It’s been my intention for years to watch Doctor Who, ever since the new iteration started and all my friends and the Internet in general got sucked in. It seemed like it would be right up my alley, since I like Star Trek and Merlin and shows of that ilk. Ones where they’re not afraid to occasionally be silly. Ones where the characters care about each other despite their differences.
I should probably note that I had seen Doctor Who before the new series started–I watched the 1996 made for TV movie with Eight (Paul McGann). Admittedly, I think I was 13 at the time, but I remember liking it and being somewhat disappointed that it hadn’t done well enough to be picked up for a TV series.
And, of course, because I am a denizen of the Internet, despite not having watched the show, I am generally aware of what’s happening. (Sometimes I even know what’s happening more than my friends who are caught up with the show, which just amuses me.) So I went in knowing about sonic screwdrivers and daleks and weeping angels and regeneration (and also things associated with the 50th anniversary special which I shall not say in case people do not know and care about spoilers).
About a month ago I finally decided to dive in with the beginning of Nine and…well, I didn’t like it. There were conversations I thought were funny, and I thought the characters were fine, but overall it wasn’t doing much for me, and I was really annoyed about it, because I’d been so excited to watch the show, and I’d heard such good things, and it just wasn’t doing anything for me.
But I stuck through with it, and near the end of the first season there’s an episode where they’re in 1941 England, and they hook up with Captain Jack, and there’s random Merlin actors and that was the first time where I could see what people were talking about. It was a two-part episode, and both the strength of the story and the interplay between the characters were fantastic. And, for the most part, the rest of the season (a standalone episode and another two-parter) kept that up.
And then, of course, I get to the end of the season and Nine regenerates into Ten, and now I feel all off-kilter again. I got to really like Nine, and I feel like I don’t know what to make of Ten yet (I’m…four? episodes into the season). And I feel like the quality of the episodes has gone back downhill, more like the beginning of season/series one than the end.
(Also, we ditched Captain Jack at the end of season one and I really liked him and how he interacted with the other characters. I mean, I know he comes back and there’s Torchwood, but I would have watched him and Nine and Rose forever.)
Part of me wonders if I should just give up here. If I find it so hard to adjust every time they switch out a character, is it worth it to keep watching a show where characters switch every year or two? I mean, aside from the Doctor regenerating, companions come and go. And maybe it just hasn’t hit its stride yet and if I keep going the show will become good enough that that will stop bothering me as much as it does at the moment.
And I’m still a little annoyed that I don’t like it more than I do.
What about you, Squiders? Are you a die-hard Whovian, or can you not get into the show? Who’s your favorite Doctor?