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More Hats and Other <i>Doctor Who</i> Series 6 Suggestions

After David Tennant regenerated into Matt Smith, I was worried that Series 5 of Doctor Who would be hard to enjoy, but the Eleventh Doctor had won me over by the time he took his first bite of fish sticks and custard. The maudlin drama of the previous god-like Doctor had given way to a fairy tale full of fear and excitement as new showrunner Stephen Moffat finally moved the show out from under the shadow of the Time War. The Weeping Angels came back. Amy Pond didn't just pine away for the Doctor; she actually tried to jump his bones. And the Doctor's overt need to be the one who "makes people better" didn't quite feel so holier than thou. Of course, as much as I may love Eleven, Amy and Rory, there were several elements missing during Series 5 that I hope to see in the new season.

More Amy & Rory In Love
There just wasn't enough love in the TARDIS last season. The first half of Series 5 made it seem like Amy would much rather be with the Doctor instead of Rory, and even Rory's actual presence on board couldn't stop her from constantly giving the Doctor bedroom eyes. It wasn't until after Rory had died twice, Amy had died once and Rory had spent nearly 2,000 years sitting around that the couple began to really show some love for each other. The Christmas special and the Red Nose shorts from this year demonstrated that they are clearly lusting for each other now, but this season they need to start acting like they are more than just sexy crewmates and are actually married to one another.

Early River Song
While it seems from the previews of this season that we will encounter River at another, earlier point in her life (maybe before she killed "a very good man; best man [she had] ever known"), she still seems like the cocky, hat-shooting, TARDIS-flying lady that we have already met. While I don't necessarily hope she becomes a full-time companion this year, it would be nice to finally see her at a time before she felt comfortable calling the Doctor "sweetie."

Time Away From Earth
There were really only two episodes totally away from our planet last year (technically three, if you count the Weeping Angels' two-parter). While putting the people of Earth in some kind of danger ups the emotional stakes of any episode, it also keeps the Doctor's travels from having any sense of scale. Give me a creepy desert, an abandoned library or even, desperately, Earth 2. An alien world just makes the universe seem a bit bigger.

Less Magical Fairy Tale Resolutions
Can we all agree that as emotionally fulfilling as "The Big Bang" was, Amy's remembering of the Doctor back into existence seems less and less awesome every time we think back on it? Even ancient and powerful technology like the Pandorica has at least some excuse for working outside of the idea that it works for Peter Pan.

New Fashions for the Doctor
Bow ties are cool. So are fezzes. From the previews it looks like Stetsons and space helmets are, too. Eleven's accessories define him in a way that Nine's leather jacket or Ten's glasses never could. Letting him play dress-up makes the situations he gets into seem more playful and fun, even if they are totally frightening. Besides, it's clear from the Christmas special that even Amy and Rory know the way that costumes can spice things up.

No Classic Baddies
I couldn't have been the only one who thought it was nice to barely see the Daleks or Cybermen last year. Those guys are scary, but how many times a year can we expect a race of fascist trashcans to listen to the Doctor talk his way out of their plans for total universal domination? If they could go a whole year without bringing back the Silurians, the Weeping Angels or (heaven forbid) the Master, the show might actually be able to prove that it isn't just milking its core audience's nostalgia.

More Timey-Wimey Silliness
"A Christmas Carol" was a bit too fast and loose with the way it played with time, but getting to see the effects of the Doctor's actions happening almost instantly was kind of cool. Forcing the Doctor to go back and forth between the past and future as he tried to fix something, while constantly causing other things to change, would make for neat visual gags as well as some suspense. Moffat could use the book A Sound of Thunder (or The Simpsons episode that parodied it) as inspiration.

Let Rory Be Useful
And not in the way that Mickey was useful by becoming a guerrilla fighter, but in a way that doesn't require him to spend years in an unreachable dimension. Rory can be so much more than comic relief -- the guy is a nurse with doctoral ambitions after all. Let us see his personality outside of his all too undying love of Amy. Let him actually be the guy who saves the day. He may always be the "boy who waited," but that doesn't have to be the only thing he is.

Full-Time Story Arcs
Each of the new series has spent whole seasons, even multiple seasons, setting up the pieces for some grand episode near the end of the series. What does the Doctor do the moment he finds out there might be cracks all over the universe? He takes Amy on a trip to the Starship UK. As curious as the Doctor seems to be, unless something is right in front of him, he rarely looks for it. Plus, a season-long sense of purpose for the Doctor might make it easier to watch the minor arcs, because you know they could actually matter later on.

Give the Doctor Some Limits
No one likes winning all the time. The Doctor is a pretty smart and powerful guy, but what can't he do? Letting the Doctor come up against something he has to run away from would give us the sense that everything else is just as close to falling apart as well. It might also show Amy and Rory that the dangers they are facing are all very real, despite their storybook attitude on life. Plus, letting the Doctor admit he might be afraid would show off the human side of him that we didn't even see when there was a human copy of the Doctor around.

What would make Series 6 the best Who yet for you?

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