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A Matter of Time – Doctor Who: Season 5

Sorry… Sorry! Dropped it!

Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica, takes the universe. But bad news everyone… cause guess who! Listenw you lot, cause you’re all whizzing about – it’s really could distracting. Could you all just stay still for a minute? Because I. am. talking!

Now, question of the hour: who’s got the Pandorica? Answer: I do. Next question: who’s coming to take it from me?

C’mon!

Look at me: no plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn – oh, and something else I don’t have? Anything to lose! So if you’re sitting up there in all your silly little spaceships with your silly little guns and you’ve got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who’s standing in your way; remember every black day I ever stopped you; and then – and then! – do the smart thing: let somebody else try first.

– The Doctor, The Pandorica Opens

Well, the first season of Stephen Moffat’s run of Doctor Who is over. And what a ride it was. On one hand, you had budget cuts at the BBC, putting an even great financial strain on the show’s transition to high definition, the first wholsecale chance of the entire cast between seasons since the show’s transition to colour in 1970 (and, fittingly, this was the show’s transition to high definition), and you had the World Cup skewing ratings towards the backend of the season. On the other hand, you had the writer of some of the show’s best episodes directing the entire run behind the scenes, the exploration of the time travelling nature of the central protagonist, and a blatant admission that the show is more a fairytale than a science fiction epic. And along the way, there was barely enough time to catch your breath.

No time to lose...

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Sympathy for the Daleks: Steven Moffat & The Shifting Status Quo

I suppose you could bring them back, but I’d be slightly puzzled, because they were robots that went wrong. Generally speaking, and maybe Russell wouldn’t agree with a word I’m saying right now, but my favorite Doctor Who story is the one with brand new monsters that you see once and once only. The moment you start crowding the universe with familiar monsters, I think it’s less interesting. Two of the words that you could reasonably apply to the Daleks are ‘reliably defeatable.’ You know those guys are going to lose at the last minute anyway, and you always know what they’re up to, so the best bit about bringing back old monsters is the reveal. After that, it’s all downhill. It’s like Agatha Christie deciding that the butler should always do it, because it was successful in the last book, so that’s not my favorite kind of Doctor Who story. I like brand new monsters.

– Steven Moffat

That answer comes from an interview he gave waaaay back in 2006 – about the time he was writing The Girl in the Fireplace, his second story for the relaunched Doctor Who. I don’t know if he knew then that he was heir apparent to the throne and would succeed Russell T. Davies, but I wonder if being positioned as showrunner has somewhat changed his perspective. In his inaugural year running the show, we’ve already had the return of the Daleks, three episodes in with Victory of the Daleks, next week we’ll witness Moffat returning to one of his own monstrous creations in The Time of Angels and previews have already confirmed that the Cybermen themselves – foes dating from the show’s first leading actor – will be returning as well (with Roman centurians). I’m not complaining at all (a writer as talented as Moffat can do pretty much whatever he wants and I’ll trust him), but I can’t help wondering if perhaps Moffat is playing his own long game with the franchise in his opening season.

Don't worry, this Cyberman is mostly 'armless...

Note: This article contains spoilers for the end of this week’s episode, The Victory of the Daleks, so those who haven’t caught it yet might want to look away or come back to this when they’ve seen the episode. You’ve been warned, so you have.

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The Indestructable Daleks…

I’ll confess. I loved the malevolent pepperpots. The only plumbers hell-bent on galactic domination, the Daleks are arguably even more famous than Doctor Who, the show that spawned them. Stick an image of a Dalek in front of anyone and they’ll recognise it, even if they can’t name it. Whatever of their invasion plans, their infiltration plans seem to have come to fruition. But are these most famous of arch-foes over-exposed? Should they be forcibly taken away from the powers that be at the new series for at least a few years?

Wonder what their depth-perception is like?

Wonder what their depth-perception is like?

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