Doctor Who: Mid-Series Report..

Yep, I’m getting that feeling too, sitting here on a weekday afternoon thinking that the next Doctor Who is just around the corner, and it isn’t. I’ve just got a fun time Saturday night looking forward to Casualty and The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins. Shall I admit it now? We’re going to have a long summer aren’t we. A long unhappy summer of Dale Winton and various medical emergencies. So we might as well spend this time reviewing what we have seen in Doctor Who so far and take some guesses at what will be taking place in the second part of the series..

WHEN A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR
I admit that I ended up feeling a little bit empty after watching this show. It started off brilliantly, there was going to be a war of some kind and The Doctor was going to topple off his cute stage podium and go on a full-blown angry tirade. I mean, there was Rory speaking in monotone and mild anger as an entire Cybermen spaceship EXPLODED in front of him… ALL WITHIN THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES FFS. But then after that, I couldn’t help feeling that the rest of the episode was a bit of a let down.

Here are the reasons why:
*The first ten minutes were an awesome sight, characters from present and past re-assembled as part of the Doctor’s army. It gave the belief that there was going to be something a little bit epic, like back in David Tennant’s day when he teamed up with the Torchwood team and everyone from The Sarah Jane Adventures (a time when the BBC marketing department probably surpassed themselves in terms of cross-promotion and integration). Then about half an hour later, when we found out that Amy’s baby had more-or-less become a self-destructing packet of Petit Filous, they were all dead and it was kind of built to nothing. Everyone just rubbed their hands together and then the titles came up about an episode when they try to kill Hitler.
*Okay so I may have gotten the wrong end of the stick here (and I expect a tirade of abuse now from Doctor Who fanatics) but why go to all of the effort to rescue the baby when it turns out that it is River anyway and she’s doing pretty well as Amy’s child?

THE REST OF THE SERIES
The sixth series has been one of the strongest we’ve seen so far (so far). After the opening double-header, story arcs simmered in very self-contained episodes, with a couple of teasers for the season close to keep us on our toes (the exception of course being the disappointing episode when they were all on that pirate ship being chased by one of the Corrs). However the second part of the two-parter at the start of the series (with President Nixon saving the day and River jumping off the Empire State Building into The Doctor’s swimming pool) was so rich with its screen-writing, acting and action it made the whole gallivanting off to the US trip for American audiences MORE than worthwhile. The best episode in two years, without a doubt.

However as entertaining as the first half of this series has been, is there a chance that Doctor Who has started to take itself too seriously? Right from the start of the current run in 2005 there have been episodes of light and dark (of course there were criticisms during the Russell T Davies era that there was too much light with farting MPs and all that), but in the last few episodes I’m just sensing that everything has to be all-serious-all-the-time.

I’m not taking the line of “oh- its-so-dark-now-the-kids-can’t-handle-this-shitâ€? line of argument because it’s stupid and ridiculous, but at the same time Doctor Who in itself is silly – at is heart it is a man in a box who travels through space and time on little adventures, can find an excuse for whatever happens along his way because of the complexities of the Universe, with the benefit that it is impossible for audiences to tie together a 50 year plotline. When you start to take it too seriously, the show would just start to unravel.

THE BIG QUESTIONS
*Now that we know that the person in the spacesuit is most probably River but as a child, is it River who shoots the Doctor dead in the middle of the desert in the first episode?
*Is that really the end of The Doctor’s life? It is unlikely seeing that there is another series of the show to go, but then again he does die 200 years older than The Doctor we are currently seeing right now.
*Are we ever going to get an understanding of why the Universe ended, and why The Doctor and The Tardis played a part in its demise?
*What leads The River to head back to the age of the David Tennant Doctor, leading herself to sacrifice herself to save his life?

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