Is it time for a real Doctor Who reset? Most people seem to believe that the best years of Doctor Who, at least in the recent incarnation, were with David Tennant. With Tennant in the lead and Russell T. Davies at the helm, it was a golden age for Doctor Who. But, as reported by CinemaBlend, Steven Moffat’s tenure at the head of the show has been a bit more controversial. With him now leaving, is it time Peter Capaldi to go as well?
While there’s no denying that both Peter Capaldi and Matt Smith have been excellent, it’s also true that the show has not had the energy, or the ratings, it enjoyed under Tennant and Davies. Yes, Moffat has produced some good episodes, and the 50th anniversary was close to perfect. Of course, it also had Tennant to bolster it.
One of the interesting aspects of Doctor Who under Davis was the youth of the Doctor. Most of the past Doctors had been well into middle age or older. Some like the first Doctor were virtually octogenarians. This all changed under Davies. Suddenly – first with Eccleston and then with Tennant – the Doctor was spry enough to actually run.
Especially with Tennant, we had a Doctor Who that was – in appearance at least – as young as some of his companions. This made for a very different dynamic in the show. Suddenly, the Doctor could be a romantic heartthrob. In addition, toy sales went through the roof.
While Matt Smith was also fairly young, and the change wasn’t too jarring, the change to Capaldi was very disturbing to some viewers. Instead of the always optimistic and chipper Doctor, we suddenly had someone who didn’t seem to care for his companions, let alone the rest of humanity.
Moffat recognized that he had taken things a bit too far with this version of the Doctor, and in the follow-up season with Capaldi he tried to mellow the new Doctor out a bit. But it was too little too late. It’s clearly time for something more drastic.
Maybe we need an even younger Doctor than Tennant. Maybe the Doctor should finally be a woman. Moffat himself acknowledges that the Doctor is all about change and adaption to the times. When speaking about the Doctor, he once said the following.
“Rebirth is at the core. There’s an ending, yes, but there’s a reassurance that the moment of sadness will be followed by a sunrise. That’s the fundamental message of all kids’ stories: as dark as it gets, the dawn will come. No show has so many endings and so many beginnings as Doctor Who.”
At the very least, a new approach is needed to bring Doctor Who back to its glory days. It might even be a good idea to bring back Davies. He was the one who originally resurrected Doctor Who, so maybe he could do it again. Lightning could strike twice.
Another idea might be to bring back David Tennant himself as the Doctor. With Tom Baker’s appearance as the Curator/Future Doctor, it was established in the 50th anniversary special that the Doctor could reinhabit some of his old bodies. So why not?
The writing has also become a problem for Doctor Who in recent years. Enjoyable adventure stores have given way to brooding morality tales about the meaning of existence. And a sad Doctor makes for sad viewers.
Basically, the Doctor stopped having fun. For all the suggestions otherwise in the show, it was pretty clear that David Tennant’s Doctor liked life. That was definitely not clear with Matt Smith and totally not the case with Peter Capaldi. A Doctor Who reset will have to address all of these issues.
[Featured Image by the BBC]