Doctor Who: Tenth Series Summary
The Tenth Series is still a strong performer, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Ninth Series.
The Tenth had some great high points, including an adventure with all three incarnations of the Doctor and the phenomenal strength of Jo as a companion. As soon as the Doctor got his keys back from the Time Lords, Jo’s eyes were opened to the sheer potential of everything. I adored Liz Shaw for the strength she brought to the franchise as the Third Doctor started his exile, and I consider Jo’s time while the Doctor is still chained to Earth to be much weaker than Liz’s run, but as soon as the Doctor could fly again, a switch flipped in Jo’s character. She became so much more proactive and creative, and she reminded me a lot of Donna and Clara from the recent years in how similar she was to the Doctor.
That’s why I’m going to miss her.
It’s also why I’m apprehensive going forward. I’m on a high with such great chemistry between the Doctor and a companion, and next series brings fan-favorite Sarah Jane Smith to the stage. I’m hoping that she doesn’t let me down.
On a similar note, the Tenth Series was a season of saying goodbye to franchise icons. We said goodbye to a companion, and I praise the show for allowing us to actually see her off and for giving her a happy ending. Her final scenes were so powerful and touching. We said goodbye to a Doctor with William Hartnell’s final performance as the First Doctor, which was bittersweet because it was such a wonderful story coupled with the real-world knowledge of Hartnell’s condition. We said goodbye to the first incarnation of the Master, and even though it wasn’t planned to be his final performance, Frontier in Space is one of my favorite portrayals of the Doctor’s nemesis and friend by Roger Delgado. I didn’t consider it to be a strong story, but he brought so much heart and soul to bear.
The Doctor is finally back to being more high-spirited since he’s returned to traveling in space and time thanks to the Time Lords. His arrogance and rudeness has been scaled back, and I think it’s because he’s free to travel again and free to have fun again. It’s apparent in how crestfallen he becomes when Jo turns him down for a jaunt to Metebilis III in The Green Death, and it’s obvious that there is still a disconnect between them no matter how close they grow. She was a mirror image of the Doctor as her time as a companion progressed, and a key to gauging his recovery from his exile. He started out tied to Earth and ended with the ability to run again. She started out without a distinct course to travel and ended up locked down into a defined future. The parallels are amazing.
This series is one of the highest rated among the average seasons so far. It was fun, but not phenomenal, and it was a good vehicle for transition as the franchise continues to grow.
Series Ten Average Rating: 3.8/5
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Time Warrior
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.