Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Doctor Who Series 9 Wish List

I have 101 very important things I could be doing right now. Instead, I’m going to blog about Doctor Who.

Possible spoilers ensue.

This season, I want the TARDIS to be really, really crowded. I want the kind of family relationship that, in New Who, has really only been touched upon in series 1 (Nine/Rose/Mickey/Jack) and series 6 (Eleven/Amy/Rory/River). Thus, I propose a new TARDIS family.

Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Doctor - I feel like Twelve hasn't gotten completely comfortable in his own skin, and that needs to happen in this season. And the best way to make that happen, I think, is to have him be surrounded by people he cares about. As well as trying to regulate his relationships with his friends, the Doctor needs to really buckle down on his search for Gallifrey. This is what he needs to do to finally have some semblance of peace of mind.

Alex Kingston as River Song - River is a brilliant character, and I know many people would like to see her come back to meet the similarly aged and grumpily charming new Doctor. The problem seems to be that we know exactly where she begins and ends; her story is bookended almost completely within the Eleventh Doctor’s run, and to delve into the stories in between would seem out of place and anticlimactic. That’s why I think the Doctor needs to do what he’s never dared to do before: bring River out of the library. I know this might seem to undermine tension that came before, but Moffat will find a way à la The Day of the Doctor. Here’s my rationalization. Due to Twelve’s recent muddy relationships with both Clara and Missy, he’s longing for a female presence in his life who he knows he can both trust, and who won’t be sexually threatening to him. A post-library River (perhaps even one whose consciousness has been placed in a lifelike robotic replica of herself) will be both ready to give herself to the Doctor completely, and will be mature enough to give his more sexually innocent incarnation space to breathe. She will be the heart of the TARDIS family, the person who the Doctor wants by his side when he finds Gallifrey.

Michelle Gomez as Missy - It is assumed that the Master escaped from Gallifrey itself, thus Missy should know its true location regardless her lie in Death in Heaven. The Doctor could reasonably ally himself with her, either through force or bargaining, and get her to lead him home. Missy would be the rogue of the family, never trusted, but kept around because she is simply the best option they have. She would also add an incredibly interesting element, since she could very well be both scornful of the idea of the Doctor having a family, while at the same time desperately wanting to be included in it.

Georgia Moffett as Jenny - The Doctor’s artificially created daughter, and one of the few Time Lord-ish beings left outside of Gallifrey, she could very well cross paths with her father after catching word that she may have a home to go to. After well over four seasons with no word from her, it’s about time that her presumably individual adventures come to an end, and there seems to be no better time than now, when what it means to be a Time Lord in this world is in question. She would add some much-needed innocence to this so far rather old and jaded family, being a relatively young person (I’m assuming the in-universe time since she last saw the Doctor would roughly relate to real-world time, or about seven years).

Craig Ferguson as The Human Scottish Bumbler - Not only a huge Doctor Who fan, but a long-time friend of Peter Capaldi, Ferguson is the missing piece of my series 9 wish list. He would be the particular friend that Twelve gets to bond with, someone who he can feel similar to, while at the same time still feel superior to. The Doctor always likes to have a human of Earth along with him, and it's very possible that he'd dip from Scotland both to find someone who shares his accent (aside from Missy), and to feel connected with his old friend Amy. Ferguson would add a fantastic sense of verbal and physical comedy to the family, he could play like a wittier, more vulgar Rory Williams.

Though I doubt many if any of these will be a part of the permanent upcoming TARDIS team, I hope all of them are eventually touched on, if not in this series, then at least in the next. I would just like some new (or relatively new) faces, and several of them, to pull this show out of threats of monotony. And think how fantastic it would be to see four or five names (and faces?!) flying through the time vortex during the title sequence!

Now a few words about Clara and Danny.

Clara may or may not be exiting in the Christmas special, and honestly I kind of hope she does. I like her character, but if she stays on for another series, she’ll have been the companion for longer than Rose, and as long as Amy, which just doesn't seem right. Her story seems to be at the point of reaching a satisfying conclusion (either in happiness with Danny, or her own death), and just the thought of another dozen episodes with her is extremely tiresome. In addition, I want a brand new character to come in soon for the Twelfth Doctor in particular to bond to, instead of being stuck with Eleven’s leftovers (Twelve and Clara’s superior chemistry notwithstanding). Unfortunately for people who think like me, Clara’s inclusion in series 9 seems inevitable. Whether or not she would fit well with the family I've laid out is up for discussion.

As for Danny’s potential as a companion, while I would like to see it, I’m ultimately against it. Even supposing that Danny a) will return from the afterlife in the Christmas special or beyond, and b) could ever be persuaded to travel with the Doctor after all the trouble the latter has gotten the former and former's girlfriend into, I feel like his story pattern would too closely match Rory’s (i.e. introduced in his first season as a recurring character and the long-suffering rightful lover of the girl caught between him and the Doctor, and then brought on as a regular in his second season with diminished romantic ambiguity) to be of much interest.

So that’s my over-long opinion. Thoughts?