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Doctor Who: Series 6 (Part 2) [Blu-ray]
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Doctor Who: The Sixth Series, Part Two (Blu-ray)
The second half of Doctor Who's sixth series, which stars Matt Smith as the United Kingdom's venerable time-traveling hero, answers the question that left fans breathless for most of 2011--how will the Doctor die?--while offering a few other intriguing adventures along the way. The series' central concern is finally addressed in the final episode on the set, "The Wedding of River Song," which finds the world in a state of time confusion, with all history happening at once. To reveal the fate of the Doctor would be tantamount to high treason among Who fans, but suffice it to say that the conclusion does pull together all the threads of the sixth series in a way that may work for some fans but not at all for others. The most notable polarizing element is undoubtedly the Teselecta, a shape-shifting humanoid robot operated by miniaturized humans (not unlike the disastrous Eddie Murphy vehicle Meet Dave) that also appears in the part-two opener, "Let's Kill Hitler," where it is dispatched to eliminate the Führer by a shadowy "Justice Department." One's appreciation for such a complete game-changing character will largely define how Series Six, Part Two is viewed, since the outcome of the Doctor's death is the key story line of the entire series. However, there are also a handful of solid secondary episodes buttressing the main story arc, most notably "The Girl Who Waited," which finds the Doctor's companion, Amy (Karen Gillan), split into older and younger versions of herself on a plague-ridden planet, and "Closing Time," which brings back not only James Corden's Craig Owens (from the fifth series' "The Lodger") but also vintage villains the Cybermen. Series Six, Part Two is an ambitious conclusion for an entirely ambitious series, no matter how one feels about the denouement, and another impressive addition to the adventures of the Eleventh Doctor. Extras on the set are limited to a pair of Monster Files, one devoted to the robotic antibodies patrolling the Teselecta, while the other concerns the revamped Cybermats, the vermin-like tools of the Cybermen. --Paul GaitaSee all Product Description
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Great show by BBC. Keep them coming.
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For one, Matt Smith is finally breaking from playing a version of David Tennant. Though he retains Tennant's rapid-fire verbal tendencies, Smith shirks the attitude of using humor to cover rage. His Doctor runs more on guilt, and his journey has the feeling of exile and penance rather than meandering. He makes this clear in the first episode of this half-season, when several successive holograms of past traveling companions send him into a spiral of self-recrimination.
Russell T. Davies suggested the Doctor was somehow responsible for the chaos surrounding him. Margaret's monologue in the episode "Boomtown" stresses that, to his vanquished enemies, the Doctor is the real criminal. Steven Moffat takes a more nuanced tack: while the Doctor holds some culpability for bad choices, he's the product of a violent and conflicted universe. In such a setting, the show suggests, a good man has little choice but to lash out in the name of justice.
Observant viewers will spot how the conundrum introduced in the first half of this season will be resolved in the second half, if they pay attention to the episode "Let's Kill Hitler." The resolution, while earned, does seem a bit pat, and that's disappointing, considering how the series has striven to boost our expectations. Yet the conflict leading to that resolution is anything but simplistic. Not since Andrew Cartmel has anyone tried such ambitious themes on DW.
I did not care for Season 5. I thought Moffat got off on the wrong foot. But I can see how that season set the stage for everything occurring here. This psychological realism and existential dread in a science fiction adventure setting first drew me to the original DW when I was seven, and I joy to see it reinstated, and taken to new heights, here. This half-season is what Doctor Who should be about, and I can't get enough.
I personally am too impatient to wait for the entire season (the call each season a "series" in the UK unlike here in the US)to come out on DVD so I did buy The Sixth Series in both parts, but at this point it might be worth just buying the whole season at once.
When I watched Let's Kill Hitler, I was immediately captivated by Matt Smith's performance, even though all the continuity references confused me. It was a good episode, just bewildering to a new-comer. But after that awkward first episode, I was hooked for the rest of the set. The remaining episodes are all classics. Night Terrors is one of the scariest episodes in the whole franchise; The Girl Who Waited is a beautifully done episode that had me wanting to tear up; The God Complex is another creepy one with a very interesting monster of the wee;, Closing Time is funny & introduced me to the Cybermen, possibly my favorite Doctor Who villains; and the Wedding of River Song is just an awesome finale that is probably the most suspenseful episode in the history of the franchise. I ordered the 5th season as soon as I finished watching this, it was that good. Matt Smith is the best Doctor apart from Tom Baker.
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