Okay. We’re reeling. Quick reactions on here so as not to spoiler people on twitter/tumblr.
- The Ponds/Williamses. Oh man. Here’s my somewhat-guilty secret: I only started Doctor Who with Matt Smith’s Doctor. I have an aversion to David Tennant and never wanted to pick it up during his run – so the Ponds are the first companions I’ve seen leave in real-time. And that was heartbreaking. Together, or not at all.
- River remains my favourite and I’m glad I knew that we couldn’t have lost her in this ep (although that’s a double-edged sword, being as we already know how her story ends). But I’m glad they left the door open for her to come back.
- And if anyone thinks they know how Jenna Coleman turns up again, I’m all ears.
- The Angels are still fucking creepy. I’m sitting with the blinds shut and the lights on and I’m currently very glad I have no statues of anything in my room. Ranking of New Who villains by creepiness:
- everything else
- This is mainly because the Angels move too fast to be seen, but at least you know they were/are there. The Silence turn up, scare the wits out of you and/or hurt you, and then you forget what happened. The rest seem a bit pedestrian after that, especially the Daleks, seeing as they appear shouting I AM A PLOT POINT and can be foxed by disabling mechanised means of ascending the building.
- Steven Moffat, I see you and I see your tropes. At this stage I’m waiting for him to turn up during Question Time and make someone jump off a roof. Place your bets now as to who.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed this half-season, even if the writing’s not been great. Today’s was definitely the strongest, and felt way more like the celebration of Amy and Rory that last week’s had promised to be. One gets the feeling that Moffat’s Who is his baby, and it’s a rare scriptwriter who has the way with his characters that the showrunner himself does.
I could be saying this because Moffat’s been behind all the River Song storylines, and I think the chemistry and one-upmanship between herself and the Doctor drives an episode marvellously (the little notes hidden through time are a particular favourite). Looking at this string of episodes, though, the only one that held a candle to tonight’s in terms of writing was Asylum of the Daleks – also by Moffat. Chris Chibnall’s two were enjoyable if forgettable – the amusement of Rory’s dad, Brian, making up somewhat for the lacklustre plotting – and Toby Whithouse’s A Town Called Mercy was paced better but left the viewer with the feeling that they’d been given a Very Important Lesson that would probably come up on this year’s exam.
All of that said, I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in next year’s episodes, and I like that very much. Bring on 2013.