So it was. It went to piss too. Sherlock then - massive BBC hit that went to shit.
I’m puzzled by the praise over the production values. To me it looked cheaper than the last Capaldi season.
I understand the criticisms, to be honest. I agree that if this was another show - a mainstream sci-fi show aimed more at an adult audience - the criticism would likely be harsher.
The thing is (and I think we’ve maybe had this conversation before), I don’t think there is another similar show that I can think of that is aiming for such a crossover in terms of audience. I struggle to think of another sci-fi/fantasy show that is trying to entertain both adults and kids and be accessible and enjoyable for such a broad range of viewers.
And I think some of the perceived flaws stem from that. I think that’s why the show goes for fairly broadly-sketched characters, relatively simple plots, and not-too-realistically-scary bad guys - and when the show under Moffat aimed for greater complexity and more adult storylines, he got criticised for moving away from being a child-friendly show.
I get the impression from this first episode (and some of the publicity) that Chibnall is aiming to be a bit more inclusive again, which may mean that it swings back to feeling more like a ‘kids show that adults can watch’ again, rather than the other way around.
From the early viewing figures, it looks like a successful relaunch, but the real success will be in retaining a large part of that audience and keeping them coming back for more.
Also, it will be interesting to see how consistent the tone of the show is under Chibnall - in the past, there’s been a strong sense of the show being different every week (so it’s maybe too early to judge this era just yet), but given the ‘writer’s room’ approach to the whole series it may be that we get a bit more consistency this time around.
It’s not a critique of the show though. Doctor Who has been great many times over the year. It’s just this episode. It’s not good.
I think Star Trek is the closest to Dr Who - all audiences, scary but not really, dramatic but simple too. And our cinema is saturated with all ages material. I think what we have with Chibnail is just a not very good showrunner making not very good TV.
Star Trek is an interesting comparison - not sure it goes quite as young as Doctor Who, but I haven’t watched enough of it to know for sure.
There’s much more all-ages stuff at the cinemas, definitely, but with the best will in the world Doctor Who is probably never going to compete at the Marvel or Star Wars level.
Yeah, I think it’s true that the show has been much better than this opening episode, and it’s a shame that it wasn’t a more convincing debut than the likes of The Eleventh Hour (or even Deep Breath).
But I guess I disagree that we can judge the new era on this first episode. The show always yo-yo-ed around dramatically before (wonderful some weeks, awful the next), and this was somewhere in the middle. Whether we get a consistently middling show under Chibnall or whether it continues to yo-yo remains to be seen, I think.
He’s been pretty explicit about that. It’s a show I now watch with the kids and I have to say they sat there with full attention and not nearly as many questions every 2 minutes during a lot of the Moffat episodes. I’m actually open to both approaches but it is true that when he did narrative tricks like in “A Good Man Goes to War” I had an adult friend catching up with the show ask if he’d accidentally missed an episode.
I think there’s a happy medium between the self-referential complexity of Moffat’s worst and the brainless banality Chibnall usually achieves (and I’d say Moffat got that with Capaldi’s last season).
I’m all for the show being accessible to eight year olds too, I just don’t think that means it needs to sound like it was scripted by one.
I think that most people are trying to remain upbeat: 1) to overpower the ‘gammon’ element who cannot understand the possibility of a female Doctor; 2) to give Chibnall a chance before ploughing into him. I’m OK with that.
No argument from me. I tend not to comment anymore because I’m accused of being overly-critical when I accuse DW writers of being lazy in their application because they know that the DW fanatics and the wholly uncritical will lap it up. Better writing will not remove viewers of those two groups, but might add more from the general audience. The drop-off in audience size over the next few episode will be interesting if they continue in this vein.
Personally, I think Jodie will be brilliant in the role. She’s a class act and is probably already over-delivering on what she’s been given to work with, so I truly hope she gets some great scripts to demonstate her range.
Randomly, this is my favourite line in the entire episode:
More of a… sonic Swiss army knife. Only without the knife. Only idiots carry knives.
This was a big debate in comedy a few years back but I think it’s relevant now to drama too. What is there that’s family viewing?
I’m not just talking about sex and swearing but material that appeals across the board. Star Trek has explicitly left that arena now with Discovery. There’s material that’s all ages in content but there’s no real A-Team type show around when there were loads in the 80s on both sides of the Atlantic.
My daughter is nearly 10 now so doesn’t have to watch just childrens TV but when, with the mass of choices we have, I try and find material for us to watch together it’s difficult to find. We did Lost in Space which worked but I’m not sure what else there is.
Maybe it is an anchronism and the last couple of shows that attempt it will die out, although they seem pretty popular. Nowadays 8.2m live ratings is pretty great.
I found this first episodes very uneven. It had some great moments and then others that just didn’t work at all. I thought it started out looking stunningly beautiful but by the end felt a big generic. The fake out of the doctor remembering her identity was probably my favorite thing in it.
I’m excited to see the next episode, where it looks like they’re going to Jakku.
Nothing gets clicks like pandering and outrageous bullshit.
Now, that would be a great CB handle!
I never thought the Doctor would start dismissing entire religions, but here she is writing off the Sikhs.