A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.
Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.
Check out Day #17 here.
When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?
Today is Day #18, and our theme is…
One-Time Villain Too Good to Bring Back
Doctor Who is full of lots of different monsters and villains. Many of those–the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, the Ice Warriors, etc–have returned to the series many times.
But others have not. For some, this is good, because they were kind of lame. For others, this is is sad, because they were great. But for others still, this is good, because they were awesome. How awesome? Well, too awesome for me to want to see them again, lest their awesomeness be sullied.
Obviously for this to work, the episode itself has to be quite good, not just the monster itself. Last time I selected the mysterious and unknown Midnight entity from Midnight by Russell T. Davies. I still think that’s a good choice, and so did my daughter Laurelle. But this time around I have a different thought…
The Gas-Mask people from The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
“Are you my mummy?” says the strange child wearing a gas mask, whose touch leads to the spread of war wounds as plague and to the horrific growth of a gas mask out of the victim’s face. The story (Steven Moffat’s first for the series) is excellent and the menace is certainly creepy.
But in the end the explanation reveals its actually all quite innocent, and not the sort of thing that should ever happen again. Any sort of reappearance outside of flashbacks or nightmare dreamscapes would not make any sense. At least the Midnight-Entity is (as far as we know) actually malevolent, so if it were to somehow attack again, it’d have some measure of consistency.
What did my daughters say?
Laurelle (14), as I said, selected the Midnight Entity from Midnight, which is a choice I can hardly find fault with.
Johanna (16) debated between three other options–the Vashta Narada, the Foretold, and the Midnight Entity–before agreeing with me and picking The Empty Child’s Gas Mask people.