So it’s been announced that Steven Moffat is leaving after Series 10 which is being shown in Spring 2017 and he is being replaced by Chris Chibnall for Series 11 and there has been some predictable responses from certain sections of fandom. One twitter user tweeted a joke which perfectly sums it up ( How many fans does it take to change a light bulb? – Thirteen, one to change it and twelve to say the last one was better)
I’ve enjoyed most of the Moffat era and I think Series 9 was one of the consistently strongest series in the shows long history and have high hopes for the next series.
Not showing it until Spring 2017 is a good thing I think, it means the Christmas special goes back to being the fun curtain raiser to a series rather than feeling like a bit of a comedown after a epic series finale. Also it takes the show out of being used in the ratings battle between X Factor and Strictly and hopefully return the show to a earlier time slot.
As for Chris Chibnall I’ve enjoyed his stories he’s wrote in the past and I’m intrigued enough to see what he will do in charge, he certainly has a good track record on other shows.
Sadly I have a sneaky suspicion that Peter Capaldi will leave with Moffat which if correct I think will be a big shame.
Anyway we still have another Steven Moffat series to enjoy before the next change and I’m optimistic about the future especially as many feared the show would end with Stevens departure.
To quote the Mighty Tom “It’s the end but the moment’s been prepared for”
So we reach the third story of the series although to be honest it feels like two stories with the same recurring character. Both are fun romps with some nice character moments. Peter Capaldi is clearly having fun in the role and it’s infectious.
Masie Williams also gives a great performance particularly in the second episode where she has more to do.
The Mire are forgettable but reasonably effective in the role they need to perform, it was sad that Brian Blessed didn’t end up playing the leader as his replacement didn’t really work and the less said about the Monty Python Odin in the sky scene the better!
The reason for The Doctor choosing his face is a good enough one but maybe the real reason isn’t revealed yet. Maybe it was to remind him he can’t save everyone especially as it seems saving Ashlider is going to come back and cause him trouble. The flashback to Donna and Tennant was a nice moment, we forget the relaunch has been running for long enough to have it’s own sense of history.
The second episode is also a good romp but has a bit more depth to it particularly in the scenes between Capaldi and Williams looking at the downside of living forever and why The Doctor dosen’t travel alone, it’s a theme that’s been touched upon before both by RTD and Moffat and I have a feeling we’ll be coming back to it.
Again the villan is secondary to the story but is effective enough and looks good with a touch of Thrail about him and maybe the amulet opening to new dimensions is a way to bring Gallifrey back.
All in all whilst these episodes are slighter than the previous ones they’re still great and this series has yet to put a foot wrong.
So my complete rewatch ends with the first Peter Capaldi season. As will become evident I love the 12th Doctor and I’m hoping for a lengthy run.
Deep Breath kicks things off in style and we get the Vastra gang back which I suppose makes sense to give those viewers missing Matt something familiar while they acclimatise to a less user friendly Doctor. The story itself is a good one with some lovely scenes especially the clara holding her breath scene. Not quite sure why Clara has a problem with him regenerating seeing as she’s been in his timeline meeting them all. Also it’s very believable he’s forgot parts of his past and is less human following his hundreds of years isolation in Time of the Doctor.
Into the Dalek is another excellent episode, nice to have a different spin on the Daleks and we get more examples of a Doctor more intrested in the big picture and less with people. The “top layer if you want to say a few words” line is one of my favourites. The soldiers are good characters and The Doctor’s immediate dislike of soldiers seem a little out of place, maybe another aftereffect of his time on Tenzalore and obviously to set up the Danny Pink subplot. It’s refreshing to see the whole of a relationship from start to finish.
Robots of Sherwood is next and I know a lot moan about it but I think it’s a lovely glorious fun story. The show needs variety in tone and style or it just becomes boring. The Sheriff is wonderfully camp and the merry men are entertaining.
Listen is a story that has polarised fans but I love it, the idea of a invisible presence always with us is a excellent one, Moffat is slowly ticking off all our childhood fears. Also we meet a future Pink stuck at the end of the universe and little boy Pink completely linked to Clara, I enjoyed the slow burn nature of their relationship being played out too. The last scene is the one that gets all the Moffat haters foaming at the mouth as Clara appears to imprint on a young Doctor. At the time I wondered if it was actually The Master she was talking to and as it’s never been explicitly stated who the boy was, suppose it still could be but even if it was The Doctor I don’t mind the scene.
Time Heist is next and it’s another fun romp, a good central story with a good mystery and clever resolution. Keely Hawkes gives a good performance too and I like the two thief characters, this series is giving us some good supporting characters.
The Caretaker comes up next with The Doctor going undercover at a school and meeting Danny with the pair disliking each other. Danny’s reactions to discovering this feel very real and his observations on The Doctor aren’t far off the mark.
Kill the Moon is another that polarises fans, I do agree that the ending is a bit silly but the first part is good, the creatures are effective as is the threat and even the schoolgirl character isn’t annoying.
Mummy on the Orient Express is a highlight of the series, a very classic era feel to it and again a credible threat with a good resolution. Someone on twitter observed about Frank Skinner’s characters that only The Doctor aknowledges or talks to him (only exception is The Captain but that’s only when he’s also seeing the mummy) leading to the possibility that he was behind it and will be back soon.
Flatline follows and is another good story, again a good concept that’s creepy and well realised. The Boneless are a good new foe and the scenes of them are effective.
Forest of the Night is another people dislike but it’s a sweet story and again I like the concept behind it. The kids are a bit annoying but they’re meant to be. We also get some nice character moments for Clara and Danny.
The series concludes with Death in Heaven two parter and it’s so nice to have a longer story again. It’s a excellent story and a natural progression for The Cybermen to learn how to convert the dead with a little Tinelord help. Missy is revealed to be The Master and I must admit I love her character, it’s such a fun interpretation of the character and actually feels the closest to Delgado’s performances. They share that glee with killing and goading both their victims and their friend. She also has great chemistry with Capaldi.
Danny’s sacrifice at the end is the perfect end to his story as he proves all his points about The Doctor. As for the CyberBrig ending, yes it feels a bit crass but he was dead and it feels very Brigadierish that he would break the conditioning to save his daughter and kill the enemy who plagued him for years.
I’m including Last Christmas in with this blog as watching it feels like the epilogue of the Clara/ Danny story. The dream creatures are a good threat and even Santa makes sense once explained (must admit I groaned when the post credit scene appeared at the end of series 8 ) Again we have a good group of supporting characters. Clara’s story feels done, how sad and fitting would it have been if the elderly Clara scenes had been their final ones.
So the complete rewatch is up to date and we head into uncharted waters with Series 9.
So some leave from work and regularly scheduled insomnia means I’ve rattled through Series 6, this carries on I may catch up in time for Series 9.
I really enjoyed Series 5 on rewatch so was quite looking forward to Series 6 and it didn’t disappoint.
Christmas Carol kicked things off and like Russell before him Steven Moffat’s first Christmas special is his best. While the story isn’t orginal (recommend seeking out Moffat’s short story Continuity Errors) it’s done so well and Michael Gambon is excellent and it looks wonderful.
The series kicks off properly with The Impossible Astronaut 2 parter and we get the Doctor’s death as a subplot that will thread through the series. The actual story is a good one, The Silence are wonderfully creepy and the premise of the child is intriguing on first watch and everything makes sense on rewatching with your foreknowledge. One thing that stood out however was The Doctor starting to regenerate when he’s later meant to be the last (there’s also a line in Kill Hitler about the poison preventing regeneration), I know it’s because of real life reasons during the 50th (War Dr created when Chris pulled out) but when rewatching it sticks out fictionally.
Curse of Black Spot comes next and it’s enjoyable enough with some good moments but it’s a story that becomes a bit forgettable after.
The Doctor’s Wife is a lovely story. The Doctor finally gets to talk with his TARDIS, it sounds silly until you watch it. House is a good concept too, poor old Rory gets put through the wringer again. Also I love the TARDIS’ line to The Doctor when he complains about her never getting him where he wants “but I took you where you needed to go”
The Almost People 2 parter is next and this is a favourite of mine, we get a classic era vibe base under siege story as a new species emerges, there’s a good moral dilemma underpinning it and like the Silurian story from the last series shows humanity at its worst dealing with age old prejudices coming to the surface. This is a story that always bears up to reviewing.
Good Man Goes to War is next and we learn the truth about River Song. The story is a bit style over substance more concerned with advancing the overarching subplots amid a few set pieces. We meet some new “old” friends of The Doctor all of whom are ok in this story even Strax who isn’t quite the comic relief buffon he becomes.
Let’s Kill Hitler follows and really it feels like a Part 2 (I suppose if the series had aired continuously it may’ve been presented that way) and like it’s predecessor it isn’t really a story in itself as we meet the newly regenerated River who’s programming kicks in to kill The Doctor. Unfortunately this is where things fall apart for me, Amy and Rory just accept the loss of their child and what’s going to happen to her. If the show wants to show emotional stories then you need to follow things through properly.
Night Terrors follows and it’s a bit of a boring one, the only good bit was the transformation into the dolls. Definitely one to forget.
Girl Who Waited thankfully is wonderful and a highlight of the series. The idea of the diseased living their lives in peace is nice and the scenes with old Amy are great, here we have emotional impact and Rory’s pain feels real too.
God Complex is also a nice story with typical Who melding of the ordinary with the extraordinary. The characters are all well rounded and there’s a good idea behind the story.
Closing Time follows and we get Craig and The Cybermen. It’s a nice story with some amusing bits mostly involving the baby and The Cybermen are actually creepy for once, this type of smaller scale story works for them.
Wedding of River Song wraps things up explaining The Doctor’s death. The way out for The Doctor seems obvious (it was that or a flesh avatar) but I like those early scenes of the mashed up Earth and it’s good to see Churchill again. I’m glad they kept it to a single episode.
Overall this series was another good one, there’s quite a few excellent stories there and I enjoyed the rewatch.