Doctor Who Review

As this season of Doctor Who has now finished, I thought I might as well run down what I thought of the series and then you guys can have your say. Beware, there may be some slight spoilers, so unless you are River Song, or you don’t mind getting slight hints, don’t read.

I’d like to start off by saying I’m not a fan of the new format of splitting the series in two. Less episodes means less tension build up over the series. I miss trying to spot the little clues that they used to scatter around to hint at the final episode. And it means we seem to have lost the two parters, which are often the best episodes of the series (Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances, Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit, Silence In The Library/ Forests Of The Dead, Time Of Angels/ Flesh and Stone; to name but a few). The stories seem to be a bit too condensed this series (i.e. from The Dalek Asylum onwards), but it has been especially noticeable in this half.

However, having said all that, I have quite enjoyed this half of the season. Journey To The Centre Of The Tardis was a very good episode, even if the ending was a bit meh, I loved all of the references to Old Who that they put in there and it was nice to see a bit more of the Tardis interior other than the control room. Hide and The Crimson Horror where probably my favourite episodes, Hide was nicely scary at some points and Diana Rigg was brilliantly nutty in The Crimson Horror. It was good to see them bring back some of the old foes, which was what really excited me about this season, and they didn’t let me down. The Ice Warrior episode was as good as should be expected from Mark Gatiss, a man who certainly knows his Who, and I love the retro redesign they’ve given the Cybermen. I’m also glad they brought back the Great Intelligence as the big bad guy, shame they couldn’t have given him some yeti, but evil snowmen and the Whisper Men will have to do. On the subject of the Whisper Men, with all of that stuff at the start of the final episode, the rhyme about them and all that, I was expecting them to be more intimidating, have more substance, but instead a good metaphor for their impact would be when Strax tries to kill one and it just goes straight through it, they were a nothing villain. However, I’m not saying that the final episode was bad in any way, it was an excellent finale for the season in my opinion, I had a veritable Whogasm at the end. It leads on to the 50th anniversary episode very nicely, they explained Clara’s role in a way that was very satisfying and didn’t give her some massive cosmic meaning like Rose, Donna or Wilf and thankfully it didn’t try to answer the big question that they had almost been threatening to answer.

However, this does lead me onto the weak links, the first two episodes of the half. The Bells Of Saint John started out good but as soon as you thought you knew what was going on it jumped to another place and left the whole episode feeling quite empty. However, it was miles better than The Rings Of Akhaten. Now, great old Who reference at the start aside, this was possibly the worst episode since the Absorbalov waddled onto our screens. Unthreatening bad guy overload. The weird masked guys could have worked out quite well as the villain, or even the henchmen to the mummified alarm clock thing, but no, we have to have another sentient sun, lots of meaningless babble and the corniest mass sing-along this side of Disney. This episode could easily have made way for any one of the other episodes to be stretched into a two parter, or it could have just been chucked completely and another episode could have been filmed instead. It’s such a shame that the only alien planet episode of this series had to be the worst.

Anyway, that’s my opinion, now lets hear yours.

5 Responses to Doctor Who Review

  1. Nate_The_Prate

    First up, while I loved Clara in her first couple of appearances, she is starting to wear on me a bit. Not so much that I dislike her now, i just wish the Clara/Doctor exchanges weren’t so fast all the time. Speaking fast doesn’t automatically make things clever. Strax however, has become one of my new favourite characters.

    I have enjoyed the episodes so far, Crimson Death being my favourite episode so far (I felt so bad for the blind lady, whos name I can’t remember which makes me feel worse) probably followed by Cold War.

    I think my biggest problem was Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, those endings just cheese me off because we’ve just gone around in a big, daft circle.

    While I haven’t seen the finale yet, I’m ever so eagar to see the 50th Anniversary special, even if Jack won’t be in it.

    And yes, clefting the season in twain is a load of absolute nonsense. Please stop it Moffat….

  2. Calvary_Red

    i guess i can come from the perspective of someone who’s not a longtime Doctor Who fan. i’ve been meaning to get into it for a while, but didn’t manage to until this season.

    i’ve enjoyed it, primarily. i have noticed that it feels less epic than what i’ve seen of older season, and the previous reviews offer a good explanation for that. For me though, that’s a good thing. it gives me something lighter i can get into, before the drama really picks up (which i do look forward to).

    i’ve liked Clara as The Doctor’s companion, too. Probably because i’m in about the same situation she is, getting to know The Doctor (which i’d guess is part of the point of having companions in the series). She’s kind, courageous, and smart enough to keep up with The Doctor himself. She often adapts quickly to whatever’s going on and can take charge of the situation (best demonstrated in Nightmare in Silver). And the explanation for how the Impossible Girl is possible was great.

    The Villains were also great as i’d expected. The extremes The Great Intelligence was willing to go to just to get his revenge gave the last episode that epic feel i mentioned earlier. Skaldak in Cold War was very powerful and very desperate, about as dangerous a combination as you can get. And, as JR19759 said, Mrs. Gillyflower was a nut (“Do you know what these are? The wrong hands!”). The monster in Hide was very scary, and featured a cool (though somewhat predictable) twist. Mr. Clever was a brilliant concept and well executed. For now, i’ll leave it at that.

  3. Want to say something, but can’t. I’ve still got the second half of this year’s series (season) to watch. I’ve only just said goodbye to Amy and Rory.
    Considering back in February, I was all, “You know, I should really get around to watching Doctor Who,” that’s pretty good progress.
    I figure sometime this week, I’ll be caught up.

  4. The ‘Name of the Doctor’ was one for the Fans! and if the 50th is anything like this episode then it will be a total ‘fanfest’ !

  5. Okay, caught up and, I don’t know what to say. I mean, seriously, what do you say when you see this? I’m just…no words.

    I’m not really going to give my thoughts on the last season, really. I generally agree with what others have said on here (except that while I agree that The Rings of Akhaten was not a good episode at all, I still didn’t think it was as bad as JR said it was).

    So, maybe to talk about a few other things:

    1. Not sure if I like the new opening. I do like the part where Matt Smith’s face materializes out of the nebula cloud, that’s very Classic Doctor Who opening material. The rest of it, not so much.

    2. The non-Doctor at the end of the season finale, it has been pointed out by others more observant than I, is wearing clothes similar to the Eighth Doctor, but also the leather jacket of the Ninth Doctor. Speculation would be, this is The Doctor post-Time War. And perhaps committing the atrocity of of ending the Daleks and the Time Lords is his un-Doctorish act that is the Doctor’s great secret. And hopefully, we’ll find out something about that.

    3. Well, no one asked “Doctor Who?” on the fields of Trenzalore. Yet.