I reviewed every episode of Doctor Who, Series 5, the debut series of the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith. Then I did the same for Series 6, and for much of Series 7. Then I decided to put together a book of reviews of all Eleventh Doctor episodes (including the ones not on the blog) and some new material. Here are the reviews, in order, and the posts about the in-progress book:
- 1. The Eleventh Hour
- 2. The Beast Below
- 3. Victory of the Daleks
- Oh, and by the way …
- 4. The Time of Angels
- 5. Flesh and Stone
- 6. The Vampires of Venice
- 7. Amy’s Choice
- 8. The Hungry Earth
- 9. Cold Blood
- 10. Vincent and the Doctor
- 11. The Lodger
- (Bonus post: what’s in the box?)
- 12. The Pandorica Opens
- 13. The Big Bang
2010 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
- 1. The Impossible Astronaut
- (Bonus post: a spoileriffic Doctor Who question)
- 2. Day of the Moon
- 3. The Curse of the Black Spot
- 4. The Doctor’s Wife
- 5. The Rebel Flesh
- 6. The Almost People
- (Bonus post: The Almost People, redux: let’s see if we can sort this out)
- 7. A Good Man Goes to War
- 8. Let’s Kill Hitler
- 9. Night Terrors
- 10. The Girl Who Waited
- 11. The God Complex
- 12. Closing Time
- (Bonus post: What do we know about the Lake Silencio incident?)
- The Wedding of River Song
- (Bonus post: More thoughts on The Wedding of River Song)
2011 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
- The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (first thoughts)
- The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (full review)
- Review of the first block of five episodes:
- 1. Asylum of the Daleks
- 2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
- 3. A Town Called Mercy
- 4. The Power of Three
- 5. The Angels Take Manhatten
- Christmas special: The Snowmen
- 6. The Bells of Saint John
- 7. The Rings of Akhaten
- (Bonus post: The reason Doctor Who is the best thing on TV)
- A quick thought on The Name of the Doctor
See also my book, based in part on these blog-posts: The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who. It discusses every Matt Smith episode, including the second half of Series 7 and the various specials.
- Six days to go till the new Doctor!
- 7. Kill the Moon
- SPOILERS! In which I whine about Doctor Who again
- [I didn’t write about most of the rest of this series.]
“The truth is I have not really felt moved to write about Doctor Who much in the Peter Capaldi era. I can’t put a finger on what it is. It might be that he feels a bit like an actor playing the role of The Doctor, while Matt Smith felt like The Doctor. It might be that Moffatt has reached the natural end of his term (much as Davies has by Doomsday) and has nothing really new left to say. It might be that I am just too worn our by the sheer mundanity of Clara.” — from here.
- 1. The Woman who Fell to Earth: some unwelcome opinions
- 2. The Ghost Monument: brief thoughts
- 3. Rosa: now we’re getting somewhere!
- 4. Arachnids in the UK: treading water
- 5. The Tsuranga Conundrum: as you were
- 6. Demons of the Punjab: close, but no sonic screwdriver
- 7. Kerblam!: yes, but what does it all mean?
- 8. The Witchfinders: a collision of irrelevances
- 9. It Takes You Away: interesting, and that’s worth something
- 10. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos: too late, had your chance, muffed it
- 1. Mike’s bang-up-to-date thoughts on Spyfall, part 1
- 2. Mike’s very slightly less belated thoughts on Spyfall, part 2
- 3. Mike catches up with Orphan 55, for some reason
- 4. Mike quite enjoys Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror
- 5. Fugitive of the Judoon: that’s how it’s done!
- 6. Could Praxeus have been saved?
- 7. Can You Hear Me? is the episode Praxeus wanted to be
- 8. The Haunting of Villa Diodati doesn’t really get going
- 9. Ascension of the Cybermen: racking up the tension
- 10. The Timeless Children is 90% satisfying
- Doctor Who: Series 1, revisited (and contrasted with Series 11)
still watching Dr Who?
Yes; but not obsessively any more. (For example, I have yet to catch up with last week’s episode.)
I should really write a post on why that is.
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Have you heard the news about Doctor Who?
Yes! I am delighted that Whittaker is moving on, but much more delighted at the prospect of seeing the back of Chibnall. (For reasons, see The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos: too late, had your chance, muffed it.)
What do you think of the news that RTD might be returning as the showrunner for Doctor Who in a couple of years?
I think the news is more definite than that. Like I guess everyone I have mixed feelings. I loved RTD’s seasons 1 and 2, but felt that 3 and 4, which they had plenty of great moments, were a bit tired in comparison, as though he’d said everything he had to say and was struggling a bit to find new material. So I was delighted at Moffat’s taking over, and I think seasons 5 and 6 definitely validated that feeling. But he, too, seemed to run out of steam a bit after that (not helped by Matt Smith leaving), so season 7 and especially his last two seasons suffered a definitely drop in quality.
Against that backdrop, I deplored the appointment of Chris Chibnall, whose previous work on Doctor Who and Torchwood gave us no reason to think he could do a good job helping the show. And season 11 definitely corroborated that sense. Season 12 is a bit better, but still well below even the weakest of the RTD and Moffat seasons. I have no great hopes for season 13.
So what to make of RTD’s return? First, he is definitely a step up from Chibnall, so that’s good. My concern is that if he felt a bit played out in season 4, what can we hope from season 14? Will the fourteen years that have passed have given him a fresh vision and energy? If so, this could be a great move. On the other hand, I can’t help thinking of when great football managers return the clubs where they were previously successful (Howard Kendall at Everton, Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool) and how the triumphant return always always always turns out to be terrible disappointment.
Bottom line: I don’t know.