Its at its peak...
Being an old school Dr Who fan, and in my late thirties now, I enjoy the new series, apart from the occasional cringeworthy moments. I've loved the show since childhood and re-watching many old episodes several times, I do agree with most of the posts above, and thus feel in an ideal position to comment.
The new series has excelled due to the new audience demographic, and a decent budget, the parents watching know and love the old version, the updating has been enough to make it look good - and there is enough detail in the new series referring to the past to keep traditional fans (like me) happy.
The soap style family aspect I guess is to make it "family viewing" and make it have broader appeal to Mum and Gran who like Eastenders, so again, if it keeps it on our screens, as a fan, I can live with it.
The acting and lead character development is far better than the old series, and no, I don't think we should return back to the old formulas of a 3 hour story, which lets face it comprised of needless occasional crap cliffhangers and the doctor being seperated from his companion and running between protagonists (yes I'm referring to Genesis of the Daleks)
I do agree with the issues of a 45 minute episode - Being a "24" fan, I found the recent episode "42" very amusing... I'm sure they could have put a digital countdown clock in there somewhere, but that would have made it too obvious!
I don't think the gay issues in the series are rammed home :) too much, don't forget sci-fi is a reflection of modern life and its issues in another format. I think the other poster was confusing things with Torchwood, despite what everyone thinks I like Torchwood as a spin-off, and it does seem more adult orientated, both in content, themes and scope, which is quite refreshing. I found this years Christmas special way too kiddie orientated, and way over the top on the acting front from the spider queen, but hey... Dr Who has always had stereotypes for bad guys.
The current series (3) is noticably more intelligent than the last two, perhaps the production team are bending to criticism. The Recent 1913 based episodes too were very well conceived in their scope, the ending of the second parter was exactly the kind of end I always hoped to see in a historical episode, driving home the point about time travel and lifespans for non time-lords - the emotional depth being sadly lacking in the original series.
The last episode "Blink" was an absolute "tour de force" for once, a great intelligent adult story that seemed more like an episode of a serious horror movie or drama series than WHO - it actually involved a plot that actively uses time travel, which you would think Doctor Who stories would employ given the hero is a time lord, and it genuinely reminded me of the later McCoy episodes and the doctor's four dimensional understanding and god-like omniprescence, and pre-planned events unfolding to his strategy.
The statue monsters were brilliant, real 'behind the sofa stuff' - the first genuinely brilliantly conceived spooky race introduced in the new series so far, the whole episode was a shining credit to the production team, the writer, the show and the whole format - a real pinnacle achievement in my opinion.
I do hope to see more past continuity, Dr Who has done story arcs in the past, e.g. Turlough, whose deal with the Black Guardian really gave the fifth doctor episodes substance dramatically - I think we need a new companion that is devious and scheming - to make it edgy and less formulaic - this too will elevate it away from the "family theme", and hope to see old enemies and more past companions too - Bring back Tegan and the Sontarans, although people would now say they look too much like the rhino people from episode 1 series 3!
The New York episodes had great production values, especially with the scenery, design and CGI, but the whole thing for me was spoiled by the Pig People, it did smell(!) of the prosthetics dept having surplus foam rubber during that episode - I realise the genetic experiments idea, but what about the Ogrons, and robomen from Dalek Invasion of Earth - much more intimidating and less daft - that said, the pig derived pilot creature in season one was genuinely well executed (in both ways).
I'd even love to see more episodes that play with the issues of time-travel, like series one's "father's day", what about a story wrapped around the events and footage from Earthshock! Forest Gump / Back to the Future II style, With some re-shoots and decent cybermen split screen effects this time. Perhaps with the Doctor revisting his decision to leave Adric to die...
I can only hope that the BBC does not let standards slide with the show as it did during the McCoy era, which truly put the nails in the coffin last time - with ludicrous confectionary based monsters and second-rate showbiz B list celeb guest stars (and companion). (Real fans know who I'm referring to)
May Dr Who have "legs" hopefully for several years to come - and may the Dalek (note use of non-plural - as there's only one left) not have them - EVER
Derek c Foley