Doctor Who Series 7, First Half

This post contains spoilers for the first five episodes of Season 7 of New Who. You have been warned.

I've seen the first five episodes of Series 7 of Doctor Who, and there won't be any more until the Christmas special, when the new companion shows up.

I didn't like the first episode. I liked the second, third, fourth and fifth in increasing amounts.

First and foremost, I liked the treatment throughout of Rory and Amy. From the not-quite-divorce at the beginning that comes from the clash of two strong wills, right up to Amy's completely firm decision at the end to do what's necessary to be with Rory for the rest of her life. We get a better sense of both characters from these five episodes, I think, than anything preceding. Further, the ending has been walled off, explicitly, in the script, making it very difficult for any future writer to "re-visit" the characters, as RTD was wont to do.

Second, I really liked two of the features in how the Doctor was treated. It's pointed out over and over that he should not travel alone, because this does bad things to him. It sets up the actual need for a companion that has never really been explicit before. And then, it's pointed out that his current incarnation is childlike and manic (indeed, "psychopath" is what River Song says), in a way that none of the others have ever been. I saw recordings of the very first episodes on YouTube last year, and the contrast could really not be more stark. That was also pointed out by the presence of the Brigadier's daughter in the Cubes episode, contrasting the mad don't-know-what-the-hell-to-do-but-here-goes of the 11th Doctor with the methodical, diplomatic approach of the 3rd.

I would greatly like the 11th Doctor to actually have some character growth, now. Let him settle down, form some plans, and get on with something for a while, rather than bouncing randomly around the multiverse. It looks like that's a real possibility now.

And there's the odd and somewhat cheerful possibility - not in any real sense, you understand, but in a not-impossible sense - of a spin-off series of Amy and Rory in 60s New York. Even if it's never a TV series, I'd like someone to write the fanfic.

Posted by Drew Shiel at October 1, 2012 11:46 AM

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