A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Geeking Out: Doctor Who Series 6

As it turns out, I took a leave of absence from blogging last week to catch up on everything Doctor Who that I've missed these past months. Did a bit of  a marathon last week and watched all 13 eps from Series 6 plus bits and bobs from DW Confidential. Yeah, I've been a rather naughty girl. But I did catch up on all the sleep I lost last night.

It's been a while since I've been remotely enthused about DW but, by golly, S6 was, with a couple of notable exceptions, a thrill to watch. S6 has easily become my favourite, exceeding anything even in the Pertwee and Tom Baker era.
My esteem for head writer, Steven Moffat (which was already very high) has increased ten-fold. For the first time since watching Tom Baker romp around the Louvre, I am blown away by the writing for the show. I've always enjoyed individual episodes of Doctor Who to varying degrees but this is the first time, I've really cared about how a season hangs together.

Moffat, in my opinion, is a wonderfully thoughtful and genuinely serious writer of suspense/scifi and I am thrilled to bits about where he has taken DW. Sadly, it seems he has plenty of detractors and so apparently he's going to downplay the use of large arcs in the next series.

Babylon 5, I think, was where it all began for me, in terms of continuity between episodes and seasons. I don't think there's much doubt that it was one of the best (if not the best) science fiction shows ever written. Despite the budgetary constraints, one grew to care about the characters and the underlying threads that held it all together. The show was almost entirely arc driven and came together in such a mindstretching fashion.

Matt Smith... I'm beginning to really love. Last year I wasn't too sure about him. I liked him but I didn't love him. Those sad and soulful eyes are working their magic methinks and his chemistry with Alex Kingston has been unexpectedly good. No one is more surprised than I am to look upon their flirtations with grudging approval. As a rule I don't care for Doctor/Companion being very up close and very personal but I'm willing to make an exception in this instance because Kingston is awesome. Didn't care for her in ER but in DW she's a great choice as the older-younger femme fatale foil for the younger-older Doctor.

Apparently love for S6 correlates to some degree with love for the character of River Song so it's fortuitous that that part has worked out for me. But seriously it's a lot more than that. The longish arcs and the integration of monster of the week stories have been constructed and laid out with a great deal of thought. Even, for instance, in the episode where Hitler (who is in it for about 5 minutes) is the monster in the cupboard. A lovely sort of "hint, hint, nudge, nudge" especially when the next episode turns out to be a run-of-the-mill monster-in-the-cupboard story. Quite often the jokes and dialogue have hints and foreshadowing of what is to come. Also the reuse of technology throughout the series right up to the series finale is just gold.

I am absolutely loving the use of continuity in this era.

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