So, last night I had an email that Doctor Who series 8 was on Netflix. I’m a bit of a late comer to the whole franchise, not watching until Matt Smith had already started the role. So today I decided to burn my way through all 12 episodes that were available.
The thing about series 8 is that this is the start of a new regeneration, and I had heard mixed things about the new regeneration. Mostly that it took some getting used too. I will say that overall the episodes were good, but I didn’t find that I had to adjust to the new Doctor. Other than that first episode I liked the changes to the character, and I thought that Peter Capaldi did a great job during the series.
I think it was about halfway through the series that I decided that Peter Capaldi’s doctor was Doc Brown from Back to the Future, and Clara was Marty McFly. It’s hard to rationalize that thought other than it is the older mentor figure with the time travelling sidekick. The only problem with that analogy is that in Back to the Future the doctor was the sidekick.
Just one of the things I enjoyed was the throwbacks to the previous doctors. Mentioning the bow tie, or showing previous regenerations was a nice touch. One of the ones I really enjoyed was an early episode that tied back to the David Tennant run where he is going back and forth to France with the clock robots.
So, just fair warning, there will be spoilers after this. So if you don’t want those, understand I liked the series and stop here.
That being said, the one thing I didn’t really like about the series was romance between Clara and PE (Dan Pink). In the end he was just another throwaway character that was given importance so that in the end you felt attached to him. I know this is a staple of Steven Moffat, and I honestly was expecting it to happen much earlier than it did. And I have to wonder if it was simply a coincidence that he dies the same way Rose’s dad died and that she (Clara) asked the Doctor to go back and fix it.
I will also say that the last bit about the afterlife particularly struck home with me. I don’t want to turn this in to a post about what I’m going through at the moment, but the sudden loss Clara was going through coupled with the dialog she has with him from “heaven” was difficult for me to listen to. I think anyone who has ever lost someone they cared about very suddenly without the opportunity to say goodbye understands the emotional pain that you go through. In that regard, I think they did an excellent job capturing that feeling of wanting to say goodbye and that you wish you could do something to change what happened.
One question I had about the end of the series was that if the cyber rain was bringing back all the dead people as Cybermen, would that mean that Amy and Rory, in the end, wind up as cybermen? I kept expecting to see their grave somehow shown in the scenes that take place in the graveyard.
OK DONE WITH MAJOR SPOILERS
Okay, so overall I enjoyed series 8. I think that Peter Capaldi did a good job as the Doctor and I look forward to seeing more. I’m also not sure when this series ended, so there may have been a Christmas special by now, that just wasn’t on Netflix.