If there is a one science fiction series that I have a complicated relationship with, it’s Doctor Who. To let you know, my preferred English science fiction series is definitely Red Dwarf. I love the cast, characters, and the comedy. It’s all just perfect in how it’s executed until maybe the last seasons. The most interesting part is that in a lot of ways, their premises are somewhat the same in some respect. A select few adventurers travel to different words and time periods on Earth to have adventures. The tone of what the story is and everything that each story is going for is different, but that is still the main idea between each series. I just have a lot of confused feelings towards Doctor Who because it’s never consistent.
What is the perfect Doctor Who experience like for me? The first season of the newer Doctor Who series with the Ninth Doctor. Yeah, I haven’t watched any of the older Doctor Who series and haven’t the pull to take me in that direction, because I usually do that with my favorite series. Doctor Who has never been there for me and my relationship with it can only grow slowly. It hasn’t been consistently entertaining or thoughtful enough to make me want to do anything special with it. Here is the oldest science fiction television franchise in the entire world with a lot of history and lore, and yet not much of the latest offerings have even tried to make me want to dig into it further. I do live as a contrarian most of the time and this is one of those times.
Before anyone says anything, yes I do have a major bias towards Star Trek and Star Trek is the second oldest and long running science fiction television series there is. They even have similar concepts with having episodic adventures with the same crew every week and such. I think it’s that I know there is a lot of good in Star Trek and how each show has a long lasting crew behind them that makes them strong in my mind. Even the later and questionable Star Trek series have developed characters that I find very interesting and can witness more of their journey. Doctor Who never had that chance with me, so this post is 100% biased. I don’t think that makes anything that I say invalid though. An opinion of a new comer is just as valid as a person who stuck around with something for a very long time. Remember that.
Everything between Eccelson to Jodie Whitaker didn’t match up to me in the same way for some reason. I am not going to say anything bad about David Tennant, because I think that’s physically impossible. He’s a fantastic actor that carried the doctor role without even trying. It’s just that some of the episodes I watched went a little too far in the time travel shenanigans direction or played around with things in ways that I didn’t like. The cast carried the show more then well enough for me to continue. When it comes to Matt Smith’s and Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, I honestly hated their guts from the first episode onward. Matt Smith was too goofy, the time travel stuff didn’t make any sense, and he was the most important person in that universe for some reason when he should have just been a well educated traveler. Same with Peter, except his stories were darker. What happened to the Doctor just being a traveler or the point of view character to tell different sorts of stories each week? Apparently they were completely thrown out after Stephen Moffat took the controls. Each doctor’s actor was fine, it was probably the bad writing that ruined everything for me.
So what about Jodie Whitaker you may ask? It was closer to what I was looking for, even if her first season was more above average then anything else. I loved her performance as the Doctor and the human stories presented in each of her episodes. Her companions aren’t the most interesting people in the world, but they each had some trauma they were trying to resolve which made them feel believable. Each episode gave them the chance to interact with more episodic cast members that could help these companions in some way. Them meeting and talking fleshed those characters out at the same time, so it’s a good way to go about things. Jodie Whitaker herself was wonderful by being the perfect balance of being believable human while also having this alien quality to her that you could never put a finger on. The problems were the stories. Each episode played it a little too safe because their stories were a little too grounded for something that is science fiction/time travel/both. I feel like next season is going to be a little bigger, with more impactful stories. At least I hope so. At worst, it will be the same so it will at least be watchable.
So what did you learn about me today? That I’m incredibly picky about how I want my science fiction. I like science fiction stories, but adding time travel is always tricky for me. So there is my issues with Doctor Who in one sentence. The Ninth Doctor’s season was that perfect match or goldilocks feel of good time travel, character drama, out there stories, and such that just caught me in the right way. I still think about that season now. I am a science fiction fan, but I will never call myself a Doctor Who fan since I am not in love with it as some people are. Hmmm, maybe I should share some time travel tv shows that I do like. Perhaps next time, perhaps not. Do you guys have any clues in what it might be? I have a feeling this one is going to be a little more then obscure.
(The Godzilla: King of Monsters Review is Delayed by a week. I was planning on reviewing it for next week, but I didn’t see it this weekend. I will definitely try to see it next weekend, though.)