It’s a shame that “Doctor Who” season 9 has lost some viewers versus the year before. Those people who have bailed / waiting to watch have missed out on what we’d say was one of the better overall years for the series since Steven Moffat took over. While we’re not entirely sure that there are higher highs than the past season or two, but there has been a greater amount of consistency across the board. We’ve had no complete duds, and there have been a few twists that have been welcome to the series.
For more, take a look below at the latest entry in our Midseason Report Card series.
What worked – Take a look at “Heaven Sent” for a glorious example of an episode that didn’t need all of the fancy twists or returning characters to be incredible. Peter Capaldi is so much more accustomed to this role now, and we’d argue that he gave an awards-caliber performance in this episode and a few others this season (“The Zygon Invasion” and “The Witch’s Familiar” were both fantastic.)
As a whole, , we feel like “Doctor Who” came up with a brilliant idea to tell more serialized stories this time broken into junks, giving them more time to explore themes and differentiate themselves from stories we saw in the past. “Sleep No More” is the only story we’d say was isolated, and to a certain extent that helps it stands out.
What didn’t – We’re not entirely surely that the show handled Jenna Coleman’s exit well, first killing her in “Face the Raven” before coming up with a way that she and Maisie Williams can continue traveling. (Maisie was otherwise a great addition.) “Hell Bent” wasn’t the perfect end to the season, and we’d say that for the most part, “Before the Flood” was a polarizing episode for many fans who didn’t appreciate all of the ghosts and the underwater base.
Also, we do have to pose the question as to why there wasn’t a truly iconic episode this season. Did the two-parters create more consistency, while taking away the potential for lightning in a bottle? We wouldn’t say that anything touched either “Listen” or “Death in Heaven” from last season.
Overall – A very good season of entertainment. While we’re not sure that in a few years’ time we will remember explicitly any episode this season, we enjoyed watching all of them, and didn’t find ourselves groaning or despising a single story. That is something that for “Doctor Who” standards has to be rewarded.
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