Clara throws the Tardis keys into the lava it just looked so cheap and rushed. There are other moments in the series where it looked really bad and cheap – but I can’t remember all of them.
The Serious Doctor
In the first episode after all the timey whimey Matt Smith moments they tried doing the same with the 12th Doctor (which didn’t work for me). There was this great moment where the Doctor got very serious with Half-Face man and you are not sure whether he killed him or if the Half-Face jumped out of the escape pod. I really think they need to make him a bit more serious as that works for him.
The Timey Wimey Matt Smith things
I really got a feeling they didn’t know how to write for the 12th Doctor, so they went with things that would have worked with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). The biggest sign of this was the sword fight in the Robot of Sherwood, where the Doctor did a sword fight with a spoon. A freaking spoon! Seriously? I would have been fine with him using an actual sword and telling a story of him having been trained by a master swordsman. That would have felt more Doctor Who, but nope he had to use a freaking spoon as a sword.
The Bad writing
I really feel like they threw out all the subtlety of the writing when it came to Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint. In the previous episodes their relationship was very subtle and that was amazingly well done. Here it just felt like they ham-fisted it where they were quite subtle in the past. There are many moments in the new series where it felt like they just wrote a first draft and said yup go with it.
New Scary Enemies
The Boneless (from Flatline) is one of the best new enemies in Doctor Who. The way they moved in 2D and then eventually in 3D was truly very creepy. I really loved the monsters and hope they come back again the future.
With the series ending, the next series airing date unknown and the Christmas Special around the corner, you would probably think I hate this series of Doctor Who and honestly I don’t. I actually really enjoyed some of the episodes and I want to go back and watch the series all over again. As for Capaldi’s portrayal, I really like the 12th Doctor. I hope they make him a bit more serious as I feel that’s what the series needs now as well as a companion that fits in with the Doctor. Clara worked with the 11th; she doesn’t really work the 12th. As for the future, I hope Missy comes back and maybe another rogue Time Lord would be fun as well. Till then we will wait and see how the Christmas special is.
See the official Christmas teaser trailer here: