Let me start off by giving you the order in which I would rate the Peter Capaldi episodes for Doctor Who. They are, from worst to best: Robot of Sherwood, Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, In the Forest of the Night, the Caretaker, Kill the Moon, Death in Heaven, Listen, Flatline, Dark Water, Time Heist, Last Christmas, and Mummy on the Orient Express. Yes, this is how I’d rate all of the Capaldi episodes to date and yes, I liked Mummy the best.
I wanted to review the Capaldi first season because I think it’s important to note how I look at Doctor Who as a whole. I am an “old school” Whovian but I do enjoy some of the new stuff. Let me just go over things and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Everything before Tom Baker was interesting but I could live without it. Tom Baker through Colin Baker is the era I was introduced to, so I am definitely loving that stuff the most. McCoy is a rough watch, in my opinion, but there are some redeemable episodes.
Eccelston was a nice refresher on the whole of Who. I could have loved him more if he’d stuck around a little longer but he was a good Doctor for what we got. Tennant was one of the best Doctors in history. Smith wasn’t anywhere near an enjoyable Doctor to me, but I understand that some loved him. He wasn’t even as good as McCoy, that should give you an idea where I stand with what has come before.
Capaldi was a great big boost from the Smith era. However, Capaldi has needed a little bit of help and as far as companions go, I have NOT been a fan of Coleman. She wasn’t so bad with Smith but she’s been nothing but terrible with Capaldi and I’d replace her as quickly as I possibly could.
The Capaldi episodes haven’t been “run here, then run there, then… oh yeah, here’s the story.” We’ve had a much closer look at the old style Doctor Who storytelling. That is to say that I’ve enjoyed the pacing of this year’s stories. I miss the Weeping Angels and I long for a decent Cyberman story but I did enjoy the Christmas special and Time Heist was a goodie, too. All in all, I enjoyed the experience but we need to get away from talking more about the companion because the show is called DOCTOR Who, not COMPANION Who. If I want a show about the companion, I’ll watch literally anything else. I want them to shift to telling stories that are about the Doctor in interesting ways and I’m hoping Series 9 will be more about the Doctor and less about the companion.
I hope that we can get a little closer to Doctor Who of the past. I don’t mind the difference in storytelling from old to new but if the new Whovians are going to have any appreciation for what has come before. I would also really like Moffat to step down and let someone else take over the show running.