I’ve had an uneasy sense of dissatisfaction with the latest Doctor Who season, and, after more thought than I should really put into it, I think I’ve got the answer as to why.
My favorite Doctor Who season is when the Tenth Doctor was with Donna. The entire storyline from start to finish was brilliant. And I think that might be because we saw change both through the Doctor and through the companion, which is honestly rather rare (for example, in Doctor/Martha, I think we saw a lot of character growth/change in Martha, but not enough in the Doctor).
Look at Donna: she starts out as a loud-mouthed speed-talker who’s blustering her way through life and gets her way often by just speaking over people until she gets her way. But by the end of her story arc, you realize that she is that way because she’s scared and has a low sense of self-value, and she’s screaming at the world just to find a place for herself.
But now look at the Eleventh Doctor. He’s become (more and moreso in this season/end of last season) a loud-mouthed speed-talked who’s blustering his way through life and often getting his way just by speaking over people until they do what he wants. He doesn’t explain himself, he commands and manipulates the situation.
But unlike Donna, we don’t get a reason why. Yes, he’s clever. Very nice. So was the Ninth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor. But they weren’t jerks about it. They didn’t bluster over people. Sometimes they acted without letting others know why, but had a reason. Compare the Ninth Doctor’s sacrifice, when he tricked Rose and sent her home, to the way the Eleventh Doctor didn’t explain his plan to Amy, Rory, and River at the season finale of last season, leaving them believing he was dead or dying. That was cruel. He was being clever and keeping information from them—and the viewers—for no discernable reason.
Can the Eleventh Doctor be redeemed? Yes…but he needs a Donna moment, and soon.
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- sjaejones said: I have less problems with the Eleventh Doctor than I do his showrunner. Moffat has consistently proven he is unable to handle long arcs—either plot or character-wise. Sigh. I used to love this show so much!
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