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Reviews for Series 6: Part 1

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Not bad at all

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 11 July 2011
Rating:   8

I must admit I approached watching this sixth season of the new Who with much trepedation. Im getting fastly tired of the series up until here. Gratefully, overall, I was hugely surprised by how good this season is overall. There are still a few weaknesses, but far less than in the last series.

The weaknesses come in the opening two parter, and in the finale. Id like to know what exactly the Silence had invaded earth for in the first place, as this is not touched on in the script at all. And the Doctor's lack of mercy with these creatures again highlights the point that this Doctor now isnt all that much of a hero. Id have thought he'd have given his token one chance for the creatures to leave, before having them all murdered. But aside from this quibble, the silence themselves are very creepy indeed, in may book more creepy even than the Weeping Angels.

The Finale story is just another convuluted load of garbage one has to state here. Theres just too much packed into 50 minutes, that the episode sags seriously and becomes in many areas incomprehensible. About the only decent factor of this story is Matt Smith's performance, and that guy whose the wonderfully characterised Sontaran. But Im trying to get my head around everything else along the way. And how exactly was this the Doc's darkest hour? He's faced far worse in his time than what he does here. And the partial resolution to the mystery of River Song has rather fallen short of my expectations. Just to be the daughter of Amy, whats so earth shattering about that? And dont even get me started on why he just walks away from Amy and Rory in the end...

But the four in between stories are quite brilliant through and through. The Curse of The Black Spot may be just about the most stupid title of a Who story ever, but the story itself is exellently written. The siren looks very good indeed, and Arthur Darvill reaches his heights here as Rory. I love this guy, hes so funny and yet so brilliant. The ship itself and all the crew are exellent too, especially Hugh Bonneville who takes to the lead brilliantly as the Pirate Captain. Theres a real good neat twist at the end too, which is warming and good, in the vein of the SARAH JANE ADVENTURE The Mad Woman in The Attic. A nice and calm and good ending.

The Doctor's wife is a real piece of action with a decent plot that is meaty and with acting prowess to match, its an original story too. And the TARDIS in female form is rather brilliantly thought out. Another highly recommended episode for once I have to admit here. That the TARDIS actually picked the Doctor for travels together is believable, and the story also keeps pace very well. And we have the Time Lord distress box back at last, last seen in The War Games!!! WOW! And here its utilised well again as in the brilliant Patrick Troughton finale.

The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People is one of the finest episodes of the series since Chris Eccleston came to the role in 2005. It is freaky as hell, and the Gangers are suitably unsettling and menacing, yet at the same time you really truly feel for them, as they have been misused and maltreated for so long. This makes for an electrically charged story that doesnt seem like 80 minutes at all, its so well paced and the drama is tense and riveting. The finale is suitably shocking too, and should have led into a brilliant finale, but it sadly didnt. But this still is far far better a season so far than series five in almost every respect. The writing is of a far higher standard, and the acting is too. This isnt on the spot, but its the closest to the mark since Catherine Tate left the role of Donna after her full season...

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