That has been one of the writers’ biggest failings this series. The Doctor is a bit flat. Doctors have usually had to blend a childish side with a darker side. Perhaps dark side is going too far, but a certain selfishness, irritability, condescension, pain… So far Whitaker has only been given the childishness and childlike admiration. They keep making a point of how difficult is has been for her to adapt to this new body, so perhaps it will come back to her. Then again, a major driver of the Doctor’s pain, the Time War, was sort of wrapped up with the Doctor coming to terms with her actions in it, so it makes sense that Whitaker would be more at peace with herself than previous iterations. But then there needs to be something else to give the Doctor some depth. If not curmudgeonliness, then something, anything!
As for the episode itself, I felt it was the funniest so far, and I appreciate that the viewers were left to make their conclusions about the value of work, the corporate balancing act between growing profits and building communities, and automation.
Yeah if you’re going to take away all of the Doctor’s past because you want viewers to be able to understand everything without having watched what came before, it probably would have been best not to triple the doctor’s usual companion count. It’s hard enough to develop one character quickly, but 4?
In support of what has been said before, this was by far the best episode. The writing is a little ham-handed at times, and some scenes seem cut straight from a soap-opera which Doctor Who is not. I understand the “not enough sci-fi criticism” though I don’t share the feeling. Jodie Whittaker still hasn’t been given her moment to shine as the Doctor, and I firmly believe that’s the writers’ fault. It’s not enough to give her catchphrases from previous Doctors.
It hasn’t all come together yet, but then it always takes me time to adjust to a new Doctor. I hated Ecclestone and Capaldi outright at first, though I came to enjoy both (especially Capaldi). So Whittaker has a step on them at least.
One thing this series gets right and better than the previous ones, is the visuals. This has been a stunning series. And the intro beats out even Ecclestone’s. Now hopefully they’ll start creating story arcs, stop trying to bludgeon us with edifying speeches when a simple nudge will do, and give Whittaker something to grasp onto.
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