You've handed over a cashier's check for $498,237, and you're handed a set of keys for your brand-new 2022 McLaren 765LT. You hop inside and start up the 754hp twin-turbo V-8 engine. Hmmm, it sounds a little...weak.
You hop out and open the bonnet. Inside you find the engine from a 1980 Yugo. And the body panels are all made from old Walmart cardboard boxes.
I'm sure you'd be a little upset. This was exactly how I felt after I watched the Doctor Who episode, "The Timeless Children".
For context, I've watched Doctor Who since the 1960's. I have every episode that is available (excluding the lost ones, of course) up to the end of the season this node is about. I have stopped watching the show and buying merchandise.
Is it because of Jodie Whittaker? Nope. I was actually looking forward to her run because I liked her in Broadchurch, plus it would be fascinating to see an exploration of the Doctor from a woman's perspective. The episodes were mostly pushy and preachy, but some items I did like, such as the Rosa Parks episode.
So what has caused this big shift in my enjoyment of the series?
The Timeless Children episode completely retconned everything I loved about the show for sixty years. It was all a lie. The TARDIS has a Yugo engine and the Daleks are cardboard. William Hartnell is not the original Doctor. The Timelords are child murderers who continuously killed this one alien child over and over to learn how to steal her regeneration ability. Plus, there have been thousands of "Doctors", pre-dating Hartnell.
Unfortunately for the series, I'm not alone in my despair. The show has lost so many hardcore fans from this one episode that the BBC had to do something drastic. They've hired back Bad Wolf Productions with Russell T. Davies, who was the showrunner for some of the best New "Who" years, and the one caveat he had is that Bad Wolf/Davies would have absolute, complete control of the series. The BBC, realizing their cash cow was halfway through the sausage grinder, relented. There's even talk that fan favorite David Tennant will be back to try and correct some of the serious damage to the franchise.
The only way I would return would be if Bad Wolf made the whole Jodie Whittaker run a "(Dallas) Bobby in the shower moment", making it all a dream. Or even a hoax, since The Master was involved. Which is sad, because the problems are with the writing, not the actors. While I still like Jodie, I found she really didn't have the gravitas or presence that is needed for the role. Surprisingly, there was a woman Doctor that I thought did have the stage presence needed, and it was Jo Martin, who appeared in an earlier episode of this season and revealed she was one of many previous incarnations before Hartnell. I think if one teamed up Jo, who would be the first person of color, plus a woman to boot, and someone who knew how to write episodes of Doctor Who and was actually familiar with the lore and fandom, THAT season would absolutely kick some butt. If they do bring in Tennant for one season of "specials", I'd be happy if he transitioned over to Jo Martin with Russel T. Davies at the helm.
We can only wait and see...