Monday, December 23, 2013

Doctor Who is 50: The Return

Because it's Christmas, and I don't have anything actually ready, I'm going back to the well of the Doctor Who 50th marathon I did. Below you'll find the original Matt Smith entry I wrote, on the The Impossible Astronaut, Day of the Moon and The Wedding of River Song. It got dropped early on because after watching Asylum of the Daleks and Name of the Doctor I just had to go with them because Matt Smith is outstanding there. Oh, and Clara. So I apologise as it is a little rough.

Besides, lets not pretend that the end of the week's entry isn't going to my thoughts on Matt Smith's swansong.

Why can't these new Doctors use one name per serial? It'd make titling these things a lot easier for me.

I've never been able to pin down my feelings for Matt Smith. I really do enjoy his Doctor, but at times he doesn't quite work for me. I think it's his irreverent schtick just comes across a little too childish for me, but when he gets serious God Damn he's good.

Mark Sheppard! This guy is fucking awesome, and he appears in everything. I love the twist at the end when Nixon offers to sort out his marriage, and Tricky's reaction to it being a black man. I really hope we go and meet up with Canton again.

I'd also quickly forgotten how much of a joy watching Rory is, and I know some people complain he sort of took over from Amy, but there's good reason for that. After the whole Centurion bit, he stands far and away above a lot of companions for just being kick-ass, but also his general clumsiness. The "America Salutes You" after breaking the Lunar Lander model and then throwing up a British salute. The speech about finding Amy, only for her to start asking for the Doctor. Generally because Darvill is the better actor of the two, though Gillan has her own attributes.

I even like River in The Impossible Astronaut. This is how I like her to be portrayed. A bit like Jack. Knows what she's doing and can keep up with the Doctor, and the humour that she understands the Tardis a little better, and the Doctor using that to his own advantage (The bit in Oval Office and then calling her Mrs Robinson). Then there's two episodes more of her. This is when I agree with you. That bloody shooting scene is not only ridiculous but just a step way too far. Watching three River episodes in a row has got me on your thinking more, and while I love the idea of watching it from her perspective I'm not sure I could stomach it.

In my head The Wedding of River Song was A Good Man goes to war for some reason. Watching these three episodes reminds me how much this series forms a huge arc, in as much as you probably need A Good Man Goes to War and Let's Kill Hitler for the story properly. But as I said above, not sure I could have coped with that.

A lot of confusion for me, and maybe in the script, over what River does or doesn't know. As the Doctor faces River in the spacesuit he tells her not to worry and she won't remember it as that version over there is a future version since she's serving time for his murder. Yet she tells both of them that she has a worse day ahead of her - indicating the day she kills the Doctor, and then in the back garden sharing a bottle of wine with Amy (a scene/setting I adore) that she had to pretend not to recognise the space suit. The Doctor part I can reconcile with him lying to get River to pull the trigger, but the rest... I get the feeling Moffat tried to be a bit too timey-wimey and got wrapped up too much.

The Silence are an absolutely amazing addition to Who's bad guys, and a Hell of a budget saver too. The Doctor's death sentence always struck me as going a little far for him, but the insertion of the footage into the “One Small Step” footage is pretty genius.

Love the throwaway Jack and Rose reference while trying to get the Brig on the phone, and that whole bit is incredibly sad, mainly because of the real world aspect, and I like it's how the Doctor decides to face it.
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