Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

If I were drawing a venn diagram of Doctor Who seasons and their strengths, I might create a set labelled "serious tone". I might also have another set labelled "great casting". Maybe another "well-written scripts", and still another "captivating direction".

Wherever they all overlapped, would be where I would place season seven.

It's a series like no other. Actually I'm wrong, there are other series that are like it, but none that quite recapture its achievements.

It was the series when they relaunched the show with a fresh cast, fresh concept, and even fresh colour-scheme. The following series it would lose some of these elements, gain some new ones, and begin to reclaim some of its earlier premise, but this year had a vision for the series all of its own, and it stuck to it.

Following Patrick Troughton's departure, its sense of humour was turned right down too, resulting in a run of stories which assumed that you were as intelligent as the characters.

Everything is set on Earth. Arguably only two episodes (out of 26) feature an alien monster. Stories 2-4 all revolve around the need for a bigger, more respectful worldview. (or universeview) This metaphor for real-world globalisation is a strong one, yet subtle enough not to get spelt-out.

How would you negotiate peace between different species? Or work around an actual government conspiracy? Or convince strangers both that they are about to die, and also that they should help you to escape alone? Well, these guys are trying to figure it out on the hoof too.

Special mention has to go to Caroline John as Liz Shaw. She joined at the start of this series, and left at the end of it, effectively sealing her place in Doctor Who history as one of the better-written companions. She definitely wasn't that much of a protagonist, but she was treated by the writers with much more respect than her air-headed successor Jo Grant who, um, well, didn't prove quite so able to help.

As everyone who's not a TV executive knows, retooling a successful series is always a disaster, however this season would be the exception that disproves that rule. It's even better than the last series! Maybe they should never have brought back the TARDIS.

Best. Doctor Who season. Everrr!

(in your extra terrestrial face, season six!)

Spearhead From Space
Doctor Who And The Silurians
The Ambassadors Of Death

Labels: ,

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **