May 10, 2017

The Problem With Doctor Who





The 10th season of the new Doctor Who is now underway. Despite tons of buzz about this seasons being the best DW has been in a long time, it will be the last with both Capaldi and Moffatt.

As we get closer to a new Doctor and a new showrunner, I see a lot of talk about what went wrong with DW and why the ratings have declined. Most of the talk seems to center around either the writing under Moffat or the Doctor as played by Capaldi, or some combination of both with varying degrees of chief responsibility.

I know both contributed to my decision to stop watching DW until there was a new Doctor and a new showrunner--(the stupid, stupid scene with the Doctor playing electric guitar on a tank was when I decided I was done even trying). A few articles have also mentioned the trouble with the companions under Moffat (the most insightful one I saw wisely pointed out that Moffat spent too much time making Clara special and not enough time making her likeable). And one mentioned what they considered to be timeslot mistakes by the BBC.

Truthfully, it’s probably a combination of all those. But something else that I don’t think has been discussed really is the general lack of understanding how an audience likes to consume it’s entertainment. Splitting seasons up and having large gaps of time between episodes or specials or even the next season isn’t conducive to binging, especially considering a show doesn’t appear on a streaming service until quite sometime after the entire season is done. With so much good programming to binge, having huge gaps of time between seasons of show makes it lose both excitment and interest. And speaking of streaming services—the absolutely biggest mistake, I think, the BBC has made in ensuring the continued success of DW was signing that exclusive contract with Amazon Prime for American streaming rights and removing DW from Netflix and Hulu.


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