Doctor Who fans - Does Capaldi get better?

So I hear. I don’t actually get the channel in my country.

I desperately wanted to love Capaldi as the Doctor, but it hasn’t happened. For me, it’s not his fault. I think the writing since Moffat has taken over has been absolutely dreadful, and seems to be getting worse every season. It’s often eye-rollingly stupid. That has definitely NOT gotten better.

However, I know from past threads here that I am in a small (but vocal) minority.

I agree. I think it really started when Moffat decided to do his “Hollywood” set (Cold War, A Town Called Mercy, Hide, The Angels Take Manhattan). I’m not sure if it was a conscious choice to make a lighter show, if he’s running out of ideas, or if he’s just become too lazy to shut down stupid concepts and edit out stupid writing.

I think they need to find a new showrunner. It’s just that, unfortunately, there’s no obvious replacements. None of the current Who writers have shown themselves to be very talented and all of the shows I can think of, which display the right sensibilities and so might have a good showrunner to pull over, are American or Canadian.

Flat liners was good, but not good enough to get me past the mind numbingly stupid ‘moon’ or ‘trees’ storylines.

Speaking of which, question about that episode, spoilered for the OP

So at the end of the ‘tree’ episode, the little girl and her mother meet another woman who was hiding in a bush (that magically disappeared…sigh). Who was this? A missing daughter or something?

How do you know this? And spoilered for the OP

I agree with you. I like Capaldi as the Doctor, but I kinda just stopped watching in the middle of last season. I heard how stupid the Moon episode was, decided to skip that week, then never watched the rest. I’m not too sad about it.

Honey, you ain’t never lied. I stopped watching, haven’t even seen Capaldi except I did just go ahead and skip forward to watch the Day of the Doctor.

I saw soemething online - perhaps on IO9 or similar site - saying that Missy will be back.

As for spoilering, Missy is introduced in the very first episode and in a way that makes it clear she will be an important character to the overall arc of the season. I didn’t give anything away that wasn’t completely obvious from the end of episode 1 of Capaldi’s season.

But understanding things is what the Doctor does. It’s, like, his defining characteristic. I can see him not caring about social graces - that was 11’s whole shtick - but not *understanding *them? What is he, an idiot? He can understand the culture of cuttlefish people from a billion years to the future, but he doesn’t “get” humanity, the folk he’s spent the past 50 years hanging out with? Give me a break.

My take - After being a PTS victim (ninth Doctor), lonely god (10th Doctor) and Peter Pan (11th Doctor), and just 900+ years wandering nomadically with no fixed point in space OR time, the good Doctor has LOST the ability to understand people. He’s trying to reclaim his mortality, and part of being mortal is having flaws and weaknesses (like not being good at social niceties.) It’s the reason why he regenerated into such an older form than his previously youthful personae. Its also the reasons for…

…an episode like “Listen”, in which Clara meets the Doctor when he was a very young, very ‘human’ child; or for why the Cybermen were among the Big Bads for the season - the Cybermen being cyborgs who irrevocably lost their human nature.

I’ll admit I had an issue with the physics in the moon episode; but that’s not a problem for just the Capaldi era. Sometimes the series goes full-throttle into fairy tale/fantasy/allegory mode, completely abandoning any pretense of practical science - it’s the reason why we have things like a girl turned into a block of cement (and being perfectly OK with that), or everyone on Earth forming a psychic link because Martha somehow managed to travel to every corner of the world and tell every single person to think of the Doctor. But the emotional core of the moon story - that the Doctor simply waltzed off and left Clara in a lurch, and her calling him on it - rang very true for their relationship.

Actually I don’t think the Doctor has spent the last 50 years hanging out on earth. Eleven spent the last thousand years of his personal timeline on Trenzalore, where among other things nobody could lie; the inhabitants were humans, but they weren’t like 20th or 21st century Earthlings.

My experience is that Capaldi has been quite a divisive Doctor–I’ve seen plenty of folks say they’re off the series until he’s gone, and plenty others who absolutely adore him and find his abrasive, acerbic take on the Doctor to be a breath of fresh air after Nine, Ten and Eleven.

The same is true of his inaugural season–the Whoniverse more or less erupted into civil war when the series departed from its hard SF roots and delved into a more fairytale style of storytelling in the moon and trees episodes, as you’ve seen echoes of here. I personally enjoyed both, and you’ll find scads of professional reviews that are absolutely glowing for the moon one particularly (I don’t recall the critical reaction to the trees, but I’m fairly sure it wasn’t violent outrage either).

Point of that being, it seems like Capaldi and last season are not for everyone. They might not be for you. If you’re not digging it, that’s a shame, but it’s not “just you”.

I really like Matt Smith, more than Tennant who I thought was just too cutesy in the role, but I really like Capaldi’s take on the character, so much so that I now wonder what it was that I saw in Smith. :slight_smile:

“hard SF roots”?

You’re right - I forgot that.

Of course, now that you’ve reminded me, I have to figure out a way to forget it again.

I’ll send somebody over with the neutralizer and/or some cinnabuns.

Thanks for all the responses. I guess until the spirit moves me to watch the eps, they can stay on my DVR.

I think part of why I dislike the writing of the Capaldi eps is that he’s really unpleasant to Clara, moreso than to anyone else. I can’t understand why she keeps going with him. He doesn’t have to be cute and light - I liked Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. But to treat badly someone who’s help you want seems stupid, and the Doctor isn’t supposed to be stupid.


I like Capaldi a hell of a lot better than Matt Smith. Clara is OK, but she’s in no way my favorite companion. What I can’t stand is the writing. An episode usually has me glued to my seat. This past season? Can’t tell you the number of times I got up to do something and wasn’t curious to even know what I’d missed by the time I returned.

One, it does become apparent how much he cares about her as the season goes on.

Personally I read it as a bit of psychological management for himself. He is older now and no longer an impossible boyfriend, but a surrogate father he aint. He is on guard against his feelings and keeping her at distance by way of rudeness is a simple but crude means of managing it until he can parse out his attachment issues. Or think he has.