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I thought nothing could kill Dr. Who... Warning: Spoilers
I thought nothing could kill Dr. Who, but apparently I was wrong. Bad writing can, and did...

First, let me say two things that writers/producers/directors seem not to understand:

#1 - People do not watch television to have moral lessons shoved down their throats. They watch television to be entertained. Moral lessons are (typically) not entertaining.

#2 - Never, ever trade good writing for special effects. You will always end up in the red. Nobody cares if there's a superbly-crafted monster shown on the screen if the plot doesn't make sense.

Now, let me cover why (in addition to these two points), why this season went horribly, horribly wrong.

First, let me say that it isn't a problem that Dr. Who is female. Or, rather, it didn't HAVE to be a problem. The writers (and wardrobe department) made it one by not dealing with that shift properly.

1. WARDROBE Dr. Who is an absent-minded, eccentric genius. The suits that previous incarnations of Dr. Who would wear would give him an air of respectability while he was making a fool of himself on his way to ingeniously solving some complex problem. This incarnation of Dr. Who looks like she stole the clothing of a gender-fluid toddler. It doesn't give her any air of respectability, so she ends up looking ditzy, crazy, or ridiculous. The very obviously bleached hair doesn't help because it goes against Dr. Who's very long history of not caring much about appearances (and when Dr. Who has cared, the fashion choices were more geeky/dorky, not superficial).

2. PREACH, PREACH, PREACH I watched years worth of Dr. Who and never - EVER - have there been so many moral lessons shoved in my face. Typically, there is a good balance of: (a) random adventures, (b) the occasional horror episode, (c) races that were interacted with in the past come to continue the story line, (d) an old acquaintance of Dr. Who asking for help (so we get to learn a bit more about Dr. Who, who is a bit of a mystery), and (e) some well-crafted moral lesson. This season is completely imbalanced. Every episode is some social justice lesson and it's not entertaining. Beyond the irritating condescension, it is incredibly presumptuous. Even if I did manage to make it to my age without any knowledge of morals, quite possibly the last place I'd look to educate myself on how to be a moral person would be television. Not only isn't television a trustworthy source, it's also not the point of television: ENTERTAINMENT is. If I were watching Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street, that would be one thing. But, this is Dr. Who. Come on!

3. POOR EXECUTION Dr. Who doesn't like guns. This is established. Dr. Who gets ANGRY when people are killed. This anger is driven by empathy, but also by having seen too many people die and being fed up with it. Having this Dr. Who play that anger off as mopey (as in the witch-related episode) is weak and pathetic and shows no conviction. This is very out of character. I realize that anger can be harder for a female character to play without seeming hawkish, but deal with it. This is Dr. Who's established personality. You can't just change who Dr. Who is as a character. This is something that even stayed the same through previous male incarnations, so biological differences didn't make a difference. You need to keep the continuity. Write it better, act it better.

4. TOO MANY PEOPLE Another huge mistake was adding so many sidekicks. Imagine the episode duration as a pie. More people? Smaller slices. BAD plan. We're hungry. We want a generous slice of Dr. Who - not fifteen or fewer minutes, with the rest of the time dedicated to humans and their personal problems. Dr. Who is a Time Lord. We're still unfolding all of what that means and trying to learn more about Dr. Who's past. There are so many species out there, so many unexplored worlds. But, here you are filling up our time with the problems of a few human characters. If we wanted that, we could've watched another show! ANY other show. The point of this one is to see all of time and space - which (believe it or not), does not revolve around a few humans.

5. IDENTITY CRISIS (!?) The whole "I don't know myself," "I'm lost," bit was taken way, way too far. Yes, we get it, it's disorienting being reconstructed from scratch in a new body and having to reorder hundreds of years worth of memories. But, having a female Dr. Who in the midst of an identity crisis is more the plot for a Lifetime movie than an action/adventure sci-fi series. It makes Dr. Who seem neurotic. This incarnation could've been made a bit more serious to compensate for the difference in sex stereotypes and norms. That would've kept Dr. Who's personality and personal strength more intact. But, as is, it's a mess. You turned Dr. Who female and didn't do enough to compensate for it and now female Dr. Who seems weak, pathetic, mopey, and ditzy. What a total disappointment! (And, I say that as a woman, myself.) It didn't have to be this way.

6. BAD WRITING The writing for this season (11th) is absolutely horrendous. Have any of these writers ever actually watched Dr. Who? Do they know what the word "continuity" means? How about "character" or "established personality"? It doesn't seem like it. It seems like you recruited people on to write for this show who didn't give a toss about the personality of Dr. Who, the continuity of that character, and the balance of themes that previously existed in the series. Get people working for this series that actually care about keeping it as good as it WAS (I say "was" because this season is the worst I've ever seen). Not only is the character of Dr. Who being slowly dismantled over the course of this season, the overarching themes are imbalanced, and nothing about this series which drew me to it to begin with has been left intact. Find a crazy, obsessed fan that can recite lines from various episodes by heart. Then, hire this person as a consultant (they'd probably work for free just to be part of the production, so you might not even have to pay them). Make sure you actually LISTEN to this person when it comes to wardrobe, character, and plot lines. If you did that, maybe you'd actually have a chance of recovering from this train wreck of a season. To be clear, it's not bad because Dr. Who is female. It's bad because your writers don't know what they're doing and your lead actress is either not being properly instructed on how to play off certain personality traits (see the previous note about anger over people getting killed) or she doesn't have the acting ability. Either way, this isn't a problem with Dr. Who's sex. It's a problem with other people not doing their jobs sufficiently. Please fix it, otherwise you will not only have ruined an incredible series, but you will have ruined it with a woman (which, given your seeming obsession with moral lessons, would probably be a big no-no).
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2/10
Bitterly, bitterly disappointed
verna-a10 December 2018
I see I am not alone in deploring the decline in watchability of Doctor Who with the 2018 season. The series rose to absolute brilliance with many of the episodes of the David Tennant and Matt Smith incumbency. Although I loved both of them as Doctor Who, the real excellence was in the scripts, full of wit and whimsy allowing the characters to engage your interest, love even! Some of the stories were good too, but even if they were a bit feeble the ongoing stories of the Doctor and his companions carried you on. The enigma of the Doctor is the main interest together with the paradoxes of the time jumping. I just put up with the snarling monsters and special effects! The current series completely lacks the wit and whimsy. How can anyone criticise Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor when she is not given anything interesting to say? The stories are complex and the action convoluted. I can't and don't follow them to the end of the episodes, and only my long history as a Doctor Who fan keeps me watching at all. I don't say bring back Stephen Moffat as writer because despite his absolute brilliance at his best, I think he was losing interest. But please, please find a new writer who can put something in the mouths of the Doctor and his companions that is entertaining. A good story wouldn't hurt either! Failing these I'm afraid we may be looking at the last series of Doctor Who. I'm 68 so may not last long enough to see another revival.
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2/10
Terrible writing for Season 11
loispierce2 January 2019
I was ready to like Season 11 and the female Doctor. And in fact the actors aren't bad, but the writing has gotten increasingly bad. I've watched and loved the Doctor since I was a teenager in 1973. Now I'm considering not watching anymore. This season has lost the sense of whimsy and fun that Doctor Who has always had. In the past the Doctor sometimes tackled serious themes, but it never got preachy or beat you over the head with it's "message". I just got thru watching the last episode, "Resolution", and there were holes in the logic big enough to drive a car through. And I don't think Chibnall's ever watched an old episode of Doctor Who. If he had he'd know the original Daleks couldn't fly. I as willing to suspend disbelief as the next guy, but I can't suspend my reason. I really hope the rumors are true that he wants to leave. Maybe a new show runner would be able to write something original without forgetting about everything that went before.
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1/10
The end of the line
jannjulie-0738026 November 2018
I was hoping this would be a new chapter in the franchise that was fresh and exciting, but this is a terrible let down, I have tried to stick with it but it just doesn't work, the writing is leaden with dull stories, little excitement and too many assistants adding to the confusion. There is nothing wrong with the new doctor per se, but get rid of her team of companions, add some decent scripts and move it back to Saturday please please please
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6/10
The new writter is just plain bad!
oshawottstarter11 March 2019
The series was perfect before the old writer, the newest season only has like 2-3 good episodes, the rest being horrendous, please either change the writer again or bring back the old one. I have also seen many complaining about the new doctor, I believe that she isn't that bad as everyone says, she is somewhere in the middle in my opinion.
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1/10
Such a disappointment. So sad.
datafusion30 December 2018
I've been watching since Jon Pertwee, and I really was looking forward to Jodie Whitaker. But season 11 is utter, utter garbage. I still have 3 episodes left on the DVR, and I just can't bring myself to watch them. There will always be ups and downs with this series, because it must always be trying new things. Some of Davies' ideas were a bit lame, and Capaldi struggled at first, but it was always worth sticking through the rough spots. This is quite different. It's not just a rough spot. It's not just a little wobbly. I can understand the thinking behind it - let's shake things up a little, let's freshen it up and give it some new life. Let's look at some actual history, and see what we can learn from it. I applaud that. But you have to actually deliver. Instead, the writing is leaden, the action superficial and boring. There is no wit, no charm, no cleverness. I feel bad for Whitaker and the rest of the cast. They have been given nothing to work with.
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4/10
Terrible new season
Laight25 October 2018
I was so looking forward to a female Dr. Who. But instead we got a nothing Dr. Who. And it probably isn't the actress' fault--in fact, she's done excellent work elsewhere. It's just that the scripts are atrocious. These new episodes are unimaginative, unsurprising, and unbearably dull. Some of them feel like after-school specials. Some of them feel as though they were rejected story ideas. Some of them don't feel like anything, they're so poorly created and produced. What a disappointment: creating a female Dr. Who and then not giving her anything to work with.

Such a shame. When Dr. Who has been good, it's been great. Now it's not even mediocre.
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1/10
Just - No!
davidmccormick-5125030 December 2018
I abhorred the BBCs first deliberate assassination of The Doctor, when they cast Sylvester McCoy in a cynical attempt to destroy the popular Classic Who. As soon as I saw that the atrociously untalented Chris Chibnall - who was single-handedly responsible for by far the worst Torchwood (Who spin-off) episodes ever written - was taking over, I KNEW that the Death Warrant had been drawn up.

New Who has evolved from the quite scary, but brilliant at times (Tom Baker) kid's show that the Classic Who of my childhood was. It WAS edgier, more grown-up, until Chibnall served up this slop.

I really don't care that they cast a female Doctor, but Whittaker runs around waving her Sonic Magic Wand (that, against all Who dogma, can now do EVERYTHING!) like a demented Fairy Godmother (Godperson?). She is shocked and surprised by all that happens to them and around them. She views alien planets and vistas with the jaw-dropped wonder that is lacking in the Committee she feels the need to cart around with her after over 1,000 Earth years mainly alone!

I cannot decide which is worse, the writing or the acting. Or are they feeding off each other to produce the series with by far the lowest and most negative User Reviews in Who history? What I hope is that this "break" for the whole of 2019 gives those in charge at the BBC the chance to read the innumerable negative comments, the plummeting Ratings and either remove Chibnall and this ridiculous Doctor by Majority Vote situation in the TARDIS, or cancel the whole rotten show!
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1/10
You've Killed the Doctor!
jmp-2613518 November 2018
The first episode was weak on plot, and quite derivative - did the writers think that no one saw Predators? OK, we'll give them a pass. Most Doctors need a few shows to get into a grove. But there is no excuse for the preachy crap that they're pretending it's a science fiction show. The plots are dull, there is no underlying plot arcs, and the companions are boring. Bring on more seasons of the Expanse.
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1/10
Not doctor who anymore
mgmaylor-587189 December 2018
Really poor worst season out of them all terrible I don't know anyone who watches the show any longer
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1/10
Oh dear
kevinhinchliffe-3729811 November 2018
As a fan of many years ...... new series is absolutely awful! I don't need to be lectured or preached at . I can read the guardian for that . Shame, great cast . I can't watch anymore episodes. 🙁
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2/10
New season disappoints. Politics ugh!
akiva-6924811 December 2018
I binge watched most of the earlier seasons and was excited for the new season. But after watching two or three episodes that were fraught with political BS I just gave up. I watched this show as an escape. Very disappointed.
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1/10
A heartbroken Whovian
winchester2010 November 2018
I love Doctor Who. So does my wife and son. And we so wanted to love Jodie Whitaker. I imagine one of the most difficult things for the writers is to produce a unique Doctor with each new regeneration. We thought, with the Doctor becoming a woman, that we were in for one of the most singular Doctors of all time. The possibilities were incredible! Sadly for us, it has been a crash and burn. It's as if the writers are determined to not use the fact of her womanhood at all, except as promotion material. For example, previous Doctors have had so much compassion (Matt Smith especially), but I feel nothing from Jodie. You could plug any guy into the current roll and barely have to rewrite. Her character is so bland. Other than the obvious play of having male characters having a problem with listening to a woman (as tired a story trick as any), there's been very little difference between Jodie and the other Doctors, as far her gender plays. It's tragic. No femininity at all.

As for the companions......too many, and I don't care about them. At all. Might as well throw some red jerseys on them. I fell in love with Amy and Rory, Clara, and Martha, almost immediately. 5 episodes into the season, and I cannot even list their names in this review. I'd have to look them up!

As far as storytelling goes, the first 5 shows have been standalones without even a hint of an overarching storyline. No crack in the wall, no Bad Wolf, nothing! It feels like you could miss watching the first half of the new season and not only be ok, but not actually have missed anything important!

And it feels like there is a political correctness checklist that the writers are working through. For instance, I have never even thought about race or gender before in Doctor Who, but now, every episode, I feel as if political correctness is playing an important role in everything. Story elements seem to be included for the simple correctness of the choice, and that is awful, because Political Correctness ruins pretty much everything it touches, and now it is ruining one of my favorite shows of all time.

My last two points are strictly about personal taste, but I have just got to say something about them.

Jodie Whitaker's outfit. I have always loved the Doctor's sense of style. Matt Smith (bowties are cool) and Peter Capaldi were so stylish. Jodie Whitaker looks like she fell out of bed and decided to wear whatever she happened to land on. Seriously, she dresses like she could be Mork's cousin from his home planet of Ork. Combat boots and capris along with a "trench coat" that looks like it's made from the same material as sweat pants! And let's not forget the suspenders, cause what woman is complete without a pair of suspenders?

And finally the phone box. What in the name of all that is good and pure and timey-whymie has happened to the TARDIS!? Seriously, it looks like some child's crystal growing science project went crazy inside the TARDIS. You might even think that the design was something a fan, who has no sense of taste or design, came up with and posted on Pinterest. It's that bad.

The only reason I'm going to continue to slog through this atrocity is because I have to know what happens to Clara and Ashildr. The only reason my wife is going to continue watching it is because I am, for the above stated reason. Our son told us to call him if Clara shows up.
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1/10
Where's the doctor ?
bittenapplesss22 October 2018
And this is how my favorite show was ruined ...thanks to chibnall uninspired dull writing ...the show lost it's wit and spirit ,The episode is mono tone from the begining to mid to the end ... and the "doctor" now is just a secondary character with uninteresting lines and one facial expression ...Jodie Whittaker is clearly not a doctor who material . As long as Chibnell is not replaced by a better writer and Whittaker by a more suited actress to the role...this show is nothing .
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5/10
Season 11 isn't Doctor Who
ferruzaxp2 January 2019
Season 11 isn't Doctor Who and my rating reflects that. The writing for this latest season is weak. The stories are weak. It's so disappointing. My skepticism about a female Doctor was laid to rest at the feet of a poor effort. Perhaps a great female Doctor can be had (Missy was tremendous), but not with the current stories. What chance Whittaker had to make the first female Doctor stand out is buried.

Such a shame.
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1/10
Gone from a must see series to a must avoid series
dibnah-14 November 2018
I have been a fan of Doctor Who since the 70's. Didnt like the Sylvester McCoy era, but not many did. Christopher Eccleston was obviously doing it as a reboot for his career you can see that in his acting. Now David Tennant was amazing, great scripts, great acting and fab special effects. And so the quality continued for another 10 years until Chibnall took the reins.

Now in 2018 we are given something which seems as though it was written by a school kid. Special effects are ace still. But the acting is abysmal by all the lead characters. The scripts abysmal. Jodie whittaker while I have heard great things anout her in other series, plays this with all the conviction and talent of an 8 year old at a school nativity play. She looks totlly lost in the role. The only actor remotely okay is Bradley Walsh and lets face it quality actor he isnt! But he would have made a better Doctor with a different writing team

I gave it a go, am 5 episodes in but its getting no better. Time to give up.

There isnt a christmas special....... I love the christmas specials.... but this year I cheered when I found out there wouldnt be one.

As for the PC bias in this well I am afraid it has swung too far the other way and got caught up in its PC agenda, rubing our faces in it in every episode. Sorry all you have done is alienate us. I dont want to be made to feel unconfortable about who I am when I watch a family program. Dr Who used to be good wholesome family entertainment with no agenda. Lets get back to that.
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1/10
Sorry Jodie but this season sucks.
smokedsalmoned-2805823 October 2018
3 episodes in to season 11 and i am so disappointed I feared stunt and politically correct casting, over stuffed number of companions that chick off a large number of minority boxes but DAMMIt i love Doctor who so I will give it a chance despite the misgivings and..............................it is a complete crap fest. Chinball has got to go.
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3/10
I wanted Jodie to succeed, but...
dgjones-6225830 October 2018
I have watched the first three episodes of the new season and I'm sorry to say that Chris Chibnall's writing has let down both Doctor Who and Jodie Whittaker.

I thought the show was meant to be 'family entertainment', but the infantile writing has aimed it at just the children. Chris Chibnall has a fantastic budget to write with, but so far has failed (imo) to come up with anything with dramatic tension. And Jodie Whittaker has had some god-awful lines that will make it difficult for anyone to endear to her.

Episode 3 'Spiders in the UK' left me aghast at how bad the ending was. The build up was OK and the SFX with the spiders was very good, but to end with 'Oh, well, they'll die. Let's go home' was the writing of a teenager who just wanted to finish his homework.

The episode also contained an attempt at a Donald Trump joke - a contemporary reference in a sci-fi show is not a good idea. It just helped to show the amateurish nature of the writing.

This might be a little unfair on poor Jodie - David Tennant could run and it was used to generate tension in many episodes. Jodie can't run! She looks like your mum in an egg-and-spoon race at a primary school sports day - not good for dramatic tension.

Having three 'companions' is the dumbest idea I have ever seen in Doctor Who. The point of the companion was they either got into trouble or they helped the Doctor out of trouble. Is that possible with three companions? So far they have just been an advert for inclusivity (BBC at it again!).

I loved the reboot by Russell T. Davies, but this show no longer tries to equal the standards set by the man. Disappointed.
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1/10
Not my Doctor, Not my TARDIS
squall41269-550-36433212 March 2019
I tried really I did it this isn't Doctor Who, The TARDIS looks like some high school put together a bad TARDIS set, she dosn't even act like the Doctor... please... just let her regenerate and have Doctor Who the way it was before... it's such a letdown.
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1/10
So disappointed it hurts
Koopasdaddy10 December 2018
I have watched Doctor Who from the very first episode - yes I am that old - and was looking forward to a new departure with an excellent lead actor.

The major problem is with the scripts. In the distant past there were good attempts to educate by good choices of historical location and story. Now the historical themes are drowned out by political correctness and bad plots

I also wonder who persuaded Jodie Whittaker to play the part as Bubble from AB Fab meets the aliens.

Nothing is irredeemable here - with new scriptwriters
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1/10
Adieu, Doctor
michaeljohnsauer29 October 2018
Yuck.

The whimsy is gone. The heroics are gone. This is certainly the Doctor for millennials: childlike, post heroic and literally emasculated. With a wave of her Harry Potter-ish sonic screwdriver, Doctor Who becomes a sad little parody of itself. The writers are far more interested in teaching lessons than telling stories with actual villains and (gasp) things that happen and building tension. And perhaps that's merely sign of the current zeitgeist, of who we are as a culture.

It saddens me to say this, but it appears I am no longer the target audience. I remember staying up on Sunday night watching Tom Baker stories on PBS. The special effects were atrocious. But my goodness, the stories! Now we have fabulous special effects and a monstrous brand.

Adieu, Doctor.
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1/10
Terrible, political nonsense!
scott_thai8 November 2018
This could have been a great show. Jodie Whittaker as the doctor was a great idea. I feel so sorry for her though. Terrible acting from her supporting cast. Really poor writing. Really cheap sets and poor CGI. Then to top it off they ram through constant political comments. Trying to push the BBC agenda. I just want to watch great sci-fi and be entertained. Keep politics out of it.
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4/10
bad writing is killing a series I love
l-s-rosenblum5 November 2018
I just finished the 5th episode with Jodie Whitaker as the new doctor. The writing is so weak and the stories so dull and plodding that I can't blame the cast. I get that the transition to a new doctor takes some time both in terms of storytelling and character development. But there seems to be little continuity between the old and new doctor. They are technically the same person! I'm not asking her to be the same as the previous doctors. I get that they are trying to do some new things, take new paths and so some breaks with earlier seasons are necessary. But is feels like they have erased much of her past. Also, the old doctors used to have some fun. This doctor is kind of a grind. I get that the showrunner said they were going to stay closer to earth and old foes would not revisit the show much if at all, but the stories just feel juvenile and lack depth.

I used to be excited to catch the next episode, but now it feels like drudgery just to get through it. Keep the cast, but something needs to be done about the writing!
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1/10
Sad, sad season.
chaiselongue112 November 2018
This show went from an amazing sci-fi with deep lore and even deeper caracters to some high-schooler's social justice wetdream. Man I was so pumped for the first female Doctor but, as always nowadays they just made it all about the politics, with shallow sidekick's and even shallower storylinesé What a sad era this is...
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My Ten Cents on my best friend
Lonniemackfan26 March 2005
It seems that there is a huge diversity in the reaction to this show. Fortunately for the IL' Doc, I think this means he will be around for awhile again. I have seen "Rose," The first episode in the revamped BBC series, and I have to say I am thrilled. The majority of the negative reviews seem to be coming from ultra-die hard Whovians. I myself was a giant DR.Who nerd in my younger years. I had a subscription to Dr.Who magazine, I sent Tom Baker a letter when I was 10 years old, (I still have the autograph he sent me back, thank you Tom!)My grandmother knitted me an eight foot long scarf etc..etc..

I could tell you who Roger Delgado is and why when he looked like Geoffery Beevers he really wanted to go on Holiday to Traken.

In early 1984 when I was 8 years old, I met the Doctor and his friends Sarah and Harry. It was at midnight in Arizona on a black in white television that was barely 10 inches wide. I was transported to somewhere I had never been and have never been since. It was like Peter Pan taking you to Neverland. Anyone who met Doctor Who at such an early age will agree with me that the magic was that vivid and so real that you felt you were right there side by side with those characters.

As I grew up, I grew out of it. Real life takes a hold, and while Perpugilliam Brown was amazing to stare at, it became a lot more important to go talk to a girl in person on a Saturday night than stay home by the time 16 years old came around.

A passing interest in Sylv and Sophie was there, but ultimately, Puff the magic dragon let out a mighty roar because this Jackie Paper had grown up.

Having said that, I watched "Rose" with two hats. The former obsessive fan with the critical eye, and the adult who wanted to be whisked away by Pan again.

I feel the show succeeds in the latter department. I had a huge smile on my face the entire 45 minutes, and if I had to guess, this show is going to capture the fancy of a lot of young ones, and even though Doctor Who was always my best friend, I'm ready to share him with the people who he was made for in the first place. Thank you Russell and welcome back Doc!
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