Doctor Who, under producer Steven Moffat, feels very different than that of the shows from Russell T. Davies. In some ways, it feels as if Moffat needs to top Davies so we go from the terrifying Weeping Angels to The Silence. And we go younger, with Matt Smith as Eleventh Doctor, the youngest yet. Everything old is new again, it seems, while a show once aimed strictly at kids is now being criticized for being too scary for the audience.
The new season, Series 6 of the reboot, is the first to be shown in halves, a marketing device that cable channels in the USA have been quite successful using, nabbing viewers during major network lull periods. It also provides a dramatic cliffhanger, which may be thrilling for viewers but no doubt causes headaches for the producers.
Speaking of commercial, BBC Video, distributed here through Warner Home Video, today releases Doctor Who Series 6 Part 1, collecting the seven episodes aired to date while we eagerly await part two this fall (with Part 2 and Complete Series 6 DVDs no doubt to come).
Moffat has introduced meta arcs and mini arcs that require a fair amount of attention and makes the series increasingly difficult to attract newcomers. Miss an episode and vital clues to the Big Picture are absent, potentially confusing the viewer the next time a story is watched.
At this point, the Doctor, along with Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), has settled into a comfortable relationship. The couple continues to act like newlyweds and the Doctor delights in having them around. As a result, it’s business as usual with the opening two-parter “The Impossible Astronaut”/ “The Day of the Moon” which sets up the big threat, that of The Silence, referenced in previous seasons and made manifest here. They are an eerie addition, for sure, but what they want and how they’ll be defeated seem saved for the second half season. We also learn Amy is pregnant and the little girl, who manages to call President Nixon and ask for help, leads audiences to believe she is Amy’s child. The story opens with the Doctor being shot dead but we discover he’s a Doctor from 200 years into the future so the duo conceals this information only to fret about it in every subsequent episode. (more…)