Saturday, April 23, 2011

Doctor Who Series Six premiere review round up

Well, it sure had a breakneck pace. After a big show, I look to Sepinwall, Ryan, and AV Club to see if the same things struck them as me. Ryan's review isn't up yet, but Sepinwall had:

And even in the midst of all the time puzzle questions, the tears and the creepy monsters, there was still plenty of room for Moffat's brand of madcap comedy, from the opening montage of the Doctor deliberately making a nuisance of himself throughout history so Amy and Rory would keep track of him during his long time away to the Doctor introducing his three operatives as "The Legs" (Amy), "The Nose" (Rory) and "Mrs. Robinson" (River). And, of course, we got a continuation of the running gag about Eleven's fashion sense, though in this case, I think he was right: Stetsons really are cool.

And the AV Club:

OK, here’s where the show eludes me: If The Doctor is 1100-some years when he first reunites with Amy and Rory this episode and 900-some years when he returns, does that mean that this incarnation of The Doctor exists for at least 200 years, presumably having two centuries worth of adventures between those two appearances? And then does it then follow logically that if he does die, the Matt Smith Doctor is the last Doctor? The head spins. Or at least mine does.
I always have an issue with episodes that start by killing a character that structurally, for the integrity of the show, can't stay dead. It takes me out of the episode by forcing me to think, "how is the writer going to undo this?" Which is qualitatively different than wondering, "how are the characters going to get out of this mess?" Matt Smith will not be the last actor to play the Doctor, so there's really no tension in wondering how the show will wind down. So, even though they go to lengths to make him dead and gone, including a viking funeral, he never feels gone. And Moffatt, cheeky bastard, rubs that in your face by having River slap the Doctor when emerges (in a younger, oblivious incarnation) because he knows full well, that pulling that stunt, it's what we want to do to him.

I loved everything else about the episode. The monsters are a great Grays/Weeping Angels/Silurian(!?) hybrid of motives, history, and abilities. The tone was great, Moffatt is a master of shuffling the tarot deck so with each card revealed we go from the Joker, to Death, to the Fates, and enjoy his reading as he goes.

I'm staying spoiler-free and don't dare hazard a guess as to what the nature of the astronaut is for fear of winding up with egg on my face. I can't wait for next week.
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