The Doctor Who 50th anniversary blu-ray gift set hasn’t disappointed! First, the quality of the display and sound is fantastic, so much better than watching the shows on Amazon Prime. Second, I watched “Last of the Time Lords” last night and noticed a few new scenes that weren’t in the version that I watched before. I suppose I need to watch the entire series, all seven seasons, to find all the new scenes now. Oh, woe is me! I’m also pleased with all of the extras on the discs, especially the Doctor Who Confidential episodes. Perhaps these were on the original blu-rays, but I’m glad to have them.
We started watching the episodes in season 7 part 2, and have been rather disappointed. The first one, “The Bells of St. John,” was a good episode, but the next two, “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Cold War,” left us wondering if we missed something. The stories were uninspired, though I get the feeling that they both were trying too hard to make some big morality point and failed miserably. Many Doctor Who episodes with poor plots are elevated to “light and fun” status by having at least one interesting trait – sparkling dialogue, an interesting sub-plot, a lot of action – but these two failed to have even one of those. To add to that, both episodes featured the Doctor enacting the solution to a problem and having it fail, then Clara offering a solution that’s a slight improvement on the Doctor’s solution and having it succeed. While I don’t mind the companion succeeding, it seemed odd that such a new companion would already be able to upstage the Doctor, and do it twice in a row. (And if you think about it, it’s three times in a row – in “The Bells of St. John,” Clara locates the source of the problem in a few minutes after the Doctor gave up in frustration.)
I really do like Clara and I am hoping that Clara’s incredible proficiency is explained this season (I know part of her secret, so it’s very possible it will be), but for now, it’s stealing the stage from the Doctor. It kind of reminds me of Men in Black 2, which, after the first movie established J’s top-notch skills, made him a bumbling idiot so that he had to call K back to service. It’s not nearly that bad, but the show feels like it’s not about the Doctor.