It took me a little while, but in retrospect, I think I loved Doctor Who‘s eighth series. It always takes a bit to get used to a new Doctor, especially when they’re trying to get on with an existing companion, but Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman grew on me, and I think they did for most people too (although I know there are detractors of both parties). So, in honor of today (8/8) and the fact that Series 8 arrived on Netflix instant watch and Hulu today, here are eight reasons, in random order, why Series 8 is totally worth loving.
1) The Twelfth Doctor’s Catchphrase is “Shut Up.”
Since the show returned in 2005, each of the Doctors has had a specific line or word they exclaimed that became their calling card. The Ninth Doctor’s was “Fantastic!”, the Tenth Doctor’s was “Allons-y!”, the Eleventh Doctor’s was “Geronimo!” If the Twelfth Doctor has one, it’d have to be just telling people to shut up all the time.
2) Clara Oswald Slowly Becomes the Doctor
There are people out there who are not big fans of Clara, but I think she’s tops. One of the best parts about her in Series 8 is that she slowly became so enamored of traveling with the Doctor and having adventures, she actually started wanting to be the Doctor, and claiming she was at various intervals. In “Flatline,” the Doctor is incapacitated through tiny TARDIS, and Clara has to go and do the Sonic Screwdriving, and later in “Dark Water,” she tries to trick the Cybermen the same way. Her realizing that maybe it’s not awesome to be the Doctor was a great arc for her this year.
3) Sometimes, Romance Sucks
Poor Danny Pink. How can a regular dude, even one as forthright and kind as our former solider turned maths teacher, compete with a life traveling in time and space, having all the adventures? Series 8, unlike previous series, tries to have Clara strike a balance in her love life and “work” life, but she makes wrong decisions and eventually things get tragic.
One of the biggest surprises for me in Series 8 was episode four, “Listen,” in which the Doctor thinks maybe none of us are really alone when we think we are. It’s a big timey-wimey episode that has Clara trying to be a good dater (which is more difficult than you’d think) and meeting people from the past and future of Danny Pink’s existence. And ultimately, she gets to understand a bit more about the Doctor’s past than she, or any of us, could have imagined. Also, CHALKBOARDS FOREVER.
5) The Doctor Argues with Robin Hood
While certainly the outlier of the series, “Robot of Sherwood” has a special place in my heart because if there’s anything I love, it’s needless bickering. The Doctor believes Robin Hood is a myth so when he actually meets the green-clad outlaw, he’s sure there’s some trick. He, Clara, and Robin Hood get captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham and the two men spend a good portion of the episode chained up and arguing and I couldn’t stop laughing.
6) A Mummy!
It wouldn’t be Doctor Who if it didn’t have a bit of the ol’ Gothic horror, and this series’ one comes in the form of a futuristic space train meant to mimic the Orient Express and what appears to be an Egyptian mummy that can only be seen by the person it’s about to kill. Very scary, especially with the time limit involved.
7) It’s Not All Happy Times in the TARDIS
Going hand-in-hand with Clara’s addiction to adventure and her troubled romantic life is the fact that she and the Doctor had a hard time coexisting this year, due in no small part to her feeling betrayed by him in “Kill the Moon” and then threatening him with never getting to use his TARDIS again in “Dark Water.” The Twelfth Doctor is a lot obstinate and a lot dismissive and that’s hard for someone as headstrong as Clara to deal with a lot of the time. I know a lot of fans aren’t into the Doctor and companion not getting along, but if it results in good drama, it’s good to do in small doses.
8) Missy Ruled So Hard
And of course, the eighth reason to love Series 8 is Michelle Gomez’s amazingly evil turn as Missy. She’s easily my favorite version of that character (no spoilers for people who haven’t watched yet) and she gets to the heart of why that twisted person’s brain ticks. And it’s pretty terrific that in a season that gave of the Daleks, Cybermen, mummies, 2D monsters, moon lice, and the concept of nothing as villains a cackling and demented version of Mary Poppins would have the biggest impact.
What are eight reasons you love Doctor Who Series 8? Let me know in the comments below, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s all up on Netflix and Hulu right this second!