Episode 12 – CLOSING TIME

Gareth Roberts yet again produced a hugely entertaining script which saw the return of the fantastic Craig Owens. Alfie/Stormageddon was a new addition to the episode from Craig’s last appearance and he added an excellent dynamic between the three. The Doctor speaking “baby” was very funny, as was seeing him work in a shop. The episode also made you think a lot about the role of the Doctor’s companion. Over the years, we’ve become accustomed to the Doctor always having someone by his side to help him out, and also to ask the quesions on behalf of the viewers. But as the Doctor left Amy and Rory to their new house in the previous episode, he was travelling alone here. The scene where the Doctor told Craig to go home but he refused and claimed he was safer near the Doctor was thought provoking. Lots of companions have met with sticky ends, but so to have side characters. So are companions safer to stick with the Doctor or leave him alone? The episode was made a lot more intriguing by that question and I enjoyed seeing the Doctor trying his hardest to protect Craig and his baby. What I didn’t like about the episode was the Cybermen. I’d say it’s generally accepted that they are up there with the Daleks and Weeping Angels as the Doctor’s most famous and feared rivals. But this story just didn’t feature them enough at all to give them any sort of credibility. I know the story was prodominately about the Doctor meeting back up with Craig, but if you aren’t going to give the Cybermen the respect they deserve, then replace them with a villain of your own or a lesser enemy. They were defeated by “love” too, which in no way helped. I’d say this was safely the worst episode for Cybermen in the modern era. There were a few more dubious moments too. Since when has the sonic screwdriver had a stun setting? It’s not a weapon, it shouldn’t be used as a weapon. And when the Doctor crashed through Craig’s back door, that was purely for footage for a trailer. Why didn’t he just sonic it open? Having said that, there were some great scenes too. When Craig and the Doctor were briefly teleported from the lift and they first encountered a Cyberman, it was thrilling. And the Doctor going back in time to clean up Craig’s house before Sophie got home was a beautiful and fitting ending to the story. It’s not as good as The Lodger, but this is a good return for Craig Owens. Although the Cybermen were horribly misused, I still enjoyed the episode. It was one of the most light hearted and entertaining of the series. 6/10

Episode 13 – THE WEDDING OF RIVER SONG

I think out of every Steven Moffat story, this one frustrates me the most. I really really want to like it, and it is a good watch, but so much just goes on that doesn’t make any sense. Firstly, I think this story should’ve been told over two parts. It’s one of the most ambitious plots in Doctor Who history and forty five minutes certainly wasn’t enough time to resolve it. The episode begins with time all happening at once, which is just a bizarre idea. I don’t see how this happens at all. Moffat, in my opinion, completely disregarded stories such as Father’s Day, ruined part the continuity of the show and created his own rule. We’ve never seen anything like this before despite fixed points changing, so why this was any different, especially so soon after River failing to kill the Doctor, was baffling. Despite this, I enjoyed the Doctor explaining all this to the returning Winston Churchill, at least Moffat managed to write his messy script entertainingly. The biggest flaw with this story though is why things were allowed to get so bad. The Doctor could’ve told River to look into his eye on the beach at Lake Silencio, or at anytime throughout the episode. I know the Doctor wanted the universe to believe he was dead and had to keep it a secret but he told River anyway, so why not sooner? And why the sudden rushed marriage? Yes the Doctor and River were always going to get married, but right in he middle of the finale to resolve the plot about the Doctor getting shot dead? As we already knew it was River in the spacesuit, the only question this episode was left to answer was how was the Doctor going to escape? A lot of people don’t like the Teselcta solution, but I actually thought it was valid and pretty clever. This episode could’ve been great, but was spoiled by the fore knowledge of us as viewers and by the lack of common sense within the script. It was a series arc that started so brilliantly, but ended in a bit of a mess. It did kick off the next few arcs excitingly though as “Doctor, Who?” and Trenzalore were teased at the end. 5/10

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