I’ve been catching up on Doctor Who. I hadn’t seen any of the Peter Capaldi episodes, and just finished season 8. I don’t know if I’m getting older, or the show is going downhill… but, way too many of the episodes in that season were kind of lame.
It seemed to be a recurring theme that things happening have zero consequence for anyone. And as I’ve said before, things with no consequences, are not interesting.
In one episode, we find out that Earth’s moon is a giant egg that is about to hatch. Should we kill the thing inside to stop it from hatching, or is that wrong? There is discussion about how losing the tides will cause massive damage to Earth, as well as how the falling pieces of the broken moon would kill millions. At the last minute Clara decides to let the thing hatch and… the ‘shell’ magically disappears with no effect after the thing hatches, and it instantly ‘lays an egg’ in the same place, the same size of the moon. So it’s as if nothing happened. Great.
In another episode, giant forests sprout over night all over the Earth. After some confusion we learn that the trees are growing as a shield for a solar storm that is about to hit earth. When the solar storm hits Earth is safe because of all the trees everywhere, yay! But, then, all the trees just… disintegrate into nothing? But not all the other trees that were already there, just the new ones. It’s just like nothing ever happened. Great.
In another dramatic scene, Clara has found all the keys to the TARDIS and is threatening to throw them in lava if she doesn’t get what she wants from the Doctor. Interesting, seeing the Doctor about to actually lose something is powerful. She throws the keys into the lava and its shocking! What will happen? How will he get back into the TARDIS? He’ll get in fine cause it was all a dream, and it’s as if nothing happened. Great.
All these episodes just made me sigh and groan and feel like my time was wasted. It reminded me of watching cartoons as a kid, where a character will be exploded by a bomb or have a limb broken or take any other kind of damage to be just fine in the next scene. It always bothered me. I found myself wondering ‘What would this show be like if the things that happened, actually happened? What if Tom the cat had to go through six months of episodes with a broken limb? What would that do to the story? How would Jerry the mouse react?
Real, adult stories for fully developed humans need there to be consequences to things that happen. Especially when the things are huge and effect everyone. Or else, you might as well just be telling me about a dream you had. It is really hard to care about things with no effect on anyone.