How Can Doctor Who Regain the Magic?

Doctor Who Series 9 was a ratings failure. Can the show improve its reputation? How can it improve?

Christian Cawley offers you his thoughts on the matter, and welcomes your suggestions.

10 thoughts on “How Can Doctor Who Regain the Magic?

  1. As I didn’t agree with the BBC’s idea to show episodes of Series 8 & 9 after 8pm, Doctor Who Series 10 needs to be shown at a traditional timeslot e.g 7pm because that’s the time it deserves to be shown at, every week if possible.
    Also I feel most of the stories need a balance of a light and dark feel because I felt the Series 9 stories were just too dark and hard to understand.

  2. When all’s said and done and the new ways of watching the show are factored in, S9 lost about a million “real” viewers. Personally, I put that down to Capaldi in the role; I figure those million people represent viewers who don’t like Capaldi for one reason or another. From the younger girls (and maybe guys) who think the Doctor should be eye candy, through to other people who might dislike him for other reasons. Capaldi is surely at the centre of this. And as much as many of us love him — like I do — the only way things might change is if we get a younger, “sexy” Doctor again, dashing about and being brave and funny. Basically Tennant Mk 2. That magic million will come back.

    1. You don’t think it was because the late time slot put it out of reach of casual and younger viewers?

  3. I’m sure losing the 7pm slot hurt the on-air ratings a great deal but here’s another thought. Often in the past, the companion has been the “viewer’s representitive in the narrative”. Rose and Donna stand out in this regard alongside many examples in the classic series. Clara was something different, from her appearances in the Dalek Asylum and Snowmen onwards, and although she had her moments, her character development (be “more doctor” until it kills her) often left us the viewers without our proxy. A companion can be more than just someone to rescue and explain things to without being an additional superhero.

  4. The first awful episode with the new doctor Capaldi put me off from watching it again, (although I like him as an actor, just awful script) Never went back. All too earth based for ages as well with previous recent doctors. Not enough money spent on it. Send him out into space again for gods sake, which may have been done as I havn’t even watched it for couple years.

    1. So you haven’t watched any of the subsequent episodes?

      This is interesting: what is it like living in a world with DW on TV, but not watching DW?

  5. “A ratings failure”?
    You’re starting from a false premise here.
    Ratings for EVERYTHING are down. People do not watch TV the way they used to. There are too many different possible streams that TV ratings are pretty much useless.

    I’d also point out that even if you accept the premise that ratings are down in the U.K., “Doctor Who” is an international property now. It’s selling worldwide. “Dr. Mysterio” was the No. 1 rated show for the ENTIRE YEAR on BBC America. That success and money helps to fund and keep DW alive.

    I do think you will see a “reboot” of sorts in Series 10 – but that’s less to do with ratings and more to do with having two new companions onboard.

  6. I think the life got sucked out of Series 8&9 by the character of Clara.
    Jenna Coleman is a good actress and Clara was adequately written for during Matt Smith’s tenure, but the character of Clara was never in awe of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. In Deep Breath she was downright disgusted with him. Peter’s Doctor then seemed be pandering to Clara’s every whim and by the middle of Series 9 Clara seemed bored of life itself.
    The flashpoint for the casual viewer seemed to be in Ep 8.2 (Into the Dalek) when Clara slapped the Doctor across the face.
    That’s just bad writing and doesn’t send a good message about Domestic Violence.
    (I know Jackie Tyler slapped Eccleston, but it was a mother’s outburst after her daughter was kidnapped).
    Steven Moffat is a greater writer for wibbly/wobbly cause & effect stuff (Blink/Listen/Girl in the Fireplace) but in Series 8&9 he struggled with writing/overseeing domestic family stuff and personal relationships (this is where Russell T used to excel). .
    Now that we have Pearl Mackie things have started to turn round again. It’s a shame that people might overlook Peter Capaldi’s sublime little moments across Series 8&9.
    That said, there aren’t many programs out there that all the family can watch together (at the same time)!. Long may Doctor Who remain on TV.

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