I couldn't agree more.
Also, I like story arcs as much as the next guy but why the bloody hell does everything have to revolve around the Companion all the time? Character development is fine, but making the companions into "the" mystery, with all the ancillary guff about their family dramas and domestics persistently intruding on getting on with actual story-telling, means the whole thing feels like some awful Mary Sue fanfic.
Doctor Who works best when it focuses on a Damn Good Story, especially when it tackles social, political and historical issues like the old series used to do constantly (Caves of Androzani, Genesis of the Daleks etc). Interjecting every other scene for Another-Lovely-Relationship-Building-Moment-With-The-Companion would be fine if the stories were given more time to breathe. As it is though, they end up taking up far too much screen-time of a story which has to be started, developed and finished in one or two 40-minutes episodes.
The David Tennant Doctor/Rose arc was terrific I thought and very well done; I admit I shed a tear during those final scenes on the beach but then we've had similar story arcs for Martha, Donna and (the one I hated the most) the Potts and their bloody irritating grown-up daughter, Professor River Song. The latter was especially unconvincing with two charmless parents who had a baby then barely reacted when she was taken away and returned as a fully grown woman. God, that one was dreadful IMO. Last season's mystery surrounding Whateverhernameis was almost as bad as well and had a silly O.T.T. (even for New Who) resolution. Why can't a companion just be someone normal who doesn't have a mysterious past or big revelation in the future? Classic Who companions like Sarah Jane Smith and Leela where more believable people than anything I've seen in the last few years on Doctor Who. Sometimes simple works better; there's no need to overcomplicated everything.
I've said this before but I wish the series would stick with two- or even three-parters, allowing for better paced plots and potential cliffhangers (even if we know the Doctor is never really in any peril). Also, that would work well with the BBC's budgetary restraints plus another benefit of that is that we'd get away from the abundance of Earthbound stories.
Edited by Darren at 16:18:15 05-08-2013
PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, PC (Intel Core i7-4770K, 16 GB, 3 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, Windows 8.1 Pro), iPad 4, iPad mini with Retina Display.