They say you “never forget your first Doctor,” and I find it to hold true that whichever Doctor someone starts out with ends up remaining their favorite. Personally, I started with and loved the Ninth Doctor, very slowly warmed up to the Tenth, and disliked the Eleventh through his entire run. I guess I’m just a no-bow-tie kind of girl.
So when Netflix announced earlier this month that season 8 of Doctor Who was now available, I was very excited to finally get rid of Eleven and meet the Twelfth Doctor.
The only thing I had overheard (and that had been implicated in Twelve’s teaser trailer) is that Twelve was “the dark Doctor.” Did that mean he was evil now? Stern? Unlikable? I wasn’t sure.
Well we’re only halfway through season 8, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it. I love Twelve!! Dare I say I might even love him more than Nine? *Gasp!*
Yes, this Doctor is darker. Not evil, just much more realistic. Whereas Nine, Ten, and Eleven always miraculously saved the day, Twelve seems to leave a pretty significant death toll in his wake. More than that, he seems totally okay with it as he consistently exposes the deaths as justifiable (paraphrase: “He was going to die regardless of what we did, so instead I saved ourselves”). He is no longer the all-knowing and all-powerful hero that Nine was, or the quirky idealist that Ten and Eleven were. It makes the Doctor feel suddenly much more “human”—if that term can be applied to an alien. In fact, he can be a condescending a**hole sometimes—*cough* *cough* “Kill The Moon” episode *cough*.
What I’ve enjoyed even more than watching the Doctor coming down off his goody-two-shoes miracle-worker pedestal is the deprecating banter he has with Clara that is reminiscent of the Ten+Donna “oy!” days. I keep cracking up at the gibes he throws at Clara, and while I wish Clara had more spitfire in her like Donna did, I love that Clara isn’t ruffled by it in the least.
Beyond this new Doctor being Awesome with an capital A, I have to say this season (as far as I’ve gotten, at least) has been superbly written. I love Doctor Who, but overall, I always felt some episodes were really great and some were boring fillers with subpar writing. The quality was significantly inconsistent throughout every season. In this season, however, all episodes have really knocked it out of the park for me thus far. Captivating, fresh, and clever, each episode has left me thinking “wow, that was a good one!” and “I wish I could write like that.”
For those of you keeping up with the show on the regular TV schedule, season 9 premieres September 19th. But don’t talk to me about it until it comes out on Netflix next year!