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TV Blog

Why the new Dr Who sucks

by Stephen Dark
- Posted // 2010-05-21 -

I gave it my best try but seriously, the new Dr Who on BBC America just doesn't cut it. And it's not just the fault of the 11th incarnation of the do-gooding British timelord, Matt Smith.

What was so remarkable about the best of Russell Davies' four season run as rejuvenator and writer of 31 episodes of the reborn Brit TV show that so haunted my childhood was how dark some of his nightmarish visions could be. My favorite was an episode involving the ghost of a child in London during the Blitz of World War Two who had a gas mask welded to his face. It was an extraordinary image that evoked the best TV equivalent of those glorious literary moments in Bram Stoker or other great horror writers when you feel as if the words are creeping up the back of your neck.

With Davies gone and his second in command, Steven Moffat, in charge, along with a new doctor played by the youngest actor ever to take the role, Matt Smith, what's left me irritated and frustrated has been the twee, sci-fi drift of the stories. Even an appearance by the death-masters themselves, the Daleks, lacked spice or conviction. Davies had the balls to actually make a Dalek compassionate - in Moffat's hands they become almost irrelevant.

Smith has a certain manic charm and may reveal darker sides further on, but all I could see was a lot of unfocussed energy with unfortunate echoes of David Tennant's gloriously manic, if it at times tedious, turn for three seasons. He's like a defanged and sedated Crispin Glover.

I hope Smith and Moffat can find an approach that works. I'd like my girls to experience some of the ghoulish terrors that kept so many kids of my generation hiding behind the sofa when the new Dr Who monster debuted in the show's original 25 minute 6 episode story lines. Thus far, though, I have my doubts.


  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Post a comment
Posted // May 21,2013 at 05:27

While I aggree Davies needded to keep his being gay out of the Dr Who series,  Dr Who being a soap oppera is why the series worked.   Look at the old dr who series ala tom baker, They where all at least 3 or 4 episodes chained to gether in each story.   It was all about the interaction of the characters.   You got to know the chacters and made friends with them.   Moffatt completly doesnt get that.   All the characters we made friends with in the earlier seasons - he just drops them. Moffatt should be sacked and a writer who gets it should replace him.


Posted // July 7,2010 at 14:58

Hmm. That "favorite episode" was one that Moffatt wrote. That and Blink, and a handfull of the best eps. Your glorified Russell T. Davies, on the other hand, was the idiot who gave us the fairy doctor and the flying skeleton version of the Master. Davies didn't write science fiction, he wrote soap operas.

Honestly, the Dalek episode wasn't written by Moffat. Did you see the stone angel two parter this season? Have you watched more than the first two or three episoded?

Wait until the finale (when it finally airs on BBCA). It stands as perhaps the greatest two parter of Doctor Who (old or new) history.

Tennant? Who's that?


Posted // August 24,2010 at 16:13 - Actually, I thought the two parter the empty child was boring as hell and deadly predictable, and if you want soap opera, try Moffatt's "masterpiece" the girl in the fireplace. The greatest two parter in Doctor who history you were referring to turned out to be as satisfying as a bag of hot air. In summary, I tried to watch Moffatt's Doctor Who and I wasted twelve hours of my life that was better spend on sucking the bottom of my fishtank clean with a straw. Enough said....Yes new Who sucks, who would have thought?


Posted // June 8,2010 at 21:40

I became a fan of Dr Who because of Catherine Tate and then because of Tenant. I got into all of the Tenant Years of the series. Billie Piper was awesome as was Freema. The new Dr Who has no appeal whatsoever. It has all the visual appeal of a water color of some bad Twilight movie. BORING. Bring back some talent and people over twelve years old. Matt is not believable as The Doctor in any way shape or form. Can it and rewind.


Posted // June 22,2010 at 16:58 - I agree, wow either one of the leads can act. I love Doctor Who but if they don't get rid of these two it's over.