I was pretty disappointed when I heard that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who in this year’s Christmas special. Not upset — he’s given us what I consider to be the definitive New Who Doctor, and if he wants to take a bow while he’s still in peak form, I can’t blame him. Not to mention that it’s always exciting to anticipate what fresh face we’ll get to see next. But I’m still disappointed. Smith is such a joy to watch, and he’s done such a great job bridging the feel of classic and new Who in his performance that I had been hoping to see him grow with the role for a few more years, especially since he started so young. Though he might pop in here and there in the future, his era is coming to an end, and it’s a bit of a shame that we won’t get another year or two out of him.
But this news, if true, could very well make up for it. I’ve tried listening to the audio recordings of some of those missing episodes. It’s just not the same. Half the reason (possibly the biggest reason) to watch the classic episodes, apart from the imagination and wit of their better scripts, is to relish the performances. The core cast members especially are often doing quite a lot with their roles, and nobody more so than the people playing the Doctors. Finally getting to see such ballyhooed stories as “Evil of the Daleks” would be a real treat. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear to the ground on this rumor. Via io9. ☕
Commander Strax at a kids’ Q&A session. Sample quote: “I serve a penance to restore the honor of my clone batch. As a result, The Doctor chose the most fearsome punishment a Sontaran can endure: helping the weak, and sick, and feeble… or humans, as I like to call them.” Via io9. ☕
“Hide” is probably not going to be remembered as a New Who classic the way “Blink” will be, but it has my vote for the best story of series 7 thus far. While I greatly admired “Asylum of the Daleks,” Moffat tried to pack oodles and oodles of stuff into it, and as a result, it felt a bit overstuffed, even if it did put its finger on a couple key veins running throughout the series and tap them brilliantly. “Hide” is also a bit overstuffed, but it feels complete and satisfying in a way that none of the other episodes has so far. (Kudos to writer Neil Cross for nailing the second time out!)
Charlie Jane Anders complains a bit that “Hide” exemplifies the trend in recent Who that “every story is a love story.” A true enough observation, but in the case of this particular episode, I don’t see it as a weakness. On the contrary, I think it grapples with this theme rather meaningfully while delivering some grand moments. (Spoilers after the jump!)
The Doctor tops io9’s list of 8 Epic Heroes Who Committed Mass Murder. Just so. The case for (against?) him:
For a character who frequently makes moralistic pronouncements and shows plenty of righteous indignation towards other people’s actions, he is probably responsible for more deaths than any action hero or horror icon of the 1980’s. […] In his 1103 years, the Doctor has racked up a body count that could be conservatively tallied in the trillions. It’s gotten so bad, for a while he was able to defuse any potential conflict by doing nothing more than introduce himself.
And now that he’s gone off grid with the whole faked-death thing, not even his reputation can hold him accountable to what he chooses to do. Prepare yourself, universe, for the Doctor unbound.☕
“Spoilers!” – Dr. River Song
This may be the best Dalek story since the relaunch of Doctor Who. Don’t get me wrong: there are things I didn’t like about it. Amy divorcing Rory because she can’t conceive a child for him? Ehwhat? Rory harping on Amy to have more kids, given what happened with Melody/River? Rory waiting two thousand years and then letting her go? Good heavens. Not to mention that the whole divorce subplot sort of makes you wonder what all those amusing “Pond Life” shorts were about. Did Amy draw up the divorce paperwork inside of, what, a week? Is that how fast no-fault divorces go now? None of this made much sense. As much as I love Amy and Rory as a couple, the fact that Moffat is now reduced to splitting them up and reunited them within a single episode testifies that there’s not much more material to be mined there. I’ll be sad to see them go, but it’s about time. The one cool thing that came out of the Pond divorce is the bit where the Doctor places the anti-nano cloud wristband on Amy before she even realizes it. Earlier, she’d told him that he can’t fix her marriage the same way he fixes his bow tie. Then, he puts them in a situation where he knows they’ll sort themselves out, and we get a shot of him pausing to adjust his tie in front of a camera. That’s one of the reasons that this is sort of a great episode, even with its flaws: it resurrects the ambiguous nature of the Doctor’s do-gooderism and puts it on trial. Continue reading
My favorite bit is Amy stealing Rory’s breakfast sausage. Husbands everywhere ought to relate to that.☕