Monday, October 1, 2012

No More Doctor Who For a While

The mini-season of Doctor Who is now over and, all in all, I think it was a really good season.  Maureen Ryan, in her review of the season, was disappointed because she didn't think the episodes leading up the the conclusion showed enough of the Ponds. 

And that's what has bothered me most about this shortened season; not just the shortcuts and compressions, but the fact that the shortcuts and compressions didn't serve a Pond-worthy exit arc. A lot of time has been devoted to what the Amy and Rory mean to the Doctor -- and there were some sweet moments along these lines in "The Power of Three" -- but what about what they mean to the audience? We not only care about them as a couple, we respect Rory's steadfastness and devotion as well as Amy's courage and fearlessness. Why didn't we get to see more of those qualities? Why not show us more about what we loved about them -- not just their love for each other, but their bravery and agility as companions and characters? 
 Basically she thought that Amy and Rory were inconsequential to the first few episodes.

I agree with her but I considered that a feature not a flaw.  Oh don't get me wrong, I like Amy and Rory in general but I was ready for them to leave at the end of last year.  I was really not looking forward to this season because I thought it would be more of a mess on the Pond-front like last season was.  And it would be heavy on the Pond "exit arc". 

But fortunately, Maureen Ryan was right and they were fairly inconsequential in the first three stories and so it didn't matter.  I could just sit back and enjoy the adventures.  Which I did.  Very much.

I thought A Town Called Mercy was one of the best episodes of Doctor Who in a few years and partly because of the cinematography.  Oh sure it was full of cliche "western" movie shots but they all worked.  It was a visual treat.  And Murray Gold's score was good - I've missed his over the top movie style scores the last couple of years. 

I like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.  It wasn't high drama or anything, just good old fashioned Doctor Who fun.   Considering that I usually don't like Dalek episodes, Asylum of the Daleks was very entertaining mostly because of Oswin.  I figured Oswin for a Dalek early on but that might be because I had no idea that the actress playing Oswin was the person cast to be the next Doctor's companion.  I thought the Amy/Rory are divorced story dumb but ... it didn't matter!  It wasn't really important.

Finally in The Power of Three we had a nice Amy/Rory story and I thought it should have ended with them choosing to stay home and not travel anymore.  But nooooo.   So we have the big farewell episode.

Why, I ask you, is it necessary to have big farewell episodes?  I know, I know, I'm jaded because my favorite companion, Sarah Jane Smith, was simply dropped off by the Doctor one day without a backward glance.  That's the way Companions are supposed to leave in my Who universe.  All this 21st century drama isn't my cup of tea.  But I knew it was coming so I could prepare.  

So, to me 4 out of the 5 episodes were very entertaining and the 5th was ok enough that I didn't mind watching it.  I call that a winner of a season.