Well, you’ll notice that I haven’t been doing individual reviews for Doctor Who episodes like I used to, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching! (It just means I’m lazy.) So it’s time I reviewed the rest of the recent series of Doctor Who.
Starting with ‘The Bells of Saint John’, the Clara Oswald mystery kicked off. I thought it was a nice episode overall, definitely feeling much more series-premiere-ish than ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ was. It introduced the new Clara well, and set the stage without being too boring. ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ was also a nice episode for the first adventure of a companion, in the vein of ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ and ‘The Beast Below’. It also had some great music!
After these, however, came ‘Cold War’. It wasn’t necessarily a bad episode, per se, but it just felt too much like filler. There was no point to the situation, and the story doesn’t make you care about the characters. The next episode, ‘Hide’ started excellently and was quite scary in some scenes, but it annoyed me a little that the episode changed from a thriller to a love story towards the end. Then came ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’, which was really cool as we got to see lots of action (especially the best type of action, the running-down-a-corridor sort!). This was also the first step towards Clara’s mystery being solved, as before that there really hadn’t been any attention paid to the story arc.
‘The Crimson Horror’ came next, and I personally think this was the best episode this series. The return of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax (spinoff please, Mr Moffat) was really nice, especially with Jenny, who stepped out of Vastra’s shadow to show us just how competent the Victorian maid-warrior could be on her own. They showed that they were great characters in ‘The Snowmen’, but this story really proved it, in my opinion. We also got the distinct Northern atmosphere, giving the right mix of humour and mystery, not to mention some great accents (there’s trouble at t’mill!).
‘Nightmare in Silver’, though written by Neil Gaiman, was merely mediocre to me, mainly because I didn’t like how the children were written. They were written to be unenthusiastic and, in Angie’s case, really bratty. This was not really how I saw them to be in ‘The Bells of Saint John’ and I’m not really sure if that’s just me or if there was a lack of communication between episode writings. The excellent dialogue between the Doctor and the Cyberman in his brain, however, was brilliantly done and certainly redeemed the episode somewhat.
And finally, there was the explosive finale: ‘The Name of the Doctor’. The action was great and the monsters were frightening, but I thought that the Impossible Girl mystery was a bit lackluster in the end, since we’d already seen this idea with Bad Wolf back in Series 1. It was still a good finish to the season though, leaving us burning for more with John Hurt’s revelation at the end.
All in all, I didn’t find Series 7 to be spectacular but it was still enjoyable to watch. I thought the reason it wasn’t as good as previous series is the lack of story arc and two-parters, in contrast with Series 6 in which more than half the episodes were interconnected. This makes episodes seem more like filler, and we don’t get to dig as deep with individual stories.
What did you think of the series? Are you excited for the 50th Anniversary Special? Who do you think John Hurt’s character is? Tell us in the comments?