Lair of the Geek

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A Look Back At Series 7 of Doctor Who

Contains spoilers and personal opinion

Review By: Martin Popov

Series 7 of Doctor Who had once again been highly anticipated. Firstly it was off T.V for the biggest gap since It’s return in spring 2005, the Daleks would be returning, there would be a return of classic Daleks, the Weeping Angels would be also returning and the Ponds would be leaving. It was also another split series with ½ being shown this

side of Christmas.
The Asylum of the Daleks had been talked about for a long while and The Doctor Who magazine had even had a fold out front page and a poster. Moffat had said that every Dalek which had appeared in the series would be on screen. The episode had some great moments. The Doctor was back on Skaro. It is interesting that the 7 th Doctor had blown it up in Remembrance Of The Daleks in the 80s by tricking Davros into using the Hand Of Omega. I’m sure there is some Timey Wimey reason why it is still there. The Dalek People Drones were freaky and scary and showed some real body horror even though I feel the idea that they used to be people had not really been addressed in it’s horrible glory. I found it a little jarring that Amy and Rory seemed to have spent so much time away from the Doctor and were having relationship problems but they were both great and Moffat addressed some very adult material which I always approve of  in a children’s/family programme. The fact the Daleks find Hatred beautiful brings a whole new depth to the Daleks. Unfortunately I have 3 huge problems. Firstly the Classic Daleks were almost absent from the episode. I am a classic series fan and even knowing what I was looking for I hardly noticed any old time Daleks. You can find still pictures of the episode on the internet but they are badly lit, in the background and covered in dust. When the Doctor happened to go through the Ward of Daleks which had faced him I thought this is it! But they all seemed new types it was such a shame that so many props were obtained but NOT used to full affect. None spoke either as I
would have liked to have older Dalek voices like Roy Skelton. I know Skelton passed away but they could have still included clips of his voice. Secondly the Bronze Daleks were back which was great as I hate the new paradigm Daleks but how all of a sudden the 2 types are getting on. No explanation of how or why. Thirdly I also feel the introduction of the new companion was a damp squib. I spend a while thinking is that the new companion, I realised it was, I loved her as she is just brilliant, then she was a Dalek which I had worked out already but knowing she was the new companion it was  completely unemotional as I guessed she would probably be back. The ‘surprise’ didn’t work for me!

Dinosaurs on a spaceship
I felt was also a let-down. It was a fantastic story idea and once again Matt Smith acted his socks off. Firstly the ‘friends’ who The Doctor went to pick up. WHY? Why did he go and pick up some random people and most importantly why doesn’t he do this more often. It seemed forced and inconsistent with The Doctor. I understand that Russell T Davis introduced the idea of The Doctor needing someone
to travel with. The Time Lord Victorious from The Waters Of Mars is the ultimate example. Moffat has kind of continued with this but it just felt forced. Towards  the end of the episode I was shocked The Doctor killed someone. I understand he indirectly killed someone more due to inaction but he still technically killed someone. I love how the revived series has expanded on the Dark side of the Doctor. I do wonder if Solomon was such a bad guy he deserved to die. Lastly I felt the title of Dinosaurs On A Spaceship was over used and hyped up way too much. The fact there were  dinosaurs on a Silurian Ark makes perfect sense and in the series continuity wasn’t silly. But by the time it was explained to me it had felt too silly to, in my mind, revert to sensible. On the positive side it was obviously fun and seeing the 11 th Doctor on the  back of a Triceratops was hilarious.

A Town called Mercy
Was a wonderful wonderful episode. I felt totally engrossed. It felt like a good classic Doctor Who story. Showing that bad guys are not entirely bad and have good points. The fact that The Doctor maybe isn’t entirely good and sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the right thing to do. The setting was also realistic and felt like the wild west. The 3 Amigos idea of having everyone dress up as Kahler-Jex was clever and shows how using your brains gives you more than the 2 obvious options. Kahler-Jex giving his own life at the end was possibly obvious but was still a little moving and worked well.

Power of 3
felt Doctor Who from 4 years ago. Contemporary setting and cameos from  a few celebs. The idea of a slow invasion was genius and while I’m sure it has been addressed before, no examples spring to mind and it felt fresh. I could honestly see people getting used to the strange black boxes and just using them for paper weights and door stops. Rory’s Dad, Brian, really came through and the idea of him keeping a log where nothing happens but he just keeps it up is great! It was a little cruel, but funny, of the writers to have him fall to sleep when finally something happened. The Doctor going on the slow path was well shown and gives an example of why he always traveling,
he gets bored! It was bold move to cast Kate Stewart daughter of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. I completely disagree with killing him off in the series. I feel It would have been much better to leave him stranded in Peru. But Kate was brilliant and I just hope she gets more screen time in the future.
Angels in Manhattan
Was a huge let down for me. The statue of Liberty Weeping angel was one of the most stupid ideas I have ever seen on Doctor Who and it immediately caused my loss of interest in the story. Is Moffatt suggesting that nobody looked at the Statue in one of the most highly populated cities in the world while It was stomping about?!?!?!? I also felt the angels were underused and were not that scary. I did like
how their ability to send people back in time was re-explored. Rory seeing himself die was very disconcerting but almost straight away you knew that The Doctor and/or River Song would find a way around it. It showed how Brave both Amy and Rory were as
they jumped off together but the explanation behind what was going on seemed a little silly. The only thing that saved the episode was the ending. I don’t feel as emotionally involved with Doctor Who but Amy leaving was heart breaking and Matt Smiths face
after she blinked and was gone was AMAZINGLY POWERFUL acting! I did feel it happened all too quick but isn’t that how endings happen? In real life they can’t be planned and stretched out so it felt real and raw!

Firstly my opinion is Doctor Who hasn’t been the same or as good since David and Russell left. The breaking up of series for me makes it feel like as soon as the series has started it’s over. I felt the series was a sandwich of brilliance with let downs book ending it. The ideas are ok but I feel the delivery was poor and the realisation slightly unrealistic. Matt Smith is a wonderful Doctor and does get some wonderful lines, scenes and episodes but unfortunately he gets more than his fair share of bad writing.


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