Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dr. Who Series Four to Six

After series one to three, here's my thoughts about the next batch...

Series 4 - The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble
We've seen Donna Noble in a christmas special before. She declined the offer of the Doctor to travel with him back then. When she came back I wasn't sure about her, because I didn't understand why she declined at first and then regretted it so much. I still have a hard time understanding the motivation of the Companions, I think.
At first the Doctor denied her new wish to travel with him, afraid that the drama and hurt of what happened with Martha would repeat itself. But without understanding what was going on, Donna made it quite clear that she didn't think him attractive in the least, so he agreed.

Certainly Donnas life wasn't overly great. We see in this series that it could be much worse, but there's nothing that could give her self-worth. I think that's one aspect of her character a lot of people can relate to. And it makes her goodbye so much sadder, because she loses everything she has gained.
While she's not as intelligent and educated as Martha, she has some sorts of street smarts. What I like most about Donna is her absolute "no bullshit" attitude. She'll give everyone a piece of her opinion, including the Doctor. That does him some good, it gets him off his high horse.
Shame she didn't get more than one season. I'll miss her.

The Doctor himself felt more vulnerable to me. I'm not sure whether this is actually really there in the plot and the acting or whether I'm just getting to know the character better. But in the last christmas special he very nearly had a breakdown out of loneliness.
I really do like Tennants acting, his facial expressions are a joy to watch. It's a shame this was his last season. I'm looking forward to the next Doctors, but I'll really miss him.

We also get to meet River Song - not a former Companion, but apparently a future one (or something else, something more?). And we also get to see Martha Jones and Rose Tyler again.
Among the new characters I really liked Donnas grandfather the best, he's great.

In the final double episode we see people from spin-off series - including Captain Jack Harkness (yay). It was really great, seeing all of them together, working together, everyone playing their part. It's probably even better if you actually know the spin-off series (which I don't), but so far this was my favourite season ending.

Series 5 - The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond
Amy as a little kid was really cool. There was this madman, demanding food (priceless: "You're Scottish - fry something"), eating fish fingers with custard and she's totally calm.
Adult Amy is not so cool. I don't know... laughing madly and runnning along with the doctor. And then she threw herself on him the night before her wedding... That's, well, not a sign of good character, is it?
And then they get her fiancé Rory to tag along - just like Rose and Mickey. Except Rory seems to die a lot.
And I really don't like Amy. I can't put my finger on it. She's flat, hardly any character, and what's there just isn't likeable. It's not just that I'm not liking her very much (like Rose), I actually dislike her.

What also confused me is that the curious Doctor did not think to investigate the gap and the strange things that were happening. I mean, there's obviously something wrong, something that frightens even Weeping Angels - and he takes Amy and Rory on a date in Venice?
The character of the Doctor seemed to change, too. He's not... as contemplative and lonely as the Tenth Doctor. I wonder if everything that happened is just kind of forgotten after a reincarnation? Or rather still there in the memories, but not emotionally relevant.

I really liked the episode with Vincent van Gogh. Though he sounded Scottish or Irish - well, anyway not Dutch. It also had Bill Nighy in it. And a great musical score. It was nice, and very sad, bitter-sweet. I actually cried.

I felt this series was rather dramatic. Lots of dramatic death scenes. Matt Smith is a good Doctor (and a cutie), but I'm still getting used to him. River is back, which is great. No Jack, unfortunately.
Not my favourite season (but the Vincent episode was great).

Series 6 - The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond and Rory Williams
Well, seems like I'm stuck with Amy for another series. And it seems like we got an explanatory intro - not sure why. Perhaps the show got more popular abroad and the producers felt the need to explain.

And Rory keeps on dying. Seriously, he died more often than Buffy now, it kinda keeps getting old. Actually everyone gets to die. And Amy gets pregnant and her baby is stolen.
With all the emotional damage that Amy and Rory are suffering by travelling with the Doctor, you have to wonder why they keep doing it. They never really see these wonders the Doctor promises them (the TARDIS gets lost a lot in this series).

We also get more River Song. We finally find out who she is ("Spoilers"). Very interesting. Must really be a confusing life though.
We also see the TARDIS come alive as a woman in an episode written by Neil Gaiman. That one was one of my favourites from this series.
And how come it took five seasons until Nazis? Knowing the British, I really would have expected this sooner.

No Jack Harkness though - it seems like the Eleventh Doctor cut a lot more ties than the Tenth. There seems to be hardly any overlapping of these lives, like people from the past are forgotten.
The Eleventh Doctor also feels a lot more... ruthless. Well, I guess even before the last reincarnation the Doctor didn't always go through with his pacifism, but I felt like it got worse. Even River confronted him with it.

When he's not dying, Rory is rather brave. On one hand, that makes him likeable. On the other hand I don't like when they turn a healer into a warrior (like Marsha), and I feel like that's what happened with Rory who turned from a nurse to "The Last Centurion".

The pace of the series is a bit confusing. At first it seems like they are again ignoring important signs (and I got the feeling the Doctor was doing it on purpose). Then suddenly after just a few episodes we get a seasons finale - in the middle of the season. But then the overall plot just disappears and we get single episodes again. And then the plot returns. The last episode is a little confusing but wraps up what began in the first episode.

There are some good episodes, but overall this season was way too over-dramatic. If there is a heart-wrenching death scene in nearly every episode... it's really too much.
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