Friday, January 11, 2013

Doctor Who Season 5 Rewatch Part 1

I've reached the halfway point of my re-watch of season 5 and in short, it is sadly not revising my first watch impression.  I am liking Matt Smith a little bit more - I still don't think hes is bringing much originality to the role but he is really good at seeming young and old at the same time.  He makes me believe he's a centuries old time lord.  No small feat for an under 30 year old actor.  And he does bring some nuance to the character that is uniquely his so it may not be long before I am a fan.

Moving on to the episodes:

Episode 2 - The Beast Below

I like this one.  A bit heavy-handed with its "HUGE MORAL PREDICAMENT" but that's pretty typical Doctor Who.  Like the first episode, this is not one of my favorite stories of the series but its relatively unique and it has the creepy people in boxes which are very cool looking.  And its a Doctor Who tradition to ask those tricky moral questions like "If accepting and righting a wrong your people had done to another being meant destroying your planet and the human race would you do it or would you just prefer to forget that there even is a choice?"  The cycle of the queen and the way it plays out each time was also cleverly done.  

Episode 3 - Victory of the Daleks

This is where this season started to lose me.  We've already had a BRILLIANT two-part episode set in World War II London with The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances from season 1 - this episode can't hope the compare favorably.  And the Daleks again, some more.  Don't get me wrong I love 'em but we should at least be able to break them out for a truly dramatic installment.  And didn't Doctor 10.5, the half human Doctor, get exiled for committing genocide on the daleks (in Journey's End)?  Which then this doctor is turning right back around and wanting to do again, ahem, some more. 

Episode 4 and 5 - The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone

Weak Episode 3 is then followed by these two aggravating episodes.  A) Once again, we've seen the Angels before in the extremely awesome Blink from season 3 where they were properly scary and fascinating.  These episodes manage to make them just your average everyday monster with armies and evil intent, Ho hum.  Seriously, all the cool is sucked right out of them. B)  I'm going to say it, I am not a fan of River Song.  I don't like her shtick, I don't like all the coy ambiguous "Who is she?" shit they play.  It could just be personal prejudices because I'm spoiled on what's to come and I DO NOT like it.  And I don't really pick up on any chemistry between her and the Doctor.  C)  A lot happens for no particular reason but to artificially ratchet up the tension (Like leaving Amy and the guard behind, while the other three get to another part of the ship).  It's weak and lazy. Huff... Grump Grump Grump.  D)  And this is where I really start to dislike Amy.  The romantic assault on the Doctor (though in her mind she believes River Song is the Doctor's wife), the betrayal of her fiance.  I get it  - commitment is scary especially for someone with an intense fear of abandonment - but there are many simpler and less hurtful ways of expressing these neuroses - like not agreeing to marry someone until you've dealt with your shit.  And I know I'm being harsh.  Rose was equally cruel to poor Mickey but she wasn't in love with him, they weren't engaged - I don't know why but I can forgive it more easily. For whatever reason, for me, it had a different dynamic.

Episode 6 - The Vampires of Venice

And now we enter the part of the season where it's all about Amy and which of the men in her life will she choose.  And Rory tagging along after her like a lovesick dog (again shadows of Mickey).  And it's about here I realize, how nice it would have been to have a middle-aged fellow as the Doctor's companion.  I really liked Isabella's dad and wouldn't mind someone like him running around being heroic with the Doctor.  And there was that push for Wilf...

Episode 7 - Amy's Choice

Despite my annoyance with everything Amy and Rory, this episode is really quite good and I think the strongest of the season thus far.  Which reality is real and which a dream - in many ways one represents the Doctor's ideal, one Rory's. It all seems up to Amy to choose which is the most real reality?  It's all being manipulated by the mysterious Dream Lord (played by the awesome Toby Jones) who seems to have it in for the Doctor.  This hostility becomes more interesting when the Dream Lord's identity is finally revealed.  It's all very Doctor Who and therefore on the plus side despite the "Who will win Amy?" ridiculousness. 

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