Thursday, October 4, 2012

Series 7, Part 1 Review

I do reviews now, reviews are cool.

Overall, not my favorite season, that will always be Series 4 or 5 (I can't decide). Steven Moffat promised big blockbuster events, and that is precisely what we got. Each episode stands out on its own and does not depend on any of the other episodes. The season really lived up to all the anticipation, and was probably worth the 8 month, 1 week wait.

Jenna–Louise Coleman's appearance in Asylum of the Daleks was probably the best-kept secret in all of Doctor Who history. Despite at least three screenings of the episode to the public, not one word was leaked on the internet. It took me completely off-guard, so much so to the point where I wasn't even sure if it was her or not. I was probably half-way through watching the episode when I decided, "yes, that actually is the new companion." It was quite possibly the most brilliant thing Moffat has ever done, especially seeing as it was apparently an afterthought. He apparently did not decide to have the actress for the new companion play Oswin until they were halfway through casting for the Christmas Special.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and A Town Called Mercy definitely trace the development of a darker Doctor. The Doctor was more prone to simply kill someone to save other people/dinosaurs. Amy's comment about "this is what happens when you travel alone for too long" seems to harken back to the tenth Doctor. The 10th Doctor traveled alone for a period of a few years and eventually went on to do the whole "Time Lord victorious" thing in The Waters of Mars. The Doctor needs someone by his side at all times, and I think this really shows that. All through Series 6 and 7, the Doctor has only had a companion intermittently, he only came back to Amy and Rory from time to time. He did not have a full-time companion like he has had in all the previous seasons. I think Clara is definitely going to humanize him again, and bring him back to the happier, lighter stance that he had before.

The Power of Three was the most anticipated episode for me, personally. I was really looking forward to seeing an 11th Doctor-UNIT episode. I was actually hoping they would track him down through a Code 9 (see The Aliens of London), and was a little disappointed that they traced him through the artron energy in the TARDIS. The mention of the Zygons was good, though I'm still confused as to why they were sitting in the snow with the Doctor holding a cabbage, especially seeing as it was June. Also, is it just me, or was the Doctor wearing the coat from Let's Kill Hitler in that scene? The mentions of K-9 and the Brig also made me happy as a fan of the classic series. The ending of the episode was rather rushed, with too much happening and the Doctor solving the problem too easily. The sonic screwdriver turned out to be the solution to the episode, which I thought was supposed to be a no-no. Having the Doctor just sonic a screen and solve all the problems does not seem like a proper Doctor Who ending, it's just too easy. The UNIT inclusion worked rather well, the episode was a proper invasion Earth story. The only thing really missing was Trinity Wells.

The Angels Take Manhattan was the first time an episode of Doctor Who made me cry, though I will attribute that to the fact that I hadn't taken my medication and actually had more than two emotions. It only made me cry the first time through, which I think was due to the fact that I had heard it was a tearjerker and was actually expecting to cry, but after watching it once, it just didn't have the same emotional effect. I don't buy the whole thing about reading the future in a book forcing that future to happen. It's been stated before that "sometimes, knowing your own future is what enables you to change it". Never has it been said that knowing your own future forces it to come true. When River or the Doctor says "spoilers" to prevent revealing the future, it's just been explained away as you might try to change your future, which could have disastrous consequences. It's the whole 1st Law of Time thing, never try to interfere in your own timeline. It's always been stated that you can attempt to change your future, even if it might not work. This thing in The Angels Take Manhattan where knowing your future forces it to happen just seems like it's completely out of nowhere. Also when Amy was about to leave, the Doctor said she was creating fixed time and that he could never come see her. I don't understand why he couldn't just come visit her without changing anything. I do feel like it was the best departure of any New Series companion other than Martha. Martha simply chose to leave, Amy chose to be with the one she loved. Amy didn't actually lose anything, she still had her husband and her daughter.

The only other remark I have on this season is that the episodes seem shorter. They are the same length, it just seems less is happening. That may just be me though, it seems like my perception of time alters from school year to school year.

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