Entertainment | Doctor Who: Thoughts on the new Doctor

So if you've somehow missed the news (how?), yesterday it was announced that the Thirteenth Doctor will be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who is in fact a woman. Whilst this has provoked a very mixed reaction across the many corners of the internet I personally am super excited as I feel that after Moffat, this was the regeneration the show needed both with regards to lead actor and head writer. For a while now I've been toying with the idea of writing a post on why I stopped watching Doctor Who shortly after Matt Smith's exit when Moffat's writing seemed to go from bad to worse. This seems the perfect time to summarise my thoughts on that and my thoughts on my hopes for Doctor Who's future.
I haven't actually watched Doctor Who since shortly after Matt Smith's regeneration. That's nothing to do with Peter Capaldi as I know he's a very talented actor and I'm sure he did as best he could.

Whilst I know Capaldi is a very talented actor, Steven Moffat really caused me to become disenchanted with Doctor Who. As you may have noticed from my review of Sherlock back in January, he's not my favourite bloke. For one, his portrayals of women always struck me as rather problematic. His female characters were all just hugely under-developed and I felt they had so little agency and ambition beyond the Doctor. With Russell T. Davies as head writer, the female companions played such huge roles and took great initiatives to save the day without the Doctor's instruction (for example, Rose Tyler becoming the Bad Wolf and Martha Jones travelling the world spreading the Doctor's message). Moffat's companions, meanwhile, had their whole lives revolve around the Doctor. Think about what we know of River Song beyond her ties to the Doctor. Think about Amy and Clara's backstories and compare them to the complex family relationships we see with the Nobles. Think about Davies' companions refusing to be belittled by things such as "TARDIS, Timelord, yeah!", then think about Amy's very passive nickname: The Girl Who Waited. Time and time again, Moffat has just been darned annoying.
The Doctor: Isn’t that brilliant? I love not knowing. It keeps me on ...
And it's not just about the women here either. His plots often seem arrogant. He inserted Clara, his own character, into the entire canon of the show. She jumps into the time-stream and becomes the only reason he's ever survived anything ever. And, in the episode Listen it is revealed that her speech to him as a child is what made his character who he is now. This serves as just one example of Moffat writing an episode with the aim of patting himself on the back as much as possible.

It's certainly been the case that Moffat's writing has irritated many and as a result, the show's ratings have been declining in recent years. All I know of new head writer, Chris Chibnall is Broadchurch which, although sometimes flawed, at least shows an ability to write women as normal, actual people. This, paired with the first ever casting of a female actor as The Doctor is very exciting and had Moffat still been writing this, it probably would've been awful. This huge change-up is exactly what the show needs to get back to its old, quality self and I for one can't wait to see what series 11 has in store.

The upcoming series promises regeneration in more ways than the literal one undergone by the Twelfth Doctor. It promises an entirely new dynamic between Doctor and companion, and between Doctor and the many members of various societies she'll meet. It promises positive change and something new and refreshing. Beyond all that, we're getting, regardless of gender, a brilliant actor and a promising new head writer.

A woman is taking up the sonic screwdriver and, it's about time.

Paris out 💃🏻 xxx

*gif not my own.

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