So, when does one stop being a 'fan'. Is there a point where you wonder if you ever were ever a 'real' fan? Can one be a fan if they are annoyed or unhappy with the majority of a show's episodes?
I ask all these questions when it comes to Doctor Who.
I was born and grew up too late to ever really appreciate the Classic Series of Doctor Who. Yet, I saw episodes of it and whilst of course the effects were usually dire there were some good episodes and stories there. Many were padded due to having to fill out long episode counts, whilst others had poor storytelling and bad plots. Yet, I found more often than not I enjoyed the episodes on display.
Fast forward to 2005 when the new show emerged. I thought the 9th Doctor was sulky and bad-tempered but there were some good episodes here, along with some bad ones. I was fascinated and I considered myself a fan.
The next 2 seasons with the 10th Doctor were also more good than bad, and I liked Tennant's portrayal immensely.
Russell T Davies had his bad points (crude humour, pushing certain hobby horses etc) but more often than not he produced more good than bad episodes.
The 11th Doctor is where I found myself asking 'am I really a fan?' as Steven Moffett took over and the plots became increasingly self-referential, complicated and irritating. By the time the 11th Doctor departed the balance had shifted so that the good episodes were far in the minority of dross like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.
But then the 12th Doctor, with the promise of a new and more interesting take appeared and I was briefly intrigued. My hopes were dashed. Season 8 was slightly better than 7...but it was still pretty bad. I actively disliked the way the Doctor was portrayed, and his stories had descended into melodrama.
Thus, the beginning of this season filled me only with resignation. "How much worse could it be?" Surprisingly, it started well, with a good Dalek/Master (the hardest ones to pull off) two-parter, followed by a very interesting (if rather silly) faux-Norse two-parter.
But then...then came hamfisted Zygon stories and atmospheric yet incomprehensible base under siege stories. Even the death of a companion was somewhat robbed of impact by the oddity of the episode before it.
Finally last episode, an interesting circular tale leading into a finale. It was fine...until I started asking questions, questions the writers clearly didn't care about or wish to answer.
And I'm left with a question; are the episodes getting worse, is my patience less or am I just not the demographic anymore?
Or, I guess, am I a Doctor Who fan when I rate only 2 episodes out of 11 over 7/10? I guess I'll see how I think on Sunday.