Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Thoughts on The Interim, Post-Apocalypse

Appropriately, Mr. Davies posing with a broken Dalek.

We wonder, in the aftermath of Chris Chibnall’s disastrous tenure on the show, if DOCTOR WHO can be saved; we wonder even if it SHOULD be saved. 

Chibnall was by far the worst thing ever to happen to the show, worse even than cancellation of the original series. Russell Davies is a talented writer after all, but he’s not a superhero. His first accomplishment for WHO was to raise and reconstitute it after a prolonged time away, but he was dealing with a show that was not Fundamentally Broken as it is now.

Much as fans may want to see the show reconstituted, there is wisdom in letting it lie for a while, and allowing the dust to settle. The risk lies in trying to bring it back too soon when the wounds are still fresh. The corporate powers that be will always push for a hasty return, because it’s their Cash Cow after all (although it stopped giving milk several years ago), but pushing something like this never helped anyone. I see Davies as very much trying to walk a fine line here . . . And perhaps trying to walk several very fine lines at the same time. He’s faced by opposing forces who each have wildly varying hopes and expectations, and in order to find success he essentially has to build something new.

As yet, I don’t know how I feel about the return of David Tennant to the role, however brief it is. It’s fine, really, because Davies had already established that this can happen, and it makes a certain amount of sense. It also seems to me very much a “stunt,” and a bit of an act of desperation. However. If Davies can use this stunt as a means of buying story time with which he can repair the damage to the show before Forging Boldly Ahead, it will be worthwhile in the long run. 

For my part, I have only one Non-Negotiable Demand. The Timeless Children must go. If it cannot be retconned out of existence, it must at least be neutralized, and rendered harmless. It’s true that there have been other Stupid Doctor Tricks in the past (“half-human,” anyone?), and that newly arriving showrunners have been able to get away with Simply Ignoring them. 

That will not be good enough this time. The whole life of the show hangs on this one unimaginably stupid continuity revision. The show is Broken in its current state: so it’s not a question of simply Bringing Back to Life a show that was Merely Resting. It’s not “resting” now. It’s on Life Support.

For my part, Mr. Davies, please take all the time you need. We are open to your solutions. But will will not be Fucked With any longer.


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