Season 9 of Doctor Who is upon us. It’s the Doctor and Clara Oswald in the TARDIS; they’re out for adventure and, as the Doctor puts it, to save people. Let’s take a look at some of the recent episodes.
This review has taken me a while to write because I honestly wasn’t all that jazzed about these two episodes. I left this story feeling lukewarm mostly because it was essentially an extension of “The Day of the Doctor” 50th Anniversary episode, which I did not enjoy. I thought “The Day of the Doctor” struggled with the same problem that a lot of Matt Smith’s later seasons did; confusing story-lines that involved too many plot holes and too many changes for changes sake. In other words, too many instances where things happened just because they could and not because they should. However, while the Invasion and Inversion of the Zygons episodes left me less than impressed plot-wise, I really enjoyed the great performances by the actors.
What I liked:
Osgood: I am glad that Osgood wasn’t necessarily the original Osgood. When I first saw that the character would be returning, I thought that it was going to be another case like Missy’s where someone dies and then comes back because hey, why not? At the very least, the Osgoods’ return made sense. There were two Osgoods, Zygons are shape-shifters, and it was made clear that the Osgood we saw in this story was not the Osgood who was killed by Missy. I’m also very glad that she turned into more than a stereotypical fan-girl. She’s still a fan of the Doctor; heck she takes the phrase “Everyday Cosplay” literally! However, this time around she’s treated differently. In “The Day of the Doctor” episode, her character seemed to me a little like she was there to pander to the fans. In these episodes she was presented as the intelligent character she is, crucial to UNIT, and also very respected by the Doctor.
Clara/Bonnie: I loved the interactions between Bonnie and Clara. I thought that Jenna Coleman was absolutely fantastic, and I would really love to see her as a Bond villain. This season continues to make me anxious to see how Clara leaves the Doctor for good. There have been many things that could be considered foreshadowing, hinting that saying goodbye to Clara will be just as emotional as we’ve come to expect from companions departing the show. Hopefully the next companion will pull a Martha and say “well, this was fun but bad for me. Goodbye and best of luck!” instead of being, oh I don’t know, zapped back in time, sucked into an alternate dimension, or forced to have her memory erased. All I’m saying is that I’m fully expecting something terrible to happen to Clara, but it would be nice if I was wrong.
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi’s performance in these episodes was gripping as well. I thought that he was able to really dig into it, and while I know that his speech was more than a bit preachy, I did enjoy it. That man does know how to deliver a fantastic monologue. I think that this season the Doctor is really coming into his new personality, and I’ve been enjoying seeing a bit more of this regeneration every episode.
What I didn’t like:
What I did not enjoy was most of the first episode. The UNIT plot is definitely not a favorite of mine, and the call-backs to the 50th Anniversary just reminded me of all the problems I had with it. But I did like the second part better. It’s always nice to see the day saved, even if there was some manipulation involved.
I’m also just not a big fan of the zygons. I still haven’t watched much Classic Who, so Kate holds no sentimental meaning for me and a lot of the references to her father’s episodes went right over my head. Now I know those were not meant for me, they were there for those fans who HAVE watched Classic Who; I’m just saying that a lot of what makes Kate who she is is who her father was, and I just don’t get it.
All in all, while a lot of people seem to have enjoyed these two episodes, they were not exactly my cup of tea. Especially after how great the previous two episodes were, I was a little disappointed. I am, however, very much looking forward to Reese Shearsmith’s appearance next week!