EDIT: In Turn Left, the Doctor actually died during the events of the Runaway Bride, not Voyage of the Damned, as my idiot brain thought. I now remember Donna’s family having to evacuate to Leeds because of the radiation. Apologies, I am now selling everything Whovian I own.
I did Series One, Two and Three last time, time to dive into the next ‘three’. This includes the specials little series, and by the end of it, I’ll give some extensive thoughts of Series Five. Before we even get into it: I dislike Amy’s character. I would let Karen Gillan do unspeakable things to me and she’s a damn good actress, but the material she’s given makes Amy into nothing beyond a plot device. Anyway, let’s not get into that.
Series Four – Tennant and Tate
Voyage of the Damned
A horrible, horrible Christmas episode. I have never encountered such dismal television, horribly written and horribly acted, this is the only episode which (if given the choice) I would destroy. I know this episode’s story factors into a future tale, but it would be interesting to NOT see it happen. Horrible, horrible thing.
Partners in Crime
It’s alright, seeing Catherine Tate running around again is fun and the chemistry with Tennant makes the fourth series what it is. Donna is my favourite companion and this specific episode shows off the type of relationship we’re expecting. She’s the only companion bar Mickey and Rory who just doesn’t want the Doctor’s cock.
Fires of Pompeii
Nice visuals, for once, but otherwise just a padded out episode that goes nowhere. Look closely and you can see Karen Gillan as one of the nasties, awww they grow up so fast them plot devices.
Planet of the Ood
It’s… unsettling when you see people crying on television and you just can’t get around why. I just couldn’t get into this episode no matter how hard I tried, it’s sad really, when you consider the material here is actually damn good.
Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky
Just no. Bernard Cribbins is the best thing here while Martha goes off and acts horribly.
The Doctor’s Daughter
I don’t get this episode. The bit where the Doctor has his gun on the guy and you can see in his eyes he’s just over the edge, that’s damn good drama. Unfortunately we then go back to remembering this is just a horribly paced episode where, half-way through, a fish-man has a five minute death scene and we’re supposed to care.
The Unicorn and the Wasp
Fun but nothing meaty. It’s no doubt the funniest episode and the gal who plays Agatha Christie went on to play Sofia Lamb in Bioshock 2, see I am full of trivial shit. Although, like Bioshock 2, it’s weak on the narrative, somewhat shines but gives a good ride. It’s DLC however is much superior and I realise Who can’t have DLC. Shame.
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
I always regard these episodes as holding the biggest cockteases, biggest ideas and biggest hints more than any other bit of Who. I like it, but it’s perhaps too crammed at times and even though the main villains are damn creative… there’s just no drive. I don’t care when any of the people died, so stop trying to make me ca-WHO ARE YOU RIVER SONG. WHO ARE YOU. IT’S ALWAYS HANDCUFFS HAHA.
I almost wrote Minecraft for some odd reason. Midnight is an excellent piece of Who that explores just how powerless, how anonymity can crush power and goes beyond everything in order to show the Doctor in his weakest. It’s an episode with one set, yet it’s infinitely more powerful than those big visual show-offs such as World War 3, Voyage of the Damned and The Long Game.
Catherine Tate’s acting chops shine oh so bright in this episode, as we’re treated to a “What if?” reality in which the most interesting things happen. The Doctor dies aboard the space-Titanic thing seen in Voyage of the Damned and we’re treated to seeing just what would happen. It’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful piece of acting from Tate and a true show-off of Davies’ writing ability.
The Stolen Earth/ Journeys End
Such a big fat silly disappointing mess. We get everybody from all the episodes crammed into one and we’re treated to a problem that plauged Spider-man 3. I liked the film, it’s first half, but when you try and cram so many characters into such a little space you just can’t give them all their due. Rose coming back completely makes the Series 2 redundant and I feel ashamed for crying.
All in all: 5/13 it’s not the worst by far and it oddly has the best companion of all the series.
Specials: Tennant and lots of other people
The Next Doctor
Planet of the Dead
Michelle Ryan is a pot of gorgeous but even her good looks can’t save this abysmal waste of time. The ‘oooh we’re in a real desert!’ kind of winds down when the poor CGI button is flipped, such a shame.
The Waters of Mars
FUCK. YES. This was when my faith was re-ignited and I realised the absolute brilliance of Davies and company, it explored how dark the Doctor could get and I loved it. It wasn’t emo parker, it wasn’t the Valeyard (shame) but it was something spectacular in its exploration.
The End of Time
I think it speaks completely for itself. It’s less about the grand epic scale of GIANT PLANETS AND THE MASTER AND HE’S EVERYWHERE MY FACE IS IN YOUR FACE OH. MY. GOD. It’s more along the personal side of things, how attached Tennant was and how his Doctor’s reward wasn’t to keep his face, but to save another life. I cried buckets of tears as those lights shone from his fingers, such a sad, sad story. Thank you Davies for giving Tennant the send-off he deserved.
Series Five: Smith and Gillan and Darvill and Moffat Ruins Everything
I was saddened when Davies had to leave the head writing helm to Moffat, not because I thought Moffat would do a bad job (he would go on to fuck everything up) but because of something I realised not too long ago. Davies does stupid, long and filler-filled stories that go nowhere and are crammed full of cheap writing tricks. But, once in a while, he makes us cry and turn around and see just how wonderful he wrote the characters. He’s a man about characters, not of stories, and in a show that should run around science-fiction stories, it’s more driven by the characters. He’s Hideo Kojima in a sense, NANOMACHINES SNAKE RAIDEN etc. all stupid baloney but… when an Old Man is crawling on his last legs as the world ends, as his body is assaulted by mountains of heat… you just can’t help but care and cry.
Moffat comes along and decides to turn the show into LOST by basing the whole of Series Five around the ‘cracks’ and turning the massive plot twist into a giant cock tease. I liked how LOST ended, but it lived off of the intrigue and delivery, and less on the basic intrigue. Intrigue > delivery always, since you won’t satisfy every single person or every single idea. He also decides to base some episodes around Amy Pond, a plot device, who’s supposed to be our vessel for exploring the Doctor’s world yet she possesses multiple personality dis-order or poorly put together character dis-order. She’s dumb when the plot demands it, emotive when the plot demands it and clever when the plot needs it. She’s hot as pants, but I’d take Rory over her anyway, at least he’s… human.
The Eleventh Hour
A strong “throw the doors open” kind of opener, probably the best, it’s hilarious in its first ten minutes as the Doctor discovers fish fingers and custard. We meet Amy Plotdevice and are treated to an adventure that has the Doctor saving the world with a Blackberry and his headbox. Wonderful television… but it’s like being invited by Karen Gillan in for ‘some coffee’ and then finding out she’s actually an android. With a cock.
The Beast Below
HEY GUYS LETS MAKE A JOKE ABOUT THE WELSH AND THE IRISH. THERE’S A GIANT SPACE WHALE AS WELL, OH LETS SEE A BAD SIDE OF THE DOCTOR BUT DONE REALLY HORRIBLY. Poor Matt Smith, he’s so full of that Doctor charm and yet is given such dire material.
Victory of the Daleks
“Hey Steve, it’s me, Mark Gatiss.”
“Oh aite Mark”
“Aite, mate, can I write an episode of NewNewWho?”
“Sure man, watcha thinking?”
“Re-inventing the Daleks into Henry Hoovers/Teletubbies/Power Rangers.”
“Oh nice… sounds alright man.”
“The Doctor fights them, and wins, with the power of love.”
Stephen thinks for a moment, as if the ghost of Davies is tapping him on the shoulder disapprovingly. He turns towards his computer screen and is reminded that he’s an idiot playing with brilliance.
“SURE GO AHEAD MARK, OH AND MAKE IT POORLY WRITTEN.”
The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone
The Doctor runs around being chased by some statues and Amy is actually consistent for two episodes. For once she’s not clever or sassy or schizophrenic, but she’s on being ‘scared’. I like it when redheads are scared, especially when they’re hot. They always come to me for safety/ I am so lonely.
It’s alright, but I don’t like the way it puts River Song in and just hints and hints and hints and plays those old LOST tricks.
Vampires of Venice
Rory is fun.
If you revolve an episode around a specific character, Amy, then that’s interesting. However, she’s not Amy, she’s Mrs Plot Device and she likes the Doctor when the drama wants it/the writer wants it. Her choosing of Rory is completely redundant given next episode she’ll be all annoying and uncaring of him, and not in the “Oh I love you really way.”
Toby Jones showing up as the Dream Lord is unbelievably amazing.
Hungry Earth/ Cold Blood
Rory dies and Amy goes on to be inconsistent another day. The Doctor and a few other people, who might as well have no names, run around some blank motives and some great costume-work to eventually come to the conclusion that HUMAN IS BAD.
Vincent and the Doctor
So around eight episodes or so later, we get my third favourite episodes of Doctor Who ever. The plot about monsters is rushed away and we’re left with an artist with low self-esteem and little self-respect. I imagine myself in Gogh’s position, since I’ve fought depression myself. I think this episode is quite cheap in the way it plays with depression, but then I realise it’s actually kind of smart in its remedy, it shows potential. An unwritten future. The scene where Bill Nighy gives a massive speech about Gogh being the “One of the greatest man who has ever lived.” had me in fits of crying, good crying not Rose crying. Poetic and wonderful.
Pretty cute episode with Corden, who I dislike as a performer but I’ve taken a recent shine towards. The chemistry between him and Smith is like Donna and Tennant, it makes it all worthwhile, it’s just too bad the episode doesn’t deliver and at the end it’s all solved BY THE POWER OF LOVE.
The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang
When the Doctor appears from thin air in front of a plastic man, in the blistering cold, in front of a dead redhead, a few feet from Stonehenge, wearing a fez and holding a mop – you know you’re in for something special. The way Moffat played with timey-wimey in Blink was wonderful, but he seems to… well he repeats the same tricks to little effects. I feel Pandorica sets everything up and then Big Bang ends on this sad note. The Doctor dies so Amy Pond can have a life she never had, which is a shame given I hate the character. Oh and River Song shows up and pretty much has “COCKTEASE” written on her forehead.
All in all: 4/13 – ugh.
How I rank the series:
- Series One – Eccleston has the best Doctor, the hearty stories explore a Timelord with a deathwish and how one working class girl made him human again. Father’s Day is still my second favourite episode of all time and is a true testament to the power of a mad man in a box.
- Series Three – Simply put, the latter half is oh so worthwhile. It’s so beautifully exploits the Doctor’s emotions, tests how driven he is and shows us some brave things. We see a man choosing between living and dying, for the sake of a big blue box. Oh and Blink. It’s my favourite episode and a really good introduction to any new Who dude/dudette.
- Series Four – Donna is my favourite companion. She doesn’t want the Doctor’s timeprivates, she’s happily dopey and his mate and the chemistry between Tate/Tennant is wonderfully played off. It’s less about the stories and the characters and more about just how mad things can get.
- Specials – Waters/End of Time are fantastic, really show a side of the Doctor that we haven’t seen before.
- Series Two – Doomsday/Army of Ghosts makes this so worthwhile. When Rose goes, she’s gone and it hurts so much. A beautifully emotional piece of television, albeit with a lot of weak points.
- Series Five – Moffat takes control and ruins everything by turning the companion into a plot device and having the programme imitate LOST.
1. Blink – Scary, emotional, dramatic, wonderfully paced and written.
2. Father’s Day – A working class girl meets her dead father on the day he died.
3. Vincent and the Doctor – An artist with little self-regard realises just how wonderful he could be.
Tomorrow: My Doctor, The Companions and Why The Daleks and Cybermen are Rubbish
Day After: Torchwood, Series Six and Final Thoughts