‘Who’ Continues Emotional Season
The Doctor is back with a new TARDIS, new companion and a new attitude. Series seven of the lasting sci-fi classic “Doctor Who” aired on BBC back in September, but in true “Who” fashion, eager fans had to deal with a break between part one and two of the season.
Part one of the series was nothing short of an emotion fest. The split between the Doctor’s companions, Amy and Rory, and the possibility of their divorce put into perspective the importance of their relationship and made us appreciate them as characters, whereas before they weren’t amongst our favorite companions. “Asylum of the Daleks” was really well made; going inside the Dalek world and seeing the emotions behind their existence — especially in the asylum — was kind of sad in a creepy, rusty, dancing ballerina Dalek way.
This episode also introduced “Soufflé Girl” Clara Oswin Oswald into the mix, who would later become the Doctor’s new companion. However, Steven Mofatt, being the troll that he is, left us (and the Doctor) utterly confused as to how she ended up there and left many questions about who she really is. Moffat’s storyline for Clara gets borderline annoying later in the season, since he seems to lead us in 11 different directions about her background with no answer in sight.
“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” was fun, especially with the Mark Williams and Rupert Graves cameos, but this episode, along with “A Town Called Mercy,” began hinting at the Doctor’s colder demeanor. Many fans were concerned over the fact that the Doctor condoned the killing of Solomon in “Dinosaurs” and continues to show no mercy in the Western-themed “A Town Called Mercy.” Since the Doctor is known to abhor violence, this attitude begs the question: why is he acting this way? Our answer is that he’s a lonely madman and the fact that he cannot save everyone, including his companions, has driven him to this bitterness.
The Doctor once again had to face this sadness and helplessness with the final episode of part one, “The Angels Take Manhattan.” The end of part one marked the end of an era, as we were forced to say goodbye to Amy and Rory. “Angels Take Manhattan” made for a well-driven and feeling-heavy farewell to the Ponds and really solidified them as companions on their way out. Naturally, Mofatt wrote them out in a strange time-wimey paradox situation, but bringing some of the best villains back for a landmark episode made this ending well worth it. It was hard for us to say adieu to these two (it was hard for the Doctor, too), but it definitely ranks up there with “Doomsday” as one of the most emotionally-charged companion departures in new Who history.
Part two began a-ringin’ with “The Bells of St. John.” It was a very solid episode set against a beautiful backdrop of modern day London, with another attempt on Moffat’s part to make us scared of ordinary things consuming our lives, like Wi-Fi. “The Bells” also re-introduced Clara for the third time since the beginning of the series. Just to recap: we met her once as the soufflé girl trapped as a Dalek, another time in the Christmas special as a nanny/bar maid in Victorian England and a third time as a nanny in different households in present day London.
The question over Clara’s existence continues throughout the second part of the season, with the “Rings of Akhaten.” The Doctor is desperate for answers about Clara’s background by now and so are we.
However, “Rings” still had an interesting storyline and featured quite a bit of sentimental moments along with another loquacious moving monologue from the Doctor. Both “Rings” and “Bells” took on themes that addressed topics of societal importance such as technology and religion, which is always refreshing in Doctor Who.
“Cold War” was the only real disappointment of part two so far. It was a lot of the Doctor running around and having tense, needless conversation while solving nothing, which we’re kind of sad to say, since it was written by “Sherlock” co-creator, Mark Gatiss. It’s also worth noting that the Doctor seems a little disconnected from the TARDIS. Not only did he have to ask for a lift to the TARDIS at the end of the episode, but the new interior of the TARDIS is both cold and unwelcoming. We’re hoping this will be explained and further explored in the upcoming episode, “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.”
In the suspense-filled ghost episode, “Hide,” the TARDIS seems to reject Clara by not allowing her to enter several times. Interesting to see that even the TARDIS is confused by the anomaly that is Clara Oswin Oswald. Nonetheless, “Hide” is without a doubt one of our favorite episodes of series seven.
“Hide” has it all: ghosts, suspense, love, Ghostbuster references and pain-staking nods to Rose/10th Doctor era of “Doctor Who.” Although we are still left with no answers, the episode certainly delved into deeper concepts about the Doctor’s loneliness and allowed for moments of reflection on Clara as a character. As much as it killed us to see the Doctor in the orange space suit from “The Impossible Planet”/“Satan Pit,” “Hide” was nothing short of intriguing and left us excited for the rest of the season.
Bring on the rest of 11! Geronimo!