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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018 - 9:40

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Gotta say I'd forgotten that Series 3 ended with Blink and the Master trilogy back-to-back, dayum that's a fine way to close out a season.  Gonna be a fun night tonight!  

So, obvious question.  Which is creepier, The Silence or the Weeping Angels?  Both are pretty ace nightmare fuel, both were a tad overused by Eleven's end and were retired, and both are up there with the classics like Daleks and Cybermen.  

So, rather than continue to crap on series 11 which is pretty unanimously known for what it is now, I'm going to talk series 1 and 2 after a rewatch and how they hold up (or in some cases don't).  

Series 1 was nostalgia personified.  But it's only nowadays I appreciated the recurring theme of the masses being brainwashed by the news media, and The Doctor's meddling making things worse.  That moment when he looked upon the world he had created, the horror in his face as he realised he'd led to the human race completely stagnating into something putrid and foul.  Chills.  And the way the Daleks tied into it was sublime.  

Series 1 was the perfect example of a series that was both filled with self-contained stories that all built up to something.  Dalek was a brilliant take on the Doctor's most infamous villain, and at the same time also braced the viewer for what was to come in the series finale when faced with half a million of them poised to take over the Earth.  People hate on the Slitheen but I always liked them, especially when we got Boom Town out of it.  An episode mostly comprised of character interactions, and yet perfect because of that.  

Series 2 is a mixed bag.  Some of it was as good as I remembered, some of it wasn't even close.  Perhaps the fact I've become far more critical with how I consume my media since the last time I watched it has led to my becoming more jaded, but episodes such as the Cyberman storyline mostly bored me this time around, where before I saw the tricks as magic I felt like this time I was seeing how the magician pulled his tricks off.  I also had far less time for the romance subplot this time around.  

The meh was counterbalanced with the excellent.  Tennant as The Doctor remains one of the best casting choices in the franchise.  His ability to bring the full fury of the ancient being out is genuinely terrifying, and the theme that he has a companion to keep himself in check fits in with his personality perfectly.  When it's revealed that he himself ended the Time War by genociding both his own people and the Daleks you can see it in him.  Absolutely exquisite performance.  And yet at the same time he completely sells the Doctor's complete alienness with the zany quircky skits.      Even the lamer episodes of the season were at the least enjoyable.

But then there were the episodes that were fantastic.  It's easy when watching episodes like The Christmas Invasion or The Satan Pit to see why this series seemed so impossibly perfect in my memory.  They were exciting, the scale was simultaneously epic and grounded, and they were filled with constant excitement and perfect pacing.  They made 42 minutes feel like a fraction of that.  And it all ended with that ever so fun finale.

So far it's easy to see why so many consider the RTD to be the golden era of the franchise. These two series had their stinkers, but they absolutely nailed every important episode and then some. Series 3's been a blast as well, but more of that when I've finished it.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018 - 10:26

Tennant remains my least favourite new Doctor. As for your question, Weeping Angels before that one episode where they all disappear into a time rift; Silence thereafter. That was a real character assassination.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018 - 21:20

Yep, it's official, season 3 is better than season 2.  What a ride that was.  Blink was the perfect way to usher in a new year.  Lights off, silence abounding, a perfect atmosphere to enjoy one of sci-fi's most terrifying monsters.  As I suspected though the entire season was a lot better than 2 was.  2 opened and ended strong, but it faltered a fair bit in the middle and latter half.  Season 3 started off great, got amazing for a couple of episodes, toned down for a few, then brought out The Family of Blood, and finally wrapped things up with Weeping Angels and The Master.  

John Simm's Master was as delightful and terrifying as previous watches of the finale.  Few people can pull off psychotic crazy like that and still make a credible and monstrous villain, and he did just that.  A Master that truly reveled in his role as Master, a villain that was in control from the word go and didn't let the heroes have a second of respite.  Indeed such a troll he was he deliberately let them have a shred of hope just for the joy of ripping it out from under them in spectacular fashion, and then spent an entire year delighting in the torment of the heroes.  As far as victories go his was a very complete one, even when his plot was foiled (but not before emotionally scarring everyone involved for life, natch) he had the last laugh.  Fantastic villain.  

Oh, there were two medicore episodes called Lazuras Experiment and 42 in there?  Hmm, I must've forgotten them.  But seriously the former was relatively harmless despite the over reliance on CGI that the show didn't have the budget for, and the latter....  No, I must not make this about Chibnal and his disaster of a series, I must not mention what a warning sign this episode was!  Argh, there I go and do it!  

Easy 9/10 season.  RTD was in peak form for his five episodes, Moffat produced one of the best episodes in the entire franchise, and the Family of Blood episodes were exquisite drama at its best and showed the potential of historical settings.  As did The Shakespear Code.  

TLDR season 3 can be summed up thus.

Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 00560510

I'll be taking a few days off before starting series 4 (which up until series 11 existed was my least favourite series, although it has its gems).  Going to need to secure myself a copy of The Ends of Time first, I'm not satisfied watching it on a laptop via itunes this time round!  Not when I've got a new sexy TV to admire it on!  So in a few days we'll see what I think of series 4, it's been four or five years and my tastes have changed a fair bit, so maybe I'll view it in a different light this time.  Worst comes to worst it's at least not going to be anywhere nearly as bad as a certain other series.    

-----------------------------

I was less annoyed by that and more that they were straight up killing people, they were so much more terrifying when they weren't killing people.  Didn't mind how the Doctor dealt with them, he'd warned them constantly to back off and they'd responded by hitting him in the weak spot with Amy the entire episode.  If anything it was good to see Eleven prove that it was as wise to screw with him as it was Nine and Ten (that is to say completely suicidal).  

The final episode with the Ponds brought them back to greatness though.  Moffat took the next logical step with psychopathic predators that can think: creating farms for their food.  Doomed to spend your entire life in a single room is horrifying cruel, yet also ruthlessly pragmatic on the Angels part.  They're at their best when their cruelty has a purpose and logic to it, the psychopathy is a good element of them but when it's the only one they come off as diminished.  I feel they went out with a bang along with the Ponds.  

Don't get me wrong, I actually really liked the two-parter with the Weeping Angels in series 5, I just feel it was a weak showing for the Angels themselves despite being a pair of really good episodes.  First episode was good and very creepy, but they felt very diminished when they went from transporting people in time to simply killing them like every other monster in Doctor Who.  

Still nowhere near the biggest character assassination in the franchise though!  13 is indeed an unlucky number  Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018 - 22:46

Season 3 is my favourite. Martha was great, Tennant was on top form and there's very few guff episodes.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyTue 1 Jan 2019 - 22:18

I just watched the New Year episode, and it's definitely one of the better ones. Good creepy stuff with the villain.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyTue 1 Jan 2019 - 23:01

I actually checked out the New Year's episode too. Most of the character drama moments like the bit with the lad and his dad naturally meant nothing to me considering I've not seen anything from the new series, but I enjoyed the villain a lot. The early parts of the episode, specifically the bit in the bathroom, were genuinely creepy.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyWed 2 Jan 2019 - 21:06

Honestly didn't mean much to me either. I suppose it's nice enough.

Suddenly, Yaz is looking most like the weak link in the TARDIS; which is a shame after Demons of the Punjab.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyWed 2 Jan 2019 - 23:04

I was more intrigued at getting my first look at the new Doctor in action and seeing her square up to a Dalek. She did alright - it didn't help that I was comparing it to Eccleston's magnificent performance when he first encounters the Dalek.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptySat 5 Jan 2019 - 15:33

I could have spent the last hour watching Voyage of the Damned, an episode I've never particularly liked but was still a decent way to spend an hour.  

Instead I figured that now we're past the point my view would be counted towards the ratings I would sit down and watch Resolution.  

I'll start with what I liked about the episode.  The Dalek.  The end.  Actually, no, the fact it avoided blatant identity politics is also something I liked (dear lord we've actually reached the point where that can actually be counted as a thing in a Doctor Who episode, really says how this season went).

It was, however, a very lame episode.  A solid 5 out of 10.  Very very average.  And it once again highlights issues that have plagued the season.  Whitaker cannot play The Doctor, she simply has absolutely none of the charisma or gravitas.  Oh they tried to give her a scene where she could be all "I am the Doctor", but it fell flat on its face as she was utterly unconvincing.  

Watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIjUSzpYcuA

See the difference in performance quality?  Echelston absolutely sells this scene.  Now compare that to Whitaker's attempt at intimidating the Dalek when she first meets it.  See what I mean?  There's no force behind her, no sense that she's powerful.  

It was like that for the entire episode.  She just isn't a good Doctor, and this episode makes me believe that even under a good writer and director she wouldn't cut it.  

The family drama was pointless.  As someone who saw over half the actual season I can tell Jay that the scenes had absolutely no emotional weight with the seasons context either.  Compare Ryan's dad stuff to Father's Day in series 1, the two aren't even close to the same level.  

But my biggest issue with the series is how it basically spat on the Daleks.  You expect me to believe that a bunch of people with metal sticks took down a single Dalek?  A alien that in its very first appearance in modern Doctor Who went up against highly trained militia's and effortlessly wiped the floor with them both in technology and strategy?  

You expect me to buy that the Dalek, fresh from Scaro, lost to a bunch of glorified cavemen?  Oh, but I don't even need to compare to older series, this episode showed a scrapheap of a Dalek make mincemeat of the modern day army.  Remember the slowmo shot, and that few seconds from the sky where it showed what the Dalek was doing in real-time?  You expect me to believe that a Dalek capable of mowing down dozens of people per minute could ever be defeated by medieval times warriors?  Yeah, no.  And the closest to an explanation was a simple picture of a net implying they trapped it and burned it.  That crap I could believe working on the scrapyard Dalek casing, but casing from Scaro that will have extreme heat-resistance?  Yeah, NO.

You might think this is nitpicking, but the simple fact of the matter is that all fiction has rules it has to abide by.  When it does not abide by its own rules it shatters a persons sense of disbelief, and that is when people start getting critical.  

Perhaps if they'd actually showed how they took down the Dalek, but no, that would have required two things.  It would have required Chibnal to actually know how they took it down (which he didn't hence why it was never shown, a common writers trick is to tell instead of show when you can't figure out how to make something happen in a story), and it also would have taken time away from the gripping family drama (because heaven forbid out sci-fi show has actual sci-fi in it, something the entire season lacked).  

Also did they just write UNIT out of the franchise for a thinly veiled brexit joke?  The actual flup?  See, this is what happens when you put political pointscoring over storytelling when you're telling a story.  I think the worst part of that scene was the attendant condescendingly asking when the last alien invasion happened as if it had never happened.  Look, Chibnal, I get you desperately want the last 55 years of the franchise and the last decade of the show specifically to have not happened, but that doesn't change the fact that it did and that alien invasions got some common-place the show would frequently make jokes about it.  And you expect me to buy that UNIT got cancelled because alien invasions never happen and budget cuts "cuz brexit"?  Yeah, NO.  Again this is what happens when you cannot bother to keep within your own continuity, and while Doctor Who does like being very liberal with said continuity the fact is Modern Who had too many invasions too frequently for this scene to land.  

Lastly, while I did enjoy the actual performance of the lady possessed by the Dalek (hell make HER the Doctor, she's got better acting chops than Whitaker does) I couldn't help but find the scene of her encountering it to be absolutely eyeroll worthy.  You're an archeolegist and you find a pulsating squid-like alien on the wall so you touch it with your bare hands?  Come on Chibnal, not only is this lazy writing to get the Dalek on her but it's also not something any real person would do.  This is such a cliche of sci-fi horror that it is often only used as a joke nowadays, and you decided to play it dead-serious?  I have to assume that it was because, again, you were too lazy to write a scene of the Dalek stalking her underwater instead.  

Actually that's another issue this entire season has had.  The older seasons could pull that sort of scene off because they were well aware that Doctor Who is, at its heart, a corny sci-fi adventure series.  This season however has stripped out every trace of that aspect of the franchise and has repeatedly bashed the viewer over the head with how serious and profound it is.  Which makes scenes like the above absolutely moronic.  

Overall an extremely lacklustre end to series 11.  Considering Chibnal has outright admitted the political agendas were intentional I imagine series 12 will only double down on everything that made series 11 so utterly awful and the BBC will kill the franchise afterwards.  Thanks Chibnal, you've very likely killed Doctor Who.  Love you.  /sarcasm
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptySat 23 Mar 2019 - 5:14

Back into things!  End of Time was great, brilliant sendoff to Ten and the Master.  The pair of episodes perfectly summed up RTD's run, wacky, exciting, at times dark, and awesome.  

Series 5, Eleven's first series, was top notch.  Pretty much every episode was downright great, the worst was only "enjoyable", and the best was some of the all-time best of the show.  Only dislike was the Weeping Angels killing people outright, the pair of episodes were great, but a somewhat poor outing for the Angels themselves.  They work better the less you see of them.  Smith is as amazing as the Doctor as I remembered, and Amy is still best companion.

Series 6 is up next, and three episodes in I've already got one big problem.  Don't know why I didn't realise the gaping plot chasm that is the Doctor starting to regenerate in episode one given Day of the Doctor is literally entirely about the Doctor not being able to regenerate any more. . . Still the Silence were top tier and the second episode was fantastic.  Alas I suspect that's also going to be the peak of the season on this rewatch.  Episode 3 is the worst episode so far in Eleven's run, and it says a fair bit about how godawful series 11 is that despite Curse of the Black Spot being a fairly mediocre episode it was also still an entertaining one to watch.  No I'm never going to stop sniping the new series, it's killed the franchise and I've a right to feel miffed about that.

Up next: Tardis gets to be a character for once. I remember finding this one a little silly for my tastes at points, but otherwise being a very good episode with some great creepy stuff and interactions between the Doctor and the Tardis. We'll see if it holds up.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptySat 23 Mar 2019 - 14:41

Oh come on, that was one of the best! And written by Neil Gaiman if I remember correctly.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptySun 31 Mar 2019 - 13:26

Umm, Balla, I was pretty high with my praise for it >___>

Unless it's the fact I'm open to seeing if it holds up or my opinion will face reevaluation on my rewatch, which, well, *shrug*  I'm fairly critical nowadays when it comes to me fiction, and I'm also open to reevaluating things down the track.  My views on many things have changed over the last few years.  Nothing is spared from a reevaluation, not even things I hold dear.  Why my rewatch of the series has already seen a big change from reevaluating things, and three episodes in series 6 looks set to be another example of a series I loved the first time I watched but doesn't stand up on a critical revisit.  

I actually expect that episode to fair better than most of the season on a rewatch.

Anyhow the rewatch has been stalled by real life the last week or so, have had plenty of downtime but none of it left me in a position to watch blurays on the tv, and then it turns out Wayne broke the player. Little bastard* has spent the last week pushing the player around after I open and close the drawer and it's taken its toll, tried to boot up a disc today and it wasn't recognised. Thankfully my mother actually has a spare player to borrow if it still works after her move.

*used mostly affectionately.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptySun 31 Mar 2019 - 18:49

Yes, you were. I'm fully expecting you to re-evaluate it and decide that it was grossly overrated. Sad

Also: a cat, being a little bastard? Surely not! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyMon 8 Apr 2019 - 13:39

Well, I finally got the chance to watch The Doctor's Wife.  To keep it really quick: yes, it stood the test of time and my original impressions still stand, so it's a solid 8/10 episode.  It's the sort of brilliant crazy that you only get in Doctor Who.

Up next: living plastic duoligy. Fun fact: these two episodes were the pair of episodes I caught back when the series was airing. As you can imagine I was thoroughly lost with the overarcing story stuff regarding Amy.
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyTue 9 Apr 2019 - 21:29

Phew!

Rory? More like Borey am I right?
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PostSubject: Re: Doctor Who Thread   Doctor Who Thread - Page 15 EmptyFri 19 Apr 2019 - 18:01

And that's season 6 finished.  To say the quality of this season fluctuated with be a grand understatement.  One episode we're treated to the very best the series has to offer, the next we have an incoherent mess showing the very worst (until season 11 existed anyway) the show has to offer. I'll try to be brief, but I have a lot to say about certain parts of this season, so I'm afraid this is gonna be on the longer side... If it makes you feel better I subjected myself to season 6 so the people that do read this fully never have to! Wink

So lets start at the beginning, the very very good beginning of this trainwreck.  The impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon.  A very very strong two-parter with Moffat at his best.  Horrifying and creepy villains that play up to Moffat's strengths of playing on one's imagination to enhance the terror.  Couple that with fantastic (mostly) cinematography, top tier acting from Smith and the companions, and a story that keeps you wondering how they can possibly win until the very end, where all is revealed in a fantastic twist that is worthy of a cheer and a clap, and you've got a story that's easily an eight out of ten.  Ignoring future plotholes some aspects of the story kick off, and the breadcrumbs for the awful season-long arc this is up there, and even with those in mind these episodes are worth a watch in a "best of" rewatch.  

Unfortunately the quality drops for the next episode.  Curse of the Black Spot is boring as sin, watchable due to production values and fantastic acting/chemistry with the main cast, but extremely forgettable (which is easily the worst trait of a Who episode).  

Thankfully it's followed by a strong line of episodes.  The Doctor's Wife is everything you can want in a Doctor Who episode.  Snappy dialogue, creative storyline, fantastic acting, and the sort of experience only a show like Doctor Who can actually pull off.  It's a shame Gaiman didn't want to be showrunner, if anybody could have solved the issue of the show running out of steam it would have been him given this episode.  An easy episode to add to the "Greatest Hits" list.  

The Rebel Flesh two-parter is a fairly strong two-episode storyline.  It drags at points, Rory is utterly tedious to watch, and it gets a wee bit melodramatic.  But overall it's a solid pair of episodes, some great horror, an interesting story that raises some good commentary without banging you over the head or getting in the way of the story, and despite its pacing issues feels like it both needed two episodes and used them well.  Solid 7/10.  

A Good Man Goes To War.  Hoo boy.  This is where the season jumps off a cliff in quality.  Most of the episode is actually fine, but the ending is just so so stupid.  The identity of River Song had been teased for a long while by this point, and the answer probably couldn't have been more contrived, convoluted, silly, and melodramatic.  The worst part is that it's played completely straight-faced.  Moffat is usually smart enough to play off his more ridiculous ideas with some self-awareness at how bonkers everything is.  Here we see that missing, in a reveal that reduces what had been one of the most interesting parts of his run up to this point.  Season 6 never recovers from the last ten minutes of A Good Man Goes To War.  From the over-the-top stupidity of having a baby explode in Amy's arms to the slow reveal of River's identity to the most ridiculous of music it's just... Blegh.  I wanted to laugh at it but the scenes were playing themselves too straight to evoke anything but a profound cringe.

The worst part however is that if the episode had just ended ten minutes earlier it would've actually been a good one.  Not the greatest, but a really entertaining way to spend an hour.  

Things go from bad to worse in Lets Kill Hitler.  Again we return to the River Song arc, where the character takes another beating in quality.  Turns out she's a brainwashed psychopath who has a crush on the Doctor and is also trained to assasinate him!  What fantastic writting.  After the teases in season 5 about the fact she's the woman who kills the Doctor you'd think the story would go somewhere immensly satisfying, instead it goes into the really weird.  And not the fun kind of weird either.  The kind of weird that has you internally crying "make it stop mommy, please make it stop!"  

Oh, and there was some Hitler crap in the episode as well.  Honestly this could have been decent as the focus of the episode, but again Moffat's cramming several ideas that all would've been tough to pull off in separate episodes into one, and the writing simply cannot make any of them work.  Between Hitler (which should've been a story about them trying to prevent his assassination ahead of time), the machine that kills criminals that escape justice using time travel (again something that could've resulted in a really good clever story, since Moffat likes playing with the time travel aspects you'd think we'd have a good episode involving time travel with this guy), and River trying to assassinate the Doctor ahead of the fixed point in time of his actual death, this episode just doesn't work.  

Night Terrors was just an episode.  I'm not going to bang on about it, it exists, it was average, and that's all that needs to be said.  

The Girl Who Waited.  On my previous viewing I really liked this episode.  It had a really clever premise, Old Amy was great, and the ending was the best kind of twisted dark.  My new viewing has revealed the issues of it.  It's still a very good episode, and worth a watch, but it's not as good as I remember.  Still a great premise though, and I still love the final few minutes.  Rory rarely gets the spotlight, but when he does get it he makes the most of it.  

The God Complex.  Ah, now this right here is my jam.  Twisted, eccentric, and that bizzare mix of horror and campy drama that Doctor Who excels at.  A hotel that transports and traps people selected at random into it and puts them in front of their worst fears.  Lots of mindf***ery ensues.  solid 8/10, not everyone's cup of tea, but this episode does everything it sets out to do well, and it scratches my back in just the right way.  

Closing Time.  Pretty meh episode.  It's a sequel to season 5's far superior The Lodger.  It's a fun episode, but nothing all that special, and not nearly as funny as The Lodger.  And, again, another lame appearance of the Cybermen, it's been too long since they had a good episode.  Actually they really haven't had one since they returned at this point (thank you Capaldi era for changing that).  

The Wedding of River Song.  This is where the snake devours itself and the series, not content with merely jumping over the shark, decides to do a ballet dance over the it instead.  

What allowed season 5's finale to work was a combination of its ideas having room to breath, and also the season setting up the more weird aspects throughout its episodes so the reveals didn't just make you go "the hell am I watching?"  This doesn't do that.  Instead we just get thrown into the craziest idea Moffat has ever done.  The world is stuck at the same time for eternity, and all of time is happening at once (yeah, try to make sense of that, because I sure as hell can't, and I'm usually great at understanding abstract crap like that).

All of time happening at once sound epic as hell, but in reality its just a backdrop for some craaaaaazy stuff like Churchill being Ceaser and dinosaurs attacking people.  

We also complete the assassination of River Song.  We've had breadcrumbs given to us that the Doctor and she have a strong bond bordering on love.  How is this explained?  They get married so that they can touch each other to reset the universe because she didn't kill him.  

Talk about unsatisfying convoluted nonsensical payoffs to long term setups.  There's some fun stuff in here dealing with the Doctor cheating his fixed death as well, and it's about the only good part of the episode.  

In Conclusion: Season 6 has a few great episodes, but overall is one of the worst seasons (only bested by season 11, although season 4 gives it a close run for its money).  If anyone ever decides to revisit some of it do yourself a favour and stick to the episodes highlighted, it'll save your brain turning to mush and draining out your ears (a dumb season deserves a dumb analogy).

Onward to season 7. The end of the Ponds and the end of the eleventh Doctor, and both made me cry on first viewing! Should be a good time.
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