back to article Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Brid-Aine says: Ever since Doctor Who arrived back on Auntie Beeb screens, there has been a great divide in this country. The Caretaker episode Doctor Who Who you gonna call? Clara and Doctor Who in The Caretaker On the one hand, those who knew and loved the old Doctors, their serious and gentlemanly deportment when faced …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    The biggest problem is a dozen people have played the same character and it was weak one to begin with. You can only make so much with a suet pudding.

    I haven't been able to watch a full Dr. Who episode in several years.

    1. BillG


      The Doctor is supposed to be uninterested in her romantically, not a blinkered idiot. Coleman is a beautiful woman and neutering the Doctor to the point where he can’t even objectively see that is just bizarre

      Coleman is an outrageously beautiful woman. For crying out loud, for this Doctor to ignore that, he must be dead inside!!

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        He's not human, if he changes between incarnations his tastes could bend towards other species entirely.

      2. Just Enough

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She may be beautiful by your estimation, but why does the Doctor have to share those measures?

        It is foolish to imagine that beauty is a universal absolute.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jenna-Louise

          "It is foolish to imagine that beauty is a universal absolute."

          Not in this case.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        Yup, second fittest assistant ever.

        The fittest being another Louise, Jameson, playing the scantilly clad Leela. Yep, Futurama fans, before you ask, two eyes. Young people : google is your friend.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jenna-Louise

          > Yup, second fittest assistant ever.

          >The fittest being another Louise, Jameson, playing the scantilly clad Leela. Yep, Futurama fans, before you ask, two eyes. Young people : google is your friend.

          You lie!

          Sarah-Jane was the godess!

          1. Vulch

            Re: Jenna-Louise

            >> Yup, second fittest assistant ever.

            >>The fittest being another Louise, Jameson, playing the scantilly clad Leela.

            > Sarah-Jane was the godess!

            Bah, bunch of youngsters who never saw Wendy Padbury as Zoe the lot of you...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Jenna-Louise

              > Bah, bunch of youngsters who never saw Wendy Padbury as Zoe the lot of you...

              I saw her and she was nice, but a bit too high-schooly for me.

            2. no-one in particular

              Re: Jenna-Louise

              Zoe in a silver catsuit, clinging onto the Tardis console as it swept through a black infinity...

        2. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: Jenna-Louise

          Hrm. You know it's occured to me that there's nothing to stop the *same* assistant rejoining as a Doctor's companion. Or indeed anything stopping a companion being companion to an older Doctor and a younger Doctor, simaultaneously.

          Heh - you could pluck a River-lite out of thin air, have the Tardis (who recognises all trusted future-companions) let them unlock/open the door, breeze in, collect something, "sorry I'm early, I was late, but I have to leave because I haven't arrived!", breeze out, past a spluttering current Doctor/Companion. These moments are why I like Doctor Who :)

          1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme


            "Heh - you could pluck a River-lite out of thin air, have the Tardis (who recognises all trusted future-companions) let them unlock/open the door, breeze in, collect something, "sorry I'm early, I was late, but I have to leave because I haven't arrived!", breeze out, past a spluttering current Doctor/Companion. These moments are why I like Doctor Who :)"

            Positively brilliant! That would be a fantastic moment of "But wait, I... You... Did that just happen?!?"

          2. SleepyJohn

            Re: Jenna-Louise @Daggerchild

            "These moments are why I like Doctor Who"

            Those sorts of moments are precisely why I USED TO like Dr Who. Their replacement with what seems increasingly like a moronic Saturday morning American kids' cartoon is why I can no longer bear to watch it at all. I tried with this new Doctor but almost find him even more idiotic than the gibbering pre-teen with St Vitus' Dance that preceded him. Where is Christopher Eccleston when you need him?

            I now find my cat more interesting than Dr Who. My daughter assures me that behind the occasional twitch of a whisker, and disdainful sneer at the menu, lies a great mind absorbed in the deepest, most mysterious recesses of the Universe. And frankly I find my cat more convincing in that role than the recent infantile iterations of Dr Who. The character should be deep with a shallow veneer, not the other way round.

            As for the silly little girl and her rather wet, burgeoning boyfriend - is this the stultifyingly dreary Amy & Rory metaphorically emerging from the shower? Come back River Song, please. Only the heady mix of your sensual magnetism and cosmic intellect can save me from watching the cat.

      4. h3

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        Yeah but I wouldn't notice an outrageously beautiful gorilla or whatever.

        Romance shouldn't feature in it at all. (Same way I am not attracted to members of other species).

        Coleman was best when she was actually a Dalek.

        1. SleepyJohn

          Re: Jenna-Louise

          "Coleman was best when she was actually a Dalek"

          Yes. And has become ever more pointless and infantile ever since. Bring back Donna, the best foil The Doctor ever had; she supplied the down-to-earth (excuse the pun) attitude that he was too rarified to relate to. I am tired of little girls barely off their mothers' breasts, who the writers make out to be more capable than the Doctor at his own 900 year-old Time Lord game.

      5. Purple-Stater

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        I think it's a bit more bizarre that people don't see that the Dr. knows what he shouldn't be doing with the young human-lady, but has a bit of naughty delight in getting her dander up in a way that leaves her befuddled over whether he's simply teasing her or he really is that ignorant of human notions of youth & beauty. I've been finding the entire process to be quite amusing!

      6. illiad

        Re: Jenna-Louise

        well need to have watched the last few eps of the last series to know why he is bitter and twisted..

        what would a soldier feel, coming out of a great battle, almost sure that his action or inaction killed 100's of his close comrades???

    2. Steve Crook

      It's not the character

      It's the people who write the stories and those who play the part. All we've done is switch actor, they all play the same character rushing around in the same old story fighting the same old enemies using the same old sonic screwdriver all the while grimacing at the camera and ultimately using the same deus ex to complete the story.

      It might have been more interesting if the current doctor *did* have the hots for his assistant at least it'd add *something* new. At the moment it's hard to tell the last three apart if you squint. The doctor has become invincible like Superman, and, like Superman the stories are equally uninteresting. A bit more Batman Dark Knight might be appropriate.

      Moffat has turned out to be a one trick pony, ok if you really like the trick, but dull and repetitive if you don't.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: It's not the character

        Some of the storylines have been weak, (clockwork robots again? And is THAT the best you could up with having as magnificent a character as Robin Hood to work with?), but the 'thing under the bed' and 'mind-sucking aliens' episodes were great.

        Peter Capaldi is so far proving to be an excellent Doctor. I far prefer the doctor to be an old irascible git, rather than a 20-something hipster. He's spent a thousand years fighting other aliens, travelled teh length and breadth and (time) height and depth of the Universe, he's seen it all and done it all. He's bound to be a bit impatient with everyone else. And yet he retains that love of adventure and a certain twinkle in the eye.

        Of course there is still plenty of time before a final judgement. Both Tennant and Smith took a while to grow on me, and they were both definitely "The Doctor" in the end

        1. Swiss Anton

          ... but the 'thing under the bed' ...

          I dream sweetly now, knowing that there is a Jenna-Louise under my bed.

      2. Simon Harris

        Re: It's not the character

        "they all play the same character"

        I'd disagree with you there - they all play an embodiment of the Doctor, but hasn't one of the properties of regeneration always been to change his character traits, so I'd say one person but different characters?

        The sonic screwdriver always seems to get an upgrade with each Doctor too (probably each series now, so they can ensure a fresh supply of Christmas goodies each year) - it seems to be prescient too as it always seems to upgrade itself with exactly the new functionality needed for all the problems in the new series! It might be fun if one sonic screwdriver upgrade turned out to be buggy and turned it all slow and clunky and made it fail at the most inconvenient moment!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not the character

          "It might be fun if one sonic screwdriver upgrade turned out to be buggy and turned it all slow and clunky and made it fail at the most inconvenient moment!"

          What a vista that would be.

          1. Pedigree-Pete

            Re: It's not the character

            Damn you Sir! Have an upvote whilst I try & form a funnier post pointing at M$.

          2. El Zorro

            Re: It's not the character

            Maybe if it keeps getting bent in his pocket

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: It's not the character

            "What a vista that would be."

            You mean a Modern sonic screwdriver?

            1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

              Re: It's not the character

              Don't you mean

              "sonic the hedgehog screwdriver"?

              Ok, I'll get me coat after all it is well past midnight over there in Blighty and you young fellas should be tucked up in bed, shouldn't you?

            2. P. Lee

              Re: It's not the character

              >>What a vista that would be."

              > You mean a Modern sonic screwdriver?

              No, that would be a flat-head.

              Is it me or is Danny an older version of Rose's bf? The young/dumb matched with unusual-features-Rose so that it kinda worked, but poor Danny doesn't seem like a believable match for Clara. She's very quick he seems a very slow and plodding. After meeting the Doctor in Caretaker, he's already end-of-series resigned to his place.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not the character

          ...and presumably it went floppy quite a lot...

    3. breakfast Silver badge

      Oh come now, it's not that scary.

  2. phil dude


    I had never heard of the previous actors before I saw them on Dr Who, so I would think that PC has some residual "Malcolm-ness" in most adult heads...

    Take a step back though, and he's a bit darker for sure - and the pretty companion is looking less placeholder and more conspirator...

    DT and JS were sometimes hilarious! You might all like to know the Master's Scissor Sisters dance does not appear on Netflix - which is a real shame as it was very surprising at the time!


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Replace Muppet

  4. The Bit Wrangler

    I'm with...

    Gavin and (to a degree) Jennifer. I think PC _can_ be a great doctor but someone has to make an effort with the scripts. The first one was just terrible with Capaldi and Coleman trying far too hard to make a genuinely awful script the series reboot it should have been. They've got slowly better, I'd like to see one where they don't refer to Clara's life on earth and just go on a whacky adventure - you know, like Dr Who!

    I disagree almost entirely with Brid-Aine, but I can see the point-of-view. To me the relationship between Doctor and side-kick is very-much unimportant - it never used to be an issue pre-Billy Piper - can't we just go back to exploring the multiverse?

  5. 45RPM

    I like Peter Capaldi - and I like some of the concepts in ‘New’ Who. I liked the Blink concept. I liked the Listen concept. I thought the crack in the wall was an awesome concept. But what I really want from Doctor Who is less silliness and more full-on buttock-tightening terror. I want to be scared, and cowering, behind the sofa.

    But, as my wife points out, what will scare the willies out of a mid-forties curmudgeon might be overkill for the core child audience.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      I *loved* the Listen concept. Powers beyond the Powers, that don't meddle (in the same way the Doctor does) unless they do meddle (in the same way the Doctor does).

      Maybe they find the Doctor to be a kindred spirit :)

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      I, too, really like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor but...

      "But what I really want from Doctor Who is less silliness and more full-on buttock-tightening terror."

      THIS! A brief bit of silliness every now and then is good BUT, there should be clear limits on how much and how often.

      As for Listen that, in my reckoning, goes down as the (VERY close) second best episode of the current era, topped only by Blink. Mr. Moffat - More like that please!

  6. Rabbers

    It's supposed to be silly

    I’ve been watching Dr Who since Tom Baker, and also seen several older episodes since.

    I reckon that everyone can see the faults, but all series have filler episodes that tread water until the good one-offs and the main story arc builders come in.

    The main point for me is that it’s actually quite silly, sometimes childish and easy to absorb sci-fi.

    As far as silly Sci-Fi story lines go, whilst Dr Who wasn’t being made, I had to make do with Lexx which again was mostly stupid, but had the odd cracking story lines.

    Roll on Dr Who – if you take it seriously, you’re probably a bit silly though.

  7. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Exceptional Doctor Who plots have always been the exception. Largely, it's re heated sci fi for a family audience. And that's true pre- or post- reboot.

    But Nu Who had become a chore to watch; I was just hanging on for Matt Smith's charms. Not this series, however. Whether it's being daft or being serious, it's zinging. The Caretaker was so Whedonesque it could have been an episode of Buffy. And I love the screwball comedy that Clara and Capaldi are generating; it may not be deep but it does deconstruct how we judge people by appearance ("why is your face all coloured in?") and young children won't have really thought about those issues before. So its great.

    People take Doctor Who too seriously. It's meant to be fun. At the moment it is. Enjoy it.

    (And also, nobody mentioned Clara's outfits. How could you not want them all???!!)

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Boo Who

      Matt Smith wasn't a really good Doctor IMO. It was partly because he had an incredibly hard act to follow in David Tennant.

      Also Karen Gillan was good eye candy but a bit lacklustre in the character/ personality department. Jenna Coleman manages to sparkle more but I do think she is let down a little by the scripts which are overall good (especially Listen), but don't give her a satisfying part.

      Peter Capaldi has been a pleasant surprise after Matt Smith. A more serious and abrasive character, yet able to carry off the comedy well.

      1. Stacy

        Re: Boo Who

        Amy, in the first series was a great doctors companion, as was Rory. The problem was that after the first great series the scripts went a bit downhill.

        As for favorite doctor, that for me is a tough one. As with Jennifer, I had a bit of a girl crush on David Tennant (to be fair, I still do...) and so it's a tough comparison for any other. But! I think that Matt did a great job (again, with slowly worsening scripts to work with - his send off was a huge anti-climax when you compare it David's!).

        So far I am loving Peter, there have been dud eposides, but as others have said there have also been great ones - Listen was hairs on the back of the neck terrifying (I'll admit at this point that I never watch horror, this is as creepy as I go) and I'd also list it as second only to Blink.

        Clara depserately needs some personality padding. And she needs to be happy and smile less when situations are seriously bad. But, yes, I would love most of Clara's outfits. (Actually, I have red handbag now as I thought it looked so good on the show :S )

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The Caretaker was so Whedonesque it could have been an episode of Buffy."

      You seem to be saying that as if it were a good thing.

  8. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    TV Entertainment

    I find it hard to criticise Dr Who without having to mention Tumble, Splash, Celebrity Come Dancing, X Factor, Pop Idols, and hours of what I would personally call drivel, and, when I've done that, Dr Who seems highly admirable regardless of which doctor, sidekick, 'monster', alien, writer or director it has.

    It's not always great but it's rarely been bad either. It's certainly got great production values these days and that alone is worth applauding. I could find fault but I always feel a little mean-spirited in doing so when there's so much else which is worse elsewhere.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: TV Entertainment

      Well said sir! A little context sometimes puts things into perspective.

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Above criticism

    There are two things that commentards will not hear a word against: Dr. Who is one.

    Maybe to get a bit of Register luvvin' all the Doctor has to do is dump his sonic screwdriver and whip out his Raspberry Pi.

    It stands to reason that within the confines of a time machine, the bitty little processor would have an infinite clock speed and due to the Dimensional Transcendentalism of the TARDIS, probably much more memory than appears from the outside. Therefore it would be eminently possible for the pinn-y little thing to solve any problem it was given.

    You never know, it might even come up with some better scripts.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Above criticism

      "Maybe to get a bit of Register luvvin' all the Doctor has to do is dump his sonic screwdriver and whip out his Raspberry Pi."

      Depends on whether the Pi exists in the same universe as the Doctor, Squire.

  10. Andy 73 Silver badge

    Story arcs and episodes

    I like PC, like the one-liners and the darker approach.

    What doesn't work so well for me is the harsh line between story arc and episodic format. Moffat seems to have fallen into the rhythm of one-concept per episode (too often borrowed from a film), which gives little time to explore an idea before they have to leap to a quick conclusion (*cough* shooting a spaceship with a gold arrow). The heavy handed teasers that something else is going on do not constitute a story arc, so much as build to a series end that cannot possibly satisfy once you've got past the "so that's what it meant" discovery.

    A little more continuity between episodes would help, as would one or two properly identifiable baddies that the doctor can bash up against rather than simply not understand before producing a rabbit from his hat. At the moment, it's like watching a pin-ball machine: individual events are exciting, but the lack of any flow makes it a bit exhausting.

    1. VinceH

      Re: Story arcs and episodes

      "What doesn't work so well for me is the harsh line between story arc and episodic format. [...] The heavy handed teasers that something else is going on do not constitute a story arc, so much as build to a series end that cannot possibly satisfy once you've got past the "so that's what it meant" discovery."

      ^ This, this and more this.

      You've more or less said what I've said elsewhere before now about new Who. IIRC, the last time I bothered to discuss this was a couple of seasons back (the one where Amy was preggers/not preggers, having been taken and replaced with a replicant of some sort). It struck me that the "story arc" elements were - for most of the season - no more than reminders of something that was shown to us in the first episode.

      This whole afterlife/Missy thing is coming across to me in the say way. Varying the person meeting Missy (because it's a different person this episode who has been offed) - and even having the person not meet Missy because she isn't there - doesn't change that.

      For me, a good story arc needs to be integrated more seamlessly and subtly into the individual episode's stories, not jar from it, and build up over time equally subtly. (Though the*occasional* out of place, unexpected moment is acceptable - think the first ever reveal of a Shadow vessel in Babylon 5; a proper "WTF?" moment that makes you sit up and take even more notice in future.)

      1. Stacy

        Re: Story arcs and episodes

        The problem is thay Moffet's son has a short attention span and can't cope with a story that spans more than one episode (he has said this in an interview, OK I may be paraphrasing - but he said he son didn't like multi week stories) and so he decided that he couldn't upset his him. Ergo, he is writing for his son, rather than for the fans.

        I would love more multi-episode stories where they can really get stuck into the story, leave a cliff hanger or two and leave out the current rushing to a conclusion.

  11. Simon Harris

    Clara Oswald... old or unattractive... utterly absurd

    Maybe not - for the recent spate of Doctors, until Capaldi came along, they've all been getting physically younger with each regeneration as they've been getting older.

    Maybe it's stretching a point, but by that measure he may consider someone as young as Oswald to be 'old'... or maybe he's just clowning around!

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Clara Oswald... old or unattractive... utterly absurd

      "Maybe it's stretching a point, but by that measure he may consider someone as young as Oswald to be 'old'... or maybe he's just clowning around!"

      Maybe this Doctor just doesn't fancy humans.

      I mean, you'd save a sack of drowning puppies but you might not want to take them home and have them crap everywere.

      1. AIBailey

        Well done sir

        "I mean, you'd save a sack of drowning puppies but you might not want to take them home and have them crap everywere."

        That is all. --->

  12. breakfast Silver badge

    Family drama

    As a sunday-evening family drama goes it's fine. Better than most other things.

    I am enjoying Capaldi's more cantankerous persona, it's a refreshing change. Also contrary to some of the article I feel like Clara is finally getting some character in this series. That said, she always comes across as a bit too playschool presenter for my liking, which is ironic because everyone knows that the best companion started out as a playschool presenter.

    Mr Moffatt has some very bad habits as a writer but he does seem quite conscious of them and maybe one of these days he'll stop walking into the same annoying traps or trying to wring our emotions with a consequence-free and ultimately trivialised fatalities. Also the "flagshipness" of the show seems to make it harder for him to be allowed any subtlety ( "our studies show that the C1 through D4 demographic won't get it" ) so I suspect there is a certain amount of limitation on what he is able to do.

  13. Hilibnist

    Change of premise

    I think part of the classic series which just worked was the Doctor's inability to accurately pilot the TARDIS. That meant they could start a story with no intention from the TARDIS crew to be involved and use the time more entertainingly with the them figuring out where they were and what to do about it.

    IMHO, the New Series sees the Doctor deliberately navigating the TARDIS to precise coordinates too often, thereby begging a justification in the plot for why he chose to be there (and missing the opportunity for some chance or unlikely encounters). Perhaps that removes some of the mystery from PC's Doctor?

    It's still a reason to look forward to Saturday evenings!

  14. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Still awaiting the *click*.

    Sitting in a neutral parking orbit, but I'm not yet seeing anything I want in the Capaldi Who.

    Actually, no, that's not entirely true. There was that one moment in the first episode where Capaldi lounges in the chair, casually pouring into his cup (IIRC) musing, with a gentle frown, that he may have to kill his conversation partner. *That* has potential.

    The Doctor has aspects. I want the forceful meddler now. We've had the accidental meddler. We've had the don't-interfere Doctors. I want the 'fix the cause, not the symptoms' Doctor. The Doctor that explains why his enemies *fear* him instead of ignoring him. Capaldi would make a hunter you could fear. The Timelords were notorious for meddling. They can't always have been wrong in doing so. The things they were suppressing are no longer suppressed with Gallifrey bottled. Some large scale actions may be necessary, with nobody else capable of taking them. If the Timelords return, he can dump the job on them again, and run, again.

    Lots of real-world geo-political resonances you can play with there, wouldn't you say?

    1. EddieD

      Re: Still awaiting the *click*.

      "Sitting in a neutral parking orbit, but I'm not yet seeing anything I want in the Capaldi Who."

      I want his coat. I don't actually watch Dr Who, but when I was visiting my family recently my brother and niece were watching, and now I want his Crombie.

      It's on order.

      I'm very sad...

    2. Gordon 10
      Thumb Up

      Re: Still awaiting the *click*.

      Agree. a few more glimpses of the family of blood doctor would be good. And the one that offed the star creature in the Xmas episode. Where Donna said he needs a companion to keep everyone else safe.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Still awaiting the *click*.

        "Where Donna said he needs a companion to keep everyone else safe"

        A companion has never had to contemplate murdering their Doctor yet have they, to force the reroll. *Nobody* could kill Matt Smith! PC on the other hand might enjoy that distinction :) Ah, the places my mind goes... :)

        1. Gordon 10

          Re: Still awaiting the *click*.

          Just watching the latest episode on the moon.

          It's currently redeeming the entire series so far. Dodgy sets, but with a great Capaldi and Coleman moment and a great moral dilemma.


  15. Lamont Cranston

    I'd like to moan about how bad the current Doctor Who scripts are,

    but they've probably always been that way. I've only noticed it post-relaunch, as I've been watching them as a grown-up, not a (easily pleased) child.

    That said, they really ought to decide who the market is, as they seem to be slightly too difficult to follow for children (and now in too late a timeslot, for some reason), and slightly too crap for adults. Shame, really, as Capaldi and co. are doing their best with what they've been given.

  16. DasBub

    Most Unnecessary Character is...

    Danny. Please kill him off.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Most Unnecessary Character is...

      Ooh, can't to that -- you never know, maybe the Doctor fancies Danny.

  17. rh587 Silver badge

    "Rather than engaging new sci-fi, the writers mine the exhausted"

    Exactly what I've been thinking. I like Capaldi's Doctor. I just don't like the stories they've chosen to tell about him, with the exception of "Listen". Good old-fashioned monsters-under-the-bed (literally) rather than the sillier end of Sci-Fi.

    I'm also conflicted about his hatred of soldiers.

    Day of the Doctor offers some insight to the youthful incarnations of Tennant and Smith - trying to live a more innocent life after committing genocide against two species. A guilt which comes to an end with the Day of the Doctor, and now he can move on a little older and wiser - as Capaldi.

    One can see why he might dislike soldiery - the Doctor has always had a sneer towards anyone running around with guns and he evidently sees it as the darker side of any species. Capaldi's colder exterior however, is just spilling over into nastiness with his treatment of Danny in The Caretaker, and whilst the Doctor can be cold and calculated in his actions, after 12 incarnations, one can't help but think he's wiser and cleverer than how they have portrayed him.

    As for Moffat. He's clearly running out of ideas. That said, at least he plans his way through series though. When the Daleks come back it's because he was forced to let them escape in a previous episode. Not of the RTD silliness where he triumphantly sucks them all into a vortex once and for all... until episode one of the next season when they want them back again and have to concoct some twisted reasoning to allow one or two to have survived. Keep Moffat on as a "Strategic Advisor" to oversee continuity at a season level and get some fresh blood in (yes, I'm aware most episodes have a non-Moffat writer credited, but many, if not most have Moffat credited as a co-writer. Push him back another step, let people write their own episodes rather than co-writing with him, and have him just strategically comment on them).

    1. AIBailey

      " When the Daleks come back it's because he was forced to let them escape in a previous episode."

      At least he's been having the decency to bring back the "classic" daleks, rather than those ridiculous Dyson-inspired cheap looking piles of crap that were introduced a few seasons ago for no reason I can see other than to push a new range of toys.

  18. Enrico Vanni

    "Mining the exhausted"? I've noticed some blatant 'homage' to other sci-fi ("resistance is futile") but I would also like to think that the reference to something as obscure as The Gemini Man in the Caretaker episode was intentional.

  19. Oh Bother


    Can we stop calling Dr Who science fiction?

    It's so far through and beyond fantasy at this stage that it makes lord of the rings read like somethign from medieval history.

    As for the Daleks, boring and overused.

    But it's still reasonably enjoyable.

  20. Digital Sid

    You not personally liking him does not make your opinion fact, please don't state it as such. Especially when it's clearly not reflective, with almost half of Radio Times readers voting him 'Amazing' and considering him the best Doctor ever:

    1. Steven Raith

      Without wishing to sound arsey, a readers vote in the Radio Times is going to be confirmation bias city - it's bought by people who think the BBC is just wonderful.

      I'm not saying it's wrong, but a BBC magazine read by people who like the BBC is unlikely to be the most objective source for data. It's like asking Official Playstation Magazine (are official console magazines still a thing? Last one I read was Nintendo Magazine System back in the N64 days) readers whether they think the PS4 is awsume or not. Your survey sample is not going to be objective.

      I really rather like Capaldi - as noted in the article, the line about being his carer, so he doesn't have to care, was excellent, and I'm hoping to see more of this harsher, snappier Doctor as the series progresses.

      Or to put it another way, my TV is used for Chromecast streams, and to watch Dr Who - something I haven't done for a while. I've been enjoying it so far. It's a nice bit of fun.

      Steven R

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, for something as subjective as 'Is this a good doctor?' it really does make the opinion fact - for the person involved at least.

      At least for the person stating the fact that they feel he is the worst doctor.

      Me having the feeling that he is actually a good Doctor is also fact, even though it looks contradictory.

      Where there is no 'correct' answer then, as long as you are saying what 'you' feel and not what 'others' feel, then what you are saying must be true and correct.

  21. Graham Marsden

    Capaldi - Great, storylines, not so much

    Capaldi is a great actor, but, like all such actors, he's struggling with what have been, mostly, frankly naff stories.

    They're trying too hard to be "funny" or "mad-cap" or "screwball" which really isn't working and when they do come up with something good such as Listen (although pretty much from the start I was thinking "Hang on, isn't that The Silence he's talking about?") it then ended with what was an utterly ridiculous cop-out ending which ruined it.

    Most of the rest of the episodes have been lazy re-treads (hanging a massive Lampshade on the clockwork robots and having a bit of girl-on-lizard-girl action wasn't enough to save the first one) and Robot of Sherwood was just dull.

    My feelings on The Caretaker were "well, it was better than the last couple of episodes", but that really wasn't saying much.

    Come on, Who writers, you can do better than this...

  22. Zog_but_not_the_first

    I keep watching...

    ... but it's never as good as I think it could be.

    Sometime I find myself wishing that Bernard Cribbins would show up.

  23. Frankee Llonnygog

    Sadly missed opportunity

    I want to hear him say, "If you think you frighten me with your fucking sink plunger, you can think the fuck again, you fucking overgrown Hawking-voiced disco ball!"

  24. Stevie


    The series has suffered from terrible scripts for years. Britain has many highly-skilled, world-renowned Sci-Fi writers, so why in the name of Roger Delgado don't the BBC spend some dosh on going the Star Trek route instead of using the same staff writer to churn out tat week after week?

    To put it more succinctly:

    Where is Dr Who's "City on the Edge of Forever", and how much longer must we wait for it?

    1. illiad

      Re: Bah!

      what do you mean?? are you just a 'frustrated producer' looking for a great script and actors that we cannot now afford??? In 1967, things were a lot cheaper and less complicated... :/

      If you just want a 'time jump changes history, ruins everything' thing, it HAS been done..

      1. Stevie

        Re: If you just want a 'time jump changes history, ruins everything' thing,

        Jeepers creepers try reading for context occasionally!

        City on the Edge of Forever was not just the plot, it was the writing which was of a quality not often met in those days and that particular episode was written by Harlan Ellison who knows a bit about plotting and character development. And, as it happens, about Skiffy too.

        What I want is a quality series of scripts from people with genuinely new ideas who can write them intelligently without recourse to "timey-wimey" or "waves sonic screwdriver, problem goes away", and who don't fall prey to the "special effects will substitute for plot" thinking that characterizes every f*cking visual SF B movie. It's the difference between "Quatermass and the Pit" and "The Blob" or "Alien" and "Aliens Vs Predators".

        Azathoth on a bike, we have a robot about as scary as a Nerf Drone and a math teacher who does Wire Fu in the last but one episode. Even the odd clever ideas are being swamped in stupid, and wrapped in holey-woley plotting.

        What I want is an episode or two more like the "Dalek" story from the Eccleston season: clever, well-written and scary as a visit from the taxman. I believed Eccleston was terrified, because for a brief time I was too.

        Of course the writers fell prey to the "if one Dalek is scary, fifty thousand will be scarier" Hollywood-style wuckfit thinking and there went the franchise back into meh in a welter of ill-advised CGI.

        Footnote: Star Wars is an outlier, but the later retouched efforts have started pulling it back into mainstream Hollywood SF meh so it soon won't be. SFX never trump story and writing.

  25. El Zorro

    The Master

    "I would much prefer to see Capaldi face off against a manic John Simm-style Master."

    No no please. If you have a Doctor with the potential gravitas of Capaldi then you have to give him a Roger Delgado adversary.

    I was very disappointed when they squandered the excellent and sinister Derek Jacobi master and transformed him into the young clownster Robert Simm version.

    1. IR

      Re: The Master

      Sounds more like an excellent opportunity to see how the Master got into that state in the first place. Having Capaldi do it would actually be a bit more interesting than the usual cause-then-effect that they seem to do even with so much easy time travel.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: The Master

      Missy - Michelle Gomez.

      I'm not sure where the whole Missy thing is going and I won't waste my time speculating, but there's clearly going to be a confrontation of some sorts.

      If you know the name Michelle Gomez or have watched Green Wing, you know that Capaldi vs Gomez is going to be just fucking amazing. She can make John Simm look reserved and subtle. She doesn't chew the scenery, she devours entire studios.

      Or to put it another way, she took a scene where she had to birth a lion cub (from herself, I might add) and made it work. That's a rare talent.

      Michelle Gomez is vastly underrated as a comedic/dramatic actress - hopefully this will give her the full blown, mainstream multimillion viewer recognition she richly deserves.

      TL:DR - go watch Green Wing on 4OD and tell me you don't to see Missy and The Doctor duke it out verbally. I suspect it'll go down very well....

      Steven R

      1. Lamont Cranston

        Re: Michelle Gomez

        I didn't think much of Green Wing, but The Book Group was great. Revealing her to be The Rani would be rather wonderful (if a tad predictable, I suppose).

        If we're lucky, they'll have something special in store; if not, well, at least I'll be able to impress the kids by knowing more about the character than they do!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a couple of thoughts

    "Season 8 continues the writers’ tradition of Borging and stitching together big-screen sci-fi plots"

    May I take this opportunity to mention that Terrance Dicks said "'You need a good strong original idea, but it doesn't have to be your good strong original idea"

    I see a lot of negativity to the 12th Doctor/this season, but as a visitor to Gallifreybase, your dislikes are as nothing to what I have seen on there, and yet the dislikers are still in the minority. In general its been well-received. Audiences and audience rating are more or less the same as the preceding season.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. montag

    Another transformation?

    I do believe that any problems could be resolved by another Dr change, this time with a female Dr. This would necessitate another showrunner as I doubt Moffatt could handle the chores of making it believable. I would love to see Rose Tyler as the new form of the Dr. And since Ms. Tardis has had both Rose Tyler & Clara Oswald in her time vortex, a clever writer could have a great deal of fun with this.

    1. TheProf

      Re: Another transformation?

      I agree! Because putting a woman in charge has never, ever, been a wrong move.

  29. netean

    It's not PC's fault

    I think Peter Capaldi is good, the problem I have is the stories and writing. There's no doubt that some of the old school episodes were at times terrible, there were also some absolutely brilliant stories, but they were almost always at least 4*30 minute episodes, some were 6 or 8 episodes. Enough time to write characters and stories that could develop.

    Now we're stuck with 50 minute episodes 10 minutes for the set up 30 minutes of trying to build a story until a lacklustre (fix it all with a sonic screwdriver) damp squib of a finale.

    ...and it's all a bit "samey" now too.

    Too much expositional dialog, too much sonic screwdriver pointing that "magically" explains everything and everything works out fine in the end.

    1. Brusselsgeek

      Re: It's not PC's fault

      "samey wamey"?

      But yeah, I agree.

  30. banjomike

    Capaldi cannot be the worst Doctor

    that must be Sylvester McCoy.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Capaldi cannot be the worst Doctor

      Nope Colin Baker was worse, Sylvester at least had some decent stories (eg Curse of Fenric)

  31. Dr Who


    Didn't know I was so popular ,,, or controversial.

  32. Fungus Bob

    killing of the Doctor by River Song that failed to deliver

    Should have had River Tam do it.

    Oh, damn, I've mixed things up again. Must be the meds - I can never remember if I took the blue pill or the red pill...

  33. wx666z

    view from the U.S.

    IMHO, Capaldi is excellent, "Listen" was as good as any Classic Dr. Who episode. Jenna is coming along, Could we get some stronger scripts to take advantage of Capaldi's and Jenna's abilities?

  34. Allan George Dyer

    I was NEVER afraid of monsters under the bed...

    until I watched Listen.

  35. Haku

    Wiffy waffy doddery old fool

    Ok so that may be some what an extreme way to describe the new doctor, but that's sort of what he feels like now to me. Even when the past doctors didn't know what was going on or what to do next they still had strong conviction in their thoughts and actions, but this new one just seems to be 'floating about the place'.

    I'll carry on watching because it's so different and far away from the usual sci-fi flung at us from across the pond, but I'll be hoping the next doctor has more 'substance'.

    (yeah I'll probably get some flak from long time fans, but hey, isn't the show meant for everyone?)

  36. Thomas Gray

    The problem is Moffat

    He claims to be a fan, and yet he does not seem to have watched any of the episodes, otherwise he wouldn't contradict the canon (and himself) so much. He also seems to think that the show is *about* the Doctor, rather than simply utilising the vehicle of the character to tell stories. Watch the classic series: the only time we have any exposition about the character of the Doctor and his past is during the "X Doctors" specials, perhaps at regeneration time, and when it was absolutely necessary for the story. Now it seems that every damn episode is about whether the Doctor is a good man or not. That isn't what the show is about.

    At least Russel T. knew that much.

    1. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: The problem is Moffat

      You forget that Doctor Who differs from other shows in that THERE IS NO CANON.

      For historical reasons as much as anything, there being no "show bible" written at the start to set out what the show had to include, no recordings to review and see what had gone before, and only memories to work from (the continuity background to Attack of the Cybermen from Tomb of the Cybermen is based on what one person remembered - Tomb was not rediscovered until 6 years after Attack was shown).

      The programme evolved as circumstances and tastes changed: no bug-eyed monsters - until Daleks were a hit; one actor for the Doctor - until they found a way round it, accurate historical and educational stories - until they went the way of all things, filmed location and videoed studio - until Sontaran Experiment, filming on location - until inflation led to CSO for Underworld, an arbitrary 12-regeneration limit used for Deadly Assassin - and then sidestepped one actor early in Time of the Doctor.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New doctor clearly has a HUGE crush on Clara; super annoying

    New doctor acts annoyed by Clara and constantly insults her, but obviously has a crush on her since he's fanatical about finding out who her boyfriend is, his feelings are obviously hurt when she goes out with the boyfriend, and now we see in The Caretaker that he's supremely jealous of the boyfriend (insulting him at every possible turn etc.).

    Seeing the doctor with this pre-adolescent sort of crush (and so much screen time devote to it) is infuriating. It's unbelievable and awkward.

  38. SVV

    Sack Moffat.... Please!

    I'm sick of his incomprehensible "plots" : how about good stories with nice plot twists and some sort of logic to them instead of it being all about this "ooh, what's happening with this weird woman at the end of the episode" sort of crap after another 45 minutes of well acted and produced letdowns.

    Get someone in who understands that it should be about adventure, suspense and underlying reflection of moral issues, not about creating dull "series arcs" which always turn out to be rubbish anyway - I want it to go back to being mass entertainment rather than something for fanboys to have idiotic debates about on the web as to what all this "mysterious nonsense" actually could mean.

    1. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: Sack Moffat.... Please!

      Don't viewerships of around 7 million count as mass entertainment these days?

  39. bpfh

    This doctor is confusing me

    After 12 reincarnations where is globally kind, sometimes quirky and wierd, respecting his "never cruel or cowardly" promise, we have done a full 180° and have someone globally quirky and wierd, and sometimes kind.

    The traits we saw of confusion, or misunderstanding in the previous years, especially Tennant which ended up with a quick realisation of his faux pas, 2 seconds of glubbing and then running off on a new tangent was brilliant, but here, the misunderstandings in all of the episodes are drawn out and goes to ridiculous lengths to make a 20 second gag into a 10 minute feature of the episode. It's boring, it's slow, it's uneeded. When watching online and I find myself reaching for the fast forward and clipping 2 or 3 minutes to zap through to find somthing interesting, the series has gone wrong (like half of Fringe for example, which would have been great if the producers had cut the format from 45 minutes to 30...).

    I do not recognise this character as the doctor. He is even more awkward inspite of getting older, does not listen to anyone, and keeps making mistakes, and he is starting to look like the Torchwoodian Jack Harkness who to eek out a storyline for another 5 minutes of silly suspense, stops talking and does not explain anything to anyone, even after it's got half of his team killed, and is frustrating to the viewers as to the fictional characters who have to find out from themselves WTF is going on, even though Jack knows exactly what is happening, what danger is out there, and the fact that he is suddenly spineless, and prefers putting his friends in harms way than telling them a fairly unimportant bit of information that is not even a real secret - and that they will find out on their own after getting the crap beaten out of them...

    This is the direction I feel the doctor is going along, and another 2 episodes like this, and I'm done. After being a fan since the 80's, and a rabid fan since the reboot, this is the doctor that is going to turn me off the series totally.

  40. Colin Ritchie

    Docter Who?

    Capaldi combines echoes of Hartnell and Pertwee while creating his own irascible persona for the Doctor.

    In a post Saville BEEB an older timelord is duty bound to not approve of the hugging.

    Liking the chemistry but the scripts need more work I feel.

  41. Tapeador

    John Simm


    Derek Jacobi! Now there was a really sinister Master.

  42. David L Webb

    Kill the moon

    Well the latest episode 'Kill the Moon' is the worst DR Who episode ever - classic or new series.

    DR Who is supposed to be Science fiction this was a totally preposterous scientifically illiterate fairy tale.

  43. Trooper_ID

    Doctor Who is ruined. Capaldi may be a great [good] actor, but he is not a good [great] Doctor. He is appalling. The show used to be watched by families, mums n dads with little johnny and sarah - now, no. It is on too late, competes with X factor and the themes are way to scary for mum n dad to let little johnny or sarah watch - huge face jumping spiders !!!! ruined. and that pisses me off. I have watched it since 1963 and this is the most I have uninjoyed it. Moffatt - you are a cock sir.

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