Doctor Who reviews this year?

So for the last few years – ooh, four now I think about it – I’ve been doing episode-by-episode reviews of Doctor Who. Now that was fun. It was enjoyable, because no matter what happened, David Tennant and whichever his companion he was with + Rusty and one of his nonsensical scripts almost always added up to fun.

However, Steven Moffat’s in charge and as much as his intricate plotting and general cleverness make Rusty’s best efforts look like the doodlings of a High School child, they lack Rusty’s exuberance, depth of emotion and general fun. In short, I’m finding them a bit more like hard work than anything I actually enjoying. I’m not even sure I really care about DW enough any more to want to review them.

I know – I’m such a neophile.

So the question is, what with

  • me already committed to two hours of Spiral every week for at least another week
  • a workload that’s seen me working three out of four days for the last two bank holiday weekends and with no proper time to blog until Friday
  • high quality reviews available elsewhere from the likes of Frank, Jane and Stuart

do you actually want my usual full-on reviews or should I reduce Who to the Friday “What Have You Been Watching?” slot unless I feel particularly inspired?

Your opinion matters, so leave a comment if you do want the reviews (or if you don’t because you think they’re rubbish).

  • Ah, I’d be really sorry to see your reviews go, Rob, but if you ain’t enjoying writing them… it seems a bit demanding of us to expect you to jump to our tune! Maybe you could review when you feel the urge, and otherwise ask people to contribute their reviews? Have just posted mine at http://maniacmum.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-wear-stetson-now.html if anyone’s interested. I don’t think Steven Moffat quite gets RTD’s depth of feeling, but there is emotion there, alot of it, just not so in your face and understated. I quite like that actually. The look on River’s face when she kissed the Doctor and realised it was his first time is a case in point, but I get it is a different style. And yes, reviewing the first two episodes gave me a headache!

  • stu-n

    I always enjoy your Who reviews, as they’re among the few — online, at least — to come from someone who’s a telly afficionado first and a genre fan second; you don’t have the inclination to dismiss the handwaving of difficult bits of plot that sf fans often do (yep, nerd polyfilla again). And I particularly enjoy the friendly tone of the discussion here, which doesn’t have the spite or abuse so common in other Who discussion (for a start, I don’t agree with you over lack of emotion in Moff’s work compared with Rusty’s, but I wouldn’t fancy arguing that point on Outpost Gallifrey or the V-Hive). Obviously, if you don’t have the time or the inclination to write the reviews then it’s completely up to you, but I would miss them if they were gone.

  • This is your blog, not a job. Only write about what you want to/what you enjoy, or readers won’t enjoy reading it.

  • Frank Collins

    A shame if you’re really not being inspired to review the episodes but I do understand. After two weeks of Moffat’s ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ cleverness that defies logic, I will be glad to get back to a bog-standard episode of Who this weekend. You know, one that makes sense, that you actually can understand and where you’re not waiting for another four episodes to find some resolution. I have to admit I found ‘Day of the Moon’ very hard to write about.
    Don’t get me wrong. I think when Moffat’s plotting works he can turn out some stunning episodes but I mourn the passing of Rusty’s emotional storytelling. The emotional core of the series has become a wee bit mechanical of late.
    If you’re not feeling the love then perhaps have a break from reviewing them? If reviewing them feels as if it’s a chore then I always think it’s time to stop reviewing. Maybe smaller capsule reviews as part of the ‘What Have you Been Watching’ slot?

  • Frank Collins

    A shame if you’re really not being inspired to review the episodes but I do understand. After two weeks of Moffat’s ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ cleverness that defies logic, I will be glad to get back to a bog-standard episode of Who this weekend. You know, one that makes sense, that you actually can understand and where you’re not waiting for another four episodes to find some resolution. I have to admit I found ‘Day of the Moon’ very hard to write about.
    Don’t get me wrong. I think when Moffat’s plotting works he can turn out some stunning episodes but I mourn the passing of Rusty’s emotional storytelling. The emotional core of the series has become a wee bit mechanical of late.
    If you’re not feeling the love then perhaps have a break from reviewing them? If reviewing them feels as if it’s a chore then I always think it’s time to stop reviewing. Maybe smaller capsule reviews as part of the ‘What Have you Been Watching’ slot?

  • Mark Carroll

    I’m going to see Doctor Who episodes much sooner than I’ll ever see Spiral so, while I’ll read your Doctor Who reviews with interest, I probably won’t anything you write about Spiral, and there is plenty of diversity among Doctor Who episodes.
    Having said that, don’t write any blog entries you don’t feel at all moved to, I don’t want it to feel like a chore for you.

  • TemplarJ

    How many hits do you get to your site through Doctor Who searches though?
    Oh, and I’m loving it this year. Saturday’s cliffhanger was top notch mind f*&k material.

  • I would move on. I watch the show these days but I don’t love it. Toby will tell you it’s the reason I didn’t get a premiere screener this year.
    Rusty’s show was just so much more fun. I watch these episodes from Moffat and find myself not only having to watch with the captions on but rewinding to see what I missed. TV’s not supposed to be that much work. McLuhan said COOL medium, not hot.

  • Marie

    Having just watched the second of the two parter I’m dying to know what you think, but of course you mustn’t force yourself to write about anything if you’re not enjoying it. I’m considering whether or not to commit to reviewing them myself, as I’m very overworked at the moment. I must admit though that for me part of what I love about Who is the chat, and you’re one of my favourite chatters. Maybe come and comment on our reviews (assuming the rest of us get round to writing them) if you find you do have something you want to say?

  • Rob: we love you and we LOVE your reviews — but it has to be out of love and not duty (although I know all of three of us [?] ‘mercilessly bullied’ you into reviewing the double dose of Spiral each week!)
    If you are not feeling the love, then don’t force yourself to review. Do it when/if you want to. I’d love to know your thoughts on the two episodes so far, but you’re a busy man.
    I’ll be off to read the other reviews in your absence and eagerly await any comments anywhere.

  • Electric Dragon

    How about an open thread for each episode? The bloggers among us can post up links to their reviews (or others) when done, everyone can just generally discuss and you can drop in if and when you have the time/enthusiasm to do so?

  • Marie

    I think Electric Dragon’s open thread suggestion is the best. We can all use you as a central Who hub to post our views / links to our Who blogs, and you can chip in as and when you feel like it.
    In the spirit of which, here’s my review: http://womanwhotalkedtoomuch.blogspot.com/2011/05/doctor-who-impossible-astronaut-and.html (Looks like I can’t resist doing them after all).