Doctor Who Series 6

Right, as you know I’m a huge Doctor Who fan and so was looking forward to the start of the new season last week. Season 6 was to open with an episode called “The Impossible Astronaut” this was to be the first part of a two episode season opener. The second episode “The Day of The Moon” aired earlier today. I didn’t want to write about it before I watched both episodes. The reason for this is that I didn’t want to write an incomplete review. Also, I wanted to watch both episodes and so have a proper perspective on the story being told. Both episodes were written by Steven Moffat who has consistently written the best episodes of the revamped Doctor Who. So my hopes were high. Were they met? Were they exceeded? Let’s find out!

So as I said Steven Moffat has consistently written the best episodes, from “The empty Child” and “The doctor Dances” in series one, to “The Girl in the Fireplace” in series 2, and “Blink” in series 3, and “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” in series 4. All these episodes were terrifying and wonderful. Moffat’s writing in these episodes placed the seeds of what was to come when he took over as head writer for series 5 and now 6. He is a great story teller and has clearly been planning the Doctor’s adventures for a while now. Series 5 saw the arrival of a new Doctor, Matt Smith. We were all unsure of him as he was relatively unknown as an actor and had taken over from David Tennant who’s portrayal of the Doctor was seen by many as the best so far. However, the first episode of Series 5 put all our fears to rest as the writing was unsurprisingly magnificent, but more importantly Smith’s performance was breath taking. This scene at the end of the episode cemented him as a great Doctor.

Series 5 followed an arch story about a crack in space and time. The problem of the crack was solved at the end of that series. However, there was something unanswered. Throughout the series there were hints, hints that something was behind what was happening. A faceless threat, it was called the silence. From episode 1 of series 5 we heard that the silence was coming. We all assumed that the silence meant the end of time and space as caused by the crack. The erasure of history and the universe, but we were wrong. The last episode of series 5 made it clear that there was still a treat out there and that series 6 was going to address that. So we were all looking forward to the start of this series of Doctor Who, the trailers made it look great but was it going to live up to the hype?

Now I will try to avoid spoilers as much as I can, I would have been gutted if someone had given away some of the things we find out so I’m going to try to avoid it for any whovians who haven’t had the chance to watch the episodes yet. So the episode starts quite gently at first. We gather that the Doctor has been off on some adventures on his own, leaving clues throughout history to Amy and Rory. Then they get a TARDIS blue letter with map coordinates and a time. We see River Song get the same thing. They all end up meeting the Doctor in the US. The doctor is clearly much older now, not that he looks it but he has been away for a while from his perspective. Then something absolutely mind blowing happens. I cannot tell you what it is but within 5 or 10 minutes of the start of the episode something huge happens and everything changes.

From then on it’s an wonderful adventure that introduces a new kind of monster, and like all the Moffat monsters it’s terrifying. It’s not terrifying in a visual way, although it is quite ugly, but in a more primordial and deep way. His monsters have always been brilliant. From the Weeping Angels, to the Vashta Nerada, he has a real knack for tapping into one’s deepest fears, fears that come from childhood. This new monster is no different: The Silence. The first episode proceeds with the usual mix of running, humour, and brilliance and ends on a very good cliff hanger. So the first episode did everything you want from a season opener. It captured the imagination, posed a number of questions, and set up the arch story. However, this episode did a lot more in many ways. It was one of the best season openers of any Doctor Who series so far, at least in my opinion.

So today we got the chance to get some of the answers to the questions raised by the first episode. Moffat did what every great writer would do. He answered some of these questions, but in answering them simply raised more. The episode was one of the best so far in every aspect. The last scenes of the episode made sure that everyone would want to watch this season, as if we needed convincing. Basically Moffat has done it again. He has taken Doctor Who to new heights with his brilliant writing. I know that the series will have a few self contained episodes, that goes with the territory, but the arch story promises to be one of the best so far. I can’t wait to see what he has prepared for us.

Before I leave I just wanted to say a few words about Matt Smith’s Doctor. David Tennant established the tragic nature of the character in a very powerful way. Matt Smith has clearly built on that. However, Matt’s Doctor is a lot more interesting to me. He seems to accentuate the power of the doctor a lot more. The Doctor is terrible and wonderful all at once. He burns with fury and can be as cold as ice. He is “the oncoming storm”. He is everything the doctor should be: eccentric, brilliant, caring, loving, powerful, peaceful, threatening, tragic, terrible, and a genius all at once. I think that Matt Smith has done the impossible and become the best Doctor so far.

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