I am unhappy with Doctor Who
September 23, 2011
I’m catching up on the current season, made it up to “The Girl Who Waited,” and I have to say, I’m frustrated. I fell behind about halfway through the first half of the season, and when it came time to catch up, I found I couldn’t remember a damned thing about what had happened. There was this thing in America, the Doctor gets shot by someone in a spacesuit, Amy got lost in a place with a girl, might be pregnant, blah blah. I didn’t remember because I didn’t care. It was all mushy.
Then I started getting some very worrying spoilers, so I made sure to catch up. And all I can think is, WTF?
“Let’s Kill Hitler” frustrated me to the point where I was yelling at my friend to tell me whether or not we’d ever seen Mels before because I thought we must have and I just couldn’t remember (see above), and he refused to tell me because it was a spoiler. Well, the spoiler came, and again I’m like WTF? Because really, he could have just said, “No, we have never seen Mels before, and this episode spent ten minutes retconning her into existence so we could have another exciting plot twist.” I was so. . .angry that I had gotten angry over this.
I’m going to just come out and say it: I do not like Matt Smith’s Doctor. Sure, he’s cute and has lots of funny. (“Fezzes are cool!”) But there’s nothing there. He’s vague and mushy, and just doesn’t have a range of expression. He’s got slapstick, and that’s about it. Eccelston’s Doctor had this crazy fun joie de vivre with an underlying darkness that made him utterly distinct. Tennant’s Doctor was borderline evil, in a really delicious way. (Or, according to this lovely alignment chart, actual Chaotic Evil.) He’d go off these rants about his power, his identity, what he’s sacrificed, what he’s willing to sacrifice, and he’d be terrifying. Then he’d turn around and save a puppy. Smith’s Doctor is just there. I’d get into the TARDIS with the ninth and tenth Doctors. I don’t think I would with this one.
Then there’s Amy Pond. Amy Amy Amy. Gah. This says everything about Amy. Like Matt Smith’s Doctor, there’s nothing there. She’s cute, that’s it.
I do love Rory, though. Poor, long suffering Rory.
And let’s talk about this storyline. River Song is a splendid character and has been since the moment we met her. I went back and rewatched “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” again, though I avoided doing so for awhile because those are really scary episodes. (Oh, and I haven’t been scared this season, at all…) River is even more brilliant in these than I remember, and seeds really are planted that come to fruition as late as “A Good Man Goes to War.” But here, River is a scintillating, vaguely criminal, chaotic, intelligent, and completely normal human being.
I think I liked her much better as a completely normal, if brilliant, human being who has this marvelous reverse-cross-time relationship with the Doctor. That was so much more interesting. And now, what? She’s part Time Lord, and she regenerates, except oh, she doesn’t, we took that away from her because that would be too complicated, moving on. This isn’t interesting to me.
And you know what my problem with “The Girl Who Waited” is? They didn’t have the balls to make Amy look actually older. Or maybe even cast a sixty year old to play old Amy. A woman with crows feet and graying hair. A sixty year old woman who would kiss Rory, and whom Rory would kiss back. Instead of that, what we should have had, what the story called for, we had kind-of-puffy-tired-looking Amy. They didn’t even put a thread of gray in her hair, after the very hard thirty-six years she’s had. This is rank cheating. And just proved to me that Amy’s entire purpose in this show is to be cute.
I keep watching, waiting for the flashes of brilliance we had in episodes like “Blink,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” and “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.” It could still happen.