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Did anyone else think that episode was unbelievably *dark*, though? I actually had to play some Super Mario on my old SNES to be able to sleep, since I saw it late at night.

 

Series 6 has been really good. It's cranked out five great episodes out of a total of six aired. I hope the second part lives up to the first.

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Did anyone else think that episode was unbelievably *dark*, though? I actually had to play some Super Mario on my old SNES to be able to sleep, since I saw it late at night.

 

Series 6 has been really good. It's cranked out five great episodes out of a total of six aired. I hope the second part lives up to the first. I guess The Tingler might disagree with me, but I do think it's been the strongest series New Who's done this far. I've been watching Tom Baker's first series and getting the same vibe, the idea that I'm watching a new standard for the show in the making.

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I'll have to wait and see with the rest of the season, but it has the potential to be. I loved episodes 1, 2, and 4 unconditionally, 3 was a wasted opportunity, and these last two...

 

I'd say they were good, but not spectacular. I don't think the premise really deserved two episodes. It was clearly drawn out into the series plan before being scripted, and so apart from the ending and the Doctor's ganger there really wasn't much to it. Still, I appreciate the Classic feel of it, right down to lots of things that haven't been referred to recently - like jelly babies or the Cybermats (well, apart from the Blood of the Cybermen adventure game on the website).

 

When the ganger Doctor is struggling to "adapt to his regenerations" near the beginning his voice changes for one line about jelly babies. It's Tom Baker.

 

Jesus Christ, we're on the last episode already! When does the second half start again?

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Heh, you're referring to the final episode eh? I enjoyed it, but know what you mean and totally agree.

 

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I loved the idea of there being an army of religious nutjobs so terrified of the idea of the Doctor that they were determined to bring him down, and the Headless Monks were terrifying themselves. The new stuff, in short, was great.

 

What I hated though is the desperate need to call back everything in Matt Smith's (and ONLY Matt Smith's) time as the Doctor,

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with the one big exception of that Sontaran Nurse - who I rather liked and don't know where he came from, so I'll let him pass.

 

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But Silurians? Especially a Silurian in Victorian times having a cross-species lesbian love affair? That would've powered it's own episode, but here it makes no sense! The Silurians aren't space warriors!

 

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It was the appearance of "Danny Boy" and the squadron from Victory of the Daleks that threw the whole start completely off. Surely the Order's got better starfighters than space-worthy Spitfires? And surely the Doctor's got other friends with better starships? And where did they come from? He can't have hidden a squadron of fighters in the TARDIS!

 

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What annoyed me most however was the Cybermen. When I saw a snapshot of them months ago from the mid-season finale I was excited, I thought it's about time the Cybermen got a decent epic story - especially with Moffat's recent "no Daleks" promise. Then they were disbatched within seconds, making them even the most ineffective and useless they've ever been. And while I'm at it, are these our universe's Cybermen? If so, why do they have Cybus logos? And if not, when did the Alternate Reality Cybermen get a fleet? I thought the ones in The Next Doctor were the last.

 

Oh well. Over now, and I'm more intrigued about where it's going next.

 

Oh, and incidentally - exciting news for Classic Doctor Who fans. Much like the DVD release of The Invasion, the upcoming release of The Reign of Terror (William Hartnell story set in the French Revolution) will have its missing episodes animated.

 

The only trouble is, I actually preferred the animated Invasion episodes to the original stuff! It looked much better! :)

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It feels unfair that you criticize an episode because it didn't deliver on what you speculated would happen, Chris. Screw the Cybermen, Daleks, Silurians and any other classic monster who is just coming back for ****s and giggles. Doctor Who is good when it's exploring new ideas, new settings (Napoelonic Wars with lasers) or new monsters (Headless Monks). I kind of exempt the Silurian from that last episode, though, because she was used well and in an interesting way, and the same applies to the Sontaran nurse.

Anyways, the episode itself...

I wasn't too fond of it on first viewing, but I liked more when I re-watched it. It definitely benefits from multiple viewings, much like "The Beast Below". It's a very good episode, all things considered. Stuffed with killer lines, but that's typical of Moffat.

Loads of fanwank in there. It feels more natural on a repeat viewing but is still vaguely distracting. I love the ending's huge, huge implications on the series. It begins to answer the question of who River is. I like it.


Though, I have to say this: Matt Smith is one terrifying mother****er when he gets angry. The man's more Doctor than anyone before. This generation of Doctor Who are a bunch of good actors.
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Did I miss that? When did that happen?

 

I guess you must have missed that. It was early on in The Almost People. The Flesh Doctor was struggling with the past regenerations. Right after he says the line about reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, he says "Would you like a jelly baby?" and that is in Tom Baker's voice. Going by Confidential, that was lifted from Robots of Death.

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This episode was pretty fun, but mainly because this show manages to impress me every week by how far it has come compared to the early days (note: early days for me means Eccleston, not Hartnell). It looks just great, even with its modest budget, and I love how the companions are actually part of the plot now. I liked the Cyberman (although I wish they had a bigger role, I'm still waiting on a big epic Cyberman or Dalek-episode that's actually fun to watch) and the Sontaran, but the headless monks stole the show for me, even though they didn't really have a lot to do. Very cool concept (monks with their heads removed so all they can do is blindly follow their heart, the church being terrified of the Doctor, the 'man who reasons'. There were lots of other awesome quotes that I can't recall right now).

 

This was one of those episodes that was filled with cool concepts, but as a whole I think the episode wasn't that great. A lot of time was spend on the mystery of River's identity, but they kept dropping these big flashing hints all over the place, which made the episode more annoying than it should be for me. The shot of Melody's nametag at the beginning of the episode could have been a red herring, but as soon as River started talking about her birthday all doubt was blasted from my mind. That's not even mentioning the fact that everyone made the connection between River and Amy's name ages ago. Fun little mystery for the kids to solve I suppose, which is probably more important.

 

I'll have to watch the episode again some day, but apart from the River revelation business which they just had to get out of the way I liked it. Can't wait for it to return. Series 6 is pretty strong so far, with Neil Gaiman's episode being the best Doctor Who episode I've ever seen (I've seen all of New Who and one episode of every classic doctor. I'm currently working my way through the first doctor's run with a friend, but it's going to take us a couple of months. We're taking it extremely slow - I doubt we'll ever finish it). The pirate episode was the only episode I didn't like.

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I'm pretty much going to echo what others are saying but generally this series has been excellent. Pirate episode was pure nob-rot, obviously, and the most recent two were disappointing overall if brilliant in places, but this is the best series of the new Dr Who yet.

 

My one major issue though is that Rory needs to stop

dying and then coming back to life

. It happens almost every episode and it cheapens the whole thing. One day he's

really going to die

and it'll have no impact on me whatsoever.

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Anyone else here a fan of Murray Gold's soundtracks? He's such a great composer, capable of handling action, comedy, epic wonder, and high drama with equal ease. In some cases, his music kinda reminds me of some of the old Lucasarts soundtracks.

 

This track in particular:

 

(This BBCode requires its accompanying plugin to work properly.)

 

seems to have a bit of a Peter McConnell vibe to it.

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  • 2 months later...

"Who are you? Why did you go to prison?" - Why bother Doctor. I don't give a ****.

 

That's the problem with the story arcs in new Doctor Who. They put something out there, make it mysterious for no reason at all, and expect me to give a ****. People go around saying stuff like "he will knock four times", "the silence will fall" (those silencers must really be into puns) and other crap that's completely unnatural. Then they stretch the mystery out, hype up the importance of the revelation and of course they can't deliver. River being the daughter of Amy? So what? It makes no difference. It's all pulling rabbits out of hats that's pulling rabbits out of hats in an endless, recursive cycle (Chris "let's turn mathematical concepts into plots" Bidmead would approve of that reference).

 

The only reason I'm watching this anymore is because it got the good stand-alone from time to time. The story-arcs can just **** off.

 

Actually, I'm not sure if I would call them story-arcs. They're more like catch phrases. A gimmick taken from the world of sitcoms substituting for mystery and plot development.

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"Who are you? Why did you go to prison?" - Why bother Doctor. I don't give a ****.

 

That's the problem with the story arcs in new Doctor Who. They put something out there, make it mysterious for no reason at all, and expect me to give a ****. People go around saying stuff like "he will knock four times", "the silence will fall" (those silencers must really be into puns) and other crap that's completely unnatural. Then they stretch the mystery out, hype up the importance of the revelation and of course they can't deliver. River being the daughter of Amy? So what? It makes no difference. It's all pulling rabbits out of hats that's pulling rabbits out of hats in an endless, recursive cycle (Chris "let's turn mathematical concepts into plots" Bidmead would approve of that reference).

 

The only reason I'm watching this anymore is because it got the good stand-alone from time to time. The story-arcs can just **** off.

 

Actually, I'm not sure if I would call them story-arcs. They're more like catch phrases. A gimmick taken from the world of sitcoms substituting for mystery and plot development.

 

Pretty much nailed it on the head. It's been a problem all the way from Bad Wolf (which turned out to be about... two minutes of Billie Piper glowing and magicking problems away with fairy dust from the Heart of the TARDIS [each sold separately]).

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I know what you mean, and you critique the show very well, but perhaps you're just not the right audience. I mean, the shaggy-dog-tale nature is part of its charm for me. I think the acting, ideas, plotting, and production are all very high quality. But it depends on what you like. It is a bit spectacle over substance. But it does have some substance, and the spectacle is enjoyable as well. It's a show that attempts to appeal to a mass audience, and succeeds, but it also has interesting ideas about identity and time travel and throwing Hitler into a cupboard. It's a modern day melodrama; and for me, it's enjoyable, interesting, and sometimes exhilarating.

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Yeah, Doctor Who's stories have always been serial in nature. I guess the main difference is that in the classic series they'd do four episodes for a particular storyline and then move on, whereas now it develops stories over the course of a season (or multiple seasons as the case may be). The good thing is that unlike most dramas nowadays, there are still plenty of standalone episodes that you can watch without having to have seen any previous episode.

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Let's Kill Hitler was abysmal on first viewing, but became quite good on second. Overall, this last two-parter was Steven Moffat's weakest, but I still think that was a very good episode.

 

River being the daughter of Amy? So what? It makes no difference. It's all pulling rabbits out of hats that's pulling rabbits out of hats in an endless, recursive cycle (Chris "let's turn mathematical concepts into plots" Bidmead would approve of that reference).

 

Well, "Who is River Song?" was never particularly interesting. "What is River Song?" was always more involving, and we're only beginning to see that.

 

Actually, I'm not sure if I would call them story-arcs. They're more like catch phrases. A gimmick taken from the world of sitcoms substituting for mystery and plot development.

 

I know what you mean, but I think I'm seeing this from a different point of view than you are. My main problem is that it's so into the idea of throwing questions and not willing to give out answers in any way that pays off. It's too busy being flash, and not busy enough telling a story.

 

Or, at least that's how that last two-parter struck me.

 

In general, it's fine with suggesting big questions and then not answering them - not yet, anyway. The "crack in time" arc from series 5 was fun. Here...there's a lot of juggling going on, and I'm having trouble seeing it all pay-off in a particularly meaningful way.

 

I'm liking the set-up, but I'm being blue-balled for answers.

 

I'm going to have to see the end of series 6 to make-up my mind. So far, I'm enjoying it as much as I enjoy any prime Doctor Who, but I do agree that the show needs to restrain itself a little bit and give more time to actual storytelling, less time to grand entrances.

 

We'll see. There's still a lot of potential here.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not one to complain, but part of me wants Doctor Who to be more like the 3D Easter trailer:

 

I think the story arc felt a bit restricting this season, though hopefully the effects of the season finale can be properly followed up, and The Doctor can be more of a mysterious, smaller figure in big events he has no control over (like that trailer illustrated).

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It was a strong season, yes. I think it will work better on re-watching it in later years, which I think previous seasons haven't been so good at. Especially when later revelations make you want to watch back and go "oh yeah, that was set up way back in this episode" or whatever. The library two parter is a good example of that.

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