As a young kid, I was scared of Doctor Who; there were a couple of times I hid behind the settee when the Daleks were on screen screeching "exterminate" in their electronically deformed voices. As I hit 10 or 11 I began to appreciate the show a lot more and I fondly remember Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor in "Remembrance of the Daleks" in the late 80s. I was then devastated as the show came to an abrupt end in 1989.
Throughout my mid to late teens and while at University, I began to acquire some of the BBC's back catalogue focussing particularly on the Pertwee and Baker years; I don't think that we can doubt that Tom Baker brought a host of qualities to the character, and who can forget the action man that Pertwee was. It took just over sixteen years for the BBC to pull the series back from beyond, and I have to say that Eccleston was a great Doctor, but my opinion is that Tennant and Smith, not so. I can't say yet with Capaldi, but bearing in mind that I switched off after 30 minutes, things are not looking good.
I'm no Whovian; not by a long chalk, but the format of the post 1989 series has grated with me from the start. The 45 minute slot meant that writers could get a whole story into a single episode, which meant a lack of (predictable) cliffhangers. The depth of the stories are missing, and the will to come back week on week is lost. There was no cliffhanger to pique my interest into watching again this week and there's no underlying story to uncover in the last ten minutes of the last episode in a four parter. This is something the kids of today don't, and can't appreciate with this new format. Also, the special effects are genuinely good; a far cry from some of the effects in the last series.
As a fan, I am disappointed. But what would bring me back to the show?
- Shorten the episode length to a 30 minute slot.
- Bring back the three and four parters along with the ever-so-predicable cliffhanger.
- Make some mistakes on the special effects; for example make the Daleks "energy ray" look naff.
- Ensure that the Doctor has no love interest... it just bores me.
Like I say, I'm no Whovian, but I have no interest in the new series. I'm watching the back catalogue on the Horror Channel instead.