If your kids/ friends/ Jim The Fish are going to want Series 6 for Christmas, order this great 'Silent variant' with exclusive postcards now: mean spirited stockpilers have form in buying up these lovely limited editions, then charging three times the price only months later (eg Series 3's 'Master variant'). The 3D Silent head itself isn't just holographic; it's sculpted card, and leans out menacingly.
Moffat planned a "fairytale": after the "rollercoaster" of Series 5, Series 6 is the "ghost train". We're fully immersed in the lives of the travellers, each with their own compelling battles ahead. While I don't agree with those who've labelled this series "overcomplicated", in its ambition it has sometimes lost coherency (ie I understand what the characters have done and when, but I've not always been convinced by their supposed motives). However, the verdict is overwhelmingly positive. You will have your own reactions to the episodes; these are merely mine.
A Christmas Carol: 8 -thin stuff but fun. Yet more Dickens/Victoriana and sometimes sickly sweet, but clever and with some lovely touches.
The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon: 9 -irresistable imagery (space race, Oval Office, Mad Men, haunted house), truly scary aliens & two of the greatest openings in the show's history. Few too many loose ends but a great cliffhanger.
The Curse of the Black Spot: 7 -fun & feisty romp marred only by Hollywood pirates & a soppy father/son subplot (the first of many this year!). Cole is great & the Moffat-inspired sci-fi twist is neat.
The Doctor's Wife: 10 -a note perfect fan pleaser resembling a graphic novel by Samuel Beckett. The continuity feels just right, Jones is sublime & the humour/horror balance is perfect.
The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People: 7 -a horror movie inspired base under siege that flags when it gets talky. A lack of clarity & likeable characters make it hard to invest in, but there are very powerful scenes: especially the cliffhanger!
A Good Man Goes To War: 9 -this great 'finale' with Star Wars designs feels truly epic. The 'repertory of monsters' vignettes really feed the story and Moffat's placing of the Doctor in the universe.
Let's Kill Hitler: 7 -at its finest at its funniest, with a great new companion introduction. Rory & Amy's early days are both touching & clever; but there's a lot of padding, an assassin's conversion is deeply unconvincing & the end's a cop-out.
Night Terrors: 6 -well regarded but downbeat. Almost a remake of Fear Her except we know from the start that the fears are imagined. Great visuals & terrifying monsters though.
The Girl Who Waited: 8 -affecting 'what if' story with a retro sci-fi look. Gillan & Darvill are superb. The time-bending pushes it at times, but the ending's fully committed.
The God Complex: 9 -nice use of CCTV in a creepy hotel full of monsters. Often very tense. Smith's brilliantly vulnerable. Walliams perhaps steals the show too much.
Closing Time: 8 -very funny sequel to The Lodger. There's something childishly exciting about a big, shiny shop at night. The Cybermen do what they do best: lurk!
The Wedding of River Song: 6 -Smith's brilliant performance carries this (maybe inevitable) let down. The fun BBC Breakfast cameo & Live Chess aside, the 'time gone wrong stuff' (also done last year) goes on & on without adding to the plot. Though the end was never in doubt, the universe is very easily fooled it would seem! However, there's a lovely tribute to the past and overall it's an excellent set up for next year.
The great value extras raise 4 stars for the stories to 5 stars for the box set. There are the 5 online prequels (for Episodes 1, 3, 7, 8 & 13), the 2 Comic Relief scenes, 14 cut-down Confidentials and the 4 Monster Files (Silents, Gangers, Anti-bodies, Cybermats) released earlier this year. Only 4 Commentaries (for Episodes 1, 4, 7 & 13) but there are 5 exclusive to DVD 'Night & the Doctor' scenes with their own Confidential episode: the somewhat disposable 'Good/Bad Night' are Tardis based comical/ sentimental vignettes with Amy and the Doctor, while 'First/Last Night' do the same for River and the Doctor but add more to River's story; 'Up All Night' is simply an amusing Doctor-less prequel to episode 12. Don't miss out!