Saturday, April 23, 2011

Doctor Who: Favorite season 5 moments

Doctor Who season 6 premieres tonight, folks, and I could not be more excited. When season 5 premiered, I had never seen an episode of DW. One year later, I am addicted.

I'll start by directing you all to an Entertainment Weekly Q&A with show runner Steven Moffat, who also has some things to say about the brilliant Sherlock. Go read, then come back.

You're back? OK. What better time than the start of season 6 to relive some of favorite moments from season 5. I would say top moments, but I will probably think of more later, in which case my top picks here would no longer be top and ... well, you get the idea. So, here are a few of my favorite moments from the debut season for Matt Smith as the Doctor:

1. Fish fingers and custard
"Eleventh Hour." It starts with an apple, then progresses to beans, bread and butter, yogurt and bacon. With new taste buds, the Doctor discovers he hates them all. "Are you trying to poison me?" he asks young Amelia Pond. Finally, he finds a suitable snack: fish sticks dipped in a giant mixing bowl full of custard. This is how we are introduced to the new gonzo Doctor.

2. "Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically ... run."
"Eleventh Hour." The Doctor calls the Atraxi back to him after they've gone. Amy and Rory figure an alien race that almost boiled Earth should be left well alone, but the Doctor disagrees. They've gone once, but what about next time? First he shows the Atraxi that the humans are not a threat. He then asks whether they understand that the planet is defended. An Atraxi projects images of the Doctor through his many incarnations, ending with David Tennant. Then Matt Smith's Doctor walks through the projection, suited up in his iconic tweed and bow tie for the first time, and introduces himself. The Atraxi do the only smart thing: They run.

3. Amy vs. the Angel in the television
"Time of the Angels." An image of a Weeping Angel becomes an Angel, which is a problem for Amy, who gets trapped in a trailer with a video of one looping on a television. In a long and suspenseful sequence, the Angel moves toward the camera, then jumps out of the television. Amy meanwhile, tries not to blink. She finally defeats the Angel by pausing the video at the exact second when it loops back to the beginning.

4. Vincent Van Gogh at the Musée d'Orsay
"Vincent and the Doctor." The Doctor and Amy take Vincent Van Gogh to modern times to see an exhibit of his own work. Vincent listens to Bill Nighy expound on how he is the greatest painter of all time. Vincent cries. He's so, so happy. He tells the Doctor that from now on, things will get better. The Doctor and Amy return Vincent to his own time, then go back to the museum to see, as Amy says, all the new Van Gogh paintings. She thinks they changed history, but alas, Vincent committed suicide, anyway. But as the Doctor says, they added to his pile of good things.

5. The wibbly wobbly timey wimey-ness of "The Big Bang"
The Doctor uses River's vortex manipulator to bounce like a pinball between modern day and Roman times in an effort to get himself out of the Pandorica and save the universe. In the episode's opening, Amy tells her younger self, "This is where it gets complicated." She's not kidding. It all builds up to a very tired-looking Doctor sitting beside young Amelia's bed and telling the sleeping girl a fairy tale about a big blue box.

And now ... on with Season 6! I'm sure that tomorrow, I'll have thoughts to post about the season premiere.

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