20 ways to improve Doctor Who

When you love something as much as Martin, you do get a certain liberty to criticise. Here are the 20 improvements he'd make to Doctor Who...

20: Turn the music down.Am I supposed to cry here? Ah yes, thanks, Murray – if it weren’t for that blanket wash of violins I would have been guffawing like a fool while a character I had come to care about bit the bullet.

19: Take the bullet-time out of the title-sequence.It was old by Matrix Reloaded, and that was fecking years ago. Get that render-farm out…

18: Stop dicking around with the title sequence.What was with that guitar business? Once the bullet-time’s out, leave the bloody thing alone.

17: Stop templating good ideas.It’s great to unexpectedly have a tearful death scene. Trouble is with New Who, anything that proves popular gets written in as a requisite. How many more times will Donna lament the loss of this week’s character? The reason things prove popular is that they surprise us, not because they turn up on cue like a Swiss watch.

16: Tell Tennant to STOP SHOUTING!Are there any cheap seats amongst the Doctor Who audience? Is there a gallery to play to?

15: Don’t bring Billie Piper back.Please. Please. Ah gwan…

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14: If Donna’s off, bring back Martha.Strewth, why did the Beeb put so little effort into Agyeman’s character and so much into Tate’s? Freema could handle it if you’d just give her a chance, as she demonstrated in The Doctor’s Daughter.

13: Bring back the Brig.…just for an episode or a two-parter. Nicholas Courtney is always a welcome presence in Who.

12: Show an entry into the TARDIS from the outside world.C’mon, this is the first time in TV history that such a shot would remotely be within the budget of the show. I’m talking about a running shot where the camera follows our heroes to where the Tardis is parked (ideally in the middle of nowhere) and follows them right inside to the control centre. It’s a show reel shot that would dazzle, and Who fans have been wanting to see it since before even I was born. And that’s going back in time a bit.

11: Lose the sonic screwdriverFor at least two seasons. Wouldn’t be the first time.

10: And the psychic paper too.Lazy bastards.

9: Don’t ever tell us what the Doctor’s name really is.Oh Gawd, this is an issue that has begun to emerge in the series, and I fear a Tiberial disappointment coming on.

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8: Keep Tennant on for all of series 5.I have an awful feeling that the semi-hiatus may find us bereft of this fine actor before he gets within reach of the Moffat era.

7: Give ‘Jenny’ her own show.The demand for a female time-lord has bubbled and sizzled for thirty or forty years, and The Doctor’s Daughter is a cool enough character to handle it. But just one cross-over per season – Jenny OR Torchwood, not both. Let’s keep some canon sacred here.

6: Don’t ever go back to the twenties.It sucked in Black Orchid, it sucked in The Unicorn and The Wasp and it will suck forever. But if you must, why not go back to the pre-Beveridge plight of the British working class and say something useful about post-Imperial Britain instead of tarting about in the boudoirs of the idle rich? The effete classes are as tedious in Who as in Dickens (with the exception of Lady Dedlock)

5: Skip the Daleks for an entire season. At least.I love the Daleks, but they need a rest, poor things. Makes the heart grow fonder, y’know…

4: Do something decent with the Master.Are all the minor portents in series 4 pointing to the hand of the Master, who returned briefly in series 3? If not, give him ONE good story in season 5.

3: Bring back the multi-part episodes.And just call them [episode name] part 1, [Episode name] part 2, etc, so we’re all on the same page as to which story we’re talking about.

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2: Slow the pace downYou virtually need a half-speed playback to follow the current pacing of the show. Only Steven Moffat’s Silence In The Library put the brakes on enough to let the audience keep up. In fact…

1: Make Steven Moffat executive producerAhhh, I feel a warm glow coming on…

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