Much to the chagrin of the forty-something anorak crowd, Russell T Davies deliberately excluded 90 percent of classic Who mythology when he revived the show. Instead, he produced a streamlined, simpler show with dynamic, every day characters that people could relate to. Steven Moffat initially maintained this approach by molding the Doctor into a hipster who would entice the tween Twilight crowd. Dramatically and unexpectedly, he returned the show to its roots with the introduction of Peter Capaldi as an aloof, William Hartnellesque style grumpy old man. Unlike Smith and Tennant, Capaldi isn’t boyfriend material in the minds of starry eyed teen girls. They left the show in droves and turned their attention to Flash and countless other generic fantasy shows.


In the past, Doctor Who stories were as varied as the creative souls behind them. The originality and variety has gone since Steven Moffat placed his iron grip on the series. Everything begins and ends with him and his imagination only seems to stretch as far as creating stories with monsters that move when you’re not paying attention. Whether you’re sleeping, blinking or standing too close to the shadows, his spooky villains will get the better of you. The monotony is only disrupted with derivative tales involving the increasingly feeble Cybermen and the greatly over used Daleks.


The powers-that-be have always had a grudging acceptance of Doctor Who but they relish the chance to marginalize it when the opportunity presents itself. After a mediocre first season, Capaldi returned this year find his traditional time-slot otherwise occupied. The episodes have been bounced around from week to week with many episodes going out after the kids have gone to bed. Granted, viewers have the option of watching replays on the I-Player but how many parents will go to the trouble of streaming it for their 6 and 7 year olds? If it happens to be on early on Saturday evening then great but if it’s not then “oh well we won’t watch it kids.”


During the last few seasons, Moffat has abandoned Davies’ policy of ignoring Who mythology and has positively embraced it to the detriment of the show. Every sentence is carefully crafted to give as many nods as possible to Moffat’s anorak buddies from DWAS (Doctor Who Appreciation Society). Osgood’s outfits, the relentless Brigadier references, everything related to Coal Hill school, sonic devices, and countless classic series quotes are at the core of every episode while in the past the central theme was the … wait for it … PLOT. These all too clever quips go over the heads of 80 percent of the ever diminishing audience and are a cancer slowly killing the show.


Ill conceived from the outset, season 8 saw the development of a fractious relationship between the cantankerous TimeLord and his belligerent sidekick. It was uncomfortable viewing much like watching a couple coming to blows on their way to a painful divorce. The inclusion of Danny Pink, with his lack of charisma and Gallifrey sized chip on his shoulder only made matters worse. The Master’s sex change was always going to be controversial but worked out relatively well if you overlook the cringe worthy Carry On Laughing style innuendos that sucked the life out of many scenes. Directionless, snarky, and morbidly dark, Season 8 was season 23 of New Who.

N Conrad

Click here to friend Best British TV on Facebook or here to follow us on Twitter. You can also find us on Google+ by clicking here.