After the men’s singles final at Wimbledon on Sunday night, the thirteenth Doctor was revealed as Jodie Whittaker, best known for her roles in Attack the Block, Black Mirror and Broadchurch. This makes her the first female actor to have this coveted role. Whilst I am delighted to see such a move finally take place, I just hope that the quality of writing doesn’t let her down. The upcoming series is an exciting prospect and it deserves to be a success so here are five things I want to see in the next series of Doctor Who.
1) Removing the Ridiculously Convoluted Series Arcs
Since it’s 2005 revival, Doctor Who has gone for an overall series arc for the individual series. Only a few of these have tended to be successful with the fans and critics and these are normally the ones that have gone for a more subtle approach (Bad Wolf, Harold Saxon). Outgoing executive producer Steven Moffat was constantly criticised for his over complicated arcs which ended in a timey-wimey mess of a finale. The reason that fans reacted more favourably to the last series was because they scrapped most of these and focused instead on the storytelling of the individual episode. There is nothing wrong with giving fans something to look forward to but I feel like an narrative arc without the qualities of a sledgehammer would be better for viewers.
2) Knowing Who The Thirteenth Doctor Is
Peter Capaldi was personally one of my favourite Doctors, at times he seemed a combination of the 1st Doctor’s grouchy nature and the 3rd Doctor’s scientific brilliance. However at other times he was playing an electric guitar in medieval England with sonic sunglasses, arguably one of the worst gadgets to ever come from the show. I understand that a character, especially the lead character, needs to be nuanced and multifaceted. What I want to see is the writers knowing from the start exactly who Whittaker’s Doctor quintessentially is and that will allow viewers to warm to the character much quicker as a result.
3) A Bigger Variation in Episodes
Linking back to my first point, series 10 was considered much better than recent ones due to the fact that it had away with the ridiculous storylines. (Does anyone know who/what The Hybrid was?) The downside of that though is that you have more individual episodes to focus on and sadly a few of them blurred into middle-of-the-road morality tales. The ones that strayed furthest from this archetype were considered to be the most brilliant (Oxygen, World Enough and Time). I think the show would benefit from having more episodes where anything can happen and narratives aren’t defined by the morals behind them, for example one episode solely from the eyes of a companion, or one that shocks audiences by killing off a regular character mid-season. There are endless possibilities and it will be a shame for the show if they continue to follow these predictable narratives.
4) More References to the Classic Series
Okay, so this one is more a personal hope than something that I think will benefit the show. Doctor Who has a rich history and with twenty-six seasons to take material from, it would be a shame to constantly look forward or even worse, to only consider the show from its 2005 revival onwards. Personally I was overjoyed that The Empress of Mars was revealed as a precursor to the Peladon arc in the Jon Pertwee era, especially the cameo at the end from hermaphroditic hexapod Alpha Centauri, best known for its flailing arms and high-pitched voice. I would love to see more past aliens and monsters return to the fray, many of which would still work in a 21st century episode. Maybe there would also be a chance to have past companions guest-star in an episode. (Jo Grant anyone?)
5) A Male Companion?
Again, this one is more of a hope than something that will benefit the show. Male companions have had a pretty rough ride in the revised show, constantly being killed off to speed the plot along, being used as the butt of a joke and pale in the eyes of the female companion when compared to the Doctor. But what if, shock horror, the writers create a male companion who is brilliant in his own right. With the male Doctor being present for decades, there wasn’t the opportunity to have a male companion also. Only once has a solo male companion really worked in the show and that was Jamie McCrimmon from the 2nd Doctor’s tenure. He wasn’t the brightest companion ever but what he did have was a stout heart and developed throughout his tenure on the show. Again it is a big risk to have a solo male companion but I think it will work but please NO ROMANCE. The last thing I want to see is a drippy eyed Doctor and companion (*cough Rose*).
So what do you want to see from the next series of Doctor Who?
Comment your thoughts below.