Doctor Who

Thursdays 10:00 PM
Doctor who
TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
Try it Now for Free and Instantly Watch Doctor Who.

Doctor Who Season 7 Report Card: Grade A

by at . Comments

Trying to grade as season that spanned nine months - with two distinctive 13-episode arcs featuring completely different characters - turned out to be a little bit easier than I thought.

Still, Doctor Who Season 7 maintained the brilliance of previous seasons and set us up for the 50th Anniversary Episode coming in November, which is like a little candy nugget we wouldn't get otherwise. How lucky are we!

The loss of Amy and Rory and their exquisitely memorable exit after already, unknowingly, having met The Doctor's next companion paved the way for a rather seamless transition despite the character turnover involved in such a move. There were so many Best Episodes in Season 7 that there was no other grade it could receive other than an A...

Goodbye, Ponds

Best Character: Duh. Matt Smith as The Doctor. As it happened, we actually had than one Doctor to choose from given the lead up to the anniversary and the late scene of the finale. Matt Smith, however, has so many different facets to his portrayal of The Doctor, and this season examined some of the deep dark recesses of The Doctor's mind (in "A Town Called Mercy") to the absolute giddy possibilities of being in love ("The Bells of St. John"). He can pull them all off rather flawlessly, making him my top choice for The Doctor even if I were given any choice on a silver platter. 

Best Episode: "Asylum of the Daleks." Everything just worked in the season premiere. The Daleks were back, Amy and Rory were shockingly in the middle of a divorce, The Doctor met Clara, who was actually a DALEK, and the Daleks chanted what got the Doctor his name after their inability to remember who he was "Doctor Who? Doctor Who?" The ultra modern take on the classic Doctor Who bad guys as Amy revealed why she was divorcing Rory while being turned into a Dalek herself helped make season opener that broke the doors wide open for anything to happen.

Most Shocking Development: The way Amy and Rory left the show broke my heart. It was a beautiful ending to their story in the middle of a very frightening hour, and it couldn't have happened any other way. Rory was going to die by those damned stone angels in "The Angels Take Manhattan" no matter what scenario they tried, so Amy made the decision to die with him, stay in 1938, start their lives over and publish a book letting her future family and friends know that their lives were happy and fulfilling. Tears!

Worst Episode: "Nightmare in Silver." Penned by Neil Gaiman, the expectations were so high there was no place to go but down. Add in Clara's ridiculously bratty wards and a comical appearance by the Cybermen instead of even a moderate scare and it was nothing short of a disaster. May the force be with Mr. Gaiman should he write another.

Most Interesting Created History: The Impossible Girl. Ever since The Doctor met Clara Oswald he was intrigued and called her The Impossible Girl. We guessed at who she might be and the theories were reincarnated love interests to a physical embodiment of the TARDIS itself. In reality, the created a spot for Clara that tossed her right into the history of The Doctor since his beginning. She has always been with him, but notoriously unseen, protecting and guiding him, sacrificing herself over and over again to ensure his safety. Whether The Doctor was surmising that when he called her The Impossible Girl we don't yet know, but I liked how it played into the historical aspect of the show and was explained by The Eleventh Doctor seeing her when others just couldn't or chose not to. Well done created history!

Best Quotes: Because there were some fantastic ones along the way, a handful deserve highlights here. Play guess the episode. Make a game of it!

Rory: Did you just have that on you?
Brian: Of course. What sort of a man doesn't have a trowel? Put it on your Christmas list. 
Rory: Dad, I'm 31 years old. I don't have a Christmas list anymore.
Doctor Who: I do!! | permalink

The Doctor: Today I honor the victim's first. His, the Masters, the Daleks, all the people who died because of MY mercy. | permalink

Amy: Time can be rewritten.
The Doctor: Not once we've read it. Once we know it's coming, it's written in stone. | permalink

Strax: Madame Vastra wondered if you needed any grenades.
The Doctor: Grenades?
Strax: She might have said help. | permalink

The Doctor: Human souls. Trapped like flies in the World Wide Web. Stuck forever. Crying out for help.
Clara: Isn't that basically Twitter? | permalink

Clara: Then what are we? What can we possibly be?
The Doctor: You are the only mystery worth solving. | permalink

Hopes for the Future: I can't even give hopes for Season 8 here, because we have that pesky 50th Anniversary special with the Tenth Doctor and Rose supposedly guesting, as well as the Christmas episode. So much can happen in those two, especially given the incredible reveal of David Hurt as THE DOCTOR at the end of the other best episode of the season, which was also The Biggest Bait n Switch, "The Name of the Doctor." We learned his greatest secret, which we assumed was his name, but it was actually his burial place. Tsk tsk tsk. We should know better than to fall for that stuff by now! 

Which is why my hope for the winter episodes and Doctor Who Season 8 are to continue on this incredibly hot streak of writing and storytelling. I'll leave the imagination and creativity up to Steven Moffat and team. Now it's your turn. Grade the season and share your reasoning and favorite and least favorite moments in the comments!

YOUR turn, TV Fanatics: Give this season a grade now:

 

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

Tags: ,
Avatar

Worst episode Nightmare in Silver?!
Best episode Asylum of the Daleks?!
Well, my friend. You clearly had a much better series then I did.
Nightmare is Silver wasn't perfect, and no, it wasn't as good as The Doctor's Wife. But that's unfair standards to hold it by. Just like comparing Genesis of the Daleks, to Destiny of the Daleks.
But Asylum as best episode?! What?!

Avatar

The Christmas special, the Snowmen, got me hooked on Doctor Who. I loved the interaction of Clara and the Doctor, the flirting and banter. Jenna was wonderful as a bar maid and a Victorian nanny (and the kids were excellent and likeable - unlike the brats in Nightmare. ). I would love to have learned why Clara was hiding her barmaid identity and was a nanny. I liked Strax, Vastra and Jenny in this. Loved the line from Strax "I think I've been run over by a cab". Also loved Clara's one word answers to VAstra. Enjoyed how the doctor came out of funk and showed off the new Tardis to Clara.
I was hoping the flirty banter a deeper relationship with Clara would evolve during the season. But TNOTD again paired him with River.
I have since watched every episode since 2005. Love Doctor Who!

Egrey

amazing series. the way amy and rory departed was heartbreaking
but of course, i love my impossible girl

Avatar

The Doctor's greatest secret is NOT the location of his grave. It's the incarnation of himself who "broke the promise" - the promise he made in choosing his name, The Doctor - i.e., the John Hurt incarnation - the one who was neither a healer NOR a wise man, as by choosing the name, The Doctor, his essence had promised he would be. The smart money is on that incarnation being the one who ended the Time War by killing off all of the Time Lords. We'll see, won't we?

Avatar

I swear you write the Doctor as "Doctor Who" again and I'll slap you. For God's sake...

Fortyseven

Grade: C-

Avatar

nightmare in silver? hmm.. i don't know. i felt it was rather alright. i was however not very impressed with rings of akhaten. it was a great character builder for clara, yes, but the ending was.... a little too deus ex machina. but hey. that's just my view on this great season.

Avatar

...what do you mean "supposedly" guesting? There's no doubt about whether they're in it or not - the BBC announced it, a picture was released of David Tennant at the script reading, a video was released of him and Matt Smith discussing their characters' relationship while both were in costume, Billie Piper has spoken about this return to Doctor Who in more than one interview.... Yeah, I'd say they're only "supposedly" returning.

Doctor Who Quotes

Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Whatever the cost.

Warrior Doctor

The Doctor: Clara? You asked me what we're going to do, I told ya. We're going to go to hell, or wherever it is people go when they die, if there is anywhere. Whatever it is we're gonna go there and we're gonna find Danny. And if it is in any way possible, we're going to bring him home. Every culture has a concept of an afterlife. I always meant to have a look around, see if I could find one.
Clara: You're going to help me?
The Doctor: Well, why wouldn't I help you?
Clara: Because of what I just did, I just...
The Doctor: You betrayed me. You betrayed our trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I've ever stood for. You let me down!
Clara: Then why are you helping me?
The Doctor: Why? Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?