Doctor Who Series 8: The season the Doctor wasn’t the star

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Doctor Who Season/Series 8 aired on 23 August 2014. It is the first full series with the 12th Doctor (played by Peter Capaldi). With the start of the Peter’s first full 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. I really wanted to support the 12th as a brilliant rendition of the doctor. For my money I really liked Capaldi’s portrayal of the doctor in some episodes, but sadly the writers dropped the ball. The biggest problem with this series is that the Doctor was not the star of the show anymore.

Deep Breath

I am not sure why this series of Doctor Who didn’t really work for me, but for me it felt as if they tried focusing the series more on Clara and Danny Pink’s relationship. This is not so much a problem, but when you have a new Doctor who has to find his own voice in the show – concentrating on two dull characters isn’t really the best option. This is especially true with someone as fascinating and interesting as the Doctor himself.

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I really wonder what happened in the writing room of this season’s 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 stories were for this season (“In the Forest of the Night”) – I am at a loss for words.

Forest of the night

It wasn’t all terrible – I must admit. I really enjoyed “Into the Dalek”, “Mummy on the Orient Express”, “Flatline” and “Dark Water”. If anything good can come from this season, I really hope that Rigsy could comeback as an official companion of the Doctor.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Here are some of the key items in the series that I liked and didn’t 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! It was cool that the Master came back as the Mistress/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. I believed that she teleported. She might have set things in motion with the Cybermen, but she’s smart, so probably she setup something to teleport her instead of killing her, when she was shot by a Cyberman. She is also very crazy and that’s what I enjoy about her. Her insanity really shows.

Dark Water
The Doctor and Missy

The Brigadier. Why…?

At the end of the series, the Brigadier (maybe) kills Missy, gets saluted by the Doctor and then blows himself up. What I know of the Brigadier is that he was a huge badass in previous episodes. It just felt like Moffat was trying to show off with bringing back the Brigadier as a Cyberman. I would just have left him out of the episode.

Rory and Amy

This is something I read online and it makes me sad. When the Cybermen were 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 makes me sad as they were some of my favourite companions.

What happened to the budget?

In some episodes the effects were just terrible, especially in “Dark Water”. The part where Clara throws the Tardis keys into the lava it just looked so cheap and rushed.

The serious Doctor

With the first episode in the timey whimey Matt Smith moments, they tried duplicating the same vibe with the 12th Doctor (which didn’t work for me). There was this one 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 the 12th Doctor more serious.

The timey whimey Matt Smith things

I really got a feeling the writers 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 had a sword fight with a spoon. A freaking spoon! Seriously? It would have been fine if he was using an actual sword and telling the story of being trained by a master swordsman. That would have felt more Doctor Who to me, but nope, he had to use a freaking spoon as a sword.

Robot of Sherwood
Add a spoon for the full effect

The bad writing

I really feel like they threw out all the subtlety of the writing for 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.

 Spoilers end.

From my article, you would probably think I hate this series of Doctor Who, but 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 turns out.

See the official Christmas teaser trailer here:

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