Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who is Coming Back

Charlie Jane Anders has a Wish List for the Fall Doctor Who Season and I basically agree with all of her suggestions.

I’ve been thinking about the first part of Series 6 in anticipation for the beginning of part two (which I’ll have to watch through iTunes).  I’ve liked the storyline about Flesh Amy and Constantly Dying Rory and Who is River Song.  On the whole I think the Steven Moffat era has been high quality and overall has contained more interesting episodes than the RTD era.  But … I do miss the high emotion of the RTD era and I find myself wishing for slightly less complicated puzzling and a touch more emotion. 

I’m not really complaining because on the whole I love the Steven Moffat era.   RTD era plots were often silly in ways that Steven Moffat episodes are never silly.  And during the RTD era there was too much emphasis on the attraction that some of the companions felt for the Doctor.  I like that Moffat had the Doctor emphatically reject the idea of any canoodling with Amy Pond.  But … the RTD era regularly had episodes that brought tears to my eyes and/or smiles to my face.  I don’t find myself tearing up and/or smiling as much these days.  Mostly my face has a screwed up look as I try to figure things out.

The thing is, I really like Matt Smith’s Doctor.  I like that he is a young actor who plays the Doctor like an absent minded, eccentric old guy.  I like that he can pull that off.   But I don’t think he’s given enough to work with in terms of emotions. It isn’t that I think he can’t do emotion, I think that he isn’t given enough emotion to do.

The last episode, A Good Man Goes to War, was supposed to contain moments where the Doctor reached his highest high only to be plunged to his lowest low.  But the way it was written, things happened so fast that there was no time to feel a high or really to feel a low.  I was too busy trying to just figure out what was going on.  Highs and lows are emotions.  Emotions take time.  There just wasn’t enough time. It’s odd that the Flesh story was a two=parter when the whole story could have been told in one episode but A Good Man Goes to War, which could have used 2 parts, was crammed into one episode.

Maybe the problem is that I’ve seen the RTD series.  Maybe for those who haven’t seen it, they aren’t missing anything.  But compared to the highs and lows that David Tennant (or even Christopher Eccleston) reached during the RTD series, I didn’t feel that  this episode was the character of the Doctor’s highest high or lowest low.  It’s almost as if Moffat never saw the RTD series.  Ten would get angrier and/or sadder during any average episode than Moffat has ever allowed Eleven to be at his very angriest or saddest.   And nobody could possibly be higher than Ten at his most manic.  Even Nine had that wonderful moment of happiness when the nanogenes figured out that Nancy was the mother of the gas mask child -- which in retrospect makes Nine seem happier than Eleven has ever been.  And that was a Moffat script – so he can write highs if he has to.  But notice that he built that up for Eccleston to act over a two part episode.

So I’m waiting to see how the second half of the season works out.  I trust that most of the loose ends will be tied up and we’ll find out the answers to most of our questions.  But I’m still waiting to hit the emotional heart of this season.