Become a Podshock Supporting Subscriber
Now more than ever, we need your support! Become a Supporting Subscriber today.

Matt's Smith's first season - did you like it?


Troy Baker's picture

Troy Baker - Posted on 30 June 2010

Well, Matt Smith's first season is over in the UK (we're three episodes behind in the US). So now we come down to this single question:

How did you like his first season?

What were the good points and the low points. How did the new Doctor do? What were your favorite aliens / monsters? What did you think of Amy? Was the season a HIT or a MISS? etc...

Tell me what you think.

I'll do mine in word and then post it after I hear from everybody else.

 

PS: Try not to spoil it for those who haven't seen the last three episodes if you can.

Idiom's picture

Overall, I’d say that I really enjoyed it and the new direction that it’s following. That’s not to say that it has been perfect – no, it is still very much finding its feet but I believe that the continuity in terms of cast for a second year in a row (the first time that both Doctor and companions have returned for a new series since it returned)will help it to do this.

Positives:

·         Matt Smith walked into the series and was the Doctor immediately. I love the touches of other Doctors filtering in and the maddened joyousness of the eleventh doctor. I enjoyed the angst and loneliness of the previous two Doctors but enough’s enough. Time for some fun.

·         A killer of a first episode.

·         Lots of references to the past

·         The return of the Angels and the Silurians and the Autons – all done successfully.

·         Three companions! A male companion! Rory has definitely grown on me.

·         The experimenting with genres – from horror to tragedy to sit com. Love the flexible format.

·         Vincent and the Doctor – Doctor Who returns to its original mission statement.

Undecided about:

·         Amy Pond – there’s something not quite right about her and that may have been on purpose – the fact that bits of her life had been erased. Maybe in series 6, she’ll continue to develop.

·         The story arc – I wasn’t 100% convinced but then we are expecting more next season. Steven Moffat is playing the long game and I’m willing to play along.

·         The theme tune – not entirely convinced yet.

·         New Daleks – mmm, just don’t know.

Negatives:

·         The short length of the episodes really highlighting the inconsistencies and logicalities in the writing which an extra ten or so minutes would help with. Look at how much the Eleventh hour benefitted from the extra fifteen minutes

·         Daleks – give it a rest

In general, though, I’m feeling very positive about the series. The moments of genius have been so strong that I’ve been happy to forgive them for the weak episodes (for me the weakest being The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks).

Matt Smith was good throughout the season except for the last two episodes so he's not at fault. Karen is throughout awful and needs to be fired IMO. She's terrible and bringing down what good there is in the scripts, but there's not much. Rory is a good comp played by a good actor but truth is the trio have no real chemistry thus when we're told about their great big sacrifices for each other, it means nothing to me, means little. I certainly knew Rose and the 9th Doctor well and felt for them by PARTING OF THE WAYS and dito Martha, The Tenth Doctor, Donna, Mickey, Jackie and even Jack in their respective stories and seasons. Smith is only awful in the last two stories; Amy awful throughout.

The characters are not well known by season's ending and that's not acceptable. What we do know is not likeable. Amy's not likeable, telling her dad to shut up at the wedding. Trying to F the Doctor before her wedding. She has almost no family ties in the entire season except the end and then it's like...are these reall her parents? Is this a trick on us or the characters? Much of the blame is on the so called snappy dialog. While some of it is clever, most of it is too quick and mumbled, sme of it comes too far before hand to create any tension and urgency. For example, the Doctor tells us he's going to do this and this and this and then he does it. Wow. Boring. Often the ways out of the problems involve something akin to magic, cop outs, and last minute pop in and outs.

For individual stories, only THE LODGER, AMY'S CHOICE, TIME OF THE ANGELS, and VAMPIRES OF VENICE get full points. The first part of the SILURIANS remake story gets a 9 out of ten but part two gets a 6. Mid season the show seems to pick up but then slumped again for the very end. VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR could have been better but was not terrible. VICTORY OF THE DALEKS got a 3 out of 10 but could have been better. Amy seemed to be going for a Mrs Peel type coldness. And failed. In fact, nothing Karen does works and I"m so sorry she'll be back next season. The season long arc is gimmicky and failed, boring and tedious as we knew nothing about it and IT was supposed to be the center of the show not some small "bad wolf" thing. FLESH AND STONE made the angels unscary, the second part to the Silurians remake had a hokey ending with a better than thou Doctor putting down the mother. Again the fault of the dialog and script, not Matt Smith.

Smith is only terrible in the last two eps and there's no getting around that. He's just awful. ALmost as bad as Karen. Pull outs at the last minute that the Doc and co should have known about make the so called science of DW akin to magic. What makes these so poor is that they are lazy writing, ways out of situations that dn't make sense and cheat the audience. People die and come back, say they are dead but really are not, and are macho against a Dalek, not giving it mercy. A poor message, a poorly written mess of a season finale, and poor acting with just a bit of snappy dialog but murmured fast paced explanations sometimes telling the audience about solving the problem before solving it in the middle of it. And then we're left going , "WHAT?"  The wounded Cyberman, the "threat" of the Dalek shooting the Doctor when we know he's going to recover, Amy shot and not dead put in the box, Rory keeping guard over it, all of it wrings hollow to me. Poor story, poor characters (we don't really know the Doc, Amy, or Rory well enough thanks to poor scripts), terrible theme song and opening credits, terrible new interior to the TARDIS, remakes, and returning villains who do nothing but stand around while the heroes plot against them...instead of oh, say shooting them! Or at least trying...make this season the worst season of the new show and only the third worst in the history of the entire DW series. IT has to do better.          

For simplicity purposes, I'll compare against the new series only.  It's one thing to compare episodes amongst each other but it becomes a lot harder when comparing whole seasons.  How do you rank them all when they have a mix of good and bad?  Take series 2 for example...you get the absolute best with The Girl in the Fireplace and the absolute worst with L&M.  That being said, I'll give it my best shot.

- Let's get the final verdict out of the way so the rest of the review makes sense.  As I mentioned in my take on The Big Bang, I think series 5 was the weakest since the '05 re-launch.  There...I said it.  Many will disagree, but let me say why.

- Matt Smith is great.  None of the shortcomings of this season can be placed on his back.

- Amy is annoying.  Quite possibly more so than Martha and Rose.  And it only got worse as the season rolled on.

- Rory is good.  Personally I wish his screen time could've been swapped with Amy's.  I would've loved to see him as the full time companion.

- Best episode: The Time of Angels.  Could've been Vincent and The Doctor just because of the last 10 minutes, but you can't just discard the first 30-35 and forget them.

- Worst episode: tie between the 2 parts of the Silurian story

I think my biggest gripe comes with the overall writing we've seen this year.  With Moffat in charge, and given the fact that he wrote several episodes, the word "disappointed" can't help but pop into my mind.  He wrote some great stories in the first 4 seasons, but not really this time around.  I admire his effort at using timey-wimey story telling, but the payoff in the finale was just a mess.  I will say that this might not exactly be fair to him, but like it or not there were huge expectations when he took over the helm.

The season as a whole was just average.  There was no Girl in the Fireplace, but fortunately there was no L&M (or Planet of the Dead) either.  Everything was simply ok, with a few pretty-good's and a few meh's thrown into the mix.  It wasn't awful television, but it could've been better.  In Moffat's defense, it seems as though he's not quite done with Amy's mystery, and certainly we've got something big coming from River Song.  Telling their stories in pieces is tough, but I still wanted at least 1 or 2 episodes that blew me away.  It was just a let down, given Moffat's track record.  Anyway, that's my .02

fwiw, my series ranks (best to worst): 2, 1, 4, 3, 5

I can sum up season 5 in one easy statement. "Matt Smith is great, Amy is terrible, many of the stories sucked" My wife and I have been keen Who watchers for over 30 years and both admit that Amy is one of the most annoying companions since Adric. On the flip side Rory is excellent and I wish they would give him more screen time. Matt Smith is fantastic as the Doc bringing a mixture or oddness and coolness to the role.

Sadly he has been let down by some terrible stories. The "big" picture has become to big with the Dr "saving the entire universe" come on. I reciently rewatched Horror Of Fang Rock with Tom Baker and the Dr spent 4 episodes trying to stop 1 Routon. I still wish for the old format of 4-6 part stories. the stories today feel so rushed with endless running about and dialouge spouted out so fast you can hardly understand what is said sometimes. Anyway to sum up Matt Smith is great and if they could only give him a decent companion and decent stories he would quickly become one of the best Doctors in the shows history.

daveac's picture

Not posted in the forums much during the series - busy watching, podcasting & audio editing to post much. :-(

I've really taken to Matt Smith as the Doctor - I hope he stays a long time.

Karen as Amy seems to have been less consistant - but mostly good.

Arthur as Rory - great again

Steven's writing and 'take' on Doctor Who not quite what I was expecting. The whole 'we are all fairytales' line I didn't like - but the series was enjoyable in the most part.

Often - whlist doing the Cultdom Collective Commentaries in particular - I found more to like than on first watching.

Standout episode of the Series - 'Vincent and The Doctor'

Cheers, daveac

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

New Doctor Who Podshock schwag

Podcast Feeds

Subscribe to
the Doctor Who podcast
Doctor Who: Podshock


iTunes users click here
Podcast
Gallifreyan Embassy - Doctor Who: Podshock - Doctor Who: Podshock


Direct podcast feeds:


Doctor Who: Podshock
Podcast


MP3 Format Podcast:
Doctor Who: Podshock MP3
Podcast


  More feeds and info

  Supporting Subscribers

DW Podshock App

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch podcast companion app

Doctor Who: Podshock Podcast Companion App

Doctor Who: Podshock Companion App

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content

Poll

How do you rate Doctor Who: Death in Heaven? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
29%
4 TARDIS Groans
29%
3 TARDIS Groans
0%
2 TARDIS Groans
0%
1 TARDIS Groan
14%
0 TARDIS Groans
29%
Total votes: 7

Amazon US Store

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

DW Podshock 319 Cover

BBC Shop (UK & Europe)

Monthly archive