Doctor Who: A Look Back on Series 7
If there's any sentiment I've heard consistently since last fall it's that this has been the worst season of Doctor Who since the 2005 reboot. Now that we've all had our brains thoroughly exploded with the season finale, it's time to put the whole thing in perspective and decide exactly how good or not Series 7 was.
14. Asylum of the Daleks: The opening salvo in the series remains a very good episode, if just slightly contrived. A look at a ravaged Skaro, the bizarre evolution and superstition of the Daleks, and the introduction of Clara in perhaps her most cheeky and wonderful role made for very enjoyable television. The bits about Amy and Rory divorcing because she couldn't bear children were honestly one of Moffat's more obnoxious failures with female characters, but he made up for it with some true terror, nods to past stories, and some of his best dialogue.
Rewatch Value: 9 of 10
13. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: Series 7 is very light on one-off episodes you can just enjoy on their own. "Dinosaurs" is definitely one of those rare gems. The kidnapping and subsequent adventures of Rory's father Brian as well as a new posse consisting of Nefertiti and big-game hunter John Riddell make it one of the easiest and simply most fun episodes to watch. Such otherwise unimportant throw-away outings are vital to Doctor Who because they require so little of us to enjoy. There should be more of them.
Rewatch Value: 10 of 10
12. A Town Called Mercy: The Doctor just never does very well with the Old West, though "Mercy" is probably the best of those. We see The Doctor in one of his rare cruel and angry moments, and in retrospect that's very important to how Series 7 ended. At the time though it felt like a temper tantrum, though the cyber western was otherwise a pretty good yarn. It deserves credit for finally making classic Whovians forget "The Gunslingers."
Rewatch Value: 6 of 10
11. The Power of Three: With the exception of the establishment of the legendary Brigadier's daughter Kate as the new head of UNIT there is simply no other reason to watch this droning and pointless story. We knew that Amy and Rory would leave in the next episode, so their decision to rejoin the Tardis crew fulltime was pointless. Mark Williams alone turns in a brilliant performance reprising Brian Williams.
Rewatch Value: 1 of 10
10. The Angels Take Manhattan: The final goodbye of the Ponds has more plotholes than... actually I don't even have an analogy there. It's just stupid, and wrong, and pointless, and not at all what two such loyal and long-serving characters deserved. That said, you have to be made of stone not to cry when Amy says, "Raggedy Man, good bye," and disappears forever. I'm not overly fond of Amy, but I remember the little girl on her suitcase and never imagined it would end like this.
Rewatch Value: 3 of 10.
9. The Snowmen: The Eleventh Doctor is known for the absolute best Christmas specials, and while "Snowmen" is probably the worst of them it still puts it in very high company. Clara returns in probably her best outing in the series, and we get a look at Vastra, Jenny, and Strax as major recurring characters. Richard E. Grant is probably the best humanoid adversay The Doctor has faced since The Master, and the ending is both hopeful and tragic. Wonderful storytelling that sets up the second act of the series.
Rewatch Value: 7 of 10