Doctor Who?

I finally got around to watching the first half of Season 7 of Doctor Who–I'm still behind on a lot of things from my months away but now at least I'm caught up before the Christmas special. It's an odd season, very different from the two previous seasons that Steven Moffat oversaw and which starred Matt Smith. The two previous seasons had season-long story arcs mixed in with stand alone episodes to a greater degree than the show has had since it returned. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. This season has been about single episodes and really changing it up from one episode to the next.

And the episodes have been fun. In the first one, we get a new take on the daleks. In the fifth we get a new story with the Angels, and while it's no "Blink," it's much better than the two-parter from Season 5 with the Angels. We got another visit from River Song. There was the Doctor in an old west town dealing with a moral quandary. An alien invasion of sorts, featuring a new head of UNIT. Plus dinosaurs on a spaceship.

It also manages to be about aging and change. About dealing with our past, getting a second chance, trying to put things right and struggling to be flexible enough to change and confront new challenges. I'm sure that some people dislike these elements in the stories, but they give it a weight and it wouldn't be the same without it.

Now I'm waiting impatiently for the second half of the season. One episode written by Neil Gaiman. Two episodes written by Neil Cross (the man behind the brilliant "Luther" starring Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson). One episode written by Mark Gatiss starring Dame Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling (both of whom I adore). Plus two episodes written by Moffat. I can't wait.

A few things to note:

-Jemma Redgrave. I love Jemma Redgrave–I'm willing to bet that most of the people who remember her from "Bramwell," "The Grid" and other projects feel similarly. Hopefully she'll stop by and see the doctor again. Plus she's apparently starring in another British tv series, Frankie, which also stars Torchwood's Eve Myles. Hopefully we'll get it stateside. It's been too long since I saw her in anything.

-Alex Kingston. I don't know if we'll be seeing more of River Song or not. I hope so. It would deeply depressing if that was her last appearance and in the same year the new "Upstairs Downstairs" get cancelled. We need a new television series or movie starring Alex Kingston. Seriously, her multiple appearances as River Song have shown she can do just about anything.

-Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. I already miss them...

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