Monday, June 3, 2013

TV Series Review: Doctor Who 7.2

And to wrap up the live action shows I was following live (as opposed to hearing about them years later and then scouring my libraries/Netflix for them), the latest half season of Doctor Who. Man, guys I hope we go back to full seasons soon, having only six or seven at a time just doesn't feel right, and since I see people talking about the 50th anniversary special in November but not about more episodes I guess we probably won't even get anymore this year beyond that and the Christmas special. 

Doctor Who

Summary: Still grieving after losing Amy and Rory and also Clara in the Christmas special the Doctor has become curious, why did he meet what seems to have been the same girl twice even though that should be impossible? So he tracks her down again, this time to contemporary England where the similarities between her and the others persist and she falls into adventuring with him while he tries to puzzle out this impossible girl. 

The Good: I was a fan who was already okay with Clara when the season started but I didn't have really high hopes for her. But lo and behold I ended up really liking her, more than I liked Amy at points but honestly Amy was never one of my favorite companions. And I seem to be in the minority here but I really liked all the individual episodes too, some of them had weird premises but everything actually managed to work for me. Best of all we got to really see the range of Matt Smith's acting this season, I find it hard whenever I watch something with an unfamiliar actor in it to always tell how much they're acting (especially since from the video interviews it seems like Matt is bit of a silly guy anyway) but here he had a great chance to show his range and now I want to see him play all kinds of different characters in future stories just to see what else he can really do.

The Bad: I think I've figured out why even though I like more of the individual episodes of Moffat's tenure more than RTD (or at least, with those episodes I tend to not remember half of them and when they come up in conversations they feel like something I fever-dreamed) but not the whole show, I just don't like how he structures overall story arcs. It's a bit frustrating how every time the companions are super-special-important people (which RTD didn't do as much, you could argue he did something similar with Donna in Turn Left but more or less Rose/Martha/Donna became special through their travels, Amy/Rory/Clara were already special because they were it feels like) and part of me always goes "how do you expect me to believe that this character is insanely special when we've only had a season or half a season to foreshadow that?" even if I know (logically) that few shows are even written out far enough in advance that they could sprinkle these clues to my satisfaction. And they did actually make an attempt to retcon part of Clara which I did like (although they revealed that at the completely wrong point of the episode, it just completely upset the feel to have the reveal at the very beginning but not get to the moment of the reveal until 3/4ths of the way through) but in any case, can we have some more characters who become awesome and amazing because of what they go through, not characters who start as mere plot devices to ignite a story and only later begin to feel real?

The Production Values: Gonna try renaming this section, in any case, this season looked pretty good, for once I have no complaints about how anything looked! Sure there were plenty of scenes where the effects weren't movie standard quality but nothing looked so off that I was drawn out of the show visual wise or sound wise, I'm a happy fan here!

Sooooo, I guess I'll give this a 3 or 3.5 out of 5 stars and again, in a bit of an unpopular opinion, I'm not looking forward to November for reasons that come up in the last few minutes of the last episode so it's too spoilerly to state. It shouldn't take most fans long to piece together what's going on but if you aren't sure talk to me and I can fill in some details that I read prior to that episode airing. In any case, now that there's no new Doctor Who for a while I'm going to try and watch some more Classic Who so if anyone has any suggestions for what serials to watch leave them in the comments/shoot them to me on twitter. Ideally I want to start with the First Doctor and work my way forwards but I'll take any suggestions people give me!