Doctor Who has finally returned from hiatus. I can’t say I’m particularly fond of the new format of divided seasons, but then it isn’t up to me. So I’m learning to deal with it. There has been much discussion in fan circles over what to call this season, but I’m sticking with “second half of series 7.” In any case, it’s back and all the fans are happy.
Before I begin, let me insist I love this show. I have since childhood, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I also like to give tough love, however. So don’t think I’m not showing the proper respect. I just like to be bitchy sometimes. So here goes…
After spending a couple of seasons getting tired of Amy and Rory, this was a much appreciated change for me. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Amy and Rory. It was just time for them to go. The beauty of this series is that the principle characters (even the Doctor himself) have to change periodically. And the story of the Ponds had been told. Don’t worry, though. Those that love the Ponds will surely see them again. Being locked in another universe didn’t exactly stop the companion I refer to as “Chipmunk Puppy Love” from showing her teeth again on the show. So you Amy/Rory fans will see them again, I’m sure.
But it was nice to see them go. I wish the story that gave them an exit hadn’t included a plot hole so large you could steer a Galaxy class starship through it (sorry, wrong nerd show), but I digress. This entry wasn’t supposed to be about the lazy writing in the last Amy/Rory story. This entry is about a story I actually liked.
That’s right, folks. Mr. Grumpy Pants LIKED this story. It seemed to breathe some much-needed life into the show. Jenna Louise Coleman is adorable as Clara, and even Matt Smith’s Doctor seemed to have a new energy about him (possibly due to realizing that Amy was no longer around to be whiny, insulting, and cruel). The story itself seemed to stand on its own–something a lot of the Moffatt era has lacked so far. There was a balance of sci-fi and horror that harkened back to the classic era of the show, while at the same time appeasing new and younger fans with a wifi theme. It was engaging and fun.
I have been hesitant about the new companion, not because of the actress (I love her so far), but because of the mystery angle Moffatt seems to be spinning with regards to her. I am reserving judgment so far, but here’s the deal. Every single companion of the new series with the exception of Martha has been some sort of mysterious puzzle to solve (even non-regular companions like Captain Jack and River Song). As much as we all love a good mystery, the concept is wearing a bit thin. Doctor Who is best when it delivers strong stand-alone stories. When it veers into Lost-like season-long mysteries, I think it alienates viewers and abandons the principles that make it a great show.
I’m also hesitant to accept another companion who is in love with the Doctor. I have made peace with the fact that this is going to happen from time to time given what viewers seem to want to see, and have tried to refrain from picturing any of the companions making out with William Hartnell or Colin Baker. However, it’ been done. It’s played out. With the exception of Donna, all of the new series companions (again including Captain Jack and River Song) have been through this. Let’s take it in another direction and maybe revisit it later, okay?
Overall I’m reserving my rants. I was prepared to hate this new story given the direction Moffat has taken the show (which is unexpected, given he has written some of my favorite episodes), but I was very pleasantly surprised with The Bells of Saint John. It has given me a revived hope in the series. It has made me optimistic.
Oh, and the new TARDIS set rocks.
I can’t wait for more!