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05 October 2014 @ 02:29 pm
for honesty's sake  
Seven episodes in, we've now seen more of the season than we haven't, and it's official: I am finding it impossible to like the Twelfth Doctor. I find him not just gruff or irascible, but out-and-out mean and cruel. And the show seems to be aware of this, which means that it doesn't make me angry the way that it did with Ten (where the show always seemed to be in the position of ignoring his dark side and his callousness, selling the problems between him and Martha solely as "oh, she fancied him and he didn't fancy her - so awkward!" and ignoring his more hypocritical moments). When Twelve behaves appallingly to Journey Blue and Danny Pink just because they are (or were) soldiers, we're meant to see that behavior as limited and wrong, and about his own inability to face the soldier within himself, rather than being expected to laugh along, as the show seemed to want us to do whenever Nine and Ten were rude about Mickey. (Although his behavior toward Danny was so terrible - and so tinged with an uncomfortable racial dimension, as the Doctor kept insisting that this Black man couldn't teach anything as intellectually challenging as mathematics, and had to be the PE teacher - that I kept getting knocked out of the episode.) Every episode has forced Clara to look at this new man's behavior and wonder whether she actually *does* know him anymore. So it's a deliberate thing, rather than a weird, discordant accident, the way it was with Ten. But…I still don't really enjoy watching it, even though I appreciate that awareness.

Twelve was always going to have a hard row to hoe with me, anyway, because I while I like him just fine, I didn't love Peter Capaldi like some people do, and I wasn't particularly excited about his casting when it was first announced. And while I absolutely understand Matt Smith's desire to take on new challenges, and felt that he'd probably taken his version of the Doctor as far as he could, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Eleven and welcome someone new. But I keep missing the Eleventh Doctor because of things like the fact that Eleven would never have told a child she wasn't important, or that when he wanted people to make the right decision, he would try to inspire them and tell them to be magnificent, rather than treating them like stupid children and yelling at them to take the stabilizers off of their bike. (I kept flashing back to "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" during "Kill the Moon": similar setup, with Nasreen and Amy having to make a decision for all of humanity, but very different behavior from the Doctor.)

There's still enough season left for me to wonder where they're going with this, especially after Clara's demand that the Doctor not come back (and quite right, Clara, I thought). But a whole "the Doctor learns to be a kinder man" arc seems kind of weird and unnecessary when he was a kinder man not so very long ago.
 
 
 
Emily-- Toppington von Monocle: tardis [doctor who]sadcypress on October 6th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
When I watched the episode today, it made me wonder how Capaldi was feeling about the whole thing. As such a big Who fan for his entire life, how must it feel to have the chance to play him and be playing.... this Doctor. Because you're right- he hasn't had a chance to do much inspiring or wondering at the beauty of the universe or any of the other parts of the Doctor that bring us joy. It does frighten me a little to see the Doctor so unpleasant. I know that classic Doctors have been difficult before, but I don't know them like I know the new Doctors, and this is new for this era. It's hard to love. The show is definitely holding my interest, but in a much more intellectual way, rather than because of an emotional connection.
tempestsarekind: clara and eleven and shardstempestsarekind on October 6th, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling the same way: I think the episodes have all been really interesting, and I actually really like Clara and Danny (separately and together), but without the Doctor to root for as well (at least in the same way), I feel like I'm missing some of my previous emotional attachment to the show.

"The parts of the Doctor that bring us joy" - yes, that's exactly what's missing, and what an apt way to put it!