Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Doctor Who Review: Season 7 Part 1

Well, I haven't posted a review for Doctor Who since the first episode about a month ago, so I figured I'd sum up the rest of the first half of the season now that it will be on hiatus until Christmas Time. So here we go with some shorter review/reactions to episodes 2-5. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Episode 2

It was with this episode that I realized every episode this season is getting it's own personalized logo texture based on the plot. If you go back to the review for Asylum of The Daleks the logo had dots all over it resembling the exterior of a Dalek.

Dinosaur scales!

 The entire plot of this episode is easily summed up in the title of it. The Doctor, fresh off a wacky adventure with overly-sexual Queen Nefertiti is called to the near future to stop a large ship that seems to be on a crash course with Earth before they are forced to blow it up. The Doctor, after recruiting the help of Nefertiti, Amy, Rory, Rory's dad (accidentally), and an early 20th century adventurer, soon discovers that the ship is over-run with roaming dinosaurs and intergalactic black-market-pirate trying to steal them for profit. Filled with more innuendo and genital-based jokes than any episode in the previous 50 years, it's obvious this episode was based entirely on a title somone REALLY wanted to use for an episode. To define it in one word this episode is fun. It's rather light-hearted and funny through out most of the episode and it's only in the 10 or 15 minutes that things get serious and The Doctor even condemns an evil man to death, which might fall a little off character. Including Amy and Rory in this episode made more sense than last time because it was the Doctor who abducts them for an adventure instead of the antagonists. The one thing that really started to get annoying was all the shots of characters looking directly at the camera as if it's from the point-of-view of a computer screen they are interacting with.

I give this episode 2 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Episode 3

The wood I don't see a problem with that statement

The Doctor, Amy, and Rory drop in on an old western town that is being terrorized by a cyborg gunslinger. It seems the cyborg is hunting "The Alien Doctor" but thankfully it's not OUR Alien Doctor. Instead, it is Kahler-Jex, a fugitive from his own home planet. In a Doctor Who style play on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Jex is actually war surgeon who created the gunslinger as a weapon to be used in a civil war on his planet but ran when his creation turned on him. Now, hiding out in the town of Mercy in the early 1800s, Jex tries to do all he can to help the townspeople and subdue his guilty conscience, but obviously his past caught up to him. This episode was capable of balancing just about all the elements that make a good Doctor Who story. History, Sci-Fi, humor, drama, and The Doctor. The Doctor delved more into a darker side again in this episode approaching the horrible events of Kahler-Jax's past with a zero-tolerance style, even taking him at gun point and offering up to his own creation. This episode solidifies that my belief of an over-arching plot in the first half of this season is the obvious "Amy and Rory will stop traveling with The Doctor"concept. 

I give this episode 3 out of 5 stars.

Episode 4

Cubes and a pink vortex...I can't even think of a joke for it.

The first episode to take place in present day since the end of Season 5, One day, without warning, The Earth is covered in small black cubes. The Doctor arrives to find out what they are and why they showed up...except nothing happens. The cubes just sit there, and The Doctor is forced to sit and wait...something he just can't handle doing (as we remember from "Vincent and The Doctor.") U.N.I.T. arrives on the scene to make contact with The Doctor on what the cubes are and soon, after weeks of no activity, the world begins to lose interest. The Doctor decides to take off, promising to return if anything odd occurs while Rory's father keeps a vigil on a cube by orders of The Doctor and Amy and Rory come face-to-face with their double life as a journalist and a nurse who moonlight as intergalactic/temporal adventurers. It seems as time goes on, and The Doctor spends less and less time in their lives that Amy and Rory are growing more comfortable in their normal lives, but also find it quite difficult to say no when The Doctor comes calling. After a year of inactivity The Cubes awake and begin attacking a large portion of Earth's population and opening portals on Earth to an attack ship orbiting in a temporal rift. The Doctor, with help from his companions, is able to reverse the effect of the cubes and save the world while coming to terms with how much he relies on Amy and Rory. In the end the three pile into the TARDIS and take off on more adventures as Amy and Rory decide they can't give up The Doctor. This episode had an interesting concept and truly felt like an episode we could have expected back in the days of Russell T. Davies and David Tennant. It's fun, enjoyable, a great episode for Matt Smith with The Doctor at his most juvenile. The problem I had with this episode was the way this season keeps building up on a concept of Amy and Rory choosing to leave The Doctor and a rift growing between the couple and The Doctor and having everything suddenly being okay and everyone is happy again.

I ironically give this episode 3 out of 5 stars.

Episode 5

Grey skies and Statue of Liberty...yeah that's a Brit's take on NYC alright.

Steven Moffat writes the ending of the first half of this season with a Weeping Angel story that just may rival "Blink." I honestly have to say that it has been a while since I found an episode of this show creepy, but that changed with this one. The episode opens with a private detective in the 1930s be asked to investigate a story about statues that move at the Winter Quay apartments. While investigating he discovers an apartment housing an elderly version of himself dying in a bed. Upon being chased by the angels to the roof of building the detective comes face to face with an angel-fied Statue of Liberty. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! After we take a trip through the credit vortex we arrive in modern-day Manhattan where Amy, Rory, and The Doctor lounge in Central Park, The Doctor currently buried chin-deep in an old pulp detective novel The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Story. It isn't long before Rory wanders off and is displaced in time back to the 30s by angels and suddenly appears in The Doctor's book, which turns out to be a story written by River Song about the adventure they are about to have. Amy and The Doctor struggle to land the TARDIS in 1930s New York due to temporal distortion caused by the angels but manage to finally do so and with River's help track down Rory who has been brought to Winter Quay. While there they discover a room in which they watch an elderly Rory die in his bed. The Doctor now realizes this means that Rory will be transported even farther back in time by the angels and Amy will never see him again. They decide the only way to avoid this is to create a paradox in which Rory escapes the building, but once Amy and Rory are trapped on the roof, like the detective before them, they realize that death is the only paradox that can destroy the time-energy factory the angels have created with the apartment building. Amy and Rory embrace and jump from the roof. This paradox, however is apparently strong enough to allow them to cheat death and everyone awakens in a cemetery back in modern-day New York. It all seems back to normal until Rory notices a gravestone with his name on it and death date in the '30s. It is at this point he is displaced in time again by a previously unnoticed angel. It is at this point that Amy decides to willingly be displaced as well in order to live out her life with Rory, despite The Doctor's tears and pleas to reconsider. Amy disappears and The Doctor has lost his friends forever (apparently the paradox and the terrible time distortion of 1930s NYC means if he tries to land the TARDIS there again it would destroy the universe.) The episode does, however, have a rather touching final note from Amy to The Doctor that I enjoyed. While I will admit shedding a tear during The Doctor's breakdown at the end of the episode, the departure of Amy and Rory was quite forced, and as I stated felt they should have left for good at the end of season 6. I look forward to seeing how The Doctor and Oswin wind up together and what the show can offer from here on out, but I do believe it was far past time for Amy and Rory to go. The constant teasing of "will they leave or not" was pointless seeing as everyone knew they would. Despite this though, I do thoroughly enjoy both the concept and the story structure of this episode and enjoyed both the creepy and the noir aspects to it.

I give this episode 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Well, that is all for now in the world of The Doctor, but I will return when he does to let you know what this Ginger Geek Whovian thinks of the rest of the season. Until then, Onwards and Upwards.

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