It’s 2015! A new year! This year is full of things I am looking forward to- a new Avengers movie, a new James Bond movie, a new Star Wars movie, a new Jurassic Park movie and of course, Doctor Who Series 9 (or Season 35 if one wishes to be precise). But before we look to the future, let’s look at the series just past, and look at some elements of some stories I would have changed. But first, I’ll give my overall episode ranking-
1. Dark Water/Death in Heaven
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Robot of Sherwood
6. Time Heist
7. Deep Breath
8. The Caretaker
9. Into the Dalek
10. Kill the Moon
11. In the Forest of the Night
So, with that out of the way, let’s look at my changes to some of the episodes in the series-
1. Make the spiders in Kill the Moon a proper threat.
I was really looking to this story, and one of those reasons was the fact that the spiders seemed like a genuine threat. What was the last time an original Doctor Who monster was evil because it was just evil? The last time that happened was House from The Doctor’s Wife. The spiders in this story are great when they appear, but the whole episode is so focused on the “moon is an egg” thing that they lose any impact they should have. To make the spiders awesome, and to make the episode feel more Doctor Who-ish, here’s what I would have done-
OK, so the Doctor and Clara (sans Courtney, who was not needed), arrive on the Moon (by chance. The last time the Doctor arrived somewhere random without former planning or outside interference was The Crimson Horror). The episode set up is the same: a bunch of astronauts are sent to blow up the Moon, there is a debate whether to destroy it or not, all that stuff. But, the spiders are there already and have taken over the base. The spiders are creatures who were on a spaceship as cargo when they took over and crashed the ship into the centre of the moon, thus explaining the Moon’s lack of gravity as the ship is in the centre. The spiders learn of the humans due to the ship data banks and lay millions of eggs within the moon, making it bigger. Their plan is to eventually make the moon so big that it will crash into Earth, allowing the baby spiders to feast on the Earth.
The dillema then becomes this- to kill eveything on the Moon, including the unhatched eggs, or to let the spiders hatch and deal with them afterwards. This way, the core foundation of the episode (whether an innocent live is worth killing for the safety of others) is intact, but there is a core threat and the episode would have benefited from this. The Doctor still leaves, they destroy the moon, and the Doctor reappears and reveals that he took all the unhatched eggs to their native planet. He then reveals that he only did what he did to test Clara, who storms out of the Tardis. The episode remains intact, and in my eyes, a change along those lines would have meant I would have enjoyed the episode more (still not sure about what my mum would have thought).
2. Have there be an alien presence in In the Forest of the Night.
This is the only story in the story I actually don’t like. Kill the Moon at least had sci-fi elements in it, and it had a great, unique premise with an amazing final scene which changed the Doctor/companion dynamic drastically. This episode just happened with no consequences for the characters, a story like Hide which tries to be a character piece but has no interesting characters, threat or story to be that. People may complain that Robot of Sherwood was too childish, but that at least had sci fi action, an entertaining story and a clever dynamic between the Doctor and Robin (Not to mention I’m bias towards anything linked with medieval elements). The main problem with this story, aside from the lack of any threat, was the ‘fairies’ which live in the trees. Seriously? A literal fairy tale? Urgh. To make this story better, I would have done this…
So the world wakes up and there’s a forest. Everyone is confused about it (naturally) and the Doctor detects an alien spaceship hovering above Earth, invisible to Earth radars. In the spaceship are powerful aliens who see themselves as gods and aim to pass judgement on lesser planets (for extra continuity make them Eternals). The aliens are bored, immortal and want to test Earth. So they make trees appear all around the Earth, watching the people’s response. Naturally, being humans, they try to cut them down. The aliens then decree that the human race are an unnecessary addition to the universe and remove the trees and send a solar flare down to destroy the humans.
The Doctor agrees with them and offers to take Clara with him, as she is the only important human being to him at this moment. Clara chooses to stay, and this act of kindness and loyalty to her species convinces the aliens that there is some good in humanity, so the trees reappear and stop the solar flare. In this way, I have made the story more like Doctor Who, more character driven, more thought provoking for both the audience and the characters and conveys the eco friendly message of the episode in a subtle way.
Those are the two major changes to two episodes which disappointed me. I don’t like bad Doctor Who so I hope in my own way I will convince the BBC to look through their scripts and say “What do the Whovians want?”. My next post will definitely be none Doctor Who related, as I can’t write about it with no Doctor Who to talk about for 8 months. What changes to the series would you have wanted?