“So, viewers, be a pal, and tell me…how am I doing?”

There seems to be a divide among the Whovian community. (A shocking concept to all of us, no doubt.) While some loved the entirety of Series 8, others felt with equal fervor that it was a horrible mess. Some love the new Doctor as portrayed by Peter Capaldi, and others hate him. And as always, there is the highly vocal group who blame Steven Moffat for everything wrong in the Whovian world.

Where do you stand? Let us know what you thought of Series 8 and why it did or did not earn your favor. To help us understand the factors that led you to this opinion, we highly encourage you to expand upon your answers in the comments below for extra credit!

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16 Thoughts on “POLL: Was Series 8 a Triumph, or a Failure?”

  • It was definitely a mixed bag. The writing was hit or miss, but got better as the season got on. Next season will be the tell.

  • I can’t vote on this, as none of the options reflect my views.

    My option:

    “Love Capaldi, Coleman and Moffat, but the series was rather too inconsistent and I didn’t feel that Death in Heaven was a satisfactory conclusion to the setup. Last Christmas partly redeemed that. They need a team of writers to pull these scripts apart and put them back together to achieve a constant tone of excellence. No more Kill the Moons, please!”

  • I think, as a reboot/re-alignment to classic Who/setup for new Doctor/companion relationship, it was perfect but the only thing that have me not say it was perfect was an awareness that it felt like all these things too. Very solid groundwork, nice sci-fi /fantasy thread

  • Im pretty much a person who enjoyed 85% of series 8 but the weak episodes really brought it down but I still think Capaldi could still be the greatest modern era Doctor if there isn’t any weak stories from now on. He has everything I could want from a Doctor. Yes Im a person who’s first Doctor was Tom Baker in the 70’s.

  • I thought it was an awesome season and one of my favorite ones in a long long time, I love Capaldi as the Doctor and his relationship with Clara was AWESOME (the conflcit between them drove the series this year), but not all the episodes were out of the ballpark, so I couldn’t call it “Flawless” and the end of the season was a bit….”huh” for me….a total A season but not perfect

  • I really, really love Clara …BUT…

    I think it would have been better had she left during Last Christmas. Her presence might seem a bit anticlimactic now.

    Peter Capaldi is now my Doctor. He embodies so many aspects of all the others and is thus even more interesting.

    Moffat haters can go watch Supernatural.

  • S8 to me might just be my favorite series since the show came back in 2005. It could be that it’s still so fresh in my mind like anew lover or that I’m in the middle of a rewatch and loving it all over again, but that’s where I’m at right now (even if I do still have a big soft spot for S3 and S5 of the new series as well).

    Capaldi has been pitch perfect as the Doctor for me and I’ve especially loved watching his relationship with Clara shift and grow (count me in the ‘they have tons of chemistry’ camp). Both actors — Jenna and Peter — have just been stunning to watch and I love seeing their acting choices for the series, even in moments where the narrative shows how the characters are flawed as much as they are good (I will always, always love Moffat for not shying away from calling his characters out on their flaws. RTD’s era really lacked that for me in an angry-making way).

    One thing that I especially liked about how the Twelfth Doctor has been presented to us this series was how he spent much of the series trying to figure out who he was just as we — the audience — were. Instead of basically figuring out who he is by the end of his first or second episode, which is what we usually see in the show, we went on that journey *with* him and, yes, it was daring and it seems that some people didn’t like that, but for me I thought it was a unique and fresh way to present a character we’ve seen again and again. Having been a fan of the show since the classic series (I started watching around 1986, but have since watched nearly all the classic serials — I’m still working through the reconstructions!), I’m always happy when I can be surprised by the show and when they do something different.

    So, yeah, I just think S8 was really daring in lots of ways, it pushed against our preconceived notions of the show and while the showrunner was still the same, to me it felt as if it had be jolted with a breath of fresh air and, if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought there was a new showrunner at the helm because of it. I mean, not that I’m not a huge fan of Moffat already, but he really impressed me with this. I think some people felt the tonal shift was too jarring, but being a classics fan and being around for some major shifts back then (Hinchcliffe to Williams comes to mind, for example), it felt pretty normal to me. Obviously it’s a YMMV thing, but S8 was perfect Doctor Who for me and I can’t wait to see what S9 has in store.

  • Capaldi is now MY doctor. I love twelve’s journey of self – discovery, his blindness to looks (which means he likes Clara for all the right reasobs) and his snarky wit. He’s a great combination of old and new Who.

    Clara also feels very real to me. My pre – teen daughter likes her and Clara is a real woman on a cool tv show… which means I think it’s cool for my daughter to see an actual 3 dimensional female character, flaws and all on tv. None of us are perfect, but women are too often taught that we must try to be perfect. A flawed heroine and flawed doctor are a great team. Also seeing a man and woman be just friends is very cool.

    Most of the stories this season I either loved or just “merely” enjoyed. Good writing.

    Basically, I’m a happy camper. Long live the idiot doctor with attack eyebrows! Long live besties Clara and The Doctor.

  • I’ve been watching Dr Who since Public Television picked it up here in the states during the 80s. My main problem with this series has to do with a reoccurring motif that I haven’t seen anyone else comment on. Beyond the “Don’t _______” when it comes to monsters or the general ‘Timey-Wimey’ plot points, what killed me about this season was the complete lack of stakes. More than half of the stories this season lacked a proper villain.

    Listen, Time Heist, Kill the Moon, and In the Forest of the Night all had essentially the same meta story: Our biggest enemy is our own fear and ignorance. These episodes were also in my opinion the true clunkers of this season. I suspect the reason I feel that way is that as a viewer I can only have the rug pulled out from under me so many times until I start loosing interest.

    Not to say this is a totally ineffective means of storytelling; Midnight is cut from this cloth yet is still one of the most tense episodes that I can remember. The problem becomes noticeable when almost HALF your season is just dumb humans jumping at their own shadows.

  • I enjoyed it. Not perfect and not terrible. I have been a “Whovian” for less than a year and have binged watched as many episodes (classic & new) that I can get on Netflix — still trying to decide how much I like (or not) Peter Capaldi. I think I like him a lot. I always think that I “have a doctor” until I watch another doctor and am reminded how much I like “that” doctor. :)

    • Hello, GPR Crew:
      Thank you for acknowledging my comment — I apologize for the typos that made it a bit difficult to read. In regards to where I “jumped in,” I would watch an episode here & there if I landed on BBC America and it looked interesting —
      The Snowmen
      The Girl in the Fireplace
      The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe
      I don’t know exactly what caught my attention and made me want to watch the whole series, but it was a few weeks before the 50th Anniversary. All of a sudden I had to know as much as I could before The Day of The Doctor. My binge began with the 2005 “new Who” incarnation, so I am partial to Ecclestien. I am glad I watched the current series first, though, because Netflix has a hodge-podge of the Classic episodes and I would have been completely lost. I am still confused sometimes and listening to your podcast helps me to straighten some things out. However, I am still not sure why Clara is no longer the “Impossible Girl,” and why she states that “The Doctor is Safe Now.” I think I missed something. :/
      By the way, is there any way to get a hold of and/or watch more of the Classic episodes? I know a lot were “lost” over time, but there has to be more than Netflix is showing — I hope! :)

      • Hey Traci,

        Thanks for the quick response. That’s pretty much the same advice I give people as well. I give them a mix so that they get a feel for the show overall. But once I’m sure the hook is set, I stop right there and send them back to “Rose” to get everything from the beginning.

        As for the Clara stuff, we discovered why she was the impossible girl, we found out how she was possible. So the title held no more weight. And I think that she just means that the Doctor is safe from the Great Intelligence. At least until he comes up again.

        And Hulu has a lot of the classic stuff as well as the Amazon Instant Streaming. Not sure if there’s anywhere that has the whole collection. I know Keir underwent a herculean effort to get his collection as complete as it can be right now.

        • Thanks, Jay!

          Your comments about Clara and the Great Intelligence make perfect sense. I hadn’t thought of the GI in particular in regards to the Doctor being “safe.” And, with all the Timey Whimey stuff :) I guess we did get the answer of how Clara was everywhere.

          I will check out Hulu and Amazon to try and find more of the classics.

          Thanks again!!

  • Louis CK once stated on a talk show that everything is awesome and nobody cares. You’re in a chair flying in the air, yet you complain about not having wi-fi on the plane?

    Series 8 with Capaldi is heavily flawed, but it is so beautiful. Listen is my favorite episode of the season, and I understand the plot is amorphous, but I love it for that. I think Listen reminds me of Seinfeld in some weird way, and that just makes me feel comfortable. The twist and turns…things come back full circle.

    Now I’m one of the weirdos that enjoyed Clara in 7B. I know people complained that she wasn’t a fully developed character, which I totally understand. Now we did the whole family thing with Rose. We’d gone through the Mystery Girl thing with Amy. I am all for a companion just being, “You have a time machine? Let’s go. Oh, I have character. I have depth. But you have a @&$ing time machine. Who cares if I have depth of character. You have a &$!@ time machine!”

    A lot of of people robbed themselves this series by being addicted to being blasé about everything. Capaldi put on an acting clinic. He made it look effortless.

    Moffett challenged me. I didn’t like Clara doing all the lying. I thought the “addiction” angle was thrown in there. I never believed it. I didn’t believe the relationship between Danny and Clara, either. I just didn’t. He played the character way too dry.

    Am I the only person that was totally disturbed by the “don’t cremate me” remark? That really bothered me. And all of the dead rising up…I thought that was treading on some ground that should not have been messed with. The Brigadier as Cyberman…. I’m still on the fence on how I feel about it.

    I want Gallifrey back. I want the Doctor to visit a non humanoid planet in series 9

  • capaldi did well, pleased with what I perceive to be the direction he is building his doctor.
    I’d say 70-75% of season 8 good, with a couple maybe 3 great episodes. Moffat is good for show, he’s a fan, knows history. I hope BBC lets him do what he wants-let the creative create. Some new writers would be good, bring some fresh ideas. Coleman has showed real talent this season, like the tension or uneasiness between this Clara and this doctor, that being said, would like to see new companion (s) from other eras or alien,etc. break from modern day human, I know they’re our representatives, but get a good actor and let it go, could be nice change.
    Bottom line-Capaldi (Great)
    Coleman (Good)
    Moffat. (Good)
    Season 8 (Good)

  • I’ve seen the comment over and over that series eight was poorly written, and I wonder if these people are watching the same show I am watching. Frequenting conversations on Gallifrey Base and Facebook, I have come to the conclusion that the characters in this series of Doctor Who were so well written that a lot of the emotional undertones went over the head of the casual viewer.

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