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> Reflecting on Doctor Who • Series 9, Stories are where memories go when they're forgotten.
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Klampus
post Dec 22 2015, 04:56 PM
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With the latest series coming to an end a couple of weeks ago, we've all had time to reflect and form our opinions. So, what were your thoughts on the latest series. Was it an improvement on the last few years, did the two-parter format work better? Has Peter Capaldi shone for you in this series or are you still not warming to him? After the Clara-heavy Series 8, what was the dynamic like this year and how well was her exit done? Would it have been better had she left last series, allowing for a new companion this time? What about the monsters and villains? This series saw the return of the Daleks, Davros, the Zygons and even the Time Lords as well as new enemies such as the Fisher King, the Mire and the Sandmen.

There were also a few experiments with the format this year with a found-footage episode and a single-hander Doctor episode. Would you like to see more of them or even more experiments? Would you have liked to have seen more of Missy and how did you take to Ashildr/Me? There's a lot of things to discuss and the show often sparks a lot of debate/contrasting opinions so it would be good to see some from you!

Here is a list of the episode titles to help remind you as well as overnight/BARB ratings.

Doctor Who: Series 9

01. The Magician's Apprentice · 4.60m (21.2%) · 6.54m
02. The Witch's Familiar · 3.71m (16.6%) · 5.71m
03. Under the Lake · 3.74m (16.3%) · 5.63m
04. Before the Flood · 4.38m (21.%) · 6.05m
05. The Girl Who Died · 4.63m (22.2%) · 6.56m
06. The Woman Who Lived · 4.39m (20.2%) · 6.11m
07. The Zygon Invasion · 3.87m (19.4%) · 5.76m
08. The Zygon Inversion · 4.22m (20.4%) · 6.03m
09. Sleep No More · 4.00m (18.2%) · 5.61m
10. Face the Raven · 4.48m (19.9%) · 6.05m
11. Heaven Sent · 4.51m (20.7%) · 6.19m
12. Hell Bent · 4.47m (20%) · 6.17m

first figures are overnights, second are the official BARB ratings

Average overnight rating: 4.25m
Average official BARB rating: 6.03m


In addition to this, I'll be hoping to start up a Least Favourite poll of all the stories that Peter's Doctor has starred in once this year's Christmas special has been broadcast so look out for that in the near future!
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t=SpunderfulXmas
post Dec 22 2015, 05:03 PM
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Some episodes were kind of meh (the Sandman one was my least favourite I think but it was ok) but some were really enjoyable cheer.gif I still feel that the other doctors and companions have produced more exciting stories/adventures than Capaldi and Coleman but it's Doctor Who so of course it's still great cheer.gif

Is anyone planning to do a rate on these episodes soon? Maybe after the Christmas one has aired so we can include that as well dance.gif I was gutted to have not been a member during the time the ultimate episodes rate was on no.gif
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Klampus
post Dec 22 2015, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE(Mace Spindu @ Dec 22 2015, 05:03 PM) *
Is anyone planning to do a rate on these episodes soon? Maybe after the Christmas one has aired so we can include that as well dance.gif I was gutted to have not been a member during the time the ultimate episodes rate was on no.gif

If you see the last bit, I was planning on doing a Least Favourite Poll of the 12th Doctor stories after this year's Christmas special. tongue.gif

We could perhaps do another ultimate rate in the summer.
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JosephCarey
post Dec 22 2015, 06:12 PM
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Ooh I'm looking forward to the Least Fave poll!

My breakdown of the series (I enjoyed every episode to some extent so everything's above a 5, anything below 5 in my book is something I don't enjoy):

08.5 The Magician's Apprentice - The pacing lets this down slightly. It's very fast paced at the beginning and then slows down when Clara and Missy meet the Doctor. That scene would've been much better if it were shorter, and the beginning padded out slightly more. The reveal of Davros was excellent though and Colony Sarff was an interesting villain.

09.5 The Witch's Familiar - so much better than the first half. The scenes with the Doctor and Davros were incredibly well acted on both parts, and I loved the ending with Clara in the Dalek. The Daleks themselves felt underused though sadly.

09.5 Under the Lake - a superb first part. I think a big flaw of the Moffat era is that we haven't gotten to know the supporting characters too well in any given story. In the RTD era, we had Jabe, Lynda with a Y, Sally Sparrow, etc. that I know I felt connections to, yet with the Moffat era I can't really think of many/any notable supporting characters. This episode fleshed out the characters much more than normal though and I liked that. The threat felt very real too, I liked it.

07.5 Before the Flood - and a very disappointing second part. The threat seemed much less real when we got to the Fisher King. Such a shoehorned-in monster, didn't feel very threatening and I don't think the plot was explained in enough detail so I was left feeling slightly confused. The character moments again were good though.

08.0 The Girl Who Died - pretty good, the threat again didn't feel very fleshed out but it was a solid episode and I enjoyed it. Loved the revelation of why the Doctor chose that face for himself at the end!

07.0 The Woman Who Lived - I disliked the lack of Clara in this episode actually. The character moments were good in parts but I feel like it kinda dragged. Yet again, the threat didn't feel real to me and it was such an afterthought. "Oh yes, it's Doctor Who, we need a monster too, let's just shove this one there and hope for the best". The weakest episode of the series for me but not awful as such, it did have its good moments.

10.0 The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion - I don't feel like these episodes need their own ratings, they worked superbly well together and there wasn't any difference in quality between the two, because both were top notch Who episodes. The twist of Clara being a Zygon was one I didn't see coming, and the speech the Doctor gave at the end of The Zygon Inversion was potentially Capaldi's defining moment. The monsters were central to the plot for a change (this shouldn't be a shock in Doctor Who!!1!) and I really can't say anything bad.

08.0 Sleep No More - this is a strange one really. The found footage thing didn't work for me, but I enjoyed the actual episode. It was an interesting threat even if I'm not sure if it worked or not, and I don't think it actually made any sense, with plot holes appearing throughout, but hey, it was enjoyable and my attention was kept throughout.

10.0 Face the Raven - This is how you do a Doctor Who episode without a big alien presence (despite the street being full of them but, well, you get my point). The twist of how Clara dies is very good and I was shocked that they actually went ahead and killed a companion (even if it's cheated slightly later on but she still died there and then regardless). Clara's final moments were top notch, so well written and acted.

10.0 Heaven Sent - I was very sceptical of a one-hander episode but this showed me that I had no reason to worry. Capaldi is a more than capable actor of course and the lack of supporting cast was barely noticeable throughout. It felt very claustrophobic as intended I expect and I loved the twist, it didn't actually click for me until the Doctor was climbing back up the stairs to the teleport room. Superb episode.

09.5 Hell Bent - a very very good finale although some parts of it felt slightly confusing and all over the place. A nice mix of humour and serious moments though and I did like the Clara twist even if it ever so slightly ruined the ending of Face the Raven. I thought Clara in the diner was one of her echoes, definitely didn't expect the memory loss on the Doctor's part and like someone else said, it felt like justice for Donna in a way that it was the Doctor who forgot this time, rather than the companion. Overall, a really enjoyable finale and it's got me very excited for the Christmas special.

----------------------------------------

Other thoughts:

- Capaldi is proving to be a natural at this. I don't think he's had any teething issues slotting into his role and he just went from strength to strength this series.
- Jenna was very underused, especially compared to last year. She was mostly separate from the Doctor in the first two episodes, completely separate in episode 4, not even in episode 6, and it wasn't the proper Clara in episodes 7 and 8, so it's a shame that their relationship slightly suffered this series. It was clawed back in the last three episodes though of course!
- The character moments throughout are SO spot on throughout but more often than not, it's at the expense of a villain. Episodes 4, 5 and 6 are the prime examples of this. The villains that were present felt like afterthoughts and this shouldn't be the case in Doctor Who. I feel like the Moffat era hasn't really produced an iconic villain to date? The RTD era had the Slitheen, the Ood, the Judoon, etc. and they felt like classic villains. The Silence are the closest so far in the Moffat era and their arc is firmly closed it would seem.

Overall, a really enjoyable series, and even though it had rough patches, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Interested to see the next companion now!

Oh and a series rank to show where it slots in:

1. Series 4
2. Series 3
3. Series 1
4. Series 2
5. Series 8
6. Series 5
7. Series 9
8. Series 7
9. Series 6

The four RTD series run away with it wub.gif Series 8, 5 and 9 are all pretty damn great too. Series 7 was hit and miss, with some amazing episodes and some shite ones. Series 6 was a mess and completely confusing.
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Klampus
post Dec 22 2015, 07:49 PM
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I definitely agree that the character elements were the highlight of the series, so many of them were spot on buttt it did overshadow the actual monster elements. There's definitely not been a classic standout new monster for a long time.
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burbe
post Dec 23 2015, 10:47 AM
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This series has been very up and down. There's some really strong episodes and scenes but some really poor ones as well. The opening two-parter and Zygon two-parter where the strongest of the series. In fact, the Zygon two-parter was the strongest of Capaldi's run as the Doctor (imo). The series finale was good but underdeveloped and kind of ruined Face The Raven. Sleep No More and the The Girl Who Died / Woman Who Lived were pretty poor.
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Slick
post Dec 27 2015, 03:48 PM
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I thought Series 9 was a really strong series. It's always hard to compare the current series to previous seasons so I'm not even going to try, but within it's own 12 episode run, I thought the consistency was pretty good throughout. Sleep No More, The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived were the weak points, but even those episodes weren't as bad as Doctor Who can sometimes be. (There's always one or two episodes per series which really don't impress.)

The two-part opener, the Zygon Invasion/Inversion and the three-part finale are episodes which stand-out for me, and those will be the episodes I revisit in future I imagine.


This post has been edited by Slick: Dec 27 2015, 03:48 PM
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Winter Wombatlan...
post Dec 27 2015, 06:15 PM
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This series has been really good, I feel some of the episodes have that instant classic 2007/2008 Who feel that has been missing from the last series and this one was definitely where Peter Capaldi shone as a Doctor and Clara put in a strong final performance too. I enjoy that it's becoming less openly accessible and is mature and serious science fiction, my only worry is that won't exactly help it much as it's not exactly been flying in the ratings.

As for the actual episode reviews - the Zygon two parter, The Magician/Witch one were both flawless two parters, and Face The Raven and Heaven Sent were as stand alone episodes fantastic, unfortunately the latter was tainted by the second part which in general was a disappointing conclusion and ruined the ending of the former. Girl/Woman had potential, but didn't quite live up to it and ended up being disappointing, and Lake/Flood would've worked as a stand alone, but didn't as a two parter. I have no desire to see Sleep No More again, found footage and Doctor Who is not the one.


This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Dec 27 2015, 06:18 PM
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