With The Christmas Special behind us, we can now start looking forward to the 9th Season of Doctor Who. So what do we want to see next season? What do we NOT want to see? This past season has been pretty divisive with people either loving it or hating it – or both. Though as the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) said in his final moments: “We all change, and that’s good… So long as we don’t forget all the other people we were”.
The same is true of Doctor Who; therefore what follows will be an open-minded – yet critical – look at the new style and what we need to see next season (in no particular order).
The Doctor Finds Gallifrey:
First Gallifrey Fell No More in “The Day Of The Doctor”. Then he defended it in “The Time Of The Doctor”. So why was it almost an entire season before we heard any reference to Gallifrey again. Despite being determined to find it, this point wasn’t brought up again until The Doctor and Missy faced off, and Missy lied about where Gallifrey was – or did she?
Call me crazy; but I don’t think Missy lied. She had no reason to and even though she is ‘bananas’, that was actually an honest moment of two old friends conversing. Something must have happened in the meantime; but what? Regardless of whether Missy lied or not, the Doctor still needs to be reunited with Gallifrey – and soon! Fans of the New Who have never gotten a chance to explore Gallifrey so it could spell an awesome new beginning for the Doctor. Either way, such a big story point needs to get resolved rather than dragged out over and over again.
Less Douchey Danny, More Hero Danny – If At All:
Unlike other companions, we’ve seen Clara grow from the very beginning. We saw how she became the impossible girl as well as how her parents met. So when Danny Pink was introduced out of nowhere and they immediately became each other’s ‘everything’, it seemed like a little bit of a cop out. We never saw them fall in love or anything. We were simply given Danny and told ‘they’re soul mates’ in the course of an episode. Though the “Just Go With It” aspect of their relationship isn’t the point of concern for Season 9.
As the romantic foil for the companion, there’s sure to be some mixed polarized feelings about him. Though it’s not his connection to Clara that makes him polarizing; but how he’s written that strikes a major nerve with us. Danny Pink is brave, charming and a great foil for the Doctor considering his typing as another ‘Hero With A Heart’. So why do they write him like such a douche?
Danny has some great moments and definitely had a heroic farewell; but no matter what good he does, it’s lost in a sea of oblivious, misinformed and incredibly ignorant backtalk and comments. It’s in moments like these that he makes Clara a weaker character by limiting her, by telling her what she can and cannot handle. To make matters worse, he almost always goes off in a jealous rant about the Doctor. Whether he’s upset that Clara’s calling him her closest friend or incorrectly painting him as the ‘blood-soaked general’, Danny manages to make himself less and less likeable – especially to anyone who knows anything about the Doctor.
So why bring this all up if Danny’s dead and still in the ‘otherworld’? Well as we saw in ‘Listen’, Clara and Danny do apparently get married at some point and have kids, grandkids, etc. Unless they want to have another plot hole – albeit a minor one -, Danny has to return at least for a little. So when this happens, PLEASE let it be the Danny we saw in “Last Christmas”. The non-jealous Danny who cares about Clara’s protection and happiness above all else; and didn’t once ramble on about mis-characterizing the Doctor.
Let’s face it, Missy was an incredible character for so many reasons. Not only was she the confirmation that TimeLords could change gender upon regenerations; but she also added tons of depth to the Doctor/Master dynamic. They’re not enemies; but rather used to be best of friends as children until the tool VERY different paths. This explains why the Doctor has never ended him/her in the previous encounters. He’s not only torn about him/her being the last other remaining TimeLord; but also because they have a history.
With this all in mind, Michelle Gomez must return for the role of Missy and bring the same spirit. Sure she portrayed Missy as ‘bananas!’; but she also made bananas fun as it was frightening. That is the Master – at least in the New Who – to the letter. A great idea and even better casting such as this shows how this show still stands strong and progressive even 50 years later.
Clever Yet Simple Stories:
Ever since Moffat took over as head of Doctor Who, the stories have ranged from brilliantly written to so overly written that you end up not know what just happened or why you were even here in the first place. Thankfully this past season Moffat seemed to have toned down the whole ‘clever for the sake of being clever’ style of writing. That being said, there were still some moments where the story either went nowhere or spiraled out of control. “Into the Forest of the Night” is one such example where an episode seemed to go all over the place, yet end back exactly where it started. In fact, if the Doctor never got involved, everything would have turned out exactly the same.
There were thankfully no episodes that went COMPLETELY out of control this season; but I will admit that a few were a little complex. But that’s not a bad thing. I’m a strong believer in how you can learn from television when things are presented properly. Take the episode “Listen” for a moment. It was incredibly well-written and full of deeper parallels that everyone has experienced in their lives. It’s episodes such as these that make the show relatable as well as thought provoking. In addition to this, each episode held juxtapositions to the new Doctor in order to reveal who this new Doctor exactly is. Sure you might have missed that little detail; but that’s what my Into The Tardis articles are for 😉
The Dark, Yet Snarky Doctor:
If the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) was the Doctor Who Regrets and the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was the Doctor Who Forgets, then what does that make the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)? Well besides being the oldest Doctor – tied with William Hartnell who played the first -, Capaldi plays a decidedly darker doctor who has all the determination of Tennant and the rage of Eccleston (the Ninth Doctor). Though despite this powerful persona, he also has a marvelous sense of humor.
Though this isn’t the childish and giddy humor Smith brought to the role; but a much more sarcastic and biting humor. Even his attire points to him being a darker Doctor – red, white and black, nice! – but the most striking thing about Capaldi’s Doctor is how he is simultaneously ‘an outsider’ while still being just like us. In the end, Capaldi could be called The Doctor Who Represses. He’s rarely emotional, but he does possess them. This is a Doctor who knows incredible pain and knows where emotions can lead; but he holds them none the less – even if we can’t always see it.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this kind of Doctor at first; but once he appeared he owned the stage. He not a child’s ‘imaginary friend who came back’ – as Smith’s was framed for a while. Some could call this doctor less kid-friendly; but I think that’s not giving him a chance. He’s still the hero and an outstanding character. The Doctor isn’t supposed to hide the monsters and evils from you. He’s the man who will show you it’s okay to be afraid; because that fear is your very own superpower!
Aside from these five, there’s of course other things we’d like to see from Season 9 – more aliens, better writing for children, etc. So what would you like to see most from the next Season of Doctor Who? Be sure to sound off in the comments below and let me know!