I admit to being outstandingly late with this review. I have nothing but my own laziness to blame.
Having watched it again when it screened on Prime, I'm better disposed towards The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe. It's still not as good as A Christmas Carol - I felt it wasn't quite as polished as the previous Christmas special, but it's at least a great watch, and what more do you need on Christmas? Yes, Steven Moffat apparently wrote this in the middle of the year, but it still manages to be appropriately Christmasy. The fact that it borrows heavily from the Narnia stories is so blatantly telegraphed by the title means I don't feel like I can really complain about it. I knew what I was getting into, after all.
Overall rating: 6 out of ten. More spoilery discussion (at this stage, who hasn't seen it yet?) after the cut.
All too quickly, Doctor Who series 6 comes to an end. With it being split in two, it actually felt like it was on for less time than it actually was. I wonder if Steve Moffat has been happy with the results. This time we have...
"Closing Time", which, well, if you enjoy watching the Doctor and Craig interact, this episode is for you. If not, skip to about ten minutes before the end and you've missed nothing.
I went into "The Wedding of River Song" not being quite sure what to expect, and I'm still not quite sure what I got. I'll go into more spoilery stuff under the cut, but I thought that it worked well in wrapping up some of the plot arcs of this season, and was even fun. Moffat did far better with last year's wrap-up though, and there was such a lot to cover I wish that it had been a two-parter, which might have helped it. The problem with that being that then it and "Let's Kill Hitler" would have meant a full half of the episodes in this half of the season would have been arc episodes.
I'm a little bit behind, since "Closing Time" screened here last Thursday, but NEVER MIND.
"The Girl Who Waited" is perhaps the best episode of the season. This half of the season certainly. Though not without one of two moments of fridge logic, it manages to do a lot with a few sets and some make up. Why is it often the simplest plots which come out the best. Karen Gillan as an older Amy was perfect.
Meanwhile "The God Complex" starts off brilliantly, is atmospheric, and a great concept, but then when the time for explanations come, it sort of falls apart and become silly. Potentially this could have been my favourite episode this year, but that ending... What the heck was that?
"Let's Kill Hitler" is an episode which seems to be aiming for light entertainment. As a follow up to "A Good Man Goes to War", it's a little unsatisfying. We get some explanation as far as River Song is concerned, and a concept ripped off from a movie which bombed magnificently at the box office.
"Night Terrors", on the other hand, is played dark. Luckily, unlike "Let's Kill Hitler", it's not bogged down by having to be part of a larger series arc, and is more of a standalone story. That said, I can see how it would fit better as part of the first half of the season (ISTR it was swapped with "The Curse of the Black Spot").
Following on from the season opener are two self-contained stories: The One with the Pirates and The One Written by Neil Gaiman.
"The Curse of the Black Spot", or "Doctor Who in a Bit of Running About on a Boat" lacks a bit of something in that the pirates don't really feel very piratey. It's possible we've been spoiled by Disney and Hollywood in general, but it seems like there should have been a lot more yo ho hoing. Henry Avery, played by Hugh Bonneville, is supposed to be a fearsome pirate captain, and we're told he's killed many men, but he just seems too nice. More about this story and "The Doctor's Wife" under the cut...
So, "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" is the two-parter opening series 6, and they screened on Prime here in the last couple of weeks. Steven Moffat appears to have decided to do away with the Russell T. Davies series plan, and is now doing his own thing, which is good. However as a season opening, I thought the story lacked something. It seemed to spend half its time busily setting things up for later in the series, so the story had less time to develop its own plot. The first ten minutes of "The Impossible Astronaut" are taken up with a diversion which fails to be resolved by the rest of the story, and in the end we're left with far more questions than answers.
But I guess that's how we get hooked. Spoilers beyond the cut.
Like part 1, I pretty much knew what to expect, as it was typical of just about every Davies finale thus far. Despite it having many good moments, it felt ultimately like a bit of a let down. This was Davies' last chance to write a finale, and instead he more or less repeats himself.