this doctor goes to eleven.

I should have written about this already, as soon as I finished the fifth season. The season was fantastic. If you’ve never watched Doctor Who, you could just start with this season, since it’s a semi-reboot of the reboot. It’s also the most accessible the show has been to a non-scifi audience. It’s still scifi, but Matt Smith’s brand of humor hits a broader audience, and the production value is outstanding. The series also teaches an important life lesson, that bow ties are cool.

Again, I love Season 5; or Series 5 as I suppose it should be more accurately called, being a BBC show; or Series 31, to be most accurate. It was probably the best demonstration of telling a unified narrative that stretched out in a serial, scifi medium. Shows like Doctor Who, in which each episode is its own adventure, often make it difficult to have a single story play out during a whole season. Doctor Who writers always tried, but often the meta-narrative felt tacked on. The emotional journey of Doctor Who was always believable and engaging, but that was as far as it went; all that Bad Wolf stuff felt forced. Not so with the fifth season. They definitely started with the larger narrative, and then built the individual adventures off of that. Wonderful!

Also, the Van Gogh episode was the most nuanced and accurate engagement of depression I’ve ever seen on tv. Not in the broad strokes, but in subtle little moments that everyone else probably missed, but that meant something to me. There was an honoring or a solidarity of sorts. It was appreciated.

Just as importantly, maybe some of you remember when I mentioned that if the Doctor starts taking male companions around on a more regular basis I’d be taking my talents to the TARDIS. Well, say your goodbyes, bitches, because next season Rory is a permanent cast member for the whole season. It marks the first time a male companion has rounded the team out at three since 1975.

The bad news, they are splitting season six into two parts, so while more Doctor Who action gets underway in March, we have a big break coming up in the middle of the season. Booooo.

And as the trailer illustrates, the Ood are back this season. The Ood are one of my favorite recurring species.

  1. “It marks the first time a male companion has rounded the team out at three since 1975.”

    Both Mickey Smith and Jack Harkness travelled in the TARDIS with the 9th and/or 10th Doctor several times.

  2. I meant to say “with the 9th and/or 10th Doctor AND ROSE TYLER” — thus rounding out the team at three.

      • Scott
      • February 23rd, 2011

      Yes, they certainly did travel with the Doctor, but I said “permanent cast member for a whole season.” This will be the first time since 1975 that a male companion has travelled for an entire season.

    • Amber
    • February 23rd, 2011

    Right on–I had attempted to get into Doctor Who with a few pre-series five episodes, and didn’t take notice….until I saw “The Eleventh Hour”….Wow. Seriously. Merely rented it off of iTunes and after Amy and The Doc took off at the end, I immediately went and purchased the ENTIRE series–best compulsive buying spree I’ve ever had. The writing is wonderful, and as I’ve come to notice, Steven Moffat is a writing god. It’s no wonder that some of the more recent favorites of the show, such as Captain Jack, River Song, and the Weeping Angels are all of his creation. (Oh yeah, and that he pointed out that bow ties are cool.)

      • Scott
      • February 23rd, 2011

      Yeah, Moffat is so amazing. He’s written most of my favorite episodes too, even pre-Doctor #11.

      Have you seen the modern interpretation he did of Sherlock Holmes for BBC? It’s called Sherlock, and it’s wonderful. You should check it out!

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