Doctor Disappointment Is In: the New Doctor Who

Doctor Disappointment Is In: the New Doctor Who January 28, 2019

This guest post is by Ms. Emma Meine of The College at The Saint Constantine School and is an informal reflection (not her college work). The opinions are her own.


The new Doctor Who is not very good, which is particularly frustrating this season, because we have finally been granted a female Doctor.

It seems that the actress who now plays the new Doctor works hard at her role, but has been told to imitate David Tennant to her utmost. This she does, but instead of having an effect anything like that of David Tennant, one wishes increasingly much that she would either play her own iteration of the character, or that the BBC would simply give up and show us reruns.

In fact, there seems to be something rotten in the state of Who, which has manifested itself in a number of ways.

Firstly, the writing has gone seriously down-hill. The plots are stale and predictable. The dialogues and conversations are likewise poor, to a maddening degree. One gets the impression that every script is a first draft, and that the writer(s) must be mailing it in at that.

Secondly, in place of the inspiringly strong emotions, enjoyably crap aliens, and special-yet-ordinary companions, we have overly preachy episodes clearly chanting the beliefs of a singular political viewpoint with a shameless regularity that sacrifices the plot, characters, and themes on the altar of how right it is.

It is sadly but humorously comparable to the secular version of a Christian movie. This has the effect of making it all preach and no point, since anyone who doesn’t think it’s hogwash is already convinced of its values, and anyone who isn’t is more likely to be repelled than convinced by the heavy-handed sloppiness with which it proclaims its own doctrine.

Thirdly, none of this does any favors for the actors trying to portray likeable and believable characters. And to be honest, they may have been having a hard time to begin with. The main cast of actors seems like the kind of people who, should they be given decent lines and enough time, could become decent actors of the ordinary sort. Currently, they are decent actors of the less than average sort.

These three corrosive elements combined, have done their work to destroy the new season. If there was but one, it might be stomacheable. In a best case scenario where three, or even one were so present, it might still be watchable.

Doctor Who has never had or needed perfect writing or acting, although in some cases it has got itself excellent work in both. It also seems true that anytime Doctor Who has been political, it has been undoubtedly liberal. Regardless, I would still have recommended to my friends, or to anyone who may have shown interest, (and even some who did not).

I don’t know that I could tell an enemy to go watch the new season, and step away with a clear conscience.

The creators of Doctor Who seem to have traded decent writing and honest story telling for political mantras and cultural trends. I did not come to Doctor Who to hear anybody’s political ideals, neither have I come to be pandered to by having them throw a woman into the pix to see if we’ll keep watching. I came for an honest to goodness tale, and it saddens and disappoints me that what I have found instead is low pandering.

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