Doctor Who has had its ups and downs like any TV show. If you were once captivated, but became disenchanted and stopped watching, now may be the time to give it a second chance.
Whovians come in all age ranges. There are the old-timers who started watching the show back in the 1960s, and there are the new, young fans with their very own TARDIS. Regardless of when we came into the series, there are episodes we love and hate. There are also periods where we may have stopped watching because the show wasn’t quite as magical for us as it used to be. If you’ve left the Doctor Who universe in recent years, now is a great time to come back.
Count us among the disenchanted over the last several years. We first experienced our fandom fatigue when the Clara and Eleven episodes were filled with convoluted plots, uneven characterization, and an unsatisfying farewell Christmas episode for Matt Smith. Then we experienced similar issues with Twelve where we could add glacial pacing, an utterly unlikable and mean-spirited Doctor, and an even more wacky Clara characterization to the list. Like Clara, there were times when we went CAPS LOCK OF RAGE angry.
All the above being said, things have gotten better. We saw glimmers of hope during the tail end of season 8 where the inconsistency in writing, pace, and characterization seemed to even off. Episodes like “Mummy on the Orient Express,” “Flatline,” and, “In the Forest of the Night” had plots we understood, characters we cared about, and satisfying stakes. We were honestly a bit afraid to get our hopes up that this trend would continue into season 9, but thankfully it has.
So, here are the top reasons why you want to give Doctor Who another chance, and dive in with series 9. Don’t try to slog through what bothered you because you’re only going to start clawing the furniture all over again. Start anew with season 9. The beauty of Doctor Who is you’re able to just pick it up and go.
Peter Capaldi has range
Peter Capaldi can go from touching to sarcastic in a second. He’s got the same love of language that Ten had, but not at quite the same break-neck speed. Expect a lot of layered, memorable lines and metaphors that make you think. For a bit of fun, he’s even got a new set of signature items: his sunglasses and guitar. In case you are wondering, Capaldi, a former member in a punk band, can legitimately play guitar.
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey does not run a muck
We had some plots in the past where no amount of rewind made things clearer. We certainly don’t want a dumbed-down series with no gravitas, but there has to be a happy medium. This season, the plots work, they’re intriguing, and they keep us wanting more. What’s more, when timelines go back and forth, we are actually following!
Balance of old and new
This season we’ve had some fabulous new foes as well as visits from old ones. We even faced what we call a situation with the Master and the Daleks where the proverbial “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Daleks, U.N.I.T., Davros, and Missy (A.K.A. the Master) have all been back. At the same time, we have great new characters where we don’t know how to define them yet like Ashildr, played by Maisie Williams.
The Doctor cares
It’s hard to love a series if you don’t think the protagonist has any sense of empathy, or an uneven one at best. For a while there, we were dealing with a Doctor that didn’t like humanity, and who was downright disdainful of them. Thankfully he has found his mojo, rhythm, or whatever you want to call it. He’s still sarcastic, but with a great sense of tongue-in-cheek humor.
Check out Doctor Who this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America. You have nothing to lose! Come back, and let the fun begin.