FEATURE: Doctor Who - Jen, Becky and the Seventh Series

And here it is, our final instalment of our Bank Holiday Doctor Who special, a discussion of our favourite bits of this series. We've brought you a review of each episode of the seventh series of Doctor Who, complete with Christmas special (you can find them all here) but we thought that, seeing as its a while until the 50th Anniversary and even longer until the eighth, Jen and Becky are going to be looking back at the series as a whole; the highs, the lows, the Rory...

If you're new to our little discussion articles, you can follow who is saying what at the left hand side with our initials. Of course, one day, we're going to confuse you all by changing the system. But that is not this day.

B: I'll kick things off shall I? In the broadest sense, I really liked the seventh series; it had some great individual episodes (as well as some not-so-good ones), but I'm enjoying Matt Smith as the Doctor and he seems to carry me through the worse instalments. His performance has been routinely excellent throughout and I'm loving the smaller moments he has with his companions. There was a really nice chemistry between him, Rory and Amy that had developed in the first half of the series before Christmas, which just made The Angels Take in Manhattan even more tragic.

J: Agreed. I cried for about a week after what I now refer to as 'The Manhattan Incident'. For me, this series has been the one in which I've finally accepted Matt Smith as the Doctor, and stopped wondering how David Tennant would perform in a particular scene. He's really made the role his own, as they say. And he seems to have done it one tear at a time, which is rather unusual for the show and indeed the character. That said, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't beside myself with excitment at the prospect of DT's return in the 50th special. Shame they can't somehow resurrect Rory though...

B: Well you know how I feel about Rory. But I do think Jenna-Louise Coleman has been a fine addition to the TARDIS control room even if I am getting a little annoyed with everyone describing her as feisty as if that is somehow revelatory in a female character. But I digress. I think she has been a great foil for Smith and has a way with Moffat and the other writers' dialogue that completely humanises even the more ridiculous things she has to say in the line of science fiction.

J: I think we all know how you feel about Rory. It's the nose. And ah yes. Feisty Clara. Blackpool's own. I don't know whether it' just because her accent reminds me of home, but I've found her a lot more easy to like than Amy Pond. Who, come to think of it, wasn't exactly a wallflower herself so I'm also clueless as to why fesity seems to have become Clara's personal epithet. I think it's her common sense, to the point nature (you can take the girl out of Lancashire...) which helps with the more baffling bits of dialogue. Ironic really, giving how grand her destiny has turned out to be. 

B: Exactly. And I LOVED how they handled her many appearances through time in The Name of the Doctor. Whilst it hasn't exactly been explained why she was born to save the Doctor (something for the eighth series maybe?), the many Claras actually made logical, coherent sense, which I think we can all agree is remarkably refreshing for a Who finale. It also gave us many a welcome glimpse at Doctors long and not-so-long past. One of the higher points for the series don't you agree?

J: Certainly. I almost thought I'd missed something, it made so much sense. I kept waiting for it twist around and reveal that she was actually The Doctor's long lost Auntie Mildred. I would have liked to have seen her weaved into a few more moments from recent series I think, but it was still very well executed. Do we think her and The Doctor's relationship might develop into something a little more than professional in Series 8? I've heard a few rumours. Especially now that River-Spoliers-Song has now departed back into the confusing web of time from whence she came.

B: I've long thought that there might be something more with the Doctor and Clara. He's very affectionate with her, lots of kisses to the forehead and a lot of hugging. There has been an overabundance with kissing companions since Who returned, but the Ponds were a noticeable shift - I always thought that the Doctor and Amy had chemistry more akin to siblings, but there is definitely another vibe with Clara. I like Coleman and Smith together so I'm not wholly opposed to it, but I do hope that it is something a little more equal, not another Martha-gazing-adoringly-forever at the Doctor. Because that really sucked. So what did we think of the various episodes of Series Seven?

J: Yes the forehead kisses have been very noticeable, along with all the 'my Clara's'. I also half wondered if that's why the TARDIS rejected her a bit. Jealousy? Episodes wise, my personal favourite was The Crimson Horror. Along with Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. Hide was a bit of a disappointment. I didn't think The Name of the Doctor was as good as The Angels Take Manhattan, in the fullness of honesty, and I also think that all the series breaks we have these days take something of the sense of occasion out of end of series episodes. There'll be a few Doctor Who parties come November, mind.

B: Agreed. I've not liked the way this series has been split up; it felt like it had to pick up momentum all over again after the heartbreaking The Angels Take Manhattan, which was probably one of the best episodes. And I did love The Crimson Horror, it was a great episode, but I think my personal favourite was Hide actually. Although I did have a problem with the ending, I loved the atmosphere it created as it felt like a proper ghost story. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS had the most wasted potential I think; whilst it was nice to see the library, the swimming pool and a quick glance at the Eye of Harmony, I absolutely hated the ending. Why work on all that character development with Clara if you're not actually going to take it anywhere? Reset buttons are the bane of science fiction and it really, really frustrated me. As you can probably tell.

J: Er yes I can rather. And yes it was the ending of Hide that ruined it for me. Far too much going on, a story within a story within a bizarre heartbroken alien. I'm certainly intrigued to see where we go from here. I notice the two-parters have ceased now, apparently after feedback from Moffat's young children. There's also the potential for several brand new character arcs now we've left a few beyond. Which I'm rather pleased about, as I couldn't stand River. I love the new Scooby Gang though, Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax are all brilliant characters. Any wild predictions or theories for Series 8? Oh and can we please stop mentioning Manhattan? I've only just come out of therapy.

B: Apologies - consider the Manhattan file closed! I think two-parters need to make a return personally, if only to give some of the stories a little more room to breathe. We've both observed the habit to wrap up things a little too quickly in certain episodes. As for wild predictions and theories, I'm thinking that, post-50th Anniversary episode, we're going to see some interesting developments for The Doctor who will no doubt be dealing with the fallout from it. And perhaps we'll find out who created Clara. Was it River? Was it the Daleks? I personally think they should go for something completely bonkers and have a previous Doctor see the future, realise what the Great Intelligence was going to do, create Clara in a weird timey-wimey sort of way and drop her off in the future for Matt Smith's Doctor to find. And maybe throw in Madame Vestra, Jenny and Strax for good measure. That probably doesn't make any sense. But then again, it probably won't in the show either. How about you? Madder the better.

J: I think the 50th Anniversary Episode will delve a little further into The Doctor's character, which I don't think we've had too much of lately. I actually think Smith's Doctor is more understated than Tennant's, and is often upstaged by his own companions. Fan as I am of Clara, this series has really all been about her, and I'd like more of a Doctor-centric focus, especially as his character has developed so much since the departure of the Ponds. If I could make requests, I'd like to see an episode on the wedding of Vastra and Jenny, a two-parter in which Straz becomnes an unlikely romantic hero and more of The Doctor's pathetic attempts at babysitting. More than that though, after this fairly substantial knock to his invincibility, I'd like Series Eight to involve The Doctor re-writing himself into history after systematically erasing himself in Seven, saving the universe all over again and generally being The Doctor. Which, let's face it, is why we watch it.

B: Definitely. To bring this full circle, Matt Smith has proven time and again that he has the acting chops to handle the weightier dramatic aspects with his curious balance of youth and maturity. I can't wait to see what Moffat has in store for us...

Whatever Series Eight has to offer, you can guarantee we here at Assorted Buffery will be there to watch it. So what do you all think of Series Seven? Agree, disagree, we would both love to know.

- Becky and Jen

You can find Jen's review of The Name of the Doctor here and Becky's retrospective look at Doctor Who (1996) here.

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