Judge the Thirteenth Doctor by the quality of her enemies

As I was putting together the post What did the Second Doctor ever do for the show?, I realised how applicable the Oscar Wilde quote was to series 11, Jodie Whittaker’s first outing as the Thirteenth Doctor. I paraphrase: judge the Doctor by the quality of her enemies. From this (and it’s a high-level view) it’s obvious Resolution would be a crowd-pleaser.

I’m not saying use Daleks (other monsters/villains are available) in every story, but please make the villains better. On a quick survey, this is how series 11 panned out:

The Woman Who Fell to EarthTim ShawPotential here and some horror elements but not fully realised
Ghost MonumentIlin, Remnants, SniperbotsIlin was mostly mysterious, the Remnants had some creepy moments but were easily defeated, the Sniperbots struggled to hit a barn door at ten paces
RosaKraskoAll bluster and no physical threat, manipulative but easy to defeat through teamwork
Arachnids in the UKSpiders, Jack RobertsonThe spiders were just misunderstood and Jack Robertson took no blame and moved on (where to?)
The Tsuranga ConundrumPtingIt was just misunderstood
Demons of the PunjabManishRed herring enemy were just alien observers, Manish won the day (from his pov)
Kerblam!Charlie DuffyLots of red herrings, a proper mad villain who got blown up
The WitchfindersMorax, Becka SavageSonic on the alien tech reset the prison on yet another generic alien
It Takes You Away? Moths in mazeNo real villain, just a strange situation
The Battle of Ranskoor av KolosTim ShawA lame ending for a villain pulled back on to booked the series (ignoring the New Year special)
ResolutionDalekI rest my case

So really no decent villain until the Daleks. This isn’t to say a lesser villain can’t be a challenge, but too many were defeated with little effort. I do think the single episode format is a challenge, we can live on character if the villain is a bit bland, but too many of these don’t have that. Not true of the wedding in Demons of the Punjab, which did have a character arc for Yaz’s grandmother, now It Takes You Away, which did explore grief (and have a talking frog). Lot’s of bits, but more pot pourri than a seriously crafted set of stories.

We need the occasional sharply defined villain. End of!

Let me know what you think, what I’ve missed and where I’m wrong. Use the comments;-)

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