Geekbat Tunes

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Series 5 Overview

Opening with a bang via Tomb of the Cybermen, this season is quite possibly the worst of the worst when it comes to episodes lost, existing almost entirely in fragmentary form. The ending ‘hump’ is nearly impossible to muscle through even for the most dedicated and fanatical of reviewers... which I am... and it’s hard to review the merits and pitfalls of the season divorced from that- an overview of the season as it would have aired originally requires a level of objectivity and forgetfulness that I simply can’t muster- so I may be unfairly hard on this series simply due to its ravaging in the archives and incomplete status.

That said, this is a strong series in who history, introducing icons such as the Yeti and the Ice Warriors, giving the Cybermen their rise to prominence as main adversaries to replace the Daleks, giving us the first direct sequel, immortalizing the tradition of female companions being screamers... Jamie is along for the entire season, continuing his marathon run, and Victoria for most of it. And while stories trend towards the exact same plot repeatedly (a remote base of humans besieged by alien invaders), it also contained some great and unique things- Enemy of the World’s dual role and unique villain, the Yeti and their unfathomable master, the creepy horror of Fury From The Deep... overall, it was both a good year for the Doctor, and the cementing of a cliché that stuck around far too long.

Of 40 individual episodes, 21 are missing- just over half, though it feels like far more. This will hardly go down in legend as the best series of Doctor Who... but it had its moments, and would have held its own, I think, had more of it survived.

For this season, the 2nd Doctor's catchphrase was more or less a slightly panicked "Oh, no!" The Doctor was a bit panicky-seeming at times because he kept ending up in situations out of his league, with circumstances out of control... or he attempted to fix things, but didn't get it quite right and made things worse. He was funny and fallible, not the perfect god-like Titan of the new series, a legend built unto himself, but one man trying to make a difference and sometimes bungling it. Just like last series, this encapsulates the character of the Second Doctor, and why we love him, perfectly.

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