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Customer Review

7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on DW Series 5, 28 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 4 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Overall:
- A reasonable start for Matt Smith & co; it showed the necessary improvement over the poor Series 4 and the 2009 'specials', but no more than that.
- The programme needed a lift after Series 4, which combined with the 'year off' could have caused its demise.
- There is still more work required to recapture the strength & presence of Series 2 & 3, however.

I would not describe the epsiodes as 'more intelligent' (than previous Series) or having subtle 'foreshadowing':
- Some episodes were well crafted but no more so than Series 1, 2 or 3 (Series 4 is another matter, I agree).
- The references for the future were anything but subtle: the 'crack' appeared in nearly every episode and River Song's heavy hints hardly require much thought to pick up.

The Doctor's enemies generally failed the fear factor, unfortunately:
- The Angels failed to capture the terror they inspired in "Blink", perhaps due to the difference in killing technique (from unique before to mundane this time).
- The 'vampires' could have inspired dread but lost their aura when they were revealed as 'just another alien monster'.
- The Lego Daleks are possibly the most patheic incarnation of THE iconic Doctor's enemy; it is impossible to fear something that looks it was built from a child's plastic toy - the Dalkes are metallic for a very good reason! (Are polystyrene 'Cyber'-men next on the menu?).

Strong points of the series:
- Episode 1 was a good start (including the comedic OAP zombies).
- The initial interaction between Doctor & Amy was good - and still has potential.
- Rory proved to be a capable 'back-up companion'.
- The Weeping Angels' episodes revealed some background / character for River Song.
- The Silurians' episodes added a new/old enemy and was actually a good story including Rory's "death".
- "The Beast Below" and "The Lodger" were mystery episodes that worked better than may have been expected.

Series weak points (room for improvement):
- Why did the writers think using the 'Bobby Ewing - it was all a dream' (Dallas) plotline for the series end was a good idea? No programme can credibly get away with this idea as it invalidates everything that happened in the series after the 'dream' began!
- The dynamic between the Doctor & his main companion is always a strength of the programme, but this aspect 'lost its way' somewhat in the second half of the series; and the resurrection of Rory & subsequent marriage to Amy risks duluting the dynamic in the next series.
- River Song was an interesting addition when first introduced (during possibly the only worthwhile episodes of Series 4) but the continual 'sweetie' and 'spoilers' comments risk making the character appeaer simply annoying and 1-dimensional.
- The Lego Daleks [again!]

Conclusion
- As a whole, the series lacked the stand-out episodes of the first 3 series (e.g. Empty Child / Doctor Dances, Impossible Planet / Satan Pit, Blink, etc.).
- There is enough to suggest series 6 will be strong but there is still 'work to do' - the Christmas special will be a crucial link to demonstrate the show can retain its strengths.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jul 2010, 15:36:32 BST
Peter says:
I totally agree. This review is perfect is any way when summing up the series. I think the major problem for this series was the fact that none of the scripts were any good. For example the Hungry Earth/Cold Blood 2 parter should of been 45 minutes if that. Also I think the Pandorica Opens/Big Bang episodes were frankly dull, unlike the Parting of Ways/Doomsday/Last of the Time Lords episodes of series 1-3. Again great review :0

Posted on 14 Jul 2010, 15:40:25 BST
Peter says:
Also, I have just read the following:
Series 6 will continue the story arc from series 5, investigating the mysterious "silence" that caused the TARDIS to explode in "The Pandorica Opens" / "The Big Bang". The identity of River Song will also be revealed.

The problem is with continuing the two above points is they were not interesting to start with, so why continue a boring plotline???

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2010, 16:34:53 BST
PRTM says:
It's only a problem because you happen to find those plot points boring. But a lot of people find them interesting and want to know how those stories pan out. So it is not a problem at all for the next series to continue with them. Besides it would be daft, having started these plot lines, not to conclude them at some point.

Posted on 2 Sep 2010, 16:08:55 BST
It's a good balanced review that covers all the things I felt about this series.
Although the review should probably have been of the whole series box set!
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