Why I Stopped Watching Doctor Who (DW & some Torchwood spoilers ahead!)

This image is not mine. It is 600% owned by BBC.

In a grand return to geekiness after an exam-related TV-watching hiatus, I’ve decided to write up a post I’ve been itching to do for some time now.

Anyone who knows me knows that I went through a serious Doctor Who phase the summer before last. I watched all seven of the seasons that were out at the time. Shortly after that, I watched Torchwood, too. And then I started doodling TARDII (my preferred pluralization of TARDIS) everywhere, cosplayed Martha Jones in a group cosplay at FanExpo, etc.

However, around the time the Ponds left, I realized I had started to force myself to tune in every week. That one episode where the universe like exploded and then they pressed the Giant Reset Button? Yes, that confused and angered me. I don’t think I’ve seen a single Clara episode aside from last year’s Christmas special, I’m not keen on watching this year’s, and I didn’t watch the 50th Anniversary Special. So I’m starting to think this viewer’s feelings about the show — dislikey feelings — have grown strong enough that she ought to acknowledge them.

Let me be clear: this is not a hate-on-Moffat kind of post. I have read my fair share of those and I acknowledge that some things that Steven Moffat has done as showrunner have been problematic, but Russell T. Davies was in the same boat. (I disapprove of the hagiography of Rusty. He was a great showrunner, but he wasn’t perfect. Come on.)

Anyhow, here are a few of the reasons why I haven’t been tuning in.

  • I just never clicked with Eleven the way I clicked with Nine and Ten. Something about his humour, maybe? I just never connected with him the way I did with Nine and Ten. It’s not you, Matt Smith, it’s me. (For realsies — I know that lotsa people love him as the Doctor.

  • On a similar note, I never clicked with Amy, Rory, River, or Clara the way I clicked with Rose, Martha, Donna, and Jack. I think that part of this is that the viewer was supposed to click with Rose right off the bat; she was just an ordinary, relatable human who acted as an audience surrogate. It was the same thing with Martha and Donna and, to an extent, even Jack. The whole Amy/Rory/River thing marks a departure from this format and left me as a viewer standing out in the cold, watching a story unfold that I used to be a part of. #foreveralone

  • I have a real problem with Steven Moffat’s companion format. For Amy, River, and Clara, he’s used the same format. Eleven meets a girl, but she’s no ordinary girl, no, that would be boring! (Even though Rose, Martha, and Donna were pretty ordinary women.) There’s something very odd about her, something different, and now he’s got to find out what. With Amy, it was the massive weirdo time lapses and her clone-replacement and pregnancy. For River, it was the backwards timeline (which was kinda cool, I’ll admit) and the fact that she’s the Doctor’s wife and knows more about him than he knows about himself. For Clara, I’m not 100% sure because — as I’ve said — I haven’t been watching, but I know it’s a timeline-related thing where she sacrificed her timey-wholeness or something for the Doctor (detailed, I know). Each time Moffat introduces a new companion, her storyline smacks of the old one, and not in a fun nostalgic way, either.

  • Speaking of getting old, the Weeping Angels tho. They were fascinating and terrifying at first, and even the second time around, but now I think it’s just getting stale. And in his attempts to keep it fresh, Moffat’s written himself into contradictory, confusing, unexplainable corners with plot-holes galore.

  • Finally, can we please have a lady Doctor with some dude companions? Maggie Smith or Judy Dench would do nicely, if you want to stick with the UK’s only twelve actors. A Doctor from a visible minority would also do nicely. Representation, please.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment, not that that’s a little bit.

    To be clear, though, I still am in love with Nine and Ten’s seasons, and even the first bit of Eleven’s. I still love Torchwood (bring it back, omg). I still want to go to the Doctor Who museum in Cardiff. And I still want to go stand at the space where the Torchwood entrance would be in Cardiff and pretend I am about to become a member of Torchwood and go round up Weevils and stuff. And I will continue to proudly drink out of my TARDIS mug and write in my River Song TARDIS journal and wear my Doctor Who Shirts, because I will always be a Whovian.

    Since a lot of my beef with DW has to do with me not connecting with the characters, maybe I will tune into the Christmas special to see if Peter Capaldi works better for me. I did like him as Lucius Caecilius Iucundus in DW and John Frobisher in Torchwood (brb still mourning John Frobisher).

    (Note: the above image is not mine. Click through to the source, but it’s 600% owned by BBC, kinda like my soul once was.)

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