Moose fell on my head
Join Date: Jun 2007
I saw the Waters of Mars (it was impressive and appropriately creepy, oddly sad), Planet of the Dead (it was OK, though I kind of liked it for making those bug aliens so likeable), and the first part of The End of Time (it is bonkers, and made hungry for chicken). I've yet to see Part 2, because I promised a friend of mine I'd see it with him and he ain't comin' back till the New Year's.
And I listened to A Big Finish audio play, Chimes of Midnight. I like Rob Shearman's work (short stories, plays, etc) and this was no exception. The first three parts were taut, suspenseful, you-can't-stop-listening, but the last slows down a bit. Still, excellence. I love Paul McGann.
As for Series 5:
I love Chris Eccleston and I like David Tennant, but Matt Smith is the Doctor. He isn't doing a good job *playing* the Doctor, he *is* the Doctor. I don't think, "Wow, Eccleston is really pulling that off with the Dalek," I think "Geez, the Doctor is really angry at this Dalek for asking him if he wanted tea."
I also love Amy. On first view I found her annoying (and wayyy too like my aunt), but I re-watched Series 5 with my cousin over the past two weeks (I was bed-ridden sick), and grew to really like her. She's a strong, well thought-out character, and her fascination with the Doctor makes *sense*. She's invested way too much into her imaginary friend, and geez that reveal at the end - "There's a crack in your wall, and it's been eating away at your life" - makes her for me. Of course that's where her parents. No wonder she loves the Doctor so much; her aunt is useless.
If we include the Christmas Special, there's 11 good-to-great episodes, and three wank ones. Zaar had a reallyyyy good idea the other day about Victory of the Daleks, suggesting it should have been set in London ruins. That would have been *creepy*. Dalek ship is shot down, they're making new Daleks. That simple. I thought it harkened back to a "What if?" question: what if the Nazis had been successful in entering London? That's really strong sci-fi/alternative history, with alien Nazis. It's kind of weird that Mark Gatiss - who is a hit/miss writer - wrote something like this, that starts off as intriguing WWII drama and then quite literally goes multiple personality into Star Wars. The Unquiet Dead is a highlight of New Who (it makes you want to read the books of Charles Dickens; that's a very good thing!), The Idiot's Lantern is average, but Victory of the Daleks is awful.
As for Chris Chibnall: I don't think that man could make the back of a cereal box entertaining. He's a hack, and the only reason that particular p.o.s. episode is worth enduring is because they decided to include two very important things in the ending. The Siliurian episode is extremely cheesy and very, very badly-written. I wouldn't hire this man to write a stop sign.
I think Amy's Choice comes very close to greatness. Of course Rory imagines himself more: he's not a nurse, he's a doctor! So it's very peculiar that they decided to throw in aliens at the village, instead of some sort of plague or disease a doctor could figure out. Just like the Doctor solves the problem at the TARDIS (his world), Rory should have solved the problem in his. They could've thrown in Amy's "choice" between two men/worlds more efficiently (I can think of two ways that don't harken to an out-of-character, but explainable-by-pregnancy-hormones suicide), and had the Dream Lord tease her more cruelly, but it's still a very strong episode.
Vincent and the Doctor: the "chicken" thing made me sad. I'd have liked them to draw the obvious parallels between the chicken and Vincent, but that's OK. The last ten minutes elevate that episode from "very good" to "classic".
I loved most of Steven Moffat's work in this series. The Eleventh Hour is very enjoyable, though the highlights are all the night scenes. It's just the right mix of adventure, cheesy and funny. The Beast Below is much, much better on second viewing (I finally got why they were wearing hoods) than on first, though that episode still needed time to breathe, I think. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone suffer from horror movie cliches (characters not saying what's wrong with them) and moving angels, plus being the inheritors to that ever present masterpiece, Blink.
Blink has a few things which make it superior to the other two:
1. Monsters original as ****.
2. No missed opportunities.
3. It's based 100% in the Doctor Who mythos. TARDIS, etc.
4. It all comes together in such odd but perfect ways.
Time of Angels is a good horror story, but the angels are incidental.
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang is utterly brilliant: the twist that this isn't Rory at all, but an auton, was my favourite part. Arthur Darvill does a marvellous job. Plus the suspense, the story, the beautiful direction: all great. It shows that the Daleks and the Cybermen can be freaky if written by someone with talent, and has the greatest Dalek-related moment I've seen yet in facing the Stone Dalek against River. On the other hand, the way the Doctor escapes the Pandorica feels like a cop-out. You could say that the world ending means the rules change, but I still think that a paradox helping the Doctor escape is...not Moffat's best moment. Unless it turns out that the Silence helped out. Ohhh, spooky. Otherwise, episode excellence. Up there with the best of the lot.
Finally, The Vampires of Venice and the Lodger. I think these were good episodes, but fall short of greatness. Venice was cliche after cliche (world saved by switch, monsters walk slooooowly giving prey chance to escape, monsters make stupid mistake like sending all minions to house-that-later-explodes-and-kills-them-all), but it was funny and I liked the excuses they used for aliens-as-vampires, and why they were in Venice. It could've been better. But it could've been way worse.
The Lodger is good. It shows the geeky side of the Eleventh Doctor that I like a lot. It's a light-hearted romp, and if it weren't for the lame bits where a creepy human flickers in the darkness and victims actually follow to his bedroom - aka, people doing things they would never do in real life - and the resolution at the end, it'd have been great.
A Christmas Carol: some silly moments, but completely brilliant. I wonder what screw-driver we're getting now? Was it a toy decision from the BBC? And what was with the fish biting his neck?
I'm happy there's no Daleks in Series 6. I'm also hoping that Robert Shearman or the guy who wrote "Spare Parts" get to write more episodes. Booo Chris Chibnall. Hack.