The Reign of Chibnall

It was way back in January when an unexpected announcement from the BBC confirmed that the long reign of Steven Moffat being was coming to an end. On the day it was confirmed, I couldn’t believe Moffat was leaving after many years of running the show after years of fans begging for a change. Mainly I was thrilled that the show would finally get a needed change and for a writer would take this new position; a writer I was not expecting to take on this committing role: Chris Chibnall…

For many of you, you will know Chris Chibnall from is Doctor Who episodes 42, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship and The Power of Three. Chibnall has also written other various scripts such as some excellent episodes of Torchwood, Life on Mars and the now iconic Broadchurch. Without a doubt this writer has experience when it comes to running a show. Although I am not a fan of the stories he has written for the Doctor Who, his other works are undoubtedly incredible pieces of television with enthralling plots and detailed characters’ portrayed on screen. To be honest, I am pleased Chris Chibnall is going to be head writer as he will have a lot more freedom writing his own stories and arcs which will give the show a breath of fresh air and perhaps better stories…

During Russell T Davies era of the show, Steven Moffat was at the height of his game with four flawless stories that are undeniably classics. Steven Moffat has produced many exciting and ambitious ideas for the show and has enabled the show to reach across the whole world causing it to grow popular internationally. Sadly, Steven Moffat has made a lot of mistakes in his time as show runner. Story arcs, companions and some less up to standard episodes have become more prominent over the years which again makes me happy we are getting someone new. Doctor Who needs a fresh start more than ever.

Even though 2018 is ages away, ever since the announcement my mind has been running with ideas of how the show could improve and what Chibnall could bring to the table.

1) An new companion. Personally if the Series 11 is being advertised as a “new start” things set in the previous era must oppose this upcoming regeneration of the show.  This could mean Pearl Mackie’s time as a companion may be cut short if the show will be completely new (just like Steven Moffat’s take over in 2010). To be honest I think Steven Moffat should have left after Series 9 which then could let the show have a new start with a new companion.

2) A new tone. Throughout the 52 years of Doctor Who each era is different. When comparing each of writer’s era they are very different from each other: Terrance Dicks and Robert Holmes, Graham Williams and JNT or RTD and Steven Moffat etc. Each of these eras provide a different tone which also explains why the show has been going for so long as it has the ability to keep on changing. If you want to get you audience hook, give them something new instead of constantly using the same repetitive ideas viewers will be tired of. A new logo, titles and new writing staff would be a great way to keep the show fresh with new ideas coming to the table.

3) This next statement may be a bit contradictory. Yes, it’s for Peter Capaldi to stay. I know what you may be thinking: “How can the show become completely different if the same actor is in the role of The Doctor?” To be honest it’s true. The show can’t have a fresh start if main elements of the show stay the same. Personally I think the 12th Doctor has so much more potential which can be expressed by a new head writer prehaps more than Steven Moffat. In my opinion, the 12th Doctor is one of the best things to happen to the modern series. Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor is captivating and his interaction with fans is the best I’ve seen from any former Doctor. With better scripts and stories arcs; the 12th doctor can be pushed to his limits more and show the best of what Peter Capaldi is capable of. It would be a massive shame if he was to leave before Series 11 airs.

4) Recently the show has been alienating the casual audience lately. Too much fan service is appearing in the show instead of developing new ideas. Yes, bringing back old characters or basing your stories of previous episodes may make us fans explode with excitement yet leaves the casual audience confused what is going on and unable to remember as far as episodes from years ago. Doctor Who needs to be moving forward and telling the stories of the present rather than its past. I know this is a Doctor Who site yet I can’t help but bring up Sherlock. Sherlock is an example of a show that is a victim of its own success. I apologize if you don’t watch Sherlock, but for those who do you can see that if compare Series 1 and 2 to Series 3; you will see Series 1 & 2 focus a lot more on the story and the mystery rather than the fan pleasing. This has been happening with many other shows lately and Doctor Who shouldn’t follow the same path.

5) No complicated story arcs. Personally recent story arcs have been all over the place and have not be resolved properly or have left us dissatisfied with its conclusion such as the Hybrid in Series 9. Story arcs also seem to be too prominent in each story of the season and reminds the audience how significant a plot point is. This is happening too which often makes it become tedious at times. However, Series 8 did it’s arc perfectly with Missy as she only appeared in a few episodes before Dark Water/Death In Heaven aired. This left the audience intrigued instead of sighing at another mention of the forced story arc.

6) The characters. Not only does this apply to companions but side characters in stories. Characters can be just as important and the story itself and makes the story so much more impactful if the characters involved in a deadly situation are at risk; creating a lot more drama to an episode. An episode that springs to mind is Under the Lake/Before the Flood which wrote its side characters’ brilliant. Not many recent episodes have made me connect to one off characters since then. Even now I still remember each one of their names. Additionally, female characters don’t need to be flirtatious. For example: River Song, Tasha Lem and Missy (although improve in The Magician’s Apprentice) are very similar when it comes to characteristics and more diverse female characters need to take the stage.

7) Darker themes. Doctor Who has become a lot darker of the years which I love yet I think they haven’t spread their wings as much as they could. The show needs to stand out of its comfort zone more and go that extra mile to keep people surprised and intrigued of what the show has to offer. I believe Heaven Sent pushed the boundaries of the show and has now become one of my favourite episodes of all time and more stories should push the limits too.

Well that’s what I want from Chris Chibnall which will be painfully long wait till 2018 when this new era begins. Hopefully Chibnall will do the show proud and give it the stories it deserves. What are your thoughts of Chibnall and what do you want from this new head writer? Leave your comments below!

 

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