Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Doctor Who: season 6 preview

In a few weeks the sixth series of New Who will be upon us. As you might expect, this post will probably have spoilers so if you’d prefer to stay spoiler-free, don’t read beyond this point.

I’ve got pretty mixed views about New Who. Sometimes it’s laughably bad (Dobby the house doctor and the appalling Master probably being the lowlight of the new series so far) and sometimes it’s fantastic (The Impossible Planet, Blink).

I think Matt Smith’s a pretty good Doctor. He’s good at sarcasm, which is important, but is not so good at menace or rage. He’s helped by the fact that Moffat’s a far better writer than RTD, who deserves kudos for resurrecting the series and little for some of the deus ex machina storylines and retconning he dreamt up.

Amy Pond and Rory (who I loathed initially as another stereotypical idiotic bloke to Amy’s smart girl, but has rather grown on me) also come back, as does the smarmy River Song.

The season is split in two by a three month break, suggesting a climactic event in the middle of the season, possibly leading to a storyline that’s resolved at the end. Fingers crossed that River Song gets fed into a giant mincing machine.

Rumours regarding the daleks and cybermen abound, with some suggesting the old-style daleks (the gold ones, rather than the New Paradigm teletubby daleks) will come back. I don’t know if this will happen but I’d like to see the Mondas cybermen return.

The fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written a stand-alone episode to be aired in the first half of the season, and the series will continue the cracks in the universe/TARDIS exploding storyline from season 5.

The TARDIS explosion causing the cracks in the universe suggests someone (or thing) highly intelligent. So, the Master or another evil Time Lord (most of them seem to be evil, now I come to think of it), the daleks, or possibly another race, whether new or an obscure old one, seems likeliest.

If I could dictate the plot, I’d have the Time Lords properly return at the end of the first half of the season. I think the Time War was a decent idea but locking away both sides was foolish. Why apparently deprive the series of its two most important species and then force the writers to constantly contrive reasons for how this dalek or that dalek magically escaped?

Speculation has suggested Amy Pond might get slightly murdered just before the season splits. I’m not so sure about that. My own preference would be the permanent axing of River Song.

Matt Smith is not thought likely to go at the end (or in the middle) of the series.

I hope the season of two halves approach works. It should make a nice change from the overblown End Of The Cosmos finales that were becoming rather predictable and obvious.


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