Doctor Who Season 6 Lookback
What can we say about that mad man in that blue box? The Doctor — the protector of space and time and the guardian of one cool bow tie — we’d follow him from here to the end of the universe, and in fact we already have many times, but before we hop on for season 7 of DOCTOR WHO and another adventure, it seems like the perfect time to look back at the top moments from last season, so Geronimo!
The Doctor Dies.
Steven Moffat likes to pretend kill his cast and last season he started things off with a bang in “The Impossible Astronaut” — ruining a perfectly picturesque moment of friends, a lakeside picnic, and some wine from Napoleon with an astronaut rising from the lake to kill the Doctor. Distraught — Rory, Amy, River, and a mysterious old man give the Doctor a proper Time Lord funeral to protect the Doctor’s body from being raided post life and then dejectedly wander into a diner where they find… the Doctor, a younger version of this Doctor who has not yet reached the point in his timeline when he dies.
Everything comes back to Lake Silencio in season 6 and Amy, Rory, and River’s decision to not tell the Doctor about it is impending demise sets the stage for a year of loving deception among the Doctor and his companions.
The “Sexy” TARDIS.
Really, the entirety of Neil Gaiman’s episode — “The Doctor’s Wife” could stand as a great moment in season 6 of DOCTOR WHO, but I’ll pinpoint the Doctor and “Sexy” the TARDIS/Idris building a new TARDIS. Matt Smith’s interplay with guest star Suranne Jones is top notch and learning a bit about the second most everlasting character in the show’s history was a real jewel.
Add to that the exceptionally neat and creepy run through the inner tunnels of the TARDIS by Rory and Amy as they fled from an Ood and Michael Sheen’s menacing voice, and the brief cameo by the old desktop theme and I am literally begging that Gaiman be required to write at least one episode per season from here to the end of time.
Remember all that wonderful deception? Well, the Doctor has been keeping something from the Pond’s as well — a possible pregnancy that is resolved in hurry when it is revealed that Amy is actually ganger (a synthetic clone with all the memories and emotions of the person they were designed off of) and real Amy was actually kidnapped by “Eye Patch Lady” until she gave birth to her’s and Rory’s time baby/Doctor killing weapon. A weapon that “Eye Patch Lady” kidnaps as well.
Rory and the Doctor kick some serious ass in the mid-season finale “A Good Man Goes to War” during the Battle of Demon’s run, but it is River who really knocks us out at the very end when she finally joins her friends after the Doctor has “rise(n) higher than ever before and then fall(en) so much further”. Infuriated by her absence, the Doctor chides River who promptly tells him that to some he is a threat and a feared warrior, explaining that the actions that led to the Battle of Demon’s Run were his own. River then reveals — first to the Doctor, and then to the Pond’s — that she is Amy and Rory’s stolen daughter Melody Pond all grown up.
Bigger on the Inside.
“Let’s Kill Hitler” was a bit of a letdown, though we did get the season’s best line from the freshly “born” Melody Pond when she confronts a horde of Nazi soldiers and says “Well, I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled, when I suddenly thought, “Gosh, the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish — I think I’ll kill the Führer.” Who’s with me?”. Unsurprisingly, the soldiers shoot Melody, but her residual regeneration energy makes her utterly indestructible.
The real joy of this episode — apart from that and Rory punching out Hitler — is the discovery of the Teselecta, a human sized robot that is made to look exactly like a person but which is controlled by a team of semi-Timecops who are charged with tracking down and punishing some of the worst people in history. We’ll see the Teselecta later in the season and later on in this list, but their origins are key to Moffat’s grand plan for season 6.
I debated mentioning “The God Complex” here and Amy, Rory, and the Doctor’s parting of the ways but I think the moment that preceded that, in the spectacular “The Girl Who Waited” — which is to me right up there with “The Doctors Wife” as the one of the best episodes of season 6 — is more important.
Essentially Amy, the Doctor, and Rory go to Apalapucia in search of fun (and hey doesn’t that always work out?) but the planet is in lockdown because of a health-scare and Amy gets separated from her boys. Sadly the Doctor is susceptible to the plague that is running around the planet since it only affects those with two hearts so Rory must set out on his own to rescue his wife.
The episode breaks our hearts as Amy waits for her heroes, slowly (for her and quickly for us) growing old and angry before Rory finds her. You can see her hurt and this is really one of Karen Gillan’s finest performances as she plays the stubborn and self-reliant future Amy, an Amy who doesn’t want to die so that the much younger Amy can live.
Naturally Rory is put in an unenviable position, deciding between a shorter future with this Amy or his Amy. Really, it seems like an easy choice, but when he’s staring into her eyes you can see that he can’t do anything to hurt her, especially not since he clearly blames himself for her predicament. The Doctor — however — has no issue making a choice, and he uses the older Amy to get back his and Rory’s Amy, drafting Rory into the fight when he tells him that they can both be saved — which is basically an outright lie.
The revelation of that lie and the moment when Rory and Amy the elder are divided by the door of the TARDIS, where Amy the elder tells her husband to not open the door because she will have to come in if he does… well, it’s heartbreaking and it is then that we know that Rory finally recognizes the danger of riding in the TARDIS with the Doctor.
River/Melody Pond has been kidnapped… again by “Eye Patch Lady” and forced into the impossible astronaut suit and made to be the one who kills the Doctor at Lake Silencio in the season premiere. To stop this from happening though, River tries to re-write a fixed moment in time with dire and surreal results until the Doctor finds her and convinces her to let him die.
This is that moment where Moffat brilliantly brings back the Teselecta, revealing to only River that the Doctor is inside. This is how Moffat keeps the Doctor alive while also fixing time and setting up the next season’s biggest question that gets asked when the Doctor — in disguise — returns the head of Dorium — who was beheaded by the the headless monks at Demon’s Run — to it’s resting place. “Doctor Who?!?!” he yells repeatedly as the Doctor walks away torturing us with the possibility that this whole Silence nonsense has not nearly met it’s end.
Well folks, that is — in my humble opinion — the key moments of season 6 of DOCTOR WHO but I can not stress this enough: check out BBC America (who is running a marathon), or go to Netflix and watch the season in it’s entirety before season 7 kicks off Saturday night. Also, check back here on Monday for my review of the first episode of season 7 of DOCTOR WHO “Asylum of the Daleks”.