It does seem a little sad that, after previous years of getting 13 weeks of new episodes, we're now down to just 5 (and a Christmas Special). But, speaking as someone who only got to watch one new episode in the 16 years between 1989 and 2005, I'm grateful for whatever I can get. While I no longer get as excited for new Who as I did back in 2005, I'm still very much looking forward to what's coming up over the next few weeks.
In fact, based on the little information that I have, I think I'm looking forward to this series more than I was to the last series back in the Spring of 2011. There are, I think, a few reasons for this:
- Daleks. Or to be more precise: Every. Dalek. Ever! At least according to Steven Moffatt. Although I suspect that it'll be more a case of 'Whatever we could find hanging around in the BBC Prop Department'. Nevertheless I'm really looking forward to seeing all the old Daleks on screen again. As we get ready to enter the anniversary year, it's a nice acknowledgement of the show's history, not to mention the Daleks' history, which is almost as long as that of the show itself. I think this will be one occasion when I really don't care whether the story is good or bad, I'll just be looking at the visuals.
- No 2-part stories. This may a little controversial to some but I'm generally not a fan of multi-part stories. Modern Doctor Who seems to work better in the single episode format. It has a pace to it that the original series was never able to have and this allows good, exciting stories to be told in 45 minutes. This has become the norm now and at times the show seemed to struggle when it had to adapt to a two-part story structure. Because of this we did end up with some rather slow and dull 2 parters over the years. Of course we had some great 2-part stories too but, for me at least, the misses outweigh the hits.
- Hardly any River Song. Much as I like the character I'm rather glad that she's taken a bit of a back seat this year. She appeared in almost half of last year's episodes and, even when she wasn't around, her presence was felt as the overall arc of the season revolved around her. One has to wonder whether, with her parents leaving the series, will we be seeing a lot less of River in the future?
- No pirates this year. I don't like pirates and I really didn't like Curse of the Black Spot last year. I do, on the other hand like cowboys and Westerns so this year's A Town Called Mercy should be good fun. In fact, I don't think that there's a single episode this year that I'm not looking forward to in some way whereas I couldn't have said the same last year.
So there we are: just a few reasons why I'm looking forward to Whotember. Not long to go now...