It seems really weird to think that it was only a year ago that David Tennant regenerated and the Internet exploded with “OMGZ I IZ HAT THE NEW GUY!!!!!ONE!”. And yet here we are with people genuinely discussing whether Matt Smith is the best doctor of all time. Just goes to show, the Internet should always shut up. Always.
Because let’s face it, the fifth/first/thirty-first/fnarg series of Doctor Who had some… teething problems. Russell T Davies had his technique down to a fine art by Series 4 (the one with La Tate) and resulted in the best and most consistent series yet. Whilst Series 5 had some absolute corkers (I do enjoy that word. I shall use it more often) it also had a number of… shall we say…. not uncorkers (That word isn’t as good. I shan’t be using that again).
Pretty much anything by Steven Moffat, I completely bummed. “The Eleventh Hour” was the best post-regeneration story ever, perfectly setting up the new Doctor, and basically creating a get-out clause for any inconsistencies in Amy’s character by establishing that she probs a bit mental. Olivia Colman probs deserves a bigger part though. Same to Nina Wadia.
“The Beast Below”, again by Moffat was good. Not great. Good. Anyone else had written it, I’d be “all well done them, I look forward to their next story.” But from the Grand Moff himself, I just expect a little more. Maybe a bit unfair but it’s his own fault for setting the bar so ridiculously high. But whilst the plot was a bit thin, the big mystery turned out to be a big pile of whale poop, and Amy really over-did the “Old, kind, loves kids” speech, there were some good bits. It was the episode I fell in love with both Amy and the Doctor completely, the sets were amazing and it the freakin’ Demon Headmaster in it!!! Genuinely, I don’t know what to make of the cock-er-ney Liz 10. I think I love her but I’m not sure.
Then came “Victory of the Daleks”. I think we can all agree we’ve had enough of the Daleks. Bored now. But did we really need new double sized, JLS-coloured, big arsed versions? I know you’re trying to sell toys, but really guys? Because before all that kicked off, along with the robot that managed not to explode because he had a hard-on for a girl once, or the spitfires in space (which would have been a lot cooler if they hadn’t taken about four minutes to create and fly into space), it was shaping up to be an amazing episode. The army-themed Daleks I loved, and their serving of tea and fetching box-files was amazing. Then it all went to shit. Go away Daleks. Just for a bit. And lose some weight while you’re gone.
So after that, we needed a classic. Step forward the two parter “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone”. To create a sequel to Best Story Of All Time, “Blink”, Moffat had a job on his hands. Fortunately, he created a story that is almost, possible as, good as the original. From River flying into space in a nice frock, to her and the Doctor bickering, to Amy’s amusement at the whole thing “Ooh Doctor, you sonicked her”, to the Angel coming out of the monitor, Amy with sand in her eye, Amy counting down, Angel Bob, the Oxygen Factory, the crack stealing the soldiers, the mysterious Doctor with jacket…. there are just so many amazing things about this story. So many.
The main problem with “The Vampires of Venice” is that they’re not actual vampires. I understand that Vampires have sort of been done to death in popular culture atm, but if you’re that worried about it, don’t use vampires. Cos frankly, the crappy fish people sort of took away any sort of menace. They just looked a bit too rubbish. Still, it was nice to see Amy actually act like she actually loves Rory, and Narcissa Malfoy was jolly good.
Speaking of Amy and Rory, if I’m to buy them together as a couple and be sad every time Rory dies, and enjoy Rory being a companion, then I’m going to need more stories like “Amy’s Choice”, please. Because the moment when Ponytail!Rory dissolves into dust and you see Amy realise how much she loves him, it’s basically the only moment in the entire series when you’re rooting for them as a couple. And I want more of it. The rest of the episode is awesome too.
You might be interested to know that the Silurians first appeared in “Doctor Who and the Silurians” in 1970. You might also be interested to know that the exact same story was put out in 2010, except renamed as “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood”. Seriously, it’s the exact same story except more boring but with better make-up. The only difference being that in the end the Brigadier blows the Silurians up in the original, whilst in the this one the Doctor just says “Meh. Let’s all think about it in a thousand years.” Rubbish. Rory’s death and the cliffhanger at the end of part 2 pretty much are the only reasons to watch it.
Richard Curtis does Doctor Who. What could go wrong? Well apparently, RC can’t write a decent monster for shit. One minute it’s going to kill everyone, the next it’s helpless and defenceless, blah blah blah. It’s a pity cos take out the alien and you have a very good episode. And I don’t know a single person that didn’t get a lump in their throat in the last 15 minutes. Personally, whilst I got very sad, I felt a little… manipulated. Like they specifically were going all out to make me cry, rather than just tell a sad story. Still though, an alien-less historical from RC would go down very well with me.
James Corden has a certain… reputation with the British public now. After milking Smithy for all he was worth, and appearing in “Horne and Corden” and “Lesbian Vampire Killers”, everyone pretty much assumed that he could act camp, lift up his top and that was about it. But surprisingly, according to “The Lodger”, he’s actually a very good actor. Huh. Who knew. Plus, Daisy Haggard is very good (a very under-rated actress actually), Matt Smith is in a towel (yummers), and it’s set in Colchester! Not filed there though. Boo.
I would properly talk about the finale, but frankly I think I’m still trying to work it out so I’ll just list bits I loved:
- The opening skip through all the other episode’s characters trying to warn the Doctor.
- River as Cleopatra.
- The Cyberhead attacking Amy. The first time the Cybermen have been scary… ever, I think.
- Auton!Rory and the Doctor’s first meeting.
- The reveal of the Autons.
- The reveal of all the other baddies.
- The entire last slo-mo five minutes of Part 1, with the Doctor being locked in the Pandorica, River in an exploding TARDIS, and Amy dying in Rory’s arms. Possibly my favourite sequence in Doctor Who history.
- Amy’s reveal in the Pandorica.
- The Stone Dalek.
- The fez.
- River shooting the fez.
- River shooting the Stone Dalek.
- The Doctor’s trek through Series 5.
- Amy’s tiny little Dad.
- “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”
And finally, “A Christmas Carol”. Sci-fi re-imagining’s of this particular story have been done to death, but never with flying sharks. Michael Gambon is amazing, Katherine Jenkins isn’t actually that bad, despite the fact that I hate her, and Matt Smith is obviously having a whale of a time. Could have used a bit more Amy and Rory, but ho-hum. Loved the 2009!Star Trek-ness of the cruise ship too.
Also, a list of things I want from Series 6:
- No Daleks
- Amy and Rory to be a beliveable couple
- Amy to stop going after the Doctor
- More consistency
- To find out who River is
- A fuck off good cliffhanger at the end of the first part of the series. Preferably to do with the above.