Doctor Who

8.4 / 10
48 min
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" gives "Doctor Who - Season 5" a 7.5."
Written by on 4 March 2014.
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Doctor Who - Season 5

“I’m the Doctor; I’m worse than everybody’s aunt! … And that’s not how I’m introducing myself.” But actually, this is a good way to introduce himself, although he might be reluctant to admit it. After the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration, Matt Smith takes over the famous role as the Eleventh Doctor. This new version is impulsive, clumsy, unexpected, and talkative. And although it might take some time, you probably will end up loving him.

I have to admit that I do miss David Tennant, but Matt Smith is all but a bad successor. It took me some time before I was convinced of his take on the Doctor, but it has happened. Matt Smith is the youngest actor to play this role, and that childlikeness reflects in his version of the age-old character. The relatively dark personality of Nine and Ten is a definite contrast to the Eleventh Doctor, but I think it suits his regeneration pretty well: in my opinion, his character choices seem logical responses to the events the Tenth Doctor went through.

After season four, Stephen Moffat (currently renowned as co-producer of ‘Sherlock’) replaced Russell T. Davies as the series’ show runner. This causes a slight alteration in the nature of the series in regard to the previous seasons, which makes season five a popular starting point for new viewers. From season five onwards, the structure of the plot lines changes: it becomes more ingenious, fast-paced, and action-centred, there’s less focus on dialogue and character development, and the special effects improve. The episodes are story lines in itself; there is no longer a ‘clear’ plot line such as BADWOLF or Torchwood. This season centres mainly around the lives of the companions and the Doctor’s influence on them. In doing so, the focus becomes more small-scaled.

The first episode of season five, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, is a good introduction to both the Eleventh Doctor and main companion for the next two seasons: Amy Pond. The Doctor crashes in the backyard of the seven-year old, stubborn, independent, Scottish Amelia. She has a frightening crack in her wall, a crack in space and time, and the Doctor is there to help her. He promises to leave in his TARDIS for only five minutes to stabilise the engines, but due to his time machine’s regeneration he arrives years later. The house has a new resident now: the beautiful Amy (Karen Gillan), an assertive, headstrong young woman. She becomes the Eleventh Doctor’s first companion.

The sad thing about Amy, in my opinion, is that there is fairly little depth to her character. In contrast to Rose, Martha, and Donna, her character remains quite superficial. I have to admit that this makes sense—she met the Doctor when she was seven years old, he made promises he (unknowingly) didn’t keep, and there was only one person who believed her—but depth of even non-recurring characters has always been a very strong point in the series, and I think that Amy deserves it, too. I have to say that, in contrast with other recurring characters—her relatively sober, clumsy, but incredibly sweet fiancé Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill, ‘Broadchurch’), the mysterious River Song (Alex Kingston, ‘ER’), and the Doctor—the relationships between the four of the main characters do become quite interesting and dynamic.

My favourite episode of this season is undoubtedly ‘Vincent and the Doctor’. As the name might suggest, it’s about Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Being Dutch myself, it might be a little bit of national pride to watch an episode about one of our most famous painters, but it is especially the incredible skill and respect of so many facets in this episode, combined with the heavy emotional load, that made it my favourite one. The images are so beautiful, it’s so human, and the story is so well-done and recognisable… It just fits.

So, in general, I think season five of ‘Doctor Who’ is once again a good season with a nice story line and ingenious findings, but because I very much value substantial characters, meaningful dialogue, and well-developed story lines with strong messages, I’m awarding season five with a 7.5.
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