A friend sent me a link today announcing that Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat will both be leaving “Dr. Who” in 2017. I really fear for the life of the show with Mr. Moffat leaving, but, there is only so much of a person to go around. Eight years is a long time to balance the insanity while keeping track of the story. Because of him we got Amy Pond, River Song, Clara Oswald and Dr. Donna. Because of him we also got “Blink.”
Yes, I know “Dr. Who” rebooted before David Tennant started playing the Doctor, but honestly, does anyone even remember what came before? The show really _felt_ more ensemble starting with him. We got lots of other characters to love/hate _and_ we got to know more about them. I was even hoping they would explore more of the story with Clara stuck between tick and tock and that girl who had the regeneration pack which would keep her healthy and the same age until the end of time.
There are many theories as to why the ratings were tanking and I don’t believe Mr. Capaldi is completely incorrect. There is much to be said about network management taking a hit show for granted then trying to prop up other shows by moving the hit to a new time slot so they can let weaker shows get a temporary accidental ratings boost. We’ve seen that time and again in the states. “Scorpion” got moved to a new time so execs could try launching other shows. The same has happened recently with “The Black List” and “Elementary.”
Personally I believe much of the fall off was this new story line. Trying to make the Doctor an angry bitter old man to show just how much he needs a companion to keep him human and grounded. They have hinted at and explored it since David Tennant took over. Anyone who doesn’t believe that should read up on then watch “Journey’s End.”
The loss of both the current Doctor and Mr. Moffat doesn’t bode well for the series. Yes, Mr. Chibnall does have “Torchwood” creds but . . . that show went way outside of the “Dr. Who” comfort zone pushing the gay sex thing. Hell, sex in general. Within the “Dr. Who” world that was always supposed to be just a scattered comment here and there the adults could pick up on. If he is coming to “Dr. Who” it does kind of dash the hopes of a new “Torchwood” season as well.
Many years ago I was told something about software development which shapes me to this day.
“You can only make one God-like move during a package release.”
This truth applies to both software products and television shows. The landscape is littered with shows which were moved to a new time slot while they were trying different things only to be quickly cancelled when the ratings vaporized. Some truly stupid television execs will decide to move a hit show to the same time slot a juggernaut airs for a rival network. When will execs learn, if you own one night, you did good.
Here’s hoping that all of the executives involved with both “Dr. Who” and “Torchwood” actually learned something from this little debacle.