Article first published as TV Review: Doctor Who – Series Six, Part One on Blogcritics.
Although I’m sure many will disagree, I’m going to say that this has been one of Doctor Who’s most exciting series yet. The ratings tend to indicate otherwise as although they are still extremely high, they have begun to fall slightly. This is disappointing as I believe that Matt Smith is doing an excellent job as the eleventh doctor and the story lines have begun to become a lot more interesting. Instead of the usual disjointed episodes, this series has more or less been a continuous flow. This happens to match perfectly well with the fact that the mystery of River song has seemingly been ‘flowing’ through these episodes.
The series began with the death of the Doctor. This was extremely shocking for the audiences and left us craving for more. Does the immortal timeline who has lived for hundreds of years, who has regenerated countless times, who has flown through time and space finally met his doom? I’m going to admit something here. I cried. I actually cried at the thought of the Doctor dying. The only other time I’ve cried because of television was David Tennant’s last episode as the Doctor. Perhaps there’s a trend here. The Doctor’s assistant, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), has had an increasingly prominent role in this series as when it draws to a climax she is at the centre of attention.
I never thought that the mystery of River Song would ever be solved, and over time I’ve speculated as to what her role in the Doctor’s life is. I was literally guessing right up until the very end, and nothing could’ve prepared me for the unveiling of her true identity. First I thought she might end up killing the Doctor, then I thought she might be the Doctor’s wife, then I thought she might be the Doctor’s mother (ridiculous, I know) but it turned out that she was … well I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t yet seen it.
Many people dislike Matt Smith and think that he doesn’t portray the Doctor very well, but give the guy some credit! After all, he is the replacement of David Tennant who is a PHENOMENAL actor, so I think he’s doing a very good job in the same role. Matt Smith seems to make the Doctor a lot more British than David Tennant did, especially with his choice of attire – blazer and bow tie – but I like this. I mean, Doctor Who is British, why shouldn’t we flaunt this? Nowadays the most popular television shows tend to be American so I’m very proud that Doctor Who was our own creation. Matt Smith is a very talented actor and can portray all of the Doctor’s emotions perfectly, be it happiness and silliness or anger and sadness. He is also very expressive and uses a lot of hand motions which I think are rather quirky and are very fitting since the Doctor does have the whole ‘mad scientist’ air going on.
I’ve never particularly liked any of the Doctor’s sidekicks and I’ve never thought that any of them really fitted into their role that well. Perhaps this is because the Doctor is a solitary being and we all know the assistant isn’t going to be sticking around forever. I thought that it was a little odd having two assistants, who were married, in the TARDIS … It allowed them to include a sort of sub-story to each episode about Amy and Rory’s relationship which was fairly interesting, but I think unnecessary as Doctor Who is science fiction, not a soap opera.
I guess in this instance it paid off because in the long run Amy and Rory’s relationship had such consequences that will no doubt lead to much excitement in the second segment of the series. The acting of Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) are both great actors but I didn’t think it was anything particularly special. Perhaps because they are alongside Matt Smith and his talent far overshadows theirs.
The only thing that bothers me about this series is that there is a break in the middle. WHY?! This is completely unneccessary and although it keeps the audience keen, it could also drive them away as they lose interest. I’ve been sitting on the fence as to whether there is any suspense. Whilst many would say that there was, I would say that at the same time, the massive secret revealed also revealed that everything would be alright, significantly decreasing the tension that had been building.
Nonetheless this was an excellent first half to Matt Smith’s second series as the Doctor and I am bursting with anticipation for the second half.
If you missed series 6 on tv, it will be available on DVD on the 11th of June.