This post is not to be confused with the above t.v. show, which both engrosses and annoys me.
No, this post is actually about a certain science fiction show about a time-traveling alien doctor:
^ Yes, this one
I love Doctor Who. Don’t you?
I think my favorite part is that it can really be anything: the premise is ripe for reinvention and exploration. Honestly, I think that the chance to work on Doctor Who is a speculative writer’s ultimate fantasy. At least, it’s this speculative writer’s ultimate fantasy. Sometimes, I daydream about what I would do, given the opportunity to work with the coolest writer’s toy out there.
So I thought it would be a fun exercise to share some of my ideas – and I want to hear your ideas, too!
- Lady doctor! I’d want her all quirky and clever and occasionally condescending to the plebes. Of course, you have to advance the Doctor’s recurrent themes about isolation in the universe, as well as the ethical implications of the Time War…
- When women go quirky, they’re infantilized a la Zooey Deschanel. When men go quirky, no one appreciates their genius. Actually, I think Zooey could do a great job, but I am a Zooey fan so your mileage may vary. Let’s just write her a character people appreciate as smart – or should, if they’re being smart.
We’ll even let her bring her ukulele – because ukuleles, like bowties, are cool
- Male companion with a crush on the lady doctor, even though she is out of his universe. (Literally.)
- Do I need to explain this one?
Thank you, Donna, for being apparently the only woman in the universe who can resist the Doctor’s man-musk (and yet you’re still the only person I ship with him)
- Scooby Gang! In a way, I understand why Doctor Who has stuck closely one or two companions – you don’t want the audience to get too attached to any group of companions, because Doctor Who is all about reinvention and Scooby Gangs have a way of endearing themselves to the audience. (See: Buffy.) Also, maybe budget concerns?
- But Doctor Who gives the Doctor the opportunity to make a diverse group of allies throughout the universe – and it seems a shame to waste the potential dynamics that a time-traveling, spacefaring group could create. I want to see a medieval milkmaid interact with a Martian – not just fleetingly, but over a long span of time. Focusing on the group dynamics of the companions might make the show slightly less about the Doctor, but couldn’t that be a good thing? I mean, there’s only so many times we can see different actors angst about the same Doctor issues.
- Extended storylines with decent pacing. Yes, we already have extended storylines. And Moffat seems to have steered away from them in this current season, maybe because there was so much backlash about last season? But the problem with last season wasn’t the extended storyline itself, which I think could have been cool. Like, the blueprint looks okay. But the storyline was frenetically paced, often rushed, and sometimes completely nonsensical.
- *SPOILER ALERT*
- Amy and Rory have a baby! But they don’t care about that baby, apparently, because they never talk about it? Oh my God their childhood friend is their baby! That just came out of nowhere and is never discussed again. While we’re at it, River Song’s entire story arc – which has been teased over two seasons – is going to be basically covered in a single episode.
- And now I’m going to stop whining about it because I think that a disappointing season of Doctor Who is still miles better than most television – but there’s no getting around the fact that we had a decent extended storyline, which would have been more satisfying if the pace had been slowed and characters had been treated as real people rather than tools existing to serve the plot.
- Less Daleks, more Sleeping Angels. ‘Nuff said. This is just shameless personal preference and I have no shame.
- I’d totally write an episode with fantasy tropes (dragons, magic, wizards, ect.) where it turns out to be a planet with advanced technology…
- Because I want to see the Doctor interact with a dragon.
- Because dragons are cool.
There you have it! Some of the basic ways I would change Doctor Who.
(It’s already pretty great, don’t get me wrong. Don’t mean to imply that it needs to be changed. Just having fun.)