walkwithheroes: [Doctor Who] (Rose Tyler: Defender of Earth)
[personal profile] walkwithheroes
It's been ages since I've discussed Doctor Who, but I have kept up with season/series seven of the show. I'll give some brief thoughts about episodes three-six and than discuss episode seven.

- Toby Whithouse (whose widely rumored to take over DW in S8) wrote "A Town Called Mercy". It was an alright episode, but not the best thing that Whithouse has ever written. A lot of it felt like a filler episode to further hint at the leaving of Rory and Amy. And to let us know that the Doctor needs people; he's getting dark.

- "The Power of Three" was actually a really fun episode. I loved seeing flashes of Pond/Doctor adventures and I loved seeing Brian again. UNIT is always cool, too. It reminded me a lot of RTD's run on Who. But that ending. Um, so underdeveloped. It was like they just couldn't think of anything, so they ended it as quickly as possible and hoped no one would notice.

- "The Angels Take Manhattan" or "Don't Worry, I'm Sure Rory and Amy Will Be Back In November". The episode all of series seven (and the end of series six) has been leading up to. (And the return of River Song. Seriously, her character gets more and more Mary Sue-ish. Plus, I hate that Moffat keeps trying to force her as the love of the Doctor's 1000+ year life.)

More than anything, this felt like an emotional goodbye for the actors rather than the characters. But, I'm so glad that Rory and Amy were able to be together for the rest of their lives; that she became a writer and they adopted a son and they probably had a beautiful life together.

"The Angels Take Manhattan" was really a nice end to the mini-run of S7. It was easily the best of the first half of S7: full of some beautiful moments between Rory/Amy, Amy and the Doctor, and the Doctor and his Ponds. Though the pacing was frantic at times. I thought Amy's sendoff and goodbyes to River (or Melody - loved that she called her that) and the Doctor was outstanding. But Rory's sendoff was a let down. Arthur Darvill was the perfect Rory and Rory was a perfect man and he was totally underused for most of his time as a Companion. That was a huge let down, actually.

I would say that I liked the first, fourth, and fifth episodes of the first half of S7. I didn't love any of them, but they were enjoyable and Matt, Karen, and Arthur had great chemistry. Plus, Amy/Rory will always be one of my OTPs for Doctor Who.

Now, let us discuss the Christmas Special: "The Snowmen" aka episode 7.6.

- Firstly I hated that Eleven was so depressed and determined not to help anyone because Amy and Rory are gone. He's lost countless people before, why were Amy/Rory the final straw? Willing to let the world burn because he lost his two first friends (in his eleventh body). It left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

- Secondly, Richard E Grant and Sir Ian McKellan were woefully underused as the villains of this story. Though, I suppose the Great Intelligence will appear again in S7.

- Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are great and I almost want them (and maybe another character or two) to be in a spin off set in Victorian England. They could solve crimes! It could be darker than the Sarah Jane Adventures, but not as dark as Torchwood. It could be fun and exciting. (But I seriously doubt Dan Starkey and Neve McIntosh would want to do that alien make up everyday for months at a time.)

- Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman have amazing chemistry. Like I seriously want them to tease each other and than make out ala some classic Hollywood duos. Just amazing. They play off some another so well. I would dare to say they have better chemistry than Matt has had with anyone on the show.

- I was happy that this Christmas Special was so character driven - actually the best since "The Christmas Invasion".

- Clara was a great character and her playfulness, curious nature, and her fearlessness made her great. While her death didn't make me cry (and she didn't look hurt at all), I thought it was really well done and emotional in its way. It's very clear that the Doctor was attracted to Clara (maybe not romantically, but certainly in a way that was important and in a way he hasn't been attracted to anyone in years) and I think there could have been something there ala Nine and Rose or Ten and Rose. No one has really challenged the Doctor in this way since Rose challenged Nine way back in '05.

Now we have "The Bells of Saint John" aka episode seven of series seven.

- Clara Oswald is brilliant. Most people are ready and willing to fly off with the Doctor. Her reaction to be asked to travel time and space? For him to ask her tomorrow. Ha.

- Amy became an author of children's books! 'Amelia Williams' became a writer of what looks like children adventure novels; how awesome.

- So, do you think the Doctor was just sitting around for years, staring at Clara's painting, and waiting. Oh my.

- Again, the Doctor and Clara have amazing chemistry ala Katherine and Spencer or Fred and Ginger. They play off one another very well. He clearly already has a bit of a crush on her, and she makes him nervous. It's sort of cute.

- The plot was similar to "The Idiot's Lantern" but the idea of the Great Intelligence using Wi-fi to take over (any alien using technology) is actually clever. I mean how many hours is the average teenager-30-something on the 'net during the course of a day? A lot, actually.

- Clara could be a very interesting character. 16 and 23 were missing from her book. Plus, this is apparently her third life: she was Oswin Oswald, Clara Oswin Oswald, and is now Clara Oswald. I look forward to finding out what that means. (Knowing Moffat he'll fuck it up, but. . .I'm still interested.)

- Oh! Who do you guys think the woman in the shop was? She had the Doctor's number and knew that Clara would need him. My guess is River, because she has to be involved in everything.

- Plus, UNIT!

I honestly think that Matt and Jenna have amazing chemistry and play really well off one another. I just wish someone else was in charge of their overall story. I just have a horrible feeling that Moffat will screw it up in favor of River Song or a dramatic ending or something. So help me, I'm 'shipping Eleven/Clara.

This series has been extra long, and it really does feel like we're just getting to know Clara. And explore the new dynamic between the Eleventh Doctor and his very mysterious Companion.

Today I'll be voicing my thoughts on episodes seven, eight, nine, and ten. S7 is 13 episodes, btw.

"The Rings of Akhaten:"

- Since 2005, every series of Doctor Who has had one or two or even three episodes that sort of fall flat. They don't really add much to the overall narrative of the series and they just feel like an episode you could skip. Someone once said they were the episodes that made you remember heartwarming moments with family; reminded you to call your grandmother. This was one of those episodes. Written by Neil Cross (of Luther fame) the episode follows the Doctor and Clara as they journey to to the Rings of Akhaten, where several planets revolve around a larger one. They attend a religious festival where the young Queen of Years, Merry Gejelh (Emilia Jones), is about to be sacrificed.

- This felt like the episode were we really got to know Clara as a person. She's a bit sassy and adventurous and has a caring nature. You guys, I really really like Clara. She's the type of person the Doctor needs at the moment. Yes, she's up for some fun. But, she's also willing to follow his rules. She's also really interesting and I'm loving the chemistry between Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.

- As for the episode itself: it felt very Russell T. Davis era. It felt a bit like "The End of the World" and "The Beast Below" had a love child. It had all the great elements of "The End of the World": it had gorgeous visuals, nice build up, unique aliens, and some heartwarming and thought provoking moments. But, it also failed a bit. Like "The Beast Below", it felt like it was trying too hard at times to get me to be emotional. The Doctor's speech? I feel like he's making that speech every two or three episodes lately. Plus, the ending felt very rushed and anticlimactic.

- Overall, it was a good episode to get me really enjoying the potential that Clara and Clara and the Doctor have, but that's about it.

"Cold War:"

- "Cold War" is the eighth episode of the seventh series and sees the return of the Ice Warriors of Mars. Written by Mark Gatiss, (whose written "The Unquiet Dead", "The Idiot's Lantern", "Victory of the Daleks", and "Night Terrors") the episode follows the Doctor and Clara on board a Soviet sub during the Cold War. 1983 if you want to be on point. The crew has taken a frozen Ice Warrior onto the sub, though they believe it to be a mammoth. When one of the crew begins unfreezing the block of ice, he is attacked. The submarine begins sinking as the Ice Warrior runs amok.

- Firstly, I need to give major love to David Warner, who played Professor Grisenko. I loved the Professor and all his 80s music. Also, Liam Cunningham as Captain Zhukov was brilliant. Secondly, I am loving Clara more and more. She is just so real. She feels like a real person in her interactions with people. Not perfect and trying to be brave and yet braver than she'll ever know and smart. I love her.

- This episode was maybe the best of S7. It is probably one of the better ones in the Moffat era of the show. The script writing was tight, the threats felt real, it felt claustrophobic, and these characters had some lovely interactions.

- In terms of the Ice Warrior: IGN's Mark Snow said it best: "Skaldak is the show's most memorable villain in a while, thanks to his stern, occasionally psychopathic approach to problem solving, and an environment that helped make the bulky, heavy creature design imposing rather than laughably naff." However, as Mark Snow and other reviewers said: Skaldak felt a bit rubbery at times and I almost think the episode would have worked better without him. If the submarine was just sinking and there was no alien running around, I think it still would have been a fab episode.

- Overall, I really enjoyed the episode. If only for the guest cast, the feel of the episode, and the Clara/Doctor interactions. Matt Smith has stated that The Doctor has a bit of a crush on Clara, and I think that came out a bit this week.


- This episode was really great. It felt very 'old school' and haunted house. Written by Neil Cross (again!), the story follows the Doctor and Clara to 1974. Here Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott) and his assistant, Emma Grayling, (Jessica Raine)collect photographic evidence of a ghost, known as the Witch of the Well, in the Caliburn mansion. The Doctor visits to try and get a read on Clara, but all doesn't go as planned. Of course.

- One of the things I really loved about this episode was the guest stars. (Even Kemi-Bo Jacobs was great in her five minutes of screen time.) I really enjoyed the parallels that were at play here. You have Professor Palmer, a man with a dark past (the Doctor, anyone) and his young assistant whose more than she seems (Clara, I'd say).

- I did like the haunted house story and the darker atmosphere. I did like that it focused more on the characters than on a scary or odd alien. However, I felt that Hila (Jacobs) got the short end of the stick. I also felt that the ending was rushed and a disappointment. I felt a bit shortchanged, because we had built up this creepy vibe, and than it was 'all you need is love' and just felt incomplete.

- The sci-fi stuff left something to be desired. However - I liked the love story between Alec and Emma. I liked the Emma and Clara discussion about the Doctor and Alec, too. I also liked Clara telling the Doctor that they are all ghosts to him. I really love these two together; the chemistry is there and there is so much underlying stuff going on.

"Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS:"

- Is the eleventh episode of the series and was written by Stephen Thompson (whose written for Sherlock and wrote the Doctor Who episode "The Curse of the Black Spot"). It's the episode that has shown us more of the TARDIS than ever before. It follows the Doctor and Clara after the TARDIS has been hi-jacked by a three men intergalactic salvage crew.

- I want to say that I really did like this episode, but it made me really annoyed. We got some real emotional moments between Eleven and Clara. Some major moments. But then, all the advancements in the story arc and the character development go right back to square one. Thanks, time rewrite.

- Overall, the episode was reasonably entertaining, though not the best. Clara didn't have a lot to do and the Doctor felt off somehow. Plus, I wish we had seen more of the TARDIS. We saw a lot of dark hallways and the set design of the library was beautiful, but I wish we could have seen more. Something more consistent. The three brothers weren't very likable and actually seemed a bit inept at their job. There was also the not so great thing of: the three black guys are basically space car thieves. Plus, two made the other believe he was a robot. . . for kicks. Hard to really like them when they do stuff like that. Also, there were so many wasted opportunities in terms of the TARDIS and exploring the Doctor/Clara. Even their big moment was basically erased from time. Still love Clara, though.

So, what do we have to look forward to during the next three episodes?

What else can we look forward to?

Well, "The Crimson Horror" will be the 100th episode since the show returned in 2005. It will feature the return of Vastra, Jenny, and Strax and be written by Mark Gatiss. It will be from their point of view and have them running into the Doctor and Clara by accident. Some early reviews say the Doctor will be very 'touchy' in this episode. . .

"Nightmare in Silver" will be written by Neil Gaiman, whose a great novel/comic writer and who wrote a favorite: "The Doctor's Wife". It will be the return of the Cybermen; and, the return of them being truly scary. Plus - Warwick Davis guest stars!

"The Name of the Doctor" will be the finale of S7. We'll learn the Doctor's true name. Something I'm really not looking forward to. I don't want to know his damn name! And River Song is set to return. Moffat has stated that there will be "a bit of a love triangle between the Doctor, River, and Clara. But, it's not what you think." Um. . . does that mean River will be hot for Clara? Or Clara for River? Please, no. I cannot stand River Song. I loathe her as a character and hate that she'll be back and that there will be some kind of awkward love triangle. God. At least Vastra, Jenny and Strax will be back.

BTW: anyone else hearing that Matt Smith is leaving after the 50th ann special or the 2013 Christmas special? I'm hearing that everywhere. Also hearing Moffat is leaving - yes, please!! But, I want Matt Smith to stay for S8 - if only for more Eleven/Clara.
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October 2013


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