“Luke! Use the Force to get this oaf out of the way…”
You might reasonably have expected a Doctor Who-themed blog today, considering that a new era of the show starts tonight on BBC One. You did know that, right? You may have caught one of the trailers. (Hint: this is sarcasm.)
To be honest, I’m in a kind of denial. I’ve been a huge Doctor Who fan since I was about five, and I can’t recall a time I’ve been less excited about a new season of the show starting. But let’s get one thing clear straight away: that has nothing to do with what I think about the show itself. I’m still enjoying the show as much as ever. There have been a few clunkers recently (“The Rings Of Akhaten”, “Journey To The Centre Of The Tardis”), sure, but that’s ever been the case (“The Time Monster” “Time And The Rani”). And when the show can still give us episodes like “Hide”, “The Crimson Horror” and “Day Of The Doctor”, I’m happy.
Nope, what’s put me off is fandom. I can’t handle the fact that we’re in for 13 solid weeks of moaning. One of the reasons I haven’t been able to get excited about the new series is that I’ve been loathe to read anything about the new series on the internet. It’s not that I’m avoiding spoilers; I’m avoiding the comments sections, which invariably make my blood boil.
I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t have different opinions to me. That’s fair enough. I can completely understand why the current incarnation of Doctor Who might not appeal to some people; on the surface it’s a style of flippant fantasy sci-fi that’s going to leave people many people cold. I’m just depressed that so many Doctor Who fans seem to watch the show now purely so they can rip it to shreds.
It’s like they have a checklist of “things that make bad Doctor Who” that they sit there ticking off as they watch. Which, as as I’ve said before, is a self-defeating way of watching anything; you end up not seeing the Tardis for the roundels. You’re too busy going, “Argh! He used his sonic screwdriver as an easy answer to that problem! Grrrrrr!” to notice that the next scene is packed with great dialogue.
I even read a post recently where the writer went through all the episode titles for the new season, griping about each of them, in great length. The episode titles for heaven’s sake! You have to be really committed to grinding that axe you go to that effort. But that’s a large part of Doctor Who online fandom at the moment.
The other thing that I hate is the way that the detractors state opinion as fact. “Steven Moffat can’t write,” they trot out again and again, as if this is a truth universally accepted. It reminds me of the constant accusations a few years back that “Chris Chibnall can’t write!” This’ll be the same Chris Chibnall who’s since won countless awards for writing. Yeah, Broadchurch was just so badly written, wasn’t it?
There’s also the tendency to say things like, “Everybody hated ‘The End Of Time’”. What they really mean is, “I hang out online with people who think the same as me.” Which is fair enough. That’s just human nature. You hang out with people you get along with and in their case, that’ll be people who are having the same issues with the show that as they are. But just because they know a bunch of people who hated “The End Of Time”, that’s not proof that, “everybody” hated it.” This is the story that had the highest audited viewer approval rating since the show came back. Not that I’m using that as proof that “Everybody loved ‘The End Of Time’!”
So, I’m actually slightly reticent about watching the show tonight. I fear I may not be able to lose myself in it because I’ll be wincing every time the script commits some “sin” that I know will be on the detractors’ “bad things in Moffat’s version of Doctor Who” checklist. Stuff that normally wouldn’t bother me, will bother me; I’ll be vicariously experiencing the haters’ pain.
On the other hand, the show may work its magic again, and make me feel like an excited kid again. I hope so.
Quick word on today’s trainers. They’re Adidas Superstars with green stripes, a style I now always refer to as “Scott Pilgrim shoes” because of the poster. I did think about recreating the poster, but I don’t have a guitar. And looking like a portly, middle-aged Scott Pilgrim would be slightly embarrassing.
Have I ever mentioned I watched Scott Pilgrim Vs The World at a premier with all the cast in the audience? And Sex Bob-omb played a short gig afterwards? Great experience!
Oh, and there might be a lot of Star Wars this week, because I’ve been watching the original trilogy, screen grabbing as I go.
See you tomorrow.
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