June 28, 2010
Doctor Who And The Big Reset Button - Series 2010
If there was one hope I had for the final episode of the 2010 series of Doctor Who it was that there would not be a Big Reset Button. The BRB was a favourite of Russell T. Davies. RTD would put The Doctor into an impossible position and then pull him out of it with a huge piece of nonsensical magic in the biggest snub to Science Fiction possible. I had hoped that Steven Moffat was better than that. It appears not.
The Big Bang was confusing, full of plot holes and left a bunch of dangling threads.
On the plus side it had time travel.
The Pandorica Opens, the first part of the two part episode did not set things up well. Yes, it was enjoyable watching River Song blaze through history in search of The Doctor, in fact River was probably the best thing in these two episodes, but that doesn't mean it made sense. Perhaps I'm missing the point? Perhaps we're not supposed to know all of the answers and Moffat is doing some long game Lost style plot arc?
For a start, who constructed The Pandorica? The Daleks et. al? If not who? If yes, then how did they construct the perfect prison, how did they create technology that could restore life? How did The Doctor know so much about it? The fact that these questions are even coming to mind is a bad sign. Are we really expected to just swallow a big box that saves the day? Are we really expected that the Daleks would work with the Cybermen to lock up The Doctor? Don't they have too big egos for that? In fact would any of those races work together? Really? I don't believe it. Any of it. It's not even internally consistent.
The time travel shenanigans were good. One constant question asked about Doctor Who is why he doesn't just time travel and sort things out. Moffat has been leading the way in New Who with his use of time travel and in The Big Bang he went full on Back To The Future 2, with leaps back and forward, dinks through time and a fez. However in the midst of that fun The Doctor managed to survive a shot from a Dalek and crawl away.
And finally The Big Reset button itself. It appears that it's inevitable these days in Doctor Who. How could they possibly escape from the end of time? Fly the Pandorica into the exploding TARDIS of course. Duh. Then watch a literal reset of the series, everything rewound to the start. Why oh why oh why? I liked the start with Amy forgetting The Doctor and the stars not existing, that was good, but bringing The Doctor back with a memory, that's just weak. Almost as bad as the House Elf hope episode.
Which is a shame because on the whole this series has been positive:
Bad episodes: The Beast Below, The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood, The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang.
Okay episodes: The Eleventh Hour, Victory Of The Daleks, The Time Of Angels, The Vampires Of Venice,
Great episodes: Flesh And Stone, Amy's Choice, Vincent And The Doctor, The Lodger
The best episodes were those that dared to be different and throw off the shackles of the formula. The introduction of River Song as more than a bit part character was also good. The dialogue on the whole was sharp and witty, there were touching moments and the visuals were cool and stylish. But please, please, can we have some stronger stories?
Is that really too much to ask? I'm getting tired of the excuse that it's a kid's show and getting tired of being disappointed.