Doctor Who (2005) (Series 11-present)
Series 11 of the UK sci-fi series Doctor Who began airing on October 7, 2018. It starred Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, making her the first woman to play the title character, and also featured three new companions; Graham O'Brien, played by Bradley Walsh; Ryan Sinclair, played by Tosin Cole; and Yasmin Khan, played by Mandip Gill. It also saw former Doctor Who and Torchwood writer Chris Chibnall take over as showrunner.
Note that this article is only about series 11 of the 2005 relaunch series, not series 11 of the original 1963 series.
Why This Series Sucks
- Constant liberal and pro-political correctness propaganda in nearly every episode. In fairness, the early years of the relaunch were almost as bad for this, but at least they were preaching about things that actually were major issues at the time (i.e. same-sex marriage not being legal in the UK or most of the US until Matt Smith's and Peter Capaldi's eras as the Doctor respectively) and were often based on then-showrunner Russell T. Davies' personal experiences as a gay man. More importantly, those episodes were also a lot of better-written, meaning it was easier to overlook.
- The Thirteenth Doctor is written as pretty much just a gender-swapped version of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) combined. She is prone to babbling which tends to ruin what could be otherwise tense and important scenes.
- Having three companions means that barely any of them get very much to do. Note that the last time a Doctor Who series had three companions were in series 19 (1982), and there they ended up killing off one of them (that being Adric).
- Ryan and Yasmin have virtually no personality or character development between them. If they got rid of Yasmin in the show, nothing about the show would change for the Doctor. It comes off as being like they were trying to compensate for the relaunched show's habit of turning its female companions into Mary Sues, but went too far in the opposite direction and ended up making her completely uninteresting.
- In a bit of forced diversity, Ryan is established in the series opener to have dyspraxia. But other than him not being able to ride a bicycle, this never becomes relevant during the series. In fact, on the one occasion where you might expect his disability to actually be relevant - during an action sequence on some conveyor belts in the episode "Kerblam!" - it actually ends up being Ryan who saves a guest character from falling to his death!
- Most of the episodes in the first half of the series are all pretty awful, with "Arachnids in the UK" and "The Tsuranga Conundrum" being widely regarded as the two worst episodes of the entire relaunch until that point, with IMDb scores of 5.1 and 5.2 respectively.
- The aforementioned "Arachnids in the UK" features a character who is an insulting parody of 45th US President Donald Trump. Or at least, was intended that way, but the episode is so badly written that he actually comes across as the most reasonable character by far, since he just wants to shoot dead all the rampaging spiders (a plan which would only have failed because a bunch of people with handguns wouldn't have been enough against such a huge swarm), instead of the needlessly stupid and convoluted plan the Doctor comes up with.
- On top of that, if they hadn't mentioned he was intending to run for President then you wouldn't even know that Trump was the person they were trying to parody. He just comes across as some stereotypical American businessman who loves money and guns a bit too much.
- "Rosa", which is one of the more decent episodes of the series, is spoiled a little by a completely pointless moment early on where a guy randomly threatens to beat Ryan up purely because he's black as if it somehow needed to be pointed out to viewers that racism was a big problem in the 1950s Deep South. The music that plays during the scene when Rosa gets arrested also feels out of place.
- There's no real story arc to the series. While the previous series have had big story arcs about Rose Tyler turning out to be the "Bad Wolf", the return (twice) of the long-time enemy the Master, the Daleks attempting to destroy all of reality, cracks in the universe which erase people from history, and a plot to force one of the Doctor's friends into assassinating him, the nearest thing we get to any sort of arc here is Ryan and Graham getting over the death of the woman who was their grandmother and wife respectively.
- Awful series finale, which just features the return of a forgettable villain from the series opener, has said villain carrying out a plan ripped off partly from the classic series episode "The Pirate Planet" and partly from the new series episodes "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End", and has no real story developments other than Graham learning that it's bad to take revenge on people, which is totally inexcusable for any TV series finale.
- The new TARDIS interior design doesn't look anywhere near as good as the one that had been used for the latter part of the Eleventh Doctor's era and then all of the Twelfth Doctor's era. What's more, it feels like they changed the set just for the sake of it (the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's TARDIS set was retired because it wasn't suitable for HD filming, and the one used in the Eleventh Doctor's early series had to be ditched due to design faults).
- No appearances from any of the show's familiar villains or monsters, (save for "Resolution", as stated in Redeeming Qualities) and none of the new ones are very memorable or threatening, which is unacceptable since Doctor Who is known for its memorable rogues' gallery. The P'Ting from "The Tsuranga Conundrum" possibly beats out the Abzorbaloff from "Love & Monsters" as the stupidest monster in the show's entire history.
- The writing feels very cliched throughout. For instance, if a character mentions a family member or significant other, and they're not related to one of the main characters, they will die in the very next scene.
- Nearly all the attempts at humor feel dated, incredibly forced, or both.
- Tosin Cole gives a wooden, lifeless performance as Ryan Sinclair. It's also obvious that he's not from Yorkshire.
- A lot of the dialogue is telling rather than showing.
- Graham is easily the best-acted and most likable of the companions, and the only one who gets any real character development.
- The filming quality and visual effects are both noticeably better than in the previous series.
- Nice new version of the Doctor Who theme.
- Some episodes in the second half of the series are for the most part pretty decent.
- They at least don't make a big deal about the Doctor's gender switch after the first two episodes.
- The New Year's special "Resolution" is a massive step up from this series.
- Sacha Dhawan as The Master are enjoyable character with living personality, it's enjoyable to see The Master on screen and how he acts. He displayed more energy in his first appearance on both Parts of Spyfall than the 13th Doctor and her companions did in the entire series.
- It's great to see Captain Jack Harkness back on screen in Fugitive of the Judoon and the Revolution of the Daleks.
Reactions to the series among general viewers have been mixed to negative, especially in the UK press, which has become generally very hostile to liberals and political correctness following the country's vote for Brexit and has called for the show to be canceled. Fans have been a little more forgiving, though many of them have vowed to boycott the show until Chris Chibnall is fired and/or the Doctor is recast with a male actor.
Despite the poor reactions, viewing figures actually improved from the extremely low levels in the era of the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), recovering to about where they were during Matt Smith's period in the title role. However, this is likely due to the show getting a better timeslot and more promotion compared to most of Capaldi's era.