The fifth season of Nuwho marked the departure of David Tennant as The Tenth Doctor and commenced with the debut of Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor. In this season the Doctor’s main companion is Amelia/Amy Pond.
The first episode ‘The Eleventh Hour’ was an introduction to the new characters along with a minor storyline. The regenerated Doctor is still getting used to his new body and the Tardis has suffered some major damage after the 10th Doctor’s regeneration.
In 1996, Amy, aged 7, had been praying to Santa to send someone to fix the frightening cracked wall in her room from which she could hear voices. Just as she finishes praying, the Tardis crashes outside her house making her believe that her prayer has been answered. I loved how they depicted the first meeting between Amy and the Doctor. The two found each other in a moment of loneliness, when each of them really needed someone like the other in their life.
The two of them bond and Amy takes the Doctor to the cracked wall In her room. He hears a voice from the other side of the wall saying that ‘prisoner zero’ has escaped. He realizes that prisoner zero probably escaped through the crack in Amy’s room. However before he can investigate, the cloister bell in the Tardis starts ringing. In order to stop the Tardis’s engines from failing, The Doctor decides to make a 5 minute trip into the future. Amy wants to go with him but he tells her it’s too dangerous right now and that he will come back for her in 5 minutes. Amy quickly packs a suitcase and eagerly awaits The Doctor’s return outside her house. However, instead of returning 5 minutes later, The Doctor ends up returning 12 years late! The scene when Amy continues waiting outside all packed and ready to go was quite heartbreaking to watch. Amy, an orphan who lives with her Aunt, had finally found someone who she felt like she could trust and who she sort of idealized. That person seemed to have broken his promise. Anyhow when The Doctor did return she didn’t recognize or trust him. All these years she was led to believe that The Doctor was some imaginary person who didn’t exist. She met with 4 psychiatrists because nobody believed her of The Doctor’s existence.
Matt Smith is quite charming and charismatic as The Doctor. He also seems to be more humorous, quirky and awkward than David Tennant’s Doctor. I really wasn’t sure if I’d like the 11th Doctor considering that there was a lot of pressure on him having followed in the footsteps of the fan favorite 10th Doctor, but he has passed all my expectations even though it’s only been 3 episodes. Although the 10th and 11th Doctors have similar personalities, you can see that Matt has been trying to make his own mark and stand out in his own way. Karan Gillan’s (Amy) acting is decent but I feel like she has a long way to go. Her facial expressions are quite the same and sometimes look a bit dull. Nonetheless, Karen Gillan and Matt Smith have great chemistry; too bad Amy’s engaged. Although I don’t think I would have wanted them to end up together because then it would have sort of been like history repeating itself (10th Doctor,Rose,Martha).
The graphics and CGI also seemed to have improved a bit from the previous seasons. Steven Moffet has done a pretty good job as the new head writer of the series. The first episode was engaging, interesting and well balanced. It was action packed but still had its light and humorous moments. All in all it was a great start to a new season.
However the second episode ‘The Beast Below’ turned out to be a bit boring even though its premise seemed to be very promising. It is Amy’s first proper adventure as The Doctor’s companion. The Doctor and Amy travel to the 33rd century to Starship UK, a vessel on which all citizens of the United Kingdom (except Scotland) live. They are searching for a new home since earth is being roasted by solar flares. However The Doctor feels that something about the vessel is not right so he decides to investigate.
In this episode we also finally catch a glimpse of the interiors of the newly remodelled Tardis. It looks much better than the previous Tardis and is a lot more colourful too! We also see some conflict in The Doctor and Amy’s relationship which I thought was a great addition because it shows that The Doctor/Companion relationship is not always perfect and they too don’t always get along. Also at the end of the episode we see another crack like the one in Amy’s room on the vessel.
Another episode with a great performance by Matt Smith. Karen Gillan also showed improvement. But this episode was one of the weaker ones and I actually found myself wanting the episode to end. I felt like there was just too much happening and the episode felt a bit scattered.
The third episode ‘Victory of the Daleks’ wasn’t much of an improvement. Like the previous episode, the promos and plot summary seemed promising however in the end it turned out to be a quite mundane. This episode marked the return of the Daleks. With only the last of them left, they are desperately trying to rebuild their race. The episode is set during the blitz in London. Winston Churchill had called The Doctor for help at the end of the previous episode so The Doctor and Amy head to assist him. Once The Doctor gets there he is bewildered to see the Daleks living under the disguise of being loyal creatures determined to help win the war. They were supposedly invented by Professor Bracewell, a Scottish man, as part of the Ironside project. The Doctor tries to explain to the prime minister and the others that the Daleks are aliens and were not invented by the professor but nobody seems to believe him. He even asks Amy to inform them of the 2009 Dalek invasion of Earth so that everyone believes the horrific things the Daleks can do but much to his surprise she has no memory of it. The Doctor is then on a mission to figure out why the Daleks do not seem to recognize him and what their greater master plan is.
In this episode we saw a change in the exteriors of the Daleks which have been redisgned into multi colored units. I’m not very happy with this change as now the Daleks look even less menacing then they are supposed to. Furthermore the episode felt a little rushed. Most episodes in Doctor Who involving the Daleks are two part episodes so I was a little surprised to see a standalone one. At the end of the episode we saw another shining crack in the wall behind where the Tardis stood so I’m guessing that the crack is going to have a bigger part in the next few episodes.
For those of you who haven’t ever watched Doctor Who and would like to watch it, here are some helpful links to get you started-
Some of you may be wondering why I decided to review the fifth season of Doctor Who considering it aired 5 years ago. The reason for this is that I actually started watching Doctor Who very recently. Since most of the new seasons for almost all TV shows don’t start airing until mid September, I decided to catch up on Doctor Who till then. I’ve been wanting to watch it for 3 years but I just didn’t know how to since it didn’t air in my country. However around June (I think) they started airing it right from series 1 (the reboot). So my next couple of posts are going to be centred around the fifth season of Doctor Who. My exams start soon so I’m not sure if I’ll also be reviewing season 6. But I hope you like my reviews and let me know what you think!