A few quick Dr. Who notes (with spoilers for series 5)

Kam and I finally watched the two-part finale of this latest Dr. Who season, “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang.”

I felt that it almost made up for the disappointments of the rest of the season.

No time for a detailed writeup, but a few quick thoughts (including spoilers):

  • We both love Amy Pond. (And we thought both actresses did a great job.) I am immensely pleased that she will apparently continue as a companion next season. She continues a run of great companions ever since the series revived; I've really liked pretty much all of them except for Donna, who I eventually grew to tolerate.
  • We love River Song, and I'm delighted at the hint (at the end of the finale) that she'll be more prominent next season.
  • We are not so fond of Matt Smith. He's okay, and he does goofy pretty well, but—well, I still feel the way I did at the start of this season: “I like him well enough so far, but he has neither Eccleston's wounded deep sadness with manic tendencies nor Tennant's mix of effervescence, looks, silly hair, and occasional moments of gravitas.”
  • Most of the episodes I liked were by Steven Moffat, and I liked all the Steven Moffat episodes (though I got a little tired of the middle of the weeping angels two-parter). Though there were things I liked about some other episodes, especially “The Lodger.” I was disappointed that Richard (Four Weddings and a Funeral) Curtis didn't do better than “Vincent and the Doctor”—it was okay, but not great.
  • Right near the end of the Silurian two-parter, I was thinking to myself, “We've gotten all the way through a two-part Chris Chibnall episode without him doing any lasting harm to the show!” And then Rory got zapped. Sigh. Although given subsequent events, it's possible that that wasn't Chibnall's fault.
  • Can we refer to the new multicolored Daleks as “iDaleks”?
  • The two-part finale was classic Moffat. For example, I may someday get tired of the trope of leaving messages for time travelers to see a long time later, telling them to rendezvous at some particular point in spacetime, but I'm not tired of it yet.
  • I'm not clear on whether the ending of the finale means that the entire season has now retroactively never happened (except in the memories of the Doctor and Amy and Rory and River). I think that Rory is now made of flesh and blood, but I'm not even certain of that. Does the Doctor's return mean that some of the events of the season did happen after all? I just don't know! I imagine this has been hashed out on fan sites, but I haven't had a chance to go looking.
  • Seems to me there was a lot more of people saying “Shut up!” to each other this season than is usual for this show.
  • Probably my favorite exchange in the entire season was the brilliant bit between Amy and the Doctor at the end of “Flesh and Stone,” especially this: “[...] quite possibly the single most important thing in the history of the universe is that I get you sorted out right now.” / “That's what I've been trying to tell you!”

Anyway. Am now looking forward to next season much more than I was a few episodes ago. But I'm still more fond of Amy (and of Moffat) than of Eleven.

6 Responses to “A few quick Dr. Who notes (with spoilers for series 5)”

  1. jere7my

    During the wedding, just after the TARDIS appears, Rory says “I’m plastic!” I don’t think he’s become flesh-and-blood.

    • Jed

      Fascinating—I missed that completely. Thanks! Now I’m wondering what that implies for continuity. I suspect if I think about it too much it will hurt my brain.

    • Jennifer Pelland

      I’m pretty sure Rory is human again, because at the wedding, he said, “I was plastic,” not, “I am plastic.” I just listened to it with my headphones on to confirm that I’d heard it right, and I did.

      I’m not such a fan of Amy as you are, Jed, but I adore Rory, and I do like 11, probably because he doesn’t weep and apologize in every episode, which I found *so* tiresome in 10. In fact, I was hoping that Amy really was dead at the end of part 1, and Rory would stay plastic and be 11’s sole companion next season. Yeah, I know, no chance of that happening.

      • Jed

        I just checked the closed captions; they agree that he says “I was plastic.”

        Which is also weird, because: it wasn’t actually him who has plastic. It was, I thought, a construct (more specifically an Auton/“Nestene duplicate”) that believed itself to be him. So how does the human Rory have the Auton’s memories?

        Aside: I also wondered about continuity earlier in the season, when Rory was unwritten. Presumably that meant that in Amy’s retroactively changed life story, she was not about to get married in the morning the night she ran off with the Doctor—nor the night she tried to take him to bed. Which made me wonder what had happened in her revised memory. Or maybe she was getting married to someone else in the morning, but if so why didn’t she mention it? Anyway, didn’t seem worth fussing about, but—well, I guess the moral is that if you’re making characters retroactively not have existed, it can be hard to maintain continuity even if you bring them back later.

        Interesting that you like Rory and Eleven so much. I think Rory’s okay—pretty similar to Mickey Smith in some ways, but like Mickey, he’s growing on me. But he doesn’t appeal to me as much as he does to you.

        Fascinating: I didn’t think of Ten as weeping or apologizing at all. But I was probably just distracted by his hair and his grin.

  2. Sumana Harihareswara

    Did you already see this discussion about the end of “Flesh and Stone”? I haven’t seen the relevant episode, or indeed nearly any Who, but it seemed like the kind of thing you’d want to read.

    • Jed

      Ouch. Thank you for the link. I hadn’t seen that.

      I apologize for my enthusiasm about that scene in this entry, especially to anyone who was triggered by the scene (or by my enthusiasm about it). I’m contemplating whether to remove/edit that item in my entry.

      I have some further thoughts, and responses to the discussion, but I need to spend some time thinking about it before posting further about that, and thinking time is in short supply this week.


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