As we go on,
I think its sensible to at least consider the idea. Now, we know
nearly nothing about Chris Chibnall's Doctor Who. All we have
are rumours, speculative statements and Mirror articles (but I repeat
myself). We have essentially nothing to go on here. For my part,
judging on Chibnall's precious work for the series, it could go
have been an even split for me. On the one hand he wrote Dinosaurs
on a Spaceship and was basically
chief writer on the one season of Torchwood
I actually like (according to RTD in The Writer's Tale,
anyway) while on the other, well, none of this other Doctor
Who episodes really grabbed me
and I admit I've never been much drawn to his other work (I just
don't watch much television, so it's nothing personal).
in as unbiased a fashion as possible: what if I don't like this
version of the series?
see, there isn't really an era of the show I actively dislike. There
are personal bugbears, obviously, I'm a fan it would be bizarre if I
didn't have a list as long as my arm of things I dislike but they're
all ultimately annoyances peppering eras I generally enjoy.
mean, I'm not fond of the Pertwee era's confused politics or the “fan
pleasing” mythos obsession of seasons 20 to 22 but those factors
aren't all or nothing deal breakers, you know? I love The
Green Death which is a
scriptwriting tug of war between left and right wing politics and The
Mark Of The Rani which is almost
a shopping list of where the middle JNT era went wrong.
I had to pick an era of the show I actively disliked all I can think
of is John Wiles' producership and I wouldn't blame anyone for
accusing me of cheating. Even if we count the stories he comissioned
and left for his successor to complete it only rounds out to half a
dozen stories but, well...
era was horribly reactionary towards women, POC and youth culture. He
had a story in which mute brown-skinned aliens with Beatles haircuts
turn into egomanical dictators who practice white slavery just
because they gained voices in an era where the British Empire was
granting its African colonies independence. He fired the series'
female lead for daring to pick holes in a script that actually was
hastily rewritten and just kind of crap then proceeded to introduce
no less than three potential successors to the role over two stories
and fridging the lot of them before settling on Dodo, the blandest
non-character imaginable. Hell, I can barely even call it fridging
since the amount of manpain caused by the deaths of Katarina, Sara
and Anne doesn't last much more than a scene or so before being
forgotten. Oh, and Wiles just plain doesn't like the idea of the
Doctor winning for some reason.
even here, even with all this, I have to grudgingly admit that The
Myth Makers and The
Massacre are really good. Yes,
their endings are rushed as hell but they're both really good stories
up to that point and with The Massacre
you can literally just count that ending as a seperate “short trip”
barely related to the preceding three and three quarter episodes.
I've never been in this position before and I worry that, frankly,
it'll send me full Moffat Hate. I mean, I have a lot of issues with
Moffat's Doctor Who
but then I have issues with the show as produced by JNT, Hinchcliffe,
Lloyd and basically everyone who has ever made this show.
thing is, though, I see the hatedom that has grown up around Moffat
as a person through Doctor Who
and Sherlock and being
so (their word) hateful and (my word) shit at criticism as some of
these people scares me.
get a lot of pleasure out of good meta analysis of Doctor
Who (I just received my second
Black Archive book in the post: The Evil of the Daleks,
yay!). I even have pretty regular lunches with a friend called Tom
where one of our main topics is discussing Doctor Who.
I have another friend who, again, I talk to about Doctor Who and is
very, very critical of the Moffat era but he's actually capable of
articulating eloquent and sensible critique (the man is massively
engaged with political philosophy and, that makes it very interesting
to hear his opinions on the show).
may sound trite, even hysterical, to say I fear the withering of my
critical skills more than the idea that my favourite show will go
through a rough patch. I just don't like the idea of all that comes
with the “hatedom” idea.
I propose this to myself: the TV series is already the smallest share
of the Doctor Who I
consume. There are multiple audio dramas released every month; I have
decades of half-finished and untouched original novels on my shelves;
AO3, FF.net and A Teaspoon And An Open Mind are right there with
thousands upon thousands of original stories available for free; my
DVDs are not going to dissolve under the influence of Chibnall being
mediocre (though my copy of Robots of Death
is starting to stutter from repeated use). So, if the worst comes to
the worst that's where I'll be: catching up on novels and audios,
enjoying the creative side of fandom.
will NOT under any circumstances:
writing screeds personally directed at Chris Chibnall on this blog or
writing screeds directed at people who continue to enjoy the series
(I hate people who do that).
any criticism of any episode I haven't at least seen relevant clips
use the phrase “remember when the series was good?”
the show just to suffer.
last point, I feel, is the crux of the matter. I see no reason to
put myself through an experience I will hate just to rant angrily
about it. There's enough of that in the world. Oh, there are subjects
I can do that with and sometimes there is catharsis in doing it but
I'm not dedicated enough to my own suffering to waste nine to ten
hours of my life on it.
reading this with knowledge of my taste in women is, at this point,
invited to shut the hell up).
I'm nailing my trousers to the mast on this one and saying I'm going
to do what I have always said I would do if this or anything I enjoy
ever stopped being fun. I'm just going to stop watching. I'll keep an
eye and if a friend or writer whose opinion I trust says there's
something interesting to see down the line I'll check it out.
be frank, I have the skin and blood clotting of a redhead, a job with
baker's hours and every day I have to see Theresa May (the prime
minister, not the pornstar) and Donald Trump leering at me out of the
newspapers. I've got enough suffering to be getting on with, to be