Sunday, June 27, 2010

Series Five of Doctor Who: A Review (With Spoilers)

So, for the first time since the show's 2005 regeneration, the major story arch of the season has not been resolved. Yes, the cracks in time have been sealed and Amy's parents restored, but it is still unknown who put them there and why (well probably to eliminate the Doctor but to what end?).
The finale was manic and ridiculous but full of time manipulation and anxiety inducing moments. We learn about why Amy is so special: the crack has been eating away at her life, but she has also been hearing the universe in her dreams. Her memories are more powerful than the average, that's why in spite of his being erased, Rory could be brought back not just physically, but his heart and whole being as well. In the end it is Amy that saves the Doctor from being sealed off on the wrong side of the cracks. Perhaps this explains other little anomalies, ducks in the duck pond (probably sucked away through the crack), how Amy knew what to do in "The Beast Below," etc.
River Song becomes more intriguing as well. She clearly loves the Doctor, but he still doesn't know her and she's worried about how he'll feel when he finally catches up with her past. When he retrieves her from the time-loop in the exploding TARDIS, I loved the way he says "Honey, I'm home." It was very cute.
Overall I think that Moffat is writing Who to fully flesh out the fantasy aspect more than the scifi aspect. In an interview he said that the show always felt like it had more magic than science in it. This whole season has had a fairy tale feel to it, but more of a dark, adult fairy tale than say, Disney. Every episode has been solid, though some better than others of course. In the end, all the places they've been and creatures they've encountered have been significant.
The upcoming Christmas special will be the first time since David Tennant's first full episode, "The Christmas Invasion" that the regular companion appears. I'm also interested to see the dynamic of a newlywed couple in the TARDIS, another Who first. I really like Rory, he's grown on me through the series and I like that he challenges the Doctor sometimes, such as his decision to stay with the Pandorica. That was another lovely fairy-tale themed touch of the finale.
Though, I wonder, was it just because his time with Amy was reversing that the Dalek's shot didn't make the Doctor regenerate? Time being rewritten I suppose. Though it didn't resolve everything, it was a good finale that has left me eager for more. Those watching on BBC America have two weeks to wait to see the conclusion.

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