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"Silence will fall!"
on 14 June 2016
Ah, series 6... The point at which 'Doctor Who' starts disappearing up its own fundament. A series of surprising highs & excruciating lows. A series of doppelgangers; fathers reconnecting with sons & timey-wimey shenanigans! So, join me as I review, 'The River Song Show.'
A Christmas Carol - A clichéd, derivative & utterly tedious hour of television, that's full of cloying sentiment, forced humour, the Doctor babbling nonsense at speed & SINGING!! Certainly the worst Christmas story & one of the worst stories EVER!! Even Micheal Gambon can't save it!
The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon - A good 2-parter to start the series proper, full of mystery & suspense. The Silence are suitably strange & menacing but are mostly kept in the background, bar one memorable scene in the White House toilet. Sadly, much of what is set up here is unsatisfactorily resolved later in the series.
The Curse Of The Black Spot - A story no one can muster much enthusiasm for. Incompetent pirates; a boy stowaway; some poor continuity & a dead Rory... nearly. I also dislike the idea of 17th century pirates comfortably piloting a spacecraft. An actor like Hugh Bonneville deserved better.
The Doctor's Wife - One of the highlights of the Matt Smith era! Neil Gaiman's script is original & wonderfully strange, with a great performance by Suranne Jones. Have the TARDIS corridors ever seemed so threatening?..
The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People - A mixed bag of a story, too heavy handed in its central message but Nu-Who is rarely subtle. We have another father reconnecting with his son, though the father, on this occasion, is a Ganger. The Doctor also exhibits shocking double standards, when he destroys Amy's ganger without hesitation.
A Good Man Goes To War - The story that introduced us to a lesbian lizard, her Victorian lover & a comedy Sontaran. Some people like them... I don't. As far as I'm concerned, they'd be more at home in an episode of 'Red Dwarf' or a comic book. The story itself is poor, with too much portentous dialogue & a reveal that is annoying rather than surprising. And as for being able to regenerate because of conception in TARDIS... Give me strength!!
Let's Kill Hitler! - Another episode more interested in furthering the season arc than telling a story in its own right. In it, we're introduced to the insufferable Mels before she regenerates into River Song - at her most annoying - who swans about pre-war Berlin looking for something to wear. She also happens to poison the Doctor but has a change of heart & saves him, despite being trained all her life to kill him. The only aspect that works for me is the Teselecta, which reminds me of the Numskulls. The title's rubbish too!
Night Terrors - A decent story from Mark Gatiss; beautifully filmed but did we really need another father & son scenario? The resolution is yet another based on the power of lurve.
The Girl Who Waited - An excellent performance from Karen Gillan, especially as the older Amy, in Tom McRae's affecting story, make this a highlight of the series. It's also nice to see Smith's Doctor show a little ruthlessness for once.
The God Complex - A minotaur roaming a hotel reminiscent of the one in 'The Shining' & feeding on the faith of its victims, should be scarier than it is but it's a little too anaemic for my taste. It's a pretty good story but it should have been gutsier.
Closing Time - Baby talk! Stormageddon!! Cybermen defeated by love!!? AAAARRRGGHH!!! This is not what I want from 'Dr. Who!'
The Wedding Of River Song - The series draws to a close with an incoherent, timey-wimey, smorgasbord of nonsense!! "The question that should not be asked." What on Earth could that be?.. "Doctor WHOOOOOO..." Give me a break!
I'm afraid it's a series that promised much but singularly failed to deliver on those promises. It is also far too glib & in love with its own seeming cleverness. Matt Smith's performance, though still good in places, grates with the constant arm-waving & general silliness. I understand that there are a lot of people out there who thoroughly enjoy this series & Smith's performance but I'm constantly frustrated by both. To end on a positive note, of all the extras on the DVD, the best is the prequel to 'The Impossible Astronaut'... Very creepy & disturbing. Thank you!