You just don’t mess with the continuity of a show or a movie if it can be avoided. You just don’t do it. Unfortunately that’s likely why Chris Chibnall’s version of the famous Doctor is seeing a significant drop in viewers since people tend to like seeing some semblance of continuity in their favorite shows and if someone messes with that then it’s at their own risk and that of the show given that fans will turn on whoever they feel is doing them wrong on a dime. It’s a wonder that people don’t realize this a little quicker and move to stem the bleeding before it’s become too difficult to turn back. Unfortunately at this point Chibnall is really going to have to do a lot of apologizing in his own way to bring back the fans that have been dropping off in order to stabilize things and make sure that this current Doctor and her story won’t go down in history as the worst thing to ever happen to the overall story. So far people have been hailing Jodie Whittaker in her second run as the famed Doctor and are enjoying what they’ve been seeing, up to a point. This is not the first show that has suffered because someone wanted to go against the grain unfortunately as Walking Dead fans could attest to, but it’s one that could very well damage a fan favorite if it’s not corrected soon and with enough veracity to make people believe that it won’t happen again, at least not on purpose. As Jonathan Wright from We Got This Covered reminds us there were rumors a while back that Whittaker and Chibnall would be leaving the show in 2019, but those proved to be unfounded obviously. If things aren’t righted soon though it could be that neither of them will have a choice.
If there’s one thing that kills off a show or a movie it’s when someone decides to get creative in a manner that disregards everything that came before. We’ve seen this in many different ways throughout show business and while it’s innovative and does manage to bring up new ideas, doing so at the expense of the source material that allowed for such a switch to be possible is hardly ever a good idea. Star Wars had this happen in recent times with The Last Jedi, which is still considered to be a massive flop by fans even if critics tend to disagree. The direction that Johnson went in was one that had fans ready to spit blood at one point and actually raised interest for a petition to strike the movie from the canon. Thankfully no one’s been able to do such a thing with any movie or show at this point and it doesn’t appear as though Doctor Who would suffer from such an attempt, but there’s still plenty to be done at this point to make sure that the current time lord will stick around and that her story will continue to be told to fans that are still interested in listening. The uproar that came when it was announced that the next Doctor would be a woman was hard enough to weather and eventually get through, but messing around with the story and creating something that fans just can’t get behind, especially if it’s politically-charged in any way, is not a sound idea or investment in the future. Jennifer M. Wood of Wired has more to say on this subject.
Political ideas in a TV show are rarely that great of an idea to generate interest unless the show itself is political in nature or benefits from the addition. Doctor Who is a scifi series, so it’s fair to say that injecting too much politics into the story as a whole is not a great plan, but worse still is that Chibnall doesn’t really care much for what people say about his work. Akansha Dubey of The Digital Weekly has more to say about this. That’s kind of amusing really since it’s almost like saying “I don’t care, don’t pay me if you don’t like it”. Guaranteed he won’t continue to get much of a paycheck unless he wants to listen to fans and at least consider what they’re saying and why they’re dropping off like flies. Anyone worth their seat in show business is going to at least listen to what the fans and the critics have to say and take it into consideration even if they don’t follow every word and suggestion to the letter. People are fickle, yes, but in the end when it comes to their favorite shows they do happen to know at least a little of what they’d like to see, and they also know how to be entirely unforgiving when it comes to their favorite programs being cannibalized for an idea that doesn’t follow the source material closely enough. So really, if Chibnall wants to be smart, it might be time to go back to the formula that was working.