I finished watching the David Tennant Doctor Who episodes. Should I put a spoiler cut even though all these shows aired 2006–2010? Might as well.
I liked the Tenth Doctor, but I kept thinking that he was like the kind of manager who ignores a problem until it's a huge problem and then gets his department to run around like a chicken with its head cut off to solve the problem and then gets a lot of kudos for it.
I also didn't like the constant emphasis on someone (usually a woman) dying to solve the problem.
I mainly kept watching because I thought so many of the female leads/guest stars/characters were great. Agatha Christie (though the story was dumb), Captain Brooke (though I didn't like the ending)...
Mostly I just liked little moments. The references to various Agatha Christie novels. The scene where a cell phone holds remnants of a dead woman's consciousness. People in Donna's family's temporary home singing "Bohemian Rhapsody." Daleks in German going around yelling "EXTERMINEIREN." Naming the Mars base Bowie Base One. The church with the little Tardis in its stained glass window.
I'm starting to watch the Eleventh Doctor now, but I'm worried because I don't trust Steven Moffat.
Psychological horror is worse! The one about Paris and going into the past to meet a painter who was duplicating paintings was not horror, but did have the bewildered companion, and didn't hang together very well.
"Midnight" (in which the companion isn't along for the adventure of the day) and "Waters of Mars" are probably my favorite Who episodes of all time. I find them both genuinely scary and disturbing (in a good way), unlike the Ugly Monsters episodes.
I was very impressed with "Waters of Mars"; I just dislike that repetitive horror motif -- seeing the same fate slowly approach and destroy one character after another. It was used sometimes in the old Avengers, which I love otherwise. Maybe I should learn to use the fastforward. ;-)
I'll try "Midnight". Anyway some kind of sidekick and/or lesser heroine is a trope of nearly every storyverse. I just thought the girl in the Paris story was especially badly treated.
Just saw "Tomb of the Cybermen" and liked it! Now I see what the mystique is about.
I prefer 11 to 10, personality- and physicality-wise (Smith convinces me he's alien in a way that Tennant never fully did), and I was happy to see the end of the Oncoming Emo, but Moffat's arcs are weak. He's best at single-episode stories and completely mangles female characterization. This said, on re-watch, I liked 11's run much better than the first time I watched it.
I thought Smith was a good Doctor, though I much prefer Tennant. However, the way Smith's main female companion was used in both single episodes and the overall arc of 11 made me so angry at the show that I came to utterly hate Smith's whole run. (In fact, I've actually forgotten her name. I'm drawing a complete blank.) I thought things were going to get better when Clara came along, but as it turned out... no. I did like Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax -- all of whom are strong characters who don't die, and two of whom are female.
Moffat uses female characters in the same ways over and over, and I find it hard to enjoy.
Yeah. I really didn't like the blank slate-ness of Moffat's female characters. And yet River, Vastra, and Jenny all suggest that he can write female characters with interesting stories but just chooses not to when it comes to the main companions. I hated what he did with Amy's character and felt that Clara was just one missed opportunity after another (though I really liked that actress and quite often found that she compensated for some of the bad writing, as did Alex Kingston).
At this point, I think of the shows as supplements to the fanfic. The characters and setting are a lot of fun, but the stories tend to disappoint. And then someone writes a brilliant tag fic or AU and I'm over the moon with love for that ep because now it all makes sense.
Some one on my flist (sorry, can't remember who) said that she'd read somewhere that the first couple of 11 eps were meant for 10, and on the rewatch, I can see how they would have gone.
I've loved all the Doctors. Ten is the one I've mostly written (and Ten II) but I really love them all. I was sorry to see 9 go, and 10. I'll be sorry to see 11 go. It always seems too soon.
But, still, I'm very excited about Capaldi; he's just very good and I think he'll make an incredible Doctor. I can't wait to see how he'll play him.