Saturday, 8 November 2014

The End of Doctor Who Series 8 - There Be Spoilers!

Hi Goddesses

And so we reach the end of Series 8 of Doctor Who, a series of anticipation, concern and anti-climax, which started with a bang and ended with a whimper.  So, what gives?

I have found this a really frustrating series of Doctor Who.  The loss of the chemistry between Clara and Matt Smith’s Doctor, the rather drippy Mr Pink, the hints at dark future plot lines (both Pink and Missy), and – let’s not beat around the bush – the rather shabby, half-thought out episodes in between.

This series started so brightly for me.  After the first episode I declared that Capaldi may prove to be the very best Doctor we’ve EVER had, with his acerbic snark and his non-chirpiness.  Sad to say, that bravura was waned throughout the series, to the point where he stopped being utterly fabulous and became a little .. dull.

I know I am in a lonely group here, but I have always loved Clara.  From the soufflé-baking Dalek soul to the mystery Matt Smith tried to solve, I have found her compelling ..  and anti-climactic.  Unfortunately, none of the questions raised about Clara have answered my questions and suspense.  I feel there’s a whole episode missing, at the point where she dived into Matt Smith’s DNA at Trenzalore, and that that would have provided me with the puzzle pieces I was missing.

Do you know why I was so excited about the end of this series.  Because it was trailed with Clara shouting “Clara Oswald has never existed, I made her up, *I* am The Doctor”.  I swooned for one last plot twist with her character, but it turned out to be nothing more than an attention seeking lie.  Boo, BBC, boo.

I have to say, I’ve never liked Danny Pink.  I found the actor who played him too wooden, too drippy and just not “solid” enough, so the thought of his death didn’t bother me.  But oh what a well played death it was, with Clara as impressive with her grief as Pink was with his pain.  It touched on so many mortal aspects of love and loss, and was, quite possibly, heart-breaking.  Hours after the episode has ended, it’s their embrace in the graveyard which haunts me.

The Missy storyline – so intriguing, and yet, so obvious – floundered in over-acting; an excess of facial expressions over dialogue, and neither Michelle Gomez nor the fans were well-served by Moffatt.  What could have been the start of something soooo bittersweet was over before it really began, leaving us with Capaldi’s best moment for several episodes, when he tried to batter the dashboard of the TARDIS into submission.

For many series now, DW has suffered from too many words in its scripts.  Great dialogues full of words, but lacking in meaning, and sadly, this series has topped them all.  In hindsight, the only episode that stands out for me is the “monsters under the bed” episode – and of 12 episodes, I’d struggle to remember at least 5.

So where does Doctor Who go from here?  I’m still confident in Capaldi, although I hope there is one last pained hurrah for Clara.  I hoped to end this series shocked, rocked and breathless, tears rolling down my face, and it didn’t happen.  I still think Clara’s time on the show should end as it began – with her trapped in a Dalek …. whether that belonged to a totally different Clara is still not fully resolved for me.

So, we await the Christmas Special, which needs to be just that – special.  I know a lot of you have hated her, but I feel Clara and her Impossible arc deserve more – and so do we.

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