Friday, July 8, 2022

Unpopular Opinions: Doctor Who

With Flux finally on HBO Max, I’ve taken the opportunity to begin rewatching the Thirteenth Doctor’s run in preparation for the Centenary Special and her regeneration. Like with the other Doctors, I’ll be writing a post about Thirteen’s adventures. In the meantime, I’ve pulled together some of my potentially unpopular opinions regarding the Doctor Who franchise, classic and modern. For simplicity, I’m going to use female pronouns for the Doctor (unless I'm talking about a specific regeneration), in keeping with her current regeneration. 

I don’t want to know the Doctor’s name

Over the years she has been known as the Doctor, Dr. Who, and John Smith. However, we’ve yet to learn her name. During the Eleventh Doctor era, we were led to believe we’d learn the Doctor’s name, only to find his darkest secret was a regeneration he’d buried deep down. As enticing as the Doctor’s name is, I think it’s better left a mystery. If we learned anything with the Timeless Child arc, it’s that the Whovian fandom will not agree on anything. Better to leave it a mystery.

Timeless Child is just fine

Speaking of the Timeless Child, let’s get into that. I took a long time to watch the Timeless Child arc, as I waited until it was on HBO Max. By then I’d seen rumors and spoilers about the Timeless Child and who they were. Also saw so many complaints about the writing team breaking Who canon… let’s be clear guys… there’s nothing in the Timeless Child that breaks canon. The Doctor Who canon and mythos is constantly evolving. Easy example: Regeneration wasn’t even thought of until William Hartnell got sick and needed to leave the show. So to add infinite regenerations before Hartnell and infinite regenerations afterwards, not really a problem for me. That being said, I didn’t like how it was revealed. It was a lot of exposition and the Master talking, instead of giving us pieces bit by bit until the Doctor puts it all together, which feels more Doctor Who.

Amy is overrated and lasted too long

For a long while, it seemed like all Doctor Who fans would know was the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. So when she and Rory left, Clara was judged. In addition, these viewers who disregarded the previous Doctors (even the modern ones) created oodles of memes that made it seem like Matt Smith was the only Doctor. So while Amy Pond may be the favorite of many, she’s not my favorite. I didn’t like her throwing herself at the Doctor, while engaged and married to Rory. He deserved better. But you can read more about my opinions on Amy if you check out my Eleventh Doctor post.

Stop shipping the Doctor

It started with the Eighth Doctor kissing Grace, but then in modern Doctor Who it got out of control. Rose and Martha fell in love with Ten, Amy tried to jump Eleven, and now we’ve got Thirteen and Yaz. Thankfully that’s not even half the modern companions, but it’s enough that it’s become a stereotype. Every once in a while was one thing, but it happened so often between Ten and Eleven that it’s almost expected in the modern era.

Five, Seven, and Eight are underrated

When you talk to someone about classic Doctor Who, they’ll likely think of William Hartnell or Tom Baker, the first Doctor and the longest Doctor respectively. But they aren’t my favorite classic Doctors. My favorite would be between Peter Davison, Sylverster McCoy, or (if you include him in the classic era) Paul McGann. “Earthshock,” “Arc of Infinity,” “The Happiness Patrol,” “Remembrance of the Daleks,” and the TV movie among my favorites. So if you’re checking out classic Who, don’t limit yourself to just the Fourth Doctor (as cool as he is) and give the others a shot too.

What are your unpopular opinions of the Doctor Who franchise? Any overrated companions and Doctors? An episode you love that no one else does? Drop it in the comments and wait for someone to argue. In the meantime, I’m going to continue my re-watch of the Thirteenth Doctor (next up, “The Tsuranga Conundrum”).

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