I am a gigantic fangirl so every now and again I may fly my nerd flag here. This is one of those times.
DOCTOR WHO SERIES 8 PREMIERE: YES
If you are familiar with Doctor Who, you know that the series 8 premiere starring a new Doctor (Twelve) aired last Saturday on BBC. (If you aren’t familiar with Doctor Who- it is about a mad man with a blue box. That’s about the best I can do. I’d just exit here.) I was never much attached to Matt Smith’s Eleven, so I was extremely excited to see what Peter Capaldi would bring to the role. I was not disappointed. Moffat’s writing tends to be hit-and-miss in a huge way, i.e. AMAZING STORYTELLING THAT I LOVE or WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED, THAT WAS TERRIBLE, so the fact that he was writing the premiere meant little to me either way. This is the man responsible for the 50th anniversary special which I LOVE UNTIL THE END OF TIME, who then turned around and gave us the worst regeneration episode I have ever seen. I already liked Capaldi however, so I went in with cautious optimism.
The dinosaur. The fucking dinosaur. Brilliant. Eleven had an episode with dinosaurs that didn’t work, in my opinion, so it was nice to see it done well. I was sure it was just going to be used as “Oh cool it’s a dinosaur” without there being a reason for it being there, but they didn’t waste it. By having Twelve interpret her lonely noises then grieve for her death, Moffat showed us that Twelve’s empathy was intact. There has been a lot of talk about this being a darker, tougher incarnation, so I think it effectively showed the audience that yes, this Doctor might have a different style, but it’s still our beloved, squishy-hearted Doctor. The cyber-ish human thing was cool enough, although that particular element has certainly been done before. The lack of originality there didn’t bother me much though, because I was just too busy getting to know our new boy.
(Attack Eyebrows. I laughed so fucking hard.)
Although Clara is a returning character, in a way I felt like this was her very first episode. Clara is a character they sort of created then failed to fill in the blanks. It always felt like the show was telling us over and over that she was Great and Important, without ever bothering to actually make her those things. The end of Eleven’s story finally delivered on the premise that Clara’s existence is incredibly crucial to the Doctor, but it didn’t make her any more interesting as a person. But finally, FINALLY, Moffat wrote her a personality. She went from being basically a pretty, occasionally sassy girl who stood around being impressed by Eleven, to being an actual person who reacted to things the way an actual person would. That is to say- not all that well all of the time. Her treatment of the Doctor after he had changed into an older man was uncomfortable for some, but it was an absolutely human reaction to have. When Ten regenerated into Eleven I wanted to quit my job and live in a blanket fort eating pizza and crying for the rest of my life, so here I found my first real opportunity to identify with Clara. Of course she was attached to “her” Doctor. We all are. Yes that sucks for Twelve, and it also sucks for Clara. Eleven held her hand, gave her hugs, and made it very clear what she meant to him. Twelve does not appear to have that in him and she has to deal with the fact that he probably never will. Their relationship will be entirely different and she has to grieve her relationship with Eleven, all while trying to be a companion to this new version of the man she cares about. At any rate, Clara got to be happy, sad, irritated, scared, and brave- all in one episode. Just like a real girl. Oh, and the awkward hug at the end was basically my favorite thing.
So that’s it, ladies and germs: I loved it. I am so excited to be excited for Who again.