Posted Saturday, 22 October 2011 / Written by James Hoare / Leave a comment
SciFi Now editor James Hoare takes a trip back in time to offer his thoughts on one of last week’s hottest DVD and Blue-ray releases, ‘Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2’.
Though technically the second half of the season, the six episode arc that the ‘Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2’ DVD and Blu-ray hurtles through like a spinning police box in the purple and ochre swirl of a wormhole is almost an entire breathless, overwhelming season in itself.
Separated from ‘…Part 1’ on broadcast by a break, shaken by speculation of budget cuts and internal disagreements, and featuring its own opener and finale which book-ended a typically breathless gallop through a space prison, a doll house, a sterile future hospital with a Tim Burton-esque garden of macabre trees and greener than green grass, a department store with a mystery, and pre-War Berlin. All while fending off nightmares, peg dolls, minotaurs, cyborgs, Silents, shapechangers, clinical robots and the Doctor’s own destiny. Feeling dizzy already? That’s nothing compared to tuning in and letting the action, the thrill, the drama and the adventure wash over you, and all the while having it yanked back from ever approaching predictable with the kind of cinematic slight-of-hand that show runner Steven Moffat has honed to perfection with that other flagship BBC drama about a very English know-it-all, Sherlock.
Our favourite Time Lord is on the run from his responsibility to those who travel with him – Karen Gillen’s sultry model-next-door, Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill’s beleaguered everybloke Rory Williams – and his own seemingly inevitable death at the hands of love interest River Song (Alex Kingston). Our child-god-mad scientist chap has to die, we saw it happen, but obviously he doesn’t because there’s a Christmas special and probably another six seasons to get through. Luckily, chewing over the solutions and marvelling at these last-minute reveals like some sort of great cosmic card trick is all part of the fun.
The forehead-mashing tabloids that brayed “it’s too complicated” definitely have a case. Easy answers to some of these brain-burning paradoxes aren’t exactly close to hand across ‘Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2’, and you’re left debating endlessly what actually happened and why to anyone and everyone who’ll listen.
They may be right that it’s too complicated, but they’re wrong that it’s a problem, especially in a world where IT engineers from Watford being pushed off treadmills into tanks of water is what passes for entertainment on a Saturday night. And if you do get stuck, ask a child, because this is exactly the preposterous brand of brilliance that sharp young minds grasp far quicker than their older counterparts, burdened by preconceived notions of how stories should work and what is and isn’t impossible.
‘Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2’ is escapism at its purest, so why not crack open the box, stick in the disc and escape from reason too?
SciFi Now is one of the UK’s leading science fiction, fantasy, horror and cult TV magazines. Visit their website, www.scifinow.co.uk, to see which monsters might be making an appearance in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special.