Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No Name Is Big Enough

I'm a few days late on this, but I wanted to share two episode recaps for last Saturday's Doctor Who season finale. The first comes from the AV Club and runs negative (they gave it a C+) and the other is a rave from the Houston Press' resident Whovian.

Just as both writers processed the finale differently, they both have different opinions of the season as a whole. Alasdair Wilkins, The AV Club's writer, sees the season in a largely positive light, while Jef With One F is more critical of the overall results.

Personally, I'm with Jef. This was an incredibly uneven season--at least compared to what showrunner Steven Moffat did with season's five and six. The idea of trying to make each episode a standalone blockbuster was the real sticking point with me. My preference is serialized drama, and that's largely how seasons five and six worked. This one had a couple of larger stories running throughout, like Amy and Rory's departure and the mystery of Clara, but they were shoved to the background, dampening their emotional impact. This could've been a huge season, one to absolutely rival what's come before. But alas, it feels mainly like a big missed opportunity.

All that said, the finale was energizing and I'm excited for 50th anniversary in November. I loved the episode's intro, featuring Clara and most of the previous doctors (it excludes eight, nine and ten, I believe), and I'm still buzzing over how they introduced John Hurt. It's quite possibly one of my top five or ten Doctor Who moments--it's that good.

Of course, the Doctor's name wasn't actually revealed, despite the episode being called "The Name of the Doctor." A more appropriate title might have been "The Doctor's Secret" since that's, you know, what actually comes to the surface.

Anyway, here's that great ending. If you've already seen it, relive it again. If you haven't, you'll really want to see it in context first--trust me.

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