qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Season 7, Part 2

I've seen a few things over the last few weeks commenting on low viewing figures for this half-season. This seems a shame to me, because on the whole I think there has been a good combination of new and more traditional stories. The start of the season was a bit indifferent - neither The Bells of Saint John nor The Rings of Akhaten really did much for me, though they weren't terrible by any means. Cold War was very traditional, and I thought it was one of Gatiss' better offerings, although the plot would have worked much the same with a different monster. Hide was both traditional and also novel: a "small" story that worked really well. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS again had both elements, clever in some ways but perhaps a bit awkward in others. Maybe it should have been given the space of a two-parter. The Crimson Horror was mostly good, though "Mr Sweet" turned out to be a bit silly. I picked up the Tegan reference immediately; I wonder if that's a hint for the special. I was ambivalent on Nightmare in Silver - my immediate reaction was that I didn't like it, though I could identify all sorts of things I did like about it. On reflection I think this was a good story with the wrong monster - I think it was the Cybermen that didn't work. I can't see them playing chess. Any game-based plot doesn't work with a being whose emotions have been removed or inhibited.

So, then, to The Name of the Doctor. Never knowingly undersold, but I'd avoided all spoilers. I was fairly convinced the name was the one thing we wouldn't get to find out. Would calling it the Tomb of the Doctor have made it any less dramatic as a title? I thought all the interweaving of the past incarnations was very well done; and I suppose it's quite clever to have made Clara ordinary all along - it's stepping into the Doctor's timeline that makes her special. I'm presuming John Hurt is the Valeyard/the twelfth Doctor, though of course the first rule is that Moffat lies, and even if that is correct, it probably won't be by the end of the special. There's no denying it's a clever set-up for the anniversary special in November.
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