The Best and Worst of Series 6 of Doctor Who; And Romance in Doctor Who
It’s been a week, and that means I have finished up Series 6 of the New Incarnation of Doctor Who. This also means that I have now seen every single episode of the New Series of Doctor Who. I will go back to the Classic Series on Netflix. If all goes to plan, I will see all Televised Series by the 50th Anniversary on November 23rd.
As far as Series 6 goes, it definitely had the Best Christmas Special, aside from The Snowman which introduced us to the 2nd Part of the Clara Oswald Gestalt, the Victorian Clara Oswin Oswald. However, the 2nd part of Series 6 was much weaker story wise than the 1st Part of Series 6. I am not entirely sure what caused this (Loss of Direction?). However, Series 7 was better, but the show would not get its footing back completely, at least in my eyes, until The Snowman, and the introduction of Clara as a companion.
And, once again, we have the Best and Worst of the season.
Best: The Doctor’s Wife-Each Season brings us a story/episode that joins the select few that will likely end up being regarded as Classics. Usually 1 per season, though Series 7 had two, at least in my opinion (Hide and The Name of the Doctor.). The Doctor’s Wife is that for Series 6. The introduction of the TARDIS as a sentient being is fascinating, and the main plot about a Psychopathic Planet using TARDISes as food was suitably threatening enough to drive the story. In addition, Amy and Rory were very well used in the story, with them trying to get to an archived control room to allow for the Doctor and Idris-TARDIS to materialize on board. It also shows the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS. He didn’t just steal her, she stole him as well (With Time Lord-Clara as the match-maker, as we find out the next season.) And he always has the TARDIS. The Boy and his Box. Long after everyone else leaves. A beauty of an episode, and written by Neil Gaiman to boot.
Worst: Night Terrors-There were certainly some good moments in this episode. But it also never grabbed me in either. Amy and Rory were side-lined, and alot of potential in this story was wasted, such as the “Boy overcoming his fears” plot, which could have been handled quite a bit better. Also, the pacing was a bit weird, with going between “forward” and “stop” quite a bit.
Romance and Doctor Who
And this is the part that will get me in trouble. However, in my defense, Romance has been in Doctor Who since the beginning. He had a grandchild after all, which very much implies a Romantic relationship somewhere along the line. In addition, Romance is a very human condition. The want to find love, someone to spend your life with, and protect them, is an extremely powerful motivator, for both good (Rory Williams) and evil (Anakin Skywalker). In addition, Romantic Love often blossoms from shared experiences and making it through events together. And that’s what the Doctor and his companions do. Bouncing around the Universe, getting themselves involved in events, and usually surviving only by the skin of their teeth. Romance all the time will get old, but having it reoccur is a wonderful thing. Besides, I am a sucker for a good love story.
While many think that Romance is exclusive to the New Series, this isn’t quite the case. While the show was still in its infancy, during the 1st Doctor’s Period, we had a love story of sorts there.
A character from the serial “The Aztecs,” which is likely the only surviving period piece from the 1st & 2nd Doctor Periods. It is considered on of the classic stories. Cameca is a lady of at least the age of 52. She and the Doctor where in the Garden of Peace during much of the serial. The Doctor accidentally proposed to her due to his ignorance of some Aztec customs. However, there was some affection between the Doctor and Cameca otherwise, and he kept the brooch he was given by her at the end of the Serial. I should be able to give a more thorough review of this when I watch this in the next week
Love and the Doctor would not occur again until 1997, a full 33 years after The Aztecs. That would be with the TV Movie. Moreso than even River Song, this is an awkward one. The relationship, though brief, came right the hell out of nowhere. However, Grace also was one of the few people to be invited by the Doctor to be a Companion and refuse. Alot of issues with Grace Holloway’s character can attributed to the fact that the TV Movie was poorly at best, though Paul McGann did a very good job with what he had. For better stories involving the 8th Doctor, I would recommend the Big Finish Audio Stories. And as to why this is a flaming ball of broken, I recommend everyone watch the Radio Dead Air Review of the TV Movie, below.
The first companion of the new series. The way the relationship starts to develop is shown realistically, much more so than the one from the TV Movie. We start with the her meeting the 9th Doctor, presumably soon after his regeneration. She get invited along after saving the Doctor from the Nestene Consciousness. Over the season, she, along with Jack Harkness later on, help open the post-Time War Doctor up. By the season finale, she pulls an incrediblky reckless stunt to save the Doctor, becoming some sort of God in the process. In order to save her from the power in question, the Doctor takes it and redirects to the TARDIS, forcing a regeneration in the process. With the 10th Doctor, the relationship comes out into the open, as shown in the “Impossible Planet/The Doctor Dances.” 10 shows a devotion to her. In the end, after being separated in a Parallel Universe, she ends up with a humanized copy of the 10th Doctor.
However, I have issues to start with particular one. Namely, the attitude of the Rose. Look how she treats Mickey, who is generally a loyal boyfriend. After meeting the Doctor, she treats him in a really dismissive way, and the 10th Doctor took on that attitude himself to some extent. Not to mention that, in terms of intelligence, Rose can be somewhat lacking in that department. While she does have her moments, she usually has to be led by the Doctor. And that doesn’t even get to the part about the Doctor himself in the 10th Incarnation. His brooding over Rose pushed away a companion I honestly liked much more than her, someone with a bite intellectually, Martha Jones. There’s a reason why I have such a hard time with 10. This is part of it. I know part of it is the way Davies ran things and wrote the story, but 10 can come off as a prat at times. 11 may have been more awkward, but I find him much more likable. And while the romance in this was real, it doesn’t mean I have totally love the characters.
Here we have another example of why there is a need for a balance to the Showrunner. Granted, I like Moffat over Davies, as Davies tended to go to truly silly places at times (Hi Cybermen Mecha), Moffat’s writing for Matt Smith has simply been more likable than Davies for Tennant. However, Moffat has a tendency to go into the Time-Wimey of Time Travelling, and sometimes gets lost. This is very apparent with River Song.
For one, we are never really shown the Doctor falling in love with River. There seems to be a chemistry missing there. We know she fell in love with her target, but with him, we never see any sort of process of him falling for her. We just get a lot of off-screen incidents and quips between the two. Which wouldn’t have been bad, if she was some weird sort of reoccurring character. But as a “love interest,” it left something to be desired. I should note that the romantic relationship between Amy & Rory, while a bit wobbly at first, worked out beautifully in the end. Although, in another missed opportunity, we never saw a relationship between the Ponds and their son-in-law, the Doctor.
We don’t know if it is canon yet, but there is certainly something go on. Though, considering how Clara splintered into pieces and came back together, identifying where it started is a bit difficult. You know, chicken or the egg? But there were moments that happened that made you wonder if they were slipping towards one other. From the Doctor’s end, we had the towel slap on the butt at the end of Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, or the comment he makes at the end of the Nightmare in Silver about Clara’s skirt. Maybe its just me, but I have never done either of these in regards to my friends. The fact she did respond to the first with nothing more than a glance says something as well.
Also, there is alot of touching. Right from the get-go, we have Victorian Clara snogging the Doctor. It continues down this road. The Eleventh is certainly the most touchy and tactile of the Doctors, and this has manifested in constant hugging, and a snog with Rory, and the occasional head touching. However, 11 and Clara have taken this to hilarious heights. Every other episode had them stroking each other’s faces. Every episode had the Doctor Clara holding hands while running (or otherwise). And then we have this little scene right at the end of The Name of the Doctor.
And in terms of Clara towards the Doctor? During Hide, we saw her attempt to bully an empath into reopening a rift, which was painful to begin with. When that fails, she brow-beats the TARDIS into a suicide mission. And, in the finale, she essentially walks to her death to save the Doctor. The only reason her death didn’t stick was the Doctor hit the “Big Damn Nope” button and did the same thing in spite of great risk to get her back.
And as for where the character’s stand with one another? Clara is more or less safe from being left behind. We saw this during “The Bells of Saint John.” She forced the Doctor to wait a day before traveling with him to make sure of him. Over all, this is a very well written way of showing 2 people slipping into love, much like The Doctor and Rose, but with a more likable Doctor and a more likable Companion.
Choice for Next Doctor
I also finally have an opinion on who I want for the 12th (13th?) Doctor. In this case, I would very much like the British-Arab actor Alexander Siddig to be the 12th Doctor. His Legal Name is Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi. He is a descendant of the Mahdi of Sudan. He is 47 years old and has a distinguished acting career, having been Dr. Julian Bashir in Star Trek:Deep Space Nine. In addition, he played Saladin’s aide during the movie Kingdom of Heaven, and a number of parts in various Doctor Who audioplays.
I should note that he would be the 1st Minority Doctor. In addition, he would also be (excepting John Hurt and the weird circumstances there) the oldest Doctor since Jon Pertwee. However, he also does look younger than his 47 years as well. Overall, given his history and the type of characters he has played, I would say that Alexander Saddig is my optimum choice for the 12th Doctor.