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Michelle

Doctor Who

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I feel like I always just seem to be the voice of doom whenever I talk about Doctor Who now.  I didn't like the Christmas episode at all, and even felt my eyes drooping as I nearly fell asleep a couple of times, and the family of the companion (I can't even remember what her name is, she's so unimpressive) were like cardboard cutouts and made me miss the old days of Rose, Jackie, Pete and Mickey or Donna, Sylvia and Wilf.  I was so excited when I first heard Steven Moffat was taking over from Russell T Davies, but I've now got to the stage where I don't really want to watch any more.  I'll give Peter Capaldi a go, but unless there's some dramatic improvement in the writing, I can see myself putting my headphones on and reading while OH watches.  It only makes it worse when I catch a Chris Eccleston or David Tennant episode, and see how good they were, especially the Moffat ones which were among the best of the best.  I wish I could be more complimentary.

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The Radio Free Skaro podcast spent their 400th episode looking back at the Matt Smith era recently.  For those who have never heard it, the podcast is run by three Canadians who have been life-long Doctor Who fans and in this episode they bought together a number of other podcasters to discuss Matt Smith and his legacy.  There were varying views, but the one thing that became clear over the course of the show is that there have been a lot more good episodes over the last three years than a lot of people give Moffat and Co. credit for. 

 

There have, of course, also been some stinkers as well but, that was also the case in the days of Tennant and Eccelston (anyone remember Fear Her or The Long Game?). 

 

Some of the best episodes of Who have gone out over the last three series; Smith's opening episode The Eleventh Hour has to be the most polished and accomplished first episode of any Doctor; it can be argued that A Christmas Carol is the best Christmas episode Who has had; The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone is probably one of the best two-parters since the show returned and for sheer bravado, wrong footing and a hugely entertaining resolve you just can't beat The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang season finale. 

 

Season six did fumble the ball a little, the series long plot arc never really lived up to the promise of The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon, but this was also the series that gave us Neil Gaiman's The Doctor's Wife and the exceptional The Girl Who Waited.

 

Season seven started with a cracker (Asylum of the Daleks) and also went on to have The Angel's Take Manhattan, The Snowmen, Cold War, Hide and The Name of the Doctor.

 

It's not been perfect, I'll grant you, but it's been a long way from being poor and you have to give credit to Moffat and the production team for making the 50th Anniversary as good as it was (how many other television programs can you name that have scored 2nd place at the American box office on a limited release?!).

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Sorry, we'll just have to agree to disagree.  I don't agree with you on any of the above episodes of the Matt Smith era, and The Doctor's Wife is one that sticks out as among my least favourites ever.  On the flip side, I actually like Fear Her - granted, it's not the best by a long stretch, but I'd still rather watch that than any of series seven at all.  I did enjoy some of series five, but I think apart from Vincent and the Doctor which I love, I've only watched them twice, and have no inclination to watch them again.  Don't forget this is all personal opinion and whatever you may think of the episodes you've highlighted, I haven't liked the majority of series six or seven, thought the 50th Anniversary episode was okay - better than the rest of the series, but still not a great episode, and don't think there have been any really great Christmas episodes, and the only one I'm happy to watch again is the very first one, The Christmas Invasion
 
But I should also say, the RTD period wasn't without fault, and there were some pretty dreadful episodes in there too, but at least he understood when it was time to move on, and the stinkers (Gridlock was a low point for me), are few and far between, for me at least.  I'm a New Who fan, and it was the first David Tennant series that really got me involved, and then go back and appreciate the Chris Eccleston series more after that.  I like the humour and the heart in those earlier series, and I loved Rose and Donna as companions (not so keen on Martha, but again, I think she suffered from the writing to a certain extent), so I've found the lack of humour a major stumbling block to my enjoyment.

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I started watching the new Who because of Matt Smith, when I just happened to catch The Eleventh Hour when visiting a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, culminating in my giving a little gasp at the rooftop scene when Matt walked through the tenth doctor's image and announced, "Hello, I'm the Doctor".

 

Having fallen in love with the series I bought myself the box set of Nine and Ten. I adored Christopher Eccleston and enjoyed David Tennant (who I felt was occasionally a bit hammy, despite being a great actor).

 

Episode wise, Eleven gets my overall vote. As with any long series there are episodes I like more than others, but in the main I would agree with Raven's post. The Doctor's Wife rates as a favourite of mine that I felt had a great balance of humour ("It's like kissing, but there's a winner") and sentiment. The Girl Who Waited has caught me at each viewing, and even thinking of it makes my heart ache a little.

 

I think the Christmas episode this year was a tricky one after such a fab 50th Anniversary episode, and I only had one real qualm about it.

 

I'm looking forward to Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, and have no misgivings about how things will develop with him. :smile:

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