The Return of Doctor Who
By Zoe Shaw (Editor-in-Chief)
Spoilers for Doctor Who season eight are to follow! To put this article into perspective, I was not a huge fan of the last three seasons of Doctor Who. Yes, it is because I have a lot to say about Stephen Moffat’s abilities to run one of the biggest television shows ever. Will I be criticizing him in this article? Nope!
“Robot of Sherwood”, the third episode of the eighth season of “New Who” (all the episodes following the show’s 2005 revival) aired this weekend. As usual, when the Doctor regenerates into a different face and character, there’s quite a lot to get used to. Especially since the Doctor has gone from being the young and hyperactive Matt Smith to the older and cynical Peter Capaldi.
Of course, we can’t forget the other star of the show. The Doctor’s current companion, whom we first met during Smith’s run as the Eleventh Doctor, is Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman. She’s sweet and spunky, and that’s really all we’ve known about her since her introduction as the mysterious girl who was born to save the Doctor. Now that’s all behind us, and Clara can get around to being a real person for once. Moffat, who wrote the first episode (“Deep Breath”) and co-wrote the second (“Into the Dalek”), has certainly taken advantage of this opportunity. we now know clara as an intelligent and compassionate young English teacher who has made mistakes but applies what she has learned from her life on Earth to solve crises she encounters on her adventures across time and space.
Doctor Who, in my opinion, is always better when it revolves around the Doctor’s companion rather than the Doctor himself. This was the case in season five, when Amy Pond’s fascination with the Doctor, her childhood imaginary friend, was the focus of the season. Seasons six and seven revolved around the Doctor instead, and the show ran out of steam pretty quickly. Although we were introduced to an entirely new Doctor only last month, we have seen him through Clara’s eyes, and his development is encouraged mainly because of her. She taught him in “Into the Dalek” to believe in a Dalek’s potential to be good rather than its past of being bad. She convinced him to believe in Robin Hood, a legend just like the Doctor himself. By developing both characters equally and in unison, this creates a bond and a chemistry that I felt lacked between Clara and the Eleventh Doctor.
Although “Deep Breath” felt a little too convoluted for my taste, the subsequent episodes blew me away. I’ve laughed, I’ve sat on the edge of my seat, and I’ve had a hard time finding anything negative to say about this season so far, even as a nitpicky feminist!