So I just watched the first two episodes of this season of Dr. Who. I must confess I'm underwhelmed. I can't wait for Russell Davies to go away. I can't believe how depressingly formulaic it's gotten. The Pompeii episode was just the latest in a line of horrible contrivances. The volcanic eruption of Vesuvius was enough; why did there need to be aliens? Why is it always aliens? In the very first series, there was a story about the Aztecs, with no supernatural element. Like Pompeii, there were "primitive gods" and superstition and sacrifice, but that was it. And it was enough. We got to see ol' William Hartnell putting the moves on a sexy widow, the male companion (yes, men can be companions, too--and there can be more than one companion at a time--and they don't always wait for the end of a season to disappear, which makes things more interesting) did some swashbuckling swordfighting, and the ladies made a stand on social issues. All that, without a monster of the week! 42 last season was a similar story; the concept of being locked on a ship that was plunging into the sun where all the crew members need set aside their personal drama to answer the trivia questions that will save their lives would have made a perfect story, right there, full stop. The part where the Doctor gets possessed was kinda cool, but you could have had that in another story (you can go back to aliens next week).
And really, what is RTD's thing with the-doctor-as-vehicle-for-fixing-up-some-girl's-otherwise-dull-life? He's not some kind of My Little Pony. The "Rose" formula (one companion, female, some sexual tension) needs to die. I know RTD was in love with Rose (why?), but I didn't really feel it myself. She was good (at times), but RTD is just hung up on her like some schoolboy still obsessed with his 'first.' Steven Moffat, save me.