What We Want from Chibnall’s Doctor Who
The word is out – Season 10 of Doctor Who will be Peter Capaldi’s last. So what do we want when Chris Chibnall becomes the showrunner?
Season 10 of Doctor Who starts filming in May, and it looks like there’s confirmation of the long-rumored departure of Peter Capaldi from the title role.
I’m a little sad. It took me a long time to warm to Capaldi in the role, but he’d really made it his own by the end of Season 9. Also, his behavior off-screen – thrilling kids and adults alike by truly relishing in his role as the Doctor – had made him something of a legend in my eyes. He deserved another couple of seasons, at least.
But it’s understandable that veteran Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall wanted what Stephen Moffatt got in 2010, when he took over the show – a clean slate. A new Doctor, a new companion and limitless new adventures to explore.
So in anticipation of that, he’s what I want from Season 11 of Doctor Who.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Doctor.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m not for diversity casting just for the sake of it – I’ve rallied against ‘black Hermione‘ and the curious casting choices in the anticipated Steven King Dark Tower movies.
But when it comes to the question of a new Doctor, I think its about time we looked broader than yet-another skinny, middle-aged (and generally Scottish) white dude.
I don’t think we’re ready for a female Doctor, but an actor like Chiwetel Ejiofor would be perfect. He’s youngish, sexy and has the presence the Doctor requires – and while he adds some much-needed diversity to the show, he would also preserve the masculine identity that’s so key to the Doctor’s relationship with his invariably young-and-pretty companions.
Make this man the Doctor, already.
Plots that make sense.
Steven Moffatt was either a brilliant, or banal writer. When he was good, he was very, very good. Episodes like Blink were the stuff of Doctor Who legend.
But he was getting increasingly lazy as the seasons wore on, and more and more reliant on what looked ‘cool’ rather than what made sense. Making the Statue of Liberty a weeping angel, for example, or turning the moon into a giant egg were just stupid ideas that threw the whole show off-kilter.
No, Chris Chibnall has to make sure the plots are coherent, and consistent. A simple premise with a twist at the end is infinitely preferable to a bunch of techno-babble with a ‘cool’ showpiece at the end of it. Look to Season 5 (Moffatt’s first) to see what I’m talking about – it was practically the ‘perfect’ season of Doctor Who.
Hahaha, that was cool. Not.
A decent companion.
Peter Capaldi’s poor showing in Season 8 saved Jenna Coleman’s companion, Clara Oswold. Before then, she’d been tedious eye-candy, and somewhat annoying. Then, as Capaldi struggled to find his footing as the Doctor, she was forced to step up and become the major foundation of the show. Coleman triumphed eventually – but it was touch or go for a season or so, there.
So when we bring in a new companion, make sure she’s solid from day one. We need a Rose Tyler, or an Amy Pond – not another pretty chick in a short skirt. Not only does she have to have a personality of her own, but she’s also got to have the grounding back on Earth. Rose Tyler’s mum, and Amy’s long-suffering boyfriend Rory, both served as brilliant foils to a girl who’d left our relatable world to go galivanting through time and space.
Strax shared my opinion of Clara’s early appearences.
If you can get these three ingrediants right, I think Doctor Who could have a renaissance. It’s a great show, but its lost its way a little in recent years. Chris Chibnall’s arrival has the potential to turn that trajectory around; and hopefully launch Doctor Who into a new and exciting era in the show’s 50+ year history.