This week Whovian Leap considers Series 9’s “retro” feel.
It is almost as if Doctor Who this year has been made for us elderly “Classic Whovians” and not those young whippersnappers who only jumped on board in 2005, bless their little Dalekanium socks.
Just think, Series 9 features all-time favourite villains such as Davros, the Daleks and the Master. And who isn’t a “sucker” for a Zygon?
This new series has started later in the year than usual and also later in the evening. After years of arguing that Doctor Who should be watched on dark and cold winter evenings, we have at long last got our own way. Huddled round our tellies and with the curtains drawn (to keep the monsters out of course) this could be the 1970’s again.
We have an older Doctor and a younger female companion, just like the Third and Jo, the Fourth and Sarah or the Seventh and Ace. This time round the companion has no modern-day family ties and the episodes are a far cry from RTD’s sci-fi lite kitchen sink days. What’s more, there is no canoodling with Capaldi and that is a blessed relief for those weary of the snog-fest that was the first eight series of Nu-Who.
The cliffhangers are back, thanks to the reintroduction of the two parters. To our delight, 45 minutes plus 45 minutes is approximately the same length as a Classic Who four parter.
And if all that isn’t enough, we’ve even got the low ratings of latter day Classic Who to remind us of why we got so hung up about viewing figures in the first place. Just that this time round, and quite miraculously, they don’t matter! UK overnights count little in a global market with viewers increasingly watching on catch-up TV.
The icing on the cake is that we don’t have to be embarrassed any more about shoddy special effects or dubious stunt-casting. We can watch an episode with the “not us” without cringing or having to justify why we love Doctor Who so much.
In our heart of hearts we accept it cannot last. We know full well that the showrunner before too long will inevitably pull the lever in a completely different direction, just to keep the audience on its toes. Before you can say sandshoes, it’ll be another young heart-throb Doctor again, snogging left and right and centre amidst the kitchen sinks. And why not? Doctor Who has to be for everyone, it cannot be some niche-show, if it is to survive.
Let’s just savour this Series 9 tribute act to Classic Who while it lasts. After all, very soon they might be appealing to our sense of nostalgia once again – by giving us another hiatus!