This Sunday, October 7th, a new era of Doctor Who begins. In addition to a new Doctor played by Jodie Whitaker, the show will also have a new showrunner in Chris Chibnall. Also for the first time since the show was revived in 2005, it will feature new music as Segun Akinola replaces departing Murray Gold as a composer.
I want to share my hopes for this new era. Some of my complaints mainly stem from the later years of Steven Moffat’s run, though some are from the revival’s beginning.
One thing that has bothered me since season 7 is the companions have become more like friends who the Doctor pops in for an adventure. With Bill in season 10, it made sense as the Doctor was serving as a Professor at her college.
I really hope companions go back to being actual companions and living on the TARDIS, as they have been for most of the show (with the exception of the early 70s when he was exiled on Earth). Would also be nice to see the companion’s bedrooms like we did in the 80s.
Another thing I would like to see it less emphasis on romance, especially with the Doctor. This is something that started with Russell T Davies. While I loved Rose, I didn’t like the trend it started. First her then Martha and even Amy had a thing for the Doctor early on, even though she was engaged to Rory.
On the other hand I have no issue if romance is used for a story, like how Susan and Jo left in the original series to be with someone they fell in love with (though it wasn’t really Susan’s choice to leave the Doctor), or how Bill meets the Doctor for the first time because she was interested in a girl. I just don’t want to see it be an overall arc for the season or have yet another companion fall for the Doctor.
While I love both the Cybermen and Daleks, both have been severely overused. The Daleks from the beginning and the Cybermen since Moffat has been running the show. With the exception of two seasons, there has been a Dalek-centric story every season since the series has returned.
In comparison, the First and Third Doctors were the only Dalek heavy eras in the original series. The Fourth Doctor Era (Tom Baker’s) was the longest running and only had two Dalek stories and they aired four years apart. The Second only had two, and the rest only had one.
As the First’s last story was the introduction of the Cybermen, the Second Doctor era was the only Cybermen-centric era in the original series. There wasn’t a Cybermen story in the Third’s era and only one in each of the following eras.
The producers have said that season 11 (first of the new era) will be mostly stand alone episodes. I hope this is standard as season 9 had too many. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the season were longer, but as most of the seasons are 13 episodes, having too many two-parters cuts down on individual stories that are included each season.
Overall I am looking forward to a new era, and a fresh new take, though I hope is still keeps the essence of the series.