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For US, BBC America viewers. Please do not read this article! You are 3 episodes behind!
For UK viewers, there is one more episode left in the newest series of Doctor Who. Is Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, YOUR Doctor yet?
In my opinion, the newest season of Doctor Who is good but failed to completely engage me. The introduction of a new Doctor always takes some adjustment especially for me because I wasn’t completely sold on the characters from the beginning. They have grown on me now. I like the Doctor and Amy but when my favorite characters is River Song and not the Doctor, there’s trouble.
What I like
Initially, I found it hard to relate to the new Doctor and Amy. Matt Smith had a rocky start for me but I think he has finally found his stride. He also has great comedic timing and uses himself as a prop. Smith owns the role and plays it with an unexpected maturity. I appreciate that. He IS the Doctor for me now.
The episodes that I most looked forward to were “Eleventh Hour“, “Time of Angels”, “Flesh and Stone”, “The Pandorica Opens” and “Big Bang”. The episodes that surprised me were “The Beast Below”, “Vincent and The Doctor” and “The Lodger”. It surprised me that I liked these seemingly filler episodes so much. I love the sets and story of “The Beast Below”. It was a sweet stand alone tale that I didn’t mind. “Vincent and The Doctor” made me cry on both viewings. It was such a powerful episode and definitely reminded me of the classic Who episode “City of Death”. I liked “The Lodger” because we got to see the Doctor out of his element. He wasn’t completely in control and it made for good TV. It didn’t realize how cute Matt Smith was until he got out of the tweed jacket and into a towel!
The props, sets, special effects, make-up and costumes are phenomenal. Whether they go backwards or forwards through time, there is ALWAYS something spectacular to look at. The Doctor’s wardrobe of a stuffy tweed jacket and bow tie makes him iconic and works. Amy’s wardrobe is always interesting. Sometimes they make her frumpy but most of the time she looks stylish and modern. I’ve disliked cowboy boots all my life. I won’t say that I’ll wear them now but Amy definitely made me re-think their value!
As far as episodes go, I loved “The Beast Below” because I love space station sets. The scary staring clowns in the glass boxes, the masks and robes were the spice that made this episode engaging and fun to watch. The costuming in “Victory of the Daleks” were my favorite because I absolutely love that fashion era. Forget that the Daleks bore the crap out of me, the special effects in this episodes were of theatrical quality. The Silurians of “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood” were the best use of make up and prosthetics that I’ve seen on a TV show in a very long time. They reminded me of a green version of Deep Space Nine’s Jem’Hadar. Not only did the Silurians look good but their underground habitat was amazing. As an honorable mention, I loved the absolute genius choice of River Song’s shoes in “The Time of Angels”. You better believe I went out looking for some just like it. I managed to find some in black!
What I don’t like
For most of the newest season I was bored. I understand that a lot of the episodes were thread weaving exercises up to a massive story arc but boy was it a snooze fest getting there. I thought I was having a hard time connecting to the Doctor and Amy because of their age. I dismiss that now because I saw Sarah Jane Adventures in a middle of a season with no knowledge of the show and fell in love with it. That cast feels right and keeps me coming back for more.
I really had to try hard to like Matt Smith as the Doctor and I’m still not sold on Karen Gillian as Amy. I had my problems with Rose but she made sense and was believable. I believed her relationship with her mother and Mickey. I understood her reason for going on an adventure with the Doctor. Her acting never took me out of the story. I’m not sure what Karen is doing but sometimes she pulls me out of the adventure. I can’t tell if she’s over doing it or not. Honestly, I can’t tell whether I like her or not. That’s a problem this late in the season.
I’m SICK of the Daleks. I’m so sick of the Daleks that I was happy to see the Cybermen and I’m sick of them too. My initial reaction to the first Dalek that I saw in “The Pandorica Opens” was a massive sigh and an eye roll.
What’s going on now
All of the different and strange adventures have started to connect in an elaborate, round-about way. Some beings, I’m guessing the new fruity-flavored Daleks went back in time, left crop circles, looked at two of Amy’s favorite children’s books and devised a trap to get the Doctor into the Pandorica all while maintaining an alliance with all of the baddies in the Whoverse. It’s smart to get rid of the biggest threat and nuisance in the universe but the bad guys lack of attention to detail is maddening.
#1 What baddie did the research that says only the Doctor can fly the TARDIS? If the TARDIS is the thing that is going to blow up, destroy or trap the TARDIS?
#2 Why are Amy’s childhood things still laying about? True I still own my Cabbage Patch Kids but those things are stuffed away in a box.
#3 Why is luring the Doctor to Stonehenge using Amy’s favorite things a good trap for the Doctor? It worked but I don’t get it?
River Song’s place in history or the future is getting confusing but I think her exploding in the TARDIS is the catalyst to her “timey-wimey” predicament. I hope it is because her mystery is dragging on. I initially thought that she ended up in jail because she killed the Doctor. Now, I’m not so sure.
Amy is shot by Roricus. The Doctor Who franchise didn’t invest that much money in her to kill her in the first season. She lives.
The alliance of Daleks, Cybermen, Slitheen, Nestene, Sycorax and Atraxi is unprecedented. The Doctor should at least be flattered that he generated enough fear to make that happened. On the other hand, he’s trapped in a box so I’m sure that’s not on his mind. I wonder if the baddies have considered that death hasn’t managed to conquer the Doctor. If death can’t defeat him, what makes them think some fancy fairytale box will?
Right now, less than a week before the series finale, the viewers are in a unique position. This last episode can be what makes this season epic or mediocre. I was thrilled with “The Pandorica Opens”. It gave me the excitement that I’m used to experiencing when watching Doctor Who. I’m positive about the finale. Are you?
Doctor Who airs Saturdays on BBC One at 18:05. The next episode is “The Big Bang”.
Doctor Who airs Saturdays on BBC America at 9/8 c. The next episode is “Vincent and The Doctor”.