Be warned- the following post includes spoilers!
Last night marked the much-awaited season finale of BBC’s hit show “Doctor Who.” This finale was set to wrap up questions that have been teasing audiences all season, in addition to possibly answering the biggest question of all- doctor who?
I’ll be honest- I have not been blown away by this season. Time and nostalgia for the Ponds has made me look more favorably upon the episodes before the split, but even then, I recall not being wowed. It felt to me like Moffat was trying to make viewers dislike the Ponds so that their leaving would hurt less. That said, I greatly enjoyed all the episodes- other than “The Power of Three.” The addition of Brian Williams may also have been one of my favorite plot points to date.
Then came the Christmas special. I wasn’t blown away- but I just assumed that this was due to my great dislike of change. I loved the Ponds deeply, and seeing them replaced was hard. But that said, I enjoyed Clara. The weird snowmen, the half-baked plot and the allusion to a classic Who villain who wasn’t properly explained for new fans, however, lost me.
But I gave it an open mind. Like I said, I liked Clara. She was cute and witty, her plotline was shaping up to be extremely interesting, and anyone who could go round for round with Rory in a game of “who can die more?” had me interested.
But in general, this season just really failed to wow me. Each episode had a lot of quirk, and a great chemistry between the two actors. Each delivered their lines with spunk and gave it their all, which left me with the assumption that my lack of interest was due to the plot lines.
“The Bells of St. John” gave us a great scene of Eleven as a grumpy monk in isolation, and the WiFi plot reminded me of former head writer Russell T. Davies. Props to the scene of the TARDIS appearing on the south bank of London as a street performer, but once again, the unexplained inclusion of the Great Intelligence left me cold.
“The Rings of Akhaten” (which I originally bad talked) may actually end up being my favorite episode from after the split. The scenery was gorgeous, the soundtrack amazing, and it was a creative and new storyline. However, the end just kind of left me “meh.” It felt like the writers attempted desperately to squeeze in the Clara plotline with a random leaf that isn’t a leaf- it’s memories- but also still a leaf? I was confused. Greatly.
“Cold War” was boring. Just like the Cold War. I can’t even remember what happened, other than that Clara was rocking some awesomely frizzy hair and shoulder pads.
“Hide” had me more excited than any other episode this season. The preview looked great, and as an avowed fan of ghost shows, I was imagining a great 70’s throwback “who done it” with a romp around and old castle and scary old grounds and a ghost. And for the most part, the episode really lived up to my expectations. The graphics of the ghost were a little weird, but as the episode went on, I liked it more and more. Until, in a classic DW move, the ghost turns out not to be a ghost, but the imprint of a crashed astronaut. The ghost lover that I am wishes that they had just run with the ghost story line, but I didn’t hate this episode at all. It was a good stand alone, that would hold up to multiple viewings.
“Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” teased viewers with answers, before snatching them away. I enjoyed the glimpses of the inside of the TARDIS, though I feel like this episode would have been a great way to show more of the TARDIS’ character and rooms, rather than a series of hallways and the occasional interesting thing. Nice classic Who throwback, with the reference to the “Eye of Harmony”- though the plotline that never happened felt a little cheated.
“The Crimson Horror” was a cute episode. It didn’t do a whole lot for me or the plot as a whole, but then again, none of this season felt very cohesive to me, and seemed like a series of one shots that were strung together loosely with a forced Clara plotline. This episode was a bit campy, though my favorite part might have been the “Thomas Thomas” child who gives perfect directions. Also, that leech was nasty.
“Nightmare in Silver” managed to make Cybermen suck only slightly less, which is a relief, because Cybermen are the dumbest villains in the history of this show. I felt like the backdrop of an abandoned intergalactic theme park could have been utilized way more, but all in all, not a terrible episode. Eleven’s back and forth with the cyberman in his head was a bit weird, but Clara really shone, and I loved the random emperor plotline. Here’s hoping he pops up again.
Which brings us to…..
“The Name of the Doctor.”
I was disappointed. I’m glad that they didn’t reveal his name (though who else had that awkward second where they thought his name was Doctor Please?) but I feel that Moffat talked this episode up too much. If this was simply meant to be a build up to the 50th anniversary special. I’ll accept that, and place my trust in the fact that my disappointment will be put aside. But if this episode was actually meant to resolve things and wrap up the episode, then I feel like it was a failure.
- River. While River is one of my all time favorite characters, her goodbye seemed rushed and forced. The Ponds leave and he ignores her all season and then suddenly its “oh I’m here, goodbye.” But I will say. That kiss. Dammmnnnnnn. Here’s hoping that River’s final “spoilers” remark means we wont be seeing the last of her.
- Clara. This plotline felt too simple and not exciting to befit the hype. It kind of felt like they just reused an old plot line from Bad Wolf. Rose harnesses the power of the TARDIS and scatters the warnings across her time line, and then Clara enters the Doctor’s time line and scatters herself across it?
- The classic Who footage gets a big thumbs up. It was beautifully edited, and I loved the little references- here’s hoping that this is all just a further set up to the 50th.
- Trenzalore. Once again, my hope is that the 50th special will pick up immediately after the events of the finale, with Clara and the Doctor and the crew still on Trenzalore, so that some big bad thing can go down. Otherwise, I’m going to kick Moffat. The ENTIRE SIXTH SEASON was a build up for what happens there. The Silence tried to kill the Doctor to keep him from going there, they kidnapped Melody and made her into a weapon- if all of that was just to prevent the happenings of this finale episode, that is stupid. Which is why I am hoping against hope that a big bad showdown or something goes on in the finale.
- John Hurt. One word. What? I know that this was meant to be the big cliff hanger, and no one has any idea what’s going on. And I’m okay with that. Obviously we aren’t supposed to get it, and that’s fine with me. I do love John Hurt though, and I’m hopping on board the speculation train that John Hurt is playing the Time War doctor.
I feel like this finale didn’t really answer that many questions, and just raised a million and ten more. We were introduced to a secret, in a way…but I would never in a million years say that his “greatest secret is revealed.” In addition, it was just a kind of boring season, with a forced plot line thrown in. In comparison to the tangled and elegantly wove plotline of Amy Pond and River Song, the Clara plot looks positively trivial in comparison.
My hope is that we are just seeing the first layer of her plotline, and that many more things are to come for Clara.
So all in all, not the best season. I still love the show, I’m still wildly excited for the 50th Anniversary special (TENNANT!) and I will continue to watch avidly. I’m just hoping beyond hope that next season is more interesting, more cohesive, and doesn’t get hung up on a dumb plotline again. Comment below and tell us what you thought!
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