To say that I’m looking forward to this Saturday is probably an extreme understatement. The family has absolutely nothing on the calendar, I’m going to get all my chores caught up on Friday and I plan on firmly planting myself in front of the TV on SATURDAY because there’s a DOCTOR WHO marathon all day on BBC AMERICA that kicks off at 9 AM E / 6 AM P.
Usually saying that there is a DOCTOR WHO marathon on BBC AMERICA isn’t a very special commentary since they do happen from time to time. This Saturday however they are re-airing the entire run of the most recent series of DOCTOR WHO that will culminate with the season finale titled THE BIG BANG. US audiences will finally find out how the PANDORICA will be re-opened, how all of existence will be restored and how a fez is just as cool as a bow tie. THE BIG BANG is filled with all kinds of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey goodness that draws you in from the get go with a big reveal right before the opening credits that dropped my jaw.
Before I get too much into THE BIG BANG I’d be remiss not to mention the incredible gem that this entire series of DOCTOR WHO has been. I know that prior to it’s debut there was some trepidation about the casting of MATT SMITH as THE DOCTOR. I think most people would agree that this was dispelled within the first 10 minutes of the season’s opening episode THE ELEVENTH HOUR. SMITH brings a natural energy and quirkiness to the role that fans are able to gobble up almost every moment that he’s on screen. He’s able to do all this but also still provide a grounded and in some cases contained performance, bringing out the natural cockiness that we’ve come to expect from THE DOCTOR without being over-the-top.
In all fairness I admit I’m not just a hopeless devotee that’s been watching this season through rose colored glasses. I freely admit that I was somewhat under-impressed with episodes like VICTORY OF THE DALEKS, THE VAMPIRES OF VENICE and the two-parter THE HUNGRY EARTH / COLD BLOOD, but even in not being some of the better episodes of the season they were better than, say, anything that HEROES did in it’s last three seasons. Those four episodes only suffer from not being as strong in quality for me as the other episodes this season. THE BEAST BELOW let us get a better idea about who our new DOCTOR is, gave us more insight into our new companion and told a good tale. The WEEPING ANGELS two-part episode was everything you would expect from those creepy stone creatures as well as brining us back the mysterious RIVER SONG (who has had some of the best scenes in her first appearances both in TIME OF ANGELS and THE PANDORICA OPENS). VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR didn’t have the strongest alien story but it did have a very emotionally powerful tale to tell in the last fifteen minutes spent with VINCENT VAN GOGH. I still have to say that THE LODGER is one of my favorite episodes of the season since it was an excellent light-hearted tale where we get to see THE DOCTOR trying to deal with living a normal human life while still being THE DOCTOR. It’s humor was the perfect pallet cleanser right before the two-part season finale. Which brings us back to…
THE BIG BANG, which can be seen at 9 PM E / 6 PM P, was probably the finest hour of this season and it’s the season finale I’ve been wanting to see for a while. The cliffhanger from the preceding episode isn’t almost immediately dismissed and as the rest of the episode unveils what we see is still germane to the story we’ve been watching from the episode before. Every single member of the cast turns in a great performance and one of the standouts has to be ARTHUR DORVILL as RORY. He transitions from a character that I was willing to put up with into a character that I can’t wait to see more of. KAREN GILLAN’s AMY POND does an excellent job as well in this episode as she, early on, brings some of THE DOCTOR’s quirky delivery into her own. MATT SMITH, of course, knocks it out of the park.
There’s not really much more I can say without getting spoiler-ish so I should probably contain myself out of respect to my fellow US watchers who may not have been as ambitious as I was to already see THE BIG BANG. I will warn you to brace yourself for a surprising and wonderfully emotional performance by MATT SMITH near the end of the episode. I was also very pleased to see a part of this season clearly carrying on into the next season as THE DOCTOR himself names a mystery that is still unsolved.
There you have it folks. There’s very little else on television that I really care about this week so my one big recommendation for the week is to either introduce yourself, or say hello again, to THE DOCTOR and watch the DOCTOR WHO marathon on BBC AMERICA.
Oh, did I mention that BEING HUMAN’s second season also premieres right after? It’s a win-win for sure.
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