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Doctor Who Series 5 & 6 April 29, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : Science Fiction, Time Travel , trackback


Series 5
Or series 1 or series 11.1 or series 31

If I were to sell someone on this series of Doctor Who I might say it’s the Sci-fi version of Harry Potter. That might be a stretch for some but I believe this new series with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Steven Moffat producing has a lot of magic, fantasy and mythology playing throughout it. Not to mention it opens like a fairy tale, the Doctor and his Tardis falling out of the sky and being found by a little girl who discovers a crazy lanky man who is also discovering himself. This is the bond that leads them to their future friendship and for the young girl Amy Pond it’s a lifetime fascination with a young wizard.. I mean Timelord! Sorry, a Time Lord has his blue box (broom) and sonic screwdriver (wand). Seriously, it’s a fairy tale in the making all the way up to the last episode of series 5 where it shows that the memory of a young girl is what keeps this fabulous character in existence.

I have to take my hat off to Moffat pictured above. The Doctor Who fan has written some of my favorite episodes in the most recent series of Doctor Who and taking over at series 5 is no easy task. A lot of the mystery and fantastic nature of the Doctor has been done at the start of the 2005 when Russel T Davis restarted the series. The relationship between Rose and the Doctor was extra special because a lot of the focus was placed on the wonder of their journey, Rose seeing the end of the world in the future, returning to the past and her feet touching the ground of London in the 19th century. A lot of emphasis was put on the wonder of it all. Unfortunately it’s not something you can repeat with each companion without it getting stale.

Series 5 gets going quickly and it gives the impression of something quite epic spreading itself out across time and space. The crack in time is a nice plot device that is better than just having a word or name that crops up every episode. I also like how the lid is blown off it about midway through the series at the worst possible time when the Doctor is fighting the Weeping Angels. Another creation by Steven Moffat. Season 5 was probably one of the best series so far.

We are not worthy!

Series 6
It was this series that blew the lid off the River Song mystery. I have always liked the character of River Song and genuinely looked forward to seeing her future adventures with the Doctor from the time she was introduced in the episodes Forest of the Dead/Silence in the Library. Her episodes have been some of the best and most interesting in Moffat’s run at ‘Who’ but I do have one little nitpick about how he went about it.

Why was there mystery surrounding river Song?

Ok, really the answer is, for TV purposes, to keep the audience tuning in and giving something for their brains to chew on. A character that people had wanted to see return and had great chemistry with the Doctor. Regardless of that, and on a purely story level why did there need to be the question “Who is River Song?” because since her introduction in series 4 my answer had always been “She’s a future Companion of the Doctor that he may have fallen in Love with”. The idea that her background needed to be explored, that there was something beyond that was unnecessary in my view. I didn’t need to know where she got her name, who her parents were or why she was born! A person’s life doesn’t need to be so exciting or linked to so many aspects of the Doctor to make them interesting. This is what us geeks refer to as “Small Universe Syndrome”.

The mystery and story that “I” wanted to see was “Why would the Doctor tell her his name?”. How did the Doctor and River Song get so close that the Doctor would tell her his name because as the Doctor says there is only “one” reason why he would tell anyone that. While it’s not implicitly stated I think we all believe that the reason is because he loved her. Moffat has partly answered this question in his series and it’s still something possibly forthcoming but the way he has done the Doctor/River just wasn’t exactly how I hoped it would turn out.  The episodes of these two characters in series 5 were interesting and showed their adventures together. Series 6 just explained too much and you didn’t feel the Doctor loved this woman when he said “you embarrass me” to her face in front of her parents…on their wedding day…. Ouch sweety. Very ouch. I also found that Moffat made it too easy for fans to guess who she was and who had killed the Doctor. He left too many clues that by the time the big reveal came it wasn’t really a pull the rug from under your feet surprise.

Series 6 introduces another simply ingenious Alien baddie with the Silents an Alien that you can’t remember is behind you the moment you look away. That’s pretty scary for the audience more so than the character since the people watching at home are likely screaming at the TV to run but the character has completely forgotten that there was an alien standing right behind him.

Series 6 was a little weaker than series 5. Their seems to be a few more bottle type episodes where the characters don’t move around much. Likely the cut backs at the BBC are the cause of these episodes. The gangers episode was great dealing with racial prejudices.

I really like Matt Smith as the Doctor and I dare say I like the 11th over Timey Wimey 10th. I find that Smith is funny, quirky and yet is able to portray the maturity and wisdom of a man 1100 years old. I find that he is a Doctor that can appeal to a younger generation in a good way. He’s somewhat of a buffoon in front of kids yet utterly charming. His catchphrase “Geronimo” is in my view from an old Humphrey Bogart and I think Moffat is a fan of old movies as he uses the answer “A Woman” when somebody asks what happened to time. I believe the “A Woman” answer came from a Western.

Time Travel Aspects: Moffat enjoys using time travel to it’s full effect and often has characters meeting out of order in the time line. He has events depicted earlier been caused by events that happen later such as the cracks in time.  This is fun but over doing it can be frustrating if you are required to wait for everything to play out before you can get a proper conclusion.

Favorite Quote: “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” - The Doctor

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