(I must admit I thought the Brits -- and more overzealous anglophiles -- in the audience would have a shit-fit about that, the Stonehenge thing, because it's so on the nose. Like if every British story written about America took place actually within the Statue of Liberty. But what it's taken me nearly an entire season to figure out is that -- maybe before this, but definitely by the "Hungry Earth" story -- the entire discourse has become so degraded and hysterical -- on both sides, myself included -- that we're talking about the group least likely to acknowledge qualitative claims. Because what I figured out is that you have two wildly dissimilar groups of people involved in consuming this show, and conversations between them are nearly unhaveable, to wit:
One group, the aforementioned anglophiles and lifelong fans of the show, are fans of Doctor Who as an enduring, continuity-rich phenomenon that ties their love of science fiction and British accents and lovely childhood memories of Saturday afternoon PBS marathons. To them, and it took me awhile to locate my sympathy for this viewpoint, Doctor Who is one long story with various ups and downs but which serially and experientially is worth more than the sum of its parts. That is lovely. It's also a Perfect Storm of nerdly arrogance and assumptions about the point of all this which are only matched by:
Group B, who could give a shit about the history of the show, were never fans of the show, and probably wandered in on a similarly anglophile or SyFy route after exhausting their Hulu queues of episodes of Green Wing and whose copies of Pride & Prejudice will never sit duty on their shelves as Colin Firth gets older and fatter and wrinklier day by day. If I fall into a category it's this one, but because of my job -- and lifelong willingness to drop, say, a comic book when it gets dumb -- I have an even bigger issue here, which is my belief that when you change everything about a show, from producers and writers and actors to overarching thematic and semiotic structures, you have messed with its DNA to the point that it must be considered and evaluated as a different show.