I’m not quite sure what to think about Season Eight. I mean, it was okay, I guess. Nothing great, but okay. I’ve tried to list my thoughts below, in no real order. Also, gifs from various fandoms to help articulate my feelings on the season.
Capaldi makes an excellent Doctor. I love how he’s done so far, and how this incarnation of the Doctor is sort of grouchy, and almost as snarky as Nine. Even so, he’s still protective, even if he can seem pretty cold and uncaring sometimes. I think it’s a good counterbalance to Eleven, and even Ten, in a way. Twelve may be my favorite Doctor yet.
My problem is with his relationship with Clara. He’s always insulting her. Maybe it’s to show that their relationship isn’t romantic anymore? But they’re still supposed to be friends, and besides, there are better ways of showing that.
I liked Clara a lot better in this season. Her character has really developed since the writers started treating her as a character instead of a plot device. She’s not nearly my favorite companion, but hey, she’s better than she was.
My biggest problems with Clara in this season were her relationship with Danny- we’ll get to that later- and the emotional inconsistency. Jenna Louise Coleman did an excellent job, but when it came to the writers, there was no consistency between episodes. One moment she’s yelling at the Doctor that she’s done and never wants to see him again, and the next they’re going on a fun “goodbye trip” in space. I would’ve preferred to see her character arc carried throughout the show, instead of being an “on again, off again” thing.
Danny was great, as a character. I liked Danny. I liked seeing Danny with the school kids. I liked seeing Danny with the Doctor. I liked seeing Danny twist the Doctor’s earlier ideas of soldiers. I liked the conflicts he had about his earlier life. He made an excellent character, and would’ve made a great companion alongside Clara- but just as friends.
Danny and Clara’s Relationship
Ick. No way. I mean, it had potential. Their first date was a cute scene overall, but it all went down from there. They said they loved each other, they insisted. But all that the show showed us was Danny and Clara lying to each other. Even during that first date they lied. Their relationship just felt to rushed, like the writers wanted to build up to (spoiler alert for the season finale- highlight to read) Danny’s death at the end of the season without taking the time to focus on the good points of their relationship.
(More spoiler alerts are scattered through this. Just highlight them if you want to read them.) Missy made an excellent villain, like an evil Mary Poppins. I was skeptical at first, since she seemed like every other Moffat femme fatale ever. But when she killed Osgood, it was pretty terrifying. Like, take Moriarty and Mary Poppins. Squish them together and you have Missy.
As to the plot twist… I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it set the stage for the Doctor to possibly regenerate as a woman in the future, which would be absolutely amazing. On the other hand, it just seemed so… obvious. But none of the Master’s aliases in the past have been particularly clever, so I guess it’s in character.
The New Title Sequence
I must admit, I was really skeptical of the new title sequence and theme at first. Up until now, they’ve all stayed relatively similar, and then… BOOM. Completely different. But I grew to like it, aside from the whole Capaldi’s-face-floating-in-the-sky thing. It’s really different, but in a good way.
This was probably one of Moffat’s best finales yet. I mean, it wasn’t anywhere near RTD level, but it wasn’t a complete letdown either. It was creepy and dark. One of my favorite things, though, that it was more on an emotional level than a save-the-world thing. Clara wanted to save Danny. The Doctor tried to help her. And even if I have problems with Clara and Danny’s relationship, Jenna Louise Coleman’s performance was good enough to make me feel bad for her anyway. I must say, the ending was confusing, and Osgood’s death seemed like a bit of a throwaway, but aside from that… Probably my best Moffat finale, even if that isn’t saying much.
The Season Overall
In general terms, I liked this season. It wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t horrible. It was just sort of… meh. There were lots of little problems I had with a lot of the episodes, but overall, it was… okay. If there was more Jenny and Vastra it would’ve been better, but hey, you can’t have everything. Especially when Moffat is head writer.
Anyway, what did you guys think? Did you love this season? Hate it? Or a bit of both?