She Said, He Said, I Say

Because this is the way things happen now, here is a prequel (it's not, it's an elaborate promo) for this coming weekend's Doctor Who series finale, called She Said, He Said. It's just Clara and the Doctor talking about how keen they are on each other while the other isn't there.

After the jump, I have some thoughts.

I've been watching Doctor Who now for some time, as have many people. Some came to it sooner, some came to it later. It's been on for fifty years, so there is a wide margin of experiences. In all the time I've been watching it, I have never once thought about where, and why, he started. No, that's not right. I've never cared. Why the Doctor started out and who he "really" is matters as much as anything that happened in Superman on Krypton before it exploded, which is to say not at all. We know who The Doctor is: he's the mad, brilliant man we've been watching for fifty years. If we think knowing his "real" name after all these years is going to make a difference, then we are shallow and the show needs to stop airing immediately (note that when the show was cancelled in 1989, they were on the verge of revealing who he 'really" was as well: it is the idea that comes when you've run out of better ones). We know why he started travelling: the Time Lords weren't much fun, and he wanted to see the universe. This is well established. By going back, by wasting time on things that don't need explaining, the show is doing itself a disservice.

I have exceptionally low expectations for Saturday night. This series has been the low point of the revival, and a not small part of it has had to do with Clara and the "mystery" surrounding her (and about which I cannot muster the ability to care), or all this looking back over your shoulder crap. I like homage, I like paying respect to where you came from. So far this series the highlight fro me was the return of the Ice Warriors because it was the only time any of the nostalgia didn't feel like an in-joke or a pummelling upside the head. It just was. But the insistence that the Doctor needs an origin story fifty years after the fact is... well, frankly, it's stupid. The Doctor's name will either turn out to be a misdirection (The Wedding of River Song), nonsense (The Other) or underwhelming (Trevor) if it is revealed at all. If it is, or if it results in a massive cop out at the last minute, it will cast a shadow on everything that comes after it, something that every future writer will either have to live with or forget happened.

If the finale surprises me, I'll be the first to say I was wrong. But that doesn't change the fact that Doctor Who is need of a change in a dramatic way, as the show has often needed and always done. Every so often, it regenerates, and it is in need of doing so now.

Via The Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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