Review: Doctor Who Season Five

Published on June 30th, 2010

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As the summer draws in another season of a much loved TV show winds to a close. Comic Impact favorite Doctor Who brings season five to an end, and what an ending! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Doctor Who season five has been the perfect jumping on point for anyone wanting to join in the fun for the first time. A brand new Doctor, a new companion, a new TARDIS and even new Daleks. The whole season has been under a new lead writer, Steven Moffat, and he’s opened the door for anyone who’s curious about what this quirky British sci-fi series is all about.

We join the titular Time Lord as his out of control time/space craft, the TARDIS, crashes into the garden of a little girl who’s been praying to Santa to send help with the mysterious crack in her wall, mysterious cracks that will appear throughout the run. She meets the amazing Doctor who’s learning about his new body and trying to discover what he likes for breakfast. A planned five minute time flit in his damaged TARDIS goes a little further than expected and the Doctor finds the little girl is now a beautiful young woman who longs for her imaginary friend ‘The Raggedy Doctor’, even when the first thing they face together is a threat to the Earth with the Doctor left with nothing but his wits to battle it.

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With the new Doctor established and his new companion by his side they travel through time and space going to a future where the United Kingdom is a space craft looking for a new home after the  destruction of Earth, to WWII where a new secret weapon looks suspiciously like the Doctor’s arch enemies the Daleks, they battle statues that will kill you if you don’t keep watching them, fight vampires in medieval Venice, meet humanoid reptiles older than the human race, help Vincent Van Gogh fight an invisible enemy and we even find the Doctor trying to pass himself off as human to comedy effect.

As ever there is so much more than just this. Each episode stands as an adventure in itself, some being two parts, but they have hints to the greater story arc. This season it’s all about cracks in time that could wipe out all of reality. ‘The Silence is Coming’.

The season finale sees the death of a major character, every star in the sky explode, the TARDIS destroyed and the Doctor trapped in an inescapable prison. Get out of that!

The new Doctor is very likable and eccentric to the max. Amy, his companion, is very cute if a little bland at times but is nicely balanced by her doting fiance. The Doctor’s mysterious ‘future wife’, Doctor River Song, makes another appearance  bringing glamour, action and a saucy edge to proceedings.

The stories have been consistently good, but rarely great. The final part of the finale ‘The Big Bang’ is great and ‘The Lodger’ and ‘Amy’s Choice’ stand out as better episodes. ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ is also very good with great performances offset by a nauseating big dollop of over praise for Vincent Van Gogh. The Van Gogh episode was penned by British screen writer Richard Curtis, the man behind Four Weddings and   a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually.

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The only complaint I’d bring is that as a whole the series has had over simplified endings. Too many ‘give me a hug because I love you’ save the days when I’d have preferred some techno babble explanation. A small quibble, but there anyway.

Season five of Doctor Who has been a lot of fun with the ‘almost reboot’ proving a qualified success. We even have some loose ends to draw us into season six and an Egyptian goddess on the Orient Express in space, as warned by unspecified royalty, as a teaser for the Xmas special. Doctor Who can’t return soon enough.

Mat Hyde
Mat@comicimpact.com