My Doctor Who Season 8 Wishlist

Ever since Matt Smith announced his imminent departure from life in the TARDIS, everyone and their brother has been speculating on who will be chosen to play the next Doctor. I’ve done my fair share of guessing, commenting on blog posts, and  browsing lists of actors who would make a great Doctor—BUT the next Doctor isn’t the only thing we should be talking about.

The last season was RIFE with problems and disappointments for me. Stephen Moffat’s skills as a showrunner have become questionable, and some aspects of his story-telling that were once fresh and fantastic (“Don’t blink! Blink and you’re dead!”) have become stale and overused (“Don’t click! ~~> “I don’t know where I am.”).

So without further ado, here are some things BESIDES new Doctor speculation that I’d like to see in the next season of Who.

1. Diversity

diversityinWho

Quick! Think of something Amy, Rory, River, Clara, and the Doctor have in common. They’re ALL white. Now think back on Doctor 10 and his brood. Still a lot of white people in that group, but look at the variety! Different ages, races, classes, and sexualities. (And no “professional models” like Amy.) What I’d like to see in season 8 is less white faces…and maybe even a non-white Doctor!

2. Varied Ages

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Aside from River (who is just awesome in general), the last few seasons of Who have featured a lot of YOUNG actors. Matt Smith is the youngest actor to the play the Doctor to date, and Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvil made for very youthful companions. Next season, I’m hoping to see a broader scale of ages across the board. Christopher Eccleston was 41 when he played 9 and David Tenant, 35, when he began his journey as 10. I’d like to see a somewhat older-looking and wiser-seeming Doctor, and I’d like to see more variety in the ages of companions.

Some of my favorite scenes with Matt Smith are when he’s paired with young Amelia, and his interactions with the kids Clara babysits have been great. Maybe it’s time to have a more permanent kid-companion, like Adric.  Additionally, I’d also like to see us moving in the opposite direction, with older companions. Donna and Wilf weren’t spring chickens, but that didn’t make them any less loveable or exciting to watch.

3. Another Male Companion

malecompanion

I get bored of the Doctor’s dynamic with women from time to time. He’s always sweeping in and taking them on grand adventures, and a lot of them (understandably) fall for him. That’s why I love male companions. Having Mickey, Rory, and/or Captain Jack in the TARDIS shakes things up a bit and disrupts the typical Doctor + female companion relationship. Having a male companion creates the opportunity for love triangles (Rose+Mickey+Doctor), male to male romance (Capt. Jack + Doctor), or, at the very least, someone to call the Doctor out on his shit. No one was better at calling the Doctor on his shit than Rory. Plus, Rory got to be a Roman.

Canton Everett Delaware III was another AWESOME male companion.

4. More Aliens

Doctor-Who-Madame-Vastra-Jenny-and-Strax

Everyone loves Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. Aside from their obvious comic relief, they make for fascinating characters. I don’t know about you guys, but I am a total sucker for inter-species-same-sex-romance. In fact, I’d be thrilled to not only see more aliens in Doctor Who, but to see a companion fall for an alien. Think of the wonderful complications it could create! Where would they live? What time period would they live? Would the alien travel with them in the TARDIS? (I would love that!)

We see so many humans in space, but we don’t spend enough time getting to know the other species out there–especially in a non-villian capacity. Wouldn’t it be great if some peaceful aliens invaded Earth? And the Doctor and co ran in ready for a fight, but the aliens were super cool and nice for a change? And they could be like, “Oh, sorry! Our bad! We’ll find a new spot!”  And then someone farts and everyone laughs. That would be like script-writing GOLD.

(Doctor Who producers, you can contact me HERE if you want to hire me immediately)

5. A female companion in REASONABLE clothing

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Clara picture courtesy of teganslibrary.blogspot.com

Have you seen this adorable clothing swap drawing on the right? I found it on Pinterest. (No idea who to attribute it to–please contact me if it’s yours!). It nicely illustrates a Doctor Who pet peeve of mine–namely, that the last two companions have worn some ridiculous clothing for intergalactic space-time travel.  While Rose and Martha wore sensible jeans, t-shirts, and coats, and Donna had whole suitcases full of costume changes,  Amy was rocking a lot of bare-legged outfits and we’ve yet to see Clara even wear a pair of pants! Not ONE pair of pants!

Can we have a sensibly-dressed female next season please?

6. A Companion with absolutely ZERO romantic interest in the Doctor

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And while I’m on the topic of female companions, I’d like to say that I’m sick of them falling in love with the Doctor. The May-December age complication with Rose and 9 was very interesting, and when 9 became 10, it was impossible not to love the romance between them. However, after Rose’s departure, along came Martha, who is truly one of the smartest and strongest companions. But emotionally, she was so aggravating and annoying. I hated watching her pine silently over the Doctor while he mourned losing Rose.

Personally, I think my favorite season with David Tenant was the Donna season for this specific reason. The Doctor and Donna were excellent friends–“best friends”, even, according to the Doctor, and this allowed them to have great comedic chemisty. It also allowed Donna the chance to find romance with other people during their adventures. Although Donna only made a romantic connection once, in “Silence in the Library”, it made for a really powerful moment for her character.

I loved Amy and Rory together on the TARDIS, also. Having a couple is great because then they get to work through all those messy couple issues, WHILE they’re traveling through time and space. The familial relationship the Ponds had with the Doctor is what made their time on the TARDIS so memorable. Now that we’ve got Clara–who has kissed the Doctor while in Victorian nanny mode–the ambiguous how do they REALLY feel about each other vibe is really getting on my nerves. Plus, if the Doctor falls for Clara so soon after River’s death, I’m going to consider him quite a heartless cad. And I don’t want to do that.

7. No more dumb companion titles

Rose joins Torchwood, Martha joins UNIT, Donna forgets, and Amy applies her knowledge of the Universe by looking pretty.
Rose joins Torchwood, Martha joins UNIT, Donna forgets, and Amy applies her knowledge of the Universe by looking pretty.

Amy Pond is the Girl Who Waited. There’s no denying it. And the fact that she waited 12 years for the Doctor (and everyone thought she was kind of nuts) is a pretty wonderful aspect of her character. But did “The Girl Who Waited” need to be repeated over and over and over? Probably not. It was a neat title and the idea was orignal….then. Now we have Clara, the Impossible Girl/Souffle Girl/Girl Born to Save the Doctor/Guess what, guys? I’m really over all the dumb titles because they are superfluous and unnecessary to the plot. Plus, having the Doctor running around all season shouting “She’s NOT POSSIBLE!” like Vizzini from the Princess Bride just annoyed the bejeezus out of me.

the-princess-bride-inconceivable

8. Companions that suffer actual consequences

Doctor Who loves to kill off minor characters. We meet them, bond with them, and watch them die CONSTANTLY, but the actual companions seem pretty immune to this.

Remember me? I died in episode 2, season 1!
Remember me? I died in episode 2, season 1!

Question: How many times did Rory come back from the dead?

Answer: Enough times to say “Don’t I always?” when Amy asks him if he’ll come back from the dead after jumping off a building in “The Angels Take Manhattan.”

What I’d like to see are some companions who grow, change, fail, or die permanently. Maybe that’s cruel and morbid of me, but this isn’t Twilight. It’s Doctor Who. JK Rowling isn’t afraid to kill off major characters, and Stephen Moffat shouldn’t be either. (And River doesn’t count, since she was one of those “dead minor characters” before she popped back into 11’s timeline.)

It was a huge shocker when Mickey Smith chose to leave the TARDIS and stay in the parallel universe. It was AWESOME when Adam Mitchell failed so hard at being a companion that 9 dropped him off at his parents’ house without a second thought.

Oh snap! (lol)
Oh snap! (lol)

In a Universe where even Strax can be raised from the dead, the threat to characters’ lives seems almost non-existant. And when there’s really no threat to the main characters, I start caring about them a little less. I’m not as invested in their well-being because, hey, they always make it out alive…

Doctor Who needs to raise the stakes a little higher, if they want us to keep watching. In Season 8, with a new Doctor and endless possibilities, I hope they’ll make the best possible use of the clean slate and shake things up a bit. I want to see a more diverse cast. I want Moffat to take some risks, instead of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting us to act like it’s new.

What are your thoughts and feelings on the upcoming season? What would like to see happen in season 8?

Let’s hash it out in the comments. Cheers!
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7 thoughts on “My Doctor Who Season 8 Wishlist

  1. Thanks for this superb post. There isn’t anything at all that I disagree with and only a few things I can add. Most importantly Steven Moffatt needs to learn to write women intelligently and to give them a fine intellect. It’s time we had a companion like Zoe or Liz Shaw who knew as much, if not more, than the Doctor. The female companions shouldn’t be stereotypically young, slim and super attractive. Donna has been the best New Series companion in my opinion for the very fact that she wasn’t aged 20 to 25 and stick thin.

    I think that a male companion in the Tardis is essential. I’m currently undertaking a marathon – 50 years in 50 weeks and am almost at the end of the First Doctor’s tenure. Male companions were integral to the Tardis Crew for the first two Doctors’ incarnations and in many instances took on the leading role. For the first season of Who, at least, the series would have been more appropriately called “Ian Chesterton”. It was only with the Third Doctor that the reign of female companions began.

    There are also a few Classic Series monsters that I’d love to see return, particularly the Sea Devils and the Chumblies. The Chumblies were ever so cute! A return of the (Meddling) Monk would be wonderful, together with the Master, but not in the John Simm’s form. For that matter, let’s just get Gallifrey and the whole of the Time Lords back!

    You can check out my blog at http://doctorwhomindrobber.wordpress.com/

    1. OMG YES!!!! Especially to Moffat learning how to write woman. Clara is so bland and lifeless that it’s pathetic. I have to agree that Donna has been my favorite companion in New Who to date, followed by Rose. And Sarah Jane Smith was pretty darn fantastic back in her days with Doctor 4.

      Your 50 years in 50 weeks project sounds AMAZING! Do you have an enormous compilation of Who DVDs? Or are you watching the episodes somewhere on line?

      I’ve watched a few of the older Who episodes, but the pacing is SO SLOW that I find it a bit difficult. They’re definitely not something I can binge-watch in one sitting.

      I whole-heartedly agree that having some Time Lords back would be an interesting twist. Would love to see some Time Ladies added to the mix!

      1. Hi again. Yes, give us some time ladies. I loved both Romana I and Romana II and also didn’t mind The Rani, which makes me somewhat of a rarity in Who fandom :)

        I have an enormous collection of Who DVDs built up over the years. I guess I’m old fashioned, however I like the tangibility of a shiny DVD. You also get all the special features that I just adore watching. I use the Loose Cannon reconstructions which are available on YouTube for all of the 106 lost Who episodes. Their recons are just fabulous and I have no problem at all following them. I only wish they were easier to find on YouTube!

  2. You and I have discussed the Doctor to a great extent. I would have to agree with you on all of your points. As much as I love this series; there’s nothing wrong with change. Embrace it Moffat; embrace it!!

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