Doctor Who returns to our TV screens this Sunday, and we’re a little bit excited about it. Few more so than our writer Ally Koster, who will be our resident Doctor Who writer for this season. As she gets excited for the new season, she’s put together seven things she wants to see happen in the ninth series. Some of which are a bit controversial, if we do say so ourselves… well, read on and see for yourself!
- No more Clara
I should probably clear this up first – I’m a Donna girl. I loved her wit, the way she didn’t take any rubbish from anyone, and the complete and utter loyalty that she had to those that she loved, despite not loving herself entirely. No, I’m not crying – I just have twelve onions in my eye.
Clara seems to be trying to do Donna, but maximised tenfold to the point that as a character, she’s entirely unbelievable. Her presence in the show takes away from the magic of the Doctor, and although it was refreshing at first, her intelligence has led to easy ways out of complex storylines, overall dumbing down the viewer. Overall, she just doesn’t feel different to the other characters that we’ve seen – she’s got the sass of Amy, the romance of Rose, and the mystery of River Song. This would all be well and good, except the show seems to be so fixated on finding out who Clara is, that I still have no idea who the twelfth (thirteenth?) Doctor is.
2. More two-parters
In order to fully delve into a complex and exciting storyline, the episode needs to be longer that 45 minutes. On the odd occasion, the pacing and concept of an episode has been able to stick to this short time frame – a la, The Girl Who Waited and Listen, but in most cases, it’s like Moffat suddenly realises he has seven minutes to wrap up the entire story and vomits out some resolution that quite frankly, leaves you wholly unsatisfied.
Similarly. those real good episodes – the ones that are a bit of a tear jerker and make your heart go all fuzzy – seem to consistently be two-parters. The finale for season 8 where we’re left on the huge cliffhanger that Missy is The Master? – there’s no way in hell that that revelation would hold the same importance if we hadn’t had to wait another whole week to see how it played out. And let’s not forget that amazing two-parter that opened up season 6 with The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon – it’s all about the anticipation, the speculation, and ensuring that the ending is just as good as the beginning.
3. One big, spectacular & convincing arc
Speaking of the season 6 opening, one of the most admirable parts of this season is that it dedicated itself to exploring one overarching issue – that is, is the Doctor really going to die, and who is the girl in the spacesuit? We still had some unrelated episodes that had that classic Who appeal, but overall, the season had purpose. It was mysterious, left the audience speculation, and above all, it was clever.
4. More Missy
I know she’s meant to be a villain, but I think I like Missy more than any other character on the show right now. Firstly, I love that now we know for certain that timelords can change sex. Secondly, I love the chemistry between her and the Doctor – as a character, she really encapsulates the history between these two figures, reiterating the fact that many moons ago, they actually were friends. And third, I love how freaking evil she is (and not in the way that the Daleks are meant to be evil).
Michelle Gomez, who plays Missy, stated that Missy is “like a cockroach, in a way. She’s a big, fat, black cockroach that just won’t die. You can squash that bug as many times as you like, but she’s just going to keep growing another arm, and another leg, and she just won’t die. So because of that, she just sort of plays with death. She doesn’t have any respect for it. It’s just all a game to her. If she can’t die anyway, then she might as well have a lot of fun with it.” I like the sound of that.
5. A dark tone
My favourite Who moments are when we really get to the crux of who the Doctor is, and the reality of that is far from the fairy-tale that sometimes appears on screen. The reality is that he’s, in most circumstances, a bit of a jerk. He left his granddaughter on Earth and just bailed because he was sick of her (I was sick of her too, Doc), he’s a compulsive liar who constantly manipulates those around him, and if you have a look at Capaldi’s incarnation of the Doctor, he reminds me of the bitter old men I used to serve at the pub. So instead of trying to paint him as an omnipotent, benevolent God, the series should keep doing what it’s been doing this past season – exploring whyThe Doctor is a jerk.
6. Nods to past seasons
What Moffat has done really well is blending Classic Who into New Who, reminding us of the shows origins and reiterating to audiences that despite being really young and good looking (hey, Matt Smith), he’s actually over 1000 years old and if we’re being completely honest with each other, it’s actually really creepy that you find him attractive. But I digress. It was a real heart-wrenching moment when the Brigadier was hinted at in that final episode, especially with the passing of Nicholas Courtney in 2011. But even more, it’s great to see his memory well-and-truly alive through the character of Kate Stewart, a really clever and tasteful nod to the huge history of the show.
7. No more Moffat
This might be a wee bit controversial, but I would love to see another writer take the reigns as lead writer and showrunner. I could count on one hand the amount of episodes that were sincerely good (to an objective audience) in these past few seasons. Moffat seems to overthink things, get caught up in his own head, and tries to make things infinitely more complex than they need to be. Sometimes, the best episodes are simple explorations of characters. Sometimes, they’re good because of the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff. Perhaps it’s one of those cases that sometimes he needs someone to tell him that he’s ideas are stupid, especially if we are to avoid another abysmal episode like Time Heist.
Doctor Who starts up again this Sunday, 20th September on ABC TV at 7:40pm with The Magician’s Apprentice. It will be available earlier that morning on iView, coinciding with the UK premiere. Stay tuned for our weekly review.!