By Ricky Young.
From the moment the 11th Doctor crashed into Amelia Pond’s garden while still wearing the 10th Doctor’s suit, Doctor Who has existed in a dream-world. The very first person he met was unhooked from reality, without origin or backstory, sitting on a crack in time and ready for her first chapter title; she wasn’t a real girl, she was The Girl Who Waited. From that point on, we’ve been shown a woozy and off-kilter version of reality, where things only made sense if they really, really had to, and exists a million miles away from the council estates, shopgirls and urgently-flickered news-broadcasts of the previous era. Doctor Who has certainly never been world you visit for unflinching docu-realism, of course, but the self-conscious focus on ‘stories’, meta-stories, and the consequences of myths and fairytales has led to an airless and looping feeling where nothing moves forward, nothing changes, nothing ends and nothing ever truly dies.
When MostlyFilm last talked about Doctor Who, immediately after the loud, deeply-unsatisfying semi-mystery that was the departure of the Ponds, we hoped that fans of loud, deeply-unsatisfying semi-mysteries would have had their fill by now, and that the audience, the actors, the production team and show-runner Steven Moffat could move on from loud, deeply-unsatisfying semi-mysteries into a new and exciting phase of The Programme That Can Be Anything. (After all, we’re not haters for the sake of it – we thought S5 was pretty damn good.)
What fools we were.
Season 7b existed as little more than another loud and deeply-unsatisfying semi-mystery, its final moments setting up yet another loud and probably deeply-unsatisfying semi-mystery as a 50th birthday present. Shh, though. MostlyFilm has angered the show-runner before, and an angry Steven Moffat isn’t anything we ever want to experience again..
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