Monday, November 24, 2014

Doctor Who: Season 8: Top 12 Episodes: Part 1

Doctor Who season (or series if you are British) eight has come to a close, and now it is time to take a look back at each episode of the season and rank each one from worst to best. For each episode, I will review it in retrospect and give it an updated score thanks to my weeks of revaluation in mind.

"Kill the Moon" is one of the few episodes of recent Doctor Who that has actually made me angry while watching it. Doctor Who has never been a series where logic always applies, because that is the case for most time-travel stories, but "Kill the Moon" had so many gaps in logic and general stupidity that it makes me wonder if anyone actually read the freaking script! The logic gaps aside, Courtney ruined almost every scene she was in with her annoying dialogue and general uselessness. Almost nothing in the episode worked! Some say that the episode is an allegory for abortion, but as my friend Jamie said, you know what a human child is. On the other hand, no one knows what is inside the moon's giant egg. I could go on and on, but again, logic aside, Clara completely disregarded democracy was terrible! In addition to all that, we had a forced character conflict between Clara and the Doctor. Jenna Coleman managed to nail the scene in terms of acting, but this conflict could have been handled so much better in many different ways. Overall, in my opinion, "Kill the Moon" is one of the worst Doctor Who episodes of recent memory; why did it even happen!?

Despite Peter Capaldi's first season as the Doctor being overall strong, unfortunately his first outing, "Deep Breath," is possibly the weakest introduction of any of the last four Doctors. While the episode is not completely without merit, the stupidly written dialogue with the Paternoster Gang and even Clara's character moments fell completely flat. On the plus side, Capaldi had some fun moments of humor, and the scenes involving the clockwork droids and references to one of my favorite episodes, "Girl in the Fireplace," all worked nicely. Unfortunately, most of the episode focused on the other elements. All in all, "Deep Breath" is not the worst episode ever, but rather a disappointment, especially for a season premiere.

After the weak first outing, Capaldi's second outing as the Doctor, "Into the Dalek," did not do much to define Capaldi's version of the Doctor or impress all that much, but it was a decent episode of the Doctor Who. However, the episode did have one of my favorite quotes from the entire season, "She's my carer. She cares so I don't have to." The episode shared a few similarities with a previous season one episode "Dalek," and the theme at the end about the Doctor's hatred proved to be an important part of the finale's theme.

"In The Forest of the Night" is the type of episode that does not necessarily do any wrong, nor does it do anything all that special. Conceptually, the idea of a forest engulfing the entire planet is rather unique; unfortunately, the execution is not the best. The children, except Abigail Eames as Maebh, only served to distract from the plot with annoying quips, and the episode continued to undermine its sense of danger by completely forgetting the dangers of the animals in the forest throughout the world. Fortunately, Clara and Danny both had some great moments, and the episode's general whimsicalness gave it a fun fairy tail type atmosphere. Overall, not a bad episode by any means, just a slightly forgettable one.

"The Caretaker" is the type of episode that is inevitable in the context of the story. At some point during the season, we knew that Danny had to discover the Doctor and Clara's time-traveling adventures, and even though the episode mostly served to progress that plot thread, it did so well enough. Unfortunately, that meant that the episode's main foil, the Skovox Blitzer, was more of an after thought. However, in retrospect, the setup with Danny and the Doctor's dislike of soldiers was an important aspect in the season finale.

What do you think of the episodes that I have reviewed thus far? Please comment below and check back tomorrow for the second part of this list.

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  1. Great idea for a blog post! :) I would have to agree, these episodes would be on the bottom of my list(though for me, The Caretaker would be lower). Kill the Moon didn't really bother me at first but looking back on it, I really did see some problems(though the whole counting the lights on the planet didn't make sense, since what about the day side of the planet? Turning the lights off wouldn't have really showed up); the whole attempted abortion allegory did make me a bit uncomfortable(even though it isn't exactly one, since there is a bit of a difference), since I am pro-choice. I did at first like the conflict with Clara and the Doctor, but since it wasn't handled as well as it could have been, I felt like we could have done without it. Looking forward to seeing which episodes are your favorite :)

  2. Awesome idea, James! :)
    I honestly liked Deep Breath, but then I tend to like the episodes most people hate for some reasons (Asylum of the Daleks, Victory of the Daleks, Nightmare in Silver, ect. ect), and I personally liked Into the Dalek (it was no Robot of Sherwood or Mummy on the Orient Express or Flatline, I'll give you that), but the one episode I just did *not* like this season was In the Forest of the Night. I just found it....boring on the second watch; I could barely make myself pay attention the second time I watched it with my Dad. It was just boring to me. But, for me one out of twelve ain't so bad. There's not really any I hate, and (except for the three episodes I mentioned above, ROS, MOTOE, and FL) there's not particuarly any I love either. They're all brilliant episodes in my mind, with some great bits mixed in and some 'eh' moments as well, I suppose.

  3. I ranked the episodes in my series 8 review ( and so far their pretty similar!

    There was basically NO redeeming qualities in Kill the Moon. The more I think about it, the more I think it may be the worst Who ever.... Love and Monsters previously held that title, but at least it was just horribly hokey. And the Mr. Blue Sky dance scene was a good redeeming quality.

    Love that line from Into the Dalek. That basically sums up The Doctor and Clara's whole relationship.

  4. Wow, Into the Moon sounds terrible. I actually stopped watching Doctor Who around when Matt Smith was playing. :/ Not sure why, I just lost interest, I guess. I'm sure there are still good episodes, but at least I'm not missing out on the bad ones like Into the Moon.

  5. Pretty much agree.

    Kill the Moon was horrible and I'm really mad at how it screwed up The Doctor and Clara's relationship out of the blue. :(

    Deep Breath was odd; I really liked the last half of the episode but the first half was weird and random.

    I liked certain elements of Into the Dalek quite a lot, actually, but it was also not amazing either.

    In the Forest of the Night would actually be a little higher up on my list as I really really liked the one little girl actress. All the other kids were really annoying though.

    Caretaker was okay but it left me mad that The Doctor and Danny didn't hit it off. :(



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