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The New & Improved Doctor Who

So, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride for Steven Moffat since he took the reigns as showrunner of Doctor Who. A lot of folks have complained that his vision of the show is too dark, too fairytale-like and --- mostly with this season --- too difficult to follow. A blogger/fan contemplates some of the problems here:

Cheques are being written that currently can’t be cashed. It’s not going unnoticed; we’re staring right at it. Unfortunately for the production team, a glance to one side isn’t going to wipe it from our minds

While I can't argue with many of the points the writer brings up, I also can't totally agree. This year has been (in my opinion) a bold, fresh attempt by a program that's been around for nearly five decades to shake things up. It is pushing full speed ahead with something it's never (properly) before: a story arc. And not just one story arc,  no. There are several taking place here. One began in 2008, with the introduction of River Song. Another is from 2010. Still more are from this current 2011 season. Some folks (a lot, actually) have been wailing and gnashing their teeth over this, complaining that if they want to watch LOST, damn it, they will. Doctor Who, apparently, should be off-limits to such endeavors.

For better or worse, times have moved on from the heyday of classic Doctor Who. The television landscape is vastly different. I understand that some folks would love for things to stay the same, to shake their figurative canes and cry out that there shouldn't be story arcs and complex mysteries in their beloved program. Instead, however, I wish people would look upon it as a way of refreshing an old formula. We live in the internet age, and stuff like continuing mysteries really gets the message boards buzzing. It keeps (or should keep) people on tenterhooks about what comes next.

I, for one, can not wait to find out if that really was The Doctor  we saw killed next to the lake. I want to know who the astronaut who killed him was. I want to know why The Silence are building a TARDIS, and what it was doing in The Lodger episode. I want to know who the little girl was who regenerated at the end of Day of the Moon (although it seems pretty clear now who it is). I want to know why Madame Kovarian dislikes The Doctor so. I want to know so much about what Doctor Who has in-store for us this Autumn, and I don't mind waiting to find out. In fact, it's kind of old-fashioned to not have immediate gratification.

Won't you fellow fans of the show join me in a little old-fashioned sitting and waiting (and hypothesizing along the way)?


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