For the first time this season and, to be perfectly honest, since we got Capaldi, the writers have finally done something right!
This new season of Doctor Who has been fun, for lack of a better word. I’m not sure how I feel about every episode being a two-parter, and I’m still not crazy about how they’ve written Capaldi’s Doctor… In fact, I had a Dr. Who marathon the other night with my friends and we watched our favorite episodes of new Who, and the show has just changed so much! And I’m not crazy about the direction it’s going. It doesn’t feel like the same show anymore. It’s not the same show I fell in love with. And yes, shows change and grow and evolve, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the direction they’re going in. I feel like the heart(s) of Doctor Who has been missing lately, but we got a little bit of that back last week and on Saturday.
The scene where we re-visited The Fires of Pompeii… just, THANK YOU. That was so necessary and so moving and so, so perfect. I love that Moffat embraced the fan theories and wrote it into the story, and did it in such a beautiful and touching way. It’s nice seeing The Doctor struggle with a moral dilemma and how he should use his gifts. Well, maybe not nice. But it makes for some great character development, which we desperately needed.
However, as it turns out, by making the decision to save Ashildr, he kind of ruined her life. I liked exploring the Doctor and why he makes the decisions he does in The Girl Who Died. I liked seeing him do it again in The Woman Who Lived without Clara (who is the worst companion of all time, sorry not sorry). And I liked seeing him face another immortal and make the same choice as he did with Captain Jack (and I LOVED that he mentioned Captain Jack!!!!!!!) And I’m not gonna lie, that ending of The Woman Who Lived was kind of creeping me out. Yay for Ashildr keeping an eye on the Doctor’s companions, but wow. Lurk, much?
What I really enjoyed about these two episodes was that The Doctor (and the writers) acknowledged his past. He acknowledged that everything that has happened, happened to HIM, The Doctor… Something that the writers seem to have forgotten in favor of making him a rocker with sonic sunglasses (ugh). Eccleston is Tennant is Smith is Capaldi, with little quirky differences that make them special. But they’re still all The Doctor. And the fact that the writers finally acknowledged that for the first time in seasons really touched my heart and made me happy.
I realize this review isn’t very concise, and I’m not talking much about the actual episode, but that’s where my head is at right now in regards to Doctor Who. I don’t really have solid opinions or thoughts on the episodes. I’m enjoying them. Am I enjoying them as much as I used to? No. Do I think the writing and stories being told are as pure and meaningful as they used to be? No. Do I think they can still save the show? If these past two episodes are anything to go by, then yes. And I’m hoping for the best.