Just watched the final episode of the current series of Dr Who and decided to do a quick write up.
Straight off the bat tonights episode, The Name of the Doctor, was by far the best of the series, though as we will quickly establish this wasn't hard.
So if you haven't watched it and want to avoid spoilers do not keep reading.
This series has left me with a real mix of emotions regarding the whole concept of Dr Who. On the one hand I love the fact that Steven Moffat has clearly been working towards making the 50th anniversary something spectacular and that his focus has been towards answering questions regarding who the Doctor really is, even if it has been a long game. The reason I like this so much is that Russell T Davies' Who always hinted at this but never really grabbed it by the proverbials the way Moffat has. But the thing that Davies series (and Moffat's first) really had going for them was that it built the tension from the first episode to the last based on a theme/mystery and delivered a sense of resolution.
This current series has suffered dreadfully from being split over 8 months and the first half of the series was focused on the removal of characters that was announced 8 months before that, resulting in a real sense of frustration. Add to this the decision to try to make each episode a 'mini-movie' and you get a set of episodes which may have been entertaining for new viewers, but anyone who enjoyed the tension of the older series will have been left feeling they could have just watched tonights episode and not have suffered for missing the others.
It may sound like I'm knocking the efforts of the people involved, this is not my intention. This has been one of the best produced series so far. It has just lacked the sense of significance that the other s had. I feel Nic summed this up best when he said to me that he cared more about the death of the lesbian Victorian minor character than he did Clara's, a sentiment that I wholly agree with, as we haven't been given long enough to grow to know the character.
As a whole tonights episode was a master class in what makes the show so great; use of the previous stories, poignant self sacrifice and a sense of significance. On the other hand it was just another reminder that previous episodes have failed to make you care about the outcome of the episode and it's relevance to the overall story.
I really hope that the 50th anniversary show is worth all the set up and that they give up on this series schedule and go back to having 13 episodes in a row. It allowed them to have two parters and really build the tension for the over all story.
Dr Who series 7: 3/5 Daves (and that's only because tonights episode)