I've recently been re-watching the most recent series of Doctor Who with Matt Smith. As with anything that you end up re-watching, the second viewing is often the one that cements your opinion. The first viewing, you're busy trying to absorb as much as possible and it's all new to you. However, the second viewing, you know what's coming. You can focus on the quotes, the plot line and those more intricate details that you missed the first time. You can realise you actually love an episode you previously weren't so sure about and you can discover a fantastic 'new' quote.
I think this time round, I've appreciated Matt Smith as the Doctor much more. Last time, I hadn't got used to him. I was still 'mourning' the 'death' of David Tennant's Doctor and I just didn't know what he would be like. Sure, I was optimistic and excited about Stephen Moffatt's writing but it was still full of unknowns. This second time round, I didn't have to worry about that. I knew that I wouldn't hate him and I knew that Stephen Moffatt's head writing skills were amazing so I could, as it were, sit back and enjoy the show.
Sure, you don't get the same emotional roller-coaster the same time round but there were some episodes that I'd totally forgotten just how awesome they were. When watching "The Beast Below", there were so many quotes that I didn't notice first time round (you will have noticed a number of them pop up on my twitter and facebook if you follow either of those) and I forgave the Doctor for missing the blindingly obvious because, second time round, I realised that sometimes it's the things that hit closest to home that we often miss. It was really sad but also really clever, and Stephen Moffatt did a fantastic job.
Another thing I missed first time round was the reasoning behind the Doctor wanting to bring Rory along for the ride. (At least, this is how I interpreted it the second time round.) The Doctor would still remember everything that happened with Rose and, despite a regeneration, would still remember how much he loved/s her. He also saw what happened between Rose and Mickey and, no doubt, he wanted to stop that happening with Amy and Rory. Or at least that's how I saw it. It also leads to some hilarious lines in "The Vampires of Venice".
Skipping backwards a bit, the two parter about the stone angels, I'm still a bit split about. While I love the whole concept of "an image of an angel itself becomes an angel", there are a few plot holes that I can't quite ignore: how comes, when we see the angels moving, they're still stone? Unlike some of my friends, I can handle them moving, but I thought they were only stone when the were quantum locked? Why does no-one get sent back in time? How comes they're no longer "the only monster to kill you nicely" and make you "live to death"? Or is that just because they didn't need the energy from that where as the 'scavenger' ones with Sally Sparrow did? As much as I liked this episode (I even liked River Song a bit more than previously), there are a few too many big questions that still need to be answered before I can categorically say I loved it.
Right, I know I've missed out mentioning "The 11th Hour", "The Victory of the Daleks" and "Vampires of Venice" in detail however I don't have much to say about those. Sure, they weren't categorically bad but I can't say they're my favourite. While I love the scene with the Doctor trying out different foods and him getting new clothes, it's not an episode I can enthuse about. However, it is a great intro. "The Victory of the Daleks" is, in essence, very good, but I'm just fed up with Daleks and I'm still yet to decide if I like the new look. At the moment I'm still on the fence. "Vampires of Venice" has an excellent introduction and a number of really good scenes but, again, it's not one I'm going to get all obsessive about. It's not rubbish, it's just not so much my cup of tea.
"Amy's Choice", I was sceptical about the first time I watched it but the second time I appreciated it much more, although I still hold some reservations. The first time round, it was the start (or maybe conformation) of my love of Rory and second time round was no different. It was heart wrenching to see him die and made his second death even more poignant. My only issue is that it ends with it all being a dream. I don't know whether this dislike is from teachers drumming in to me that you should end a story "and they woke up and it was all a dream" or whether it was because the "danger" wasn't really that dangerous but, either way, I loved it until that point. I know it's interesting that the Dream Lord is the Doctor, but I can't help but feel it would have been better if it had been an actual alien against them.
The next two, "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" I really wasn't that keen on first time round. Second time, I warmed to it a bit more but I think it'll take a few more watches for me to appreciate it properly. I know it's meant to be like this, but the character's human failings really annoy me. I just want them to realise they're better than that and not to be so rash but I guess it wouldn't work quite the same. Also, second viewing, I was even more distraught by the second death of Rory. I sort of hate and love at the same time that Amy forgot about him but I must say, it does allow for some good lines from the Doctor later in the series.
This episode I liked the first time round and the second time I loved it. "Vincent and the Doctor" is so cleverly written and there are a number of good quotes too. The ending is so touching and, while I'm not 100% sure of the historic accuracy, it is an amazing plot line. It somehow brings a sanity to Vincent's madness and I loved the whole thing with the sunflowers. I feel like I've forgotten something that I loved in this episode so if I remember I'll tell you another time.
"The Lodger" is one of the best 'cheap just before the big finale' episodes and I loved seeing the Doctor trying to fit in. Somehow, I think the 10th Doctor had too many human characteristics for this episode to work but with Matt Smith's Doctor it worked beautifully. Amazing quotes and a good light hearted episode before the big finale.
Now, the finale ("The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang") is probably the best finale since Doctor Who returned to our screens. Sure, there are a few little issues with the time jumping but if you stop being so picky for just a second, it opens up a terrific two episodes. Not only did Rory return (yay!) but we were not inundated with Darleks and Cybermen. In my opinion, we have seen too much of them and it was a nice change to have a different focus. It does puzzle me a little why the Doctor didn't realise the Pandorica was for him but I was also thinking that maybe he just refused to believe it could be for him. Taking the elements from Amy's memories was clever and, while first time round I found it cheesy, so was the introduction. Having previously watched the flashback scene also made the clip in "Flesh and Stone" make so much more sense and have so much more meaning. The ending I also loved so much more second time round: the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" idea was just genius! And who didn't love the Doctor's dancing!
Obviously, I'm now waiting eagerly for the Christmas episode. In the mean time, I'll be re-watching as many older episodes as possible so you may get more blogs like this!
“So long and thanks for all the fish!”
On a related note, I just thought I'd share with you the utter nerdiness of me and my friend, Rosanna. We had a sonic off after a Jazz Band performance and spent a while comparing our 10th and 11th Doctor's sonic screwdrivers. Fortuantly for others, they're not real so we didn't have the same effect as in "Partners in Crime"!
Current book I’m reading: Life, the Universe and Everything
Last TV show watched: Doctor Who - The Big Bang
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