Sunday, October 7, 2012

TV Series Review: Doctor Who 7A

Geeze, is it just me or are they making anime shorter these days? ....wait this is a regular tv show not anime, whaddya mean they're making these seasons shorter too? It feels like season seven had barely began before it was over and there's a two month gap until the Christmas special and I don't know when the second half of the season starts after that. So after two years of this kind of pacing I can say quite certainly, no I don't like this half season nonsense and sadly there was a bunch of other stuff in this season I didn't like either.

Doctor Who

Summary: The Doctor continues to travel around all of time and space in his little blue box and companions Amy and Rory return. As the years go on however they're starting to get a little tired of being thrown into adventures at the drop of a hat with no prior warning. But they don't want to completely cut the Doctor out of their lives and finding a balance between these two lives is proving hard. 

The Good: My favorite parts of this season (and the parts I thought were the best) were the ones that really looked at the relationship Amy/Rory/the Doctor have now since, someone correct me if I'm wrong, this is the first time the series has had companions to the Doctor who don't always travel around with him and I loved how they explored that (yes there have been reoccurring characters like that, such as the Brigadier, but that's slightly different). There was also a particular line of the Doctor's from the fourth episode that I liked, where he says that he's tired of giving people second chances, they take advantage of it, and then he has to go and lay down the smack anyway. His change in attitude, from being a "coward" who gives people second chances to someone who is becoming much harder is something that's been happening since the series restarted with the ninth doctor and, given what the 12th Doctor is supposed to be like (as was established in the original series) I think this is on purpose and I really like where it's going. Given how this half season ended I foresee this trend continuing and I really do want to see how the Doctor changes next.

The Bad: For me there was something off in nearly every episode and, well, they bugged me. In the first episode sure it's a cool idea to see all the damaged daleks from wars and such, there's just the teensy-weeny problem that Skaro is supposed to be time locked so that episode shouldn't have happened at all (plus Amy's line, I've known some people with a similar problem say it killed a relationship but Amy just wasn't in a relationship where that should've mattered). The second episode was tons of fun and, while I can see the Doctor galloping through the universe with Nekfertiti as a companion, why grab everyone else as well? (Hell, why did the daleks grab Amy and Rory before that? This all feels much too convenient) I didn't like the third episode at all, aside from the Doctor's aforementioned lines, it felt like someone said "hey you know what's cool? WESTERNS" "yeah let's do one!" , they tried too hard to play with gray and grey mortality (I was feeling pretty unsympathetic to both sides by the end) and I also felt like the framing was pointless. While I had no problems with the fourth episode (which shared a writer with the second episode funny enough) the fifth episode, ehhhhhhh. Doctor Who is not a serious science fiction show but it uses time-travel a lot anyway, that's okay. But it's not okay when it says "okay, here are the mechanics the show operates by" (in this specific instance, time paradoxes) and then disregards them when the plot calls for it, it really felt like Moffat was fighting the plot to get the story to go where he wanted it and that's not very encouraging. 

The Audio: While there must have been some new pieces of background music in this season it was music from previous seasons that I noticed the most (also, I hadn't realized it before but a lot of the character's themes are rather similar to each other which I like, it helps give the music some continuity). Honestly I didn't notice the music most of the time, only when things were quite for a moment and then the music picked up as if to say "nope, the worst is yet to come!" but I think during the break I'll make an effort to look up the soundtrack since I do like what I remember.

The Visuals: While various bits of CGI weren't movie quality, nothing this season looked terrible. The dinosaurs on the spaceship looked fine, I've heard that they used a lot of real daleks from collections and such for some of the scenes in Asylum of the Daleks yet I couldn't tell the real daleks apart from the CGI ones. I feel like Doctor Who is becoming a bit smarter with their budget, or maybe the second half of the show is going to look absolutely terrible in comparison.

So in short, this season had a lot of weak spots and some good spots and I'm very confused about how I feel about it. By now I would like someone else to replace Moffat as the showrunner, the way he writes just feels a bit awkward and yes, I'm one of those people who isn't too impressed by how he writes women (I wanted to say some stuff about River Song here but I was afraid that might make the review too long, I'll probably put something on my tumblr in the next month or so when I have a chance). But I'll be back for the second half, fingers crossed that it has more strong episodes than this part did however.