Doctor Who is a British science fiction show that has just completed its 12th season; which my review today will be covering. The plot of the show centres around a time traveling character called The Doctor (played by a multitude of actors over the years, but is currently portrayed by Jodie Whittaker), who goes on various adventures through time and space.
The last time I talked about this show I suggested that it was on the decline, beyond hope, but having now finished the latest series I am slightly more optimistic about it. The finale, the Tessla episode and Frankenstein episode I thought were good, the rest well I will get to them. Having good episodes is a step up from season 11, where they were all either incredibly forgettable or bad.
What’s more in these episodes were the writing is stronger and more Doctor central Jodie Whittaker’s portrayal of the character is better. When she is playing it straight her version of the character works, it doesn’t when she is manically talking to herself, or showing no empathy towards the companions. Speaking of which, an opinion of mine that hasn’t changed is that the companions this season are terrible, they have nothing to do, no personality, and only serve to steal focus away from the Doctor; BBC if you’re listening kill off one or two of them and give Jodie Whittaker and the Doctor more time to shine. I was really hoping in the season finale that they would have killed a few of them off, but they don’t have the balls anymore for real stakes where characters might die.
Finally, this season is a season of extremes, those bad episodes I was talking about before are really, really bad. Is it an improvement in quality to go from a season of really boring bland episodes to then have a season where every episode is either good or awful? Current year Doctor Who seems to love giving lectures, there are multiple moments in multiple episodes where the Doctor looks into the camera and gives us a talking to about one thing or another and it just annoying, really annoying. Good science fiction is escapism, the audience doesn’t want to constantly be reminded how bad they are and how humans are destructive terrible creatures, yet Doctor Who never got the memo clearly.
Ps. This is only a minor thing compared to the other things I’ve talked about here, but can the Doctor go back to visiting other planets please? I understand they might not have the budget for it, but to set every episode on Earth, or Earth like locations is just lazy and it loses all the appeal of the Doctor being able to go anywhere in time or space.
*Also, I am not even going to go into the timeless child twist, because we would be here all day if I did.
Overall, a step up from the woeful season 11, but this show is still bad in a lot of ways, critical ways, and has a long, long way to go to even be half decent Who.
Some strong episodes that actually feel like Doctor Who.
Whittaker has some moments of greatness.
The companions other than Bradly Walsh, are annoying, devoid of personality and worse of all distracting.
Whittaker also has some terrible moments.
The lectures and the complete lack of subtly.
Reviewed by Luke