Category: series 6


In preparation for the 50th Anniversary I have been going through series 5, 6, and 7.  And after doing so I noticed something odd: they don’t have continuity at all, despite Moffat claiming he planted things in series 5 that will come back in this year’s Christmas special.

SPOILERS SERIES 5, 6, 7

To start, take a look at the Silence.  They’re apparently a religious order on a mission to kill the Doctor before the final question can be asked, which we know is the simple and somewhat annoying “doctor who?” asked by the Great Intelligence at the end of series 7.  Now, if the Silence knew of this and wanted to prevent the Doctor from being there to answer the question then they should have also known the Doctor was going to die once the question was asked.  The Great Intelligence simply walked into the Doctor’s entire time stream, killing him at every moment in time.  Of course it also means the enemies he was trying to eliminate ended up succeeding in whatever their plans were.

To prevent the Doctor from being killed, the Silence decided it was best to kill the Doctor, twice in fact.

Series 5 was all about silence falling, cracks in time, the Pandorica, and the TARDIS blowing up.  The Pandorica made little sense if the Silence wanted the Doctor dead since all they had to do was kill him when all his enemies had him

And you get out of this how, and why are you in this anyway?

And you get out of this how, and why are you in this anyway?

trapped.  But then somehow the Doctor escapes the Pandorica (how he originally escaped it, well, we’ll never know) and the TARDIS has already exploded.  We don’t know who blew up the TARDIS, but assuming somehow the Silence did it then they really went out of their way to kill the Doctor, which was going to be done anyway in series 7, which again, they knew about, but I guess blowing up the entire universe was more convenient for them.

Series 6 there was some elaborate plan to have River be Amy’s daughter and proceed to try and kill the Doctor.  Again, very dramatic but not very practical since, oh I don’t know, they could have just electrocuted the Doctor like they did to everyone else.  So then we have River in a space suit coming out of a lake (again, very dramatic) and killing the Doctor a few times but not really (and for added drama there’s a random Madam Kovarian, who just kind of appears then dies but not really [not really being killed is a thing these days]).  Satisfied with this, the Silence never show up again, despite the Doctor running around for all of series 7.

Series 7 still had to deal with the final question and Trenzalore.  So, with the departure of the Ponds and arrival of Clara (who is awesome), the Doctor eventually ends up at Trenzalore with Clara, Jenny, Strax, Vastra (oh those three need to go away forever), and of course River, because why not, she hasn’t been done to death at this point.  The Great Intelligence, which I thought was greatly underused, then ended up going into the Doctor’s time stream and killing him, which I suppose the Silence were selfish and wanted to do instead.  Well, it didn’t matter since Clara continued being awesome and went on to save the Doctor.

"Alright Clara, I'm just gonna take a quick stop, die again but not really, and we'll be on our way."

“Alright Clara, I’m just gonna take a quick stop, die again but not really, and we’ll be on our way.”

Now for the end of series 7 we get John Hurt’s Doctor.  I first thought maybe the Silence wanted to get rid of him, but that doesn’t make sense since he likely has come before 11, and if anything, the Great Intelligence got rid of him.  Maybe the Silence didn’t want him dead.  Maybe the Silence are actually good and know the Doctor cannot have his past erased.

I don’t have the answers, but after watching all these finales in a row, I honestly don’t see any continuity.  It’s like Moffat is just writing stuff as he goes along, not really planning.  I don’t think he planted things in series 5 that were meant to be answered this Christmas, but rather I think he is doing damage control after so many complaints that he has so many unresolved/unexplained threads going on (I’d love to see if they keep the crack in the TARDIS window now or if that just gets thrown out the window [pardon the pun]).

Or maybe the Silence are just the dumbest people in the entire universe.

What do you all think?

I’m still excited for the 50th, but come on, try to write some sort of continuity Moffat, you are the showrunner (despite needing someone to balance you out like RTD must have, because those were really good episodes), no excuses anymore.

Serious question.  I don’t think he does – or maybe he does and just isn’t a good show runner, as he was exceptionally good during the RTD era and great for Sherlock and Coupling (currently re-watching both).  At least he doesn’t seem to respect the show and its history.  No time for a drawn out introduction, let’s just dive into it with the sonic screwdriver.

These days the sonic screwdriver is used for everything, and I mean everything from simply unlocking a door to being able to blow up spaceships to conveniently end an episode (The Power of Three).  After doing a bit of quick research online it seems throughout the classic era the show-runners and producers didn’t want the device to basically be an easy out for script writers.  It makes sense too since every episode would just end with the Doctor pointing the screwdriver and something and saving the day.  That would get boring, and you know what, as we’ve found out recently, it does get boring and annoying.  Rarely do we see the Doctor actually thinking out a situation or using his wits, but we do get to see him run around pointing his screwdriver at apparently random things these days and automatically knowing where to go.  Furthermore, since when does the TARDIS grow sonic screwdrivers?  Any fan of the classic era will recall Romana making her own screwdriver, so at what point did Time Lords and Ladies apparently forget how to make them?  Back to using the device to encourage bad writing, I recently watched The Visitation (a fifth Doctor episode with a very good side character and a nice little historical reference ending) and the sonic screwdriver was destroyed.  Then again, the fifth Doctor barely used it, but it was nice to see they took the final (of many steps) to take it away from the show.  And then Moffat and the other writers just uses it as a magic wand to make up for poor writing.

What in the world is the deal with Strax?  Sontarans are clones for war, so what in the world happened with Strax?  I understand they have no idea if the show is to be a childish kid show or a sci-fi show for all to enjoy, but get rid of Strax (and Vastra and Jenny, but they’re a little more tolerable) and give him his own spin-off.  Fill the space left by the Sarah Jane Adventures and give these characters their own show and take them away from Doctor

Lovely and all, but excuse me, who blew it up?

Lovely and all, but excuse me, who blew it up?

Who forever.

What the frak is going on in Doctor Who anyway?  Since series 5 we have had countless threads that went nowhere.  For instance:

  • Who was making their own TARDIS?  Likely very important because it was brought up in series 5 and 6 and again, never explained.
  • What is the Silence (the religious order) and why do they want the Doctor dead?  Come on, this was a full season arc that went nowhere.
  • How did the Doctor’s and River’s timelines get reversed, literally never explained.
  • Who was Madame Kovarian, and I don’t want the excuse of just some baddie, that’s weak and we all know it.
  • Who blew up the TARDIS in series 5?  This, come on now, this is huge, who blew up the TARDIS?  Anyone, really, nobody knows?
  • How did the Doctor get out of the Pandorica?  Yes, he used his magic wand to get out the second time, but how did he get out the first time?

I know I’m missing things for the list, but I think you get my point.

Sure, it may have been a fun ride while the episodes aired, but after realizing the threads go nowhere what’s the point?  Seriously, this is the only show I know that can get away with this and have nobody criticize it.  Furthermore, with only 13 episodes a season, it’s the only show I know that has such inconsistent writing.  This is for another post, but they need new writers and a new show runner.  The show is currently so sporadic that it’s difficult to watch.  It’s like there’s no rhyme or reason to anything anymore.  Series 7 was weird because I like Clara but it didn’t matter at all which order her episodes were in because they were all rather rushed single episodes.  The Ponds in Series 7 were awful, and I still don’t understand why the Doctor blew up a ton of people in The Power of Three or why they wasted money making a completely nonsensical dinosaur episode.  All they had to do was send them to the past, that would have been cool, but no, instead we get the Doctor playing fetch with a dinosaur.

My last point is how the Doctor is written.  Moffat seems to not like it when the Doctor is serious, talks, or stands still.  It’s all running about and no talking.  I wish there was a low-key episode with the Doctor and Clara just kind of you know, talking, developing their relation.  Instead, Clara went from being scared of dead bodies (Cold War) to carrying a giant gun and commanding troops (Nightmare in Silver, what a mess that was).

Hey, at least I somehow make sense!

Hey, at least I somehow make sense!

I don’t know.  I liked Moffat during the RTD era, but maybe RTD was able to control Moffat.  Maybe we don’t need these crazy arcs, as he clearly doesn’t understand them and just says how much fun it is to write with time travel, but when it goes nowhere, it’s not fun or entertaining, it’s just a waste.  Perhaps the new Doctor will be older and not as frantic.  We need someone who can calmly analyze and respond to a situation, not someone just running around being all crazy.

Basically, the 50th will determine if Moffat deserves to stay and the Christmas episode will likely only confirm it either way.  Right now it doesn’t seem like he likes the show or maybe he doesn’t understand it or maybe it’s just too much for him to do this and Sherlock, which he’s very good at and as a writer I love his work with Coupling.  Maybe Doctor Who just isn’t his thing and as much as he likes it it just isn’t working.  There’s no shame in that, just go back to writing an episode a season, which were all very good, and maybe make more Sherlock (well, that’s just me being greedy, as three episodes a season, as great as they are, just isn’t enough).

Now with Series 7 at an end it is time to critique Moffat’s run so far with Doctor Who (this will be in no particular order because the same issues run throughout all his series).  For a look at all the seasons under Moffat you can check out part 1. (Spoilers and sorry for the length)

  1. Moffat seems to think it is acceptable to replace an actual story with catchphrases.  Take for instance this season.  We have been looking forward to Trenzalore since it was announced last season.  At the end of the sixth season it was said it will be the fall of the 11th.  Yes, this was cool and all but the 11th Doctor did not fall.
  2. Threads going nowhere.  I understand that sometimes threads can be underwhelming, but when they go nowhere, that’s a major issue.  Let’s look at a few.  The first spans seasons 5 and 6 with the makeshift TARDIS.  We first see it in The Lodger chilling above Craig’s house.  Then again in season 6 the Silence have it.  Neither of these occasions is it explained why it exists, who made it, why, and if they’re the same ones.  If there are two
    "Doctor, do you think it's important?" "Nah, Moffat will forget about it."

    “Doctor, do you think it’s important?”
    “Nah, Moffat will forget about it.”

    different ones then this is a really, really big issue.  It’s not like the TARDIS is a Honda Civic that has little significance, it’s a time machine from Gallifrey, it has to mean something that it’s being replicated, right?  But it goes nowhere.  The same goes for the Silence.  All we learn is they’re a religious order and recruited Madame Kovarian to lead an army.  This makes no sense.  What is the point of the Silence?  What is their quarrel with the Doctor?  They just showed up one day and seemed to say “hmm, what shall we do today, I don’t know, I don’t like the color blue so how about hunt down people with blue vehicles.”  These are either season or two season long threads that go nowhere, not good at all.

  3. Why did the TARDIS explode?  This could go with my last point, but it has an extra level of importance because it is the TARDIS blowing up.  It seems like someone went to very large lengths to make a universe based on Amy’s memories/favorite book for kind of no reason.  At least no reason that ties in to the TARDIS exploding.  I won’t lie, it is a very grand finale, but take a second to analyze it and it makes no sense.  I don’t mean it makes no sense in terms of if it could happen, because sci-fi can’t happen, but it makes no sense because it is never explained.  The same goes for how the Doctor got out of the Pandorica before opening it with the sonic screwdriver, which leads me to my next point.
  4. The sonic screwdriver is now a magic wand.  This may be the cause of having rushed episodes, but the sonic is now able to solve every single thing in the universe.  It’s like a way for writers to cop out of writing a well thought out episode.  I would like if they’d go back to 5th Doctor era and basically take away the sonic.  Allow the Doctor to show that he’s smart and isn’t a graduate of Hogwarts.
  5. Writing characters without feeling, and by this I mean Clara in the majority of season 7.  I like Clara, I really do, but her character was very inconsistent in season 7.  One episode she’d be scared at the sight of death and start reflecting on traveling with the Doctor and not long after she’d be holding a giant gun and leading a small group of soldiers.  This inconsistency made it difficult to relate to her and took away from the story arc since at that point she was the story arc.  But that is a reflection of Moffat writing.
  6. No two parters from season 6.5 to now.  This drives me crazy.  Countless episodes have been rushed to no end.  The Power of Three not only had a rushed story but also led to the Doctor using his magic wand to do something very un-Doctor: kill a ton of innocent people on those spaceships hovering around the Earth.  Every Clara episode was rushed, taking time away from building a relation between Clara and the Doctor and Clara and the audience, which was even worse due to her not being there a whole season.
  7. There isn’t a tone anymore.  During the RTD era there was always a tone for a season or at least tonal changes made sense.  But let’s look at season 7.  What in all things Doctor Who was the first five episodes of season 7?  Dinosaurs on a Spaceship may very well be the worst thing I have watched since Love and Monsters.  Seriously, the tone of that was jarring as was the awful script and set pieces (riding a dinosaur, that is a  jumping the shark moment if I ever did see one).  This whole season was built on blockbuster movies in around 40 minutes, and it doesn’t work.  It leads to many inconsistencies in tone and character development as well as rushed stories.
  8. Stupefy!

    Stupefy!

    Too confusing?  Are the plots too confusing?  No.  Moffat is right when he says that, but he is right for a reason he doesn’t know.  The stories simply, going back to point 2, don’t go anywhere.  It’s a bunch of threads that are still floating around.  At this point it would be best to get rid of all these threads and start over.  Reboot the reboot.

  9. Strax, Vastra, and Jenny.  Simply put, I hate these characters to no end.  Strax is a disgrace to Doctor Who mythology.  His character makes zero sense.  How does a warrior race turn into him?  Vastra is somewhat better as she at least does things and is competent.  Jenny is apparently a ninja.  Get rid of these characters, they’re not fun at all.  Instead, they make me cringe every time they’re mentioned or show up.
  10. Get new writers.  Obviously these guys have been on too long and have run out of ideas.  Maybe they’re just not good Doctor Who writers.  I don’t know, maybe it is a bit of both.  I don’t want to get all sexist, but I believe there isn’t a female writer on New-Who.  Why is this?  Also, Neil Gaiman is a bad Doctor Who writer.  And all the Gaiman fanboys attack me.  But hear me out.  The Doctor’s Wife could have been really good, but so much was wasted on Amy and Rory running down corridors and Rory being killed again.  Gaiman said he was glad he could write for Rory (it was supposed to be in season 5 but due to budget reasons wasn’t so The Lodger took its place) and all he does is kill him again.  The episode was basically half wasted.  Nightmare in Silver is one of the worst things I’ve watched.  It was boring and the Cybermen updates were just a lazy way to make them trot on forever.
  11. The Doctor is the most evil, powerful being in all creation.  Three seasons now we’ve had almost the same finale: the Doctor is evil and the evil dudes want to kill him.  It gets old.  The Doctor was never this all powerful, godlike force.  He’s just a traveling Time Lord that happens to put a stop to evil when it needs be done.
  12. Underwhelming enemies.  The Silence ultimately had no point.  They loomed in the shadows but didn’t do that much.  The Great Intelligence wasn’t quite so great and was absent for the majority of the season when it could have been a recurring thing (again, Clara’s story had no point for most of the season either).  The Weeping Angels show up so often that they are no longer cool.  Classic Who enemies, especially the Daleks and Cybermen, have overstayed their welcome, but that’s because they’ve shown up too much (Classic Who barely had them compared to how much we’ve seen of them since 2005).  It is like the creativity has been drained from the writers, so as point 10 notes, bring in some new ones.

I feel like Moffat needed RTD to calm him down.  I’m currently watching Torchwood: Miracle Day and only three episodes in I wish RTD would be involved in Doctor Who again.  I love how Miracle Day has a story and it keeps building and making sense.  Then I go and watch Doctor Who and it seems like Moffat just puts things in there to stir the pot but never mean anything.  Season 7 felt like two episodes were written and he told the guys to write a few filler episodes and put them in any order.  Maybe Doctor Who would benefit from having a mini-series type format.  At least then there could be the chance of consistency.  Even watching Fringe right now I’m looking forward to getting into season 3.  There may be filler episodes but they don’t change the tone of the show or cover up threads that go nowhere (at least through season 1 and 2 it has been consistent so far, I’m new to the show).

Consistency is a word I’ve used a lot and for good reason.  Without consistency it is difficult to care about characters and if you don’t care about characters then what is the point of watching the show?  When watching Downton Abbey I can’t wait to see what happens with the characters, even if it is something as small as seeing what Carson (the butler) has to put up with from his staff.  These are characters I have grown attached to.  If something good or bad happens to any of them the reactions of all the other characters makes sense and the impact is felt.

Watching Doctor Who it is difficult to care.  When Rory dies for the tenth time I no longer care, it doesn’t mean anything.  It is like Moffat has created hollow characters.  Amy was on there for two seasons, but it felt like an eternity.  Her character was good in season 5 but in 6 it is like the show became her but yet she barely developed.  With all the focus on the Ponds I would have liked to see them grow but in the end all they did was say they love each other, almost divorce, and then love each other.  At least Clara eventually grew to become stronger and realize she had to save the Doctor for the sake of the universe.  And in turn the Doctor showed a selfless side of himself to save her.

The characters may not have much development but neither have the finales.  As mentioned in point 11 the Doctor is apparently this evil god or something of the sort.  It is running thin these days.  Finishing three season almost the same way takes away any suspense.  I wasn’t at all exciting to watch this season’s finale, even though it was very good.  I just didn’t want to see another person wanting to kill the Doctor for no real reason.

I can only hope the 5oth will be something special and lead to a new beginning of sorts for season 8.  I’m not giving up yet, but I can’t help but feel the show is growing stale.  Bring in some new writers with new ideas.  It’s not that hard.  I’ve skimmed fan fiction more interesting than some of the nonsense the current writers produce.

Here’s to looking forward to a brighter future for the show, as I do like it, but Moffat isn’t doing much to make me care about the characters or story these days.

This will be a two part series of posts.  The first will be a run down of the show since Moffat took over (and will go series by series) and the second will be more focused on specific issues.

I’ll be the first one to say it, I was very glad when Moffat took over as head writer of Doctor Who.  After all, he brought us some of the most loved episodes of the reboot, and based on that alone I figured his run would be awesome.  I was right too, for a while.  Series 5 remains my favorite since the show came back in 2005, even if there are glaring issues with the finale (i.e. how did the Doctor originally get out of the Pandorica before using the sonic screwdriver [aka magic wand/cop out for many new episodes] to get himself out or who blew up the TARDIS, ok, that’s a big one, so Moffat, do explain at some time).  As a whole, the episodes were fun but serious.  There was a nice arc throughout (even if it ended up making not so much sense) and Amy carried on some of the attitude of Donna (probably the best companion since the reboot).  Even Rory, annoying as he could have been at times, wasn’t overbearing (at that point his countless deaths may have meant something, but they never did).  What I liked the most was the lack of bad episodes (ignoring those rainbow Daleks).  It all felt like a grand adventure with something new every week.  Very few episodes felt like true filler and even the filler episodes had some tie in with the larger arc.  Basically, it was all great fun, had companions being companions while the Doctor was still the face of the show, and continues to be fun to this day.confused doctor

And then  there was series 6.  True, it started off with a strong two parter.  But in what was shaping up to be typical Moffat fashion, most of it was completely useless in relation to the main arc.  Sure, we get on to some drawn out pirates, Rory almost being killed off, TARDIS becomes a Helena Bonham Carter knock off, Rory almost dies again, and then we get to see the Doctor talk to none other than himself or rather a copy of himself.  All of this (minus the pirates and Rory) was mainly good times.  Sure, The Doctor’s Wife wasted a lot of time nearly killing Rory and running through the TARDIS, but the Doctor was still who we all wanted to watch.  But then things get rather awful.  See, Madame Kovarian is useless (seriously, what is the point of her if the Silence can get people to do whatever they want?), the Silence is some sort of religious order (sure, let’s go with that, doesn’t make much sense but so be it), and the show becomes the Amy/Rory/River show featuring the Doctor.

Series 6 part 2 (or whatever you like to call it) made the awful move to get rid of two part episodes.  What does this do?  It rushes the daylights out of everything, leaving a giant mess of things.  To tell the truth, this didn’t matter much until series 7, but that matters little when only half of series 6 part 2 was worth watching (Let’s Kill Hitler, The Girl Who Waited, and The Wedding of River Song).  Notice something with those episodes?  Yeah, you’re right, they feature the Doctor in a supporting role.  True, they’re not awful episodes, but this is a show called Doctor Who, not River Who.  That is really the best way to describe series 6.  It starts off promising and really leaves you hanging… to go to series 7!

Right on, so series 7.  What in the name of all things created is series 7 part 1?  Hi, I’m the Doctor and if you fancy watching complete rubbish for the next forty minutes you can see me ride a dinosaur for on particular reason or any logical explanation.  Or better yet, watch me wave my magic wand, I mean sonic screwdriver, around and blow up a ton of innocent people on spaceships in The Power of Three, it’s tough doing much else in a rushed episode.  Better yet, I forgot how to ride a train, so I am faced with never being allowed to see Amy and Rory ever again.  At least I had a good time not being killed in a Dalek asylum planet and it was fun being the wild west.

Those are the only two episodes that are really good in this part of series 7.  True, the angels aren’t that bad, until you see a giant Statue of Liberty making little sense and being there just to chill out.  Then the best scene is never filmed and only shown as a storyboard being read by Rory, which is him reading a letter to his dad after he has been sent back in time forever.

Chalk it up, is this the 10th Rory death?

Chalk it up, is this the 10th Rory death?

Cool cool, no big deal.  New start with Clara in part 2 of series 7.  Really good Christmas episode, so right there is some promise.  The Bell’s of Saint John is a very good episode, as it has a good balance between the Doctor and Clara while still dealing with a threat.  Then they go off to some planetary system and Clara’s given her first trip to space (never a real shining moment for any of the new companions) and the Doctor gives a nice speech so alright.  Cold War allows Clara to develop a bit more at the sight of death, allowing her to further develop her emotions from the previous week.  Then a pretty cool horror story (even if the ending is kind of goofy).  Actually, Hide should be a two parter (as should all of these episodes) as I really liked the side characters relationship as much as I liked the chemistry between the Doctor and Clara.  Awesome, two very good episodes and two good ones, we’re on a roll.  Off to explore the TARDIS now and continue the trend.  Pretty cool episode I must say.  The ins and outs and intricacies of the TARDIS plus a great scene between the Doctor and Clara make this a definite rewatch episode.

Seriously, what is happening anymore?

Seriously, what is happening anymore?

We all know it can’t all be fun and games, and so we are presented with the most annoying character ever again, Strax.  I truly hate this character, partly because he is annoying and partly because it defeats the purpose of the Sontarans.  Also, Jenny’s now a ninja apparently.  Clara maybe gets five lines of dialogue and the Doctor is still entertaining.  See, no main character interaction becomes an issue.  Then we’re off to visit the Cybermen and they still are boring.  Except now they can upgrade 24/7, basically allowing the episode to potentially drag out until the dusty end of time.  They’re not scary, just annoying, and now Clara has a giant gun.  Seriously, only a few episodes ago she was cringing at the sight of a dead body and now she’s off to lead a group of soldiers, talk about lazy, inconsistent writing (maybe they were inspired by Battlestar Galactica).  Did I mention, there are kids in it, so right there is a red flag.  Because who other than kids would moan about no cell phone reception in space.  Seriously, you’re in space, at least acknowledge it!

To think, it was kind of getting back on track up to this point.  However, read on to the next part, for as you’ve seen, I don’t hate all things Moffat, just he’s been letting me down quite a bit lately, and I’m hoping he does service to at least the 5oth anniversary and hopefully this week’s episode.

OK, I was pretty brutal in my review of this episode.  So I decided to watch it again, and I’m glad I did.  Sure, I still have the same complaints about the lack of clarity in terms of story arcs, but I’ll ignore that in favor of looking at the positives.  Let’s start with River Song.

She really has turned into a great character.  Sure, she’s been a favorite of mine before this, but it’s nice to see her develop into a multidimensional character.  It’ll be interesting to see what her, Amy, and Rory do at the beginning of next season without the Doctor.  Speaking of, what about the Doctor?

He’s flying solo now.  I hope it stays that way for a few episodes since Matt Smith is amongst the greats – I put him in at third, with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker being ahead of him – and deserves as much screen time as possible.  Now that everyone thinks he’s dead I wonder what he’ll be doing to stay hidden.  It’s just for a finale it seemed to lack any finale substance, and instead acted as a setup for next season’s opener.

The story itself was actually pretty good for the episode, and would’ve been great if the only arc to resolve was who killed the Doctor and how he escaped.  I hope Moffat will solve the rest of the arcs (refer to my previous post) in the first half of next season, or at least dedicate the season to solving them rather than adding more.  This seems to be a trend of his, like adding yet another one at the end of this season with the Doctor having to go somewhere (sorry, I forget the name of the place) where he’ll ask the oldest question that he apparently cannot ask because the answer is so horrible.

Overall, my main problems have already been stated in the last post, but the main one still remains; why is Moffat refusing to resolve his arcs and instead keeps adding to them?

Here’s to hoping next season will bring full clarity to it all.  I’d still like to know how River’s and the Doctor’s timelines get reversed, why there are two makeshift TARDIS control rooms, what the Silence is all about, and a few more that have already been posted.  Ending on a positive, it the tribute to the Brigadier was done rather well, especially since he was such an iconic character in the show.

Spoilers, oh yes!

Well here we are again, another season and another finale.  Only this time it was the complete opposite of good.  Seriously, we’ve been waiting 2 seasons now and nothing has really been solved.  Sure, the Doctor isn’t dead, River is good, they get married, it’s all stuff we’ve pretty much expected to happen.  I’m assuming Madame Kovarian is just one of those characters Moffat wrote with the intention of never finishing her back story.  We still have no proper idea of who the Silence are, but now we don’t know much about the species or the religious following.  Really, making the question be “Doctor Who?” how unoriginal.  It doesn’t mean anything, especially to the Doctor who knows who he is and hides it from everyone else, so why would he have to ask?

Sadly, this picture is about as exciting as the episode gets

Yet again, Moffat thought it would be a cool idea to cram the interesting part of the episode into the last 3 minutes.  Come on, did they really have to spend so much time with Dorium’s head, which wasn’t even funny.  Somewhere along the line someone on the production team should have realized the episode clearly should have been two parts and they should have cut an episode such as the boring, drawn out “God Complex.”  The worst part is, Matt Smith continues to be great as the Doctor, it’s just the writing is really taking a turn for the worse.  I guess Moffat has written himself into a hole and has no way to climb back out.

These are harsh words, I know but coming from a lifelong Doctor Who fan I have never watched an episode in recent memory (classic and new who) that has literally gone nowhere.  I just can’t believe Moffat refuses to actually put an arc to rest, or at this point why not just admit he doesn’t know how to finish it and accept defeat?  Move on, start fresh with some new ideas.  It’s OK, I’d rather have that over yet another season of nothingness.  To think, series 5 had so much promise for the future of the show, and now we’re left with this.  I’m not going to go into the acting, as it’s already been established the cast has each role down pretty great.

I know there are a lot of people who left the show this year due to a lack of resolution, and I can honestly see even more people leaving after this.  Heck, I’m a diehard fan and I’m tempted to leave until Moffat is fired (mark my words, he’ll get fired before he can resign as head writer).  It’s a shame really, I quite liked the darker tone and the arcs, but seeing as none of them will be resolved I really couldn’t care less about them.  I will leave you now with a list of arcs that I believe we still have left unsolved:

  • Why do the Silence want the Doctor dead?
  • Will we ever see the “religious order” that is the Silence?
  • Who is Madame Kovarian, surely she has to be more important than getting what couldn’t be more than a total of 20 minutes of screen time, right?
  • What is the question the Doctor will ask (I refuse to think it’s as lame as “Doctor Who?”)
  • How did the Doctor originally get out of the Pandorica?
  • Not exactly an arc, but where in the ‘verse (look at that, Firefly reference) was the Doctor when he came upon the Dalek that was so conveniently placed under some rubble?
  • Why did they blow up the TARDIS, whoever they are, and why then?
  • How do the timelines of River and the Doctor get screwed up (again, something that’s been an ongoing theme but never explained)?
  • If I recall correctly, the Doctor whispered something to River in “Let’s Kill Hiter,” and he had a tuxedo, so what was going on there?
  • Also, what about the TARDIS control rooms from “The Lodger” and “Day of the Moon,” where will they come into play?

You know what, there are probably more, but at this point I’m just ready to give up (though, as a plus we won’t start the season with Rory and Amy).  Here is one final question:

How long until the BBC fires Moffat?

I give the episode somewhere between a 6.5 -7 out of 10.

Please, leave comments and/or your opinions.

Spoiler Alert!

So, last week I tried a spoiler free review, and that didn’t work out to well.  So here we are, let the spoilers run free (sorry River).  Honestly, I thought the episode was a bit of a letdown.  Not to say it was bad, but coming off of three good episodes and two really great ones it was nothing special.  It started off rather well, but the actual plot was weak.  Some ideas weren’t that bad, what with the hotel really being a prison (which still was kind of odd), the prison being in space and looking like Tron (well that was kind of neat being in space), a minotaur faith eater (really, did they have to make it a minotaur, it really would have been cooler if it were a person, like the antagonist at the end of Torchwood season 1), however, the characters were mainly well done.  Except the alien from a planet of people born to surrender, he was rather useless and actually rather annoying.  There seemed to be a forced attempt of making the episode tense, but it really fell short.

Even the Doctor was bored through this prison romp

Even the Doctor was bored through this prison romp

Showing the Doctor look into his room didn’t really do anything other than tell the audience to sit there and say “oh, I wonder what’s behind that door.”  Really, I couldn’t care less what’s in his room.  Though, Amy’s room yet again showcased Matt Smith’s acting, which just further goes to show how he truly is the best of the new Doctors.  I really can’t even remember the other character’s names, as they weren’t overly memorable.  There were some good moments here and there, but overall they did not do overly much.  I’m hoping a second watch will bring some light on these characters, but as of right now they were relatively flat, especially with Craig coming back next week.

The ending was a nice saving grace.  Rory has really become  a more likable character, especially since he’s become more realistic (even making fun of Amy at times, as real people do to each other).  Though, seeing the Doctor know the gravity of the situation and leaving Amy and Rory behind really set up for a dramatic ending to the season.  This also does some good in terms of story pacing.  After all, “The Doctor’s Wife” suffered from having too much Amy and Rory doing nothing and not enough Doctor and TARDIS interaction.  Surprisingly, this was solved in “The Girl Who Waited,” which clearly had a focus on the companions and the Doctor took a back seat.  I’m hoping we can get similar results next week.  Though, I’m rather tired of Cybermen, so I’m hoping they can make them more interesting than our multicolor Daleks.  Judging from the trailer, it seems like the Cybermere being given a darker approach, and if there’s one thing Moffat has proven on DW it’s that he can do the darker side rather well.  Here’s to hoping next week’s Closing Time will bring the show back on its excellent series 6 run.

As for this episode, I give it a 7 out of 10 (which may not seem that bad due to my score for “Night Terrors,” but after rewatching it I found the episode should be rated a bit higher than 7.5).

Well, here we are again.  Another stand-alone episode in the midst of a gigantic story arc and now only three episodes left.  Oh the insanity of it all.  Truth be told, this was an excellent episode and well worth the departure from the many arcs.  I want to keep this as spoiler free as possible since it should not be ruined for anyone.  So here we are, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are out and about the universe, except this time with not as much Doctor.  We’ve seen in the past that the Doctor lite episode can either be really great (Turn Left and Blink) while others are just horrible (Love and Monsters).  As noted before, this one falls into the category of really great.

Honestly, the episode did what “The Doctor’s Wife” failed to do (oh yes, I went there).  Whereas that episode was meant to be between the Doctor and the TARDIS, it ended up having too much Amy and Rory doing nothing more than taking time away from the main focus.  Now, this weeks episode had the Doctor there only when it mattered, and it didn’t feel tacked on.  I was truly amazed at the way the writer was able to blend some pure sci-fi with emotional scenes.  As a piece of writing it did what I always like, that is having more character interaction than action sequences to move along the story.  Naturally, this wouldn’t matter if the acting was bad, but it just keeps getting better and better every week.

Amy vs Apple and Rory vs Hipster Glasses, what is going on here?

At this point we pretty much expect Matt Smith to be nothing but excellent.  He really has come a far way, and has proven that he can handle the serious moments with ease, making it easy to picture him as a 900+ year old Timelord.  The surprise act of the episode was Karen Gillan.  Maybe it’s because we’ve seen her play the same role pretty much each episode, but given the chance to play Amy differently but the same (hey, that wording may be odd but to avoid spoilers that’s what you get) really shows how well she can act.  I’d have to say she is the best companion of the new series (well it’s between her and Donna since they ruined Rose’s character when they brought her back in series 4).  Arthur Darvill finally is able to play Rory as a strong character, and I really don’t know why he mainly plays him as a wimp.  Regardless, it was nice to see him take control and really show how much he cares for Amy.  Basically, the cast was nothing short of brilliant this time around and Smith better stay on for at least two more seasons.

 

Warning, possible SPOILER ALERT

Surprisingly, the odd timeline problems in the episode didn’t make it too confusing as the explanation for it wasn’t at all rushed.  If nothing else, it showed how the Doctor doesn’t just pick random people to travel with him as Amy shows some clever survival skills.  Back to the timeline part, which I think may come back to play a part in the story arc.  After all, the Doctor’s and River’s time stream gets reversed, and has yet to be really explained since at the end of episode 8 all she would have to do is find the point after they first met and go there, but something is stopping her from doing that.  Come on, we have three episodes left and about five or more story arcs, where are the answers?  Well, I trust Moffat, but the only worry I have is that too much will be crammed into the final two episodes, making it a tad bit confusing.  Still, this episode has really proven that stand alone episodes can be very well written and engaging for both sci-fi fans and drama fans.

Overall, I’d give the episode a 9/10, simply for the fact that it’s the best stand alone this season and was really well fleshed out in terms of character interaction.  Here’s to next week’s episode with “The God Complex” (come on, another minotaur, already done in the Time Monster with Jon Pertwee).

Did anyone else get the feeling that they were watching something straight out of a Silent Hill game while watching this weeks episode of Doctor Who?  Well I sure did, and that’s not really a bad thing, as it did it better than the actual Silent Hill movie.  That is, until you realize they’re in a dollhouse.  I was worried that a stand-alone would get annoying at this point in the season, and luckily this one didn’t disappoint as the pirate one did.

Coming off of a rather great episode the pace had to be kept up here, and right off the bat the atmosphere was sure to do this.  Really, it felt like this episode was more suited for part one of series 6, as it really was on the darker side of things.  Oh well, this didn’t come into the picture right away, and we were treated with a nice bit with the Doctor, Amy, and Rory going door to door looking for George, the frightened boy who really isn’t a boy, well OK he is, but he’s not human.  From there on the problem that has been haunting a lot of the season came back again.

The Doctor and the evil dolls

Rory and Amy really don’t do much in episodes that aren’t written by Moffat.  They were rather useless in “The Doctor’s Wife,” which meant taking time away from the Doctor and Idris.  I’m getting incredibly tired of the whole companions dieing thing, especially with Rory always being killed off to come back that episode, and at this point even the jokes about it are getting old.  Hopefully next season we’ll be able to start new without Amy and Rory and without this story arc that needs to end this season.  OK, now with that out of the way let’s go back to the good in this episode.

I was actually really into the story.  Sure, it sort of missed the emotional impact mark it tried to hit for, but that didn’t make it any less good.  Matt Smith put on another stunning performance of how he can seamlessly go from serious to quirky.  The bit with the elevator taking them to a different “world” was very much inspired by Silent Hill as said before, and this translated throughout the entire episode since event the Doctor became completely helpless at the end.   In a way, I was reminded of “The Lodger” since the Doctor knew there was something very powerful right in front of him, there was a focus on the Doctor’s dialogue to get him through most of the story, and a perception filter yet again.  Well OK, it does seem as if I didn’t like the episode but I actually did, it’s just that I don’t want to watch anything not related to the story arc, especially this far in the series.  I’ll be watching the episode again, and hopefully this time I’ll like the ending better, as it was rather rushed to fit into the last 10 minutes at the Doctor instantly knew what to do.  It was rather odd since he spent the whole episode figuring it out, took a little break while in the dollhouse, and instantly knew what to do, making it feel rushed.

Still, I’m going to give it a 7.5/10.  It was really engaging until the last quarter, where it became rather rushed.  The acting was solid, though Rory should take the cue from Amy and actually make a decision rather than always being nervous.  I know next week is mostly an Amy and Rory episode, but it’s back to the main arc and time streams out of sync, so I’m thinking it’ll get me back on track and will be sure to deliver.

 

** Spoiler Alert, don’t read if you haven’t

New coat, why the new coat?

already watched the episode **

Well Doctor Who is back for part 2 of series 6.  Exciting stuff this is.  Now I’m assuming most people that have been following the show since Moffat took over have seen this episode, so I won’t bore you with a long review.  Instead, let’s hit on what I found the most interesting (and you probably thought the same as well), shall we?

First, the one part that was sort of confusing.  It was never really explained how Amy and Rory made it to where they were in the beginning.  Why wasn’t River there with them?  At the end of the last episode she was supposed to get everyone back home and safe, but where did she go off to?  Honestly, this isn’t anything I’m worrying about since Moffat’s in charge, so it’ll most likely be explained at some point.  I’m assuming the same will go for his new coat, which if it wasn’t a Moffat story I’d just assume was something the Doctor picked up along his travels, but knowing Moffat there’s an actual reason behind all this.  Speaking of the Doctor, I would like an episode that has him as more of a focus, but for the sake of the story everything fit in this one and we had a lot of River, which is always nice.  Truth be told, there might be a few little things to add to this list, but after seeing the episode only once I mainly focused on all the good of the episode, which I’m thinking that’s because it was basically a really well done story to get viewers back into the swing of things.

OK, now that that’s out of the way it’s time to get on with the good and/or excellent parts of the episode.  River oh River, how much more amazing you get each time.  Seeing how she actually was raised to kill the Doctor and how she disguised herself to grow up with Amy and Rory was rather brilliant from a writing standpoint.  Needless to say, Alex Kingston was, as always at top notch performance, but seeing her have to play River differently was really entertaining and a true showing of her ability as an actress.  The same goes for all the actors/actresses, as all of them have really come into their roles.

Unlike the first half of the season, this episode brought some humor, but it never seemed forced.  The scene where the River was trying to shoot the Doctor was a subtle type of funny, as it showed how well the Doctor knew River and played at how they’d eventually turn out in later, or rather previous episodes (time lines, it gets complicated).  Really, there were so many quick, one liners that I’ll need to watch it again to remember them all, but it was funny when they kept making fun of Rory when they were kids and Amy thinking he was gay.  Still, there was a lot of seriousness going on.

Ah, nice to see the Doctor and the Ponds again

Just like the last episode (and really a lot of Moffat’s episodes) the last fifteen minutes were absolutely brilliantly written to convey exactly what each character was feeling.  River changing because of the Doctor and giving him her regenerations was a great way to show how she can no longer regenerate and how they will eventually become closer.  Plus, it leaves open the possibility for the Doctor to not have to worry about his twelfth and final regeneration coming up (then again, the Master’s always cheating death, so the Doctor probably can, if not the BBC will loose arguably their biggest show).  However, Moffat doesn’t try to overplay the emotional scenes like RTD used to (oh yes End of Time, I’m looking right at the last fifteen minutes of David Tennant crying for no reason), so it all felt natural.

Basically, this was a fantastic episode.  I ended up saying more than I wanted to, but there was just so much going on that it’s hard not to go on about it.  The problem now is that I’m so interested in River, the Silence, Madam Kovarian, and the Doctor’s new coat that watching a stand alone episode will do nothing but make me want more of the story arc episodes back.  This episode did everything I wanted it to, mainly not drag and give us more River.  Here’s to the rest of the season being as great as this episode, starting with next week with Night Terrors!

If there was anything I missed that you felt was important, please post it in the comments and I’ll definitely get back ASAP.