Can We Stop Pretending This Season Of Doctor Who Was Good? [Opinion]

Posted by on October 5th, 2011

A good friend of mine, frustrated by the current, sixth, season of the rebooted Doctor Who summed up relatively positive fan reaction to the current series thusly: “nobody wants to say anything bad about it because they are afraid it will be taken away from them.”

So it is with full knowledge that I love the Doctor and hope his TARDIS adventures continue on ad infinitum that I make the following statement. The recently completed sixth season of the rebooted series is easily the worst since the 2005 relaunch. A moribund plot, confusing big bads, stalled motivations and one particularly overused side character served to ruin an initially compelling Doctor-Companion tandem and left a humming mythology in neutral.

Full breakdown, including spoilers (sweetie), AFTER THE JUMP.Amy’s story is done

In her first season, Amy Pond was a girl who briefly saw the adventures held in the expanses of the universe outside of her tiny town. Sure, a trip to the edges of time and space by way of the TARDIS was preferred, but you got the sense that a weekend trip to London would have gotten her 75% as excited. The Doctor meant escape and she was uniquely rambunctious enough to handle it. This meant skipping directly past the doe-eyed “Wot do ya mean we’re in SPACE?!?!” naivety of previous companions (See: Tyler, Rose) and headlong into energetic adventures.

And then… Rory.

Her “love triangle” between the Doctor and fiancee in season five was really a decision between her desire for love and security versus adventure and excitement. Once you resolve that conflict, the story is over. The first time we see Rory and Amy in season six it’s as a domesticated couple separated for some time from the Timelord. They decide to respond to his letter with all the enthusiasm of visiting an old college friend. Not exactly heart-pounding motivation. In short: what is left for Amy to achieve?

Oh wait! She’s quickly saddled with a is-she-or-isn’t-she pregnant storyline that’s barely touched through the first half of the season (aside from glances by the Doctor to flickering medical scan) and a hunt for her infant daughter (now revealed to be the pointless River Song, more on her later) which is promptly forgotten about within the 15 minutes of “Let’s Kill Hitler”. Past that, no mention of the baby. Everyone seems perfectly fine with the reality that her infant daughter was kidnapped and brainwashed into a killing machine. Amy seems no more like a mom at the end of the season than she does at the beginning.

In the meantime, we get no conflict between Amy and Rory. Or Rory and the Doctor. Or the Doctor and Amy. They all just happily move along from plot to plot content that everyone has healthy relationships which are only addressed if it means reinforcing what we’ve already learned. Amy loves Rory. Doctor loves Amy platonically. Rory thinks the Doctor is a really nice guy.

For an adventure show, the writers gave a formally rich character nothing to work with. Emilia Pond left viewers as the Boys and Girls Who Waited For Her Not To Be Boring.

River Song is a pointless character


What point does River Song serve?

She’s not a character, she’s a puzzle. A walking Su Doku consistently pestering you that you’ve yet to learn all about her without giving us any reason to CARE why we would want to.

She eventually marries the Doctor. He eventually bangs her. We get it.
Yet, she wasn’t always a boring waste of time. When introduced in the excellent two-parter Silence In The Library/Forrest Of The Dead she cut the figure of a classic Who cameo character. Packed with mythology and an artfully illustrated reminder of the consequences our Timelord faces by jumping back and forth through people’s lives. Each little hint about the world beyond for The Doctor was tantalizing. So… they stretched. And stretched. And embellished. And added.

And now we’ve learned she’s the daughter of Amy and Rory, yet no one’s behavior or motivation is changed by this major revelation in the slightest. Empty calories.

The Silence might be the greatest force for good humanity has ever known

So, The Silence have been on Earth since the Stone Age controlling the path of human civilization. In that time, we became an extremely prosperous race teeming with life and ready to expand into the universe. We are told this is part of a really long con to trap and kill the Doctor. Why? Because they believe a legend that they will “fall” when the Last Child of Gallifrey answers the question “Doctor who?”

You know what these guys suck at? Killing the Doctor. Bright side? They are really, really awesome at running the human race. Can they please come back and do that more? I am almost positive that we can track the Doctor’s actions in forcing us to kill each Silent as the reason our national debt as ballooned over the intervening 40 years.

What’s memorable?

For my money, the only stand alone season seven episode worthy of the pantheon of Post-Reboot Doctor Who Hall of Fame is the Neil Gaiman penned gem The Doctor’s Wife.

Other than that, we got nothing as daring and inventive as Blink or any unexpectedly awesome villain performances like Harry Lloyd’s familial murder squad in Human Nature/The Family Of Blood. No awesome genre story like season one’s Father’s Day. Hell, we didn’t even get a future movie star doing a terrible American accent like Andrew Garfield’s suh-tharn der-all infused Daleks In Manhattan.

In comparison, season five gave us the classic introduction to both Amy and the Eleventh Doctor in The Eleventh Hour, Doctor’s self-loathing complex opus Amy’s Choice featuring a scene-stealing Toby Jones and WWII Dalek romp Victory Of The Daleks, which served as the debut for new side character Winston Churchill.

I have faith the next season will be better. I have faith that every one of these problems can be repaired. I trust my Doctor. Or more specifically, show runner Steven Moffat.


33 Responses to “Can We Stop Pretending This Season Of Doctor Who Was Good? [Opinion]”

  1. shadowguy Says:

    I think one of the problems was that Moffat was trying to juggle so many red herrings about how the Doctor would survive (the gangers being the biggest one) that he didn’t leave himself enough time to flesh out the actual storyline causing him to drop things like saving baby Melody. 

    This article is pretty close to how I feel, but I still had a blast watching this season, and to me that’s all that matters in a show I watch. I think moving past Amy is a good thing, but I would love to see more adventures of River and the Doctor, without worrying about explaining who she is.

  2. shadowguy Says:

    I think one of the problems was that Moffat was trying to juggle so many red herrings about how the Doctor would survive (the gangers being the biggest one) that he didn’t leave himself enough time to flesh out the actual storyline causing him to drop things like saving baby Melody. 

    This article is pretty close to how I feel, but I still had a blast watching this season, and to me that’s all that matters in a show I watch. I think moving past Amy is a good thing, but I would love to see more adventures of River and the Doctor, without worrying about explaining who she is.

  3. Rebecca Marie Kocsis Says:

    I didn’t even watch the second half of the season because I was just so bored with the whole ‘Amy-and-Rory-are-River’s-Parents!’ storyline by the end of the mid-season (the episode with evil eye-patch lady).  I feel like the writing just got too self aware, too much of it was about the Doctor and how he has a billion plus enemies and is the most hated and feared figure in the galaxy.  It was boring; I’m a pretty big fan and I don’t really mind Smith as the Doctor but his supporting characters have gotten stale.  I think River should’ve been meted out slowly over a longer period of time instead of ‘oh hey, here’s River you won’t see her for a few years until you see her in EVERY OTHER EPISODE.  And she and the Doctor will probably bone.’

  4. Rebecca Marie Kocsis Says:

    I didn’t even watch the second half of the season because I was just so bored with the whole ‘Amy-and-Rory-are-River’s-Parents!’ storyline by the end of the mid-season (the episode with evil eye-patch lady).  I feel like the writing just got too self aware, too much of it was about the Doctor and how he has a billion plus enemies and is the most hated and feared figure in the galaxy.  It was boring; I’m a pretty big fan and I don’t really mind Smith as the Doctor but his supporting characters have gotten stale.  I think River should’ve been meted out slowly over a longer period of time instead of ‘oh hey, here’s River you won’t see her for a few years until you see her in EVERY OTHER EPISODE.  And she and the Doctor will probably bone.’

  5. Michael Kolodoski Says:

    WARNING! Spoilers within!

    While I agree with you on a number of points, I also think you’re looking at this series on the wrong context. At its core, series 6 is a murder mystery. To be precise, this series is a whodunit mystery. Who kills the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut? The interesting thing about this mystery is we approach it from two separate angles.

    Amy, Rory, River, and Canton are all witnesses to the Doctor’s death, with only the Williams “family” really on the case of preventing it… except they can’t because it’s a fixed point (though the concept if a fixed point is never really explained in the series satisfactorily other than being a writer’s tool), nor can they tell the Doctor because of… spoilers?. This idea of a fixed point is hammered at again and again over the series. We are told that what happens on that beach has to happen. Indeed, time itself unravels when River intervenes to stop it in the finale The Wedding of River Song, which was completely unnecessary because the Doctor had already fixed it by outsmarting the Silence.

    The other perspective is that of the Doctor himself. The Doctor is a clever chap and knows something is up when he meets his companions in the diner after they witnessed the demise of a 200-something year older version of the Doctor. Most of the series is clues as to how the Doctor will figure out what happened and how he will get out if it. The whole series is littered with possible outs for the Doctor: the gangers in Rebel Flesh, the Teselecta in Lets Kill Hitler, and the possibility of crossing time streams and having a duplicate from later in time like Badass Amy (my name for her) in The Girl Who Waited.

    Ultimately, the whole whodunit mystery is a total waste because we know the Doctor cannot actually be dead. He’s the title character and has a multi-use Get Out of Death Free Card at his disposal. The Doctor picks an utterly predictable method to escape his demise, the Teselecta. Speaking of the Teselecta, just who are these time traveling, miniature, probably humans in a shape-shifting robot from the future handing out justice to war criminals in the past? That is never answered, though I suspect just a plot device that will be discarded and never seen again except in the background as a wink to fans of the show.

    There’s some character development during this series, though in many ways, this series feels like merely a conclusion to the Amy/Rory story. I don’t know if the pair is returning for another round next series, but it feels like their story is at an end except for a few sprinklings with River as we learn more about her and the Doctor’s relationship, as I’m sure we will in series 7. Amy is no longer the scared little girl waiting for the Raggedy Doctor to save her. But I do agree with Justin here that her character has not developed that much this series.

    Now let’s talk about the big bad of this season: the Silence. So is the Silence the organization created by Madame Kovarian or the strange alien creatures that make you forget them as soon as you’ve looked away? Or is the Silence something more, the answer to the “first question” that must never be answered, “Doctor who?” The idea of the question is a bit cheeky and fourth-wall breaking, but a nice wink to fans… unless it’s actually a plot device. Is the Doctor’s actual Gallifreyan name a plot device? Furthermore, why should the question never be answered? I find it likely that it’s just Moffat breaking the fourth wall for a bit of a laugh, but if it is a plot device, I will be disappointed. All the way back in Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, River reveals to the Doctor that she knows his name, but the full significance of this has never been revealed, even though the Doctor in that episode says there’s only one way she could know that.

    So was series 7 enjoyable? Absolutely. Was it flawless? Not in the slightest. But in all honesty, that’s what I expect from Doctor Who. It’s a show that weaves all sorts of plot devices and hooks into the story that may or may not ever be taken up by another writer. Russel T. Davies left things untidy in case Moffat or other writers wanted to pick them up, and it feels like Moffat is doing the same. I do hope we see the TARDIS in human form again, especially if penned by Neil Gaiman.

    Having recently powered through all of Breaking Bad before the new season started, I’m having a bit of a hard time re-adapting to shows that don’t have such tight continuity from episode to episode. Everything about Breaking Bad is tight and done for a reason, something atypical in the standard television series. Doctor Who all over the place with plot devices and characters and doesn’t quite feel like a cohesive universe. Breaking Bad has spoiled me on standard television shows just a bit.


    Edit: Stupid Disqus formatting fixed.

  6. mariberries Says:

    I agree with Justin on most counts that this season of Doctor Who was not that good.  But I still enjoyed the show and watched every episode and
    would be heartbroken if the show was canceled. 

    I also hope that the Amy and Rory story is finished.  I don’t mind
    revisiting them during specials, but we need a new companion.  I think
    now is the best time to see River Song be the new companion.  I agree
    she has been annoying this season, but I did like her character in the
    beginning. If she could shed the “I know something you dont know”
    attitude, you could fill in some interesting colors to her character.  She is an assassin, and she is a tough chick who wont be going “OHHH SPACE!” for the first 5 eps of the season.  And it gives the show a chance to (FINALLY!) grow up a bit.

    I know Doctor who was a kids’ show back in the day. And in the 2000s reboot, he was a teenager chasing attractive women around the universe. Though I can’t tell if the marriage is one of convenience or if he loves River Song, he is now married to her which should change the game a bit.

    I think Moffatt spent all his build-a-mystery bucks on Sherlock, because
    that show had some really great mysteries.  The astronaut on the beach
    was pretty weak.  He can do better than that.

    My wish for the next season: Let’s get some juicy plots and let’s delve into some good characters.

  7. Inquisitr Says:

    Thank you for saying it, I thought I was alone

  8. Flscarnage Says:

    The series’ problem was that nothing was resolved except the Doctor’s death in the first episode. The point River Song serves is to be interesting. And the reason nobody seems to care that she was kidnapped as a child is because of the domino effect rescuing her would have. If they rescue her than River Song would never have existed. But I would say that the good outweighed the bad in series 6.

  9. Flscarnage Says:

    They can’t save Melody because it would make it so that River Song never existed and they aren’t done with the story of her and the Doctor yet.

  10. Stacy Says:

    Someone actually said it!!!! Thank you!!!!

  11. JustinRYoung Says:

    Excellent analysis and I agree with nearly all of it. Specifically the “fixed point” thing. It’s a MAJOR writer’s crutch. One of my favorite parts of the Father’s Day episode was that when a “fixed point” was fucked with the universe started skipping and crazy dragons tried to eat the people that created the disturbance. THAT was a great way to distinguish a “fixed point”: crazy dragons.

    I also agree that we need to stop with the “universe is going to end” or “Doctor is going to die” threats. They aren’t happening, we feel no tension. 

  12. JustinRYoung Says:

    You are not wrong for loving it. Love is a subjective emotion. I would relish a friendly debate on the merits of this season versus previous seasons, but only because it’s fun to debate stuff like this.

    To be honest, I only wrote this because I feel that if I didn’t say what I DIDN’T like about this season than my unrestrained praise for the rest of DW would ring hollow. 

  13. JustinRYoung Says:

  14. JustinRYoung Says:

    One note based on reaction:

    I do not want Amy to go away. I still think she’s a uniquely amazing companion. I just want her to get something to do. Give her some motivation. Some angst. How about killing Rory? (crosses fingers)

  15. Niggler Says:

    I don’t agree I’m afraid. I have noticed that people become far more critical of a series the more popular it gets however and you are not the only person who I’ve heard say similar things. I think the last two series of dr who has large audience appeal and you can’t have this without also alienating some viewers. The storyline is watertight and steadily progressive as opposed to the huge reveals we had in previous series. This has been by far the most enjoyable dr who I have watched.

  16. Darthcoupon Says:

    I have to say that without reservation, I believe that anything Moffat has written having to do with the Doctor these past two seasons is better than any of the Davies stories by far. Therefore it is hard for me not to revel in each new Moffat episode regardless of the relative merits from show to show. Its like the Davies era was a disappointing blue ball tease and afterward we actually had someone who would put out. 

  17. Josh McDarris Says:

    Not the most memorable Doctor Who season to be sure. The massive gap between the first and last half of the season may have heightened our expectations a bit as well. The season did feel like it was a bit lacking, however I still enjoyed it being a die hard Doctor fan and can only hope for a bigger, better season next year (not to mention the Christmas and Easter specials).

  18. James Thatcher Says:

    JuRY here’s the thing… I agree, I’m not loving this season… it’s frankly ok, but it’s not a rollercoaster that I was hoping for. I like Smith as the Doctor, but it’s just starting to get predictable… I guess I’m nostalgic for the old days of Tom Baker or Colin Barker (am I really THAT old?), where even if you saw someone in a green rubber mask, you could at least believe that it was real because it was a good story. 

    I don’t think River Song is pointless, but I agree that she’s really not moving the plot (whatever the plot is)… Moffat needs to engage us, but I’m afraid a good deal of his creative juices are now flowing over on Sherlock… so it’s going to be a very interesting season next year.

    One final thought, and I know I’m alone in this (so let me ramble) – I like that there was a tip of the hat to Nicholas Courtney and the Doctor calling up Lethbridge-Stewart; but I want  U.N.I.T. back (and I mean the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, not the unified intelligence taskforce {yes, in this regard I’m a purist}). I mean, Torchwood gets to go off and gallivant around (we don’t even know when the next set of those episodes are going to come out), but Moffat really missed the mark and didn’t do a U.N.I.T. spin off, I think viewing a purely military view of the alien and time science and tech really would be interesting, especially to those of us growing up watching Star Trek and TNG…

  19. Anonymous Says:

    The only thing that I disagree with you on is having faith in Moffat. I’m a huge Coupling fan and was really excited find out that he would be taking over DW, especially considering that he had written some great episode. However, after two seasons of watching him turn the show from one of the greatest science-fiction series’ into little more than an annoying soap opera (that frequently ignores science), I want Russell T. Davies back … especially since it’s unlikely that Moffat would ever work with Richard Coyle again and I would love to see Coyle as the next Doctor.

  20. Dunny Says:

    1. Amy’s story is done
    Couldn’t agree with you more, they stretched and stretched and when it came time for her to say goodbye to the Doctor there just wasn’t any weight to it, at least not the way there had been with previous companions (Martha & Donna respectively). I felt relieved, not because they were finally ‘safe’ but because I could finally see an end in sight for their time in the TARDIS. I thought the scene with the Silence mentioning Rory’s perpetual resurrections (can we call him Caprica Rory from now on?) and Amy’s speech to Kovarian was arguably the most enjoyable scene with the two of them all season. We should have seen their swan song much earlier.

    2. River Song is a pointless character
    I don’t agree with this as much, but I was disappointed in her reveal. Characters that are hyped that much rarely ever live up to the expectations and speculation surrounding them. River, however, lived up to the speculation surrounding her perfectly…and that was the problem. She IS Rory & Amy’s daughter, she IS the Doctor’s wife, and she WAS the person in the Astronaut suit. As a Who fan, I’ve come to expect being wrong about where the overall plot was headed, this time I wasn’t (many of us weren’t) and I think that’s where the new distaste for River is coming from. We got the speculation right, which drove our expectations in the other direction.

    3. The Silence may be the greatest force for good humanity has ever known
    Agreed, snazzy dressers too. Wish Canton could have had the foresight to get that Silence to say, “You should get us all out of sight, then get yourselves out of debt, limit yourselves to one carbonated beverage per day, and exercise 

    4. What’s memorable?
    Here’s where we diverge. Can we please stop pretending the Neil Gaiman episode of Doctor Who was good? I’m not saying it was bad, but people have been ranting and raving about this ep all year. I felt like I got a paragraph from a well written book interspersed with TARDIS sex toy jokes, which isn’t bad but it wasn’t the gift from the heavens everyone thought. The BBC pinched pennies and it showed IMHO, perhaps I expected too much again? Personally, I felt the 2 part ganger episodes (Rebel Flesh, Almost People) were the best full eps of the season. You got a bit of Rory character development without Amy pushing him towards it, 4 (or 8) memorable one-off characters, a glimpse of what it’s like to hold 10 other personalities inside your head, and internal foes that must be fought externally. I also felt ‘The God Complex’ was much better on the second viewing and that ‘Closing Time’ could have been great if the Cybermen hadn’t came off so silly.

  21. Derleth Says:


    Although I agree with some of the points you made (The “will they/won’t they” plot device used with Amy and Rory wore a bit thin), but I will have to disagree on some major points. At this point in the mythology, we are very close to the Doctor dying for the final time, which presents with a number of problems that the writers seem to be having trouble with.
    First off, we have a huge legacy issue. The writers by and large are trying to stay true to the original Doctor Who serials. This creates a huge problem, because they can’t really go many places that they haven’t already gone. Not only that, but a show that is this long in the tooth has so many rules and past events that have been set up by the mythology previous to the current doctor, that it is extremely hard to take his character outside of those limitations.
    Now, on to where I disagree. Up to the fifth season there were no new villains. And no, I’m not talking about the villain-a-week trend, I’m talking about real villains. The Daleks. The cybermen. These are awesome antagonists that enable the writers to explore the character of the doctor in a deeper way, and until the Silence, the writers were just trying to recycle the old shows in order to keep the fan base. The silence are a real threat here, and I enjoyed the sixth season for the simple fact that I couldn’t see a way out for the Doctor (the last episode excluded). When the daleks show up anymore, they aren’t special, mainly because they look FRAKKING STUPID, but more so because you know that they are going to get vanquished by the end of the episode, with no real threat to the Doctor. The season 1, and season 4 finales were the ONLY good dalek episodes because they portrayed how scary they can be, and there was no way out except for the jumped shark of Donna Noble and “Bad Wolf”. Basically what I am saying here, they needed a new villain that could actually beat the doctor, save a miracle. I’m not necessarily saying that the Silence is that villain, but they are damn close.
    I disagree with you entirely on River Song. A companion for the doctor that can actually diffuse the sexual tension that ruined Amy for me? Yes, please. Look, The doctor is close to death. And no I’m not talking about the hinted, “fall of the 11th”, I’m referring to the fact that Time Lords can only regenerate 12 times before dying. Can’t the character finally get some lovin’ this close to the grave? I don’t suggest another “Moonlighting” disaster, but the writers have shown that they can make her a very complex character. Not only does she have great potential, but she can see the doctor as an equal, where none of the previous companions really could. They were one dimensional female bimbos that marveled at the littlest thing. The writing staff has a unique opportunity with River to not only introduce a strong female character in the role for once, but to give us a fresh perspective on the doctor. The show up to this point, has really been driven by the view that the companion has of the doctor. I for one am tired of the dumb dame view of the doctor. (Please note that I am not trying to be sexist here, I am only trying to portray my hate of the sterotype that Dr.W’s writers give women)

    Anyways, I’ve probably burned my lasagna by this point, so let me just say this. I don’t disagree that this season had its share of bad episodes. But at least they were watchable. Thank god we got away from some of the campyness in the first few seasons of the reboot.

  22. Stacy Says:

    Noooo… Rory is adorably awkward! I agree with your opinion on the writing for this season Justin… but you leave Rory alone!! 

  23. Bob Fossil Says:

    Frankly, as long as Karen Gillan is in it, I will watch?  Shallow?  Yes, very.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting post, Justin. I think I’ve been feeling the same thing about the series ever since season five.

    I’m a relatively new convert to Doctor Who fandom. About a year ago I devoured the first four seasons on Netflix during a month-long marathon session. I enjoyed the series immensely. I couldn’t wait for the next season to show up on Netflix and so I bought the DVD set for season five and spent a week watching that. That’s when the series lost its momentum for me.

    Something seemed to be missing. I felt that the show was trying too hard to tell me stories and characters were awesome, but not showing me why they were awesome through great storytelling. I’m probably not explaining it clearly, but to me the show wasn’t as great anymore. I haven’t watched the sixth season yet, I’m willing to wait for it to show up on Netflix and give it a try.

  25. JustinRYoung Says:

    Ah yes! But see, the audience would feel loss for Rory. Consequences would be heartfelt. Characters would be changed forever. This makes for good drama.

    I am not saying you should totally kill Rory, I am saying they should do SOMETHING to give us motivation and momentum toward something.

  26. JustinRYoung Says:

    God Complex gets +1 for Shining-esqe atmosphere and I really enjoy Craig as a foil for the Doctor. However, by the third “are they gay?!?!?” joke I was kind of weary.

  27. JustinRYoung Says:

    For the record, I actually watched this season straight through. The only episode I watched on BBC America was the finale.

  28. DeAndre Cole Says:

    I agree with Justin. While a fun enough show was presented, it lacked much in writing, making some story line points confusing and ruining past stories. As I see it, the reason(s) the writing (and ultimately the season) was a poor writing as compared to the others from the rebooted series are the following: 
    1. Steven Moffat has/had other stuff to do. He was probably focusing on something else and didn’t enough time to write and coordinate the entire season. He’ll probably focus on season 7 more, since writing for the current season of Sherlock and the script for the Tintin movie is done.
    2. Maybe (and this borders on the insane and conspiratorial) it was on purpose. Could it be that Moffat and all the writers planned to do this on purpose, to set up (what I hope to be) an amazing season 7.

    May the fields of Trenzalor raise even more the shining star of Doctor Who.

    “Okay, here it is – the best answer you can have. I don’t know. If I did know, I wouldn’t tell you. When I DO know, what I know will change, so I won’t really know then either. And then it will change again, so I still won’t really know. And if, secretly, I’d really known all along, I’d still be telling you I don’t know, because everything I said I knew, could be wrong, so I’d never really have known in the first place.” Steven Moffat clarifying Series 7.

  29. DeAndre Cole Says:

    Given how some characters are becoming pointless and confusing, they could write some new ones in (not saying I don’t like Karen Gillian, Arthur Darvill or Alex Kingston, but their characters are, like I said, becoming pointless and confusing). They could even bring back character we haven’t seen in a while, like Captain Jack or Jenny.  Also, do a episode akin to The Five Doctors.

  30. Susie Sullivan Says:

    But they did kill Rory. I even grieved a bit. And they took it back because Doctor Who is a children’s show now. (Or, more obviously so than before…)

    Amy forgetting about her baby is beyond explanation though.

  31. EbonNebula Says:

    I tend to agree. The season defiantly started with a bang, then wound down to a fizzle. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed some of the stand alone stories, but the main story ark was hollow and unsatisfying.

    There were an obnoxious amount of missed potential going on. in the episode titled “The Girl Who Waited”, they manage to paradox up a second Amy Pond, who is a bad ass, familiar with advanced technology, AND filled with anger and bitterness at the Doctor. They killed her off at the end of the episode. WHAT?

    They could have let her go. Old Amy could have hooked up with young River Song for a mother/daughter big bad team. Think of the mixed feelings both characters have for The Doctor, and how Rory still feels about Old Amy. There’s the ever present possibility for another universe breaking paradox. Mother effin drama and suspense. There is easily enough pieces to put together an epic story ark. She could have also been set aside as the plot device needed to snap Amy and Rory out of suburbia, out of the blue. But instead, she was killed for a momentary baww.

    There are allot more

  32. Dan Salt Says:

    Excellent article, thanks.

    I’ve found myself similarly schizophrenic about this series, bouncing between “it’s crap, confusing and self-indulgent”, to “maybe I’m just getting old, and I should have more faith in Moffat”.

    I’ve watched DW since Tom Baker (and from the beginning on DVD, video, etc. since then).

    I almost can’t believe I’m saying this, but since the Doctors return in 2005, I miss the “mindless fun” of the RTD stories. I miss crying unashamedly at the TV, or grinning when the Doctor gets excited about something. Since Moffat took over, it’s all got a bit grim and morbid. I’ve missed the “big bang” story-telling that RTD was so good at. People might have criticized him for writing “thin” stories, with little character development, but at least most of them were actually stories in their own right. At least I felt like I was having fun with Rose, Jackie, Mickey, Donna, Wilf. I almost don’t watch an episode of Who now in case something even more morbid or sad happens to Amy or Rory. 

    With the exception of the “Doctors Wife”, I’ve felt that I’ve seen no real actual “stories” for much of Moffats tenure. Just a bucket-load of story arc, plot and questions sandwiched between opening and closing credits. “Let’s Kill Hitler” was possibly one of the most self-indulgent episodes I’ve ever seen. Almost 100% “plot filler” and nothing else. What was the story about? Yet people loved it (on forums I’ve read), because it showed us River Song. Meh…

    I’m with alot of people on the forums — I love Alex Kingston, but I couldn’t care less about River Song. I liked her *much* more when she was, like the Doctor, an “enigma”, left dangling in the air at the end of the “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” two-parter. Since then, we’ve learnt too much, and the reality given to us could never match the millions of stories people all over the world have been imagining ever since first seeing her, thinking we’d never know the answers…

    I think the problem stems from the fact that deep down we *want* the Doctor to be a mystery. We *think* want to know more, but really we don’t. We want to be teased. We don’t want to know about his daughter, his wife, his childhood – we just want the Doctor. The “edge” of him being unknown and all alone is what keeps the series alive and fresh. If we’d wanted to find out that his Wife is really his companions daughter etc, etc.. we’d have watched a soap opera (insert your favorite). I don’t want to watch the Doctor slowly become human, I want to watch him as a stranger we all know, and love.

    I worry that the 50th Anniversary is going to disappoint me. It might be a good “3rd Anniversary” of Steve Moffat stories, but is it really going to live up to a 50th anniversary of the Doctor?

  33. steven87gill Says:

    Also because of the split schedule, it felt like the finale had been split in two as well, I’m trying to imagine a parallel universe where we got a normal 13 week run with a two part finale which incorporates all the major plot points of A good man goes to war, Let’s kill Hitler & The wedding of River Song. Trim the excess fat and you have a potentially mind blowing finale, and no big 4 month gap where we over-guess, over think and get our hopes up.