Trailer courtesy of Gallifreyforever97
The Impossible Astronaut
After a great start to Matt Smith’s time as The Doctor last year, Season 6 feels like a step back in many ways. There’s a mixed bag of episodes there too, some are very good whilst others some of the worst since the show’s return. Matt Smith is as charismatic as ever though and his chemistry with companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) elevate the show to such a level, you almost forgive head writer Stephen Moffat for some of the poor episodes.
The story this season starts with a new sinister villain – The Silence. An enemy so elusive you forget you’ve seen it after taking your eyes off them making them a very dangerous and frightening prospect. The first episode, “The Impossible Astronaut” and its subsequent second part, start the overarching plot with the promise that the Doctor will die. Running all his life from the inevitable, Matt Smith’s Doctor spends the duration of Season 6, along with the companions, running from his death before it eventually catches up with him by Season’s end. Its also this season that we finally discover who River Song is after nearly three years of teasing us. The sense of doom that hangs over the season is a recurring theme in the show and its handled well here, even if it does feel a bit chaotic and disjointed at times.
The stand alone episodes are most definitely a mixed bag this year. Although I understand the writers wanted to juggle the dark tone of The Silence with more lighthearted episodes, the tone and pace feels off throughout. There are some very good episodes though but ironically its the less humorous and lighthearted that stand out. The opening two part episode, “Night Terrors”, “The Girl Who Waited”, “God Complex” and the finale, “The Wedding Of River Song” are among the stand outs here and they’re clearly written with flair and confidence. This is vintage Doctor Who of old with a great mix of smart writing and creativity.
Juxtaposed to this are the rest of the episodes that range from the mundane, “The Curse Of The Black Spot”, to the poor “Closing Time”. Its such a mixed bag this season and unlike the previous Seasons, it doesn’t quite feel as forgivable after so much time passing since the show returned. Having said that, even the worst episodes are delivered with enthusiasm from the cast and along with supporting roles by James Corden and David Walliams, the show is still as much fun as it was when it started, even if it does feel tired at times.
Matt Smith and his two companions are as charismatic as ever and their chemistry is arguably the best since the show returned. Some of the more lighthearted episodes don’t hit but Moffat is at his best when he’s writing the darker stuff. Its here that the show thrives and despite a slightly disjointed plot line, its still a fun ride. This is still the Doctor Who we know and love but much like the plot from last season, cracks are beginning to show.