Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Doctor Who Season 7 Summary Review

They can call it whatever they want but I'll tell you this for free, we didn't have one season, we had two half seasons. Season 6 was one proper season, albeit split, but after a mid season climax, the story continued on to resolve more about River as well as the larger story arc. This "season" had a story arc or the first half, the departure of the Ponds, while whispering in our ears each episode to remind us of the "Doctor who?" arc that barely links it with the second half. Even more of a link though is Oswin popping up in "Asylum of the Daleks," which really just created more mystery around the new companion. Then the second half of the season has a whole new look. TARDIS, credits, theme, companion, all new. On top of all of that there is a Christmas special dividing the two halves, which starts everything fresh and links completely with the second half.

Having said that, I think if I take this as one season it's kind of hard to get a feel for what I feel as a whole. When I treat it as two short seasons I get much more enjoyment out of each collection of episodes. Overall I love how they've used their higher budget. There were brilliant guest stars throughout both halves. I was satisfied with how they handled the Pond's departure. It was bittersweet because I loved finally seeing the Weeping Angel when it zaps someone. I honestly love the new opening theme and credits. I never fully warmed to the previous one, except for the way it changed over the first half of this season. I loved seeing Clara's story unfold, with the discovery of how she became the impossible girl tying in with my general approval of the finale. I never wanted them to reveal The Doctor's name, but they got around that well. All the ideas that ended the season were new to me so I was just generally pleased to begin with. Now something brief on each episode.

The Asylum of the Daleks

This is my favorite Dalek story of the new show. It felt like old Who but looked like feature film Who. Daleks were scary again, even the ones that came out of the crayon box.

Favorites: The surprise appearance of the mysterious Oswin, and the revelation of what she had become. That shot of the asylum planet through the hole in the floor. The snowy location in Spain. The Dalek ballerina.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Someone wrote wondering what Chris Chibnall was smoking when he wrote this. Well it must have been the same thing I smoked when I watched it because I thought it was fun, the sets felt massive, the story was interesting, funny, and at times touching.

Favorites: Brian and Solomon were both incredible. The shots of the ship from space. Having a gang just once. Mitchell & Webb as campy robots. Did I mention Brian?

A Town Called Mercy

I have a fondness for westerns from my father, so I like this one. I like the way they saved some on budget but kept a level of quality. Interesting story. Not a favorite, though.

Favorites: The location. The horse's name is Susan. Ben Browder as the marshal.

The Power of Three

It's okay I guess. It fills a spot. Good effects. Interesting if not confusing baddie.

Favorites: Brian again! The Brigadier's daughter. Them slipping away from the party.

The Angels Take Manhattan

I don't know what I was expecting but I was a bit disappointed at first, but not for long. A fine, bittersweet departure for Amy and Rory. Scary and sad.

Favorites: The eerie music. The cherub blowing out the match. Location. The idea of using the book. Honestly, the way it ended, I loved it.

The Snowmen

This may be my favorite Christmas special. Maybe because it's kind of a companion's first episode. I just thought it was brilliant. The Great Intelligence didn't do much for me, but I've seen worse.

Favorites: Music. Clara. New TARDIS. The spiral staircase. Clara dying again in order for The Doctor to discover she is a mystery. The Doctor using Amy's glasses. Clara's reaction to the TARDIS seen above.

The Bells of Saint John

Very good way The Doctor meets Clara again. Very interesting ideas about the wifi and Spoonheads. Kind of a sweet tale.

Favorites: The sequence where she goes into the TARDIS then into the plane. The Spoonheads, well done. Clara. Music.

The Rings of Akhaten

Interesting myth related story. Fun story for Clara's first outing. Quite dramatic.

Favorites: The view when they first got there. Clara waiting on the stairs in the beginning. All the aliens. The religious overtones. The Vigil. Mention of The Doctor's granddaughter.Seeing why the leaf was page one.

Cold War

I really enjoyed this one. Very classic Who. The Ice Warrior was great (in armor) and shaky out of armor. Good submarine story.

Favorites: Clara learning about the translating. The Barbie in The Doctor's pocket. Mention of the HADS


Loved it. I thought it was creepy, even after it got all sciency. Loved the interaction between Clara and the TARDIS. Love Emma and Alec. Sure it finished fast, but everything was answered.

Favorites: The creature. The pocket universe. Mention of a Metebelis crystal and a subset of the Eye of Harmony. Creepy mood music. It was actually a love story.

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

Loved it so much. I was not disappointed with the inside of the TARDIS. I don't know what some people expected. I expect nothing, then I'm only pleasantly pleased. And I had no problem with the salvage brothers.

Favorites: Only every thing that Clara encountered. The Gallifrey Encyclopedia bottles you see above. The Eye of Harmony was my favorite, awesome. The big friendly button, because contrary to what some say it was not just an arbitrary button he presses and magically they're free. The device was a remote for the magno grab from the freighter. By turning it off he could raise the shields again and save them.

The Crimson Horror

I liked it but it didn't dazzle me. There were parts I just loved, but not all of it.

Favorites: Mrs. Gillyflower and Ada. The strange creature. The ending, even thought that girl is rotten.

Nightmare In Silver

The Cybermen are my favorite, but that aside I really enjoyed this one. The characters were great. Matt did a good job playing a dual mind. Nothing stellar, but good. Loved the new Cyberman, if a little Iron Manish.

Favorites: Super fast Cyberman. Porridge. Inside The Doctor's mind. Seeing all the Doctors. The idea of jumping to future Cybermen. The Cybermites.

The Name of The Doctor

I loved it from the first time I saw it and I even think I loved every moment of it. The ideas thrilled me, mostly because I never thought of them. Great resolution to Clara, and mysterious discovery of The Doctor's secret.

Favorites: Use of scenes of the older Doctors. The impossible girl. John Hurt. Trenzalore being his grave. The future TARDIS. What's in the tomb instead of a body. River. The writing. Music. 

So all in all, when I look at both halves of the season, there aren't many episodes I don't love. Based on that, this may be my favorite season overall of the new show so far, closely followed by season 6. Probably then it would be 4 then 3 then 5. I might as well round it out with  season 1 then on the bottom season 2. That's overall for each season.

I'm greatly looking forward to the 50th, and in finding out about Christmas and season 8. The word is they will yet again try something new for the next season. I have no idea what that means, but after the past 2 split seasons I'm a bit nervous. I'll be around with the news as I hear it. 

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