5 Reasons Chibnall's Doctor Who Era Failed

Where did it all go wrong?

The Doctor The Timeless Child
BBC

Chris Chibnall has been a controversial showrunner on the beloved series. As a life-long fan of the show, a veteran writer for the rebooted series and former showrunner of Torchwood, he had the potential to be amazing.

Sadly, it's fallen short of what fans expected and there are a lot of reasons for this. Some fans would claim it's down to his bold changes like we saw with the The Timeless Child arc. Others would argue it's the so-called "woke" messages within every episode, and some would say it's down to the actors. Chibnall has been undeniably brave with his decisions at the helm and must have known that all of them could backfire.

From the controversial casting of Jodie Whittaker to the reveal of pre-Hartnell Doctors, he's made it impossible to ignore his contribution. But could it be more than that? If we look back at other showrunners, there have always been similar arguments. Moffat introduced changed everything we knew when he introduced the War Doctor, RTD was probably one of the most political writers in Doctor Who history, and Matt Smith had the hard job of following David Tennant.

With this in mind, let's take a look at some of the reasons that have caused chaos in Chibnall's era.

5. The Music

The Doctor The Timeless Child
BBC

Remember the days of Doctor Who when the music would enhance the scene and emotionally tip you over the edge? What would Doomsday be without Murray Gold’s score? What about the tragedy of the Singing Towers or the haunting Heaven Sent? The pain of Amy and Rory’s sacrifice or the drama of Vampires of Venice?

Murray Gold knew how to do something magical with his music. His influence in the episode was as important as that of the writers, the actors and the crew who filmed and edited and directed. Murray Gold was an important staple of the Whoniverse. Concerts were held to honour his music. His work could pack the Royal Albert Hall at the Proms. He was always going to be a hard act to follow.

Unfortunately, Segun Akinola doesn’t even come close. Where Murray Gold’s score was memorable and every Whovian can name their favourite tracks without even thinking, we’d have a harder time recalling any music in Chibnall’s era. Rather than being big, bold and dramatic, it’s more basic and ambient. It's nice, but only Thirteen's theme and the closing credits of Demons of the Punjab stand out.

We can only hope that with RTDs return, we might see Murray come back and breathe life back into the show too. We can only wonder just how much this era would be if he had been around.

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Simon is a writer, cat dad and presenter of a geeky radio show with his husband. He loves Doctor Who (except 10 who can get in the bin…only joking.) He idolises Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lara Croft and would 100% be a Sith Lord in a galaxy far, far away. He wishes life was like a musical so he’d actually be a good singer.