Now that series 12 is over and series 13 on the way, we should look back on the first two seasons of Jodie Whittaker’s run and think about what the show could do to improve its current formula. Now in my opinion series twelve was brilliant. It’s flawed but aside from the dud of “Orphan 55” I think that it was a really exciting series. What could it do going forward? Well here’s my ten cents on the matter.
More returning villains
Now series twelve had three returning enemies for the doctor to face off against, and they were great additions, after all with a fifty-seven-year history, returning villains have been a staple, be them the return of the greats like the Daleks and Cybermen or coming in the form of more obscure threats like the great intelligence or the Macra. Either way there is a lot you can do with the aliens of old and it’s always a joy to see them again. Here are some I’d love to see.
It has been over ten years since they returned to our screens in “The Sontaran Stratagem” and excluding Strax and a brief cameo in “The Pandorica Opens” they haven’t been seen since. Now’s the perfect time for them to make their return. With the shows current tone and themes, the ideas of the Sontarans being a race bred purely for war they would fit in perfectly into this new era. And with a redesign that could be a mix between a current and classic design much as was done with the Cybermen in series twelve and you could be onto a winner both visually and tonally.
With the new series being fifteen years old it’s about time we had some returning monsters from the first series. It’s a bit weird that the reapers haven’t been seen since Father’s Day as the reapers are creatures that feed off paradoxes which in a show about time travel are a regular occurrence. The reapers represented an existential threat of changing history which the doctor is well aware of doing. Imagine a story where the Tardis team accidentally prevent a major historical event and are forced make the event happen (Much like the plot of Rosa but instead of a human the threat is an unstoppable monster)
Another classic from the Russel T. Davies era. Last seen in “School Reunion” these bat-like creatures adapt body parts from the species they invade. A unique alien with a really cool premise, it would be a shame if they didn’t come back. Every time the doctor encounters them they could look completely different and it could be fun to see all the different combinations they could come up with, they could even include bits and pieces from other parts of the doctor’s rogues gallery. It could lead to a fascinating Frankenstein-esque story which would work well with the current themes and style of the show.
Series eleven felt very much like the new production team were trying to get their footing but and as such felt very much like a mixed bag but the episode that stood out most to me was “Demons of the Punjab”. To me this story set the tone for the rest of the series. It was beautifully written, thought-provoking and impactful. Completely different to the previous years historical runabout, this episode really focussed on the human element of this historical event and it called back to the early days of the classic series with pure historical tales like “The Aztecs” and “The Reign of Terror”. It’s a shame that the show hasn’t decided to return to this in series twelve as it would be great to see more historical stories visit lesser known events like this in the style of the new series.
Bring back the fugitive doctor
With all the reveals that we saw in series twelve, Jo Martin’s doctor was the true standout. Appearing midway through the series she steals the show with her mystery doctor and although we now know where she fits, it would be a mistake to leave her there. Jo’s performance as the doctor captivated viewers instantly and a lot of viewers want to see more. On that note it would be great to see more versions of the pre-Hartnell doctors. The 60th anniversary will be upon us soon and seeing a multi doctor story featuring both the doctors we know and the doctors we’ve never seen would be a great way to celebrate it. (And if all else fails I’m sure Big finish will be able to do something with Jo Martin).
Build up the current arc (But don’t resolve it yet)
I think the idea of introducing a multi series arc is a risk; In the case of the RTD era it worked perfectly with series 1-4 of doctor who as well as two crossover shows all concluding in an infinity war style crossover with four years of lore and build up working like a well oiled machine. Stephen Moffat unfortunately wasn’t able to conclude his storylines more satisfyingly. Matt Smith’s arc appears to have been cut short by him leaving the show and Peter Capaldi didn’t really have an arc that stretched across his three seasons. Series eleven and twelve have set up a storyline that really should stretch out until 2023. Doctor Who has been missing that type of storyline for a while now so the idea of getting that again is a promising thought.
I know that it’s unlikely that a lot of this would happen (Especially the return of two relatively obscure monsters from fifteen year ago but it would be incredibly cool if Chibnall would allow any of the things above to happen but it’s that man’s prerogative and I assume with the next series underway plans are already in motion for what’s next. All I can say is, I can’t wait!