Valedictory musings • 4 November 2008 • The SnowBlog
A reader writes, "And why no blog posts about David Tennant/Dr Who?" Ahhh, yes Naomi, a good question. That last season took a heavy toll I'm afraid. Producer R. T. Davies's relentlessly downbeat and nihilistic attitude did not combine well with the frantic flimsiness of many of his story ideas. It's one thing to be giddy while you're having fun, but giddy and depressed is a sour mix. I'd be thinking of leaving too. As I mentioned at the time, RTD had clearly had enough before he started work on the 2008 season. Whereas he used to put words into the Doctor's mouth about humanity being super, in a low key way, and indomitable, this time around it was all about our capacity to turn on each other. In fact a whole episode was devoted to how ordinary people were so vile they could really rattle the Doctor in a way that no alien menace could hope to achieve. R.T.D. clearly hated people and had had his fill of the Doctor when he sat down to plan the 2008 season and it hasn't done the show any favours in my eyes. With the exception of Steven Moffat's fabulous two-parter (in which he clearly operated without RTD's deadening hand on his shoulder) I cringed at every episode of last season. So puerile, so flimsy, so dour.
If David Tennant had called me up for advice before he made his decision to leave I would have said to him, "Davey Boy, wait until Steven Moffat's in the driving seat before you do anything final. If I'm right, he'll put the show back on course. Eloquent exuberance in abundance is in the offing. You wouldn't want to miss that." But Steven Moffat's debut won't hit our screens until 2010. And that's a long time to ask D.T. to wait. And what if I'm wrong and Steven Moffat's influence isn't all The Doctor Dances/Girl in the Fireplace/Blink/The Library? What if it's more like Jekyll? Well, then I'd have been wrong to keep DT from other things for two more years. So as you can see, Naomi, I've kept quiet because I haven't known my own mind. And I'm looking forward to RTD's final mini-season at the helm with rather more trepidation than enthusiasm. And I certainly can't get into the spirit of speculating about replacements until I know whether I'm going to actually enjoy watching the show again. In many ways, I think the best thing to do is think of other things until Spring 2010. Hence my silence. (Em, I imagine, is just far more interested in bringing new life into the world than talking about dodgy telly.)