Doctor Who can be called a lot of things. It's simultaneously a show for both kids and adults, die-hard fans, as well as newcomers, and, above all else, a mystery program for all to puzzle over. However, there's one thing that the legendary BBC show cannot be labeled as, and one of the director's behind the show has drawn attention to how Doctor Who is not the type of show one uses to simply “Netflix and Chill.”
On her official Tumblr feed, director Rachel Talalay – the theatrical mind behind the two part finales for Seasons 8 and 9 – has started to go into the process behind the production of this year's finale, “Heaven Sent / Hell Bent.” When asked about how she laid out the eventual realization that the entire first part of the story found The Doctor stuck in a time loop, Talalay issued the following response:
On first viewing we wanted the audience to discover clues as the Doctor did. Breadcrumbs. The line to walk: is the audience confused or intrigued or just frustrated? We wanted to avoid ‘bad’ confusion – well, you all know about that. The episode requires attention – I don’t think it’s 'Netflix and chill'
With Talalay's invocation of the infamous pastime that's made its way across the internet, the director has made a pretty big statement speaking towards the quality of the content that Doctor Who attempts to strive for with every season. While Season 8 was admittedly bereft of a proper through-line, and Season 9 had a hell of a run – up until its last episode – it can be said that even in its worst hour, the modern run of Doctor Who definitely requires the viewer's full undivided attention. With characters arriving, departing, and returning in various contexts throughout, it is a show that demands episodic viewing, with your eyes glued to the screen.
Rachel Talalay isn't wrong, as most of us can admit that if we were to engage in a “Netflix and Chill” session, it's not really advised to use Doctor Who as a potential weapon of seduction. Not only are the stories intriguing enough that you're more than likely hung up on just how the fantastical plot of a random episode is moving, but the creature designs are enough to entice one to watch and/or cower behind the sofa in fear. So giving your undivided attention to The Doctor and his adventures isn't only polite, it's mandatory.
Of course, there's the distinct possibility that your potential companion is as much of a fan of Doctor Who as you are. But even then, you'll both probably watch a mini-marathon of episodes, follow up with discussion of the various points of contention you have with the show, and then possibly proceed to the “Chill” portion of the day. The bottom line of this story is plain and simple: if you want to Netflix and Chill, it's recommended you put something on that easily blends into the background. After all, it's not polite to pull away mid-kiss to ponder just how awesome a Rachel Talalay directed / Neil Gaiman scripted episode of the show would be. Spoiler alert: we're already adding it to our Whovian wish list – next to that Peter Jackson episode we were kinda / sorta promised.
Doctor Who will return on Christmas Night with “The Husbands Of River Song,” which airs at 9 PM EST on BBC America.