Published on July 30th, 2011 | by Bags Hooper1
Blu-ray Review: ‘Doctor Who’ Season Six, Part 1 – A Poetic and Wild Ride
TheThe fifth season of Doctor Who introduced the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. However, the season brought viewers more than a simple change in characters. Not only was the new legend David Tennant out, the overall tone of Doctor Who changed thanks to lead writer Steven Moffat. The series took on a very dark tone and in the words of the executive producers it became a “dark fairy tale.” While older fans of Who may cling to the vintage versions of The Doctor, I really enjoyed the new, darker tone. The stakes were raised in nearly every episode, allowing for a truly epic finale. Although some of the logic comes with wild, unbelievable insanity attached to it, The Doctor is consistently jaw dropping, mind blowing and always entertaining. Season.
Doctor Who Season 6, Part 1 Blu-ray raises the level of insanity with an even darker story arc. If you thought all sense of logic was lost at the end of the season 5 finale, you will be totally amazed by what Moffat does with season 6.
For Who fans, Season 6 started off with a major change. The producers took the show to the U.S.A. to shoot the first two episodes. The Doctor and his two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), join up with River Song (Alex Kingston). What starts off as a joyous meeting of friends, quickly takes on a dark turn. Then, time paradoxes and confusion sets in for the next several episodes. There are multiple doctors and outrageous twists that will keep your mind spinning and your finger on the rewind button. Yet, outside of episode 3, each episode does a magnificent job of weaving together an intoxicating story of mystery.
The first two episodes take the story back to the sixties, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Mark Sheppard guest stars as Canton Delaware. These episodes are filled with subtle nuances that will play out throughout the season. They also do a great job of calling back several moments from the prior season. A new character is introduced who will be key to the new Who mythos as well as a new Who monster race called The Silence. Then, there’s a slight bobble in episode 3, “The Curse of the Black Spot.” I’ve tried to keep any spoilers to a minimum, but in episode 3 there is nothing to spoil. The show momentarily steps away from the broad seasonal arc to do a “mystery of the week” episode similar to Supernatural. It is an okay episode overall, but acts as nothing more than filler to full seasonal arc. Plus, the episode involves pirates, which just makes it a little too cheesy to care about.
In episode 4, “The Doctor’s Wife,” the series gets back on track with one of the best episodes of the Matt Smith era. The story dives into Doctor Who’s history with the Tardis. It also closes with a major line that will play out in the mid-season finale. Episodes 5 and 6 explore the ethical use of doppelgangers or cloning. While the ethical impact has been explored in several movies before, there is a certain style brought about to this two-part episode that really takes off in the second episode, “The Almost People.” Also, Darvill continues to show his prowess as an actor, which creates some great moments.
Episode 7, the mid-season finale, brings out a massive war. There are several callbacks, even to the filler pirates’ episode. There is also a sense of bravado that is brought to Matt Smith’s Doctor, something that was more prevalent in the Tennant Who. I won’t go into this episode further, but it will definitely leave you anxiously awaiting the return of Who in late August.
The Blu-ray includes a featurette on “The Silence and the Gangers.” This monster files bonus footage is a behind-the-scenes look at two of the newly introduced monsters in the sixth season. It goes into Moffat’s theory in creating them as well as the artistic design and makeup used to bring them to life.
Filler episode aside, Doctor Who Season 6 Part 1 is a poetic and wild trip. This is definitely one of those shows TV seasons that you’ll want to rewatch to fully enjoy every minute detail. However, if you’re new to Who, I would suggest you start off with season 5. There are several details that come up throughout Smith’s introductory season that are integral to the overall enjoyment of this set.
Buy Doctor Who Season Six, Part 1 on Digital Download through iTunes