Hopes and Fears About Series 10 of “Doctor Who”

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The new season of “Doctor Who” starts tomorrow night, and while I’m pretty sure I’ll have to wait until Sunday to actually watch it, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for it. Even though we still got a Christmas special last year, it feels like ages since Series 9. And now that one of my least favorite companions is officially gone (sorry, Clara fans), I’m mostly looking forward to Series 10.

One of the biggest things I’m excited for is spending more time with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed him despite the rocky writing that’s plagued his seasons. But I’ve also felt like a lot of his tenure was driven by his relationship with Clara. I’m hoping this new season will give him a slew of amazing moments both with or without Nardole and Bill. This will also mark the second time I’ll have to watch an iteration of the Doctor go (since I missed out on Nine and Ten’s the first time around). Even though Smith was my first Doctor, I’ll still be a bit sad to see Capaldi go. He has a presence and intensity that’s captivating to watch.

I’m interested to see what else they do with Nardole. While his character has good comedic timing, his two appearances so far haven’t fully endeared him to me. I’m hoping the inclusion of Bill will give his character more to do. Speaking of, I’m also hoping to see good things from Bill. It remains to be seen if she’ll stick around past this season, but if she is a one season wonder, I really hope Moffat makes her story compelling.

Lastly, the announcement of a few older baddies returning has me a little intrigued. I’m wary of certain spoilers regarding Missy, but I’m just hoping she gets more to do. I don’t mind Michelle Gomez’s performance, but having now seen the classic Masters, I can see why other fans have kinda shunned both hers and Simms’ iterations. I’m also curious about the return of the Ice Warriors, and even moreso the original Cybermen. I found them extremely weird after coming off of New Who’s fully robotic versions, but I want to see where they’ll fit in storywise and how they’ll interact with this Doctor.

But then we come to my fears. Obviously, there’s no telling if there will be an overarching plot this season. Given that Moffat has made one in all his seasons, however, I’m more wary about it this time around. I haven’t been overly impressed with his plots lately, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up of this potential one ending on a high note. But who knows? Maybe he’ll prove me wrong or I’ll at least be pleasantly surprised.

On that note, I’m also worried about his handling of Bill above anyone else. I felt Clara had too much importance even as the Doctor’s sole companion, and I’m afraid Moffat might put similar emphasis on Bill as well. Not every companion needs to have something special or mysterious about them. If there’s one thing I noticed with the classic era, it’s that many of the companions were ordinary people, even if they came from the distant future. Sure, some might have been smarter than others, but they were there to keep the Doctor grounded and connect us to that world. However, even if Bill turns out to be extraordinary beyond normal means, I just hope she has a good, strong story behind her.

Ultimately, the biggest thing I fear about this season is Moffat himself. Look, I love the guy, though maybe not quite as much as I used to. But in terms of writing quality, I want to see the Moffat who wrote “Heaven Sent” this season. I still maintain that that’s one of his best episodes in a long time, and I’d love to see that consistency throughout his final run. For all the gripes I’ve had about his handling of the show over the past two seasons, I want nothing more than for Moffat to go out on a high note.

We’ll see if any of these hopes and fears come true, but I’m still just glad to have the show back. “Doctor Who” is still one of the only shows I actually watch on TV, and even its bad episodes don’t deter me from coming back week after week. Here’s hoping Series 10 starts off strong tomorrow.

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