Series 7 saw the sad exit of Amy and Rory Williams/Pond and introduced us to Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl. However the structure, the writing and the concepts were all wrong. It was another adventurous attempt by Steven Moffat to revolutionise the way the series was broadcast, once again the series was split in two and featured no two part stories. Sadly it didn’t work and was a low point of the show since its reboot.
The whole series was littered with plot holes. It would take all day to go through all of them individually but here are a few of the most irritating. “The Angels Take Manhattan” was undoubtedly a fitting end for Amy and Rory, their exit scene was written beautifully by Moffat. However the episode as a whole was so messy. Firstly, the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel. Really? How on Earth did that move so far without somebody looking at it and cause it to remain static? It just didn’t make sense that such a famous landmark could go so long without being looked upon. Secondly in that episode, when River breaks her wrist, the Doctor heals it with regeneration energy. But that Doctor’s body was the last in his regeneration cycle so where did he get the energy from? Yes you could say that he had enough to heal but not enough to change body but it was an annoying little detail that didn’t need to be there. And if he could do that so easily, why was that the first time we saw him use it?
Moving away from slaughtering that particular episode, the series itself had far too many forgettable stories. “The Power of Three”, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and “The Crimson Horror” were some of the poorest episodes of the modern era. “The Power of Three” had one of the worst endings of the show’s history; the Doctor pointed his sonic screwdriver and all was fine. “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” was exactly what it said on the tin and less, its lazy title summed up the episode which had a poor storyline. “The Crimson Horror” was also very poor. The only horror was the episode itself, the villain Mrs Gillyflower was instantly forgettable, likewise the story. With this amount of poor episodes and not too many outstandingly brilliant ones to balance it out, it makes the series comfortably the worst of the modern era.
The decision to drop two part stories for this season was also a failure. It left a lot of episodes feeling like filler with not a lot of time for character development. Although we saw Rory’s dad, Brian for two episodes, I felt like we would have got to know him so much better if it was in a two parter. It would have allowed for much more character development and for the viewer to connect more with him. Also, some episodes could’ve been much better if they were given more time to tell their story at a slower pace. The best example of this is “The Angels Take Manhattan” where Rory and Amy’s exit could’ve been more emotionally impactful had it been built up slightly more. The series finale “The Name of the Doctor” could also have done with more air time as it felt so stand alone and isolated.
The whole series was one of Steven Moffat’s many risks as show runner but this one didn’t pay off. The plot holes, the poor episode quality and stand alone format all contributed to its downfall. It’s a shame as Brian Williams could’ve been a much more fondly remembered character and some episodes would have been a lot more enjoyable. I’m glad this was the only series that didn’t contain two parters as their return at the end of series eight and prominently through series nine really did improve the quality of episodes.