Is Doctor Who in decline? Some “spoilers”

The blog is back!

It’s kind of been a rocky year for one of my favorite franchises, the Doctor Who series. While season five had solid ratings and Matt Smith is a great actor, this year was somewhat dissiapointing for the series.

Season six sounded promising enough. We finally got to see the mysterious Silence, the race hinted at but not shown in season 5, and we would find out the origins and true identity of River Song. However, the scripts for the season overall were kind of meh. Every Stephen Moffat script dealt with River Song, and did so in what I thought was too rushed. The plot seemed to overwhelm the storylines. Now, since it’s return Doctor Who has had of course arc-based storytelling, in a sense. But in the Russel T. Davies years these storylines were mainly subtle clues, like the code phrases Bad Wolf, Torchwood, Saxon, Medusa Cascade, The Pandorica will open, he will knock four times etc. Most of the stories were still the Doctor going on his way, fighting monsters and saving civilizations….the Doctor mainly ignoring or making a small note about the mysterious, forebodding words. But Doctor Who largely became “The River Song” show with the Doctor and company pushed to the side. No disrespect meant to Alex Kingson, whose career I’ve followed since ER, but who would’ve thought such a minor character in Tennant’s last year would become the focus of the show?

I think part of the problem is writer/producer Steven Moffat. Moffat of course wrote some brilliant scripts during the Russel T. Davies years but a lot of his latest stuff seems to be sort of repeating the same gimmicks over and over again. Time locks, perception filters, “Timey-wimey” stuff, pocket universes etc. Moffat has also raised a big fuss about the planned David Yates Doctor Who movie, which has confused fans over whether that project is really proceeding, and apparentally has caused him to be considered a problem by BBC management, which can be harmful to the series (In the 1980s Doctor Who faced a similar problem with John Nathan Turner).





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