Good day, Ordinary Author here. You might remember a few weeks ago when we delivered our review of episode one of Doctor Who, and said there was much potential for this season. Well, not even five episodes in, and I feel I have to write about it again.
There are so many elements in this new season that work so well- but first, I want to talk about what really sets this new season apart from the rest- and that’s the Black Mirror Style critique of society and politics, that nearly ever new episode of Who has presented to us.
Of corse, Black Mirror is aimed at a much more mature audience- and is not sci-fi, so much as dystopian drama. But the concept is very similar- season 10 of Doctor Who has been very effective in diagnosing a fault or a nuance of our time, then building an atmospheric sci-fi setting around it. An example of this would be the episode which featured a robot which ‘speaks emoji’ and the sinister concept of having to smile all the time- because of a small screen attached to your back which shows an emoji of your mood.
That type of ‘I can see that happening’ writing reached its pinnacle in last Saturday’s episode, set on a space ship, in which oxygen could only be bought and any ‘un-licensed’ oxygen would be expelled. This also brings me to the next thing of prominence in the new season- Politics.
Doctor Who has always been vaguely political, containing messages about the consequences of ones actions- and also strong messages of pacifism in the past (in episodes such as A Town Called Mercy). However, this season has had strong messages about Capitalism and the markets in multiple episodes such as the aforementioned ‘Oxygen’. It is likely that recent British events have triggered these messages- so there you go- something for the whole family.
Whilst I’m here and writing though, I also wanted to mention a few other things that I really like about this season, be it a writing point or otherwise:
Music– the music in Dr Who has always been good (and Muarry Gold doesn’t get enough credit), but I feel that the scoring has been particularly great this time round. I particularly like the old-school orchestra bits at dramatic moments- that’s the best way to describe it. People who’ve seen it will know what I’m talking about. Could there be more moog though? I think that would work.
The university- I like that the University is a central setting this season. The characters might have tones of adventures in space and Victorian England, but they always come back to the university. I also really like the fact that the Doctor lectures here, it works really well for him. Finally, the fact that the Doctor is the companion Bill’s Professor makes the relationship interesting, and works well (many people were unsure of the companion because of the age gap). And the special effects weren’t all bad either.
In summary, if I could choose one word to describe the New Who so far, it would be atmospheric.
P.S. It has to be John Simm’s Master in that vault…