…………time really flies when you’re having fun, eh?
Haha, get it?
……c-cuz the TARDIS flies……..
and it’s a time machine……..
…..sorry, I’ll stop now.
Soooo, Series 8 of Doctor Who officially ended with its two-parter, “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven”, which aired on November 1 and 8 respectively. At the end of the latest series, I decided to look back at August 23 onwards, when Series 8 first aired. Despite the skepticism around me (and I HATED that skepticism), I actually looked forward to Series 8, what with a new, more reserved and grown-up Doctor, played by the AMAZING Peter Capaldi. And, after eagerly watched the first episode of the series, “Deep Breath”, I was left….ahem…..breathless at how fantastically done the episode was, and my little whovian heart was filled with joy at the wonderful potential that this series had in store.
And boy what a series it has been.
Peter Capaldi’s first series as the 12th incarnation of the galaxy’s favorite Time Lord has been quite a journey. Over the course of 12 episodes, we’ve traveled to an interstellar bank, had a sword-fight (spoon-fight?) with Robin Hood, discovered that the moon was actually a spoiler censored for your convenience (still can’t wrap my head around that one), battled evil 2D entities, and flew over Victorian London on a flying restaurant/android-production base. Heck, we’ve even explored the insides of a Dalek case and even HEAVEN (or the Nethersphere, whichever you wanna call it). But it isn’t only the physical destinations that this series took us through; we’ve also taken a look at the darkness that is the Doctor, the humanity and fragility of his companion, Clara Oswald (love u bae), as well as other interesting characters within the show.
Truly, the trip has been a fun one, but the question remains: how did the 12th’s first series fare in terms of Doctor Who series’? Was it a groundbreaking Steven Moffat series that proved to be the best he’s worked on so far? Or did it fall flat on the ground as a 2D alien creature thingy?
Well, you’re in luck, cuz that’s what I’m here for.
What’s up, everyone, my name is Ken, from Prince Kouhii’s Reviews (YEAH JUST “REVIEWS” THIS TIME ;)), and today, I present to you, a review of Doctor Who: Series 8.
In terms of the storyline, I would gladly argue that this season has been the most consistent out of all the Moffat seasons. Every episode of this series had something new to offer to the table in terms of Doctor Who, and for the most part, I was thoroughly impressed with all of them, with a few exceptions (looking at you, “In the Forest of the Night”). Sure, we had the light-hearted “Robot of Sherwood” and the aforementioned “In the Forest of the Night”, but generally, the episodes had a degree of darkness in them that we haven’t seen used as consistently in almost ANY of the new series that came before it, and I found it to be a breath of fresh air, especially after the “fairy-tale-esque” Matt Smith era.
The first episode was a nice take on the “help the extremely volatile Doctor because of a recent regeneration”-dilemma, as it did a great job of introducing the audience to this new, older Doctor, while at the same time being a nice little episode that starts the continuing plot point of the entire series. The rest of the episodes, from the brilliantly semi-creepy “Listen” to the Clara-focused “Flatline”, were all very much enjoyable while having an easy-to-follow, yet not too simple, story for each. Of course, some of the episodes may not have the same impact to some of you guys, but speaking in a general term, collectively, I’d say this series has been an amazing one in terms of story, and definitely the most consistent Moffat series so far.
Yeeeeessss, you can argue that some questions have still been left unanswered and plot holes abound and that some events were given deus ex machina-type plot devices to keep the story going, but hey, those things are present in EVERY Doctor Who series, in my opinion. And, to be fair, none of those things bothered me to a point where I called “BULLSHHHHHHHHHHHT” at a certain episode. The flaws in the story are overshadowed by the intelligence that most of these episodes contain, and I appreciate the how brilliantly crafted they were.
Additionally, the story brings out the best, THE BEST, in the characters of the show.
Now for the characters, of course, we have to start with the main man himself.
Despite the worry that some whovians have about the casting of Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation of the rebel Time Lord, I was genuinely excited for an older take on the Doctor. I felt that having an older, more mature Doctor will definitely give off a more brooding, dark, grandfatherly-like vibe that some of the first incarnations of the Doctor had, something that I enjoyed about his character. However, many worried that Capaldi might not be able to do the role justice and that THE FANBASE WILL NOW DECLINE BECAUSE HE IS NOT A YOUNG DOCTOR.
WELL JUST WHAT KIND OF SHOW DID YOU EXPECT THIS TO BE WHEN YOU FIRST WATCHED IT?
Sorry, had to vent.
Well, needless to say, I wasn’t let down. Not one bit.
Peter Capaldi was FANTASTIC as the 12th Doctor. He has been a Doctor that was like what we’ve seen before in the classic era, but he was also a Doctor unlike anything we’ve seen before. He’s erratic, intelligent, volatile, and grandfatherly-like. Unlike his previous 2 incarnations, this Doctor seems to be more reserved around human beings and tends to not associate himself socially around them. He is also rude and has a tendency for dry wit, even going so far as to become quite dense about the feelings of others around him in his bouts of crass humor. People may dismiss him as rude, unappreciative, and (for a lack of a better term) an overall dick.
The eyebrows intensifies
And you know what? I’m completely fine with that. In fact, I like this new Doctor A LOOOOT.
Personally, while I do think that the new Doctor can be a little coarse, he still maintains a protective, lovable, and even a funny side to him that we all recognize and love. His dark, callous personality just highlights the old, eccentric Doctor that I enjoyed, and I greatly appreciate that. And yes, this Doctor is MUCH darker than the previous ones, or rather his dark personality is more accentuated, I feel like: no fuss, no hiding from smiles or wacky antics. And it was played out by Capaldi in such a way as to put a new facet to the Doctor’s already elaborate list of personalities.
And now Clara.
Why did they have to wait for another season to develop your character?
This series, arguably, is Clara Oswald’s true series, and she was played out through all 12 episodes beautifully. By giving Clara actual dilemma as JUST CLARA, not the Impossible Girl, but CLARA THE HUMAN, we are shown, similar to the Doctor, multiple sides to her personality. She still maintains the strong, charming, “I ain’t taking shite from no one”-kind of attitude, but additionally, we also see the more vulnerable, human side of her. In contrast to the more alien representation of the Doctor, we are given a more humanized version of Clara: she makes humanly errors, she feels humanly feelings, and she works under the same mental standpoint as most humans would. All of the development was just played out fantastically. Combine that with Jenna Coleman’s amazing portrayal of Clara, and you’ve got a companion that may not be the most memorable, per se, but certainly one of the more well-developed and constructed character.
There are multiple side-characters from this series, but I’m only gonna talk about 2 characters in particular. One of them is, of course, Danny Pink. Danny is sort of the reason we got to see Clara’s human-side. Had it been only her and the Doctor, and we wouldn’t be having such great character development. However, with the introduction of Danny Pink, I feel like the events that occur involving him just allows for Clara to think impulsively, like a human would do. His presence in the show also mirrors the Doctor’s personality, both men being warriors with regrets, but choosing to move on. I won’t spoil anything, but by the end of the series, I was happy with Danny’s place. It wrapped up everything for the character; you feel catharsis for his what he has done over the course of the series and, despite some initial internal dispute, eventually accept his fate and move on. Of course, none of this would be possible without Samuel Anderson’s brilliant performance, giving the character a gritty military feel while still maintaining a warm human side.
Finally, we have Michelle Gomez as the Mistress. Or Missy. Or the Master. Take your pick.
I have no words to say other than a big “BRAVO” for Gomez’s own take on the iconic villain. She just delivers the Mistress’ character so damn well, while still maintaining the same sinister vibe that the other Masters had before her. She’s equally screwed in the head, charming, sociopathic, and eeeeeevil, but she’s…..I can’t necessarily point it out, but she has this thing in terms of her personality that just sets her apart from the other Masters while still remaining true to the roots at the same time. In any case, I hope this isn’t the last we see of her.
Naturally, the OST for this show is nothing less than awesome. Murray Gold does an excellent job in providing the show with themes and accompaniment that greatly reflect and even highlight both the grand moments of thrilling awesomeness and the small but equally important moments as well. It was also nice that there were some themes from previous series’ that were re-used for Series 8. However, I feel that this new Doctor Who era requires a stand-out musical theme of its own, and as AMAZINGBALLS as the music is, nothing necessarily new made me want to listen to it and feel as if it’s the 12th Doctor’s theme. Still, the soundtrack was done just as good as Murray’s last name: gold.
The new opening theme was quite a breath of fresh air. Adding more screechy, eerie, extraterrestrial-esque tones really emphasizes how alien and different overall this new Doctor was, and I quite like the smooth transitional effects from the end of the opening scene to the theme. Also, it looks beautiful from an artistic standpoint, in my opinion, for something derived from a fan-animation. Give that guy a job at a big animation company, geez!
Sooooo, in essence, what did I think of this…….
ah, I guess you can already tell by now.
This series, in my opinion, is one of, if not the best, Doctor Who series that he’s done so far. It does a lot of things right in terms of stroytelling and characterization and is by far the most consistent series to date. Consistent in the sense that there wasn’t a dip in quality in any way, shape, or form. That isn’t to say that the story is without flaws, however, because come on, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without the multiple plot holes and unanswered questions. Now, despite that, it wasn’t nearly enough to distort my view of this series as a fantastic start to Capaldi’s era. I enjoyed every bit of this series, and the two-parter ending was one of the only moments I can remember where I felt extreme anxiety over waiting an entire week for the next episode. Props to you, Moffat-san.
Long live the 12th. Long may he reign.
were you guys expecting a score?
ok, ok, I’ll try…….
I hereby award the 8th Series of Doctor Who with an overall average score of 99.999999999 new kidneys out of 100. There, I scored it.
If you guys get the reference, let me know 😉
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this review, on the show itself, or if you would like me to review anything. And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it. Also, if you guys liked how I review shows other than anime, don’t hesitate to pass me any suggestions of future topics.