As I’ve said here before, it’s tough being a Doctor Who fan. It’s such a hit and miss show. I love it because it’s so full of daft yet brilliant ideas, but it does have a tendency towards stupidity, and I can understand why some newcomers and casual viewers can’t be bothered with it. Recently I’ve managed to persuade my girlfriend to watch it with me, which is always nerve-wracking because you never know when it might turn out to be toe-curlingly dreadful.
So I’m very glad to see Terry Pratchett offering his take on Doctor Who in SFX. His comments have been picked up in quite a lot of other media, with headlines about Pratchett ‘attacking’ Doctor Who. Not so: he seems to have the same love/hate relationship with it that I do. He points particularly to the overuse of deus ex machina endings, where the episode concludes with some terrible crisis which the Doctor resolves by just waving his screwdriver and spouting some meaningless sci-fi babble.
It’s important to remember that no matter how many fizzes and bangs and scary monsters you have, you still need a powerful narrative.