Tag Archives: Clara

My Doctor Who Dilemma

I’m at a bit of a crossroad. I love Doctor Who, but I’m seriously considering not watching until he regenerates. I know, I know, it seems extreme.

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

I don’t hate Matt Smith. He’s taken a while to grow on me; I have come to enjoy him as The Doctor, not as much as David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, but I do like him. He is a great Doctor with an incredible ability to evoke every feeling possible from you when watching him (The Doctor’s Wife and Vincent and the Doctor). Lately, the only feeling that he’s bringing about is boredom. I am ready for him to move on and a new Doctor to take shape (cough, cough… Tilda Swinton).

I can’t blame him for my current feeling towards the series. Some of the blame lies on Steven Moffat and the other writers for “fumbling the ball,” lately. I’m quite partial to the Russell T. Davies/early Moffat days (not just because Tennant was The Doctor for the majority of them), and I’m really missing that era. I feel the writing was a little more creative and enthralling, then. I’m not saying Moffat has become a horrible writer or anything; he has written some of the best episodes of Who, ever (Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead). I just think he hasn’t been putting a lot of effort into writing DW. At times, it feels like he’s throwing darts at a dartboard of ideas and going with whatever he hits.

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Take for example, The Bells of Saint John, the most recent episode. One might figure that for a mid-season premiere and after a seemingly long break, this episode would be more of a nail-biter, but it ended up being a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. This episode felt more like what the series premiere of a US version of Doctor Who would be rather than the actual British series. [If a US version ever happened, I would rain hellfire down on whatever studio was producing it. You can be damn sure of that. And I wouldn’t be the only one.]

A non-threatening object is killing people (sort of) when they’re not expecting it, because they don’t expect it to be dangerous. Sound familiar?

No one expects a statue to zap them back into the past to die a slow, normal death but if you take your eyes off of them… Bam! Blink, and you’re dead.

No one expects to be downloaded into a database of souls just by clicking on a mysterious wifi source but once you do… Bam! Click, and you’re dead.

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

See the similarities? Like I said, a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. And I think the writers knew the episode was gonna be like this, and that it wasn’t going to as good as Blink, so they threw in a scene of The Doctor riding a motorcycle up the side of a building. What?! Like I said, feels more like a US version premiere. They also had him use the TARDIS to pop inside a plane that’s about to crash in order to stop it from crashing–that’s something I could see The Doctor doing, not hot-wheelin’ up a building. It’s just too “action star” for The Doctor. All flash and no substance.

I think the relationship between The Doctor and his new companion, Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman), works really well. They do have an amazing chemistry, kinda like a mix of Doctor/Donna banter and sass with a bit of Doctor/Rose flirtation. I’m hoping this will develop more as the series goes along, and she’s not killed off again.

My main concern is about the writing. Will it get better as the season continues? Will the stories envelop me more like they did in seasons 1-4? Will they make me want Matt Smith to stay for another season? As of now, I’m ready for him to leave after the 50th anniversary special. I mean, he could regenerate in the next episode, and I wouldn’t mind.

And while we’re on the subject… Given that I’m iffy now about the current state of the writing for the series, I’m a tad bit fearful for the anniversary special. I really hope that Moffat doesn’t screw it up and does something like remake The Three Doctors. I’m ecstatic that David Tennant and Billie Piper are returning, though I don’t know in what capacity. My fingers are still crossed for Christopher Eccleston and John Barrowman returning as well, but only time will tell. I don’t think I will, but there’s always a chance that if Moffat screws this up, I might stop watching. I think a successful anniversary special is what I need to restore my faith in Moffat and maybe even help me to like the idea of Matt Smith staying on for another season.

But for the time being, my dilemma is should I keep watching and hope that I’m not disappointed or take a break until the anniversary special and save myself the anguish? What to do, what to do?

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It’s a Doctor Who Christmas Special!

Possible spoilers! You’ve been warned.

The Doctor and Clara. (image source: BBC)

The Doctor and Clara. (image source: BBC)

Whovians rejoiced on the night (and afternoon, in some parts of the world) of Christmas Day when the BBC debuted the newest Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen.

Since the mid-season finale aired months ago and we were left with the saddening (yet welcome) departure of the Ponds, we have eagerly awaited The Doctor’s triumphant return and the conclusion of the seventh season. Personally, I’ve been waiting for Matt Smith to wow me like he did in his first Christmas special, The Christmas Carol, because I’ve become rather bored with him. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready for his regeneration to happen. Sadly, I don’t think that’ll come about until after the 50th Anniversary.

Until then, I’ll just have to hope that he continues giving performances like he did in The Snowmen.  I was entertained, much more than I was during last year’s special. Actually, the entire episode was very entertaining. It was full of thrills, chills, mystery, laughs, and a not-so-well-executed Sherlock Holmes impersonation. It did have its hokey moments but not enough to ruin it.

Set in Victorian England, viewers are introduced to a young, friendless boy who begins a sinister relationship with a snowman, brilliantly voiced by Sir Ian McKellen. The snowman turns out to be a parasitic entity seeking to take over the human race and turn them into ice people. Flash forward to 1892, and the friendless boy has become an evil older man; Doctor Simeon (played by Hudson Hawk baddie, Richard E. Grant), is preparing his army of snowmen for the takeover of mankind on Christmas Day.

The Doctor looking spiffy in Victorian threads. (image source: BBC)

The Doctor looking spiffy in Victorian threads. (image source: BBC)

But where is the Doctor while all of this is going on? Sulking in the TARDIS, sitting high up in the clouds, not to be bothered by anything going on down below. He’s become a broken, melancholy shell of a Time Lord since losing the Ponds, and he doesn’t want anything to do with the world. No more saving people or worlds, no more investigating, no more adventures, just sulking and reading.

Enter Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), the soon-to-be new companion, who stumbles upon the snowmen and reinvigorates the Doctor’s sense of adventure. She’s sassy, spunky, clever, witty, and keeps the Doctor on his toes, just what he needs in a companion. She resembles Souffle Girl from Asylum of the Daleks and at the end of the episode, you’ll find out why.

When she discovers the snowmen, as well as a menacing old woman in a frozen pond, are linked to thoughts, including those of the children she governs for, she seeks out the Doctor’s help in stopping them. With the assistance of Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey), she brings the Doctor out of his slump and gets him back in the game. Of course he manages to save the day, he is the Doctor after all, but he loses Clara in the process. Well technically, she defeats the snowmen by crying, which is the hokey part, but whatever. She dies in the end…again. But the Doctor figures out she’s actually Souffle Girl (sorta), and he’s off again to find her in another time period. And that’s the lead-in to the second half of season seven.

The best parts of this episode:

  1. The schtick between Strax and The Doctor is priceless. Strax is pretty damn funny.
  2. The chemistry between Clara and The Doctor is ten times better than it ever was with the Ponds.
  3. The Doctor should wear Victorian clothes more often. He looks much better in them than he does in his regular attire.
  4. The Doctor pretended to be Sherlock Holmes and failing miserably.
  5. The “bow ties are cool” reference was especially hilarious.
  6. Spiral staircase into the clouds, leading to the TARDIS.
  7. The new look of the TARDIS interior is stellar!
  8. Ian McKellen’s voice. Wicked.

The worst parts of this episode.

  1. Old ice woman in the pond was lame.
  2. Expecting more action from the snowmen, didn’t get much.
  3. Clara/Oswin died, again. At least they didn’t say she was a clone or something stupid like that.
  4. The Doctor Simeon ice zombie puppet routine was laughable.
  5.  It ended.

 

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Songtaran Carols!

I’ve been feeling very Whovian this week, what with the Christmas special being Tuesday (“The Snowmen” at 9 p.m. on BBC America) and all.

Merry Christmas to me!

So, concluding my week of Doctor Who-ness, I wanted to post this:

Songtaran Carols! (as interpreted by Strax)

Flanked by Vastra and Jenny, Strax puts his unique spin on some favorites, doesn’t he? Wonderful! The Doctor and Clara popping in just adds to the merriment.

I love videos like this where you can tell the actors are cutting up, having fun and a general jolly good time!

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