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November 22, 2014

Doctor Who Series 8

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Man, time flies. So some verdicts on the recently-ended season of Doctor Who. Spoilers, naturally:

  • Deep Breath
    A strong start to the season, though by no means the best debut episode for a Doctor, worked well enough. The actual plot, that of the half-face man and his fellow robots cannibalizing humans, really took a back seat to Clara trying to come to terms with the Doctor having regenerated. There were bits I thought were a bit self-indulgent and could have been cut, but overall, not bad.
  • Into the Dalek
    Definitely one of the better episodes of the season, even if it did retread some of the plot elements of 2005's episode "Dalek". Journey Blue was a great character, who might have made a good companion, if only it wasn't for the Doctor's recently acquired dislike of soldiers. Rusty, it appears, was originally intended to destroy himself to blow up the Dalek ship at the end, so maybe they're intending to bring him back.
  • Robot of Sherwood
    Unlike many, I liked this episode. The bit at the end with the gold arrow was silly, but every scene with the Doctor and Robin Hood bickering was fun. It's a pity the beheading sequence at the end had to be cut for broadcast, though to be fair, it does appear to make the Doctor and Clara unwitting accomplices to murder, so perhaps it was for the best.
  • Listen
    Another great episode, and for once left to the viewer to make up their own mind what was going on. The bait and switch at the end was clever, though perhaps more of a peek than we should have had.
  • Time Heist
    The most original series story of the season, with lots of running in corridors and improbably large ventilation ducts. A fun romp with two great guest companions who I hope return at some point. I'm not sure if I'd ever do business with a bank which got out the flamethrowers if you got you pin wrong though.
  • The Caretaker
    Mostly to further the Clara/Danny Pink relationship, and once again the alien plot is more of a subplot. It works very nicely, and it's always great to see the Doctor trying to cope with regular human life, with varying degrees of success.
  • Kill the Moon
    I would like this episode more if it wasn't for the somewhat outrageous science. The premise that the moon has suddenly increased in mass because it's going to hatch soon is in variance with how eggs work. Still, the atmosphere of the episode is nicely built up.
  • Mummy on the Orient Express
    I enjoyed this episode a lot. The space-bound Orient Express echoes the spaceship Titanic from earlier in the show, and the main plot of the Mummy attacking people on the train is well played, especially the Doctor's burst of deductive reasoning as he resolves the plot. Was it Missy who was behind getting him on the train? Frank Skinner was excellent, while Foxes' cameo seemed really unnecessary.
  • Flatline
    The best of the series. While not a unique concept, the 3D 2D people looked great, and the TARDIS shrinking because they were leaching the dimensional energies from it was well realized. Rigsy's another great character I wouldn't mind seeing back again.
  • In the Forest of the Night
    Oh dear. Instantly-growing fireproof trees saving the Earth from solar flares. They did their best to represent London overgrown by trees, but a lot of the time, it just seemed like a forest with lamp posts stuck in it. Some good moments, nonetheless.
  • Dark Water
    Finally getting back to the series arc. When Danny dies, the Doctor and Clara go looking for him, and yes, it turns out that Missy is the Master and has been turning Earth's dead into Cybermen. For all the fuss about "the three words", I don't think we're ever actually told what they are.
  • Death in Heaven
    I jokingly suggested to a friend before this episode aired that UNIT would turn up and solve everything in five minutes by shooting the Cybermen. As it turned out, UNIT did turn up, though everything wasn't resolved quite that well. I was most annoyed about them killing off Osgood, though Cyberbrig was a close second for sheer silliness. I don't think the plot hung together all that well, but it was worth it for the ending. Except the very final scene, which I could have done without.

So series 8. Overall, I think it came out rather well. Besides a few missteps, an above average season! Looking towards the Christmas special now with some measure of trepidation, but we'll see what they come up with.

Posted at 4:45 PM | Comments (2)

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