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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not perfect but you know what..., 5 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 7 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ive read various criticisms of this series and the Matt Smith/S Moffat era in general. Im afraid that I have to disagree with them. The point is valid that this whole post tennant era has been a rollercoaster of greatness and stupidity but as with life, you remember and take with you the good times. Here is where I choose to differ. The highlights of the Smith and Moffat era are so much better than what has come before that to then whinge about the poorer aspects is churlish. Its like being treated to a 5 star night out and moaning that the taxi was 5 mins late and the show you went to see finished a bit later than planned.

But I digress. The problem is RT Davies brought the show back from a very bad place and just kept building it up and up with Tennant the icing on the cake. But he peaked and there was nowhere left to go. He tried to change it slightly and all we got was self indulgent stories that bordered on ego. The tenth Doctor became a little too arrogant and toward the end a bit whiny. They should have ended the reign before the year of 'Specials' that saw Tennant leave. I was sorry to see him go but I was getting sick of it and that last year seemed tainted.

Matt Smith came in trying to fill some big boots. There was a lot of hit and miss as he and Moffat tried to differentiate themselves from what had come before but to my mind, Smith's inexperience in the role was not evident. He had done his homework and thrown all of himself into it. I have never seen an actor so young being able to portray the age and burden of a timelord who has endured too much. Yet he also bought an energy to the role. This was a character who was old but young, jaded but excitable, kind but dangerous. Smith literally nailed the eccentricity of the Doctor. There have been childish moments but when its mattered, Smith and Moffat have delivered such powerful scenes that all else is forgiven. The Doctors speech to young Amy in the Big Bang, the rings of akhaten, Amy's words at the end of The Angels Take Manhattan - Just a few moments that have brought emotion that most modern Television can only dream of. These are the kinds of motivational concepts that drive people to want to be better and to be more than they are.

Series 7 was more like a series of mini films. The production values were superb and although the Clara episodes seem a bit disjointed it was all enjoyable. The first half was more consistent and I get the feeling the second half had a bigger story arc to tell but there wasnt enough time. Although we are familiar with Clara it feels like we are forced to know her and her impact on the Doctor's life far sooner than we should.

This series is probably one of the best yet but the inconsistencies and the cliffhanger ending are a bit of a let down. That said, I will be really sorry to see Matt Smith go. There is a part of me that considers him the best Doctor (yes I grew up with Tom Baker so thats saying something!). I dont think he was appreciated for what he did. But he will be going out on a high. Just wish I could work out how this ends. Well Done to all involved.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Sep 2013 16:14:47 BDT
I couldn't agree more. I find it hard to understand how people can overlook (or even deny) Matt's amazing ability to be, what, 27(?) and successfully portray the sheer age and wisdom of an ancient time traveller. You can see him thinking like the Doctor as he paces and thinks with his body, as creative geniuses often do. He brings out all that eccentricity, and does a great job of balancing out with the Doctor's darker side when he needs to.
People also forget that the reason we have no two-parters and the stories are a little disjointed is that this series was meant to act like a short collection of mini-movies before the big five-oh. While I do think the series actually suffered from this (and a lot of episodes would have been better if they were longer or two-parters), the decision makes some sense. They had something bigger to focus on, and the series closer does a great job of setting up the hype for the 50th Anniv special even though it's a painfully long wait for the resolve of a cliffhanger.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2013 16:37:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Sep 2013 16:38:37 BDT
This is where I differ from you two, but only slightly. I think this series has shown up Moffat's inability to run the show well, rather than any shortcoming on Matt Smith's part. I think Matt has been amazing in spite of some of the really mediocre stuff he has had to deliver. I am not in any way joking when I said that for the last few weeks of this series, it was Matt's brilliant version of the Doctor that has kept me watching. I had trouble getting him right at the start, then I figured out that his version of the Doctor saw everything through the eyes of an amazed child...and that was that! I grew up with the Pertwee/Baker change over so to say that he is equal favourite with those two illustrious predecessors is quite a thing also.

As if it were not bad enough that what Matt was given to do was not particularly plentiful, what he eventually did get was not very good either. He really did end up getting hijacked from his own show, which was a crime.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2013 14:05:49 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 21 Sep 2013 17:21:31 BDT]

Posted on 10 Oct 2013 12:01:35 BDT
Great review! I like your evenhanded tone. Only tiny thing is that I don't think "literally" means what you think it does. ;)

Thanks again.

Posted on 1 Mar 2014 09:59:46 GMT
Very well thought out review indeed. Regarding Daron's comment, I think Moffat runs the show as well as RTD did, just differntly. We have a lot to thank RTD for bringing Doctor Who back and he made a great producer. However, his own scripts were pretty dodgy during the first season. Had good ideas, but poorly structured and too much contemporary referencing. He did get better, though, apart from the truly awful Love & Monsters. I was not keen on the flying Daleks, either. Hover, yes, but fly through the air like Mary Poppins seem to diminish them. I notice Moffat has reigned that back in and, of course, got around the Gallifrey Falls problem. In short, RTD and Moffat both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Posted on 29 Aug 2014 12:01:39 BDT
K9 says:
I couldn't agree more about the end of the David Tennant era. 3 years seems to be the optimum time to stay in the role. Whilst I consider Tennant's three full seasons to be the zenith of the new series, you have perfectly summed up what went wrong during his extended stay with the specials. He became to egotistical and wimpy; whilst RTD became too egotistical and self-indulgent as writer. This culminated in the 'End of Time Part 2' which had more endings and extended farewells since the 'Return of the King' in the Lord of the Rings. The Tennant specials may have gave us the superlative Water of Mars, but the rest of them I could leave really. Season 7 is definitely an improvement on the mess that was season 6 and whilst I agree with your comments about sad to see Matt Smith going, I think he too has made a wise choice in staying only for 3 full seasons + 2 specials. Given one of these was the 50th anniversary special, which in itself is different by its nature, he hasn't outstayed his welcomed and left on a high.
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