- The Doctor has become more about how he appears to fans rather than what he does.
- It is getting hard to explain what makes the Doctor so great.
- The Doctor should be dead.
- The writers save him and not the Doctor himself through his abilities.
Because this is going to be such a touchy subject, let me first clarify that this topic will only be covering the most recent Doctors 9,10 and 11. And YES I do understand that 12 could change everything I am saying. The reason I do not include any of the Doctors previous to 9, is the same reason the majority of fans haven't. I simple don't care enough to go backwards and they made it ever so easy to jump right on in after 8 lifecycles. But then again, I have never called myself a "True" Doctor Who fan.
I would say that the most common question that people have who haven't seen Doctor Who, but have been witness to its popularity is "What is it about?". And in it right there is where the fans get one chance to pitch this show, in hopes of inquiring yet another fan. It is in my experience that those who have received the pitch and were not convinced always feel that the content or proposal was not as exciting as they had hoped. After all, there are many more shows on television that are consuming what little time we have, we have but no choice to prioritize them. It always feels like people have always struggled with how best to explain the show to anyone. Who is he? What does he do? What makes him so special? All the things that one would ask being that the show's title is in reference to him.
Having first met Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor) run around as this mysterious man, I can say that I had very little joy viewing the work of Russell Davies (head writer). But as I drudged through it, like most I can only assume that as time passed, we grew closer to the characters despite how silly the episodes were. Now that we were attached, they gave us David Tennant (10th Doctor), which is arguably the most loved and renowned incarnation of The Doctor. By this time I can with confidence say that I am going to be on this train for a long time. Not because I felt it was too amazing to get off, but I had enjoyed a great portion of the creativity and always looked forward to what was coming next. Eventually it came time to once again change Doctors. And as Matt Smith came along as the 11th Doctor, so did the writer that gave me the most joy Steven Moffat. Now it wasn't that Russell Davies was a bad writer, in fact one of my all time favorite episodes "Midnight" was written by him. It was that I had felt that Moffat some how treated me more like an adult when it came to the problems the Doctor encountered.
And here is where I start to contradict myself. Because my biggest problem therein lies my biggest complaint. Though I appreciated Moffat's writing when it came to complex situations, I was starting to see this strange change in the main character. He was becoming less of an wise and intelligent time lord who spends his time trying to save the day and changing more into a inquisitive attention seeking rockstar.
As I continued to watch the show, there was one particular scene that made me stop and really think about this character. In that moment I had to really consider if this character was really as amazing as I am led to believe.
Now you may be thinking that with a show like this, I need to take into consideration that it is obviously fiction that I need not attempt to apply any sense of reality to it. Or to put it simply, I needed to learn to suspend reality.
Suspending reality is not a problem for me. It is when I am holding the content accountable to the rules of its own world. For example, I am OK with the Tardis traveling through time. But let's say that in just particular episode, what if the Doctor himself started traveling through time with just the use of his Sonic Screwdriver?
Now obviously in this show, all things could be explain to happen just as that. But what if there were no explanation? Obviously the fans would all find it difficult to accept without reason. So obviously they can all suspend reality, but they are expecting the rules of that world to in the least hold up against itself.
Fans generally have a hard time with conflicting elements with content we are invested in. Some question this and others don't, being OK with such things like Timey Wimey is just not a problem.
So where did it all fall apart for me? In the episode "The Pandorica Opens" there is a part where The Doctor gives this magnificent speech. Now I am taking into consideration of what happens after wards, but because this was an elaborate plan doesn't mean I have to accept the opportunity that was passed up.
"WHY IS THE DOCTOR EVEN ALIVE?"
I then realized something. The Doctor is turning more into a rock star than a genuine genius. I was starting to feel that the Doctor was slowly equipping himself with wonder speeches and witty dialogue that makes us laugh instead of really coming up with an ingenious way to solve a problem.
How many times should the Doctor be dead, but because of writing and not by his own abilities has he got to survive. It is almost as if the Doctor himself has had to work less to get a victory as long as he gets up on stage and melts our hearts with laughter.
In the episode Time of the Doctor, the Doctor himself spent 300 years protecting Tranzalore. My biggest question was how? Yes we see him display his intelligence against one assassin, but he some how was able to fend off numerous armies for 300 years? We do see that he had allies who were shooting and fighting. But what exactly was he doing?
With his magnificent speeches and wonder threats, it almost seems like we as an audience are feed the facts that this character is amazing, and we should be alright with not seeing any of it as time goes on. These are the characteristics of a Rock Star.
I do realize that it would seem that my quarrel is with Moffat and the 11th Doctor, and this in turn does not sum up all of who he is over all of the series. I am holding Moffat to a higher standard because I believed that he wrote on an intellectual level.
Has the Doctor been relying on less and less of his abilities and more of the writers getting him out of tough situations?
Or maybe you think that there is something I am missing? Let's talk about it.