Doctor Who: Series Six, Part One Review
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It’s been a few seasons since I last saw the BBC’s Doctor Who. In that time, The Doctor has changed a little bit—but the popular series is still as dark and eerily entertaining as it always has been.

When the season begins, it’s been months since newlyweds Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) last saw The Doctor (Matt Smith). So when they receive a mysterious unsigned invitation in TARDIS blue, they race to the American desert to meet up with their old Time Lord friend. But there, along with time traveler Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston), they witness The Doctor’s death.

The sixth season of Doctor Who certainly starts with a huge shock. But, of course, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without The Doctor. And as Amy, Rory, and River mourn, they meet up with another Doctor—one who’s 200 years younger than the one whose death they just witnessed.

As they continue on their next adventure, they search for answers while keeping it a secret from The Doctor.

The first part of the show’s sixth season takes fans on another wild adventure through time and space, with pleasantly perplexing plotlines that find The Doctor and his friends tracking forgettable aliens in the ‘60s and battling a mystical siren while sailing the seven seas on a pirate ship.

Of the seven episodes included in this set, just two of them are standalone episodes. The others are connected to another episode or two—as well as to the season’s main story arc, which builds up to some surprising revelations and a game-changing battle.

This season’s storylines are dark and tense (and sometimes intense), with complex sci-fi plots that will keep you on your toes. As always, they’re hauntingly clever—though none are necessarily the kind of terrifying brilliance that will keep you up at night. The pirate episode, for instance, has some suspenseful (and emotional) moments, but the end feels rather hokey. And the following episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” is a bit spastic—which actually seems fitting, considering the show’s star.

This was my first experience with Matt Smith as The Doctor—and, after seven episodes, he still has yet to grow on me. I loved previous Doctor David Tennant’s dazzling quirkiness. Smith, on the other hand, is just too silly and fidgety for me.

The other cast members, however, are phenomenal. Gillan’s Amy makes a wonderful companion for The Doctor—a strong woman who tends to balance out his wackiness. And Darvill’s Rory is a lovable addition. Nervous and hesitant yet entirely reliable, he’s like the BBC’s version of How I Met Your Mother’s Ted. Dr. River Song, meanwhile, is a fascinating mystery. Impulsive and adventurous—just like The Doctor—she’s absolutely devoted to him, though their paths are moving in opposite directions.

Though it has its ups and downs, the first part of Doctor Who’s sixth season still has plenty of quirky action and clever time-travel adventure. The characters work well together—so you’ll enjoy following them through the universe. And when the final three-part series comes to an end, you’ll find yourself eagerly awaiting the start of the season’s second half, when you’ll find out where The Doctor and his friends are headed next.

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