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Doctor Who Series 6, Part 1 Blu-ray Review

The first half of series 6 is a mixture of fascinating and frustrating moments.

When Steven Moffat took over as showrunner of “Doctor Who,” I was intrigued to see what direction the series would take. Moffat (who wrote some of the show’s best episodes during the RTD era) is certainly a different writer than RTD and seems to love creating plots involving time traveling, huge surprises, and a more serialized form of storytelling. In the first 7 episodes of series 6, Moffat manages to combine all of his beloved plot interests in these episodes, but the results are somewhat varied.

The season starts out with a bang with “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day Of The Moon.” This dizzying, fast paced 2 parter starts off with a MAJOR incident that will obviously have huge implications on the rest of the season (I won’t spoil what it is). In addition, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory face one of the creepiest villains in the Silence. If someone looks at the Silence, they instantly forget them once they look away. Suffice it to say, this makes it hard for everyone to deal with this new meance. While this 2 parter is certainly intense and jam packed with story, it does raise many more questions than it answers.

The third and fourth episodes in the season (“The Curse Of The Black Spot” and “The Doctor’s Wife”) are two stand alone stories. ‘Spot’ is a clever Pirate centric episode with a nice little twist at the end. In the midst of all the story arcs going on, this episode was a fun, welcome adventure. As for ‘Wife,’ this is one of the best episodes in all six series of new Who. Acclaimed author Neil Gaiman’s debut Who script is a perfect story about the relationship between the Doctor and his TARDIS. This episode is so good that it will make you wonder why this topic hasn’t been explored before.

After one of the best episodes with “The Doctor’s Wife,” viewers are forced to endure two of the worst episodes of new Who with the “The Rebel Flesh and “The Almost People.” This 2 parter about Gangers (which are basically clones) is a downright bore. The new characters are completely unlikeable and the story gives us the same old song and dance in terms of themes about clones, human rights, identity, ethics, etc.

The first half of season 6 concludes with “A Good Man Goes To War.” Aside from a major revelation about River Song (albeit one that many saw coming) and the hilarious Sontaran nurse character, this was all a bit overblown. Once again, Moffat raises more questions (and answers very little) and oddly assaults viewers with unknown and unecessary characters that will have you shouting “Who are these people and why should we care?”

Summary: To be honest, this Blu-ray set is worth picking up just for “The Doctor’s Wife.” The episode is that good.

Note: The second half of series 6 is now airing on BBC America.


The widescreen 1080i picture quality is a little on the grainy side (especially during darker scenes), but generally the picture looks great. Highlights include the scenes filmed in Utah, the TARDIS interior, and the fantastic f/x in “The Doctor’s Wife” episode.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is impressive. The music, f/x, and dialogue all sound sharp here.

* BBC America, BBC Video, “Torchwood: Miracle Day,” “Sherlock,” ads.
* Monster Files: The Silence- A featurette on the Silence creatures. Discussions range from the references to the Silence in series 5 and a description of their powers if you will. Interviews with Karen Gillan, Steven Moffat and others are included.
* “Monster Files: The Gangers”- This featurette plays like the one above only not as interesting.

September 11, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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