io9.com produced a list of Doctor Who plot devices they wouldn’t mind avoided in future. I’ve just finished watching the season finale and I was all like: Meh.
In the Harry Potter novels, there’s always that bit which lasts about five pages where some Chekhov’s Gun is explained in tedious detail. Rowling has noted that she developed certain characters whose sole function was to explain piece of magic #45786-B and then fade into the background.
It’s dull and unimaginative story telling. In the season finale of Doctor Who — SPOILER ALERT — most of the episode is taken up with explanations of what’s going on. While some of it is clever (how did I miss the lack of references to Amy’s parents in the first episode? Touche, Moffat), most of it caused me to reach for Angry Birds.
What was even more strange was that the person doing most of the explanations — the Doctor — had admitted earlier that he didn’t have a deep understanding of the Pandorica on account of it being a ‘fairytale’. As if by magic, he came to realise the finer points of the Pandorica and could even hack its mainframe or something to cause a second Big Bang when flown into an exploding TARDIS. How he knew the Pandorica could fly, I have no idea.
The high point of the series was definitely a return of the Weeping Angels. They are absolutely terrifying and they disrupt my sleep for about a week after an episode. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them in future episodes; particularly if the script is careful not to add more powers to the Angels as the plot demands.
The low point continues to be River Song. Holy frijoles, I hate that character. The worst part is that we know when she dies (two seasons ago) so she’s effectively immortal. There are going to be no episodes in which she dies within twenty seconds of the opening credits. She’s just an irritating, unfunny, uninteresting character.
But when all’s said and done, I’m enjoying this Doctor a lot more than the last. Matt Smith seems to have the quirky aspect of the Doctor mastered, making it seem a lot more like Classic Who. Tennant’s angsty Who ran out of steam when Martha left him. Martha remains the best companion.