Tuesday, September 18, 2012

[IGH] Tackles TV: The Doctor Returns

As I mentioned in earlier post, I recently became a Whovian, so it would be silly of me not to talk about the newest episodes of Doctor Who.

We're three episodes in to season seven, and already it's been a bumpy ride.

*Warning: Mild Spoilers (Nothing that hasn't already been announced)

Ep1 Asylum of the Daleks

What a way to start the season. I've watched it four times. It gives us a quick glimpse into the lives of Rory Williams and Amy Pond without the Doctor, and then throws us right into the crazy. It also introduces us to Oswin. I can't talk too much about her because that would give away too much, but she is amazing. She's like a female version of the Doctor, but human. She's who I imagine a child between the Doctor and Amy would turn out to be. Sassy, funny, brilliant, emotional, and wonderful. But if Amy and the Doctor had a kid, it would be a little too weird and complicated even for the Whoniverse. She's played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, who is slated to play the Doctor's next companion. How that is going to work out I have no idea, but I'm sure it will be good.

Ep2 Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

I wanted so much more from this episode. It has dinosaurs, a spaceship, Queen Nefertiti, Finch (David Bradley) and Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams) as Rory's dad. This screams storytelling gold, but unfortunately, it fell flat. The characters were underutilized or used poorly, and the story lacked substance. I don't need all of my stories to be deep and poignant like "A Good Man Goes to War" or "Vincent and the Doctor", but give me something like "Let's Kill Hitler." There was so much more they could have done with this. There were a few really great moments. I enjoyed meeting Rory's dad, Brian Williams, and seeing the interaction between the two of them, and there's a wonderful moment at the end with Brian looking at Earth that is just so touching. It's exactly what I would want to do if I ever had the chance to go to space (a gal can dream.)

Ep3 A Town Called Mercy

And we are back. This is a much stronger episode than Ep2. The tone of the episode is interesting. You'd think with the setting being the Wild West there'd be more humor, but no. There was more humor in Asylum of the Daleks than this. There's a darkness to the story. You get to see more glimpses as to why the Doctor should not travel alone. It's reminiscent of the 10th Doctor in "The Water of Mars." There's also an ambiguity to the story that I would love to see explored more in different episodes. Does someone's good deeds cancel out their bad ones? That said, I think the best part of the episode is Susan. You'll know it when you see it.

My biggest complaint about these episodes is the underutilization of the Ponds. It's established that they are not traveling with the Doctor as much as they used to, but when they are there, they feel like bit characters. The emotional vein is there. You can see how much everyone cares about each other, but let them talk and do stuff. Also, I miss River Song. I want more River.

I really like how they are setting up the Ponds' leaving. I know it will have a fantastic Whovian twist, but right now it's about growing up and growing apart. Everyone can relate to that.

I can't tell if the next couple of episodes are the ones that will really set the tone for the season, or if they will just be a conclusion to a wonderful ride with these companions. Either way, I'm confident that we're in for a ride.

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