As a follow up to Excited for a new doctor., I wanted to give my reaction to the first episode of this series of Doctor Who. If you disagree with my opinion, good, then let me know. If you agree my opinion, good, then let me know. Either way, I’d love to have your comments and take on the episode. (Warning there will be some small spoilers, but I will avoid major plot developments).
The Doctor was great. It was fun seeing her, like many doctors of the past, finding herself and who she is while trying to problem solve an exciting situation. She showed ingenuity in problem solving. For example, she was stuck without a screwdriver so she made a new one. When her initial theory of what was going on was incorrect, she adjusted her hypothesis without hesitation. Even though she was alone to start the day, she quickly convinced the people already involved in the situation to join her. Overall, she was the doctor. The doctor with the renewed energy and excitement that tends to follow a regeneration.
The monster, was likely my least favorite monster ever. He was villainized only because he was a trophy hunter. However the doctor went on a trophy hunt with and brought a trophy hunter, John Ridell, along as a companion in Dinosaurs in Space. You may see both as villains; however, both where men of their civilizations that promoted such activity. Had the show spent more time exploring whether or not such a ‘man’ was indeed evil, or just evil from our perspective, (like they did with the Gunslinger), this monster may have shown promise. Instead, he was an utter failure of a Doctor Who enemy. As a last thought, the whole teeth thing was just gross, not scary, not menacing, just gross.
There were major inconsistencies in writing. Jodi Whittaker first appears after falling from low Earth orbit from the TARDIS. However, there was no technological intervention; no TARDIS saving the day or impact space suit that she has to wear backwards until her body is fixed (The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe). Tom Baker in fact had to regenerate after falling from a radio tower following a scrap with the Master, but Jodi Whittaker could fall from outer-space with the only down side being that her clothes looked disheveled.
As another note, I’m not trying to quibble over scientific inaccuracies, I can accept these. However, you do need to stay consistent with the rules you use in you show. The above one may be thrown out due to the change of writers; however, within the episode we have the fact that the monster is from a planet so cold that his touch instantly kills. However, when Ryan and Yas touch his ship (presumably from the same planet), they notice cold, but aren’t even afflicted with mild frost bite.
With regard to the companions, I thought individually each one of them showed great promise for development. However, in the past with a new doctor we’ve had established companions, or one new companion that the writers could focus on developing along with the doctor. In this episode we saw four companions being thrown into the mix with the new doctor. With everything going on, there was very little character development or attachment made to these extra people. We may have a long time with these characters to allow them to develop (or they may be killed off right away) but even if they are developed later, they needed more time in the first episode. Either having a strictly character driven episode or only having one new companion would have greatly helped the show.
While I feel like I’ve been venting most of the time about the terrible writers, I will still continue to watch every new episode as it comes out (by the way if you buy the Amazon version the episodes are available at 3 AM Eastern Time following the original airing). Why am I going to do this? Because the most important part of the show is still intact. The Doctor is the Doctor, and having such a character within a story is enough to turn it into something amazing.
Let me know what you think by commenting below. I’d love to have your feedback, especially if I seem to have missed something in the episode. If you enjoyed the commentary on Dr Who, let me know. If there is interest in it, I will keep providing such commentary. Also, if you plan on getting your new ‘Sheffield Steel’ sonic screwdriver head on over to Amazon.