DVD Review – Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1

We recently posted a pre-review of Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1, and now that I’ve had the chance to watch the episodes, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.

I have to admit, I wasn’t on board with Eleven. I still wasn’t over Ten – David Tennant’s version of The Doctor was an extremely tough act to follow – and when I attempted to watch any of the Matt Smith episodes, I’d just end up disappointed and frustrated. I was torn, because I really liked Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in all of the interviews I saw with them, but their characters annoyed me to no end!

Fast forward to present day and the DVD release of Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1. I watched the episodes, and have to admit I enjoyed them. My main issue with the start of Smith’s run as The Doctor was the stories were a bit too childish for me. I preferred the darker, intense episodes with both Nine and Ten, so the 2-part Series 6 opener was right up my alley with its elements of mystery and suspense, and I was pleased to see the characters have become more endearing rather than annoying. The Silence, the alien threat that The Doctor was up against in “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon” were Ood-level creepy. I’d even be as bold to say they’re almost as creepy as The Gentlemen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Incorporating Area 51, the Nixon administration and the US space program were really neat touches to the story as well.

There are two “Monster Files”, one on each disc, which feature The Silence and The Gangers. You get a really good behind the scenes look on what went into creating each creature, and learn more about what they are, and the threat that they pose. The Silence are basically parasites that have always been around that can use humans to their will, planting thoughts in people’s minds. It’s an interesting take on the idea of deja vu because when you see them, they immediately wipe your mind so you don’t remember them. I don’t want to give too much away, but you get to see what work of art inspired The Silence, and what went into creating the prosthetics and SFX makeup to bring these aliens to life. The Gangers, short for Doppelgangers, appear in “The Rebel Flesh”, and are they ever a unique looking creature. Several sets of prosthetics had to be created for each actor playing one of The Gangers, and this Monster File gives you a real appreciation of the level of work that’s required for the effects makeup intensive episodes.

I may go back to Series 5 at some point, but for now, these DVDs have actually convinced me to watch the second half of this series, which starts at the end of August. I’d say if you weren’t impressed with Series 5, at least give the Series 6 opener a chance. You might be surprised. This DVD set is a good refresher for those who have already seen the episodes, or the perfect way to catch up in time for the new episodes.

Photo Courtesy of BBC

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