Sunday, July 25, 2010

I loved this season of Dr. Who

I haven't really settled down with a theme for the blog other than I'm getting old:) so I thought I would lighten up with some TV chatter. Dr. Who used to be shown late on Saturday night on PBS; we watched it to relax while at tech school. Until recently, the new series was shown on CBC and pretty well pre-empted at the drop of a hat. Still I managed to see a most of the shows with Rose as the companion and the last couple of season with David Tennant on BBC Canada. Now it's being shown on Space where it's always belonged - yay.

I've been watching the current season on Saturday and the previous seasons on weeknights. It's really interesting to see how different the doctors are. The 9th Doctor didn't actually seem to like humans - more like he was watching a train wreck. The 10th Doctor was coloured by his love of Rose. I read somewhere that Tennant was the emo Doctor and I have to agree. When he wasn't being crazy he was sad. He did seem to get over it when Donna was his companion but I found the 10th doctor to be bitter and unlikeable in his last season (4 specials) so was more than ready for #11.

For a lot of viewers (certainly the ones commenting on io9) this was the first Doctor that was younger than them and they wondered how it would be pulled off. Well the Doctors are generally good actors so that should be the first hint. I was waiting eagerly for the season to begin and have to say this was a very good season and here's why.

Solid writing and acting - Matt Smith quickly created a character that was similar enough for continuity yet different enough. The episodes had enough mix of stand alone adventure and arc stories. Amy and Rory are a great companion team and much more equal in importance that past teams because Amy does love Rory not the Doctor. Perhaps some viewers couldn't relate to Amy and Rory because of gender role reversal - usually it the man who seems nonchalant towards their partner and goes adventuring while the woman that is along because of the emotional connection.

The season finale was great the way that shows for the US/Canada should emulate. If anything happened (ie. entire crew killed by an asteroid) the season could stand on it's own. Had this been a US production the penultimate episode would have been the season ender and the season finale would have been the first show of the 2nd season. This is much better. I mention io9 earlier and their article on the season finale prompted this post. To wrap up I just wanted to reply to some of the question points in the article and comments and how they were resolved to me.

*Doctor saves the world with a time paradox - to me he was using a tool that let him move in the confined space of the diminishing universe. Had he taken the TARDIS that would have created a big paradox because it was exploding.
*Importance of Amy's wedding day - she had to remember the Doctor. That was also where she was supposed to be. The whole thing with Rory was she had to focus on that relationship because it was the jump off for remembering the rest of the universe.
*This doctor still seems to be settling into himself. Instead of just going on adventures with a companion, almost right away he has to deal with something totally unknown, a crack in the universe. Now that I'm watching the previous seasons I can see what a departure this is.
* The deal with the stars is they were the first things to go from the perspective of earth. Most people don't look at them anyway so it does point out how special Amy is.

The Doctor took a big risk to get the universe rebooted. While he did everything he could to get Amy to remember him there was always a possibility that she wouldn't. And what a great way to touch on previous episodes without doing the "letters home" thing that Stargate does. I really looking forward to the next season.

Lastly thanks Charlie Anders. I've enjoyed reading your recaps and even with the spoilers it really whetted my desire to watch the show rather than thinking I knew all I needed to.