Doctor Who Mini-Reviews: Series 7 (2012)

Doctor Who - Series 7Edmund and I have been re-watching the Doctor Who reboot from the beginning, and I’m writing mini-reviews; I post them one season at a time. The info is cribbed from Wikipedia, and I added my scores and comments.

The scores go thus:

  1. This is embarrassing.  Go away.
  2. Weak.  I’m not going to try convincing my friends to watch the show based on this.
  3. Average for a Doctor Who episode.
  4. That was a good one!
  5. One of the best ever.

This one is for Part 1 of “Series 7″ of the recent collection, released in 2012 and starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams under the direction of Steven Moffat. I’ll review the second half of the series, released in 2013, as a separate post because it figures a different cast and metaplot anyway.

This is the season that achieves something I thought mathematically impossible: all of it is below average. But at least it gave me the chance to discover what, in fact, the power of 3 is: it’s the score they couldn’t reach with this writing and directing team.

No Title Score Comments Code Episodes Writer Director Original airdate
226 Asylum of the Daleks 1 Ugh. The only virtue of this episode was… No wait, it merely sucked. Even Jenna Coleman couldn’t help it. And the only reason Oswyn’s status may be a big reveal to the viewer is if that viewer has been distracted for the last 45 minutes, yelling: “But that’s not how the Daleks work!”   1 episode (50 mins) Steven Moffat Nick Hurran 1 September 2012
227 Dinosaurs on a Spaceship 2 The only reasons this rises to a 2 is (A) sterling, if completely underused, guest cast, and (B) the dinosaurs did look nice. How could such a cast produce such a bland episode? Oh, I see: Chris Chibnall wrote it.   1 episode Chris Chibnall Saul Metzstein 8 September 2012
228 A Town Called Mercy 2 Ooooh, a Western. What a treat. The character of Kahler-Jex was mildly interesting.   1 episode Toby Whithouse Saul Metzstein 15 September 2012
229 The Power of Three 2 Another lacklustre episode despite the presence of Jemma Redgrave and Mark Williams.   1 episode Chris Chibnall Douglas Mackinnon 22 September 2012
230 The Angels Take Manhattan 2 In this episode, the Weeping Angels have officially changed from scary to petulant, the Doctor is written as a self-centred adolescent who doesn’t deserve any of his friends, and River needs to get some self-esteem back rather than put up with this shit.   1 episode Steven Moffat Nick Hurran 29 September 2012
231 The Snowmen 1.5 Was this written by asking 30 undergrads to write two minutes each? While the mystery of Clara Oswin Oswald mildly intrigues me and I was happy to see Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax (and hear Ian McKellen), this contained some of the worst dialogue I’d heard on Doctor Who. The Doctor, in particular, gets awful, awful lines and poor Matt Smith seems at a loss for what to do with them.   Christmas special (60 mins) Steven Moffat Saul Metzstein 25 December 2012