Overall Thoughts on Season 1? (Series 14/Season 40)

Now we officially have RTD2’s new vision of the series with these 8 episodes. What are your overall thoughts on the season?

Highs and lows? Is this the direction you want Doctor Who to go in? What do you think of Ncuti and Millie? Absolute favorite episode and least favorite? Favorite villain or monster?

Perhaps include The Church on Ruby Road in discussion too, since at least internationally it is labeled on Disney+ as episode 1 of the season.

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I’ve got really mixed feelings on it after the finale. I enjoyed most of the individual episodes but the finale left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth especially in regards to the series arc as a whole. I would still say overall it was decent but definitely not one of the best.

One thing that I dislike the most is that so much of it was written by RTD, I think the show really needs to get more people writing for the show next series, not just established Doctor Who writers like with moffat (although Boom was my favourite of the series), but new talent too who can bring something new to the show. I especially think there needs to be more diversity behind the scenes, next series both the Doctor and companion are going to be people of colour, so if the writers are all white again that would be a let down for me.

If I were to rank all the episodes I think I would go

  1. Boom
  2. Dot and Bubble
  3. The Church on Ruby Road
  4. 73 Yards
  5. The Devil’s Chord
  6. The Legend of Ruby Sunday
  7. Rogue (I know this is the only episode with new writers as I want, it would be much higher if not for the Doctor getting romantically involved which is just something I personally really dislike)
  8. Space Babies
  9. Empire of Death

1 and 2 are greats for me, 3-5 are good, Legend of Ruby Sunday is its own kettle of fish, Rogue wasn’t bad just not for me, 8 and 9 were pretty bad

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I’ve said this a hundred times now, but it’s so true. The series thrives on the new, and I just don’t feel that RTD is giving it all the new it needs.

I did enjoy the series overall, but it also felt a lot like series 3/4 coked up on Disney money. Cynical? Perhaps. And as I say, I did like it - I liked the slightly experimental stories more, and I liked that there wasn’t just a generic monster of the week story every episode. I also think RTD write himself into a corner trying to be clever and Big for the finale, and the unnecessary overcomplication ultimately made me feel the whole thing didn’t pay off. Probably I would rank the series overall somewhere with series 8/9 - that is to say, generally I like them, but I feel no drive to revisit them often.

As for the individual episodes, for me I think it goes:

  1. 73 Yards
  2. Boom
  3. Dot and Bubble
  4. The Legend of Ruby Sunday
  5. Rogue
  6. Empire of Death
  7. The Devil’s Chord
  8. The Church on Ruby Road
  9. Space Babies
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While the finale wasn’t great, I had a good time overall. Currently, based on my ratings I’ve put on Tardis Guide this does rank pretty highly compared to other seasons. I think a big part of this is that there isn’t an episode I didn’t really find entertaining. The only exception to me was Space Babies, which looked really awkward and wasn’t a great way to start the season. Ignoring the bookends though, even episodes I just found okay like Rogue and Boom were very memorable and entertaining. The Church of Ruby Road’s Goblin Song was a bit of an earworm and Devil’s Chord was cute as a musical themed sort of cosmic horror affair. 73 Yards had good vibes but was a little light on certain details for my taste, and Dot and Bubble at first seemed like a silly take on social media before revealing itself to be a pretty pointed political statement I think makes it the strongest overall.

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Should this thread be merged with Season 1/Series 14/Season 40 ❓?

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Not really - that one was about how we’re referring to the season. This one is about overall thoughts on the narrative and season as a whole.

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Warning: long post!

This was… An odd season. I have mixed feelings. Coming into it, I didn’t much like The Church on Ruby Road. Having that as the last episode to think on for a few months took the wind out of my sails of excitement. The trailers look very good though when we got closer to the air dates.

For our double-header, I was conflicted. On initial watch, I thought Space Babies was fine and The Devil’s Chord was disappointing. TDC was perhaps a victim of expectations. I thought it was gonna be a musical episode throughout, or at least use the big dance number to save the day. Instead… We got the Twist at the End… I’ve warmed to it more, but it’s not very good. I wanted more Beatles involved in the story. I also wasn’t too into Maestro’s over the top personality. I did love the scene of Ruby playing her theme on piano. Space Babies landed better because it felt familiar in RTD’s season opener style. The lip synced babies didn’t work all the time, but otherwise I thought it was decent.

BOOM hit exactly where it needed to for me, I really enjoyed it! Very tense, edge-of-your-seat style. Ncuti and Millie’s performances were excellent. Thanks, Moffat :blush:

73 Yards - I was hooked from the start. I think it suffers from a few unexplained bits, and perhaps the political portion could’ve been expanded, but I can forgive it for all that it succeeded in. Very unsettling, especially more and more as Ruby becomes isolated from the people she cares about, and even the people who could genuinely help her like UNIT. There’s so many ideas and concepts in this episode that I could go on and on about, and rewatch for more perspectives. Great episode.

Dot and Bubble - also very enjoyable! I mean, not Lindy, but I do find her interesting to watch. Love the slug designs, the bubbles, the pastel aesthetic. The way the Doctor and Millie are incorporated into the story is so interesting. And then the ending - excellent. Makes you go back and pick up on all the pieces you could have been confused about before. Or perhaps you’d already clocked what was going on! This one made me think about my own perception. I love it for that.

Rogue - on first watch, I think this one was my favorite of the season. I had an absolute blast with it! Ncuti and Millie are on top form, and this one felt more like a traditional Doctor Who romp. Instant chemistry with Rogue, great monsters (I love that they just wanna cosplay!), and some really memorable moments. The scene in Rogue’s ship with the Doctor dancing to Kylie Minogue is my favorite :joy:
Was the romance too quick? Perhaps. But so engaging throughout. I’m ready for Rogue to come back!

At this point, before going onto the finale, I feel it’s a good time to address how short this season is. We’ve just finished episode 6, and the next episode is already the start of the end?! The Doctor and Ruby’s relationship is too sped up for my liking this season. I didn’t like the 6 month time jump by episode 2. I think the absence of Ncuti for almost all of episode 4 and chunks of episode 5 hurt the season flow. I understand why those happened, but still - 8 episodes is not enough for a regular season of Doctor Who.
That is perhaps the biggest thing hurting it in my eyes.

Onto The Legend of Ruby Sunday - I liked it a lot as a part 1! Love the time we get to spend with UNIT. I really liked Morris, and Kate is fantastic as always. The scenes in the Time Window are really great, love the effects with the VHS. Some of those scenes go on a bit too long for my liking though. The Sutekh reveal was excellent and the Harbinger’s lines are seared in my brain.

Empire of Death
Alright, I didn’t do much if any theorizing on who Ruby’s mother could be. And I really didn’t have much of an expectation on how this episode would go down. I agree with a lot of the criticisms I’ve heard about it. And, I think it does have some great moments here.
What I liked: the fact that Ruby’s mom is normal, their reunion scene, the Remembered TARDIS, Bonnie Langford, the scene with the unnamed woman and the death wave explained, and the whole sequence with Sutekh dragged through the vortex.

What I didn’t like: the use of a reset on everything like RTD tends to do, the “mystery” surrounding Ruby’s mother which wasn’t explained or done well enough to justify all it’s elements (like the pointing or how even Sutekh couldn’t figure out who she was), and the Doctor not definitively deciding to to find Susan. If we don’t see Susan next season, bringing her up at all here will be all for nothing.

I still rate this one a solid 7.5/10 though, because I did like most of it and even with some fumbles, the emotional scenes still hit me.

My rankings:

  1. Rogue
  2. Dot & Bubble
  3. BOOM
  4. 73 Yards
  5. TLORS
  6. Empire of Death
  7. Devil’s Chord
  8. Space Babies
  9. TCORR

(Bottom 3 are all about the same, but I did put TDC higher for some of its ambition, even if it left me most disappointed out of all of them. Finale episodes were mostly good. Top 4 were excellent!)

Really fascinating season overall with a lot of ambition. I love Ncuti in the role. 8 episodes is not enough - I need more of him, right now!

I already know for me that this season ranks above the Chibnall era, but I don’t know how it fits in amongst Moffat or RTD1. I’ll have to mull that over in the coming weeks and months.

I’m excited to see what season 2 brings!

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I really liked it. It wasn’t perfect, and it was too short, but according to my stats it ranks very highly compared to other series.

I think I just love RTD’s storytelling because aside from Series 5 & Series 9, and the specials, this series was ranked higher than everything non-RTD for me.

Ncuti is brilliant as the Fifteenth Doctor and he is up there as one of my favourites. Can’t wait to have more stories featuring him fully, as he was underused this season.

Bring on Season Two!!

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This sums up my feelings pretty well. I had fun watching the episode individually, but overall it just feels like there is something lacking. And I agree with @sircarolyn on RTD writing himself into a corner. The whole final felt a bit like him sitting in front of me and screaming “look how awsome this is!”, but is wasn’t as big and spectacular as it tried to be.
This was the first time I was able to watch the new episode as they were released and didn’t have to wait until they finally made it to German free tv, so maybe me expectations were just a bit to high.

All the negatives asides. I really really loved 15 and Ruby! Their dynamic is fantastic and just shows again why I wish the seasons were much longer, so we could have more filler episodes to develop their relationship more outside the season arc. (Totally unrelated to me liking that arc or not)

PS: Is it just me or does anyone else think it’s weird that we had two Doctor lite episodes with 73 yards and dot and bubble?

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it did feel very odd, and I guess there was nothing they could do about it since ncuti wasn’t available, but especially since there were only 8 episode it does feel like we didn’t get enough time to get to know 15

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Here’s my ranking

  1. Legend Of Ruby Sunday
  2. Boom
  3. Church on Ruby Road
  4. Empire Of Death
  5. Rogue
  6. The Devil’s Chord
  7. 73 Yards
  8. Dot & The Bubble
  9. Space Babies

With that saiid, RTD has always lead from a larger canvas. With a braoder strokes as with Bad Wolf where the story arc went into Tennant’s era. Back then he had 10 episodes per season so he has been limited on time.
We had 2 Dr light episodes. So now we are down to 6 for a regular season.

That sucks :eyes:

I have thought long and hard about how the end of Empire of Death seemed too tidy too “Wrapped up in a bow” for Ruby. What if the next bad guy in the pantheon were to be the God of traps and attempting to separate the Dr and Ruby. I have hope there will be another twist in the beginning next season.

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That’s a wrap on Series 14!

Overall: I liked it. Compared to other New Who series, it’s pretty solidly in the middle of the pack, which is a good place to be! As I’m sure I’ve said enough times by now, I love Fifteen already, and Ncuti is amazing. I never fell in love with Ruby, but I liked her and I’m happy to see her return.

My biggest takeaway from this series, though, is that is was far too short. Chibnall was pushing it with 10 episodes, but 8 is simply not enough. Even though I like the individual episodes, as a whole the series doesn’t hang together well. The relationship between the Doctor and Ruby feels rushed and the path to the finale is far too short. I know the reason for that is budgetary, but honestly, I’d much prefer for the production team to spend less on each individual episode in favour of more stories!

My ranking as a whole:

    1. Empire of Death
    1. Rogue
    1. The Devil’s Chord
    1. The Church in Ruby Road
    1. Space Babies
    1. The Legend of Ruby Sunday
    1. Dot and Bubble
    1. Boom
    1. 73 Yards
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Personally, I think a mix between writers who have written a few televised Who Stories and new blood is the way to go, but yeah I agree didn’t like that the majority was written by RTD myself.
Overall, my thoughts of this series? I kinda used to think it was very good, at least the way the stories were placed (in terms of type first sci-fi, then something more fantasy) was an approach that I think would have worked pretty fine, now the placement I have to admit feels a bit odd. At the time, it felt like we just skipped 4 episodes between space babies and devils chord. Now with its individual parts, I think there is a lot to love and dislike. I will say I can see why people like Rogue and Devils Chord, personally both of them didnt worked for me, but honestly they just might not be for me (one is RTD doing camp, which rarely worked for me and the other was a Romance with the Doctor, which personally I can’t do much with it).
Space Babies was kinda okay, I dont hate it, I dont love it, I feel almost nothing about it, It had good Moments and it was an Episode that existed.
Now I will say everything from Boom-Dots and Bubbles were easily my Highlight, I feel like while all were old writers, all did it pretty well what they were trying to achieve. Especially both RTD Scripts, one very much felt right home with RTDs other bleak/horror Who Scripts, while the latter feels like something new from RTD that still worked wonderful.
And there is the finale, which I think is the big letdown. I love Sutekh, but overall it was kinda a bit of a mess and felt very much like RTD trying to pull a “Hello Viewers I am very smart”, I mean he is a great writer, no doubt, but sometimes he can feel a bit too smug about his cleverness in his script. I am not crazy about that Rubys Mom was not the Trickster and who knows who else, but I feel like the way RTD set it up was poor and I don’t blame anybody who felt a bit annoyed with its payoff. Not to say there weren’t great Scenes with Ruby and Louise, but yeah the Mystery Aspect should have been trimmed down. And the way they defeat Sutekh didn’t felt all too interesting, which is a shame because even through I am usually never too big on RTDs Finale, the way most Foes get defeated in those at the very least has been interesting for the most part.
Oh, and Church was pretty solid, I guess it was a bit too messy at parts but had some great Moments, I feel in some way I like this Episode a lot more than most but wouldn’t defend it really. Its fine.

I probably sound a bit cynical, but personally I am very mixed on this Series. I think our leads, especially Ncuti does a lot of the heavy lifting and there are some Highlights, but I am not sure if I am sold on the fantasy approach for this new who era (at least when RTD writes most of those). I do think Fantasy can work in Who, but this Series/the Giggle reminded me that it works best in small dosses. Now to the small Ranking:

  1. Boom(!)
  2. Dots and Bubbles
  3. 73 Yards
  4. The Church on Ruby Road
  5. The Devils Chord/Rogue (Again I can see a lot of stuff that’s good in them, but it’s probably a more personal thing where I just don’t click with them, not bad episodes, just not episodes for me)
  6. Space Babies
  7. The Legend of Ruby Sunday/Empire of Death
    There is also the Issue as I said before (for me at least) that I wish we got more small moments where the Character just had some time to have fun (but then again due the shorter runtime for each story in new who overall, I can see why that happens less compared to classic, but honestly I wouldn’t mind if we get at least a bit more moments as the one where 15 & Ruby got time appropriate clothes in TDC.)
    Also, as much as I enjoyed both more Doctor Lite Episodes, please if we still have the 8 Episode count don’t do another one in the next Series, RTD, let Ncuti shine more in the role!!!
    Overall I cannot stretch enough that I was left pretty mixed with this one, I will say I am very much looking forward to the next Series and I hope RTDs Promise with more new writer will be done
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Stubagful just posted his Season 1 review video:

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My thoughts haven’t changed about the show from the last time we’ve had a topic like this. There were some great episodes, and also some terrible ones. It feels wrong to give a sweeping review of the season as a whole because, other than S22/23 from Six’s run, I’ve never watched an entire DW season all the way through. But I didn’t care for this first season of Fifteen’s run for various reasons, and I’m still debating on whether I want to keep up with the next one as it airs or not.

In a nutshell: I have no interest in following what showrunners do, so I have no opinion on RTD. Loved how Ruby’s adoption story wrapped up. Fifteen is blah and Ruby’s great, but they have a good relationship. I liked the shorter number of episodes in this season. I didn’t like the immortal villains they used throughout the season (Jinx, Suketh), nor do I find Mrs Flood interesting. Stop with the Doctor romances!

  1. 73 Yards
  2. Dot and Bubble
  3. Space Babies
  4. Legend of Ruby Sunday <-Everything below this line I didn’t care for; everything above this line (not including four) I consider some of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever
  5. Ruby Road
  6. Empire
  7. Rogue
  8. Devil’s Chord
  9. Boom
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Overall I feel like it was a consistent, solid series bookended with two absolute stinkers. I love Gatwa and Gibson’s chemistry, but I wish we got proper time to develop 15 and Ruby’s relationship properly. I wish we had any conflict at all with them.

RTD set up too many mystery boxes and resolved almost none of them satisfactorily sadly. I love the concept of Ruby’s reveal, but the execution really fell flat for me.

But the episodes were all gorgeous, and I think most of the scripts were very good as a whole! Performances amazing across the board too.

I like that the middle of Season 40 is just pure experimental.

My ranking from best to worst:

  • 73 Yards
  • The Legend of Ruby Sunday
  • Boom
  • Dot & Bubble
  • Devil’s Chord
  • Church on Ruby Road
  • Empire of Death
  • Space Babies :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:
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I wholeheartedly agree. I think what really stood out for me were the following:

  • Ncuti genuinely has that star quality, that absolute zing that, to me, is central to the very best Doctors. He’s phenomenal and so very watchable. I can absolutely see why RTD cast him. Indeed, to have that charisma available and NOT cast him would have been unforgivable.

  • It is very rare that we get a new Doctor who genuinely brings something new. Fifteen is demonstrably the same character but, importantly, feels genuinely fresh and new as the Doctor. I love that he is the Doctor who ‘feels’. Through Fourteen’s therapy, he’s learned that it’s OK to feel and to express one’s feelings. Whilst I can see the Doctor of old in his intelligence, charm and wit, I’ve also never seen a portrayal quite like this one… and it’s magical!

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An interesting article about whether the latest season was a success or not: 'Doctor Who: Disney Deal, Ncuti Gatwa & Russell T Davies In Spotlight

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Interesting, but no new facts really.

Except this tidbit about The War Between the Land and the Sea:

Deadline is told that shooting will commence in September

:tada:

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That middle run of four was the best imo, especially Boom, 73 Yards, Dot and Bubble; some of the best Doctor Who we’ve gotten in years.

I love the fact they’re a bit more wiling to play around with genre and style more and it’s something I’d love to see more.

That all said, I can’t wait to see more writers who aren’t RTD or Moffat

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