Saturday, November 8, 2014

Catching up on Doctor Who

Here's the thing about this season of Doctor Who: I'm just not that into it. Sure, I've been watching, though not consistently. I caught up on the past three episodes this week so that I wouldn't be hopelessly behind going into the season finale tonight.

The season is good. There have been some great episodes, but no instant classics. It took me awhile to put my finger on the problem, but now I have: Matt Smith is gone.

Peter Capaldi is a fantastic actor, and I'm enjoying his take on the Doctor, but he's missing the magnetism and gravitas of Matt Smith that kept my eyes glued to the television screen for so many seasons. David Tennant had the same qualities, though he wasn't as good at the "I am the Doctor" speeches. Peter Capaldi does magnificently, and I love his dry delivery of the jokes, but I find myself checking Facebook and half-watching instead of being riveted.

I've heard fans for years talk about the concept of "My Doctor." People ask: Who is Your Doctor? I didn't have one until this season. Now I realize that Matt Smith has been My Doctor all along, and the new guy just isn't the same.

The one big improvement this season has been Clara's development into an actual character instead of a Big Mystery for the Doctor to solve, but even she has been all over the map. She loves traveling with the Doctor. No, she hates the Doctor. No, she has changed her mind and is back with the Doctor. Now she's lying to the Doctor and Danny. I'm getting whiplash just thinking about it.

I will watch tonight's season finale, of course. I was underwhelmed by the reveal about Missy's identity ... because, really, who else was she going to be? It's nice that Steven Moffat listened to the fans and regenerated a traditionally male character into a woman. I will be thoroughly put off if Missy doesn't survive the finale, but I think she will. And I'll post some thoughts on the finale tomorrow or Monday.

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