Not another Teen Romance?: The problem with Doctor Who

So moody and emotional, but where are the aliens? Image credit: Doctor Who Spoilers

“The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world and if we let go… that’s who I am.”

Doctor Who used to be fantastic. Even when the monsters were just bubble-wrap painted green (Wirm Grubs, I’m looking at you), the show had the power to transport us to other galaxies and terrify us senseless. At its best, an episode of Doctor Who made you laugh, scream, and sometimes cry – anyone who didn’t feel for Rose at Bad Wolf Bay is a little bit heartless. But, and it’s a disappointingly big ‘but’, since the triple-whammy departure of Russell T Davies, Julie Gardener and Phil Collinson, that’s all changed. Now the adventures of the eponymous madman in a blue box are less about travelling through time and space, and increasingly about the companions who go with him.

Obviously the companion is key to the magic of Doctor Who. Sarah Jane, the Brigadier and Rose Tyler gave the audience an entrance into the Doctor’s mad world: through their eyes we gazed upon new alien realms in wonder, looked at history in a new light and saw into the future, full of terror and awe. Unfortunately, the story of the companion has increasingly overshadowed the Doctor’s, with Amy and Rory being the tipping point.

It had so much potential, a husband and wife team travelling the universe. Gone would be the awkward sexual tension between the obligatory young, attractive female companion (Rose, Martha) and in its place we’d be back to proper adventuring. Or not. Turns out that Steven Moffat isn’t too keen on the whole ‘strong female character’ idea, and would much prefer to have the main focus of Series Five be the love triangle between Rory, Amy and the Doctor.

Therein lies my problem with the recent series (well, multiple half series) of Doctor Who.

It’s starting to remind me of Twilight (there, I said it). A normal girl, sick of her dull life (Amy/Bella) attracts the attentions of two supernatural men (Rory became immortal, don’t forget). Eventually she chooses one (Rory/Edward), gets married and has a child with him. The baby is born after various difficulties and somehow ends up essentially the same age as her parents. Then, very weirdly, the man who wasn’t chosen (Doctor/Jacob) and the baby (River/Renesme) get together.

There you have the recipe for the perfect teenage romance-drama, with aliens in the background. This is not what Doctor Who has ever been or should ever be about. I don’t choose to watch Doctor Who for romance or family drama. When I watch it, I want aliens, I want adventure, I want laughter, screams and tears.

So here’s hoping that with Peter Capaldi as lucky number 13, we can lose the romance and the love interests, instead going back to the successful fifty year-old formula of monsters, aliens and a madman in a blue box.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories

In this section

Across the site

Best of the Rest