What I Would Have Liked To Have Seen In The Peter Capaldi Era

Its hard to believe that the Peter Capaldi era has come and gone. It only feels like yesterday that the former “Thick of It” star wandered onto our screens after being announced as the 12th Doctor. Holding his lapels in a Hartnellesque fashion with the promise of a new and wonderful era ahead of him.

Sadly however as I am sure all of my regular readers know, I wasn’t that keen on his era.

In this article I am going to run through things I would have liked to have seen happen during his era. I’m not saying that all of these ideas would have been better objectively.

These are just things that I personally would have been interested in. Let me know what you think in the comments below. PS its also worth noting that not all of these ideas are mine. A lot of them are actually fan theories and ideas, as well as pieces of spin of material too.

Lets get started then.

1/ The 12th Doctor

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as he stands now is probably the best thing about his era. Sure there were some terrible moments with his Doctor like the Tank bit, but overall Peter Capaldi did always give a brilliant performance, and there were some interesting aspects to his characterisation.

Still there were many huge problems with the 12th Doctor, though none of them can be attributed to Peter Capaldi.

First and foremost I would not have had the 12th Doctor be doubtful of himself. I didn’t like the “Am I a good man” story arc. It made no sense.

The previous Doctor had discovered that he had saved Gallifrey. Furthermore the war on Trenzalore, though long and protracted, still surely laid any doubt to rest about the Doctor being a hero?

He wore down his final life to protect a small village for over 1000 years and was given a new lease of life by the Time Lords because they, the people he thought he had burned, believed he was a hero.

So really why would the Doctor go back to doubting if he was a good man after that?

Also I really don’t think it was a good idea to have 12 be in love with Clara either as not only was it not a good fit for Capaldi and Jenna, but by this stage the whole Doctor/companion romance was really quite tired and boring too.

With 12 and Clara they basically repeated all of the previous Doctor/companion love stories from New Who.

We had the tedious love triangle between the Doctor, his female companion and her clingy, jealous boyfriend with Danny, Clara, and Capaldi.

We also had a mad woman who starts out as an evil psychopath that wants to kill or harm the Doctor but then he makes her a better person and she falls in love with him (River Song, Missy.)

We had the Doctor and his female companion get too attached to each other to the point where she becomes reckless and arrogant which leads to bad consequences for her (Rose and 10 in season 2, with it being their actions that create Torchwood that separates them, Clara and 12 in season’s 8 and 9, with it being Clara’s arrogance that leads to her own demise in Face the Raven.)

Then there was the Doctor being unable to accept his lovers death and doing something that allowed her to live just a bit longer as an immortal. (River Song in the Library, Clara in the TARDIS with Me.)

And finally we had a male character go through an unimaginably long hard time just to save the woman he loves. (Rory and the box for Amy, the Doctor and smashing his way through the wall for Clara.)

Be honest you could replace 12 and Clara with 10 and Rose in this scene and it wouldn’t be any different.

I think it would have been better if they had made 12’s story arc be about finding Gallifrey. That was basically what we were promised at the end of the 50th when the Curator tells 11 “oh you’ve got so much work to do.”

Turns out he didn’t. Gallifrey was back and it wasn’t even mentioned how! The search for Gallifrey story arc could have opened the door for many interesting story options.

For one thing the Doctor could be torn about bringing them back. On the one hand he would want to see his home in the sky, and his people happy and prosperous again. On the other the fear of the Time War returning would obviously still be on his mind too.

Yet perhaps the Doctor would want the Time War to start a new. Look at it this way, the Daleks are still free to roam the universe, destroying all other life forms. Whilst the Time War was a terrible thing it did severely limit the Daleks power across the universe.

Its kind of like World War 2 in a way. Yes World War 2 was a terrible thing, but in the end it was for the good of humanity. Would you have rather that the Nazi’s continued to march all over Europe unopposed?

So perhaps the Doctor might think after seeing more atrocities being carried out by the Daleks that he had a duty to bring the Time Lords back and lead them this time so that they don’t become corrupt, to finally destroy the Daleks once and for all.

Or perhaps he would be determined to wipe the Daleks out himself because he knew that when they were around he could never stand among his people.

These could all be serious moral dilemma’s for the 12th Doctor that could develop over time. Also his feud with the Daleks could have become more intense as the Daleks would naturally now view the Doctor as the only chance of the Time Lords returning and become even more determined to destroy him.

I also think that 12 should have been utterly ruthless to his enemies too. Again think back to what we were promised with his Doctor. We were told he would be the angry kick up the arse Doctor and this was how he made his entrance.

Yet we never really saw anything to demonstrate this on screen apart from a few moments of him being rude to people for no reason.

Take his dealings with the Daleks. He just threatens them a couple of times and that’s it. Okay he clearly hates them, but so what. Pretty much every Doctor hates them. I might add he was made to feel guilty by Clara for daring to think that the Daleks are beyond redemption.

Also his Doctor was fooled by Davros being unbelievably mopey too (well okay he knew there was a chance that Davros was tricking him, and so he had a back up plan.) Still 12 arguably showed more compassion to Davros than any other Doctor.

Then there was his relationship with the Master. 12 was the most lenient on the villain there has ever been. At certain points 12 even outright helped her to escape such as lying to Clara, Kate and UNIT about her still being alive (which put all of their lives in danger) or saving her from a public execution.

Also look at how he dealt with Bonnie the mass murdering terrorist Zygon. He forgave her and gave her a bloody job at UNIT! Bonnie is ironically going to be working alongside the friends of the people she slaughtered in cold blood like Jac!

Are there any examples of 12 being really vicious, and ruthless in dealing with any of his enemies?

The nearest is when he may have pushed the Half face man off of the edge of a building, but even then we have no idea if he did push him or not?

Now you might be thinking “well okay maybe they wanted 12 to be a lighter Doctor”, but that’s certainly not how they advertised him.

Steven Moffat Its Time For A Kick Up The Arse Doctor

Also more importantly look at the way the 11th Doctor was portrayed in his last few stories. You can clearly see that they are heading towards a darker and more mature Doctor.

We didn’t see many instances of this with Matt, but it’s obvious during 11’s final year that he was not only becoming more willing to kill (as seen with Solomon the Trader.) But that he was also getting more than fed up of dealing with the same enemies over and over again.

Take a look at this quote from A Town Called Mercy.

“But they keep coming back, don’t you see? Every time I negotiate, I try to understand. Well, not today. No. Today, I honour the victims first. His, the Master’s, the Dalek’s, all the people who died because of my mercy!” 

In addition to this 11 near the end of his time finally says goodbye to River too, showing that he has grown up and accepted that he needs to move on from her. His final action is also to dedicate himself to protecting Trenzalore until he becomes an old man, and after that he finally accepts his death.

Then of course there is the War Doctor, a more old school type of Doctor telling 11 that he (and 10) basically needed to grow up and act their age, and he wonders if he is having a mid life crisis when he sees them.

 “Oh, we might as well get started. Help to pass the timey-wimey. Do you have to talk like children? What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown up?”

The 12th Doctor as a more old school, serious Doctor, played by an older actor, who finally wants to dispose of his most dangerous enemies, fix mistakes he had made in the past (like sparing the Daleks in Genesis) and find his home would have been the natural progression from where 11 was headed in his last few stories.

Sadly however by the end of Capaldi’s first series this is all tossed in the bin. The 12th Doctor reverted back to being a cuddly hipster like 11 was, is still in love with his 20 something female companion like 10 and 11 would have been, and is ridiculously merciful to all of his enemies.

It could be argued that perhaps they wanted to go in a 1st Doctor, 6th Doctor, 9th Doctor direction, of making 12 start out as more ruthless and then get softer as time went on.

I wouldn’t have minded that at all, but my problem was just that they never really showed him being dark to begin with, and then just instantly reverted to making him more like Smith and Tennant.

So much for growing up eh? So much for no longer acting like a child jumping about, lusting after women not much older than Susan. So much for honouring the victims. Yeah you really honoured Osgood (and Kate) by snogging their killer and later covering for her when she escaped, or outright saving her when she was kidnapped. All that development from 10 and 11 realising that they were too easy on their worst foes. and 11 in his last few stories realising that he needed to grow up and be “the Doctor” again is just tossed in the bin so we can get more Master/Doctor slash fan fic bullshit, and more Doctor crying over his 20 something, latest one true love.

The 12th Doctor was not only written to be more of a zany, younger Doctor, but he was also I feel made into quite an ineffective and weak hero too.

In his first two season finale’s for instance he doesn’t save the day. Missy hands him victory (and even then its Danny Pink who blows the Cybermen up. Seriously what does the Doctor actually DO in that entire finale?)

In Hellbent meanwhile he creates the problem. Similarly in the Zygon Inversion though does stop the war, he created the problem in the first place! He was the idiot who thought it was a good idea to let 20 million hostile aliens live on earth. (I might add the only reason they came here was to fucking invade! Bit much to ask humanity be kind to their invaders!)

Why did 12 not you know use his TARDIS to take them to an uninhabited planet like he promised to do for Dalek Sec and his new Dalek people?

Does he really think a race so advanced that they fought in the Time War would be happy with pretending to be humans, working a dismal 9-5 job, signing on the dole, watching youtube videos, and downloading shit on Netflix?

Yeah cause the Doctor loved being trapped on earth didn’t he? And he LOVES humans, unlike the Zygons who wanted to destroy them, and took a delight in hurting them (see Osgood’s Zygon double.)

12 really suffered from also having no real big enemies to play off of. His villains were either dreadful versions of past glories like Missy, or they were crappy one off foes like the Lion man, or the Monks, or the eye boggie monsters from Sleep No More.

His biggest heroic moment is obviously enduring the torture for Clara’s sake in Heaven Sent. I got to give him that, it is pretty badass to endure 4 billion years worth of torture for your one true love.

Sadly however even this is ultimately undermined in Hell Bent as ultimately we find out that the Doctors plan for saving Clara would have risked destroying all of time and space! So actually 12 just ends up looking like an emo adolescent that can’t cope with loss, and is willing to put his own happiness over the rest of the universe, rather than the ancient, wise alien he should be.

I think the main problems with the Capaldi era can be summed up with the production team simply not having enough faith in Capaldi to carry the series ironically.

To start with they clearly got a bit scared at making the Doctor older in his first series. Clearly they were worried at losing their young audience, so they ultimately went back to making him act like the younger Doctors.

Take a look at this scene.

This clearly shows that they were more unsure of Capaldi right from the start, as the previous actor has to come in and basically beg Clara (and through her the audience) into accepting Capaldi!

Its very insulting and to be honest I don’t think Matt Smith should have agreed to do it. It was kind of stepping on Peter Capaldi’s toes.

Also more importantly I think that the PC pandering during Capaldi’s era made the team lose faith in him as well simply because he was another white male.

Now I’m not going to go too much into the SJW pandering again as obviously its a subject that I have covered extensively. Still it does need to be mentioned as its certainly a large part of why Peter didn’t get a fair crack at the role.

Capaldi was cast after the feminist backlash against Steven Moffat had begun, but before the push for a female Doctor really became all consuming. That only really happened after Matt announced he was leaving.

As a result of this I think Moff who clearly wanted to win favour with the feminist critics that had ruined his reputation over the past few years actually came to regret not casting a woman instead of Peter.

How these people treated Steven Moffat circa 2012-14

University Study on How Sexist Steven Moffat Is

Steven Moffat Tweets Against Accusations of Misogyny

The Terrible Problem Of Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who

Of Dice and Pen Sexism in Moffat Who

Steven Moffat’s Women: Amy and her skirt

Consent in Moffat Era Who

Steven Moffat Sexism

Sexual Assault in Doctor Who

Doctor Who Thunderingly

Whovian Feminism Reviews Time of the Doctor

How they reacted to Peter Capaldi’s casting

Something An Actual Person Said About The Doctor

Whovian Feminism We Need To Talk About Peter Capaldi’s Casting

Doctor Who’s Dude Preference Is Lazy

Examples of Moffat ADMITTING to pandering to them (as well as proof that the sexist accusations bothered him)

Steven Moffat: Doctor Who Needs More Women Writers

Steven Moffat Denies He Has Made Show More Sexist

Steven Moffat Slams Sexist Claims

As a result of this Moffat cared more about setting things up for a female Doctor to atone for casting another cis white het dude, than in actually focusing on Capaldi himself.

You can see that when Missy first prances onto screen in Deep Breath. Right there in Capaldi’s first episode Moff is thinking more about setting up the next female Doctor, than in giving Capaldi a nemesis that is right for him (which most certainly is not Missy.)

Similarly in this scene Moff has the Doctor shoot an innocent Time Lord in cold blood, simply so that he can shoe horn in yet another gender bending regeneration.

This scene is utterly disastrous to the 12th Doctors character in so many ways.

To start with he’s a huge fucking hypocrite. What he is unable to kill Missy, a sadistic, mass murdering psychopath, even when she murders his friends and the daughter of his oldest friend right in front of him and gloats about it, but he’ll happily shoot an unarmed man in cold blood?

Also the General risked his life to defend the Doctor from Rassilon and this is how the Doctor repays him?

You might be saying that “well he didn’t kill him as its just a regeneration” but even then each incarnation lasts for 1100 years, so the Doctor just shed a good chunk of the guys life off.

Again though Moff doesn’t care about how this negatively impacts the 12th Doctors character, as his main priority is in setting up a female Doctor. To hell with the current white dude. He’s just there to fill time.

Furthermore I think Moff, whilst not wanting to undermine Capaldi intentionally, actually became scared at the thought of just making Capaldi the strong, central heroic figure that previous Doctors like Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker had been, as that would appear sexist in his feminist critics eyes.

So naturally in order to overcompensate for this type of criticism, Moffat put too much focus on Clara to a ridiculous degree, and regularly had her actively undermine the Doctor by slapping him back into place and later finish the series by basically becoming a better Doctor than him.

All this silly backstage politics coupled with the fact that in many ways the production team wanted him gone so they could virtue signal with a female Doctor meant that Peter Capaldi really wasn’t given the attention or frankly the respect an actor of his calibre deserved in the role.

It would have been better if they had allowed Capaldi to play the role more the way he wanted. If they had given his Doctor a chance to show how dark he was in really vicious confrontations with his enemies like the Master. If they had given him a consistent character. And finally if they had made him a strong figure, NOT always doubting whether or not he was a good man and being slapped into place by his companion.

It seems to me like Capaldi wanted his Doctor to be kind of a cross between 1 and 3. Those seem to be his two favourite era’s. He’s always talking about them after all, and just about everything he wanted to see come back comes from those two era’s, like Susan, Mondasian Cybermen, Axons, Daemons etc.

You can see how these two Doctors and era’s are on his mind more than any other.

So I think ideally his Doctor would have been a dashing, physical Doctor who was incredibly brave, and serious about everything like Jon Pertwee, yet also at times somewhat ruthless, more alien and at times even distant like William Hartnell.

Sadly however whilst there were shades of this in his characterisation such as in this scene.

Most of the time he was just another modern, whiney, emo Doctor complaining about his girlfriend.

A final thing to mention is that I would have given Capaldi the original TARDIS interior.

Nothing can top the original white, roundrels, look. The proof of that is that that look stayed more or less with very few changes for close to 26 years, whilst all the others, 9 and 10’s TARDIS, 11’s TARDIS with the upstairs, the wooden TARDIS, the steampunk TARDIS in the movie and 12’s library TARDIS have all come and gone in a few years each.

It would have been so much better if they had just gone back to this. It would also have tied into 12 returning to his roots better as well.

2/ Captain Jack Harkness

Its hard to believe that its been 7 years since he last appeared in Doctor Who. Captain Jack Harkness was in my opinion one of the best things in all of New Who.

He was an interesting character overall, but it was really John Barrowman, one of sci fi’s greatest leading men of the past 30 years that elevated the character to being a legend.

I was really hoping that Captain Jack would become like the new series version of the Brigadier.

The Brig met all the classic era Doctors, and it became a rite of passage for the Doctor to meet him. It would always be such a wonderful moment when the Doctor would bump into the Brig who’d comment on him changing his face yet again.

I miss having a character like that in Doctor Who and Jack I think would be a great choice to fill that role after Nick Courtney’s passing.

Like the Brig, Jack is a man of action which serves in brilliant contrast to the Doctor. The Doctor as we know will use a weapon and kill if need be, but he is ultimately a more cerebral hero, and more willing to try and find a peaceful solution.

The Brig and Jack are very much shoot first, ask questions later type of characters. Both Jack and the Brig also run organisations designed to track down extraterrestrial threats and know the Doctor through multiple lives too.

Sadly however they stopped Jack meeting the Doctor after 10 which now just kind of makes him a Russell T Davies thing.

The first thing I’d have done would have been to bring Jack back and make him a recurring character throughout 12’s time.

Okay so he missed 11 which I think was a great pity, but you could always have him meet 11 in the 60th anniversary special.

He really needed to come back for 12’s era in order to be a rite of passage for the new Doctors. You can miss one Doctor, like the Cybermen missed the Third Doctor (until the 5 Doctors) but once a characters missed two in a row, then I think they end up becoming more like the Sontarans instead, IE a fan favourite, but not something that every Doctor has to meet.

The great thing about Jack is that much like the Brig he’s a character you can bring back at any point. He doesn’t have to take over a story, his relationship with the Doctor, though it changes, is still always relatively stable. You can just bring him back and have him help the Doctor, shoot some badguys and that’s that.

I think you could continue to bring Jack back to encounter future Doctors after 12, despite the fact that the character is an immortal. For one thing John Barrowman is ageing well (he looks at least 20 years younger than he actually is.) Also Jack is still meant to age. He just does it very slowly. You could simply have set Jack’s stories set in the very far future when John looks far too old.

There would be a lot of value in bringing Jack back besides simply creating a wonderful new tradition for the show.

To start with he has a massive fanbase. In fact John Barrowman himself has a huge fanbase among mainstream audiences and genre fans outside of Doctor Who thanks to his roles in shows like Arrow and Desperate Housewives.

Even those who didn’t grow up with Jack might be interested in seeing Barrowman in the show.

Also I think Jack and 12 would have a great dynamic with each other. The thing about Jack is much like the Doctor he is an old soul trapped in a young man’s body. He has lived for thousands of years, endured unimaginable hardship and loss. Everything from his brother, to his soul mate, to his grandson!

Just like the 10th and 11th Doctors, Jack often puts on a cheery, youthful facade to cover up his pain. When he met 12 however who was no longer trying to cover up the fact that he was so old, Jack I feel could actually be himself more, and I think he and the Doctor would develop a much closer relationship than ever before as a result.

I would also like to see Jack meet other 12 era characters like Osgood for instance (John Barrowman and Ingrid Oliver were good friends in real life, so I think they would have a good dynamic.)

Overall I think they definitely missed a trick in not making Jack the new Brig of the show.

3/ Clara Oswald

Now we all know that I am not the biggest fan of Clara. For the record I do like Jenna Coleman and I liked her with Matt. She just wasn’t a good fit for Capaldi.

I would have kept Clara for one year with Peter to ease the transition and then dumped her.

I would have had Missy be revealed to be the Time Lord version of Clara that we saw in Name of the Doctor.

In The Name of the Doctor, Clara throws herself into the Doctors timestream which creates splinters of her all over time and space that save the Doctor from the Great Intelligence.

One of them is shown to live on Gallifrey and even tells the Doctor which TARDIS to steal.

I would have revealed that this version of Clara later regenerated into a new incarnation, (played by Michelle Gomez.) This version of Clara would then have been the woman in the shop who would have brought 11 and Clara together so that she could have been born.

Missy/Clara would later decide that she would still help the Doctor by downloading the minds of all the people the Doctor had failed to save on his journeys into a virtual heaven, though she would later go on to download the minds of good people from all over the universe into her matrix.

In order to power this matrix she would drain energy from a nearby star. The matrix on Gallifrey remember draws energy from the eye of harmony, a compacted star. Doing so however would have eventually caused the star that she was draining to eventually die, leading to the destruction of all the planets in its solar system.

Clara/Missy would have destroyed many solar systems this way, but she would view it as being worth it as all of the lives she destroyed in each solar system would be downloaded into her matrix.

Clara/Missy though having simply started out as wanting to help the Doctor would now see her cause as the greatest in the universe.

She would also create a virtual hell where she would download the minds of the most evil humans who ever lived. We could see plenty of past evil people like Solomon the Trader and Madame Kovarian being tortured in Missy’s hell.

The Doctor would find this out in the season 8 finale. The promised land would be the planet Missy had her Matrix on and therefore would have been the place the aliens in previous season 8 episodes would have been heading too.

The Doctor would be forced to work with aliens whose sun was being drained by Missy to shut down Missy’s matrix in order to save the countless worlds she would destroy to power it.

In a further twist, Danny Pink who would still die’s soul would be sent to Missy’s hell for the murder of the child he carried out in battle.

After the Matrix had been shut down and the souls released, Clara would decide to leave the Doctor, feeling that after seeing Missy she wanted to reconnect with her human side back on earth.

You could still have her pop up now and again as a recurring character like Martha. You could also have the Missy/Clara escape and be a foe for the Doctor. She would at first be furious that he had shattered her dreams, (particularly when she had done so much for him.) Later however she would forgive him and could work alongside him now and again.

I wouldn’t play up a romance between them, but you could have her slowly become his friend.

In my opinion this would have been the best option for many reasons. To start with I think the Time Lord Clara would have been a better role for Michelle Gomez. I’ve often said that Gomez would have been good as the Rani, and she would, but I think Clara would have been an even better role for her. It would have been more of a going against type part for Michelle.

Gomez is often cast as villains and over the top lunatics. The Time Lord version of Clara however would be a genuinely good character who believed that what she was doing was right and would later become a hero. Gomez would get a chance to do more than just “IIIII’MMMM CRAAAZZZZYYY!!!!”

Gomez said that her favourite year in the role was series 10 because she got to show more sides to Missy, such as her guilt and remorse. It was an all around excellent performance from Michelle, but I feel that it would have been better if they did that with Time Lord Clara than the Master.

4/ Other Companions

As regular readers of mine will know I really like Ingrid Oliver who plays Osgood and I had hoped for her to become the next companion after Clara. Having said that Bill played by Pearl Mackie turned out to be a perfectly charming companion in her own right, but more on that later.

Osgood I think would have been good choice for a number of reasons. Ingrid Oliver who plays her is a brilliant actress who really loves the show and would really I think throw herself into the role (well she pretty much already did in the limited time she was given.)

Peter Capaldi and Ingrid Oliver also had brilliant chemistry with each other. It was more natural because they could adopt a traditional father/daughter dynamic. As I’ve said before the problem with Clara and Capaldi was that they didn’t really have anywhere to go. They couldn’t go down the romance route as clearly as they did with Clara and 11, or 10 and Rose

They also couldn’t go down the classic father/daughter route, due to 11’s feelings for her. Finally Capaldi and Clara also couldn’t be just friends like say 11 and Amy, or 2 and Jamie as they didn’t really have anything in common with each other.

With Capaldi and Ingrid however you can see shades of Jo and Jon Pertwee, William Hartnell and Maureen O’Brien, and Sylvester McCoy and Ace even just in this little still. You have the bright young female companion in many ways being a surrogate figure for Susan to the Doctor.

Also I think the fact that Osgood admires the Doctor could be interesting if handled right.

I would tone down the cosplaying aspects. In fact I’d ditch them completely as soon as she boarded the TARDIS. I don’t like the meta aspects to Osgood’s character. Its never a good idea to have a character represent the fans.

I would however reveal that Osgood’s mother was the character called Laird from the 5th Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks. Laird was a mousy scientist who worked for the military. Much like Osgood she was overly anxious and prone to panic and scream in tight situations but she was still brave when it mattered.

She is brutally gunned down by the Dalek agents when trying to flee from them. Now Laird to me looks exactly like Osgood and has the same personality too.

You can see the resemblance. In my opinion Laird is Osgood’s mother and it was Laird’s tragic death that inspired Osgood to follow in her footsteps. Osgood wanted to find out what it was that really happened to her mother (having not bought the cover up story) and eventually came to work for UNIT.

There she found out about the Daleks and the Doctor and came to admire the Doctor because he had done more than anyone else to fight the monsters that killed her mother.

I think this would be a good link to the classic era and it would also flesh out Osgood’s character. Think of what her reaction would be when she comes face to face with a Dalek!

Also you could later have Osgood learn that the Doctor spared the Daleks in Genesis and lose her faith in him somewhat as technically her mothers death would be his fault.

The other companion for 12 I would have accompany Osgood would be Journey Blue. Journey Blue was played by Zawe Ashton. She was a soldier who fought the Daleks in the far future as seen in the story Into the Dalek.

Now we didn’t see much of her character, but I’ve always thought she would have been a good candidate for a companion for a number of reasons.

First of all Zawe Ashton is a brilliant actress. Also I’ve always wanted a companion who had lived under the Daleks. It would help increase their menace as here we would have someone who’s family had been killed by them, who had spent years maybe in a Dalek camp and never known a life that wasn’t constant fighting, misery and pain because of them.

Also I think that Journey’s more aggressive, gun ho nature could put her at odds with 12, in a Brig, Jack kind of a way.

Finally I think that Journey would be a good choice opposite Osgood. At first glance both are totally different characters.

Osgood physically is a total wimp. She is also someone who believes in finding non violent solutions and shows compassion to even her former tormentors like her Zygon sister.

Furthermore Osgood is also a scientist who relies on her brains and resourcefulness to get out of tight situations.

Journey in contrast physically is very strong, fearless, uses weapons as a first option and having spent her life fighting against the Daleks is much more willing to kill.

Also in terms of their relationships to the Doctor they’re polar opposites. Osgood adores the Doctor, he also is very fond of her, and she’d be more willing to do what she was told, and build up his ego too kind of like Jo Grant and Vicki.

Journey however would definitely clash with him, question his authority more and might even do things her own way, much like the Brig sometimes did (such as at the end of the Silurians when he goes behind the Doctors back and slaughters the titular creatures.)

Also finally in terms of what they wanted to get out of travelling with the Doctor they’d be complete opposites.

Journey would be desperate to escape the horrible life she had fighting the Daleks, whilst Osgood would be desperate to explore other planets and times.

Things could be quite tense in the TARDIS with Journey and Osgood at first not liking each other. Osgood could disapprove of Journey’s violent methods, Journey could view Osgood as being a liability for being too weak and scared.

Still you could later have the two bond over losing their loved ones to the Daleks. I think you could have quite a good scene where Osgood shares with Journey the pain of losing her mother at such a young age, whilst Journey would tell Osgood of how her parents were killed, how she and her brother were among the few survivors of the Dalek invasion who were taken to live in the Dalek camps for years. They both would have suffered greatly with Journey doing all she could to protect him until they were eventually rescued when the Dalek camps were liberated, after which the two joined the resistance against the Daleks, before her brother was finally killed.

You’d then have the two bond over their suffering at the monsters hands, with Osgood coming to understand why Journey is the way she is, and Journey in turn coming to respect Osgood.

You also have Journey and 12’s relationship similarly improve too, with Journey by the end of her travels with the Time Lord coming to appreciate all of the great things she was able to see because of him.

For 12’s next companion after these two meanwhile, I’d have a character who came from the year 100 trillion. In Doctor Who it is established that humanity survives to the year 100 trillion and possibly becomes the last species left in the universe in the story Utopia.

I think it would be great to have a companion come from that time. Here we would have a companion who was eager to see a universe when it was young and healthy. Who could see planets like the earth that she had only heard about in ancient legends.

Imagine what her reaction would be at just seeing the earth during the day, having always scraped a living on a barren rock near the end of a universe that was slowly burning away into nothing!

I did not come up with this idea. I saw it on a forum (sadly I can’t remember who came up with it.) And I always thought it would have been a brilliant idea for a companion.

As for who could play this companion, well there are many actresses that I’d love to see in Doctor Who.

Jenny Hulse is a Scottish actress who I think is very underrated and would make a good choice for the companion to the Doctor.

(I am aware I have suggested a number of Scottish actors like Dawn Steele, Robert Carlyle and Jenny Hulse, but that’s not because I give two fucks about Scots representation. I simply know more obscure Scottish actors because I live here and I am exposed to Scottish forms of entertainment more. If I lived in England I’d know more local, obscure and underrated English actors too.)

Jenny Hulse, a very underrated actress who would have made an amazing companion to the Doctor.

Alison King is also a great actress too and would make a good companion. It might be more interesting to give the Doctor a more mature female companion. Barbara, Donna, Liz Shaw, and Romana 1 all represent a female companion who isn’t in awe of the Doctor as they are all much more mature.

Some people would say that these companions don’t work as well, as the younger audience prefers a younger companion they can identify with, but Barbara, Liz, Donna and Romana 1 were all very popular companions with both fans and the public.

To be honest though I’d be happy with Pearl Mackie. I suppose that’s one good thing about the Capaldi era is that it did give a number of lesser known actresses like Ingrid Oliver and Pearl Mackie a larger boost.

Pearl Mackie was a perfectly lovely companion. She was charming, funny, and had great chemistry with Capaldi. Also refreshingly whilst she was a strong and capable character in her own right she didn’t undermine him like Clara.

I did have some problems with how Bill was written however. I would have wanted Pearl Mackie to play the companion from the future and NOT Bill.

Bill though a likable character was ultimately yet another sassy, 21st century girl who works a boring job and wants to get away from it with the Doctor.

I really would have liked something new, like an alien, or at least someone from another time.

Also like many other fans I felt Bill’s sexuality and race was handled in quite a clumsy way. I have no problem with a gay character on tv. Furthermore I have no problem with a character constantly mentioning that they are gay either.

We get plenty of straight characters talking about their sexuality after all like say Joey on Friends, so why not have a gay character be unbelievably promiscuous like Joey?

It was more the way it was done. It felt like an obnoxious “I’m going to teach you plebs at home that gay people and black people matter too!” attitude from the writers.

The reason I think this was because, first of all Steven Moffat openly said that he cast Pearl Mackie for representation.

Steven Moffat Diversity

I really don’t think you need to cast anyone for the sake of representation anymore. Yes back in the 60’s when our society was racist, homophobic and sexist then it was important, but now I think the free market is the only fair way to judge it, though I 100 percent acknowledge that I did not always feel that way.

For the record I actually went through a tiny bit of an SJW phase in 2015. I always hated the idea of a female Doctor its true, but I felt after having been so hostile to the idea, and to the SJW’s criticism of Moffat that maybe I was being too harsh on them (added to that I was also more ignorant too and so I didn’t know that a lot of their complaints like the gender wage gap were bogus.)

So in 2015 I was open to things like representation, and women in refrigerators (I hypocritically said that Osgood’s death was sexist whilst praising the murder of Perdicus in Xena, even though they are both exactly the same. Steven Moffat should have kept her dead, much as I like Osgood just to piss people like me back then off!)

I also complained about sexualized images of female characters being harmful, and whilst I mostly defended him I did still think some of Steven Moffat’s work was a bit sexist too.

It was only during 2016 that I finally came to the conclusion that actually my initial reaction was right and the SJW’s complaints against Moffat (and in general) were completely bogus.

So with this in mind I think Moff might very well just be misguided and could actually come to regret some of the decisions he made with the show, RE pandering to the SJW’s, in years to come. Still whatever his reasons I think Moffat ultimately had the wrong attitude when casting Pearl Mackie.

Furthermore the character of Bill constantly went on about how she suffers bigotry and persecution too which is ridiculous. Okay there are still individual racists and homophobes, but come on here. What are the chances that a young, black, gay woman who works at a university, and hangs around with other 20 something young women would constantly endure racism and homophobia?

Whenever Bill would say she was gay, it wasn’t like it was just a natural fact of her character. It wasn’t like she’d just hit on a woman she thought was cute, or mention a woman she had a crush on, or even just be in a relationship with another woman.

Instead she would always have to sit down and explain to another character how she was gay and it would be presented as this big shocking thing of”OH MY GOD DO YOU PEOPLE AT HOME REALISE BILL IS GAY! I BET YOU’RE ALL SHOCKED AT THAT!”

Ultimately I think Bill reeked of being nothing but more SJW pandering which was a shame as Pearl Mackie was definitely one of the better companions in the series.

5/ The Master

The Doctors archenemy was probably the character who suffered the most after the Doctor himself during the Capaldi era (though he/she has some stiff competition from the Brigadier.)

Its a shame as I think that the Capaldi era could have marked a really good come back for the character.

We hadn’t seen him at that point for an entire Doctors era, so his return could have been a huge Earthshock style surprise.

Sadly by turning the Master into a woman they kind of ruined this. Everybody guessed that Missy (Mistress) was the Master from her first episode because of all the ridiculous hype about a female Doctor.

Missy is the Master According To Radio Times

If they had kept the character a man and brought him back at a later date however then they could have made his return a genuine surprise.

Worse however as I have been over before many times was the way that Steven Moffat threw everything about the character that made him interesting away.

His hatred of the Doctor, his insane lust for power and control, and his miserable cowardice, All gone and in its place was basically just a third rate River Song.

I think that during the Capaldi era, they should have first and foremost played up the Masters desire for power and control as his main motivation, rather than wanting to renew his “friendship” with the Doctor.

To me that’s always been the most fascinating aspect of his character. In those early Roger Delgado stories the Master could almost justify himself to the Doctor as he believed that when he ruled things would be better.

He argued that all the evil he was committing now actually was for the greater good and that the Doctor and the Time Lords were the real villains.

From his perspective the Doctor and the Time Lords had the power to help planets like the earth. They could with their advanced technology end all of their problems like disease, famine, poverty, and with their knowledge of the future they could avert catastrophic disasters like the Dalek Invasion and protect them from alien races such as the Cybermen by making sure they were advanced enough.

Yet the Time Lords just sit back and do nothing. The Doctor meanwhile helps out where he can, and so the Master at first has a bit more respect for him and even initially sees the Doctor as a potential ally. You can also see why the Doctor and the Master were friends back on Gallifrey with this in mind. Both were among the few members of their kind not content with just sitting back and doing nothing.

Ultimately however the Doctor does not believe in imposing his will on others. He will help those in need, but he will still let them choose their own destiny.

As a result of this the Doctor and the Master both come to view the other with even more contempt than either view the High Council.

Take a look at these quotes from spin off material and television stories with the Delgado Master to see what I mean. It amazes me that people often miss this great aspect of the character.

MASTER: Well? You waste time. I order you to kill him, Azal! 
AZAL: I command. I do not obey. 
MASTER: But I called you here and you came? 
AZAL: I answered your call because the time was come for my awakening. The time has come for the completion of the experiment or its destruction. 
MASTER: Then fulfill your mission by granting the ultimate power to me. Who else is there strong enough to give these humans the leadership they need? 
DOCTOR: I seem to remember somebody else speaking like that. What was the bounder’s name? Hitler. Yes, that’s right, Adolf Hitler. Or was it Genghis Khan? 
MASTER: Azal, I have the will. You yourself said so. 
AZAL: I am still not convinced. 
DOCTOR: I’m very pleased to hear it. 
AZAL: You wish to see this planet destroyed? 
DOCTOR: By no means. You see, I have an alternative. 
AZAL: State it. 
DOCTOR: Leave humanity alone. Just go. You’ve done enough harm. 
AZAL: We gave knowledge to man. 
DOCTOR: You certainly did. Thanks to you man can now blow up the world and he probably will. He can poison the water and the very air he breathes. He’s already started. He can 
AZAL: Enough! Is man such a failure then? Shall I destroy him? 
MASTER: No! A strong leader can force him to learn. 
AZAL: You are right. I have decided. I shall pass on my power. 
MASTER: O mighty Azal, I thank you. 
AZAL: But not to you. To him. 
DOCTOR: No! No, I don’t want it!

MASTER: That’s absolutely fascinating. The whole story is here. 
DOCTOR: Is it? Well, perhaps you’d be kind enough to explain it to me? 
MASTER: Well, this city was once the center of a great civilisation. 
DOCTOR: Yes, I had rather gathered that. 
MASTER: By genetic engineering, they developed a super-race. That priest we saw must be a remnant of it. 
DOCTOR: You deduced all that from these pictures? 
MASTER: Well, not exactly. I knew it already. The files of the Time Lords are very comprehensive. 
DOCTOR: Oh, so that’s more like it. You mean that you stole the information? 
MASTER: Well, it seemed an awful pity not to make use of it, you know? But of course that’s typical of the High Council of the Time Lords. Know everything, do nothing. 
DOCTOR: Tell me, why are you so interested in the history of this planet? 
MASTER: Well, this super-race developed a Doomsday Weapon. it was never used. 
DOCTOR: Why not? Super-weapons usually are eventually. 
MASTER: Who knows? Maybe it was due to a degeneration of the life strain. 
DOCTOR: I see. And so the super race became priests of a lunatic religion worshipping machines instead of gods. 
MASTER: So it would seem. 

DOCTOR: You’re going to use this weapon? 

MASTER: Not unless it’s absolutely necessary. Well, don’t you see, Doctor? The very threat of its use could hold the galaxy to ransom. 
MASTER: Doctor, why don’t you come in with me? We’re both Time Lords, we’re both renegades. We could be masters of the galaxy! Think of it, Doctor, absolute power! Power for good. Why, you could reign benevolently, you could end wars, suffering, disease. We could save the universe. 

JUDGE: Counsel for the defence may now cross examine the witness

THE MASTER: Thank you, your honour.

THE DOCTOR: Of all the infernal… You don’t mean to tell me he’s defending himself?

THE MASTER: Sadly, yes. Sir Roderick met with a most unfortunate accident.

THE DOCTOR: Yes… I’m quite sure that he did.

THE MASTER: Would the court please make note of the witness’s hostile attitude. The Doctor is a very old, and, may I say, a very dear aquaintance, but sometimes a little incautious and hot headed in his choice of language.

THE DOCTOR: I’m not hot headed, you scoundrel. 

THE MASTER: Do make a note of that.

THE DOCTOR: Now see here…

THE MASTER: I really think, Doctor, it may be best if you take a nice deep breath. I say this, speaking as a friend.

THE DOCTOR: I am no friend of yours!

THE MASTER: Indeed? The whole court has heard you give an impassioned speech asking for me to be shown clemency. Who but a friend would do that?

THE DOCTOR: A merciful man.

THE MASTER: A humane one?

THE DOCTOR: Yes.

THE MASTER: But it is these very humane humans of yours that wish to put me to death.

THE DOCTOR: Well… you’ve killed hundreds and tried destroy their planet half a dozen times.

THE MASTER: I dispute that last statement. I really must protest. I have not tried to destroy this planet. I will admit I have, perhaps encouraged regime change on several occasions.

THE DOCTOR: You admit it!

THE MASTER: The human race is not very advanced is it Doctor? They still, for example practise the death penalty.

THE DOCTOR: Yes…

THE MASTER: They regard all alien life as hostile and frequently wipe it out in their encounters with it.

THE DOCTOR: That is regrettable.

THE MASTER: You see, ladies and gentlemen of the court, please don’t take this amiss, but as a species you’re not experienced enough. You are likely to misconstrue the actions of other species simply because you cannot yet comprehend them. You may perceive our actions as a threat when really they are a benevolent attempt to bring you advancement. Would you not agree, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: I would not!

THE MASTER: So, when you brokered a peace treaty with the Silurians, what was the reaction of the human race?

THE DOCTOR: They, er, well, they blew them up.

THE MASTER: They destroyed an ancient civilisation? Dear me, hardly the action of an advanced species. Is it, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: No. No, on that I must agree. But humanity is… well… I mean, for a level 2 civilisation, they’re doing remarkably well.

THE MASTER: A level 2 civilisation! Would you care to define a level 2 civilisation?

THE DOCTOR: I’m not really sure I should.

THE MASTER: Come now, Doctor. You introduced it into evidence?

THE DOCTOR: Very well. A level 2 civilisation is one that has discovered elementary space travel, hydrocarbons, antibiotics and the principles of nuclear fission.

THE MASTER: A capital definition. And what do most level 2 civilisations do with the discovery of nuclear fission?

THE DOCTOR: They build power stations.

THE MASTER: But what, would you say, is the principal use made of it by humanity?

THE DOCTOR: Oh, that’s hardly fair. Its how humanity learns, they find a thing and their first use is always.

THE MASTER: Yes Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: In weapons. They make nuclear weapons.

THE MASTER: And how would such a development be viewed by, say, a level 3 civilisation?

THE DOCTOR: As barbaric. But..

THE MASTER: Barbaric! And tell me Doctor. What level is our own race?

THE DOCTOR: Ah, ah, well, a level 12 civilisation.

THE MASTER: So would you say you are more qualified to judge humanity’s actions than they are?

THE DOCTOR: Er…

THE MASTER: I’ll rephrase the question. Are they qualified to judge your actions?

THE DOCTOR: Certainly not.

THE MASTER: So are they qualified to judge me? All right let me put it to you. I stand here accused of being now what is it, ah yes under article 18B of the Emergency Powers Act of being of hostile origin or association, and of committing acts prejudicial to public safety. Doctor I dispute these allegations, and you are going to help me prove them false.

THE DOCTOR: I have absolutely no intention of helping you.

THE MASTER: Since arriving on this planet, would you not agree that I have revolutionised the efficiency of the plastics manufacturing industry?

THE DOCTOR: Yes, but

THE MASTER: Thank you. I’ll admit my methods were aggressive, but oh so human. And have I not also had remarkable results with the elimination of psychopathic tendencies in the criminal mind.

THE DOCTOR: Only by

THE MASTER: I’m afraid its a yes or no question.

THE DOCTOR: Yes, but

THE MASTER: And finally, did I not offer humanity a remarkable solution to its energy crisis?

THE DOCTOR: Fine, yes fine. But in every case

THE MASTER: I know, I know. My good intentions were rebuffed and misconstructed. Surely, however even you can agree with my actions in Devils End.

THE DOCTOR: Not in the slightest.

THE MASTER: Come now. Who better to sit in judgement on a level 2 civilisation than its creator, Azal of the Daemons. We can both see the mess this species is in. You can choose to do nothing. I tried, oh how I tried, and then when that failed, I appealed to Azal, hoping he could shape and reform it. Instead regrettably, he wrote the experiment off. Wasn’t that what happened, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: Well… yes. If it hadn’t been for Miss Grant. You’re leaving out your actions on Uxarieus, where you tried to take control of.

THE MASTER: Where I attempted peacefully to adjudicate on a dispute between worthy pioneers and a legitimate mining concern. But I’m fairly certain Doctor that events on ther planets are outside the jurisdiction of this court, and should not be brought into play. 

THE DOCTOR: They prove that you want to play God.

THE MASTER: Merely to improve the existence of the common lot, I assure you. I am on this planet for its own good.

THE DOCTOR: If not the good of its population.

THE MASTER: Now, that is unfair, Doctor. I try my best. What more can anyone say? 

Later versions of the Master after Delgado would be portrayed as more vicious however.

I don’t think this was inconsistent. There was always a vicious side to Delgado, such as when he karate chops a man from the top of a tower in Terror of the Autons, and you can see this side slowly emerge towards the end of Delgado’s time too. Its also obvious that despite what he says about bringing order to the universe, he still regards all other life forms as lesser than him, hence why he is happy to sacrifice as many humans as possible in a petty feud with the Doctor.

The later Masters from Pratt to Simm simply represent this twisted side becoming more dominant due to other factors, such as whatever it is that leaves him more emaciated in The Deadly Assassin, and the Time War.

All post Delgado Masters are still always desperate for power over the galaxy, but they’ve dropped the supposedly altruistic reasons that the Delgado incarnation claimed.

Take a look at these quotes from all of the later Masters from the emaciated incarnation to Simm.

MASTER: Rassilon’s discovery, all mine. I shall have supreme power over the universe. 

MASTER: A turbulent time, Doctor, in Earth’s history. 
DOCTOR: Not one of its most tranquil, I agree. 
MASTER: A critical period. 
DOCTOR: You could say that. 
MASTER: Oh, I do. The beginning of a new era. 
PERI: Doctor, do you get his drift? 
DOCTOR: I’m afraid I do, Peri. 
PERI: He wants to pervert history. 
DOCTOR: Not that the Prince of Darkness here would see it as perversion. 
MASTER: Maudlin claptrap. The talents of these geniuses should be harnessed to a superior vision. With their help, I could turn this insignificant planet into a power base unique in the universe.
DOCTOR: And where will you take your toy next? 
MASTER: Does it matter? You’ll not be there to greet me. 
DOCTOR: I may not need to. You forget, Kamelion does have a mind of his own. 
MASTER: He obeys only my will. 
DOCTOR: Yes, but for how much longer? 
MASTER: For as long as I command it. Kamelion will not turn on me. 
DOCTOR: No? 
(The Doctor tries to change Kamelion, and fails. The Master laughs.) 
MASTER: You’re getting old, Doctor. Your will is weak. It’s time you regenerated. 
DOCTOR: You won’t win, not ultimately. 
MASTER: You’re mistaken. With Kamelion’s unique ability at my command, it’s only a matter of time before I undermine the key civilisations of the universe. Chaos will reign, and I shall be its emperor. 
DOCTOR: Earth is a primitive planet. You won’t succeed so easily elsewhere. 
MASTER: Where I cannot win by stealth, I shall destroy. That way I cannot fail to win. 

MASTER: Tomorrow, they launch. We’re opening up a rift in the Braccatolian space. They won’t see us coming. It kind of scary. 
DOCTOR: Then stop. 
MASTER: Once the Empire is established, and there’s a new Gallifrey in the heavens, maybe then it stops.

MASTER: My masterpiece, Doctor. A living Tardis, strong enough to hold the paradox in place, allowing the past and the future to collide in infinite majesty. 
DOCTOR: But you’re changing history. Not just Earth, the entire universe. 
MASTER: I’m a Time Lord. I have that right. 

Really it isn’t until Missy that the Masters desire for power is completely dropped with Missy giving up the chance for ultimate power (an indestructable army of Cybermen) outright saying that she doesn’t need an army. “Armies are for people that think they’re right dear”. That’s the opposite of Delgado actually being able to make Pertwee doubt that he is in the right!

I would have returned to the Master thinking that his evil is for a greater good in Capaldi’s time which would make more sense after Simm’s incarnation.

When we last saw the Master he came to realise just how evil he had become when he faced down Rassilon who had implanted the drums in his head (which in Davies time at least contributed to his madness.)

Now it can be debated as to whether or not the Master wanted to help the Doctor or just get revenge on Rassilon, but at the very least it cannot be denied that the villain for the first time demonstrated some self awareness here.

Look at what he says “You did this to me. All of my life. YOU MADE ME!” So clearly even he regrets what a monster he has become, and wishes that his entire life would have gone differently.

It would have been interesting if they continued this in the next Masters characterisation.

The next Master having realised how far he had fallen would have been desperate to redeem himself. Sadly however as we have seen, being a good guy in the Masters mind would be trying to bring order to the universe.

The Masters relationship with the Doctor would also change as a result too. The Master would now view the Doctor as an obstacle he had to get rid of, but didn’t care as much about as he felt he had wasted too much time in his previous lives feuding with him.

The Doctor ironically would be more desperate than ever to destroy the Master meanwhile.

To start with this would make most sense for 12. As we have been over, just before the end of 11 the Doctor was nearing a stage where he wanted to finally be rid of his oldest enemies.

I can imagine 12 would be the most devastated of all to find out that the Master had survived and was still out there after having been rid of him for over 1100 years!

Also as the rest of the Time Lords are now back he would feel no desire to help the Master anymore.

Finally as the Doctor had last seen the Master seemingly give up his life to stop Rassilon then he would be even more disgusted with the Master for reverting back to being the villain.

He’d have the attitude of “Okay you had your chance to change. You saw just how far you’d fallen, I’d shown you ridiculous mercy that you didn’t deserve as David Tennant, and even then you’re still an asshole. Enough’s enough“.

People always go on about how the Doctor would never kill the Master because he loves him, but that is bullshit.

Thing is in Classic Who the Doctor was almost always willing to kill the Master. There were a few instances where the Doctor didn’t want to kill the Master because he was unarmed, simply because he never kills enemies when they are unarmed.

The same was true of Davros in Resurrection, but it doesn’t mean he had any affection for him.

I feel that so many fans (including Steven Moffat) often get the Doctor and the Master’s relationship completely wrong.

Steven Moffat goes as far as to say that Delgado and Pertwee NEVER played it as enemies, and that they were always friends.

He seems to have been watching a different show to me?

DOCTOR: I still don’t see why you want to help them. What can you possibly gain? 
MASTER: The pleasure of seeing the human race exterminated, Doctor. The human race of which you are so fond. Believe me, that’ll be a reward in itself. 

JO: But I don’t see why you’re so upset. If you give him (the Master) back the circuit and he hands over the missile 
DOCTOR: You just don’t understand, do you, Jo? Once he gets that circuit back he’s free to roam through time and space. We’d never catch him. 
JO: Then you’ll just have to give in. The Master’s got the missile and all we’ve got is this wretched machine. 
DOCTOR: Jo, will you stop stating the obvious. What did you say? 
JO: I said all we’ve got is this machine. 
DOCTOR: Well, that’s it. That’s the answer. We’ve got the machine and we’ve got our friend, Barnham. 
JO: I don’t understand. 
DOCTOR: With a little help from you, old chap, we can destroy this machine and the Master at the same time.

MASTER: (After the Doctor attempted to trap him in a place that was about to blow up) Ah Doctor I was afraid you’d be worried about me, so I thought I’d let you know that I’m alive and well.

DOCTOR: I’m extremely sorry to hear that!

DOCTOR: Well, I didn’t actually see him fall, you know. I was quite busy. 
ENGIN: Oh, but if by some miracle he survived the fall into that chasm, he was dying anyway. 
DOCTOR: There was a good deal of power coming out of that monolith, and the Sash would have helped him to convert it. 
SPANDRELL: Are you suggesting he survived? 
DOCTOR: No, no, I hope not, Spandrell. And there’s no one else in all the galaxies I’d say that about. The quintessence of evil.

I’m not saying that the Doctor and the Master were never friends. They had once been friends, but now they were the bitterest of enemies as their ideologies had driven them apart.

Colony in Space really marks the final end of their friendship. Here it becomes obvious that the two will never be on the same wavelength as one seeks total control, whilst the other simply wants to explore.

From then on the Master sees the Doctor as a threat and wants rid of him, but the more the Doctor foils him, and the more his killing genuinely is for nothing, the further the Master is pushed down a dark path until he becomes a total monster consumed with hatred for the Doctor.

They were never friends who wanted to reconnect. The closest they came to that was in New Who with Tennant. Even then however this can be attributed to the fact that the Doctor simply wants to save the only other existing Time Lord. (I might add as well that Simm NEVER wanted to reconnect with Tennant. He always wanted to torture and kill him. He actually died just to spite him!)

So I definitely don’t think that its ever a good idea to make the Doctor and the Master still want to be friends as it ends up undermining both characters. The Master is undermined as before as seen in stories like The Mind of Evil the Doctor wanted to kill him, but he escaped. A big problem with any recurring villain is that they have to lose, but in the Masters case I don’t think that applies quite as much.

Yes the Master fails in his plan to take over the earth, but at the same time the Doctor is never able to finish him off either despite wanting to most of the time.

Furthermore the Doctor isn’t even ever able to imprison him or stop him from causing more death and destruction. So neither really wins completely.

That of course is all thrown out the window when the Doctor never wants to kill the Master. Now the Master only survives because the Doctor goes easy on him and this in turn greatly undermines the Doctor as a hero as he wants to be friends with someone that has killed trillions of innocent people.

CLARA: Doctor. You sent Missy your confession dial.
DOCTOR: Well, we’ve known each other a long time. She’s one of my own people.
CLARA: My point is, we both saw her die on Earth, ages ago. And obviously you knew that wasn’t real. Or worse, hoped it wasn’t. Either way, I think you’ve been lying.
DOCTOR: I’m sorry.

How can anybody not view that as a come down for the Doctor and the Master from The Mind of Evil where the Doctor wanted to kill the Master to stop him from hurting anyone else, and the Master not only survived his attempt on his life, but phoned him up to rub it in!

The explanation they gave as to why the Doctor went out of his way to help Missy was the Doctor felt she was the only person who was like him.

DOCTOR: I pick a scenario, we drop her down into it, and we see how she does. 
BILL: How does that work? 
DOCTOR: Ah. We just take the Tardis for a spin and we graze for distress calls. We pick a good one. Our usual Saturday. 
(Bill drops the potatoes into the deep fat fryer pan.) 
BILL: And what if she just walks out and slaughters everyone just for a laugh? 
DOCTOR: Well, I will be monitoring you the whole time. 
BILL: Me? 
DOCTOR: Yes. You and Nardole. You can be her companions. See? 
BILL: Ah, nah! Forget it. Absolutely no way. 
DOCTOR: Nardole agreed. 
NARDOLE: No, I didn’t. 
DOCTOR: You did in my head, which is good enough for me. 
BILL: Why do you want to do this? 
DOCTOR: She’s my friend. She’s my oldest friend in the universe. 
BILL: Well, you’ve got lots of friends. Better ones. What’s so special about her? 
DOCTOR: She’s different. 
BILL: Different how? 
DOCTOR: I don’t know. 
BILL: Yes, you do. 
DOCTOR: She’s the only person that I’ve ever met who’s even remotely like me. 
BILL: So more than anything you want her to be good? 

But that’s shit. Hey Doctor what about this woman?

I don’t know she was a friend who was like you Doctor? And she wasn’t a sadistic, mass murdering genocidal psychopath either!

I’m not saying you can never explore the friendship aspect of the Doctor and the Masters relationship, but I think it needs to be from a, its sad that they were once so close angle.

Like Lex Luthor and Clark Kent in Smallville. They start out like brothers, but once Lex crosses a certain line and you know, starts killing people, and harming his friends like Chloe, and Lana, then that’s that!

Ironically this line from Death in Heaven I think sums up the two’s relationship really well.

I had a friend once. We ran together when I was little. And I thought we were the same. But when we grew up, we weren’t. Now, she’s trying to tear the world apart, and I can’t run fast enough to hold it together.”

That’s really the angle they should have gone down. Its okay to give the Doctor feelings of regret for how the Master turned out, but I don’t think that you should ever have the Doctor want to reconnect with the villain.

I think it would have been great if the Master had actually underestimated the Doctor. Thinking he had gone soft after 10 showed such mercy to him, and then being quite shocked when after he did something horrible, 12 shoved him up against a wall, choked him and said that he would never put him before humanity.

Another aspect of the Masters character that I think should always be portrayed is his manipulative streak.

That’s another part of what makes him so fascinating is the way he is able to twist the minds of those around him. Whilst the Master would often play on people’s greed such as Goth and Kassia, he was also capable of tricking decent people too and turning them into monsters. Hell there were times where he was even able to make the Doctor help him unknowingly he was so crafty.

TRENCHARD: You’ve attacked a government employee, and tried to harm a prisoner under my care and protection. 
DOCTOR: I’ve done no such thing. The Master knocked that guard out himself, as you very well know. 
TRENCHARD: And as for this UNIT pass of yours, I believe it’s a forgery. 
(Trenchard rips up the UNIT 10 pass.) 
DOCTOR: That’s absolute rubbish. Anybody at UNIT headquarters will vouch for me, if you’ll permit me to use the telephone. 
TRENCHARD: Prisoners are not allowed to make telephone calls. 
DOCTOR: Colonel Trenchard, why are you allowing the Master to use you like this? 
TRENCHARD: All right, take him away. 
DOCTOR: Look, you’re jeopardising your entire career. 
TRENCHARD: I have nothing further to say to you. The interview is over. 
DOCTOR: Didn’t anybody else warn you about the Master?

TRENCHARD: I can’t keep it up, you know. The lies I’ve told. How long before that device of yours is ready? 
MASTER: Oh, just a few hours now. 
TRENCHARD: What is exactly is it? 
MASTER: It’s a perfect replica of the communications device used by the enemy agents. We are going to use it to lure them into a trap. 
TRENCHARD: I only hope it works. If it doesn’t, I’m for it, you know? 
MASTER: Oh, it’ll work. Don’t you worry about that. Just think of it, Trenchard. You will be responsible for exposing some of the most dangerous saboteurs this country has ever known. I think you’ll find that a grateful government will give you anything that you ask for. 
TRENCHARD: Oh, don’t want any reward, of course. Just doing my duty. 
MASTER: Yes, of course. I’d better get back to my quarters. 

HART: Doctor! 
(He has spotted Trenchard’s body.) 
HART: I don’t understand why. 
DOCTOR: The Master had no further use for him, that’s why. 
HART: But why did he help the Master in the first place? 
DOCTOR: What would you say was Trenchard’s strongest characteristic? 
HART: Oh, I don’t know. Patriotism, I suppose. 
DOCTOR: Exactly. And the Master used that patriotism as a weapon.

MASTER: You there. You were in the lane smashing machinery. 
JACK: Right, never mind the machinery, what’s thou doing here? 
GREEN: That’s easy. He’s one of brainy ones arrived early for this meeting. 
JACK: Aye, come to rob us of our jobs. 
MASTER: Hold hard. I intend you no harm. 
RUDGE: Talks funny, don’t he? Hold hard? This hard enough? 
(He threatens the Master with a large stone.) 
MASTER: Imbeciles. Are you incapable of using your brains? What advantage do you think that’d bring you? You let the man you should have destroyed go free. 
JACK: I did? What’s tha on about? 
MASTER: In the lane. He pretended to help you. Help? He’s a friend of Stephenson’s, an inventor. He’s here to mechanise the mine. 
GREEN: Does tha know what he’s getting at, Jack? 
JACK: Aye, he’s just trying to save his own skin. 
MASTER: Ask him. Ask him why he’s trying to take the bread out of your mouths. 
LAD: We’ll do more than that! Where is he, dost tha know? 
MASTER: He’s gone into the pit. 
(The young man rushes the barred gate.) 
MASTER: Let me. You can’t mistake him, he’s mean looking. 
(The Master uses a sonic lance to burn the iron bar on the inside of the gate.) 
MASTER: Wears yellow trousers and a vulgarly coloured coat. But go carefully, he’s treacherous. 
(The men run into the pit. The Master stays outside.)

LUCY: How should I know? 
VIVIEN: But I’ve got plenty of research on you. Yes, good family, Roedean, not especially bright but essentially harmless. And that’s why I’m asking you, Lucy. I am begging you. If you have seen anything, heard anything, even the slightest thing that would give you cause to doubt him? 
LUCY: I think 
VIVIEN: Yes? 
LUCY: There was a time when we first met, I wondered. But he was so good to my father, and he said. 
VIVIEN: What? Just tell me, sweetheart. 
LUCY: The thing is, I made my choice. 
VIVIEN: I’m sorry? 
LUCY: For better or for worse. Isn’t that right, Harry? 
MASTER: My faithful companion. 

GALLEIA: You’re a man who knows what he wants, Lord Master. 
MASTER: And takes it. 
GALLEIA: You want the crystal? 
MASTER: I am going to possess it. 
GALLEIA: Not without my consent. 
MASTER: Of course not. But I am confident that you will give it. 
GALLEIA: Why should I help you? 
MASTER: For the sake of Atlantis, Lady. Would you not see her restored to her former glory? Rich, powerful, magnificent among the nations of the world? Who would not be ruler of such a country? 
GALLEIA: Nothing must happen to Dalios. 
MASTER: Why should it? He will rule for many years, the beloved sovereign of a beloved prosperous people. 
GALLEIA: But surely you would want to 
MASTER: Well, purely because of Lord Dalios’ great age, it might be well if he were relieved of some of the more onerous duties of kingship. But the reins of power, Lady Queen, should be in stronger hands. Hands such as yours. 
GALLEIA: And yours? 
MASTER: It would be a pleasure to serve you. And then, when the end comes for Dalios, as it must come for all men, then perhaps? 
GALLEIA: The crystal shall be yours.

DOCTOR: Then satisfy my curiosity now. Are they indeed alive, or are they dead like King Dalios? 
GALLEIA: The King is unharmed. 
DOCTOR: The King is dead, Madame. 
JO: It’s true. We were there when he died this morning. 
GALLEIA: You were there? You saw him? Is this true? Is this true? Is the lord Dalios, your King, no longer alive? Answer me. 
MASTER: He died this morning. He was an old man. 
DOCTOR: And you were responsible for his death! 
GUARD: Quiet! 
GALLEIA: You promised                                                                                                        MASTER: I promised you power, and you shall have it. Power to realise your most ambitious dreams!
GALLEIA: You promised he should not be harmed!
MASTER: He was an old man. And he was stubborn!

THE DOCTOR: You intend to escape.

THE MASTER: Oh why bother? Someone will come for me. After the last war, both the Russians and the Americans snapped up Hitlers rocket designers. You have made me famous. I owe you a great debt, Doctor. The finest criminal mind on the planet. Didn’t your friend the Brigadier have trouble avoiding my extradition to… well, lets start with Geneva, New York, Moscow. Correct?

THE DOCTOR: Yes.

THE MASTER: In fact, that’s why this fine example of British justice is being beamed into the offices of every state leader around the world. Isn’t it?

THE DOCTOR: You’ve certainly brought a lot of attention to yourself. You always were a conceited show-off.

THE MASTER: Thank you, Doctor. Tell me — when you find a piece of alien weaponry lying about, what do you do with it? Do you hand it over to the Brigadier?

THE DOCTOR: Certainly not. I deactivated those fusion mines you left for me. They could have blown up an entire country.

THE MASTER: Indeed. An amusing little toy. I can rig up something similar in a trice. I really must thank you for proving my point so neatly, Doctor. You really should have arranged for my deactivation when you had the chance. You’ve just reminded everyone watching that I am the most valuable weapon in the world. And I very much look forward to doing business with all of you.No further questions.

THE DOCTOR: Now see here!

THE MASTER: No further questions! 

Personally I’m not keen on the Master just being a shouting, screaming lunatic. He’s at his best when he is turning people against the Doctor or sitting like a spider on someone’s shoulder spitting poison in their ear.

Finally as for who I would have liked to see play the Master in the Capaldi era, well as I have said before, Robert Carlyle I think would have been the best choice opposite Peter Capaldi.

Carlyle is a similar type of actor to Peter. Both are older, Scottish, known for playing angry, violent, often villainous characters and so you could continue the idea of the Master being like a dark twin of the Doctor that they had explored in Tennant’s time with Simm.

Also Carlyle I can see perfectly capturing the villains sneaky, manipulative, yet affably evil side as seen in this clip here.

You can see shades of the Classic era Master there. The magnificent bastard that’s able to dupe everyone around him, even the main hero and always manages to get scott free away with all the heinous things he has done.

At the same time however Carlyle is also brilliant at playing psychopaths too. Most of his career has been spent playing crazy bastards!

Carlyle thus I think could every now and again show us how the twisted crazy side of the villain as seen with the Simm Master and Ainley Master wasn’t completely away. Deep down despite the new more charming facade he was still a hateful, vicious sociopath.

Its sad that Peter Capaldi ironically despite being in more stories with the Master than any other Doctor never actually got a chance to face the Master. A sneaky manipulative, power mad villain who could turn anybody (including even the Doctors companions loved ones) against him.

The closest Capaldi got to a proper Master confrontation where his few moments with John Simm at the start of The Doctor Falls. If you ignore Missy or pretend she’s just the latest person he’s duped like Galia, then that’s actually a brilliant Master/Doctor confrontation when the two are on the rooftop.

Simm’s Master is completely in character with the others. There’s his petty hatred of the Doctor (to the point where he spent 10 years with Bill just to fuck her over to hurt the Doctor.) His insane lust for power over the Mondasians, and even his love of disguises.

Also Capaldi gets a chance to be more heroic as he is genuinely enraged at the Master after he’s hurt his friend and not you know snogging him! Sadly however Simm and Capaldi didn’t get enough scenes together, and Missy also weighed the episode down.

Not because of Michelle Gomez whose performance in The Doctor Falls was fine (though it still was NOT the Master in any way shape or form), but the idea of the Master wanting to shag himself turned it into a total comedy.

Still at least this episode gave us a glimpse of what a proper Capaldi/Master confrontation could have been like.

6/ The Daleks

My favourite villains. The Daleks have been used less frequently in the Capaldi era than in those of previous New Who Doctors like Matt Smith and David Tennant.

Now I do understand why Moffat did this. A lot of fans were complaining that the Daleks had been horribly overused in New Who and were actually glad that they were given a rest.

Now this is just personal taste I freely admit. Its not like the Master where I feel objectively they made a mistake, as they threw out his entire characterisation and only cast a woman for PC posturing.

Still I do think that the Daleks actually should have been the main villains of Capaldi’s time. Not only did they play off of him arguably better than any other villain, but there was also a lot of scope for interesting stories with the monsters in his time due to the search for Gallifrey story arc (well that is if they had gone down that route.)

First of all I think they should have tried to give the monsters a story arc in the Capaldi era. In my opinion its always better when the monsters have a story arc, as that justifies them returning in the eyes of the viewer.

Take a look at the Davies era. People wanted to see the Daleks show up every year, because each Dalek story would end with a tease for the next one, where one or more of the monsters had clearly escaped; leaving viewers eager to find out what happened to it.

Similarly from 1975 on there was the Davros story arc too which sometimes ended with a tease for the next story, such as Davros being frozen at the end of Destiny of the Daleks.

To me the Daleks are at their worst when they are just brought back for the sake of it. You can see this in the Matt Smith and Jon Pertwee era’s. Now I am not saying I dislike the Dalek stories from those eras. Day of the Daleks in particular is a classic, but still you can tell how the Daleks are kind of aimless in 3 and 11’s time.

Its not like the 60’s where there was no story arc, but the monsters were so fresh it didn’t matter. In the 60’s ideas that are cliches and staples of Doctor Who nowadays like the monsters invading earth, or travelling in time were exciting new ideas.

In later era’s I feel that its better to develop a story arc with them, or else it does just feel like “hey lets have the Daleks again”. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good story with them like Asylum or Day, but a story arc gives them more of a purpose.

Now in 12’s time there was a potential for 3 great story arcs with the Daleks. I would have liked to have seen more with the Daleks war with the alliance of planets in the future as seen in Into the Dalek, the Daleks trying to stop the Doctor from finding Gallifrey, and finally Rusty the Dalek who hates other Daleks.

All 3 of these story arcs could have been woven together in quite an interesting way. You could have had the horrors the Doctor witnesses with the Alliance’s war against the Daleks perhaps convince him that the Time Lords should return to destroy the Daleks, with Rusty being the Doctor and humanity’s ally in the war against the Daleks too.

Incredibly enough we have never actually had a story that focuses solely on a war with the Daleks, apart from Into the Dalek (even then the focus was really on can you have a good Dalek or not?).

Most Dalek stories involve the Doctor trying to stop the Daleks from waging a war like Frontier in Space, or Planet of the Daleks, or they will deal with the after effects of a full scale war like in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and Day of the Daleks where humanity has already been conquered, or they’ll be little low key events set on some remote location like Death to the Daleks, The Chase, Asylum of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks or Dalek.

Sure we’ll see plenty of invasions like The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday and Journey’s End, but even then I wouldn’t really call those Dalek wars. The humans (and the Cybermen) have absolutely no chance against them. Its really just a massacre.

I suppose the closest we see to this is in the 50th anniversary story, which revolved around the Time War. Even then however the Daleks are barely in the story.

Really I’d like to see an adventure that’s set in the middle of a huge conflict with the Daleks that has been going on for years, maybe even centuries, and that has seemingly no end in sight.

Personally I think this would have been an interesting avenue to explore as we could see things that have only ever really been talked about before. Like how the Daleks are so destructive other races will often be forced to go to such drastic measures to bring them down, like the Time Lords who ended up becoming monsters during the Time War.

Also a story arc around a Dalek war could get round another one of the monsters problems that they always have to lose.

You could have one story where humanity loses many planets to the Daleks in the war, with even the Doctor failing to stop them. At the end things would look bleak, but humanity would still have a fighting chance against the monsters which could be continued in the next story.

You could even have the Doctor and humanity lose in several stories in a row, before finally pushing the Daleks back, and even then they wouldn’t wipe the Daleks out, just drive them back from completely destroying humanity, and there would still be hundreds of planets under their rule with there being nothing that could be done to help those worlds.

You’d play up what’s really scary about the Daleks that they are a swarm across the universe. You can stop them taking over one planet, but all you’ve done is set them back a bit. There are still hundreds, thousands of planets across the universe that are suffering under their rule.

Planets who have with rich histories, advanced cultures, who could have gone on to do great things, who’ve now been extinguished forever and the Doctor will never know anything of them, never mind be able to save them.

Also a story line about a war with the Daleks could allow you to explore all of the main 4 interpretations of the Daleks.

As I have written about extensively before, there have really been 4 writers who have created their own interpretation of the Daleks, Terry Nation, David Whitaker, Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies.

Terry Nation tended to use the monsters as metaphors for the very worst of humanity. His main inspiration was primarily the Nazis but as I have pointed out in the past you can draw disturbing parallels between the Daleks actions in Nation’s stories and those of other real life monsters like General Chivington.

At the same time however somewhat paradoxically, Nation also made the monsters more genuinely alien than anyone else. His Daleks had no human qualities whatsoever. They didn’t understand what pity was, they were unable to comprehend basic human concepts and ideas like compassion, or love. They were not only totally alien, but completely malevolent as well.

David Whitaker meanwhile made the monsters more manipulative. In contrast to Nation’s Daleks who couldn’t understand any human emotions, Whitaker’s Daleks knew human beings inside out and were able to play on their every strength and weakness to their own advantage.

Russell T Davies meanwhile made the Daleks far more badass than ever before. His Daleks were practically gods. They had fought in a war with the Time Lords beyond our comprehension, and they were a thing absolutely everyone was terrified of returning as they knew no one could ever hope to stand against them.

Davies’ Daleks also were responsible for the greatest tragedies in the Doctors life too. From the loss of his people, to the loss of Ross and Donna, to the 9th Doctors death, the Daleks are behind them all. RTD loved the Daleks and so during his time no enemy could match them in terms of power, hurting the Doctor, and being the enemy that the Doctor hated. It was a golden age for the monsters.

Finally Moffat I feel added a somewhat more sadistic element to the Daleks. Its true that the Daleks were always hateful little monsters, but in the Moffat era they seemed to go out of their way to torture their victims, and the fates they inflicted on them were often far worse than ever before.

Like take a look at Tasha Lem. Its established that they could have just drained all of the knowledge they needed out of her mind no problem, but instead they decided to torture her to death, and then revive her, and then torture her to death again for possibly for centuries!

The Dalek puppets though quite cartoony on the surface are actually among the most horrific ideas ever introduced into Doctor Who. They are people who have been gutted out and then turned into the living dead, doomed to serve the Daleks forever.

What’s worse however is that the Daleks can bring the puppets back to life again, and wipe their memory of being killed, before killing them again! We see this with the red haired woman used to lure 11 into a trap in Asylum, who actually thinks the Doctor can help her daughter, who has probably been dead for years, maybe even centuries. Even more disturbing however is that the Dalek Puppets memories of their previous death is restored just before they die again too.

Also finally Moffat would often have the Daleks win against the Doctor too.

Although its not intentional this 2013 recreation of a classic scene from the Hartnell era, actually represents the 4 different takes on the Daleks there have been over the years. The first Dalek is from Evil of the Daleks a David Whitaker story, the grey Daleks were featured in many Nation stories like Genesis, Planet and Destiny of the Daleks. The bronze Daleks were obviously the main model introduced in RTD’s time, and finally the Yellow Eternal Dalek was part of the new Dalek paradigm introduced in the Moffat era.

Now in the war of the Daleks story arc I feel you could incorporate all of these brilliant interpretations of the Daleks.

To start with you could draw parallels between the war with the Daleks and other wars in human history like Nation used to do. I think it would be interesting if you showed other alien races that normally despised humanity actually become humanity’s allies  because they realised that the Daleks were worse.

Throughout history we have seen many warring nations and people be brought together for this very reason.

In World War 2 the USA and Russia, two great powers who would spend the next 50 years in conflict with each other, still came together because they realised that the Nazis were a greater threat. The Nazis planned to take over the entire world and to exterminate entire sections of humanity. If you were gay, Jewish, disabled etc. You couldn’t just live under the Nazis as a slave or a second class citizen. You’d be killed right away.

Similarly in the middle east right now we have seen various groups who normally dislike one another band together to stop ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Christians, secular Muslims, even homosexual men have willingly fought for President Assad against ISIS despite the fact that he has outlawed homosexuality (and is in his own right a brutal dictator.) At the very least homosexuals, Christians and secular Muslims can actually live under Assad, where as ISIS and the other Islamic extremists would butcher them all.

We Don’t Have Rights But We Are Alive

I would play up a similar dilemma with the Daleks. You’d have humanity be forced to work with many old enemies, ruthless, pitiless conquerors, genuinely evil monstrous aliens who would normally be the villain in any other Doctor Who story.

I think this story arc would continue the way that Nation often used the Daleks and the struggle against them as real life metaphors for people’s battles against fascism and hatred,

The first Dalek story represents why you should never try and appease people like the Daleks who hate you simply for who you are.

The second Dalek story The Dalek Invasion of Earth represents how people react when being forced to live under fascism, with some simply giving up and only looking out for themselves, others using it to their advantage, others collaborating with the fascists, and others simply do not give up and keep on fighting regardless of how much the odds are against them.

This story arc meanwhile would represent the drastic measures people have to go to to stop an evil like the Nazis and ISIS. Its not always just a simple case of black and white even when dealing with the likes of the Nazis. We had to ally with Joseph Stalin, one of the most evil men in history to bring down Hitler.

The story arc would also represent why an evil like ISIS or the Nazis or the Daleks that seeks to exterminate everyone that doesn’t fit in with their idea of the master race will always fail, because it will bring everyone together against it.

Finally this would also tie into part of why the 4th Doctor spared the Daleks in Genesis. He says that many races will become allies due to their mutual hatred of the Daleks, and even says that out of the Daleks evil will come something good.

You could finally show that here. Many races including humanity, who may have been on the verge of wiping each other out will now work together to try and maintain the peaceful collaboration that ironically the Daleks had created the foundations for.

I’d love to see a scene when the Daleks were finally pushed out of the Milky Way Galaxy and all the different races celebrated. It would be like the recent victory over Aleppo or VE day. Even though none of the problems the allies had before would have gone away, and things would be far from fine, they still couldn’t contain their joy at the absolute worst enemy any of them had ever faced finally being destroyed.

Whilst the evil of the Daleks would be used as a metaphor for the evil of humanity, at the same time however just as Nation did, I’d have liked to have actually seen them act in a  totally alien way.

I think a problem with the Daleks in New Who is that they are far too human. We’ve had Daleks become religious fanatics, Daleks with names and a sense of humour, crazy Daleks, Daleks with a parliament and a concept of beauty and many good guy Daleks too.

It would have been nice if I think the Daleks went back to being more alien like Nation had envisioned them. You could highlight that in their dealings with their human enemies by showing how humanity are unable to understand the Daleks, predict what their next move is, and also how the Daleks are unlike anything they have ever faced before.

I also feel that the war story arc could give you scope to show a more manipulative side to the Daleks too just like in the David Whitaker era.

You could do a story where the Daleks are able to cut a deal with one of humanity’s allies, a truly ruthless race who were always the most reluctant and who would think that they could play the Daleks and the humans against one another and emerge in the aftermath, only for the Daleks to play them and split the alliance into pieces.

I also think it would be interesting to do a story where when humanity was on the verge of defeat, the Daleks use them to lay a trap for the Doctor (who they would be even more determined to destroy because he was the only hope for the Time Lords.)

The Daleks and the desperate humans deal would be that the Daleks would spare certain colonies if the humans called on the Doctor (who would be working with the humans regularly to the point where he had given them something to summon him like he did with UNIT.)

The humans would then be desperate to do the Daleks dirty work for them, and the Doctor would have to fight both humans and Daleks working together to escape.

Having the Daleks manipulate the humans I don’t think would contradict making them alien. It could actually add to the fear factor as here the Daleks though completely different would know everything about us, whilst we knew nothing about them.

At the same time the you could also have Russell T Davies style Dalek moments as well that showed how unstoppable the Daleks were. One story could end with the Doctor and humanity failing to save one of the alien races they had allied with. These aliens home world would be closer to the Daleks area of space and therefore harder to defend. The Doctor and humanity however would make one last ditch effort to help them, only to fail miserably.

The story would end with the Daleks invading and completely and utterly destroying the aliens home world. We’d see hordes of them as we regularly did in the Davies era flying through the air, killing everything in sight.

Those were always the best moments in the Davies era Dalek stories like in The Parting of the Ways and Doomsday. We’d see the Daleks slowly march their way towards their enemies who would throw absolutely everything they had at them only for it not to make the slightest bit of difference. They literally wouldn’t even kill one Dalek. At most they’d slow them down a bit.

When the Daleks attacked the aliens homeworld you’d definitely try and emulate scenes like these, and have all of the aliens weaponry not even make a dent in one Dalek as the monsters mowed down everything in sight.

The end of the story would see humanity and the rest of her allies mourn an entire race that had been wiped out in a day by the Daleks, which would really highlight how they are the most dangerous monsters in the entire universe as only they could destroy and entire planet, history, culture and race in an instant.

Finally you could also have the Daleks be more sadistic like in Moffat’s stories. I always thought it would have been a great idea to do a story about the Dalek camps.

You could have the Doctor be forced to go on a rescue mission deep into the heart of the camps (with Rusty helping them get in there.)

You would see thousands of different aliens locked up, suffering unimaginable torment. Just like they did with Tasha Lem, the Daleks would torture their victims to death and then revive them, over and over.

Some victims you could reveal had been in the camps for centuries with the Daleks still keeping them alive, torturing them to the point where they had forgotten who they were!

I’d also use this story to introduce Dalek X. Dalek X is a character from spin off material. He is a Dalek that enjoys torturing his victims and is feared, even by Dalek bounty hunters throughout the galaxy. The worst nightmare of people who slaughter Daleks for a living is to end up in Dalek X’s torture chambers.

I’d love to have seen a scene where 12 is captured and tortured by Dalek X. Capaldi really captured the Doctors rage and hatred against the Daleks as well as Christopher Eccelston in my opinion, so it would have been great if he had got a really dramatic showdown with them.

I’d also reveal that a Dalek death ray stimulates every single pain receptor in its victims bodies to the maximum amount of pain they can feel. Thus being shot by a Dalek would literally be the most painful way to die!

I think its vital to have the Daleks do more than just kill their victims. One of the reasons I don’t think the Daleks seem scary is because all they do is just shoot you.

Look at the Cybermen in comparison. They’ve always been scarier because they capture you and slowly rip your flesh away until its all replaced by metallic components, turning you into an emotionless machine monster.

Steven Moffat regardless of whatever else you may say about his Dalek stories understood that and came up with more grissly things for the Daleks to do to their victims, like the Dalek puppets and their ability to bring people they had killed back from the dead.

Imagine being cornered by a Steven Moffat era Dalek. Its a far more terrifying prospect than being cornered by an RTD one.

Yes the RTD one is an utterly unstoppable badass, but all it will do to you is shoot you and then that’s it. With a Moff Dalek however it will keep you alive possibly for centuries in a state of agony. You can’t even kill yourself to escape it, as it will still find a way to bring you back like they did with Tasha Lem.

I’d definitely continue this aspect of the Moff era and the introduction of Dalek X would be a great way of doing that.

Of course at the same time it would be important to show the Daleks killing as many people as possible. Whilst Moff had them do nastier things to their victims, its true that the monsters seemed less formidable as they only kill two people on screen in the entire 11th Doctors era.

You’d blend everything that had worked about previous writers portrayals together.

As for who could voice the Daleks well. I’d keep Nicholas Briggs on. I’m a big fan of Nicholas Briggs overall, and I think he does a brilliant job as the Daleks, but at the same time I would like there to be a bit more variety among the voices.

Gary Martin is an actor who I think would be a great choice for voicing the Daleks. Martin is one of the United Kingdoms most prolific voice artists. Among his most high profile roles include as the evil Dragon and main villain of the classic British animated series The Dreamstone, and Epideme the evil virus from Red Dwarf.

I’d love to see Martin come up with a suitably scary voice for Dalek X.

There’s only so much one actor can do. In the Classic era, there were only three stories, (Power of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, and Death to the Daleks) where the monsters voices were supplied by just one actor.

Finally I would liked to have seen Davros return to 12’s era, but in a way that actually followed on from his last appearance in Journey’s End.

Now I didn’t mind 12 and Davros’ interactions with each other. There were some interesting moments, but I didn’t like that story very much. At the time I enjoyed it sure, but on re-watch I didn’t like the fact that Davros returning wasn’t actually that big a deal.

The last time we saw Davros he had almost wiped out every universe. His return should have been a real “oh shit” moment for the Doctor and for the Daleks too.

I always looked at it this way. The new Daleks in Victory that slaughter the last of the Davros Daleks from Journey’s End are actually more primitive.

The last of the Davros or Ironside Daleks defer to them sure, but still the Paradigm Daleks are actually from an earlier point in the Daleks history before the Time War.

Thus they don’t have the technology that the RTD era Daleks had. This explains why the Daleks haven’t conquered the entire universe during Matt Smith’s time.

They are a full empire now so if they were as strong as the Davies era Daleks, then they would have presumably built another reality bomb and destroyed all of creation.

Clearly they aren’t because they are more primitive. This can also explain why 11 was able to wipe them out so easily in The Time of the Doctor too. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. How could the Daleks have won a war against the Time Lords when one Time Lord regenerating can wipe out an entire invasion fleet of them.

Remember the Daleks did win, as had it not been for all the Doctors cheating at the end of the Day of the Doctor then they would have slaughtered the Time Lords. See here.

So with this in mind, when Davros showed up he would be a vital asset to the Daleks. He would have knowledge of the Time War, and of Dalek history in general that could help advance them greatly.

Of course Davros wouldn’t just be willing to hand it over to the Daleks either. Rather than just have the Daleks be his servants, or Davros be their pet, you’d have them both work together. Davros would need their power, they’d need his knowledge, and both would be happy to stab each other in the back when the time was right.

You’d have the Daleks suddenly gain new and devastating weapons the likes of which humanity and her allies had never seen before, which would alert the Doctor that something was up. The Doctor would then discover that Davros was supplying them with weapons which would be a big reveal of “oh no this is more dangerous than we thought”.

You could also have after the war with the Daleks was over Davros being captured by the humans, and supplying them with weapons that could allow them to destroy their former allies against the Daleks., who in some cases might go back to being their enemies again.

There have been a number of solo Davros stories for Big Finish, and I think it would have be interesting to see if the villain could hold a story on tv without the Daleks.

Personally I think that Peter played better off the Daleks than any other villain. Whilst I am not overly keen on the season 9 opening two parter, I still did absolutely love this scene.

You can see how well Peter plays against the monsters. The Daleks were always his favourites. Everyone always goes on about how the Mondasian Cybermen were his favourite monsters, but no he has regularly said that it was the Daleks.

Sadly however the monsters weren’t really anything in his era. They only made two major appearances, and they actually didn’t get that many scenes with 12 either. The above sequence is practically the only major showdown between 12 and the Daleks. Sure he talks to Rusty a lot, but that’s not quite the same thing as Rusty is a redeemed Dalek.

Added to that the Daleks seemed quite weak in his era. Apart from Into the Dalek we generally tended to see them get beaten up, outwitted or just stand in the background.

In the season 9 two parter they don’t kill or torture anybody, they get outwitted by Missy (who kills one with a brooch), 12 also takes over their entire empire as he boasts in about 2 minutes (and they have to be saved by Colony Sarff).

Davros is also the one who completely comes up with their evil plan in The Witch’s Familiar, and they literally just stand at the back, doing NOTHING (except fail to kill two people) and then when it all goes wrong they get beat up by their own sewers.

Following this we then see a tiny cameo in the finale where a Daleks has been made the servant of the Cloister Wraiths, and then the next year we have another tiny cameo where Bill ridicules everything about them, before one Dalek is unable to kill the villain of the week who then vaporises it into nothing but dust with a wave of her hand.

12’s era wasn’t exactly a golden age for the Daleks, and fair enough you might think as a Dalek fan I’m quite spoiled as 9 and 10’s era’s were such great era’s for the monsters.

Still I think since they were Capaldi’s favourites and arguably the villains he played the best off of, then it would have been good to have given them a strong story arc throughout his era, and its even more annoying when you look at Into the Dalek as that looks like it could have been the start of a truly brilliant story arc.

I think they should have given Capaldi a Dalek story every year that followed humanity’s war against the Daleks.

Ideally I would have liked Capaldi to do 5 years (he actually almost did 5 years anyway. He was the current Doctor for 4 years, and really had it not been for this silly female Doctor nonsense I am sure they could have convinced him to do a 5th year.)

During those 5 years Capaldi would have had lots of Dalek stories that could have fully developed his dynamic with them and reinvigorated the monsters like never before.

7/ The Cybermen

The Cybermen have been very misused in New Who. Its not that their stories are bad, its more just that the writers have it in their heads that the Cybermen are second rate and write them accordingly.

For instance whilst RTD turned the Daleks into virtually gods, he did the opposite for the Cybermen and reduced them to unbelievably primitive earth bound villains.

All that’s needed for the Cybermen is a little bit of love and respect from the writers. The concept is still brilliant and frightening, and furthermore as the Cybermen are known for changing their look every few years, then you don’t have to try and revamp an old 60’s or 70’s design as you will with other monsters like the Ice Warriors and the Sontarans.

Now during 12’s era we did actually see a bit of a renaissance for the Cybermen. They were 12’s main enemies alongside Missy.

Though their first story Dark Water/Death in Heaven was the worst Doctor Who story ever made, it wasn’t because of how they were treated (unless you count Cyber Brig.)

Their second big story, the season 10 finale wasn’t that great a story either, but again it wasn’t because of how the Cybermen were portrayed.

In fact the Cybermen in all fairness did have some absolutely brilliant moments.

Bill’s conversion was genuinely horrifying, and 12’s final battle against the Cybermen was a truly spectacular sequence.

So the Cybermen didn’t really fare that badly in 12’s era. In fact compared to other villains, they got off quite lightly.

Still I suppose things I’d like to see in general with the Cybermen in Doctor Who are the following.

First and foremost for them to be treated as a legitimate menace in the series. Even in 12’s time they were still kind of undermined for other villains for the most part. In Dark Water/Death in Heaven for instance they were just Missy’s mooks and had no plans or goals of their own.

The Cybermen need to get a big story where they are the main villains and aren’t either trashed or pushed to the side for the Master or the Daleks, which sadly they haven’t had yet in New Who.

They also I think need to give us a totally different design of Cybermen. I don’t like the big clunky look in New Who, and the more sleeker look they gave them in Dark Water was terrible. Those Cybermen minced as they came out of their tanks!

I’d like to see Cybermen who don’t stomp. The Cybermen are at their best when they can sneak up on you. One of the most terrifying moments is in Attack of the Cybermen when the monsters surprise Lytton as he has almost climbed to safety. You could never do that with the New Who Cybermen who stomp, stomp, stomp everywhere.

The Cybermen also work best in tight claustrophobic settings like in the sewers of London in the Invasion, or the Ice Tombs of Telos, where they could be lurking around any corner, and where if they corner you, you know there is no hope of escape.

The Cybermen also I don’t think should talk that much. As Nicholas Briggs said what made them creepier than the bombastic Daleks was the way you could never tell what they were thinking.

I’d also play up the body horror aspect of the Cybermen. I remember Lord Slarr, a youtuber making some brilliant points that the Cybermen should actually look disgusting. There should still be bits of human flesh mixed in there, like with the Mondasian Cybermen who still had human hands, or the Cybermen in Earthshock who had flesh covering their mouths.

Also I think Cyber conversion should be shown to be a very slow and agonising process. Not just a quick flash with some buzzsaws and death rays and then its over like in the Tennant era.

Also NO more people who can resist Cyber conversion. Yvonne Hartman, Danny Pink, The Brigadier. Its undermined their menace too much that as long as you are a bit strong then you can just decide to not be a Cyberman. Once someone is converted then that should be it.

I do agree with Capaldi that the Mondasian Cybermen would be a good choice to return at some point too, though personally I would have preferred a story that showed you how they survived after the destruction of Mondas. That’s a big gap in their history that might be quite interesting to explore.

We could see them slowly upgrade themselves as without Mondas as a power base they’d be dying. It would be like the old Troughton stories, more of a creepy base under siege story with the last of the Mondasian Cybermen struggling after the death of their world.

8/ The Sontarans

The Sontarans were somewhat undermined as a legitimate threat in 11’s era. Now I did like Strax a lot. He was very likable and funny, but I would have liked to have seen the Sontarans at some point return to being the bad guys as that is what they were originally intended to be.

A story that I think would have been good to adapt for 12 is The First Sontarans. If you haven’t heard it I strongly recommend it.

It features the 6th Doctor and Peri and reveals how the Sontarans were created. The Sontarans were the creation of a race called the Kaveetch whose homeworld Sontar, had been invaded by the Rutans. Though the first Sontaran warriors successfully drove off the Rutans, they later turned on and exterminated the Kaveetch whilst they were celebrating, with only a few Kaveetch managing to escape through time.

There are so many chilling moments throughout the story, such as when the surviving Kaveetch tell of how they had to abandon their children to the monsters as their planet went up in flames, or when one of the Kaveetch returns to Sontar and sees the devastating effect the Sontarans have had on it in her absence.

My favourite scene however is when the leader of the Kaveetch tells the Doctor that its possible that some other Kaveetch may have escaped only to be shot down instantly by a Sontaran commander that there is absolutely no possibility of any other survivors, after which he then simply dismisses the Kaveetch as an inferior species who lost their right to survive.

Its probably the darkest Sontaran story. At the end of the story the two surviving Kaveetch are forced to simply forget their vendetta against the Sontarans or else they too will end up dead.

I think you could adapt this story for television, and really all you’d need to do would be to change the name of the Doctors companion!

6 was always quite like 12 in a number of ways anyway, but this story is also a fairly straight forward action adventure that I think you could probably stick most Doctors in and it wouldn’t be that different.

In my opinion Last of the Sontarans would have been a brilliant way of restoring the Sontarns to being one of the Doctors deadliest enemies rather than just comedy sidekicks.

9/ The Valeyard

The Valeyard was a villain introduced in the 6th Doctors era for the season long story arc Trial of a Time Lord. He was revealed to be an evil version of the Doctor created in between his 12th and 13th lives.

How he was created or why has never been revealed, and at the end of Trial of a Time Lord he is shown to have escaped.

Sadly over 30 years on and the Valeyard, save a tiny mention in The Name of the Doctor has been completely forgotten about.

Personally I think it would have been great if they had brought him back as the main villain for one of Peter Capaldi’s seasons.

I would have loved it if they had used the fan theory that Handy was actually the Valeyard.

Now for those of you who don’t know who he is, Handy was the clone of the Doctor that was created in the season 4 finale The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, who eventually went off to live with Rose Tyler in another universe.

Fans have been speculating that he was the Valeyard since the story aired, and the 2009 comic book miniseries The Forgotten got in on the idea by having the Meta Crisis Doctor seemingly return only now going by the name of the Valeyard! Ultimately this version of the Valeyard was later revealed to be just a dream, but it still shows you how popular the theory is. There is a lot of potential in this story.

To start with it would be an absolutely sensational story. Think about it, the Doctor would be facing the minions of an enemy who knows him better than anyone else and also hates him more than anyone else in the universe.

Naturally viewers would think it was the Master, but then at the end of the episode David Tennant would emerge, much older looking and full of hate.

You’d have to explain how the Valeyard went from looking like David Tennant to Michael Jayston, as well as what happened to Rose.

Personally I see it as going like this. The Doctor and Handy were mistaken as to how much Time Lord DNA Handy had. They both thought he would age like a human, and whilst he did only have one life,  it was ultimately the same length as an individual Time Lord incarnation’s life span and thus far longer than a human one.

As a result he outlived Rose. They still had a happy life together. You wouldn’t undo that, but after she died of old age, Handy would start to go mad. With no one to curb his darker impulses, and being left on earth, one planet, outliving everyone he loved, Handy would grow to resent the Doctor.

He’d have a point when you think about it, as what was it the Doctor exiled him for exactly? Destroying the Daleks? Kind of hypocritical when in the next story Dalek story, Victory he tried to wipe them out!

Handy would kind of be like the Doctors version of Khan from Star Trek. The villain who does have a genuine grievance against the main character, as the hero did just stick them somewhere and then forgot about them.

When he returned to make the Doctor pay (having found a way to travel between universes somehow) he would try and steal 12’s new regeneration cycle. He would manage to steal one regeneration from the Doctors new cycle during the story.

At the end of the two parter we would see Handy regenerate into a young Michael Jayston, which would be achieved the same way that the young John Hurt was in The Night of the Doctor.

The Valeyard would then reappear in the season finale, played by Michael Jayston the age he is now, (with Trial of a Time Lord having happened in between from the Valeyards perspective.) This story would then mark the final showdown between the Doctor.

I think it would be interesting to have the Valeyard use the Moment against the Doctor.

The Doctor must have put the moment somewhere safe. Its the most powerful weapon in the universe remember so he’s not likely to just leave it lying around. He wouldn’t kill it as its sentient, and he probably wouldn’t trust himself with it after he believed he burned Gallifrey, and he couldn’t give it back to the Time Lords, so it must have hid it somewhere.

The Valeyard meanwhile who has all of the Doctors memories would know where it was stashed and so he could capture it and use it as a weapon.

The Valeyard would cannibalise it and use it to create a paradox machine type weapon that could control the universe.

This could also explain how he intended to steal the 6th Doctors remaining lives in Trial of a Time Lord without wiping himself from history.

In the finale the Moment would be struggling to break free from his control whilst the Doctor would perhaps be forced to work with one of his enemies like the Rani to bring down the Valeyard.

I think it would be a great way of linking Old and New Who together. You’d bring the Time War story arc, the Doctor/Rose love story, and the Trial story arc all together.

I’m really annoyed that they didn’t take the golden opportunity to do this story arc.

10/ The Rani

A very underused villain. The Rani in some ways is just as interesting a character as the Master himself.

Unlike the Master or Davros the Rani did not seek to conquer the universe. She was a great scientist back on Gallifrey and simply seeks to further her experiments which she believes are for the greater good of the universe.

She is not above experimenting on animals however and sadly to her that’s all human beings are. She has a point in a way. Human beings are billions of years behind Time Lords, as seen with Donna a human can’t contain the knowledge of even a lowly Time Lord like the Doctor without dying!

Added to that our life spans are pitifully short compared to theirs. One Time Lord’s incarnation can last for 1100 years alone.

Now given the horrifying ways we mistreat animals can we really have that much of a moral high ground to the Rani. Can the Doctor?

DOCTOR: These are human beings, Rani. Living creatures that have done you no harm. 
RANI: They’re carnivores. What harm have the animals in the fields done them? The rabbits they snare, the sheep they nourish to slaughter. Do they worry about the lesser species when they sink their teeth into a lamb chop? 

The Rani also somewhat refreshingly isn’t utterly obsessed with the Doctor either. She simply regards him as a nuisance, and really tends to view both the Doctor and the Master as nothing but a pair of sad gits!

RANI: You were expecting to see the Master? 
DOCTOR: To see? Not exactly. He was burnt to a crisp the last time I saw him. 
RANI: Your smugness is misplaced. He’s here. He’s very much alive and he wants vengeance, curse the pair of you. 
DOCTOR: Well, since we’re insulting each other, I can’t say I care much for your taste in clothes. Doesn’t do a thing for you. 
RANI: Hmm, your regeneration’s not too attractive, either. But at least I can change my appearance. You’re stuck with what you’ve got. 
DOCTOR: My face is of no importance. Brain regeneration is what I need. I should have been able to pin this one down to you. Personality changes, probably due to an imbalance in body chemicals. Yes, you’re the obvious culprit. Well, you had me fooled, if that’s any consolation. 
RANI: It isn’t. 

What’s interesting about the Rani and the Master is that they balance each other out.

In some ways the Master is worse, as all he cares about is power for himself, and his own petty feud with the Doctor.

At the same time however the Rani is in some ways worse as the Master at the very least the Master still views human beings as intelligent beings.

Ironically in his own twisted way the Master loves the earth as much as humanity does, which is why he is always trying to rule us, instead of say the Ice Warriors.

The Rani however sees us as just pests insects and that’s why she experiments on us rather than (in her mind) an intelligent race.

Whilst the Master can have respect for the Doctors human allies and companions like Jo Grant and Martha Jones, the Rani will just view us as lab rats, and in some ways that makes her even more terrifying.

The Rani is also in some ways far more intelligent than the Master or the Doctor. The Doctor and the Master back on Gallifrey were miserable little nobodies. Both were failures at the Academy, (with the Doctor only scraping by with 50 percent on the second attempt.)

The Rani meanwhile was once one of the greatest scientific minds on Gallifrey, responsible for many great advances in technology, who ultimately was forced to go into exile after one of her experiments went wrong.

She is therefore capable of many great things that neither the Master or Doctor are, and her TARDIS is also vastly superior too.

At the same time however the Master is a more experience criminal, and is far more sly than the Rani. When they first meet she has nothing but contempt for him, but the Master is able to trick her and manipulate her by playing on her pride until eventually she agrees to help him.

RANI: At last you’re back, you incompetent egoist. Give me my phial. 
MASTER: This? The precious brain fluid? And I thought you were waiting for me. 
RANI: If I didn’t need that desperately, I’d have put light years between us. 
MASTER: What better reason could I have for keeping it? 
RANI: You’ll play that card once to often. With you on the scene, I might be wiser to cut my losses and go. 
MASTER: Perhaps this will make you change your mind. Read it. 
(Stephenson’s letter.) 
RANI: The meeting’s been cancelled? 
MASTER: No, it was never delivered. 
RANI: Well 
MASTER: You disappoint me. A scientist and you’re not thinking objectively. Davy, Faraday, Telford and others. Over twenty men of genius. Have you no conception of what we could achieve if we control them? Harness their genius, and this planet could become the platform for the most devastating power in the universe. 
RANI: You’re forgetting, I already rule a planet. Miasimia Goria. 
MASTER: Help me, and I promise you all the facilities you need. Instead of sneaking back here in disguise, you’ll be able to set up a laboratory and process as many humans as you choose. A hundred, a thousand, there are millions of them. 
RANI: What guarantee would I have? 
MASTER: My need. That unique box of parasites will not go far. Only you have the formula. 
RANI: The Time Lords will never permit it.                                                                        MASTER: Who’s going to alert them?
RANI: Indeed.

You can see how the two villains balance each other out quite well and make an effective team. Its not like Doomsday where the Cybermen just get completely undermined. Both villains play on each others strengths and weaknesses to get what they want.

Another interesting aspect of the Rani’s character is that she loves Dinosaurs as much as the Doctor loves humans. In her first story she even keeps several Tyrannosaurus Rex’s as pets!

Personally I think its very short sighted to assume that NOTHING interesting could be done with this villain, just because her second story, Time and the Rani was crap.

I’m not going to defend Time and the Rani. It is terrible, but its hardly because the Rani is the main villain in it. The story had everything going against it. McCoy was cast at the last minute, Andrew Cartmel had no experience with tv, the team were told to make it camper and sillier by Michael Grade (who said that it was to counteract the “it was too violent” criticisms but in actual fact it was just to harm it.)

All of these factors would have made it a crap story whether it was the Rani, the Cybermen, the Daleks or the Master who was the main villain. I might add the Master and the Cybermen have been in far worse stories than Time and the Rani in New Who, like Dark Water/Death in Heaven.

There is so much that could be done with the Rani in New Who. Like what happened to her during the Time War? Did she perhaps create many of the monstrosities that the Tenth Doctor described during the final days of the war, perhaps as weapons to destroy the Daleks that backfired?

You could have the Rani try and capture the Doctor to find out how the Time Lords were able to give him more regenerations. The secret of more regenerations was always presumably something that the high council kept locked up secret.

Now however that they were gone, and the Doctor had been given new lives you could have the Rani try and find a way to discover the secret from the Doctors bones!

I also think it would be interesting to explore her relationship with the Silurians. We know she loves Dinosaurs, and since the Silurians are for all intents and purposes Dinosaur people, then presumably she would think there was some potential in their race.

I think it would be interesting if you had the Doctor travel back to the time of the Silurians and discover that to them the Rani is a hero. The Rani would not few the Silurians as just animals the way she does humanity (as the Silurians were always more advanced than humanity.)

She could have saved them from alien invasions, diseases, and helped build up their society much to the Doctors shock.

You could also do an interesting story where the Rani tries to aid the Silurians in stopping the asteroid from landing (which caused them to retreat underground and go into hibernation, later allowing humanity to take over in their absence.)

I think this would have been an interesting idea for a story as it would have in some ways cast the Doctor as the villain of the piece.

The Doctor would have to sabotage the Silurians and the Rani’s attempts to build the rocket, forcing them to go underground in order to save humanity, but at the same time he would be basically dooming the Silurians.

The Doctor would not have the moral high ground, as he would essentially be destroying one civilisation in order to allow another one to exist in its place, but at the same time the Rani obviously wouldn’t either as she would be trying to wipe humanity from existence. It would be a fight between two Time Lords for the future of their favourite races which I think could be an interesting conflict.

You would also have the Rani and the Master work together again at some point too.

Sarah Parish and Juliet Aubrey would be my top two choices for the Rani. Both have experience playing villains in genre series. Aubrey’s character from the British sci fi series Primeval is somewhat similar to the Rani in that she is a ruthless scientist who seems to prefer Dinosaurs to people!

Parish and Aubrey also both look more mature, cerebral, yet also somewhat cruel like Kate O’Mara (though I’m sure they’re lovely people in real life.)

Sarah Parish

Juliet Aubrey

I would have LOVED to have seen either of these actresses opposite Robert Carlyle as the Master.

The reasons that Steven Moffat always gave for not bringing the Rani back were so lame. He claimed no one would know who she was. Really? That why you brought back the Great Intelligence, the Autons, the Silurians and fucking Coal Hill School?

I think its a shame that we didn’t get to see at least one Rani story in New Who.

11/ Romana

Romana is a great character who I think should have been brought back along with Gallifrey.

There is a lot of room for development as the character was meant to have been the President of Gallifrey during the war, but was at some stage dethroned by Rassilon. It seems likely that the Time Lords felt she wasn’t the right person to lead them against the Daleks.

They would have chosen Rassilon, simply because he was more ruthless and vicious, which eventually led to the corruption of their society in general.

When she returned Romana could perhaps be a more embittered, resentful character at first who would gradually soften up and return to her old self at first.

If Romana’s reintroduction went well, then I would have given her, her own series instead of Class.

There’s a lot of value in a Romana spin off. To start with I feel it would have got round the whole female Doctor debate rather nicely. Also I think that with Romana for once you’d have a Time Lord character that you could flesh out a bit more.

The thing about the Doctor and the Master is that they are meant to be mysterious so you can’t really expand on their backstory at all.

Romana could be a totally different hero, with her own set of enemies, companions, her own TARDIS, and you could also have brilliant crossovers between Doctor Who and Romana.

Also a Romana show would be the only one that could ever rival Doctor Who as it could potentially run for as long, as the character of Romana can change her face too.

As for who could play Romana well I think Dawn Steele and Katie McGrath would be great choices.

Dawn Steele

Katie McGrath

To be honest I think Katie would probably be better opposite Capaldi. As Dawn is Scottish then it would probably look like a Scottish mafia if the Doctor, the Master and Romana were all Scottish, though Dawn could always play a later incarnation of Romana down the line in her own show.

12/ Rassilon

I think Rassilon would have been a good villain for 12. They did have him face 12 in Hell Bent, but not only did I not like that episode (in fact I think its another contender for the worst episode of all time after Dark Water/Death in Heaven)

I also did not like Donald Sumpters performance as Rassilon either. He is a good actor, but that version of what was supposed to be the most powerful Time Lord of them all was just too ineffective and weak.

I think Brian Blessed would have been an amazing choice for Rassilon. Brian is a massive Doctor Who fan, and he’s good at playing, big, grandoise, mighty characters (to say the least.)

I think Rassilon could have been an interesting opponent for 12 and the Master. You could have it that at the climax of the End of Time, Rassilon and the Master fell through the vortex together and didn’t end up on Gallifrey but somewhere else (with both of them regenerating at the same time.)

Rassilon would be such a threat that the Doctor and the Master would be forced to team up at one point. Remember the Master hates Rassilon more than he does the Doctor, so there could be room for some quite interesting conflict between Robert Carlyle and Brian Blessed.

I can just see a scene where Rassilon mocks the Master telling him that ironically the Master has been nothing but his pawn for his entire life, which in a way is true.

Rassilon is a character whose history on television has always been a bit sketchy, but there is plenty of spin off material you could draw from to flesh him out on screen.

13/ Historicals

Now the historicals were stories which featured the Doctor travelling back to the past, but there not being any other sci fi elements other than the Doctor himself.

Whilst unpopular at the time many historicals such as Marco Polo and the Crusades have since gone on to become among the highest rate 60’s stories.

Sadly however other than Black Orchid, a short, two part 80’s story, there haven’t been any attempt at pure historicals since the Troughton era!

Personally I think its time for a comeback. Given that Peter wanted to draw on the First Doctors era for inspiration.

Whilst the historicals were big flops during the 60’s, I think times have moved on. You have to remember that back then Doctor Who was a sensation because of its monsters like the Daleks and the Cybermen. So naturally people would be upset when they didn’t appear.

However in later years I’d say that Doctor Who became more popular because of the variety of its stories. Really I don’t think the odd historical would upset viewers too much, and if well researched and written I think they could end up being very popular too.

14/ Different Music

Now I don’t hate Murray Gold. I’ve liked a lot of his work for the show, but after 10 years (when Peter first took over) it was time for a change.

I also find that Gold’s music can be intrusive at certain points too. Its always so loud and jarring and boisterous which is fine for a big moment like Capaldi blasting the shit out of the Cybermen, but I’d rather that there not be music ALL the time, and for there to be more subtle, quiet music for more low key, spooky scenes such as the Cybermen creeping up on their victims.

15/ Less Soap Opera

A part of the reason that I wanted Osgood and Journey Blue to be the two companions is because I feel that they would cut out the soap opera elements.

New Who tends to focus too much on the companion for my liking. Worse the companions life is often an everyday boring thing. Really Doctor Who is a sci fi show first and foremost.

Now I understand that a lot of fans and viewers like these scenes as they do help to flesh the companions out.

So I’d see a happy compromise simply being to have the companions home life being more sci fi oriented, like Osgood and Journey Blue. Osgood works for an organisation designed to track down aliens, whilst Journey comes from the future with the Daleks so if you did go back to their home lives then it wouldn’t just be sitting in a kitchen with Clara’s family or eating chips with Jackie Tyle and Mickey.

Conclusion

I think that if the 12th Doctors era had been a return to more adventure based stories, had explored the search for Gallifrey story arc, and featured more Time Lord characters then it would have been better.

I see the ideal layout of the Capaldi era overall being this.

1/ Capaldi does 5 years.

2/ The Daleks, the Robert Carlyle version of the Master and the Brian Blessed version of Rassilon are the most recurring old enemies throughout his era (with other old enemies only appearing fleetingly, maybe once or twice each in his era. The rest of the time, its all new villains.)

3/ Return to historicals and stories set on alien planets. NO stories about the companions home life

4/ Capaldi is not undermined for his companions.

5/ Focus is put on Capaldi rather than on setting things up for the next Doctor to be a woman.

Sadly however I feel that they wasted Capaldi for the 4 years they had him. Still you might feel differently or have your own ideas about the series, so let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Russell T Davies vs Steven Moffat

Don’t worry you are not experiencing deja vu. Last year I did write a Davies vs Moffat article, but I wasn’t happy with it.

It also didn’t really cover their era’s in any great detail and really it just wasn’t up to scratch at all. Plus I also wrote it before series 8 aired, which as you all know saw my opinion of Moff drop somewhat.

So I decided to delete that previous article and do an updated version here. This will be a more in depth look at Moff and RTD’s era. I will not be examining the Doctors from each era however as I already did a seperate article on that.

Here it is if you’re interested.

Why I prefer the 11th and 12th Doctors to the 9th and 10th Doctors.

So without any further delay lets take a look at who I prefer out of the two most prominent writers of the revival.

Vs

Monsters and Villains

Daleks

My favourite villains without doubt.

Its pretty obvious to anyone who has read my previous posts that I am going to pick Davies here. Not many people are keen on what Moffat has done with the Daleks. Personally I have actually enjoyed all of Moff’s Dalek stories and I think he has brought something new to them.

He has made them far more sadistic than any other writer. Previously the Daleks were never shown to take pleasure in killing their enemies. They did it simply because they were programmed to. They concept of joy was alien to them. In the Moffat era however they are shown to enjoy not only killing, but torturing their victims and extending their agony for as long as possible. We can see this when they capture and torture Tasha Lem to death over and over and over again.

Still despite this, Davies’s Daleks are ultimately superior in my opinion.

A lot of people knock Davies’ Dalek stories because he often had them get destroyed too easily by a deux machina ending.

I certainly wouldn’t deny that to be the case. The worst offender is of course Journey’s End, but still I think its unfair for people to completely disregard all of the good things Davies did with the pepperpots. I might add he is hardly the only writer to kill them off using a deux machina. Moffat himself had Clara wipe their memory of the Doctor, their greatest enemy who drove them to the brink of extinction several times, through a few clicks on a keyboard. He also had 11 wipe them out simply by regenerating.

Now Davies is not my favourite Dalek writer. My favourite Dalek writer is Terry Nation. Still it is true that in the Classic era the Daleks were never as dangerous as they were during Davies time.

Davies absolutely adored the Daleks. They were his favourite villains, they were in fact the whole reason he got into the show back in the 1960’s in the first place. He has spent his entire life collecting Dalek toys, and even has his own life size Dalek in his home that was later used for Asylum of the Daleks.

In Davies time the Daleks have more of an impact than any other villain. They are the main antagonists for three series out of 4, they are the most recurring enemies, and they inflict the most tragedies upon the Doctor too. The loss of his people, the death of the 9th Doctor, the death of Captain Jack, the death of Harriet Jones, and the loss of Donna and Rose are all caused by the Daleks. They are also the most powerful villains by far in the series.

Really I don’t think there is any villain in anything that could stand against the Daleks in the Davies era.

No matter who goes up against the Daleks in Davies’ time its always the same result.

If its Van Statten’s men, professionals who are experts on alien life and armed with machine guns and rocket launchers then they are fucked. One Dalek just plows its way through them without even breaking a sweat. If its a group of people in the future lead by Jack, a time traveller, with expert knowledge of alien life, armed with special weapons that could blow Daleks from old Who right open, then they still just get slaughtered on mass no problem. If its hordes of Cybermen, powerful monsters that we saw override an alternate London, they do about as well as Van Statten’s men. Even if its UNIT the worlds leading experts on alien life who have beaten the Sontarans, the Cybermen, the Axons, The Master, the Zygons, then in The Stolen Earth a mere two Daleks completely and utterly destroy UNIT HQ.

On top of that in Journey’s End they threaten every universe! That’s the biggest threat there has ever been in the history of Doctor Who. Sutekh in Pyramid’s of Mars only threatened a couple of galaxies. Compared to the Daleks in Journey’s End that’s nothing!

Also I might add that whilst they are always beaten by a Deux Machina in the Davies era, the cost to stop them is always huge, greater than it is to stop any other villain.

In Dalek over 200 people are killed in order to stop one Dalek.

In The Parting of the Ways in order to stop half a million insane Daleks close to 98 billion people on the earth are killed, as well as hundreds of thousands of people on the game station, also the entire course of human history is changed for ever. Originally that was to have been the fourth great and bountiful human empire, a golden age for humanity.

One Dalek however, the Emperor, was able to change the entire course of human history so that instead of being a golden age: the Empire became a corrupt, oppressive regime where billions of people lived lives of unbearable torment, and were forced to play deadly games for over a hundred years, until eventually the Daleks drove humanity virtually to the brink of extinction.

On top of that Captain Jack is killed by them and though he is brought back to life it is as an immortal. All of the fallout of Jack being an immortal is because of the Daleks. Furthermore the Ninth Doctor dies because of them too.

In Doomsday in order to stop one army of Daleks, millions more people are killed across the entire earth by the Daleks and the Cybermen, whom the Daleks let through, Rose is lost in another universe forever and Torchwood is completely destroyed.

Even in Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks in order to stop 4 Daleks, thousands of people are killed and even then one Dalek still manages to escape. Also one of the few survivors of the incident Lazlo has to live the rest of his life hideously deformed and disfigured.

In Journey’s End meanwhile well to start with millions more people are killed not just on the earth but on the other planets they steal to use as part of their reality bomb. UNIT HQ is also destroyed, the Doctor loses another regeneration, Donna loses her memories and Harriet Jones loses her life. I might add that even with all of that loss, the Daleks only lose because one of their own kind Dalek Caan betrays them and manipulates time itself to stop them.

So yes at the very least you can’t say that things were always wrapped up neatly in Davies’ Dalek stories. The effects were still felt years later like the Doctor losing Rose and Donna, Jack being an immortal, earth being made aware of aliens, and the Doctor losing two regenerations.

Sadly the Moffat era Daleks just don’t have the same impact.

To start with they are never the main villains of a season. Now I don’t blame Moffat for this as they had been used that way so often in Davies’ era, that we couldn’t possibly have had them be featured so prominently in the Moffat era.

Still the fact that they keep popping up, whilst no longer being featured as the main villains does kind of make them feel like mere shadows of their former selves.

Also the cost of stopping the Daleks in the Moffat era is never as big. In Victory of the Daleks granted they do actually win, ultimately the only way they win is simply by running away. Bracewell their servant meanwhile is completely freed from their control and even goes on to live a happy life. In Asylum of the Daleks nobody dies, but Clara, one person and hey the experience of the Dalek Asylum saves Amy and Rory’s marriage, whilst they along with the Doctor, escape the Dalek asylum without a scratch on them.

 

Even in the 50th the Doctor manages to stop the Daleks during the fucking Time War of all conflicts without any cost.

Also we don’t even get to see the Daleks kill anyone in the time war either. In fact during the entire 11th Doctors era, we only see them kill two no name soldiers in Victory of the Daleks. In The Day of the Doctor we only see them getting rammed by the TARDIS or blasted by the War, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in front of Kate and Osgood.

In Into the Dalek meanwhile for the first time in the Moffat era the Daleks are actually able to do a bit of killing. They butcher plenty of people on board the space station, but still ultimately its not quite the same as in the Davies era is it?

Its not like in the Davies era where we see them shatter continents of people, and raise entire planets to the ground like in The Parting of the Ways.

Whilst Moffat may have done some interesting things with the Daleks at the end of the day, I don’t really think anyone can deny that they were far more impressive under Davies’ tenure.

Davies’s Daleks kick the shit out of the Cybermen and trash talk them.

Moffat’s Daleks get the shit kicked out of them by the Cybermen and flee to their own miniscope to escape them.

Davies’s Daleks terrify the Master to the point where he flees to the end of the universe itself and turns himself into a human to escape them. They also blow up his flying fortress of death no problem.

The Master laughs in the face of Moffat era Daleks. See for yourself in this trailer.

One Davies Dalek makes the Doctor scared, panic and try and escape.

The Doctor easily and casually rips open one Moffat era Dalek.

Davies’ Daleks kill companions like Captain Jack, kill off supporting characters like Harriet Jones, butcher lovable one off characters like Lynda with a Y, kill 98 billion people on earth, destroy whole continents of people.

Moffat era Daleks get killed by everyone and kill two extra’s in three years.

Davies Daleks conquer and destroy Cybermen, Abzorbing, 7 foot tall lizard monsters, giant 20 foot tall rock men, the fucking time lords, earth both in modern day and in the far, far, far, future.

Moffat’s Daleks get beaten up by WW2 Spitfire’s in outer space and fail to conquer a small town called Christmas in 200 years.

Davies Daleks fight a time war that is described as hell with giant unspeakable monsters like the Nightmare Child running around eating things.

That’s what the nightmare child looks like. Granted that’s just a fan vid, but still I don’t care that’s how I am going to view it from now on.

Moffa’ts Daleks meanwhile fight a time war that’s just a generic space battle with lasers.

So yes, I don’t think even Russell’s harshest critic would deny that under his tenure, the Daleks were far more impressive. Russell T Davies is the master of the Daleks.

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Cybermen

Now this is a bit harder to decide as sadly I haven’t been that keen on either men’s take on the Cybermen.

I think the problem is that both men tend to treat the Cybermen as second rate villains compared to the Daleks. They are not the only writers to do this of course, many classic era writers tended to treat them as bumbling idiots too.

I don’t know why, as I think when used properly the Cybermen are among the best villains. I think they have just earned that reputation because they are not as popular as the Daleks.

I will say that to their credit both Moffat and Davies clearly understand what it is that is scary about the Cybermen. The idea that you can be turned into one of them. Sadly in a lot of later classic who stories I think they forgot that, and just wrote them as generic robot killers. The only 80’s story for instance that shows you Cyber conversion is Attack of the Cybermen.

However in New Who Moffat and Davies regularly show us people being converted, including even main characters like an alternate version of Jackie Tyler or Danny Pink.

Thus at the very least I will say that the new who Cybermen are more effective this way than the classic era Cybermen were in a lot of the later stories from the original series.

Still in New Who the Cybermen have sadly been turned into second rate villains despite the odd moment of genuine menace. They tend to undermine them in their stories for other villains like the Daleks in Doomsday, or Missy in Death in Heaven, or even Mercy Hatrigan in The Next Doctor.

Also whilst its true that they do show us more people being converted, they also at the same time show us people being able to resist it too. Yvonne Hartman, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, Danny Pink, Craig Owens, Mercy Hatrigan, they are all able to resist Cyber control and conversion and turn the tables on, enslave and even destroy them.

It makes it look too easy to say the least. Apparently just loving your daughter, or even your girlfriend of a few months is enough to stop being a Cyberman.

Still I think that overall the Cybermen were much better in the Russell T Davies era for many reasons.

To start with I think that in Davies Cybermen stories the focus was always on the Cybermen. I got the impression that Davies actually wanted to write Cybermen stories, with Moffat however sadly it feels like he often just tosses them in there for the hell of it.

In The Pandorica Opens for instance they are just thrown in there among other villains. Same with Time of the Doctor and A Good Man Goes to War.

Even in stories where they are the main villains like Closing Time and Death in Heaven they are not really the focus. The focus in Closing Time is actually more on Craig whilst in Death in Heaven, Missy is the main villain. The Cybermen are her mooks. Steven Moffat decided to kill Osgood in order to make a villain seem scary. I ask you, which villain was it he gave that honour to? The Cybermen or the Master?

In the Davies era however Doomsday aside, which was a story designed to feature both villains, the Cybermen are the focus of all of their appearances in the Davies era.

Also I think that Moffat has overused the Cybermen too. They have appeared once every year since he took over.

In Davies era they only appeared three times. I think Moff has been far more guilty of overusing the classic era villains overall in fact.

The only villains Davies brought back every year where the Daleks, but Moff has had the Sontarans, the Silurians, the Cybermen and the Daleks once every year, and now from the looks of things the Master will be back every year too.

Also I think that Moffat has made the Cybermen too overpowered. The Cybermen in his era can fly through the air with rocket boots, remove pieces of their bodies including their own heads and move them about, shoot tiny little darts that poison people, and now reanimate the dead. And they still get the shit kicked out of them all the damn time.

The 11th Doctor is still able to blow up an entire fleet of millions of them, just as a gesture to a villain he is actually scared of. Craig Owens is still able to wipe them out just by not wanting to be a Cyberman, and Rory is even able to kill one with a fucking sword.

In Davies era however it was made very clear that these Cybermen were at the very beginning of their development. Thus this was why they weren’t quite as advanced as other races that we saw, but even then despite being primitive they were shown to adapt quickly, such as in the Next Doctor where they, despite only coming from modern day earth, where able to become intelligent enough to pilot a Dalek time vessel and understand time lord technology.

Also Moffat’s overpowered Cybermen I think leads to far more scenes of CGI such as in Death in Heaven when we see them fly through the air. With RTD’s Cybermen its still guys in suits for the most part, even when we see dozens of them marching down the streets.

Also I much prefer the look of the Davies Cybermen than the Moffat Cybermen. I wasn’t that keen on the Davies Cybermen’s design as I think it looked a bit too clunky. Cybermen to me should be a bit more streamlined and sleak, which is why I like the Tomb of the Cybermen and Earthshock Cybermen the best.

Still the Moffat era Cybermen in Death in Heaven are the worst. They make me laugh with their cute little faces and they way they mince. At least the Davies Cybermen stomped all over the place which gave you the idea that they were big towering mountains of steel. Moffat’s Cybermen when they march out of the 3W company, and down the street in Dark Water/Death in Heaven, they remind me of the gay regiment in Monty Python.

The Davies Cybermen are definitely superior in pretty much every way to me.

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The Harold Saxon Master vs Missy

Simm was far more believable as being the Master than Gomez, however there were still some problems with the Simm Master such as his contradictory origin.

I don’t think that either Russell T Davies or Steven Moffat are big fans of the original Master.

I think they only brought him back for the fans, and because doing so would give them a lot of publicity.

“I think there is a danger with giving the Doctor an archenemy like that. Its sort of limiting and a little bit cartoony. I thought Russell T Davies making him a lunatic was really, really brilliant. I did think he sort of ended that story. Bringing him back comes down to one thing: do you have a great idea or not? But its certainly not off the table.”

-Steven Moffat on the Master circa 2013.

As you can see from Moffat’s quote, he wasn’t exactly enamoured with the character. He felt he limited the character of the Doctor and didn’t bring him back for the entire 11th Doctors era as a result.

Thus when he finally did bring him back it was not out of love for the character of the Master. It was simply to take advantage of this female Doctor craze but without turning the Doctor himself into a woman, yet.

In all fairness I think that both Michelle Gomez and John Simm are excellent actors, who brought a real, twisted, manic enthusiasm to the characters. Villains who love being evil are always more fun to watch.

However ultimately this has to go to Simm, who was not only more believable as his predecessors, but also didn’t actively ruin the character of the Master.

Missy turns the character into a joke. He goes from being the Doctors Moriarty, to a kinky, oversexed, Disney character. He goes from being someone who can bring the universe to its knees, to someone beaten by a “no thanks”.

Added to that I feel that Missy was merely pandering to the vocal, bullying, SJW side of fandom who wanted a female Doctor, for no other reason, other than why not? There is no reason Michelle Gomez couldn’t have been the Rani (a role she would have been excellent for.)

So for these reasons, Simm wins by default. Though for what it’s worth, I did actually quite like the Simm Master anyway, even if neither of his stories were the best.

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Best Original Villain: Midnight Entity Vs The Weeping Angels

Now Davies and Moffat have created a number of highly interesting and frightening monsters, but I think its fair to say that Davies most popular monster is the Midnight entity, whilst Moffat’s is definitely the Weeping Angels.

Now as to which is better well I am definitely giving this to Moffat.

The thing about the Midnight entity is that, though it is scary, it only works because we know so little about it. You couldn’t have it pop up again and again. The Angels however I feel worked brilliantly as recurring antagonists. I know a lot of people haven’t liked the Angels in later stories as much, but personally I can’t decide which of the three Angels stories is the best. I think they all have merit.

Blink is amazing because there wasn’t really a story like it in Doctor Who before, whilst the second two part Angels story, is one of the greatest base under siege stories Doctor Who has ever done. The Angels take Manhatten meanwhile I think is the most frightening. What the Angels do to Rory in that story is chilling.

Thus the midnight entity though a great villain was really more of a one trick pony. The Angels on the other hand I find to be among the best recurring villains in Who’s long history.

So I am going to give this to Moffat.

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Companions and Friends of The Doctor

Best Fiery Redhead Companion: Donna vs Amy

Well this will come as a surprise to no one its Amy.

Donna is far from my favourite new who companion. I don’t despise her or anything, but as we all know I do loathe the way that Russell T Davies completely undermines the Doctor for her in Journey’s End. Even without that I find her to be very overrated. Personally I think that the only reason people rate her so highly is simply because she does not fancy the Doctor. That’s not to diminish Catherine Tate or her great chemistry with Tennant, but ultimately I found Donna in many ways to be just a retread of Rose.

Look at Donna and Rose’s stories. Both Cockney women from 21st century London. Both working class, both living boring lives, in crap jobs, both join the Doctor because they want something new and exciting, both want to travel with him for ever, both have a more sympathetic father figure and an annoying mother figure who distrusts the Doctor at first but develops a grudging respect for him eventually (RTD also repeated this dynamic with Martha and her parents too). Both also have a story arc where there is something odd about them and it turns out to be linked to a final epic battle with the Daleks.

Look at The Parting of the Ways and Journey’s End. Rose in Parting of the Ways gets super powers that makes her eyes go all gold and twinkly and uses them to destroy the Daleks whilst the Doctor stands at the side. Donna in Journey’s End gets super powers that make her eyes go all gold and twinkly and uses them to destroy the Daleks whilst the Doctor stands at the side.

Both Donna and Rose also have a prophecy that states that they will die, but it turns out its just that they don’t get to see the Doctor again. However they both still have great lives, end up with someone they love, with their families who have been brought closer together and they both live in the heap of luxury too, as Rose’s dad is a millionaire whilst Donna gets a winning lottery ticket.

As far as I’m concerned the only difference between Donna and Rose was that Donna wasn’t in love with the Doctor.

Amy meanwhile I find to be one of the best companions in Doctor Who’s entire history. Unlike Donna she doesn’t undermine the Doctor, bust she is no shrinking violet either. Unlike Rose she was called out for her faults and didn’t have everyone worship at her feet. Also I think her relationship with Rory is brilliantly developed and acted. Karen Gillan’s chemistry with Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill is just a joy to watch. Its so natural, so fun that you almost don’t need to have a story, you can just stick them in any situation and its enjoyable.

Also I think Amy and Rory probably have the best goodbye of any companion in the revival as its sad, but not too downbeat. They don’t die horribly, but at the same time its not a perfect, fairy tale ending either like Rose and Donna who end up becoming millionaires.

Amy is definitely one of the best companions in the shows 50 plus year history.

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Best Doctors One True Love: Rose vs River Song

Now we all know that I really don’t like the Doctor falling in love, as I prefer the Doctor be an asexual, alien character like in the original series.

Still it cannot be denied that these two stories have been tremendously successful with fans and mainstream viewers alike.

As for which I prefer? This is a bit tricky as I feel that they succeed and fail in different ways.

River has a much better ending than Rose. Had Rose ended with Doomsday then her ending would have been sensational, (imagine how much more poignant her cameo would have been in The End of Time had that been the case.) Had her story even ended with Turn Left then that would have been a great ending to her. Sadly Journey’s End comes close to ruining the character, turning her into the Doctors jealous ex, and having everyone even Martha fawn over her, before giving her a perfect ending with Handy.

Rivers ending however in The Name of the Doctor I think rounds her character off perfectly, showing her finally accept her death.

Also River comes across a lot better in her last story too, saving the Paternoster gang, not showing any jealousy over Clara and giving her hints throughout the story. Its really the perfect ending to the character.

Sadly however at the same time I think River and 11’s romance wasn’t as well written overall as Rose and the Doctors. I used to think that River was a better match for the Doctor as she was older and a time lord or time lady rather like him.

However in terms of personality Rose is a better match for the Doctor. Rose in many ways is actually the same type of person as the Doctor. The Doctor back on Gallifrey was actually a lowly time lord who left because he was bored of their life and yearned for something greater. Rose similarly back on earth came from a lowly position and left to go exploring with the Doctor because she yearned for something better.

Sadly River and the Doctor don’t really have anything in common, and whilst with Rose and the Doctor we see two outcasts from their own world finding each other and relating to one another’s position and eventually fall in love. With River all we have is some woman following the Doctor around making jokes about having crazy bondage sex with the Doctor.

So as a love interest Rose has to top this.

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Best Fan Avatar Companion: Osgood vs Malcolm Taylor

Well I think its obvious who I am going to give this one too. I love Osgood she is just so likable, and of course I think Ingrid Oliver is a brilliant actress.

Even looking at it objectively I think that Osgood is a much better developed character than Malcolm. We have seen Osgood become a much stronger character over the course of just two episodes. Gong from a wimpy damsel in distress, cowering at the sight of Zygons, to someone who marches up to and takes on the Master and the Cybermen no problem, and even keeps her cool when being threatened with certain death by the Master.

I do still quite like the Malcolm character and I wouldn’t object to seeing him again. Indeed a lot of fans have even started shipping Osgood and Malcolm. They would have a lot in common with one another, both UNIT scientists, both fans of the Doctor.

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Drawing of Osgood and Malcolm by Charlotte McGonagall. I got to admit this drawing really makes me ship Osgood and Malcolm.

I think part of why Osgood has been so much more popular than Malcolm is that she offers up the chance for a new UNIT family. Malcolm sadly didn’t really have much chemistry with Captain Erisa his superior. Osgood however along with Kate Lethbridge Stewart are actually quite a good team and could in the future become a new regular set of recurring characters.

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Best Friend of the Doctor Who Is Head Of A Team That Tracks Down Aliens: Jack vs Vastra

This one I am going to give to Russell T Davies. As good a character as Vastra is I think there was more too Jack. We never really found out much about Vastra’s past, how she met the Doctor, how she met Jenny, much of her story is just kind of sketched in. With Jack however we saw how he went from a cowardly con man to a dashing hero to cursed immortal, even just over the course of Doctor Who never mind on his own show Torchwood.

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Best Team That Tracks Down Aliens: Torchwood vs The Paternoster Gang

Whilst I may prefer Jack to Vastra, I do prefer the Paternoster Gang as a team to Torchwood. Torchwood are just kind of your generic guys who chase down aliens. The Paternoster gang, a reptile woman, her ninja wife and an evil space clone who battle monsters in Victorian England are a much more unique, creative and bizarre idea.

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Best Bumbling Boyfriend of Female Companion: Mickey vs Rory

I am giving this to Mickey. As much as I like Rory, I don’t think he was as well developed as Mickey, who I feel had one of the best developments of any companion in either old or new who. We saw Mickey go from a cowardly character to a dashing hero in his own right.

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Best Parental Figure To A Companion: Brian vs Wilfred

Now I am going to go against the curve here and say that Brian was a much better character than Wilf. Wilf is a fan favourite and I do like Bernard Cribbens, but still I am not so keen on his and the Doctors relationship in The End of Time. I think that the Tenth Doctor is too mean to Wilf throughout it. Telling him he is not even remotely important I also think that Wilf’s reaction to the Doctor’s death is a bit too melodramatic such as when he screams “NO, NO, NO, YOU’RE THE MOST WONDERFUL MAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN! YOU CAN’T DIE!”

Brian I felt was a more normal character and his interactions with Matt Smith were much more toned down and funny. I certainly enjoyed watching Matt and Brian more than all those scenes of the 10th Doctor and Wilf balling their eyes out in The End of Time. That got on my nerves after a while.

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Martha Jones vs Clara Oswald

Now I admit that these two aren’t very similar, but they are the only two companions left from either’s era. Well obviously I am going to rate Martha above Clara. Martha is in my opinion the best companion in New Who whilst undermines the Doctor far too much.

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Best Story Arcs

Now this is an area where I actually feel that Russell T Davies is much stronger than Steven Moffat. I feel that Steven Moffat tends to make up a lot of his story arcs as he goes along. I could be wrong, but that’s how they appear as a lot of them just don’t add up.

Take a look at the impossible girl story arc it just doesn’t seem to flow. When we see the two Clara’s they have no idea who the Doctor is, and they are not doing anything to help him. Later however when we see how all of these different versions of Clara were created its completely contradictory. They all in The Name of the Doctor are said to have knowledge of the Doctor and they are all supposed to save him from the Great Intelligence too.

So then why did the first two Clara’s not know who he was? In what way were they helping him?  Also how did the 11th Doctor not remember meeting Clara as the first Doctor which we see in the Name of the Doctor? To me it seems like Moffat just thought wouldn’t it be cool if we saw different versions of Clara first. And then he developed the story from there, but he made it up as he went along and sadly it didn’t add up.

Russell I think maps the endings of his story arcs out first and thus they naturally flow better.

I also think that Russell is better at pulling different story strands together. Like for instance take a look at Mr Copper in the Voyage of the Damned. At the end of that story the Doctor takes him to earth and leaves him with a million pounds. Its a lovely ending to the story as we see Mr Copper a genuinely nice, sweet and likable character walk off with a fortune to spend.

In The Stolen Earth when the Daleks steal the planet Harriet Jones uses the subwave network to contact the Doctors companions and along with them the Doctor. We discover that the Subwave network was in fact developed by Mr Copper himself using the fortune the Doctor left him with.

Without the Subwave network Harriet Jones would never have been able to contact all of the Doctors companions, and they in turn would never have been able to contact the Doctor himself. Thus no one could have stopped the Daleks and they would have used their reality bomb to destroy not just this universe but all universe’s.

Ironically Mr Copper was the most important person in all of creation as he was really the linchpin in stopping the Daleks. Without him neither the Doctor nor Donna would have been there at all to stop Davros.

To me that was a brilliant way of tying those two stories together. It makes the ending of Voyage of the Damned even better. It shows you how the Doctor did a nice thing for Mr Copper and it benefited everyone. If he didn’t leave him on the earth then we’d all be fucked.

Sadly I don’t think Moffat is as good at pulling his different story strands together. Like look at the latest girl in the shop story, where we see that Missy brought Clara and the Doctor together. Thing is there is absolutely no reason for her to have done that and rather than think that’s quite clever you just think “but that doesn’t make sense”.

So this one I am definitely giving to Davies.

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Stories

Best Story Where Every Universe Is Threatened: The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End vs The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Journey’s End and The Big Bang are fairly comparable stories. Both involve threats to every universe, both gather all of the Doctors friends and supporting characters together, both even have the Doctor get shot by a Dalek.

But which is better?

Well I am going to say The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. Now remember I am a big fan of Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, but I think that Big Bang kind of trumps it in every way.

To start with this story does a better job of bringing everybody together.

In Journey’s End not only as I have been over does Donna completely undermine the Doctor, but everyone else too. Captain Jack does bugger all in this story, ditto Torchwood who try and take on one Dalek and get trapped in their base. Luke does nothing either, Martha Jones is a complete buffoon. She threatens to destroy the earth to stop the Daleks, reasoning that they need the earth for their plans. So if she destroys it then they are fucked. Thing is they could just have snatched another planet like three seconds later and she would have killed 7 billion people for nothing! Even Rose does nothing in this story whilst Sarah Jane is similarly useless. Basically we have all of these characters together just so they can stand around and watch Donna do everything and tell Donna how fabulous she is.

In The Big Bang meanwhile everyone gets their moment. Thankfully the Doctor is not undermined at all. He is the one who saves every universe, is two steps ahead of everyone and comes up with the solution that saves everyone including Amy after she has been shot.

However at the same time Rory gets his moment when he stands outside the box to protect Amy for 1000 years. That’s really his defining moment I’d say. It shows how brave and utterly devoted he is to his wife. River meanwhile is the one who kills the main villain of the story, the Dalek, whilst Amy finally is the one who saves the Doctor at the end by remembering him back into existence.

Ultimately Moff manages to bring 4 different characters together and give them all strong, heroic moments, which is more than RTD was able to do for Journey’s End.

Also I actually prefer the cliff hanger to this story. I know that the cliff hanger for Stolen Earth was more sensational when it was first released, but in hindsight I think it does just kind of feel like a cheap trick and the resolution to it is pretty cheap.

I also find the emotional content in The Big Bang to much superior to the melodrama of Journey’s End. I have seen so many people comment on how the heart of Doctor Who went away when Russell T Davies left. I couldn’t disagree more. I think Moffat does a fantastic job of managing to tie what is a huge cosmic story involving the fate of every universe, Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, into a rather touching and very human love story between Amy and Rory.

The only area where Journey’s End is superior to this story is that it has much stronger villains with Julian Bleach proving to be an exceptional Davros. Still overall I think its hard to top The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang.

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Best Story Where The Doctor Meets A Historical Character: The Shakespeare Code vs Vincent and The Doctor

Once again Moffat takes this. I do love the Shakespeare Code. Its a great tight little adventure, but Vincent and the Doctor is simply one of the best pieces of British television ever made.

Once again I don’t understand how anyone can say that the heart went out of Doctor Who when Steven Moffat took over? This is one of the most beautiful and mature portrayals of someone with mental illness I have ever seen. I just love the Doctors final little line to Amy about how even though they failed to save Van Gough they still made his life happier, and in the end whilst that doesn’t cancel out the unhappy moments, the misery doesn’t cancel out the good times either.

Its hard not to cry at the end of the story and really its just a beautiful episode all around.

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Best Christmas Episode: The Next Doctor vs A Christmas Carol

In my opinion these are the two best Christmas specials from all of the New series. Now here I am going to have to go with A Christmas Carol. The Next Doctor is a fabulous romp, but I think that A Christmas Carol is what Moff does best. Its a wonderful mix of science fiction, fairy tale, but also has a very poignant love story at the centre of it. It also benefits from very strong guest characters too.

I also think this is the 11th Doctor at his best. Here we see what a true master of time he is as he is able to change the whole history of one of the characters in the story, but in a way that ultimately saves both him and everyone else.

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Best Regeneration Story: The Night of the Doctor vs The Parting of the Ways

This one I am going to give to Davies. The Parting of the Ways is a great swansong for 9 as well as a thumpingly good Dalek story too. The Night of the Doctor for what it sets out to do is great ending to 8 but ultimately I think that 8 should have a proper story to finish on. Though I am grateful to Moffat that he actually showed us 8’s ending at all.

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Best Second Doctor Regeneration: The End of Time vs The Time of the Doctor

This one I am going to give to Moffat. I am not that fond of either story to be honest. They both just try and do too much. Still the reason Time is better is because 11 bows out like a hero rather than a whiny self pitier.

Its awful what Davies does to 10 in his final story. He must blub about 7 times in the story. I don’t know why Davies was so desperate to make 10 look like the one Doctor who couldn’t face his “death” and thus appear weaker than any of his successors or predecessors?

I remember even David Tennant himself had some reservations about how his Doctor was being portrayed. He claimed that he would be a lot braver, which is why they changed his final delivery of “I don’t want to go” to be less emotional. One wonders how emotional the original delivery must have been!

Moff at least gives 11 plenty of heroic moments. He protects the town of Christmas for 900 years, and goes out blasting the Daleks into nothingness. He also faces what he believes to be his actual death a lot more bravely than 10 faces merely another regeneration.

11’s parting words though perhaps a bit too meta are also vastly superior to 10’s. 10’s destroy the Doctor as a character to me as they make out that all of the Doctors are different people, which defeats the whole point of regeneration. Also if 10’s words were meant to be meta then they are even worse.

I feel that 11’s final moments were more welcoming to the next Doctor too. They made out that its good that the Doctor changes whilst reflecting on the previous Doctors era. 10’s instead made out that the next Doctor was a usurper who was trying to take his place and so for me there can be no question that 11’s final moments where superior.

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Best Doctors First Story: Rose vs The Eleventh Hour

Once again I am going to give this to Moffat. Rose has a paper thin plot. Its basically just aliens show up and invade the earth. I don’t blame Russell T Davies as this was probably the best thing to do when reintroducing the series. If he had tried to do a big, overly complicated, timey wimey adventure as the first New Who story it probably would have put people off. Thus a straight forward monster story was the best option.

Still ultimately the 11th Hour is just perfection for me. I love the way we don’t have to put up with the usual tedious regeneration crisis. We just get taken straight into 11. Matt owns the role from when his head first pops out of the TARDIS. His Doctors personality, his naughty sense of humour, his ability to get along with children because he is such a big overgrown child himself. Its all there in that first little grin.

The story itself is quite an interesting idea and Prisoner Zero is an effective villain. Though the idea of the Doctor chasing people off with his reputation would get overused. In this story its an amazing sequence when 11 steps forward after the images of his predecessors. Unlike in other stories where 11 scares his enemies off with his reputation, there’s thankfully no big speech. Just a simple “run”.

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Best Second Doctors First Story: The Christmas Invasion vs Deep Breath

Now again I don’t like either of these stories to be honest but I am going to say that Deep Breath is marginally better simply because Capaldi is in it more. Tennant doesn’t really pop up until the last 15 or so minutes. These 15 minutes thanks to Tennant are excellent, but sadly before that its just a generic alien invasion story mixed in with more soap opera drivel. Capaldi ultimately gets more screen time though he is still pushed to the side too much for Clara. Sadly a sign of things to come throughout the remainder of series 8.

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Best Story About An Important Event That Inspires Humanity To Survive To The End Of Time: Waters of Mars vs Kill The Moon

 I really don’t think this is a fair fight at all. The Waters of Mars is one of the best, most atmospheric and genuinely unnerving Doctor Who stories ever made. Its just a masterpiece. Kill the Moon sadly I find to be one of the weakest Doctor Who stories ever made. Peter Harness is an excellent writer normally, but I think that its premise of a space Dragon is just too wild for Doctor Who. Doctor Who is science fiction remember and whilst it does have a fantastical edge to it, ultimately I think having giant Dragons burst out of the moon is too much. Also the ending of the story is far too neat the way the Dragon just lays another egg that is bigger than its whole body in about five seconds. That must have been some push.

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Best Companion Departure Story: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday vs Angels Take Manhattan

Now this is very hard to choose as these are among the two best Doctor Who stories ever made. They have something for everyone in them. Great monsters, fabulous sci fi story, great love story, and two of the best soundtracks to any Doctor Who stories ever made.

Murray Gold at his best.

Its so hard to choose. On the one hand the Angels are at their most terrifying in this story, whilst on the other the Daleks are at their most badass. On the one hand Rose and 10’s goodbye on the beach is definitely the best Doctor/Companion romance moment in the whole series. Even though I am not a fan of those types of stories I still find those final moments to be well acted. On the other hand however I still find Amy and Rory to have the best departure’s of any companion in the revival, and Amy’s final letter to 11 is very moving.

I’m going to call it a draw.

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Best Master Comeback Story: Utopia/The Sound of Drums/ The Last of The Time Lords vs Dark Water/Death in Heaven

Well its obvious I am going to give this to Davies. To be fair the season 3 finale is excellent in its first two episodes, it just falls apart in its final episode with the Jesus Doctor.

Still at the very least with that story you can see how Davies wrote a good story but it just kind of tailed off towards the end. He wrote himself into a corner basically.

With Dark Water/Death in Heaven there is nothing to recommend in my opinion. I used to hate this story for what it did to the Master, but after a recent rewatch the whole story is just a mess in my opinion.

I have been over the faults of this story a million times, so I wont spend too much time here. Basically the plot of this story is a convoluted mess, chalk full of holes and its tone is all over the place. We have all of these horrific scenes of graphic drawn out psychopathic killings, disturbing ideas of the dead being aware and experiencing pain when we cremate them, mixed in with silly nonsense of people squeeing, Mary Poppins flying in, and fucking Santa Claus.

Even just little moments in it make me cringe, like Osgood’s death. Yes okay I like Ingrid Oliver and wouldn’t want to see her leave the show, but still even without that its a pretty fucking terrible scene.

What the Master suddenly gains teleporting powers, the UNIT guards don’t react when Missy threatens to kill them, and puts her lipstick on revealing that she got out of the cuffs, and best of all the Doctor and Kate are watching it on a tv screen that covers the wall in front of them and don’t react?

Also why don’t Osgood’s glasses go poof too? Flesh, bone, even metal was vaporised by Missy’s weapon (the two UNIT guards she disintegrated where carrying weapons that vanished with them), yet her glasses remained? It reminded me of Duck Dodgers when his vest remains whilst the rest of him is vaporised.

Then of course there is Cyber Brig and well need I say more?

However what makes me despise Death in Heaven more than any other story, is not simply because its crap, but also because it felt like Steven Moffat was spitting in the face of Classic era fans. To start with he was pandering to feminist fans.

From about 2013, the SJW’s having buried the atheist community, and made a dent in the video game industry, set their sights on Doctor Who.

They slandered it, and its makers and fans as sexists, racists and homophobic, even though of course nothing could be further from the truth. Doctor Who has ironically always been a very left leaning, liberal show, that was progressive in some ways.

Still as the SJW’s love to complain, they slandered Moffat in particular as everything horrible under the sun, and so he decided to pander to them. The result was Missy, the female Master (among other things).

There was no reason to make the Master a woman. Missy could have easily been the Rani, a female archfoe of the Doctors, who Michelle Gomez would have been excellent as. Wouldn’t an original female villain, be better than a third rate, feminised version of a male one? Wouldn’t two different archenemies that the Doctor could play against, the Rani played by Michelle Gomez, and the Master played by an actor like say Charles Dance, Robert Carlyle, Simon Templeman or Jason Watkins, not be twice the fun as just the Master all the time?

The answer is, yes, yes of course it would. However the SJW’s don’t actually care about representation, or even interesting female characters. All they care about is taking things away from men, who in their minds are all privileged shit lords. Thus that’s the only reason they would rather the Master be a woman, than Gomez play the Rani.

The Cyber Brig felt like the final, “fuck you” to the classic era fans on top of Missy.

Overall I’d say that Death in Heaven is the worst Doctor Who story ever made.

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Final Result

Its a draw. Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies in my opinion are both great writers, who have overall produced good era’s of Doctor Who. Though ironically Moff’s worst work is in his second Doctors era, whilst RTD’s best work is in his second Doctors era. They both also in my opinion suffer from the same basic problem. Their desire to pander to what they think are populist audiences.

Now to be fair other Doctor Who producers such as Barry Letts and John Nathan Turner have done this too. Letts tried to cash in on the Bond, Spy, Espionage craze, whilst Turner, often cast popular, light entertainers to get “bums on seats”.

However both I don’t think ever went so far to the point where it no longer felt like Doctor Who, which sadly Moff and RTD have both done with things like the romantic Doctor, female Master etc.

Also I feel that the audiences they have both courted are not stable, or ideal audiences for Doctor Who.

In RTD’s case he seemed to go after the soap opera audience, people who don’t like Sci Fi, (which he felt was the only kind of mainstream audience), hence his greater focus on the companions home life. Whilst Moffat went for the Feminist, SJW audience who slandered him, as again he wrongly thought they were the main audience for the show.

Whilst the version they created and maintained was popular initially. It is crashing and burning after just 9 years, whilst Old Who went on for 22 years before it was cancelled the first time. And even then it only began to decline in popularity, thanks to a calculated effort by the Beeb to kill it.

Hopefully whoever takes over after Moff might be able to rectify these mistakes, and restore Doctor Who to being just a fun adventure series that anyone can watch, rather than a show written for one type of audience. Be that the soap opera audience or the SJW audience.

 

Classic Doctor Who vs New Doctor Who Part 1 The Doctor & his Enemies

Doctor Who is the world’s longest running science fiction series. Over the past 50 years it has amassed a global following like no other tv franchise, with the possible exception of Star Trek.

However technically Doctor Who can be divided into two different series. Classic Who which ran from 1963-1989, and the revival often referred to as New Who by fans which began in 2005 and is as of the writing of this article, still going strong after 10 years.

In this article I am going to compare both series and decide which I ultimately find to be superior. All opinions in this article are of course merely my own. I can after all only speak for myself, but I will still try and be as objective as I possibly can.

Classic example of an Old Who fanboy and a New Who fangirl arguing about which is better.

Hitler sums up what many Classic era fans think.

In this the first of two articles I will be comparing how the Doctor was written in both series, and how major villains from the Classic Who such as the Daleks were handled in the revival compared to their portrayal in the original.

vs

Not that Classic Who being shown on the Horror channel and New Who being shown the Disney channel says anything about the quality of both series overall of course. 

1/ Classic Who Doctor vs New Who Doctor

The Doctor is the main protagonist across both series. He is a time lord from the planet Gallifrey, he has two hearts, and he has a time machine called the TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space) which can allow him to visit any planet at any point in its history. The TARDIS is also bigger on the inside than the outside.

Whenever the Doctor dies he can come back to life, but his body and outer personality completely changes. He is still the same man underneath, the same consciousness, same memories, same core personality. Its just on the surface he is completely different.

This power is called regeneration, and it is what has allowed the show to endure for so long.

Now I and many others feel that the first 7 Doctors on tv in spite of how different they may have seemed on the surface, were all believable as being essentially the same character.

The 4 New Who Doctors meanwhile, I feel though believable as being the same characters as one another, were somewhat distinct from the Classic era Doctor. Its not that they were completely different, but it cannot be denied that the New Who Doctors do break a lot of the taboos from the Classic era.

Thus in this article I am going to be looking at the Classic Doctor and New Doctor as two separate characters. (I won’t be including 8 in either. Its not that I dislike him, but I feel he is really a wilderness Doctor. Like an odd cross between the old and the new in someways.)

So which is better then? Well I am going to have to say the Classic era Doctor was better for many reasons.

I feel that the Classic era Doctor was more unique, more consistent and ultimately more likable as a hero than his 21st century era counterpart.

To start with the Classic era Doctor was more alien than the new Doctor. The Classic era Doctor I think was actually among the few genuinely alien characters in all of science fiction. It can get a little frustrating in science fiction the way that most aliens behave in a very human way.

Take a look at the character of G’Kar from Babylon 5. Whilst I love G’Kar (he is easily one of the most well developed characters in anything.) He is still a very human character. He is a womanizer, he likes fine food, has an appreciation for art, and he is passionate about the plight of his people the Narn.

All of his character traits could be transferred into a human character in modern day and you wouldn’t notice the difference.

The Classic era Doctor meanwhile does have the same morals as we do and he is able to form friendships obviously with many human beings. Still ultimately he is very unemotional in some ways. Its not like Spock who is meant to have emotions, but merely represses them as do all members of his kind.

With the Doctor its a bit more subtle. He does have emotions, we see him get angry, happy, sad, but he never loses his cool. There isn’t an instance where the the Doctor completely blows his top and shouts and screams and spits everywhere. We never even see him cry at any point in the 26 year run of Classic Who. Even when the worst tragedies befall him.

In Earthshock when his young companion Adric is killed by the Cybermen the Doctor looks sad yes, but he doesn’t cry, whilst his two other companions Nyssa and Teegan burst into tears. We also never see the Doctor show overt fear either. Again he does get scared, but we never see him let his fear overwhelm him. Indeed that’s often one of the defining aspects of the character, that he is often able to wander into the most dangerous situations completely unarmed and seem quite chipper and happy. He can talk to his captors, even torturers as though they were his friends like Jon Pertwee telling his torturers to stop being so childish, or Tom Baker getting a bit offended when his captor refuses a jelly baby he offers him.

We also never saw the Doctor fall in love throughout the entire series or even become attracted to anyone either.

At the same time not only was the Doctor not as emotional as other characters, but the few emotional responses he did have where often completely different anyway.

The Doctor would often react to the most mundane and meaningless things to us with extreme enthusiasm and manic intensity. Former Doctor Who writer Terrence Dicks once said that you could say to Tom Baker’s Doctor “it’s a nice day outside isn’t it” and he would say really intensely and excitedly probably whilst grabbing you “Is it? Yes it is a nice day isn’t it!” 

Tom’s Doctor could also be quite callous to things that were important to us. In the story Pyramids of Mars  when the character Lawrence Scarman is tortured to death by his own brother Marcus, who has been possessed by the Egyptian God of evil Sutekh. Sarah the Doctors human companion is naturally horrified, whilst the Doctor doesn’t care at all. He is calmly doing something else and tells Sarah without even looking at her with no emotion whatsoever in his voice, that he told Lawrence not to go near his brother again and that it was Lawrence’s own fault.

Moments like this I think showed how the Doctor didn’t always look at things the same way we did because clearly his emotions just simply weren’t tuned the same way ours were because he was an alien.

Not only did this make the Doctor more unique as a hero in my opinion but also far more unpredictable. Sometimes the writers could use his alien nature for comedy like having Tom Baker do something silly and inappropriate without realizing it, or sometimes it could be used in a darker way like having the Doctor be quite callous to something important, or even outright ruthless in dispatching his enemies.

Sadly the New Who Doctors I don’t think are really alien at all. I think that the Moffat era Doctors 11 and 12 were far more alien and unpredictable than 9 and 10. Moffat overall has a better handle on the Doctor than Russell T Davies ever did. Still despite this all of the New Who Doctors are very human in how they react to things.

The New Doctors all lose their cool regularly and scream, they fall in love regularly, they even have casual flings with characters like Tasha Lem, they ogle their female companions too like Clara, who 11 at one point slapped on the bum! They also regularly cry. My dad always used to call 10 the blubbing Doctor, but they ALL blub.

What a bunch of big sissy’s!

In all fairness I can understand to some extent why the new who writers did this as again angsty, tormented heroes are very popular nowadays, but still again as you can see this is trying to make the Doctor more like other heroes rather than just simply letting him stand out as his own unique character.

Obviously the biggest difference between the old Doctor and the new Doctor is the fact that the new Doctor is a very romantic character.

The old Doctor was completely asexual. There was never any hint that he even had the tiniest interest in any female character in the series. In fact it was even lampshaded in one story City of Death when the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker says “well you’re a very beautiful woman probably”, showing that he actually can’t tell one way or the other.

Personally I preferred this. To start with as I already mentioned it helped to make the Doctor seem more alien. Also once I think it made the Doctor stand out somewhat from other fictional characters. The Doctor from Classic Who is one of the only characters I can think of who has no love interests of any kind.

Just about every other fictional character you can name has to have a love interest. James Bond, Superman, Tarzan etc.

Even characters who are supposed to be big tortured loners who shun human company still manage to always have love interests. Look at Angel who is a cursed Vampire that will go evil if he falls in love. Doesn’t slow him down. For his three years on Buffy he had Buffy, and also Cordelia and Faith chasing after him at various points. On his own show he had detective Lockley for a year, then Darla next season, then Cordelia after he knocked Darla up for, and then after Cordelia fell into coma he had a Werewolf girlfriend for the final season of his own show.

Its the same with female heroes of course. Buffy always has to have a love interest whether that’s with Angel, Riley or her sado masochistic relationship with Spike and Xena’s the same too.

Even asexual characters have to have a love interest of some kind eventually. Sherlock Holmes is shown to be attracted to Irene Adler in the novels. Its only hinted at, but still it has become much more prominent in subsequent adaptations, some of which have even had Holmes marry Irene and have children with her. Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory meanwhile has also fallen in love with Amy Farrah Fowler.

So much for the whole being asexual thing.

The Doctor from Classic Who is the only character who was never given any love interest at all. The closest they came to that was with Romana a time lady (whose second incarnation was played by Lalla Ward who was having an affair with Tom Baker at the the time they were making the series) Still ultimately on screen its never even hinted that the Doctor and Romana are anything but friends.

I also think that the fact they didn’t keep focusing on the Doctors love life allowed them to focus on the science fiction aspects of the series more. I feel that too many science fiction and fantasy series tend to focus on the romantic relationships between certain characters at times. I am not saying that I never want there to be any romance in these things but ultimately it can get a little bit too much when the fantasy becomes secondary.

In the revival when they have the Doctor fall in love with his companions, I think it kind of ruins a lot of what makes the Doctor unique, as well as a lot of his appeal.

To start with it does make make the Doctor just like every other hero. The new Doctor always has to have a love interest. In series 1 and 2, its Rose and Madame De Pompadour. In series 3, Martha is in love with him and he turns himself into a human in one episode and falls in love with a human named Joan Redfern. In series 4 he has Astrid, though Donna is not in love with him, Russell T Davies apparently had intended to have the companion of that series named Penny be in love with him, and the Doctor be in love with her too.

Under all of this is my need to write the Doctor in love again. I think we’ve handled it exactly right for series three: He’d never fall in love with Martha, because he can’t just love the next woman to walk in the door, after Rose. That would cheapen the whole thing. Penny is walking into the Doctors life at just the right time. The first time that the Doctor sees Penny it should be like wham! Both hearts.

Thank god Catherine Tate agreed to reprise the role of Donna Noble!

In series 5 Amy Pond attempts to force herself on the Doctor, then of course we have to deal with River Song the Doctors wife who makes jokes about having crazy bondage sex with the Doctor.

Then we have Clara whom 11 is borderline in love with, then there is also Tasha Lem boss of the space nuns who also has crazy bondage sex with the Doctor. Finally even 12 is not only still lusting after Clara but also now has a female version of his former archenemy The Master, called Missy who is in love with him too.

Imagine William Hartnell doing any of this!

I must say though that I think that these two

Are a perfect couple. As a child in the 90’s watching my Doctor Who videos and hearing Billie Piper on the radio I always knew they would get together.

At the end of the day the Doctor for me at least should just not be a romantic character. His asexuality was part of what made him unique and now when he is in love with Rose or River he is like so many other characters, a tormented immortal who is in love with a human who will age and die.

Also by placing so much emphasis on the Doctor’s love life the revival has ultimately I feel gone down more of a soap opera route than the original did.

Furthermore I also think that by making the Doctors companion’s fall in love with or at the very least be attracted to him they have made the Doctor’s relationship with his companions more repetitive.

Look at his relationships with his companions in the 1970’s and compare them to the revival, and you will see that there is a much more variation between the original companions relationships with the Doctor.

70’s companions, Liz Shaw is a scientist, that the Doctor treats as an equal more so than the Brigadier, as he can talk to Liz about his scientific experiments and his TARDIS. Jo Grant the next companion is younger, and the Doctor has more of a fatherly relationship with her, and dotes on her more than he would do Liz. Sarah is older, but she isn’t a scientist. Thus the Doctor can’t quite talk to her the same way he would to Liz, but their relationship is still an equal one.

Sarah is really his best friend he is somewhat closer to her than he is too Liz and their relationship is much more intense, though not romantic. Leela meanwhile has more of a confrontational relationship with him, as Leela uses more violent means as a first option than the more cerebral Doctor. Romana meanwhile being a time lady actually has far, far, far greater technical knowledge than the Doctor. The Doctor has more experience than she does having been exploring the universe longer and also being much older too. Romana however actually is better on a technical level and thus in some ways its a reverse of the Doctor, Liz relationship.

With the New Who companions however we have Rose who is in love with the Doctor, Martha who is in love with the Doctor, Donna okay isn’t, River Song meanwhile is in love with him, Amy travels with him because she wants to shag him, though she gets over it and Clara travels with him too because she wants to shag him, but she gets over it.

Another way I feel the classic Doctor is superior to the revival Doctor, is that his morality is more consistent.

Now the Classic era Doctor was a hero who generally tended to use his mind to solve his problems, but if need be he would use lethal force. He preferred not to, but he would absolutely kill if he had to. There were never moments when the Doctor was not prepared to kill.

The only exception to that was in Resurrection of the Daleks. Here the Doctor has a difficulty in killing Davros and hesitates. This might be seen as something of a contradiction and truth be told it is, but its not that big a one in 26 years. You can also rationalize it. Perhaps the Doctor has difficulty in killing him because technically he is not killing Davros in self defense.

Its not like blowing up a Dalek in a fight. He is planning to kill Davros simply so that he can not cure the Daleks. Whilst it is for a greater good it is technically cold blooded murder. Even then the Doctor doesn’t so much spare Davros, whilst he is working up the courage to shoot him he is distracted and Davros escapes and the Doctor is immediately regretful, saying “I’m an imbecile“. Later stories see the Doctor attempt to make up for this by trying to kill Davros every time he encounters him.

Now in the New Who the biggest problem I have with the Doctor is that his morality is all over the place. At certain times he will dispatch certain enemies no problem but at others he not only doesn’t, but he goes into a big moral speech about how he is better than that.

The most notorious example of this is in the Tenth Doctor story  “The Doctors Daughter” Here the Doctor’s cloned daughter is shot dead by a psychopath right in front of him. The Doctor refuses to shoot him however and gives a big speech about how he never would. Only problem with this is the Tenth Doctor has wiped out entire species before like the Racnoss! Then there is his condemning the family of blood to an eternity of torture which is obviously a lot worse than just shooting a guy.

He tortures minor villains who killed to survive yet he offered to help Davros a man who tried to destroy every universe? That is like skinning a shoplifter alive and showing mercy to the most brutal Gestapo officer.

The worst however are in the Doctors dealings with the Master in New Who. The Doctor always shows ridiculous levels of compassion to the Master in spite of how evil the Master is. Even when the Master has tortured his companion Martha Jones’s family for a whole year, and spent a year torturing Captain Jack Harkness to death over and over again. The Doctor not only doesn’t kill him but he hugs him!

A lot of people say its because he and the Master used to be friends, but that’s rubbish. Why would he put someone he had been friends with when he was a child above people he was friends with now? Why would he put a psychopathic mass murderer above kind and decent people like Martha Jones?

Tennant’s Doctor crying over Simm’s Master’s corpse in front of Martha whose family just endured a year of torture, and Jack who had just been tortured to death over and over and over, is like if I wept over Hitlers corpse in front of a group of Auschwitz survivors (one of whom was in love with me and had gone through hell for me) because I used to play squash with Hitler at College.

Some people say “its because the Master is the only other member of his kind” which is more understandable but it still doesn’t make sense. The Doctor is meant to at that point at least to have wiped out his entire people because they went evil. So he killed billions of time lords because they are evil, but not this one time lord? In The End of Time he refuses to kill the Master because that would be so evil, yet he commits genocide at the end technically against his own people?

Its so frustrating as a viewer watching that, as it just makes the Doctor into a raging hypocrite. Worst of all though is in The End of Time when the Doctor refuses to shoot the Master in order to save the entire human race whom he has turned into copies of himself. So he is putting one time lord above 7 billion humans.

Worst of all though is when he forces the Meta Crisis Doctor to live on a parallel earth with Rose because he wiped out the Daleks, an apparently that’s unforgivable, and Rose needs to make him a better man.

Thing is Doctor, the last time you met Rose (Doomsday) she enthusiastically helped you to wipe both the Daleks and the Cybermen. “PULLING EM ALL IN”! I might add those Daleks and Cybermen combined weren’t as big a threat as Davros and his new Dalek empire.

Added to that Rose also wiped out the Daleks at the end of the Eccelston era and gloated about it to Dalek Sec.

“God of all Daleks and I destroyed him HA!”

So again why judge the Meta Crisis Doctor for destroying a race of Daleks far more dangerous than the ones you and Rose wiped out alongside a race of Cybermen? How’s Rose going to teach him that wiping out the Daleks is wrong when she has already wiped them out twice?

“Oh Doctor who will save your soul” Seriously? SERIOUSLY!

The 12th Doctor has similary proven to be a massive hypocrite when it comes to Missy at least.

In his second story he tells a Dalek that is dying and asking for help to die all he likes. He is also happy to kill the monsters in Flatline too. So again why is it in an issue for him at all to vaporize Missy? Particularly after she has (to the best of his knowledge) butchered his two friends Osgood and Kate in front of him!

Ultimately this inconsistent morality is what makes the New Who Doctor more unlikable to me than the Classic era Doctor.

The Classic era Doctor it was established was willing to kill his enemies and he basically always did. Look at the Classic Doctors dealings with the Master.

He does not ever spare him. In the Masters second ever story The Mind of Evil, the Doctor goes out of his way to kill the Master. The Master has agreed to leave the earth, provided the Doctor gives him the directional UNIT back to his TARDIS. The Doctor however decides that he doesn’t have the right to let him loose on another world.

So the Doctor sets up a plan to murder the Master. He uses the Masters own machine that makes someone see their worst fear on him and leaves him screaming and in pain in an area that is about to be blown to pieces by an atomic bomb. Of course the Master survives, but the Doctor is devastated at his survival.

In The Deadly Assassin, the Doctor once again tries to kill the Master. He kicks him down a flight of stairs and boots him into a bottomless pit. He later says that the Master is the one person in the universe that he would wish death upon, as he is the quintessence of evil. In the Davison era, the Doctor leaves the Master to get torn apart by his own servants in a city that is fading from existence.

In Planet of Fire, he actually burns a pleading Master into nothing but ash. In The Mark of the Rani the 6th Doctor upon seeing a young man get trapped in one of the Masters traps (that was meant for the Doctor), actually tries to murder the Master with his own weapon.

Here in contrast to Missy who is able to gloat over Osgood’s death to 12, the Master has to beg the Doctor and tries to convince him that the trap wasn’t meant for that young man. The Doctor only spares the Master because he needs him to help his companion, but even then he tells the Master that if anything happens to her he will force the Master to walk over one of his own traps.

Finally the 7th Doctor tries to smash the Masters head in with a rock. He only relents because if he gives in to his violent impulses then the Cheetah virus which feeds on violence will overwhelm him. Thus once again with regret he is forced to spare the Master.

The only time in Classic Who the Doctor gives up an opportunity to kill the Master is when the Master is about to be sentenced to an eternity of torture. The Doctor spares him simply because he couldn’t condemn anyone to an eternity of torture.

Of course ironically the New Doctor did just that to minor villains the Family of Blood, whilst in that exact same season he was hugging the Master!

That about sums it up.

You see again that’s why the old Doctor is a hero you can route for more than the new Doctor. He is willing to kill in order to protect his friends. He doesn’t frustratingly spare the Master and Davros, even after they have butchered his friends in front of him. At the same time they aren’t ever sadistic like the Tenth Doctor is to the Family of Blood. They don’t torture enemies just for the hell of it, as he seemingly does in that story.

Thus for this reason I find the Classic era Doctor to be much superior and be honest here, out of these two heroes which one do you find it easier to route for? The guy who does this to the evil villain, boots him down a flight of stairs and into a bottomless pit.

Or the guy that kisses Osgood’s killer?

and hugs the man who tortured Jack to death over and over for a whole fucking year?

Yeah not your place to really forgive. I am sure Jack is thinking “oh well that’s okay never mind the fact that I have been tortured to death over and over and over again as long as this guy forgives him then that’s okay

Ultimately despite the odd blip Classic Who’s Doctor was a far more consistent and less infuriating character when it came to killing his enemies.

Another way in which I feel the old Doctor was better is his origin. Now the New Doctor is meant to be the last of his kind. I actually liked the time war origin in some ways, but still I think it led to the Doctor becoming a god.

In New Who they always make the Doctor into a god. I think this got worse in Steven Moffat’s era where the Doctor goes into these big speeches about how he has done this and that and it can get a little tiresome.

I personally prefer the idea of the Doctor being a lowly time lord ,who simply left Gallifrey because he was bored.

In the Classic Who the Doctor wasn’t the pivot of the universe. He was a fairly straight forward character. He merely wanted to explore the universe and he was actually back home something of a loser.

Still at the same time the Doctor does have more experience of the universe because he has explored more of it, whilst the time lords have simply sat back and observed.

Thus when the time lords need someone to deal with a threat he is often the first one they call. A little thing like that is enough for me to make the Doctor seem special.

In New Who however they literally turn him into Space Jesus in so many episodes. They have people actually pray to him, do him up as Jesus and in one instance have him fly through the air as messianic figure!

See what I mean space Jesus. I much preferred him as just a bumbling little traveller who was smarter than people thought.

Another thing about New Who’s version of the Doctor is that I feel they make him too superpowered. In Classic Who the Doctor didn’t really have any super powers, other than his intellect and his ability to regenerate of course.

In New Who however he can regrow hands, survive falling 10000000’s of feet through a pane of glass, perform Vulcan mind melds, and when he regenerates he can blow up entire fleets of Daleks.

Matt Smith’s regeneration always reminded me of Mario video games where you are on your last life, and you get a star, and you go all gold, and become invincible, and anyone you touch will die, and finally after you have killed enough badguys you get extra lives. That’s what happened with the Doctor here. The time lords give him a star when he is on his last life and after he uses it to kill enough Daleks he gets 13 one up’s.

He is space Mario as well as space Jesus!

Of course the funny thing is that despite being more super powered than the older Doctor, the New Who Doctor is far more useless as a hero.

The old Doctor was always two steps ahead of everyone. He was like Sherlock Holmes, but sadly the new Doctor is often undermined by his female companion.

During the Davies era, the Doctor saves the day in a grand total of 1 of the four season finale’s. In The Parting of the Ways it is Rose who conquers the Daleks, in season 3 it is Martha who brings down the Master, and in season 4 it is Donna Noble who leads the two Doctors to save the universe. In Matt Smith’s time the Doctor has a better record at first, but sadly in the season 7 finale Clara, not only saves the Doctor, but it is revealed has also saved the Doctor in every single story up until now. completely undermining him as a hero. In the series 8 finale meanwhile, I don’t know what the fuck the Doctor does in that finale? Seriously what does he do? Has a hissy fit on the TARDIS console and that’s it!

The Daleks face their archenemy Rose!

The New Doctor is constantly saved by his companions and the fact that he is supposed to be this big cosmic force, that people like Osgood pray to just makes it all the worse when he is useless.

Ultimately as you can see the original Doctor was a much better character in all respects to me. He was more alien and unique, his morality was more consistent than the new Doctors, he was less overblown in that he was just a bumbling traveller rather than a lonely god, and finally he wasn’t undermined in favour of his companions.

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2/ Villains and Monsters

Doctor Who has arguably the greatest rogues gallery of any television series. Over the years its monsters and villains have become an integral part of the show, to the point where just about every Doctor Who story has to have a monster of some kind. One of the things that general public remember the most about the classic who was hiding behind the sofa when monsters such as the Daleks and the Cybermen appeared on screen. But who has the better rogues gallery old who or the revival?

Classic Daleks vs New Daleks

The Daleks are the Doctor’s greatest enemies. They are in fact arguably the most iconic villains in the entire history of British television.

They are without doubt my favorite villains in not just Doctor Who but possibly anything.

 

Now this is harder to choose which one is better as I really love how the Daleks have been portrayed across both Classic Who and New Who.

Ultimately however I am going to have to go with the Classic era once again.

There are some things the revival has done that are better with the Daleks. For instance I feel that the Daleks actually seem more like the Doctors archenemies in the new series.

In Classic Who I feel that the producers never really bothered to beef up the Daleks as the Doctors deadliest enemies. They aren’t his most powerful foes, and actually they probably cause him less grief than many of his other enemies. For instance the Daleks never caused the death of an old Doctor. Even the Rani who was in just two stories managed that!

The producers of Classic Who to me it seemed felt like they didn’t need to make the Daleks the Doctors archenemies because they were already so popular.

In the Davies era at least however, Russell went out of his way to really show viewers why these monsters were the Doctors main enemies. He made them the most powerful, had them inflict the largest amount of tragedies on him, from the destruction of his home planet to the departure of his companions Rose and Donna. They have even been responsible for a number of Doctors deaths in the revival. In fact including the Meta Crisis the Daleks have caused the Doctor to lose 5 lives in the new series.

The Doctor has had many enemies over the years but the Daleks during Davies’ time were the only monsters he truly despised.

So yes in this respect the New Who Daleks are superior.

However overall as monsters in their own right I think that the Classic Who Daleks were much more effective. The Classic era Daleks were much more alien. There was nothing about them that we could really relate to, not just in terms of their appearance but character as well. These were monsters who had no real concept of pity or compassion.

The New Who Daleks I feel are too human a lot of the time. We have Daleks with names, Daleks that are religious fanatics, Daleks that are mad, and far too many good guy Daleks.

In fact there so far has only been three Dalek stories from the revival (as of the writing of this article) that haven’t featured a Dalek turning on other members of its kind because it sees them as evil.

So for me the Classic Who Daleks were far more unique and frightening as a result of this.

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Weeping Angels vs Autons

Now these two villains I feel are very comparable in a lot of ways. They are both examples of an everyday object turned into a monster. In the Autons case mannequins and the Angels obviously statues. The Autons are really a disembodied spirit called the Nestene’s that have the ability to animate anything made of plastic, allowing them to take control of dummies, dolls and even plastic chairs that they use to kill people.

The Angels meanwhile are ancient predators who are quantom locked which means that when you look at them they turn to stone. Look away however and they exist and they can grab you. Either they will snap your neck like a twig, or they will throw you back in time and feed on the lost potential you would have had.

So which is a better take on this type of monster? Well I am going to say the Angels for many reasons.

To start with I think that the Angels are less limited than the Autons. When you look at all 3 Autons stories there is really very little variation between them. They are all just aliens invade modern day earth stories and that’s that. The three Angels stories however I feel have more variation. Blink is a low key atmospheric story set in the rural countryside, the second Angels two parter is a big aliens style grand adventure, on a far away alien planet, whilst the final Angels story is a crime noir thriller in 1930’s Manhatten.

Also I feel that what the Angels do to you is more unusual. The Autons just zap you whilst the Angels throw you back in time. This allowed Blink in my opinion to be more than just another monster story. It also allowed it to be a very interesting time paradox story too. Also in The Angels Take Manhatten it was horrifying what they attempted to do Rory. They didn’t just simply kill him or toss him back in time.

They lock him in a tiny little room for the rest of his life, all alone with nothing to do. We see Rory as an old man trapped alone in the bedroom, so pleased when he sees another face after thirty years of being at the mercy of the Angels.

To me this made the Angels far more terrifying than the Autons who would just shoot you and that was that.

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Classic Great Intelligence vs New Great Intelligence

The Great Intelligence is a major enemy of the Doctor. It is an evil disembodied spirit that must work through its servants. It originally appeared in the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton’s era where it faced him two times. After this the creature went through an over 40 year absence until it resurfaced as the main villain in Matt Smith’s third season as the main antagonist where it was played by Richard E Grant and Sir Ian McKellan.

Now this is hard to decide which I prefer. On the one hand I will say that The Web of Fear is the best story with the Intelligence. The Web of Fear is one of my all time favourite stories. Also I prefer his servants the Yeti Robots in The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear, his two classic era stories to the Whisper men, his servants in The Name of the Doctor. The Whisper Men just kind of seemed like a poor man’s version of the silence, whispery villains who talk in rhymes, have white faces etc.

The Yeti however who were furry robots were more original.

Still despite this I think I prefer the Intelligence in the revival. The thing about the Intelligence in the revival is that its more fleshed out as a character. In the original its just a generic villain that wants power because? In the revival however we learn a little bit more about it. We see how it yearns to have a body, how it grows to despise the Doctor because he thwarts it at every turn, and how it comes to eventually only care about making him suffer. Its not surprising in many ways that the Intelligence in the revival would be more fleshed out as the focus was more on the Yeti’s than the Intelligence itself in the classic era.

Still I’d say overall that the intelligence was superior in the revival and the Intelligence story arc is definitely one of my favourites in the whole series.

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The Classic Master vs The New Master

Well I think this one is obvious to anyone who has read my work before.

The Classic Who Master was a fun rival to the Doctor who was well developed across all of his incarnations. We saw his start out as a ruthless villain who was gradually driven to madness through his bitter, petty and hateful feud with the Doctor.

The New Who Master meanwhile, whilst I enjoyed John Simm’s performance as the villain (and felt it followed on quite well from the original Masters, minus the silly, retconning of the villains origins.) Ultimately I just can’t get on board with Missy.

Nothing against Michelle Gomez, who is an otherwise fine actress, but I think that its ridiculous to suddenly change the Masters sex for no reason other than to pander to the bullying feminist side of fandom. Its even more ridiculous to reimagine the character as the Doctors love interest.

I honestly can’t see what the fuck Missy is even meant to be to be honest, other than just pandering? The Classic Who Master was a villain who hated the Doctor more than anything, who would stop at nothing to make him suffer. Often the Doctor would go through absolute hell when going up against the Master such as in The Deadly Assassin.

Missy meanwhile is just a big mad kissy woman who wants to shag the Doctor, and who he seems to to quite like too, but she also kills people for what reason?

All she does is just undermine the Doctor as she shows up kills people for no reason, but he likes her so he often lets her go, or even saves her life!

Whilst it was true that Tennant went far too easy on Simm, at least I can see the point of Simm’s Master as he was still an enemy the Doctor had to overcome. With Missy however she isn’t even an enemy of the Doctor. She hands him an army of Cybermen in her first story, saves him from the Daleks in her second, and its revealed brought him and Clara together.

So basically all she has done in her own twisted mind is help him, whilst also killing random people for no reason? Missy is a truly terrible character. Nothing but a mix of feminist pandering and a cliched femme fatale trope, that completely undermines the Doctors credibility as a hero.

Whilst John Simm’s Master was great, sadly he is weighed down by the Mistress.

 

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Classic Who Silurians vs New Who Silurians

The Silurians are ancient reptiles who ruled the earth before mankind. They were a highly advanced civilisation but their time came when a natural disaster threatened to wipe them out. The Silurians retreated underground and went into suspended animation hoping to emerge when the earth had recovered.

Unfortunately they slept for too long. In the millions of years they were in hibernation mankind evolved and became the masters of the earth.

Thus when the Silurians finally awoke, they planned to exterminate mankind and take control of the earth which they believe is rightfully there’s as they were her before us.

Now I think that the best Silurian adventure is undoubtedly the first Silurian story “Doctor Who and the Silurians” I’d rate this as being easily among the top 20 Doctor Who stories ever made.

Still despite this I’d say that I prefer the Silurians in New Who to to ones in the original series. To start with I prefer their design. I seem to be in the minority here as most who fans I have spoken with were angry that they changed the Silurians design as they felt the new Silurians looked too human.

Me personally I liked that look as I think that the Silurians should be more human. They are not like the Daleks they aren’t monsters, they are meant to be capable of being both good and evil.

I also think that the new masks allow the actors playing them like the wonderful Neve McIntosh who plays Vastra a chance to act properly too. Before their faces were completely covered so all they could rely on was their voices.

Also I prefer the new Silurians because I think they get across the idea that these are creatures just like us with no fixed morality like the Daleks and the Cybermen better than the originals.

Apart from in their first story I think that the Siurians were often just portrayed as monsters in the classic era like in the story “Warriors of the Deep“. The character of Vastra in the revival however a benevolent Silurian who has integrated herself into human society I think demonstrates how the Silurians are capable of both good and evil.

Thus I think that the 21st century Silurians are ultimately better than those from the classic era.

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The Valeyard vs The Dream Lord

Now these characters are both basically the same idea. They are villains created from the Doctors dark side. They are basically evil Doctors. Some fans have even speculated that the Valeyard and the Dreamlord are actually meant to be the same character though this has not been conformed.

Now I am going to go with the New Who here and say that the Dreamlord was a better take on this idea. Michael Jayston who played the Valeyard was excellent, but ultimately the character I think wasn’t really given much to do throughout most of his appearance in “Trial of a Time Lord” until the end after which a lot of what we found out about him was contradictory. For instance the Valeyard was said to have been created between his second last and final incarnation. The thing is he also wants to steal all of his remaining regenerations after the 6th Doctor. If he did that then he would technically wipe himself from existence since he comes between Doctors 12 and 13.

Also on top of that I felt that the Dreamlord’s single story “Amy’s Choice” is much better than “Trial of a Time Lord” the Valeyard’s only appearance on tv.

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Classic Cybermen vs New Cybermen

The Cybermen are the Doctors most iconic enemies after the Daleks. They were created by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davies the then script editor of Doctor Who (who also came up with the concept of regeneration.)

The Cybermen in the classic era were aliens from Earth’s identical twin planet Mondas. They were originally exactly like us but they slowly replaced all of their organic components with metallic ones until they transformed themselves into cyborgs. The Cybermen seek to do the same to all other life forms in the universe and begin conquering worlds converting the life forms into members of their own kind

Cyber conversion.

Ultimately however the Cybermen are very nearly driven to extinction when their home planet Mondas is destroyed, but a few manage to survive and attempt to rebuild their fallen race. The Cybermen served as quite a good contrast to the Daleks this way in that, whilst the Daleks were a race with a vast empire and countless resources, the Cybermen were a dead race, struggling to survive. Whilst the Daleks regularly screamed “Daleks conquer and destroy” the Cybermen’s catchphrase was “we will survive”.

In a way the Cybermen were more sympathetic villains than the Daleks. The Cybermen unlike the Daleks, had to conquer other races because it was the only way they could survive as they could not reproduce without converting other life forms.

In the revival the Cybermen are said to come from another universe. They were created from that universe’s version of earth by Cybus industries, and eventually found a way to cross over into our reality.

Now this one is a bit more difficult to decide, as sadly I think that the Cybermen in both series have been handled quite badly.

Its a shame as the Cybermen are brilliant villains. They are an idea that was decades ahead of its time. Many fans have famously compared them to the Borg from Star Trek who debuted over 20 years later. The producers of Star Trek themselves even acknowledged Doctor Who. In an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation”Q Who” the names of the first 6 actors to play the Doctor pop up on a computer screen.

Star Trek references Doctor Who.

Sadly however it seems the writers of classic who and new who seem to enjoy doing the Cybermen down within the stories themselves.

The fourth Doctor mocks them to their faces telling them that they are just a bunch of pathetic tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship. In New Who of course the Daleks trash talk and completely thrash them. In another episode the Doctor blows up an entire fleet of Cybermen in order to intimidate another villain.

In order to show off how badass another character is they will have them slaughter a huge amount of Cybermen whether that’s the Daleks, Rory, Ace or the Raston Warrior Robot.

At least he doesn’t rub it in like Rory or the Daleks.

Don’t worry Cyber fans though in the Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover the Cybermen kicked the shit out of the Borg very badly. In fact in one alternate time line the Cybemen not only beat the Borg but managed to convert the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians too.

So at the very least they are more powerful than all of Star Trek’s major enemies.

The Cybermen get back at the Borg for copying them.

Sadly however on tv the Cybermen have usually got their arses kicked and naturally this has completely destroyed the Cybermen’s menace over the years. Its a real shame as even though the Daleks are unquestionably my favourite villains, the Cybermen I think are actually the most terrifying when used properly.

I think the writers just got it in their heads that the Cybermen were second rate villains because sadly in popular culture they have always been seen that way in the sense that they are seen as the Doctors “other” enemies after the Daleks who are the most iconic. On top of that the fact that they were meant to be a dead race probably didn’t help.

Still whilst there have been problems with the Cybermen across both old and new who I am still going to have to say that the Classic Who Cybermen were better. The heyday of the Cybermen was really in the 1960’s. Their two best stories “The Invasion” and “Tomb of the Cybermen” are from this decade.

In the 60’s stories the Cybermen are portrayed as a force to be reckoned with. Even though they are nearing extinction they are still crafty, strong, manipulative and ruthless and the Doctor seems genuinely terrified of them.

Also I preferred the way they were often silent in these stories. It gave them a kind of eeriness like they were cybernetic zombies. You could never tell what they were thinking as their faces were completely blank.

So yes overall I am going to go with the Classic era on this one.

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Classic Sontarans vs New Sontarans

The Sontarans are a clone race who glory in war. They just love to fight and cause trouble wherever they go.

Now for me this is easy. I’m going to say the Classic Sontarans are better in every way than the new ones. To start with I think that both The Time Warrior and The Sontaran Experiment two classic era Sontaran stories are better than any new who Sontaran stories. Also despite their somewhat comical appearance they actually do seem menacing in both of those stories. We see how one Sontaran is capable of outsmarting, overpowering, and torturing several human beings at once. We even see how one Sontaran would be capable of changing the entire course of human history by itself.

In the New Who they have had one appearance as villains and the rest of the time they have been used as comedy stooges. I actually do quite like Strax I must admit. There is just something likable about the character, but still I think the Sontarans have been somewhat undermined as villains in new who. The thing about them is because their appearance can be somewhat comica,l I think you shouldn’t make them comical characters as then they just become a complete joke and sadly that is what has happened to the new Sontarans.

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Classic Ice Warriors vs New Ice Warriors

The Ice Warriors are among the Doctors oldest enemies. They first appeared during the Second Doctors era in the 60’s. They are gigantic reptiles from Mars who house themselves in powerful armour.

No I am going to say that the new Ice Warriors are better. The Ice Warriors have only appeared in one story of the revival so far, but I must admit I preferred it to all of their appearances in the classic era. I don’t dislike their appearances in the classic era, but what can I say I just enjoyed their single new Who story more, and since there really is no difference between how they are portrayed in both series then I am going to go with New Who here.

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Sutekh vs The Beast

These two one off villains are essentially the same idea as one another. Sutekh is an ancient alien from the planet Osiris. He possessed virtually limitless power yet was still terrified that somewhere in the universe some life form would one day grow to rival him in power. So he decided to destroy all life where ever he found it declaring that all life is his enemy. He destroyed billions of worlds across the universe until his own people (whose planet Osiris he destroyed) managed to imprison him. In the story Pyramids of Mars he tries to escape from his prison deep beneath a pyramid. He was said to have been the inspiration for both Set the Egyptian god of evil and Satan in mythology.

The Beast is an ancient evil that existed from before our universe. At the beginning of our universe the Beast was imprisoned by the servants of the light in a cave on a far away planet. It claims to have been the inspiration behind all the horned figures in all mythologies all over the universe including satan.

Both villains are even voiced by the same actor Gabriel Woof who has possibly the best voice of all time.

Now I am going to go with the Classic Who on this one. Sutekh is better simply because the story he is in is superior.

Pyramids of Mars is better in my opinion because it focuses on Sutekh. Remember what I was saying earlier about how the New Who would often focus on the Doctors love life and the soap opera element at the expense of the sci fi? Well sadly that is what happens with the Beast. Even when the Doctor is coming face to face with Satan himself he still goes on about how fabulous Rose is and its annoying and cheesy.

In Pyramids of Mars when the Doctor faces Sutekh then they are actually able to focus on the idea of Sutekh which is more interesting. They don’t have the Doctor go on about how much he is in love with Sarah for 5 minutes.

See for yourself.

Sutekh wasn’t sidelined in favour of Rose so I am going to go for Sutekh here.

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The Rani vs Madame Kovarian

These villains don’t really have much in common with one another. I admit I am only including them together because they are both among the only female villains in Doctor Who.

I am definitely going to go with the Classic era here. Kovarian I always found to be a rather dull villain overall. The Rani on the other hand I think is a very underrated enemy.

The Rani was a time lady who unlike the Master did not seek to conquer. She is a scientist who experiments on human beings the same way that we do on animals. She is a corrupt Joseph Mengela type of villain. Sadly she has been underused, but still I nevertheless think that there is huge potential in her and clearly so do many other fans as there have been constant calls for her to return to the series.

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Final Result

Classic Who wins this round, but join me in part 2 where I will be looking at the companions as well as the best stories from both series side by side.

The Roots of Doctor Who 6/ Futurama

Now this might seem like a bit of bizarre claim. When I say that Futurama inspired Doctor Who I am talking about the revival, and even then I am really only talking about the Russell T Davies era. I think a lot of the humor in Davies’ time owes something to Futurama. This is not to say that Davies humor was not unique, but I think Futurama, which Davies is a self confessed fan of helped to shape a lot of the comedy in those early Davies stories.

At the same time however it is worth noting that the original Doctor Who series was a big influence on Futurama too. Futurama has even paid homage to Doctor Who (as you can see above) many times. In this article we will be examining the relationship between both genre classics and ultimately what they owe one another.

Futurama’s Influence on Doctor Who

Futurama’s influence on Who can only really be found in the Davies era.

When Russell T Davies took over the show in 2005 he started to inject a lot more overt comedy into the show than ever before.

He had stories with burping wheely bins, farting aliens, women being turned into slabs of concrete, cursing aliens, game shows thousands of years in the future and modern day pop music being looked on as classical music in the future.

Many longstanding Who fans criticized Russell harshly for this with some critics accusing Russell of making the show into a parody of itself.

I myself tend to lean towards this way of thinking. Whilst I do love the Davies era overall, the humor in it is a bit too much for me at times. I don’t think overt comedy ever works in Doctor Who because it is such a larger than life idea.

The idea of a man travelling through time and space is a pretty wild concept, so in order to stop it from seeming like something like Futurama it has to be taken as seriously as possible.

This was also why I had a problem with Douglas Adams tenure as script editor and Adams himself later acknowledged that he regretted the level of comedy that was being injected into the series during his time.

Due to the fact that Futurama was one of the most prominent sci fi comedies of all time it would make sense that Davies would look to it for influence.

I think Russell actually took inspiration from Futurama more than other sci fi comedy classics like Red Dwarf and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

The stories of Davies’ run that are most like Futurama to me are the three year five billion episodes. “The End of the World”, “New Earth” and “Gridlock”.  The future that we see in those episodes is actually very similar to the one from Futurama.

Both are more comical with the advances in technology being presented more as witty jokes. Other science fiction stories often present advances in technology as warnings such as in Terminator with Skynet or in Classic Who itself with the Cybermen or they present them as being inspirational like the original Star Trek series.

Both the year five billion Doctor Who stories and Futurama however instead present them as jokes and don’t even attempt to ground them in any kind of scientific plausibility. Though the Cybermen are complete fiction they are not quite as out there as someone making the speed of light go faster, casually reshaping the continents, or bringing the dead back to life and keeping their heads in jars and feeding them fish food.

Both also attempt to present the future as essentially being the same as today in terms of a lot of attitudes and problems. Even with all of the advancements in technology, Zapp Brannigan still has the same sexist attitudes of misogynists today as do other characters throughout the series such as Fnog and Professor Farnsworth, whilst Thomas Kincade Brannigan still has old fashioned attitudes towards a homosexual couple in “Gridlock”.  Thomas Kincade’s surname is most likely an homage to the Futurama character too.

One Futurama comic book “Who’s dying to be a Gazzilionaire ” even features a futuristic version of a modern game show now controlled by aliens with the losers being disintegrated just like in “Bad Wolf”.

Both Futurama and the last year five billion story of Davies era are set in a future version of New York, which in both cases is called New, New York.

There are a number of similar jokes from Futurama littered throughout the year five billion stories. These include the idea of modern day pop music being thought of as classical music in the future, and also the idea of human waste being recycled as food. In both cases we have someone from the present, Martha Jones and Philip J Fry learn this whilst eating a sandwich much to their horror.

Even visually Davies year five billion looks like the future from Futurama, full of hover cars, animal people and heads in jars.

Related image

Image result for cat people futurama

The idea of animal people is a common trope in science fiction but both Doctor Who and Futurama present it in an absurdly comical way, even dressing their animal people from the future in contemporary clothing to almost highlight how ridiculous they look.

The Futurama parallels don’t stop with the year five billion stories however.

The Doctor Who 2007 Christmas special “Voyage of the Damned” revolves around the idea of the Titanic in Space which is exactly the same premise as the earlier Futurama episode “A Flight to Remember”.

Both stories essentially remake James Cameron’s blockbuster in space, having the main characters in both instances become involved in a tragic love story with someone on board the vessel who doesn’t survive the catastrophe.

Whilst I would never say that Futurama was one of Doctor Who’s main influences, overall I think its fair to say that a lot of the humour in Davies’ time comes from Futurama and certainly the year five billion in Doctor Who is essentially like a live action version of the future in Futurama.

Doctor Who’s Influence on Futurama

Matt Groening the creator of Futurama is a huge Doctor Who fan. He has included a number of references to it in his other classic series The Simpsons.

Groening’s favourite Doctor is the 4th Doctor played by Tom Baker has appeared a number of times in both Futurama and the Simpsons.

However Who’s impact on Futurama goes bigger than a few references. The character of Leela from Futurama is both named after and largely based on Leela from Doctor Who. Neil Gaiman has conformed that Doctor Who’s Leela inspired Futurama’s.

Both Leela’s are strong, amazonian type of women who completely reverse the idea of the female characters in science fiction being weak and are actually far more powerful and violent than any of the male characters they come into contact with.

A Futurama comic titled “Doctor What” is a complete parody of Doctor Who. It features parodies of the TARDIS, Daleks and K9.

Panels from Doctor What issue of Futurama.

Its quite funny in a way that Doctor Who inspired Futurama and then Futurama inspired Doctor Who. It shows how Doctor Who is unique in terms of the fact that it practically does go on forever. It can inspire something, but then because it will go on long after that has finished, the next version of Doctor Who after that can ironically take a certain amount of inspiration from it.

The Roots of Doctor Who 4/ Xena The Warrior Princess

In this article we will only be looking at the revival as the original Doctor Who series finished 7 years before Xena started. It was also about as different a show as can be imagined to Xena anyway.

Russell T Davies has regularly cited Xena along with other American sci fi and fantasy series such as Charmed, Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin off Angel as being among his greatest influences for his take on Doctor Who.

Russell wanted the revival of Doctor Who to be as popular as possible right away, hence why he kept direct references to the original series to a minimum so as not to alienate new viewers, included references to popular culture, and modelled the show overall very much on American genre series which had come to completely dominate the market in Doctor Who’s almost twenty year absence from our screens.

Doctor Who during Davies’ time came to embody all of the tropes of late 90s, early 00s American genre series. We had the Doctor become more of a pop culture obsessed, angsty, tragic hero, we had the good guys talking in “Buffy speak” including even the Doctor himself “Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey” and the bad guys talking in big grandiose, pompous, flowery speeches “I reached into the dirt and created new life I AM THE GOD OF DALEK KIND.” We had story arcs, big bads, the heroes one true love they never stop going on or angsting about even when they are not there (Rose, Buffy or Angel, Lana, Gabrielle) we had the person who loves the hero, but the hero doesn’t love back and who angsts about that for a while before becoming their best friend who arguably does the most for them, even more than their one true love (Martha Jones, Chloe Sullivan, Xander Harris) and we had the crazed villain whom the hero feels a certain sense of guilt over and tries to help rather than outright kill (the Master, Callisto, Faith, Lex Luthor).

Of all of these American series Buffy and Angel unquestionably had the biggest impact on New Who. Indeed Buffy’s influence on Who would extend even into the Steven Moffat era, with many having drawn comparisons between the Silence and the Gentleman from Buffy.

However still one should not underestimate Xena’s influence on the revived series and in this article I am going to examine the similarities between both series.

Xena’s Influence on Doctor Who

The strongest comparison between both shows are the similarities between the central characters of the Doctor and Xena.

The Doctor during Davies’s time was an angst ridden character who had done horrible things to innocent people in the past. He had killed billions of innocent men, women and children in the time war and was now in some ways trying to atone for this atrocity, though there were moments where he very nearly gave into his dark side again such as in his dealings with the Daleks.

However the Doctor is able to hold his dark side back with the aid of a young blonde woman named Rose who starts out travelling with him because she is bored of her life at home. The two develop a close relationship and eventually fall in love though their love is not usually outright stated apart from a few crucial moments.

There are moments where the two have huge fights, such as when Rose gets shocked at his ruthless actions, or when she lies to and betrays the Doctor for the sake of her family in “Fathers Day”.

Xena meanwhile is similarly an angst ridden character who has done horrible things in her past. She slaughtered hundreds of innocent people in her wars and and is now seeking redemption for her past sins. There are moments however where she very nearly gives into her dark urges. However she soon meets a young blonde woman Gabrielle who travels with her because she is bored of life back home with her family. The two develop a close relationship and fall in love though their love is usually only hinted at.

There are moments when they come to blows. Gabrielle is appalled at some of Xena’s more ruthless actions such as in “The Debt” where Xena plans to commit an act of cold blooded murder.  At the same time Gabrielle’s betrays Xena and her trust in order to protect her family, her daughter Hope.

Now it is true that the Doctor and Rose did owe something to Buffy and Angel and the Ninth Doctor definitely owed a lot to Angel too. Ultimately however I find Xena and Gabrielle to have been the bigger influence on their relationship.

The Doctor and Rose and Xena and Gabrielle are both about how two people can make the other person better in a relationship. Xena and the Doctor are made better people by Rose and Gabrielle who hold back their darker sides, whilst Rose and Gabrielle are made better people by Xena and the Doctor, as it is Xena and the Doctor who rescue them from their life of mediocrity and allow them to reach their full potential.

Buffy and Angel do not have this same kind of dynamic. Whilst Buffy does put Angel on the path to redemption to some extent, she also is the one who lets his dark side out. Also Neither Buffy or Angel where living boring or dull lives either like Gabrielle and Rose.

Another example of Xena’s influence on Davies’ Who was in the character of The Master who bore many similarities to Callisto Xena’s archfoe.

The Master as a character debuted many decades before Callisto, but the classic series version of the Master was a very different character from the version we saw in Russell T Davies’ era.

He was a cold, manipulative, sly, cunning genius who enjoyed manipulating people. He was a megalomaniac, but not a complete psychopath. He usually other than a few instances did not kill at random. Only if he felt he had to (which was often a lot) or for revenge.  He and the Doctor did respect one another, but there was certainly no gay subtext involved. Indeed the idea was always that they were brothers anyway.

The two Time Lords hated one another and tried to kill each other all of the time.

However the Master in the Russell T Davies era was a complete and total lunatic. He killed people for no reason other than his own amusement, he was a manic character overall and the Doctor now looked on him with pity and rather than try and kill him like the Third Doctor, he tried to help him. There is also a very strong gay subtext between the two characters, with the brother angle having been completely written out by Russell T Davies.

The Davies era Master played by John Simm was inspired by many characters. In my review of him I wrote that he was really a pastiche of crazy, psychotic villains such as the Joker, Hannibal Lecter, John Hurts Calligula from I Claudius and yes Callisto too.

Callisto and Xena have the same type of dynamic as The Doctor and the Master. Xena refuses to kill Callisto for years as she feels sorry for her and tries to help her, even when many people including Xena’s friends want her to finish Callisto. Even when Xena does finally kill her in “Return of Callisto” she doesn’t actually as she still can’t bring herself to, so she simply does not save her. The Doctor meanwhile as we know doesn’t kill the Master in Davies time even when the people around him including his friends such as Jack and Martha want him to.

Both Xena and the Doctor don’t want to kill Callisto and The Master as it would make their guilt over their past sins worse. The Doctor seemingly killed all of his kind, but now one of them has survived and he wants to help him. If he can only just convince the Master to change his ways then it will ease some of the guilt over the rest of his people’s deaths. If he does kill the Master then he will be just finishing what he started in the Time War. Similarly Xena cannot kill Callisto as she murdered her family and drove her insane as a result. Thus if she kills Callisto now she too will be merely finishing the evil act she committed years ago when she murdered her family.

Despite being their bitterest enemies both Callisto and The Master have an emotional hold over the Doctor and Xena unlike any other.

The Master and Callisto also were both driven insane by an horrific tragedy that happened many years ago when they were children. In the Masters case he was driven mad when forced to stare into the untempered schism. Since that day he heard a constant drum beat in his head that pushed him over the edge and turned him into a monster. In Callisto’s case it was watching her family burn to death.

Image result for the master as a child

In both cases we are left to wonder what would have happened had it not been for this one tragic event in their childhood. What would The Master and Callisto have been? Would the Master have been like the Doctor a heroic renegade Time Lord? Would Callisto have been sweet and innocent like Gabrielle? At the end of their story arcs we do see that there is some good in them after all, as Callisto becomes an Angel and ultimately saves Xena and Gabrielle’s souls whilst The Master at the end of Davies’ time sacrifices himself to save The Doctor.

Both The Master and Callisto even utter the line “You Made Me” to the people whom they blame for sending them down their dark path. In Callisto’s case to Xena who burned her family, in The Masters to Rassilon who implanted the drumming in his head.

Finally both Callisto and the Master also have the same twisted sexual obsession with the main hero. Both flirt with the main hero, blow kisses at them and even demonstrate a degree of sexual sadism with the main hero, with both the Master and Callisto even strapping their mortal foes in bondage gear at one point.

The finale example of Xena’s influence on the Doctor Who franchise can be seen in the character of Captain Jack Harkness. Captain Jack much like Xena herself was a somewhat darker character who was redeemed by the main hero from another series. In Jacks case the Doctor’s influence turned him from a coward to a hero, whilst in Xena’s, Hercules had turned her from being a brutal warlord to a hero. Both Xena and Jack also had romantic feelings for said hero too.

Ultimately both go on to star in their own much darker spin off series where their dark past is explored in more detail. Xena and Jack are also both LGBT icons too who embark on same sex relationships and heterosexual relationships on their own series, though their most prominent are homosexual relationships, Jack with Ianto, Xena with Gabrielle. Jack’s relationship with his brother John Grey is also similar to Xena’s with Callisto too. John Grey was left at the mercy of aliens by Jack when they were young. The aliens subsequently tortured Grey for decades driving him completely insane. Grey  returns at the end of season 2 of Torchwood and blames Jack for ruining his life and seeks revenge on him. Just as with Xena and Callisto Jack can’t kill Grey as he feels guilt for how he has turned out.

Whilst Jack had other influences such as the vampire Angel, ultimately I think Xena was also a main influence on Jack too.

I am not the only one to notice the similarities between Jack and Xena. Polina Skibinskaya a writer for AfterEllen.com noted the characters both having a dark past that still haunted them. She also referred to Jack and Xena as a “queer basher’s” worst nightmare as both are “weapon wielding, ass kicking” superheroes in contrast to the normally effeminate homosexual characters on television.

Creators of Xena’s Opinion of Doctor Who

Fortunately unlike Nigel Kneale  the makers of Xena were big Doctor Who fans, including the shows creator Rob Tapert. One episode of Xena even paid homage to the classic series of Doctor Who, “Between the Lines”. This episode sees Xena sent through time and the effect for it is based on the opening credits for Doctor Who during the Tom Baker era.

Many have also drawn a comparison between Xena and Leela the 4th Doctors companion. Though I have never read that Leela was an inspiration on Xena however.

Lucy Lawless who played Xena is herself a life long Doctor Who fan. Apparently she grew up with the show. New Zealand was always one of the places that the show was most popular outside of the UK. Her son is also a big Doctor Who fan and she even got him Matt Smith’s (see picture above) autograph.

Join me tomorrow when I will be looking at how British Horror movies influenced the adventures of the Time Lord.

The Roots of Doctor Who 3 / Sherlock Holmes

WhoSherlock

Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes fandoms have seen quite a lot of over lap in recent years thanks to one man, Steven Moffat.

Steven Moffat who was already one of the most popular Doctor Who writers took over as showrunner in 2010. During his time the show was restored to its former status as a global sensation. At the same time Moffat has also produced a modern day version of Sherlock Holmes. Called simply “Sherlock”. “Sherlock” has proven to be a massive success critically and commercially around the world.

Indeed both Doctor Who and Sherlock are arguably among the two most popular British scripted television series around the world right now.

However the two franchises have been quite closely linked with one another for many years prior, and long before the days of “Wholock” there were a number of comparisons that were drawn between the characters of the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes. Even the makers of Doctor Who including Barry Letts and Robert Holmes often compared the Time Lord to the Great Detective. In this article we will be looking at the many similarities between the two British icons as we examine Sherlock Holmes’s influence on Doctor Who overall.

Sherlock Holmes Influence on Doctor Who

The character of the Doctor was always very similar to Sherlock Holmes in some ways. The two were old fashioned, somewhat gentlemanly heroes who were very British. Even though the Doctor is an alien he still fits that mould.

Both are also heroes who use their mind to solve their problems and both the Doctor and Holmes are also somewhat difficult to live with. They are arrogant, have no social skills and can be quite rude and even condescending to their friends.

The Doctors relationship with his companions was often comparable to Holmes with Watson. Both Watson and the Doctors companions look on the Doctor and Holmes in awe due to their intellect, but also in some ways cut them down to size and keep them on their toes too.

Both the Doctor and Holmes are also asexual too. In contrast to heroes like James T Kirk and James Bond or even supposedly loner heroes like Batman who still always have to have a love interest of some kind, Catwoman, Vicki Vale, Poison Ivy etc, the Doctor and Holmes (at least the Doctor during the classic era) have no romantic relationships at all.

Whilst these parallels between the two characters could always be found way back to the Hartnell era, it was really during Jon Pertwee’s time when Sherlock Holmes began to have a strong influence on Doctor.

The Doctors new archenemy introduced in the Pertwee era, The Master, was based entirely on Professor Moriarty, Holmes nemesis.

Barry Letts the producer of the show during the Pertwee era said that what the Doctor really needed was a Moriarty, a rival who was his equal in every respect. Letts said that he himself felt the Doctor was essentially the same type of character as Sherlock Holmes, and that the Brigadier, a regular at that point was his Watson.

Image result for professor moriartyRelated image

You can see how Delgado’s Master is very much modelled on Moriarty in every respect, from his status as the heroes dark twin and mastermind behind his lesser enemies to Delgado’s calm, restrained and charming performance.

Other actors and writers would continue with the Moriarty angel on the Masters character. The Doctor and the Masters confrontation in “Logopolis” the 4th Doctors last story was very closely inspired by Holmes and Moriarty’s final confrontation above the Reichenbach falls in “The Finale Problem”.

Just like Holmes and Moriarty, The 4th Doctor and the Master battle atop a high place which ends with one of them falling to their apparent deaths. It should also be noted that this was the final appearance of the 4th Doctor whilst “The Final Problem” was intended to be the final appearance of Sherlock Holmes. Both final battles see the hero grappling with their arch foe above a huge drop, and though both apparently fall to their deaths, they ultimately manage to survive. In the Doctors case however the 4th Doctor does actually die, but the character overall survives.

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Another prominent example of Sherlock Holmes influence on Doctor Who can be seen in the 4th Doctor story “The Talons of Weng Chiang” which draws on many Holmes stories overall and even goes to the extent of dressing the Doctor in a Sherlock Holmes outfit.

Robert Holmes who wrote the adventure strangely enough was not a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but said he found the setting of the stories in Victorian London interesting which is why he gave Talons a similar setting.

I’m not a fan of Sherlock Holmes, although I’ve read all the books, but I am a fan of that fictitious Victorian period, with fog, gas lamps, hansom crabs and music halls… We look back on it and say that’s what it was like, but of course it wasn’t. People were slaving in dark, satanic mills and starving in London gutters.

– Robert Holmes on his interest in Victorian London

It is ironic that Robert Holmes the author from the classic Who that drew the most obvious comparisons between the Doctor and the great Detective didn’t even like Sherlock Holmes at all!

When Steven Moffat took over Doctor Who as its showrunner not surprisingly the comparisons as well as the tributes and nods to Sherlock Holmes became a lot stronger than ever before.

“The Wedding of River Song” much like “Logopolis” draws very heavily on “The Final Problem” in fact arguably even more so. “The Wedding of River Song” sees the Doctor face his greatest challenge yet. His impending death that is a fixed point from which there is no escape, that has been orchestrated by an old enemy. The Doctor much like Holmes in the final problem must face his death for the good of everyone else. Lake Silenco is the Doctors Reichenbach Falls.

However the Doctor much like Sherlock Holmes is able to escape this certain death and allows everyone even those closest to him to continue to believe he did actually die for a long while afterwards

Another story that would have drawn on “The Final Problem” was the much earlier “Trial of a Time Lord” from the classic era, which would have seen the 6th Doctor and his adversary the Valeyard fall whilst fighting with one another into a deep pit from which there was seemingly no escape. This would have served as the ending to that particular season, with the next season seeing the Doctor somehow come back from the abyss just like Sherlock Holmes did. Ultimately this ending was scrapped by producer John Nathan Turner

The characters of Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny Flint created by Steven Moffat, are two crime fighters from 19th century London and in the 2012 Christmas special “The Snowmen” they were revealed to have been the inspiration to Sir Arthur Conan for Sherlock Holmes. Vastra who is a Silurian would even be referred to as “the female Sherlock Holmes from the dawn of time”.

The 11th Doctor would also much like the 4th Doctor dress in a Sherlock Holmes outfit in this same episode.

However whilst Steven Moffat has taken some inspiration from Sherlock Holmes for his Doctor Who work he has interestingly enough said that he feels the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes are actually polar opposites.

Moffat has referred to “Sherlock” as a dark foil to his take on Doctor Who. He has said that the Doctor is a virtually omnipotent being who needs his human friends to keep him down to earth, whilst Sherlock Holmes is an ordinary human who wants to prove he is better than everybody else and shuns close relationships with people. Moffat said “The Doctor is an Angel who wants to be human. Sherlock is a human who wants to be a god”.

Still despite this I don’t think it can be denied that there are certainly a number of strong comparisons that can be made between the two characters and that Sherlock Holmes has had quite a large influence on Doctor Who over the years.

The Roots of Doctor Who 2/ H.G. Wells

I say, this is like something by that novelist chap, Mister Wells.

Now Wells impact on Doctor Who is rather obvious. One of Wells most famous works “The Time Machine” helped inspire the very concept of the series itself. However Wells influence on the series runs a little deeper than the fact that Doctor Who simply revolves around time travel, a science fiction trope that Wells perfected and defined with his classic novel.

Many stories and prominent characters and concepts in Doctor Who have been lifted from Wells novels and the franchise has even paid tribute to him a number of times.

Doctor Who is not unique in taking inspiration from Wells. Wells truly is one of the founding fathers of science fiction and his influence can be seen in many prominent genre stories across many different mediums.

However as Doctor Who is probably the most prominent piece of time travel fiction other than Wells iconic novel itself, then I think Doctor Who will perhaps always be more associated with Wells than other works.

Examples of Wells Influence on Doctor Who

The whole concept of Doctor Who about an eccentric scientist travelling though time obviously owes a lot to Wells classic novel “The Time Machine.” However stories in particular which draw on Wells work include the first two Dalek stories “The Daleks” and “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”. Terry Nation the author of both stories cited Wells as one of his favourite authors.

“The Daleks” bares many similarities to “The Time Machine”. Both stories are set in the future. Though its not made clear in the narrative that the Daleks takes place in the future, Nation intended it to be as revealed in the next Dalek story, “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”.  Both stories also see a society splinter into two factions. One peaceful, but ultimately useless, beautiful humanoids, the other frail, but technologically and intellectually superior creatures.

The Daleks are essentially the Morlocks (Morlocks, Darlecks, Daleks) whilst the Thals are the Eloi and the Doctor and friends are substitutes for Wells time traveller who tries to convince the peaceful, but placid humanoids to stand up to their oppressors.

Of course whilst there are similarities between both stories, it would be wrong to say the Daleks is derivative of “The Time Machine” The Daleks used the same basic idea of two societies, one peaceful but stagnated being persecuted by the other more advanced but weaker physically and added the race hatred aspect to it.

The story is able to make its Morlocks, The Daleks serve as a brilliant metaphor not just for race hatred and the Nazi regime in particular, but man’s inhumanity to man in general, as well as man’s destructive effect on the environment and the threat and consequences of nuclear power. “The Daleks” takes on a whole new life to “The Time Machine” and serves as a powerful story in its own right.

The comparisons between the Daleks and the Morlocks and the Thals and the Eloi get even stronger when you take Nations short story “We Are The Daleks” into account.

This story which Nation wrote for the Radio Times marked the first time Nation attempted to give an actual origin for the Daleks. It revealed that the Daleks were in fact human beings from a point in the future and the humans who would become the Dalek’s evolution was accelerated, which turned them into the Daleks on the planet Ameron by a race known as the Halldon.

As the Daleks were once human beings so logically therefore were the Thals, as Ameron it is implied would one day become known as Skaro with the Thals being the humans whose evolution was not accelerated.

The Thals and the Daleks therefore much like both the Eloi and the Morlocks were actually our descendants too.

“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” meanwhile draws on “The War of the Worlds” The Daleks are comparable to Wells other most famous creations The Martian Invaders.

The Martians are octopus like creatures who house themselves in near indestructable robotic casings exactly like the Daleks. Like the Daleks they also come from a dead planet. Both the Daleks and the Martians manage to conquer the earth too and both stories show us the earth under these cruel invaders rule.

The film version of “The Daleks Invasion of Earth” titled “Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD” meanwhile sees the Daleks just like the Martians get destroyed by a natural force on the earth, a force that does not affect human beings. In the Martians case it is bacteria that poisons them whilst in the Daleks it is the magnetic power of the earths core that pulls them into it and destroys them.

Both cases show the planet itself destroying the invaders rather than humanity.

Whilst they may have taken on their own life ultimately, in many ways the Daleks in their earliest appearances can really be seen as an amalgam of Wells two most famous creations. The Morlocks and the Martians.

One thing in particular that “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” and many other Doctor Who invasion earth stories do, that comes from H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds” is show the alien oppressors marching in front of familiar earth landmarks to demonstrate how the alien menace has triumphed over us as it has now claimed an iconic symbol of humanity for its own.

The chances of anything coming from Mars, Skaro, Planet 14 and Raxacoricofallapatorius are a million to one, but still they come.

Whilst the Daleks are essentially the Martians and the Morlocks combined, Davros can also be seen as something of a Doctor Moreau figure. Whilst Davros obviously draws on a number of sources both literary and real life, there are aspects of Moreau in Davros, and Davros’s failed experiments in Genesis are comparable to the monsters Moreau creates too.

Another story to draw on Wells influence specifically is the three part Season 3 finale. “Utopia, The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords”.

The future the Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones and Captain Jack visit is very like the future in the Time Machine. Here humanity has split into two sides, one degenerate and one peaceful like the Morloks and the Eloi. However in quite a good twist the degenerate side are the more primitive. The Toclafane meanwhile much like the Daleks could also be seen as an amalgam of the Martians and the Morlocks. Like the Morlocks they are our degenerate deescendants, but like the Martians they are also withered creatures who are housed in mechanical shells  and the Toclafane’s subject of humanity is comparable to the Martians.

Wells influence runs right throughout Doctor Who, but definitely the strongest examples are on some of the most prominent icons and characters of the series such as The Daleks, The TARDIS and even the main character the Doctor himself.

Nods and Tributes to Wells in Doctor Who

  • In “Frontier in Space” The Master is shown to be reading Wells novel “War of the Worlds”. The plot of this adventure sees the Master try and provoke a war between two planets Earth and Draconia.
  • In “Pyramids of Mars” Lawrence Scarman comments that the Doctors TARDIS is like something from H.G. Wells.
  • In the story “Timelash” H.G. Wells actually appears as a character.played by David Chandler. This story reveals that his stories were inspired by an adventure with the Doctor where he travels to an alien world, witnesses a battle between two planets, the Doctor seemingly turning himself invisible, encounters alien monsters called Morlocks and helps the Doctor defeat a scientist called the Borad who has been performing experiments, one of which turned him into a freakish monster. Sadly “Timelash” was panned, and in all honesty it is quite frankly awful. However in some ways I see Timelash as ironically being quite influential. Its basic formula of having the Doctor encounter a figure from history who helps him defeat a monster, with his adventure with the Doctor going on to inspire his own famous work.. Yes ironically “The Unquiet Dead”, “The Shakespear Code”, “The Unicorn and the Wasp” and “Vincent and the Doctor” are all essentially the same idea as “Timelash”. Maybe “Timelash” isn’t so bad after all?
  • The Tenth Doctor encounters H.G. Wells in a comic strip “The Time Machination” where he helps him battle the renegade time traveller Jonathan Smith and Torchwood. This story also sees Wells encounter the 4th Doctor and Leela at the end of the story too, though he does not make himself known to them.
  • The Second Doctor encounters Wells in the Big Finish Audio The Piltdown Men.

The Doctor meets that guy that ripped off all of his adventures.