It's been said before, but it bears repeating. Doctor Who is not science fiction.
It has been at some points in its past. Back in the sixties and early seventies it was almost Quatermass in it's Science Fiction-ness, with Jon Pertwee fighting giant maggots in an eco-parable, Tom Baker fighting giant plants in an eco-parable, Patrick Troughton fighting giant seaweed in an eco-parable, and William Hartnell trying to stop the Internet from launching War Machines across Swinging London Town.
In the late 80s it was decidedly fantasy. You can't battle against knights and Gods and angels and magic planets and not be fantasy. It's not in the rules.
When it came back... it was almost soap opera. Certainly with character themes and arcs and family relationships, at times it felt more like soap than anything else. In terms of its genre-ness, I'd place it almost in the superhero category. Certainly, Tennant's Hero Speeches™ felt like that at times. There were team-ups, there were Giant Daleks, there were alternate universes, and there was a bit where the Doctor flew for no readily explained reason.
The 2010 series then... I kind of didn't quite know what to expect. More of the same, probably. But it wasn't. Moffat described it as fairy tale, and I assumed he meant the tone. I thought the basic programme was the same. But it wasn't. It had evolved, as it always evolves. I've read some fan theories about the next series. About who River Song is. About the relevance of Han Solo. About Amy Pond. And they're great, imaginative theories. But they're all based around Doctor Who as science fiction. Or fantasy. Or soap opera.
But it's laid out in the opening minutes of The Eleventh Hour. The Doctor isn't an Angry God™ any more. He's not flying over London, making sure every major landmark gets pushed in to the background. He's sitting in a kitchen, claiming that apples are evil and delighting in fish fingers and custard. He's not an Angry God™. He's Tigger.
Doctor Who is a fairy tale, and that's why all of the theories I've read about the 2011 series are wrong.
Posted by Tim
March 17, 2011 7:57 PM
Ah, the Doctor.
Have to admit I am not enjoying this incarnation of the Doctor. Is is because the actor hasn't watched previous Doctors? (is that a good or bad thing?)
Also, the companion is too, well, strong to the point she overshadows the main character.
Heck, maybe I should go with the flow, but I hate to think Matt Smith's Doctor takes it down the road Sylvester McCoy's Doctor ended up. Not that it was Sylvester's fault, who puts up a science fiction programme against Coronation Street?
Oh, and can we please put up the character's name as Doctor Who in the closing credits, not The Doctor?