Doctor Who, Series 9
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love Doctor Who. I came into it with Rose and just never left. I’ve done a lot of Tweeting as series 9 unfolded but now it’s over I just want to reflect a bit on it’s entity: the good, the sad, and the down right terrible. Obvious spoilers are obvious.
Daleks and Missy (1,2)
Knocked my socks out of right out of gate, I really had to check myself that this wasn’t a finale. The Doctor teaming up with Missy to fight the Daleks was such a cool idea, and I really loved the back story on Skaro. Some rough patches here and there, but on the whole good to get back on track.
This episode played with the idea of causal loops similar to Blink. On reflection it didn’t capture the paradox brilliance quite so well, but it was still good fun and we got lots of callbacks to previous episodes to boot.
Immortal Viking (5,6)
A bit weaker than the previous two, though it was cool to see the ramifications of the Doctors actions straight away. It’ll be interesting to see what Me gets up to with this infinite life, though I can’t say I’m dying to see more of Sam Smith.
Continuing the story from Day of the Doctor and following up on the refugee Zygons was in theory a neat idea, but in practice it trivialises the resolution when it’s revealed they’ve had to redo it 15 times. Everything from evil Clara to the Doctor’s big speech was dripping in cheese, but to be honest I think it contrasted nicely with the heavy political messages being thrown about.
Mr Sandman (9)
Completely threw me off by being the only stand-alone episode in the series. The writing was good and the twist was unexpected, but would have benefited from more time for explanation and minor character development.
That’s So Raven (10)
Most of the episode was a non-event with flat characters and little story, but obviously the ending was the thing that mattered. It left me crying over Clara, a position I didn’t expect to find myself in, at least so soon. Beautifully handled and wonderfully poetic.
A Nightmare (11)
Holy god damn hell was this a genuinely chilling episode, diving straight in with the depression after the loss. It wasn’t just brilliant on emotional level though, the time travel and story were brilliantly done and gave me shivers when I realised what was happening. This is a genuine contender for knocking Blink off the best episode spot.
Gallifrey or Bust (12)
The stand-off with Rassilon and villager gallireyans were cool but then everything rather quickly goes to shit. The Doctor acts out of character and is manipulative toward Clara, violating her death horribly. It wouldn’t have broken any of the plot to make the journey to Gallifrey about making amends post-time war, and it would have even made for a better episode. As it stands though, it took the return of Gallifrey and wasted it while at the same time trampling over the brilliant work of the last two episodes.
Last episode aside, while it had some clunky moments here and there I think this series had some of the best writing since Moffat took over as show runner. Amazing little nuggets and one liners spread throughout. I have on good authority that the Christmas special is it’s own thing (not watched it yet) and this is already long enough so I’ll leave it there.
I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention my friend Kit who makes a regular show called The Who Review. It’s full of insightful observations and first class wit and if you like this kind of thing you should definitely check her out.