Thursday, August 29, 2019

Doctor Who: Series 11

Guys, I don't get it.

What the hell is the matter with this series? I have heard so little good things about anything from this latest series of Doctor Who. Why? I actually really liked it! It was a sort of back to basics, Christopher Eccleston first series vibe, and I really enjoyed it! I think Jodie Whittaker is an absolutely wonderful Doctor, she probably takes more of her personality from the 5th Doctor, a very compassionate, caring, and sweet person who is completely against violence and above all wants to help in any way possible. She plays this role with such charm, joy, and doesn't take things as a joke. You feel her dedication and her wish to be a great Doctor Who and I can really say she accomplished it, I love her to the moon and back in this series. And it was very hard for me to say goodbye to the 12th Doctor because he may not have been my Doctor but he is easily one of my top 5, but I'm happy we have Jodie on board and hope we see more and more of her. Her companions this time around are really good, back to a multi-Tardis team again very much like the 4th/5th Doctor, and I actually realized something very early on. The episodes themselves while still having that sci-fi adventure feel, are there so we know more about the companions and get to really enjoy them. Their dynamic really does feel like a family because of how well they know each other and we the audience can feel that too. So we have Graham and Ryan who are grandad and grandson respectively, and Yasmin who has been a childhood friend of Ryan. So all of these people know each other before the adventuring starts and you really believe it.  But I love the fact that every episode has them sort of face their own demons. Graham lost his wife and has to come to terms with her not being there on his travels with the Doctor, Ryan lost his gran and also has an absent father so it makes him a bit more distant from the group and he faces those demons in his own way, and Yasmine has an importance on family that she doesn't always get along with and faces facts about her heritage that she finds difficult to accept. All of these character's dilemmas are real, any person can immediately identify with them, and we see them slowly grow and change for the better like real people. So the focus is more on the Tardis crew, and I'm totally fine with that because I like these characters! The stories themselves still are quite good, they are not the best episodes of Doctor Who but neither are they the worst. They sort of feel very late 80s Doctor Who, specifically the earlier 7th Doctor episodes which were okay stories but had a charm of their own very much like this. The Woman Who Fell To Earth is a very good story, finely introducing all our main players and my second favorite post-regeneration story of the modern series, the first going to Deep Breath. It really is a clean slate, I mean there's new everything, new showrunner, new theme, new titles, new sonic screwdriver, it really does feel like 2005 all over again. The Ghost Monument was a fun little trek episode showing off the new Tardis design which actually reminds me quite a bit of the 8th Doctor's Tardis, very atmospheric and unique. Rosa I thought was a damn fine episode that had no qualms fully showing the racial climate of the mid 50s and actually did get me a tiny bit choked up at the end. Arachnids In The UK I know for a fact would have scared the living daylights out of me when I was younger, and it's a decent horror-esque mystery that I actually do kinda wish UNIT was in if only to see Kate and this Doctor chat for a bit. The Tsuranga Conundrum was an okay episode, though I have to admit the monster design did get a laugh out of me. Kerblam goes full mystery with a genuinely unsettling monster design but yeah we have seen this story before. The Witchfinders on the other hand was friggin' awesome! I loved this episode, essentially taking The Crucible with a Doctor Who twist, with Alan Cumming hamming it up to a delightful degree, but man....that one scene. It has such great acting, absolutely outstanding acting even, it's subtle but it works so friggin' well you can really tell Jodie and Alan were giving it their all, and there's just one little bit at the very end from Jodie and it only lasts for like 2 seconds but you can see that fury of a Time Lord is still in her. Oh, I love it! God help me I love it so! And the finale wasn't half bad but I will admit the stakes weren't very high but the additions to the universe I thought were really nice and had some good character moments. And I fully understand why, they knew people were going to be hesitant with a female Doctor and no more Steven Moffat behind the wheel so they didn't want to throw all the big storylines, sci-fi explosions, and madcap time travel stories just yet. They had to gauge people to it, and I really don't think they were being different for different's sake, it still feels like Doctor Who. The new theme and opening is outstanding, taking the classic 1963 opening titles and modernizing it, with a fantastic new theme that feels more sci-fi than it has been in a while. I dig the sonic and Tardis designs, I love the fact the Doctor has to make the screwdriver on Earth with a bit of alien tech and a lot of bits and pieces, I'd love to buy the replica toy and add it to my screwdriver collection. I also like the fact the Tardis implements the crystal theme, it's a very simplistic console but I know they can build upon it and make it look even better. A lot of people were complaining about the costume and said it looked like she got it from a thrift shop, and she totally does! I don't quite get the pants which don't go all the way down to her ankles but it's still a cool costume. I really took my positive mind frame into this series and I genuinely did enjoy it, and I know they can build upon this and make an even better series with more excellent stories. The quality of the cinematography blew me away in the first handful of episodes, it reminded me an awful lot of Tron Legacy in it's opening shots of Sam Flynn on his motorbike, it looked so damn clean with great lighting, the writing was more character focused than story and that's totally fine, the effects are well done, and I love the new aspects and designs of the show. If memory serves the newest series will hit next year and I hope I can get to watch it every week. I haven't even been a fan of Doctor Who for a decade but I love it so much, there's such creativity and love put into every Doctor, every series both old and new, and yes I have had huge problems with this show in the past. Upon my first viewing of Hell Bent, I thought it killed Doctor Who for me. I went into series 10 with a sense of dread and bitterness, but it became a great series in my eyes. I know I ranted a fair amount but I do it out of love, I do it because they made decisions that hurt the show, hurt the story, the characters, the villains, because I knew full well they could have done better. But no show is perfect, and every show has had it's ups and downs, and I didn't stop loving Doctor Who or stopped watching the show. If you're a fan, and truly love and appreciate the show you stick around through thick and thin. The same thing happened in the late 80s, Doctor Who came under a lot of fire for being too violent and scary, the show was getting less and less great ratings and viewings, and even though it was still making good stories and great characters it was cancelled. They cancelled Doctor Who just barely after it's 25th anniversary, and it took nearly two decades for it to come back full force. Which is a shame cause I greatly love the 7th Doctor stories, every single one of them to be honest, I thought Trial Of A Timelord was excellent and Colin Baker really did better than people give him credit for. And I highly doubt that Jodie Whittaker will lead this show back into cancellation, this was a fine series of Doctor Who and I am fully ready for more. If you've never watched the show before and I've peaked your interest for the future and perhaps even the past of Doctor Who, I hope you enjoy it and have a lot of fun with it. If you're a fan and you've sat through 2 weeks of my rantings and praises, I have to thank you, I mean you guys are troopers, and I always love to hear people's thoughts on this show. Thank you so much for joining me on a long adventure through time and space but there's always more out there, there are films out there where acting reigns supreme, where animation is beauty and motion is key, people who chew scenery and special effects worthy of praise. Somewhere there's action, somewhere there's horror, and somewhere else there's comedy gold. Come on, we've got movies to see.

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