Doctor Who: a series 8 wishlist

Feature Simon Brew 30 May 2013 - 07:00

Simon's personal wishlist - and it's not a long one - on what he wants from Doctor Who series 8....

We are, behind the scenes at Den Of Geek, happily powerless people. The reason I don't run Doctor Who is I'd be no good at it. The reason I don't write episodes is I'm a mile behind the people who do it for a living. And the reason I don't want to run the BBC is that I can live without the haranguing from the Daily Mail that apparently goes with the job.

Plus, I'd be no good at it. 

I write this, then, purely from the perspective of a long-time Doctor Who fan. The kind who discovered lots of stories via the UK Gold omnibus on a Sunday morning, who bought every video going (Planet Of The Spiders is still worth good cash as it happens, despite being a bit rubbish), and who has thoroughly enjoyed the revival of the show, warts and all. I've even switched to first person writing to pen this piece, as this is my own personal wishlist, that I happily expect nobody to take any notice of. Nor should they: there are better people than me who does this sort of thing for a living. 

Thrilled as I am, then, at the commissioning of series eight of the show, I wonder if any of the following may make it into Doctor Who again. So here are my polite requests... 

Please can we have a 13-episode series again, without a break in the middle?

It's never been made entirely clear why the decision was made to break Doctor Who into two parts, for series six and seven of the revived show. There are two schools of thought: that it's do with the BBC's budgets and assorted cutbacks, or that it's to do with Steven Moffat's workload, given that he juggles the mighty Sherlock too. 

The bare facts that we do know are these. In 2010, the BBC screened 13 consecutive episodes of Doctor Who, with a Christmas special at the end of the year too. In 2011, we had another 14 episodes in total, but in a block of seven, then a near-three month break, then a block of six, then a Christmas special. In 2012, the BBC screened six episodes in total, including the Christmas special. And in 2013, ten episodes will be screened in all, including both the 50th anniversary and the Yuletide specials. 

However it's presented, the last two years we've had fewer episodes, and I wonder if there's a financial reason behind that. But I suspect it's not just me that would love a good, 13-episode run again. To be more precise, a 13-episode run without a break. 

Personally, I'd rather wait an extra six months for Doctor Who to return, simply to get all the episodes in one continual go. Ideally in the winter. The series break hasn't been fatal, but it has broken the rhythm, inevitably, of a series run. The last two series effectively have had two beginnings and two finales to accommodate that. I like opening episodes, and I like finales, but one a series seems ample to me. That way, there's a longer build-up of momentum towards the ending too. 

Can we have cliffhangers back please?

The ending of The Name Of The Doctor, which I won't spoil here in case you've not caught up with it, proves that Doctor Who is capable of some of the best cliffhangers in the business. I haven't yelled at the telly so much since Derek Jacobi showed us his watch as I did the other week. The cliffhanger is part of Doctor Who DNA, I'd argue, and while I'm not one of those who resists the evolution of the show, I do miss them. In the eighties, forcing two or three cliffhangers into each and every story proved to be a bit of a stretch. But cliffhangers in two or three episodes every series would be very welcome indeed. 

And linked to that... 

Can we have longer stories please?

If there's a criticism of Doctor Who series seven that kept coming up, it's that some of the stories had endings that didn't seem to quite work. Take The Power Of Three: lots and lots of patient build-up, and seemingly no time to properly resolve everything. A rushed ending slightly let down what had been a really fun episode. This was a by-product of the hugely ambitious idea of basically having a blockbuster movie a week throughout series seven. Some weeks were better than others, but the thing with a blockbuster movie is that it has at least ninety minutes to play with on the big screen. Doctor Who doesn't, and at times it felt a bit like the moment at the end of an exam where you put things in bullet point form, rather than fully fleshed out. 

Whether, then, it's the reintroduction of two parters, or simply finding an extra ten minutes in the BBC schedules every few weeks (I know: much easier said than done, particularly in the current era), I'd love to see some longer stories. Two-parters have the obvious benefit of giving a lot more space to an individual story, and I do appreciate they may be a narrative luxury if the annual episode count does go down. But I remain a fan, and would love to see them return. 

Can Peri come back?

It's my personal list. I always thought Peri was great. I'll move on. 

Can we have one or two of the RTD-era writers back please?

Steven Moffat has brought in some terrific talent to Doctor Who, but I'd still love to see one or two of the scribes from series one to four of the revived show back. A new Paul Cornell story, or something from Robert Shearman, would be welcome. Can I have a bit more Gareth Roberts too? There may be reasons I don't know about as to why they're not back, and Steven Moffat may have other ideas. But hey, I'm a fan, I'm allowed to wish... 

And that's it.

I know I'm supposed to come up with a list that rants about sonic screwdrivers, Daleks, cybermen and things like that. But that's not my department, really. I love Doctor Who, I love being surprised by Doctor Who, and I'm happy that the story and directional decisions are being made by people who have proven more than not that they're good at making them. So if the desire is to bring back the Daleks, all well and good. Just do something interesting again with the Daleks. Sounds like a fair trade off to me. 

All we know so far, then, is that Doctor Who series eight has been greenlit, that Steven Moffat is involved, and that we're expecting it next year. If someone can make any of the above come true, I'd be really rather grateful.

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Errr.... Gareth Roberts has written two episodes under Moffat (The Lodger and Closing Time). Other RTD era writers include:
Mark Gatiss, Chris Chibnall, Toby Whithouse, Matthew Graham and Tom MacRae.
Research people, research.

Odds are Cornell is too busy (and RTD indicated he did heavy rewrites) and Shearman never came back after series 1, clearly Moffat would like him back as he listed his stories as two of his favourites a couple of months back (Dalek and the Holy Terror IIRC).

I would agree with all of your points, I watched The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances yesterday and it was fantastic, it didn't drag at all and the cliffhanger was great.

As for the writers IIRC Rob Shearman has no interest in coming back, and is far too busy as a stage and book writer. Garath Roberts has been back, Closing Time and The Lodger. I'm not sure why Paul Cornell has not been back but like Rob Shearman he has been busy.

Personally I am still really pissed off that Series 8 is not going to be this year, I had convinced myself that 7b was delayed so that in this 50th anniversary year we would have 7b in the spring, series 8 in the Autumn leading up to the Anniversary special then the Xmas special, 23 episodes in the year would have been a real tribute to the show, instead we have 2 episodes, the making of drama and last years left overs.

Agreed on all counts (okay, maybe put Ace or Zoe ahead of Peri, heh). I get the strong feeling it'll be the last season for Smith and Moffat, so I hope they can go out firing on all cylinders.

Totally agree with an unbroken 13 episode run, but would also like an explanation as to why these ridiculous season splits keep happening (RTD at least had the courtesy to tell us why we had a year of specials, rather than a season). Honesty too, would be nice. Moffat says that the BBC stand information that was publicised a while back (8 episodes, few programmes for US TV on DW and a single one hour anniversary special and a drama about the start of DW) was 'rubbish' and that there was 'lots more than that'. It wasn't rubbish, it was the truth. Why lie? Be honest. The 50th year has been a bit of a damp squib- no new season and leftovers from last year (or one season over two years, if you like). Not good.
And resolve the plot holes. Why did the TARDIS explode at the end of Series 5? Why? A simple explanation would suffice. All the kids I know still don't get it. Why weren't the Silence at Trenzalore? Make the plot arcs make sense and resolve them.

Agreed on pretty much all points.

I'm no supporter of RTD over Moffat, or Moffat over RTD, because I hate those arguments and enjoy both eras as much as each other. However I do think Moffat is messing with the show's format way too much. For Series Six I think it was a genuine and honest effort on Moffat's part to inject something fresh into the show, but for Series Seven it just didn't need to happen. Had the show been a regular 13 episode run it would have worked just as well, if not better, so I suspect that it was budgetary reasons.
So for Series 8 I think he needs to find a format that works well and stick with it, but one of them would definitely bring back cliffhangers and possibly even longer episodes, possibly an hour.

I don't think Series 8 will be Moffat's and Smith's last, I think it'll more likely be Series 9, and that all the remaining stories arcs left hanging by Moffat will be explained then. So for the time being I think we'll just have to wait on why the TARDIS exploded.

A series of 2 parters with proper 'how the f... does he get out of that one?' cliffhangers would be nice and would fit with the movie style of 90 minutes with an old fashioned intermission (of a week). Fleshing out JLCs character is also essential now that the mystery (and her rather odd behaviour patterns) has been resolved. Most of all it would be nice to see the BBC really giving DW the respect i(13 week run, consistent start time etc) that such a creative and commercial hit deserves. Do the BBC suits really know what a gem they have on their hands?

Weirdly I also watched The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances yesterday too! Currently doing a revival re-watch from the beginning. Agreed that particular two-parter is excellent, and correctly paced. I'd also forgotten just how terrifying it was, especially when the child returns to its room.

Aye. Dalek was my favourite episode from season 1. It had a decent ending if somewhat a bit cheesy. I didn't realise Shearman hadn't been back since season 1. It's a real shame as I feel 'Cold War' was influenced by 'Dalek.'

I have two wishes: the return of two-parters, and make Clara less of a plot device, give her a character arc that doesn't revolve around the Doctor and allow her to grow. And yes, a full 13 episode series would be nice.

Oh my GOD I miss those type of cliffhangers! The best one (in my opinion anyway) was probably the end of Utopia when John Simm's Master stole the TARDIS. That was truly edge of your seat "how the f... does he get out of that one?" cliffhanging. They're a must for series 8.

The split seasons are causing me to lose interest in the show, to be honest. Just when you get into the spirit, it's over, and when it starts to air again it takes me a while to get into it again.

I'm also starting to think Moffatt is a brilliant writer, but perhaps not the very best showrunner. I thought his first full season was great, but it all got rather muddled after that, both storywise and regarding the airing schedule. I would love to see RTD tackling an episode or two in the future, but we know that's not going to happen.

Call me dense, but I'm not sure how we get 13 episodes in 2013. We've had 7 episodes so far this year, surely? And they're not (AFAIK) planning six new episodes for this Autumn...

Wasn't Rob Shearman one of the people (along with Joe Adhearne and Chris Eccleston and a few others) who quit because they didn't like the atmosphere at the BBC?

I'd like to see more variety with companions. Twenty-something attractive ladies who may or may not be in love with the Doctor are getting tiresome.

(1) Please let's have more stories by Neil Gaiman. (2) And maybe one or two from Chris Chibnall. And just because all good things come in threes - (3) please bring back Captain Jack Harkness played by the inimitable John Barrowman. Thank you!

How about some roundels in those Tardis corridors?

I thought that the blockbuster-a-week format would go well, but it's just not the same. I agree, bring back the longer season with longer stories

I hope they get rid of those dreaded trailers at the end of each episode. Replace them with cliffhangers please!

It's been pretty obvious to me, the Tardis exploded because the Great Intelligence made it explode ! The voice saying "Silence will fall" was that of the Whisper Men. The race Silence wasn't there because they were killed in 1969, but they were named the "Silence" as a religious order, because it was meant as "The Doctor's Silence" I.E. his death, because he was supposed to die at Trenzalore, has Clara not saved him by entering his time stream.

The "blockbuster of the week" format of episodes was just for season 7, as Moffat wanted every episode to be epic. It didn't work as well as he wished I think, but that's what he tried. I'm pretty sure they will be 2 parters again next season, Moffat made 2 parters in seasons 5 and 6, he's not against it. It was just this season !

Such characters are often referred to as "something for the dads".

They aren't exactly new to the show. See Zoe, Victoria, Leela, Nyssa and Peri for examples. I'm sure writers would argue that they are an everyman character designed to allow the audience to relate to them, though..

Where does it say that? The article is a plead for there to be 13, not stating we've had them.
7+1+1 isn't close enough.

Ah the article's been corrected since. Although it still states "ten episodes in 2013"...

It's less having the cliffhangers back for me (although that would be awesome), it's more about not copping out at the end of an episode... There were a number of times this season you got 5 mins from the end and it rather felt like the Doctor looked at his watch, panicked, and pulls out some MacGuffin that saves the day...

Also, i'm starting to get a bit sick of the companion being the main focus of the show...

My person wish list is to fire Moffat, smith and Colman so that we actually get a high quality show with some intelligence and a doctor that can act ?!? Too much to ask BBC?

I have it on good authority that the first point on the list is in fact happening next year, but I can't say anymore.

No more mid season breaks and nothing like season 7, it was by far the worst especially part 2 of it.

A good article Simon and I certainly wouldn't object to any of those suggestions, but the problem is that no matter how polite and rational YOU are about it, the comments section was always going to be used as another outlet for the Moffat haters to vent their spleen....and it has! The obsessive saddos just can't help themselves and nothing the show does currently will ever satisfy them. Personally, all I hope for is that he continues to do whatever he wants with the show (like RTD and EVERY show runner did before him) for a very long time. The apoplexy and rise in their blood pressure will make it worthwhile all on it's own.

Any chance Series 8 can be 'Doctor Who' and not, 'Doctor Who and his Companion'?

This is one little bugbear that has itched me since the show returned, whereas a lot of the time, The Doctor takes a back seat and the series is all about foresaid companion.

Why does their always have to be a running theme through that particular series revolving around the co-inhabitor of the TARDIS?

How about this? Doctor lands somewhere, fights enemy and leaves? Worked up until 1989, so why not now?

Right, rant over. Carry on.

+1 on Peri.

I've barely had a criticism to make about Who since it came back on screen, but I think the lack of two partners is terrible, and the mid season break is the worst idea on television since giving Phone Shop a full series

Tighter tops for Clara

Unfortunately, the beginning of the next episode screwed up that cliff-hanger somewhat. In fact it's rare to have a cliff-hanger in New Who be resolved in a particularly satisfactory way.

So, yeah...more cliff-hangers provided they serve a narrative, logical purpose.

Chris Chibnall can stick to Broadchurch, frankly. No interest in seeing another of his Doctor Who episodes. Paul Cornell though? YES.

Yes. It really is time for an explanation of the exploding Tardis.

Moff is great at setting up complex storylines, not great at providing good resolutions -- see Series 6 -- or, sometimes, any resolutions.

Cliffhangers. This would give the episodes room to breathe and we wouldn't require endless prequels, sequels, pond lifes, Sontaran reports and 'extra scenes' to fit in all the story that wouldn't cram into 45 minutes.

"I know I'm supposed to come up with a list that rants about sonic screwdrivers, Daleks, cybermen and things like that. But that's not my department, really. I love Doctor Who, I love being surprised by Doctor Who, and I'm happy that the story and directional decisions are being made by people who have proven more than not that they're good at making them."

I don't know you but I think I love you.

I have been so sick to death of fans leading up to this season finale and immediately after writing article after article, sometimes articulate, sometimes not, without a baseline of enthusiasm. It's nice to, you know, hear someone say that they love Doctor Who and offer some constructive suggestions of what they'd like to see (all of them I agree with too, including Peri.)

Fun, I've watched it yesterday too! It's such a great story... It made me sad again though that the Ninth won't be in the 50th anniversary special, I was really hoping he'd return...

I would love two big returns-Sutekh and Omega. Can't get much bigger than that.

"In the eighties, forcing two or three cliffhangers into each and every story proved to be a bit of a stretch"

Huh? In the eighties? Considering the show was running since the sixties in a 25 minute episode format (except Season 22), that seems a bit of a preposterous thing to say. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but many of the best stories in the entire history of the show had 3 to 5 cliffhangers in them and it worked just fine at the time. In fact, when they experimented with the 45 minute episodes for Season 22, the idea was ultimately abondoned the following year.
I agree that the 45 minute episode works better these days, and I would love to see some cliffhangers brought back....all these 1 parters just don't seem to have enough time to tell a fully involved story. I would like at least 3 2-parters per season....that way we can get into some better and more involved storytelling.
I agree with the 13 episode run as well. Breaking up the series into 2 parts just deosn't work. It seems to interupt the flow of things too much....the broadcast schedule has become way too random.

A good wish list all round, despite the point that we still do have other writers in from the RTD era. It would be nice to get Paul Cornell back for an episode, but I suspect he's occupied. And I do appreciate some of the new talent that Moffat has brought in, especially Neil Cross.

I absolutely agree with you about a return of cliffhangers and longer stories. "Cold War" was okay, but it could have been much better if it had been given more time to let its elements stew. I mean, can you honestly recreate the atmosphere of Das Boot in under 45 minutes? I don't think so. Similarly, Victory of the Daleks cried out for two parts and an awesome cliffhanger in between.

Personally, I think "blockbuster of the week" went quite well, but why we can't have that along with an unbroken 13 episode run with a few two part blockbusters thrown in is beyond me.

I've read a few comments online here and there suggesting that the 50th special is only 60 minutes long. Does anyone know if this is actually the case? I will be exceptionally irritated if it is not 90+ mins. Anything under 90 mins barely counts as feature length, in my view.

Its been a long time since I posted. I have had lots of problems in my life and no time for this now sadly. However I feel I must post on this issue, because I agree with everything in the article.

Season seven has been a dead loss for me. I only enjoyed Asylum of the Daleks, Cold War, Heart of the Tardis and the Name of the Doctor. And they all suffered because they were not two parters and only 45 minutes long. However they felt the most like old school Doctor Who for me. I still love Mat Smith, but the BBC needs to get this sorted out now.

We need an unbroken run of thirteen episodes, no mid season gap as its a stupid idea and breaks the momentum. And the show needs to go out in the Autumn like it used to. And no more BS and split seasons posing as two.

And its a disgrace about all the lies and lack of info about what is going on in the 50th year. I said over a year ago that all we would be getting is the half season and the specials and lo and behold thats what has happened despite all the Moffs lies and mis information. The 50th is a disaster. A total and utter sham. Doctor Who should have had a FULL season this year AND the specials. There is no excuse.

Stamps, Audios and so on is just not the same as the show being on Tv. And its hurting the viewing figures, over nights and casual viewing. Its now getting less people watching on the night than ever before since they brought it back. And I should know, because I tuned out myself. Sad to say.

The Crimson Horror, Rings of Akatosh or whatever it was, were just boring for me to watch. I know a lot of people like them but they did nothing for me, neither did the season opener for that matter. Whats an old fan to do? I find that I am looking forward to the docudrama more than the special and I really could not care less that John Hurt is a missing Doctor or variation on him etc. And the reason for that, is the poor writing on a lot of the stories, the short run time, gap / split season and lack of depth because its all over in 45 minutes and on to the next run around. The very least they need to do is put in three two parters per season. Other than that, I think Moff needs to leave now. And go back to writing one or two great stories per season and get someone else to run it properly and do 13 episodes a year.

I watched that story yesterday too... TBN anybody?

At first I thought the split seasons was not a bad idea because at that time Moffat had said that it meant that there would never be a break of more that a few months for new WHO. On paper it sounded good. Half a season in the fall, a few months later the Christmas Special, a few months later the second half of a season in the spring. However, and I will give Moffat the benefit of the doubt and assume it was someone else, but SOMEBODY LIED! Just wait till the BBC finally admit that after the the November 23 broadcast and the Christmas Special we will AGAIN not see any new Who until the fall of 2014. I love Doctor Who and they have me no matter what they do but I am not happy about the lack of episodes for a successful series like Doctor Who is.

yes

Yes its 60 mins only as far as I know. Then there is the docudrama as well. 60 mins and in that time they have to re introduce 10th doc, rose and weave in the zygons and john hurt and everything else. Its going to be another crash, bang, wallop and build up and then a five minute sonic screw driver waving ending. If its not I will be amazed.

I will believe it when I see it.

The number one thing on my wishlist is for Moffat be given the opportunity to do a Doctor Who version of Children of Earth, i.e. one episode a day for a week.

My feeling with Moffat is that he's never given enough time to work out his ideas, every stand alone episode feels either rushed or under-developed. If Moffat had time to explain the Deus Ex Machinas he uses to paint himself out of a corner, I'd feel slightly better. I think I'm one of the few people that thought series six was too arc light, The story of River Song deserved more time to work out it's complicated ending (and have the Doctor feel like he actually worked something out).

Make a 5 part series played out over a week so you can make it more complicated (since there's less time between episodes for people to forget) and less distracted. I'm a little sick of the Doctor saying "There's something really important going on. I think the best thing to do is ignore it and have some completely unrelated adventures".

When I say it didn't go as well as expected, it's because sometimes, the story were too ambitious for a single episode, so it felt rushed in the end. There should definitely have been at least two 2 parters this season. Hopefully they'll be back next season. I still loved season 7 but it wasn't my favourite at all. Except the finale which was awesome !

Completely agree, and I might even add the finale too to the list of stories that could have used more time

Ah, the whole Silence thing makes a lot more sense when you put it like that. Still though, I find them a lot more threatening than the Whispermen

I'm terribly sorry to post a comment about something completely unrelated to this article, or even this site. However, I just watched a new BBC sitcom called "Up the Women", and found it so mind-bogglingly appalling that I feel the need to express my horror to my peers. It is, perhaps, 1% funnier than "The Wright Way", which is so shocking that I believe my internal organs attempted to shut down, so as to try and permanently remove me from the terrifying new reality. The only BBC comedy I've seen in recent years that is worse than either of these shows was "Big Top", which upon viewing caused my genitals to fully recede, presumably so as to prevent me from ever bringing a poor innocent into this awful world.

I should be interested to hear your suggestions. I don't really agree that they need to be fired, although it can be quite interesting to draw up a wishlist for when they do finally move on.

Damn it. If it really is just an hour, that's not very "special" is it, after being told it would be feature-length. The docudrama will no doubt be interesting and probably very good, and I expect there may be a fair few classic and new Who repeats (or maybe just "An Unearthly Child" to show the very start), but I can't say that half a series, a one-hour special, and the usual xmas special really make for a bumper year. Dirty pants.

Four people watching the same two-part episode from eight years ago on the same day ... what are the odds of that? :)

One would never guess this is a fan site. Of course, I watched the Dalek in Utah episode over the weekend, so ... lol

True ! They were far scarier !

Yes ! The finale really should have been a two parter !! But at least, it had a very big cliffhanger ! I hope the anniversary episode will be twice the lengh of a regular episode, to feel like a 2 parter !

I'd just like to mention, that a few weeks back I was very bored, and decided to see if there was any truth to the declining ratings claim that's always thrown around.

I collected the final viewing figure for every episode from the revival on and put them on a graph so I could see side by side.

There's no clear difference as the seasons have gone on. Ratings in general have always been between 6 and 8 million in general, with the opening generally the most watched with the numbers dipping down in the middle and spiking slightly at the finale. My point being that ratings have not dropped from series to series, that's an unfounded claim that's been spread by newspapers no doubt.

One thing that I found worth noting, while I do completely agree that the split series approach hasn't worked for me as a viewer, the pattern that each series usually had was repeated over the two halves, with the opening one of the strongest, dipping as it went on, then spiking as it came back with Let's Kill Hitler before dipping before the final spike with Wedding of River Song. It's interesting to note that ratings wise, because of that it's one of the stronger seasons.

Also of note, one of the episodes with the lowest final ratings of the lot, and was actually the lowest viewed episode of Season 3, was Blink. That's what stood out to me and showed me how important ratings are as a representation of the quality of the show.

They haven't confirmed a running time. And while he is famous for his lies, Moffat has said in an interview: "Don't believe the nonsense about one 60 minute special. That is complete nonsense."

Agreed, after all the pessimism in general aimed towards Doctor Who, even from fans, the attitude of the writer is a breath of fresh air!

I too would like a return of Peri......and her wardrobe

Can we have a dedicated tribute episode to the Brigadier please. :-)

One more thing. I have no major complaints about Doctor Who, except in one area; the way it is filmed. Compare the way DT was filmed to that of MS, and it is totally different.

yes, that's the reason a lot of cable shows do the split seasons: They don't do repeats, and they only have 13 or so episodes. With 52 weeks in a year, that means 39 weeks without an episode. Normal TV shoots 13 or so episodes and mixes new stuff in with reruns all season long(SOmetimes even with reruns from that very season), they run for about 8 months or so, and break from mid-May to mid-September. 39 weeks is almost 4 months. You people would be moaning about how long it was in between seasons if they did it all in one run. Make up your minds, for God's sake...

Now, a much better cycle would be the way shows like Burn Notice do it. They run half of their season in the summer, when all of the mainstream shows are on break, so that they get less competition, and have fans that are grateful for something good to watch when all of their other shows are gone...

I've heard rumours both confirming and denying that he didn't get on with RTD.

Split seasons are a pain, and the stories need to be 60 minutes. These are my only complaints (and I feel it's awful they didn't go out with a 13-episode+ series in it's 50th year)

The lady viewers love this dynamic. It's probably not going anywhere anytime soon.

I'd like to see fewer season arcs. Good the first couple times, bad when they think every season we have to shoehorn in some sort of "The McGuffin is coming. You will all die." meta-arc. More stand-alone stories that don't just exist to set up the season finale is what I'm saying.

I still maintain that one of the best episodes of late was when the weeping angels were introduced (season 3 of the revised season i think) was just fantastic, odd considering the doctor wasn't in the episode much, but the writing style was incredible! I am a little concerned about the idea of River Song as surely they should be looking at finishing that story arc as he obviously sends her to the library and meet the 10th doctor.......unless of course they are waiting for the 12th doctor and they will do it this way?

As a side note, I have really grown to like Matt Smith as the Doctor, although following David Tennant was always going to be difficult in my opinion.

I definitely think they need to bring back the 13 episode straight run again, this gives room for more cliff hangers and helps you spot the subtle things that lead up to the season Finale, like with the return of The Master, as it was hinted at mostly through season 3

I agree with the points mentioned, I'd also love to see some of the old directors back.

My other requirement is: Let It Make Sense.

Any sense at all. Even a little bit. Don't just stick good lighting on it and have some emotion to cover up gaping plot holes.

Oh, and if love could stop saving the day, that'd be great.

The Bad Wolf arc was great in that it was largely non existent til the very end. It didn't drive the series as the Silence and Clara have done.

Admittedly Bad Wolf was a load of old bunk too, but it was short lived bunk.

The Jessica Hynes thing? Oh that was terrible, I lasted 10 minutes I think. For 2 such good actors in Hynes and Front, it was a load of old tripe. Possibly worse than Big Top, which I didn't think was possible. At least you didn't have hope for that.

Apparently PsychoBitches on Sky is supposed to be good if you want some female based funnies.

He chose the stand alone episodes from what I can make out.

Do those ratings take in the BBC3 repeat in the same week or online figures?

At this point it would be incredibly welcome, just to change things up a little.

And can they please stop falling in love with him.

I think Smith has gotten a little self parodying at times in the last half dozen shows with Clara. I find his 'dark' side incredibly unconvincing.

Clara seems to be a insubstantial copy of Amy and has no real back story or personality. I think Colman's done very well with what she's had to work with at times.

Moffat, wonderful Who writer, could do lots better at running the show.

They've mostly been 2 act shows. One 40 minute first act, one 2 minute resolution.

The only one this half that differed was TCH.

But... but... then we won't be able to relate to them and they won't like chips or have families that we can visit.... oh noooooo....

I've now given up hope of learning the why for any of it.

I would love that too....great idea! My only request if Sutekh were to come back is to make it a serious story...no jokes or one-liners. Pyramids of Mars was very serious in tone, and consequently we took Sutekh very seriously.

mmm Peri's boobies!

These are the finalised ratings that come out the previous week, and usually add about 2 million to the overnights, so yes, I believe they do, but I'm not going to claim full knowledge of how the numbers are obtained as I may be wrong. All I know is that they are the final figures and the only ones that are used to analyse the ratings.

The entire production team changed in 2010, and for the better

Agreed. It is a pitiful shame. No excuse whatsoever! 50 years!!

Because that's how the show works these days. It's the 21st Century and television and the audience are very different. Both RTD and Moffat have said that the Doctor and his companion(s) share equal billing so each series has focused as much on the co-occupant of the TARDIS as the Doctor himself.

Sorry, can't agree. I'm fan of the Moff and he's still in charge for season 8 so you're out of luck there, mate. As for the 13 episode count that's a BBC decision not his.

Absolutely and completely agree! If the Moffat-haters didn't have somewhere to trot out the same old guff they'd implode!

Here we go again! YAAAAWWWWN!!! Same old rubbish...
Matt Smith is a great actor, his Doctor is brilliant, Jenna has been a great addition to the cast, and i happen to enjoy the Moff's work.

Get a life

The 45-minute format has been the same (except for Specials) since the show returned in 2005. It's so it can be sold to overseas markets where the format fits into an hour slot with adverts. It ain't gonna change!

I only have a few requests for season 8: like others, a return to a 13 episode season, with a couple of 2-parters; a second companion (another girl this time, since we've had a male-female duo with Rory and Amy. How about bringing Jenny, the Doctor's daughter back? It could be an interesting dynamic and reminiscent of when the he was travelling with his grandaughter Susan), and a few other Time Lord survivors out there, not just villains but some ambiguous characters (I always thought it unlikely that renegades such as The Monk and The Rani would have rushed to help the Time Lords in the War. They'd most likely have gone into hiding until it was over. And it would be nice to discover that Romana survived the War. How about Lara Pulver as the Third Romana?)

This "lady viewer" could do without the Doctor falling for Rose dynamic. Fine, if the female assistants develop a crush, except when the Doctor encourages it as happened with Rose. She is the companion I liked least in the new series. Too much melodrama. I would have rather seen Martha, Donna (somehow) or Wilf come back for the 50th.

My wish list is quite short and simple being back proper story arc like the old who 2-3-4 part story's proper pace proper room to breathe and cliffhangers that make you wanna watch and think I can't wait til Saturday grrr. How about a companion from the 70s/80s give it some depth and character and make it the best show it can be they seem to miss a trick it's a good show but with all of the above it could be great unmissable Saturday night TV

In the US TV seasons run from September to May. All that was done by splitting the season up was we ended up with a season running from September to May, with a hiatus in the middle that was only a few weeks longer than what Revolution had. I honestly don't see the problem. When it comes to TV, years aren't January-December all the time. So September-September we'll have had 14 full-length episodes and a number of minisodes. I don't mind the split, except that if there's a poor episode, shorter blocks of broadcasts tend to exaggerate its shortcomings.

Anyway, my wishlist: 1. Give Gaiman another chance. I hated Nightmare in Silver but I'm sure that's just the sophomore slump. 2. A Vastra/Strax/Jenny spin-off. We've already had three pilot episodes - NCIS needed only one. 3. Even though the Clara mystery is now solved, I'd love for us to encounter more of her "splinters" - maybe even having "our" Clara encounter one.

I agree with you, and also with Charlie. Billie Piper's been great for the show, but aside from the soap opera romance, some of her other scenes have also been pretty bad. When she's telling Dalek Sec how she destroyed the Emporer, the over-acting is toe-curling. I'd like to see a bewildered male as companion, someone like Kevin Eldon or Benedict Wong. RTD seemed to be obsessed with Rose, and her bloody family too. Top marks to BeeDub for "lady viewer". Mine's a pint of bitter, and a Babysham for the little lady please.

At last, another survivor of Big Top.
I felt sorry for the cast of Up the Women, I wonder if they were dying inside, but Jessica Hynes actually wrote it so I feel no sympathy for her. I only managed 10-15 minutes too. Same with The Wright Way. I fear for our future.

Indeed! Look at Tom Bakers run .... every year or two they reinvented the companion In a bold and interesting way.

I was wondering this ... Is he a good manager, which I think is what a lot of this job may be. Dealing with the BBC and the production AND writing - Is it too much for him?

This series (7 as a whole - this a and b business is silly) did a lot of truly wonderful things, but it did consistently suffer from two problems: The stories need to work on their endings which maybe having 2 partners again would help. and they need to address the pr gap where everything is so overhyped that things can't help but underperform. I'm going through the series again and liking things I didn't like the first time because all the pr build up and expectations are out of the way.

I had always hoped this year would be a series long 50th story but alas, I had to let that go.

I'm of the opposite mind on that... I adore Gaiman's Coraline, but his Doctor Whos leave me cold.

Er has anyone seen the report that Matt Smith is indeed quitting as of the xmas special?

Yeah just seen it now

Well, there is also the 11 books, the multi-doctor audiobook, the 11 episodes, 1 from eachdoctor, being aired once a month, as well as the christmas special and 50th. Also, does 5 more episodes really make that much of a difference?

Thats why i'm hoping they'll ditch Clara and put in Strax.

Dads like Strax too..a guy who likes guns, fistfights and plays with his grenades.

Get Strax!

Yes. Time to return the tiys to the toybox. Moffat made a hash out of a good actor.

Get Strax. the non-sexual Captain Jack.

Silly boy! Are you into tweenage girls?

Don't put out such sweeping generalizations! I'd have love to have Cribbins or even Rose's mother- a bit less shallow- sure 20-something lassies with never-ending legs are great but its so easy to put in the 'are they or aren't they' device. How about a non-white companion?

I prefer the plant lady or even Jack Harness- oh the mangled Feels!

Cap'n Jack has openly declared he's gay...

I meant, he's going to be like Captain Jack...a male companion without the fall in love with the doctor crap.

Mickey? Martha?

I said non-white didn't specify race

Beside Martha wasn't well written & Mickey was such a caricature until he was caught in a parallel universe

Totally agree with this!

After all the Dr Who of the festive holiday, I think the main stuff I want to see is time lords escaping the crack and featuring in the stories.

My list would therefore include Carol Ann Ford returning as Susan, maybe for a few episodes and an emotional death / regeneration. If she's up for it...

The Master, how is beyond me... So maybe the Rani would be better...

More past Incarnations cameos, I loved Tom Baker in the anniversary and I really think the older doctors could add an I the resting twist to the show, especially as antagonists as the second was to the third in the three doctors...

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