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The Friendly Dalek

My huge Doctor Who episode marathon.

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The Girl Who Waited - This is my favourite episode of Series 6. I love this one.

I love the simplicity of the story. It works well with the three leads. 

The writing and production are superb.

Smith is excellent even though he takes a back seat in this one.

However this episode belongs to Gillan and Darvill. Gillan plays the older and younger Amy to perfection. Darvill is brilliant. It's one of the strongest performances for both.

It was a risk to focus so heavily on Amy and Rory's relationship as it could have been soppy but it works. I love the emotion in this. I'm sure I had something in my eye at the end. :lol:

The handbots look a bit naff but I can forgive that due to the quality of the episode.

Overall 10/10

 

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The God Complex- The leads are great as always. The supporting cast are fine, and I like the design of the Minotaur. I also like the set design, and just the general concept of this episode. A building which forces people to confront their greatest fears is certainly interesting in concept. The pacing is very good, and the camerawork is nice as well. The exploration of the character of The Doctor, or rather how his character affects those around him, was great to see. This episode has a somewhat surreal tone, which makes it stand out from the more bland and uninspired episodes around it.

Now onto what I'm not a fan of. The entire cast give good performances, but I think they were let down by a weak script. There are moments with some excellent dialogue, but for the most part I thought it was uninteresting. The ending felt like a major cop out to me. However, I loved the moment which involves The Doctor saying goodbye to Amy and Rory. Although I of course know this isn't going to last, it still makes for a very effective scene. Really the main thing I disliked was the characters and dialogue.

There isn't really mush to the main plot of the episode that makes it stand out as one I want to watch again, and as a result most of the episode baring a few scenes is really forgettable for me.

Overall- 7/10.

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The God Complex  - An interesting episode in it's idea but the writing isn't strong enough.  Although I like the story it doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Across film and TV you could name any number of stories based on people's fears. 

The leads are excellent. David Walliams is the best of the support cast but he seems to be a bit sidelined by the end. 

Although performed well Amy, Rory and The Doctor parting ways (although temporary) doesn't make sense.

Production and direction are brilliant. 

Overall 5/10

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Closing Time- As a sequel to The Lodger I think this episode works wonderfully, but it completely fails as a Cyberman story. 

Revisiting The Lodger was a great idea, as that episode is easily one of my favourites of Smith's era, and one of the ones I watch the most. When this episode focuses on the characters of Craig and his family, it's brilliant. Also, seeing more of The Doctor in situations we wouldn't normally see him in, such as getting a job at a shop, is great. The comedy is almost as strong as it was in The Lodger. Gareth Roberts clearly knows how to construct funny scenes. The acting is fantastic, especially from Smith and Corden, and the supporting cast do a fine job. The ste design is good and the pacing is great, it never felt dull or slow. 

Now the main issue I have with this episode is how it handles the Cybermen. Firstly, why are Cybermen even in this story? The episode wouldn't be much different if another orignal menace was used, which isn't a good sign, because a villain as iconic as the Cybermen shouldn't be utilised in such a generic way. This story also sees the return of the Cybermats, and I really dislike their design here. I think that how they looked in the classic series, especially in Revenge Of The Cybermen, was much better than this modern redesign. Now this is a minor thing, but I'm not really a fan of how Craig is nearly converted into a Cyberman. My issue is how the conversion is done. This episode shows the conversion process simply as a Cyberman body closing over a person, but every other story up to this point has shown that, in order to be converted, a person's body is taken apart and built over and re-assembled. This is much more effective and creepy in concept than just having a suit on top of the still fully intact human body in my opinion. It's hard to explain this. :lol: Take Attack Of The Cybermen, for example. Lytton's partial conversion is still creepy, because of what happens to him. He doesn't just have the body of a Cyberman placed over his body, instead he has had sections of his body removed and replaced with cybernetic parts, which I think is so much more effective. 

The resolution for this story is rubbish. The way the Cybermen are defeated is really cliché and simple. If you've seen the episode you know what i'm talking about. If it wasn't for how this episode treats the Cybermen I would have nearly no issues with it. Almost all of the comedy works, but some of it, especially the "comedic" moments including the baby, fall flat. I still really enjoy watching this episode though, and often find myself watching it immediately after seeing The Lodger because of how nicely the two episodes come together, and they feel like a two-parter, which is why I often watch them that way.

Overall- 7/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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Closing Time - This is a fun episode just before the finale. 

Smith is excellent as usual.  It's great for him to have a light hearted story.  I don't personally think this is as good as The Lodger. Although some of the comedic parts work well,  some don't.  I feel Corden rather over-acts at times almost to the point of being annoying. 

The Cybermen are woefully misused. They don't pose much of a threat. The ending seems to rushed. 

Not one of my favourites. 

Overall 4/10

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The Wedding Of River Song- This is an atrocious finale in my opinion. This story is all over the place, in every sense of the word. There are so many characters and locations, and thanks to that this episode feels like a mess of ideas which are never fully developed in a satisfying way. The pacing is also horrendous. I was very bored whilst watching this episode, and it's been a while since I saw an episode which bored me this much. 

The characters are wildly inconsistent here. One moment The Doctor is accepting of his death, but then the next scene shows him talking about how he can do what he wants and he will survive. Amy and Rory aren't together for most of this episode, which annoys me. So many stories feature them breaking up, only to get back together again. Their story in this episode just feels like unnecessary padding. This is the episode that ruins River Song completely. She became increasingly irritating throughout this series, but this episode completely destroys her character. The acting from everyone is fine, but the writing is so incompetent here that even talented actors like Matt Smith and Alex Kingston can't save this one.

I like Steven Moffat, I really do, but episodes like this make it hard to like his writing. He went way too far with this story, and the arc in this series in general. He creates stories on a huge scale, but due to their scale he always has to resort to what is essentially a reset button in order to tie up the convoluted plot. The series arc became less interesting with each passing episode in my opinion. The resolution feels like a major cop out to me. Also, if the Teselecta was the thing that River shot at Lake Silencio in The Impossible Astronaut, why did it start regenerating? I'm pretty sure that the Teselecta can't do that. The Silence arc is also wasted, and the Silence themselves aren't well utilised in this episode. 

 The actual marriage between The Doctor and River wasn't that great either in my opinion. The reason as to why they get married also didn't work for me. The Doctor and River kissed, because if they touched then time could move forward and reality returned to normal, I think. I like stories which are complex, but they have to have a resolution which justifies the complex nature of the story. This story is still somewhat confusing because the story doesn't make sense at times. Basically there are very few things I like about this episode, and it is one of my least favourite stories of modern Who.

Overall- 2/10 (for the acting by the leads and some nice visuals).

Overall rating for series 6- 4/10

This is the series of modern Who which had the most wasted potential in my opinion. The series arc started strongly, but became less and less interesting, and was then very poorly resolved. The three leads really come into their own performance wise in this series, which is surprising because the writing is so much weaker than series 5. The lead who was done the biggest dis-service in series 6 by a long way was Alex Kingston. Her performance was always good, but the writing ruined her character to such an extent that I hated seeing the character in her last couple of appearances, and it takes a long time for the show to make me like her again. This series was definitely an improvement in terms of visual quality, but this was seemingly at the expense of good writing, and I know I would much rather see a well written episode with dodgy effects than a beautiful looking episode with a poor story. I remember that, way back in 2011, this was when my interest in modern Who started to wane, because I was so disappointed by the quality of this series. Do I think series 7 is an improvement? Well, as River would say, spoilers. :lol:

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Wedding of River Song - Hadn't watched this since it first aired so one evening last week decided to watch it again. Really wish I hadn't bothered. I would have had more fun re-tiling my bathroom. 

Positive - clever idea to have all of history happen at one moment in time. That's it. That's the only positive thing. 

This story is a complete mess and doesn't really make a lot of sense. Why The Doctor didn't die is a cop out. The Teselecta were a boring concept. I hate the River Song arc. Even the leads seem bored to be here. There is no chemistry between Smith and Kingston. The Silence were defeated far too easily. 

I tend to prefer a two part finale but thankfully there wasn't a second part to sit through this time. 

Overall 1/10. I'm saving my 0 for another episode. 

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So 6 series of Modern Who and this is by far the weakest. I don't like to rank doctors  - it's like choosing your favourite child. But Smith doesn't really do it for me. If the story is weak (as many of them have been this series) he doesn't seem to be able to put in a consistently good performance. My interest in the modern era was definitely going down at this point. 

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29 minutes ago, Peter Capaldi Fan said:

So 6 series of Modern Who and this is by far the weakest. I don't like to rank doctors  - it's like choosing your favourite child. But Smith doesn't really do it for me. If the story is weak (as many of them have been this series) he doesn't seem to be able to put in a consistently good performance. My interest in the modern era was definitely going down at this point. 

Whenever I have discussions with friends about ranking the Doctors, I always have to say before I rank them that I love them all (bar one), and that they all have great aspects to them. The difference between how much I love the Doctor who comes in 5th place and the Doctor who comes in 3rd place is small, because I love them both almost equally. Of course the one I would put in 3rd place has more things about them that I like, but I still love the one in 5th place. So whenever I put Doctors like Smith and Whittaker at the bottom of a ranking (who are currently my two least favourites), I always point out that I by no means dislike the 11th Doctor. Far from it. I love 11. However, 13 is a different matter entirely. :lol:  One of my mates has the 11th Doctor at the top of their ranking, so it's always interesting to see when the Doctors I love slightly less than the others (not gonna say dislike ;)) are at the tops of other people's rankings. That's one of the great things about this character. Different incarnations appeal more to different people. I've spoken to people who think the 1st Doctor is the best, and I've spoken to others who think that 13 is the best. 

And I agree, Series 6 is definitely the weakest of modern Who. I like some individual episodes, and the arc was nicely built up in the first half of the series, but it really lost its way after A Good Man Goes To War. Upon rewatch I might find other series to be weaker (I already have an idea of which one might score lower), but for now, series 6 is the lowest point modern Who has reached. 

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I don't think a programme could last over 55 years if it wasn't continually evolving. Everyone will have an idea of who there favourite doctor is. If you don't like one wait a few years and another will be along. Yes, my interest diminished during the Smith years but was back higher than ever with Capaldi. But I still liked Smith. Were I to rank I wouldn't include Hartnell, Troughton or Pertwee as I have never seen them. Something I will rectify one day. :lol:

Of the other 10:

Positions 1 and 2 - unlikely to change. But you never know. T Baker was easily my favourite until Capaldi came along.

Positions 3 - 8 would be very close with nothing much in it. I would probably change them around depending on which episodes I had watched recently.

Positions 9 and 10 are then further behind. Smith would be at 9. I like him just not as much as the others. Whittaker would be at 10. It's still early days and this may change. I had very high hopes following her first episode but this didn't last. It's not just the writing and stories. It's certainly not because she's female - I'm female. But...... I have yet to be convinced that the Doctor should be anything other than a man. Multiple reasons why which I will save until your Series 11 reviews (can't wait for those ;)).

However my sister-in-law has tried every Doctor since Jon Pertwee and has never liked any. Until Whittaker that is. Thinking about it that statement alone speaks volumes! But what can I say. Except that Series 6 is no longer my least favourite.

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe- This is easily the weakest Christmas special so far in my opinion.

Matt Smith saves this one. His performance is excellent. The rest of the cast isn't as good unfortunately. This is mainly down to the writing. A Christmas Carol put an interesting sci-fi spin on the story that inspired it, but this one feels much more like a rip-off as it doesn't do naything interesting or original with its premise. The story attempts to be emotional at times, but it fell flat almost every time it attempted this. Due to the overall silly tone that this story has, these attempts at emotion didn't flow well with the rest of the episode, and as the characters are so uninteresting I found that I didn't care for most of it. A Christmas Carol worked well because the characters at the story's core were interesting, and I grew to care about them as the episode progressed. This episode has nothing like that The pacing is dreadful, and I was once again bored. . The effects are surprisingly poor as well. 

There's basically nothing in this stpry I like except for Matt Smith. It does make we wonder what the cast could have done with a better script, because they are clearly trying but their dialogue is awful .The ending is yet another rushed cop-out from Moffat.

Overall- 2/10. 

Two awful episodes back to back. This is a major problem, and I wouldn't be surprised if people were even more hesitant to watch series 7 after having this as the last episode before that series began. 

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe - Firstly the title. Is this supposed to be based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? If so I can't really see any connection except a snowy forest.

The writing is weak - definitely one of Moffat's worst. The CGI is a bit ropey. The saving of the pilot and crew is all very convenient.

But - this is a vast improvement on the previous episode. It does have a Christmas theme to it. Smith is very good. And I actually quite enjoy it.

Overall 5/10

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Asylum Of The Daleks- This is a weird one. I find myself enjoying this episode whenever I watch it, but there's many things about it that I don't like. 

The Daleks themselves are done a major disservice here. The idea of a Dalek Parliament doesn't work at all in my opinion. I dont know exactly why it doesn't work. I don't have a major issue with certain Daleks holding more powerful decisions than others. The Emperor Dalek has always been an idea which I love, and both stories which feature it make it work well. But a Dalek prime minister? It just doesn't fit. The Dalek "puppets" (the people who are mind controlled by the Daleks) don't annoy me as much as some other people who I know, but that's probably because I've seen so many other Dalek stories in which they control people in similar ways. Although I don't like how even corpses can be used, and the visual of a Dalek eyestalk coning out of a human is just weird. The concept of a Dalek asylum is so interesting, but the Daleks in the Asylum don't really do anything. Yet another example of wasted potential. Also, yes there are classic era Daleks, but only for a few brief moments. I remember when they were using this fact to build anticipation for this episode, and I was disappointed by how little they do, and I'm still disappointed by it now. However, I am happy that the paradigm Daleks were side-lined in this one. I'm not a huge fan of their design, but I don't think that they are the worst thing to have ever happened to this show like some people do. This episode clearly shows how poorly they fit in around other types of Dalek, and I think it makes them look even sillier when seeing them around the golden Daleks. 

This episode has a very small cast, and I appreciate that. It allows for more time to be focused on the regulars and the story. The story aspect fails, but the regulars do get to shine here. This episode features yet another example of Amy and Rory's relationship being strained, and it works just as poorly here as it does in almost every story which tries to explore this idea. It feels like Moffat didn't know what to do with them by this point, so he keeps finding reasons to add tension between the two of them in order to try to keep them interesting, but in doing so he makes the situation worse by repeating the same emotional beats every single time. Smith, Gillan and Darvill are likeable as ever, however and I was never bored when they were on screen. They all give wonderful performances. Jenna Coleman is great as well, and it's nice to see her do something slightly different. The twist with her character is suitably emotional and I love the scene in which this twist occurs (if you've seen the episode you know what I'm referring to). 

This episode is great from a production standpoint in my opinion. Everything looks great, and the pacing is good as well. The ending does feel rushed (but that's what I've come to expect at this stage), and since another story soon after this one completely undoes the ending of this episode, it makes me wonder what the point was of building up a big ending like that which could have some interesting ramifications, only to completely undo that idea later without exploring it? 

Despite all the problems I have with it, I think this is a well made (but poorly written) episode, which Ive watched a good few times because I find it so entertaining for some reason.

Overall- 5/10.

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Asylum of the Daleks  - For me this is the weakest series opener but that doesn't make it a bad episode. 

I agree with you. There is a lot of potential with this episode but it is mostly wasted. 

Smith is back on form. Gillan and Darvill do their best with the story. It does appear as though Moffat doesn't really know what to do with them. I always felt that the whole basis of their relationship was how strong it is. 

When I first watched this I had no idea Coleman was going to be the next companion. She puts in a strong performance. I love the twist at the end of her character. 

This is another episode where the Daleks aren't utilised well and don't pose much of a threat. 

However despite the faults this is an enjoyable enough episode to watch. 

Overall 5/10

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Dinosaurs On A Spaceship- This is pretty much the exact same situation as the previous episode. It is heavily flawed but I really enjoy it. 

The main cast are clearly having lots of fun in this one, especially Matt Smith. He really goes for the comedy, and it almost always works. The comedy is one of the biggest hit-and-miss aspects of this episode for me. Comedy is very subjective. For example, a mate of mine thinks this episode is absolutely hilarious and laughs at almost every joke. For me, it's 50/50. When the jokes land, they really work, but when they fall flat, they fall hard. Mark Williams is fantastic, and his chemistry with Smith is wonderful to see. I wish we got to see more of Mark in other episodes. The other supporting characters aren't that great or particularly memorable in my eyes. 

David Bradley is great as Solomon, but I didn't think the character lived up to the talents of the actor portraying him. If any other actor played Solomon he would be a forgettable, generic villain. He is a generic villain, but David Bradley really elevates the material he was given. I love the final interaction between Solomon and The Doctor. The robot characters were rubbish in my opinion, and I didn't think they were that funny. The pacing isn't great and the visuals are mixed. Despite the issues I have, I do find this episode very enjoyable. 

Overall- 5/10. 

This series has a very mixed start, both episodes so far have been 5/10, decent enough stories. 

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Asylum of the Daleks - I remember liking this one. 7/10.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - I remember not liking this one. 3/10.

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Dinosaurs on a Spaceship  - For me this is possibly the strongest Chibnall episode prior to his show running days. I agree that it has many flaws. 

The robots are naff. Most of the support characters could be inter-changed with a completely different character and it wouldn't alter the story. David Bradley makes the most of the material he is given. The interaction with the Doctor is well done. 

The main cast are excellent. Smith does a great job of changing between the lighter and darker side of the Doctor. The CGI dinosaurs are surprisingly good given the BBC budget. The whole cast appear to be having fun with this story. 

However I think this episode belongs to Mark Williams who is brilliant as Rory's dad. Yes it's a we didn't get more of him later. 

Definitely a fun but flawed episode that I would happily watch again.

6/10

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50 minutes ago, natedammit said:

Asylum of the Daleks - I remember liking this one. 7/10.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - I remember not liking this one. 3/10.

Image result for to the point gif

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35 minutes ago, Peter Capaldi Fan said:

Image result for to the point gif

I just wanted to join in.

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4 hours ago, natedammit said:

I just wanted to join in.

giphy.gif

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Really have to get round to catching up with this! Had started a while back but the whole lot was deleted changing pages! :crying:

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18 hours ago, wjbleming said:

giphy.gif

The mystery of why you're so behind on all of your reviews?

18 hours ago, wjbleming said:

Really have to get round to catching up with this! Had started a while back but the whole lot was deleted changing pages! :crying:

Yay, solved it.

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A Town Called Mercy- Yet another example of wasted potential. Firstly, the Western setting is awesome, and other than The Gunfighters, which was way back in the Hartnell era, off the top of my head I can't think of any other Who episodes which have a similar setting, which is a shame because I think the setting is great. The visuals are gorgeous. 

Character wise, this one is hit and miss. The leads are great, and Smith gets another opportunity to show the darker side of his character, and I love whenever that happens. Ben Browder is also fantastic. Unfortunately the characters, whilst well played, aren't very interestingly written. This story explored very interesting themes of morality, but the characters which are put in these fascinating situations aren't interesting in their own right. I love stories which make me think, so the moral themes are fun to think about., especially regarding the war crimes committed by characters within the story. 

The Gunslinger is a very bland and forgettable villain unfortunately. Andrew Brooke does his best in the role, and the backstory behind is character is interesting, but he isn't that interesting in the actual episode itself. The pacing isn't great either. Not awful, but it wasn't gripping throughout its entire run time. 

Overall- 6/10.

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