Saturday, May 28, 2011

On Doctor Who Season 6

I feel like the only member of the Doctor Who cult who didn't wind up drinking the Kool-Aid. There are a lot of good elements to the show still: Murray Gold's score is as brilliant as ever, and the special effects are great. However, the show just feels so—forced. Steven Moffat is a good writer; his work on Sherlock is brilliant, but some things are just off in this season. I've never felt so uninterested in it.

Hmmm...Is it "spacey wacey" or "timey wimey?"

The first thing I've noticed: Matt Smith has come into his own as the doctor. As apposed to his debut, which was closer to an imitation Tennant. I know I'm in a minority, but I liked him better last season. He has his moments still, however, they seem to be few and far between a lot of miscues. Smith just doesn't command the proper authority for me. I see the right amount of eccentricities. But his genius is more tell than show. 

I feel like this season of Doctor Who is the X-Files minus David Duchovny. There are all these questions constantly being raised. "Subtle" hints at future plots twists and an annoying reoccurring cryptic message: "Silence will fall." It's just something I can't get excited about. Does it reference the alien beings of same said name? If it does, I don't get what's so ominous about them falling. I could be completely wrong about this, however, it really feels like the story is being forced to fit the odd blurb from season 5's premier. 

This season has a very fairy tale nightmare theme to it. While there isn't anything inherently wrong with this, it's definitely becoming an atmospheric crutch. The writing has taken a more hard-scifi approach as well. And this takes away from another part I loved about newer Who: Well written techno babble that is grounded in actual theoretical physics and cosmology. Why talk about collapsing wave functions and the probability clouds of atoms predicating the existence of parallel dimensions, when you can just say "Spacey Wacey?"

Also, I really didn't want to see the return of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. While I don't hate these characters, their story was nicely wrapped up last season. So, it feels more like a sequel than a new adventure. I think bringing them back presented a lot of challenges in the writing and even affected the on screen chemistry of Amy and the Doctor.

With all that said, I still like the show; I just don't love it. One thing both Doctor Who and Sherlock could do without: Moffat's abuse of cliff hangers! Sherlock is one of the most painful  I've ever endured. An educated guess would be that we're going to get another one at the end of episode 7. 

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