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Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Season five of the world's longest running Sci-Fi television show introduced us to the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith). Like all the previous Doctors had to spend some time figuring out just who he was and what kind of Doctor he was going to be. With his bowtie and Fez hat, Season Five lead us to believe that the Eleventh Doctor was a fun-loving cosmic tourist, out to see the Universe with his companion the Amazing Amy Pond and her beloved Rory. But it turns out that isn't who the Eleventh Doctor is at all.

The Eleventh Doctor is Batman.

In Doctor Who - The Complete Sixth Series, the character and the storyline take a distinct and drastic tone-shift to Gotham City. Like the 1950s' Batman to the 1980s' Batman, The Doctor went from fun-loving (but dangerous) good times to actual death and cruelty. In an interview, series writer Stephen Moffat has said that this direction-shift was purposeful, and in Season Six he tried to "Batmanize" the Doctor Who series.

By Batmanize, he meant not only the darker tone of the series, but the idea that Batman creates his own enemies. If there was no Batman, there would be no Joker, no Two-Face, no people who define themselves as being in conflict with the Batman. Moffat felt that with The Doctor's legend as a powerful and mighty warrior, he would give rise to people whose sole mission in life is to fight The Doctor, by any means necessary. He also wanted a villain on the level of the Weeping Angels, something terrifying enough that they would enter the Doctor Who mythos along with the Cybermen and the Daleks. To fill that role he gave us The Silence.

It took me awhile to warm up to Moffat's vision. Even though I was totally against Matt Smith when he took over as The Doctor--after deciding that the Tenth Doctor was the greatest of all-time--I was instantly won over by the light-hearted and fun nature of the interpretation. I loved the idea of a magical childhood figure come to life, and was put off by the first episode of Season Six--"The Impossible Astronaut"--which serves up death as an opener and only got darker from there. Sure, there were some lighthearted blasts of entertainment in there, but things were pretty grim. But by the time of the seventh episode, "A Good Man Goes to War," the quality storytelling had won me over and I was totally hooked into Moffat's vision. I saw how terrifying it is when the light-hearted man turns deadly serious.

And Season Six is serious. Without giving away any spoilers, Season Six deals with some big questions for The Doctor. The main one--Who is River Song? -turns out to be an amazing twist that took me by surprise. Even deeper than that, The Doctor must come to grips with why he has Companions when so many of them die, and what is his role in the Universe on the whole? It is some bleak stuff, and the answers aren't really fun. The episode "The Girl Who Waited" was particularly heart-wrenching.

My only disappointment with Series Six was the lack of continuity of emotion. Some of the episodes, like "The Girl Who Waited," were completely devastating to those involved, but with the next episode they were right as rain and back to cracking wise and the best of friends. If you are like me and only watch Doctor Who on DVDs--one right after the other--then it can be disconcerting to see a character developed and then white-washed over the space of two sequential episodes.

The DVD box set itself is adequately excellent. I am glad I waited for the complete sixth season rather than getting the separate Part One and Part Two boxsets. This set includes not only all the episodes, but also the Christmas special, the two Comic Relief sketches, the prequels, and some cool extras like "Monster Files" and Doctor Who Confidential. I know they are planning to come out with a limited-edition set featuring four lenticular prints with various characters. If you are a collector you might want to wait for that. Personally, I care more about what is on the DVDs than what they box is made of, so this set was perfect.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2011
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Another standalone episode for Series 6, "The Girl Who Waited" isn't so much character development for the cast as it is a character study for all three of the main cast: Amy, Rory and the Doctor, as they face the episode's themes of kindness and choice. The pacing was well done and there were nuggets of wittiness to help break up some of the heavier moments. The episode is filled with some awesome visuals and the Handbots were an interesting villain, with their "Kindness" actually being lethal.

Fans of the Ponds will be happy to note that they really are the stars of this episode. Karen Gillan gives an excellent performance as both versions of Amy, the spunky, younger version and the older, embittered survivalist. Plus, you get to see her really kick ass. Arthur Darvill as Rory really tugs at the heartstrings when faced with his choice. The Doctor features far less than either Amy or Rory but Matt Smith, as always, gives a great performance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
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I didn't see this one coming. I was so sure that River would be raised on the "Forest Planet." Interesting how Rory and Amy not actually raising their daughter, but having known her intimately, because of growing up with her. What a twist. It was nice to see River able to change course from her programming by the "Silence."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
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Second Father and Child Episode in this 2nd half of the season... I wonder what that means? ;->
I have a strange feeling that this had more of a hint in it than we think. Yes, it is a stand alone episode and one that ties up a few simple things from episode 1 but is that all? He was only supposed to be gone 2 months in Amy and Rory's time stream so someone explain that poster.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2011
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It was definitely a filler episode but it was the Doctor so I couldn't bring myself to give anything lower than 4 stars. The season started out strong and this episode was not as suspenseful as the first two but it had great aspects in it. I am looking forward to the rest of the season as I know the action will pick up.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
Format: DVD
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS ABOUT DOCTOR WHO SERIES 6. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SERIES YET!

Doctor Who is for me, the best show on television. No other show comes even close to the amount of ideas, locations, great characters, storytelling, and humor it has. I started watching in 2005 onward, and I did enjoy Christopher Ecclestons and David Tennants portrayal of the Doctor, but I felt like something was missing. When David Tennant left, and we started Series 5 with Matt Smith hurtling toward the Earth in a burning TARDIS, I finally found it. Series 5 took everything I loved about Doctor Who, and tweaked it to make it more mature, darker, and have an encompassing story arc (something I think has been missing since Bad Wolf). I loved it. Series 5 was the first box set of Doctor Who I got, and then we got A Christmas Carol, my personal favorite Christmas Special yet. The preview that followed for Series 6 only increased my anticipation.

*phew* sorry about the long spiel, I really wanted to put that down somewhere. Now on to the review...

Its been a couple months since the end of Series 6, and while it did have a couple problems; the show has never looked better.

The filming in HD looks fantastic if you compare the look of the show from Series 5 to Series 6, the quality of the shot has dramatically improved. Every shot is almost a thing of beauty. Especially the shots in America and the castle shots in The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. The directors have also stepped up their games. Every shot puts the camera exactly where it needs to be put.

The actors have also stepped up their game as well. Matt Smith is fantastic in every scene hes in. He owns the camera, and even better he seems to have chemistry with every actor who ever works with him. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have also given more to their characters, each have room to grow this series and their characters get pushed into some very hard predicaments. However, there are a couple problems (which I will talk about later). Alex Kingston is also on fine form. She appears to be having a lot of fun, and it is a delight to see her again.

The episodes this series, for the most part, have been exceptional. If Series 5 was testing out the water, then Series 6 is a full dive off the edge of a cliff. The stories are more mature, and darker. I don't think there is a single episode I wouldn't watch again.

0. A Christmas Carol (9/10) A very enjoyable Christmas romp, taking Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and weaving it into a fantastic Doctor Who story.

1/2. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (9/10) The best series opener we have ever had. It sets up a compelling story arc and The Silence are incredibly creepy. Granted it does have a feel of setting up the story arc rather than telling a story, but thats a tiny niggle.

3. The Curse of the Black Spot (7/10) An enjoyable episode where the resolution felt a little flat, and it wasn't quite the episode I was expecting after the opening 2 parter.

4. The Doctor's Wife (10/10) Almost easily, one of the best episodes in the entire series, and probably in the history of the show. Matt Smith is fantastic (as usual) and Surrane Jones puts a human face on a staple of the show.

5/6. The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People (8/10) Wonderful setting, top-notch class of actors, compelling story. However, some of the characters feel a bit padded like Dickens was only used at the end, and Jimmy was built to be the thug of the story. Cleaves own act of killing Jimmy's Ganger didn't make any sense and where did the tumor come from? Still an enjoyable story, and important for the rest of the run.

7. A Good Man Goes to War (9/10) Fantastic way to end part 1 of Series 6. This episode advances the plot and show the audience how the rest of the universe portrays the Doctor. There were a couple of faults such as River Song not being in the story more, and I didn't get the sense of the Doctor rising and falling further than he's ever fallen before.

8. Let's Kill Hitler (8/10) Great comeback after the break, this story is fun, funny, and touching. The anti-bodies were a great "monster" and were hilarious. I felt like the story didn't have enough time to flesh out Melody Pond's decision to turn from killer to lover, and I did think that even though it wasn't going to address killing Hitler (like it would, it had to continue plot elements of the series) I felt like he could've been woven further into the plot like ordering Soldiers after the Teselecta and at the end the Teselecta using its memory wiping properties to make Berlin forget the event.

9. Night Terrors (8/10) A nice story of a child facing his fears, and parents loving their children unconditionally. The Peg Dolls were also very creepy Granted, the idea never fleshed out fully, and I was surprised at how Amy and Rory were acting, considering they just lost their own daughter, but still a good story.

10. The Girl Who Waited (10/10) Easily the best episode of the entire series. It paints out Amy and Rory's love of each other and it shows the Doctor having to take the role of the Time Lord he is, and make sure everything works out, even if it isn't fair. I thought it was surprising we didn't hear more about Amy's feeling about her lost daughter.

11. The God Complex (9/10) Fantastic episode that draws parallels with the Doctor and sees Amy and Rory leave the TARDIS. Well drawn out characters, good monster, creepy setting, and great idea.

12. Closing Time (8/10) Episode that takes approximately 200 years after the Doctor drops off Amy and Rory. This episode looks at how the Doctor is doing and thinking the day before his death at Lake Silencio. It draws great parallels with Craig and the Cybermen (even if they are underused, AGAIN) and it crackles with humor (Stormageddon, LOL). Also set up the finale...

13. The Wedding of River Song (9/10) I do like this episode, although it has a couple of problems which I think went down to the fact that he was given only 45 minutes to resolve this episode, instead of the 55 - 60 minutes that he needed. It draws threads from all over the series together and paints them in the continuing love story of the Doctor and River Song.

Overall, I think the individual episodes that make up this series are fantastic, the best they have ever been.

Now, the cons:

This is one that surprises me, and its the main reason why I decided to rate Series 6 4/5 instead of 5/5: the main story arc. When I saw The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, I assumed that we were going to getting huge interlocking stories that would all be drawn together around his death and River Song. Sadly, that's not what we got. What we got was Steven Moffat directing the story with his own episodes and having the plot elements be in the background. This wasn't a huge problem until we got to part 2 of Series 6. Earlier when I was reviewing the individual episodes, did you notice that I was surprised that Amy and Rory didn't really talk about their feelings about their kidnapped child? I don't care what Steven Moffat did in Let's Kill Hitler which had her growing up alongside Amy and Rory (which I have got to admit, was really clever) I still expect Amy to be dealing with the fact that her baby was stolen from her and she never got to do the things all mothers do. That was a bit of a flaw.

Earlier, when the Doctor was discreetly scanning Amy for pregnancy, and then we saw A Good Man Goes to War, I got the sense that he was conducting research on the connection between Amy and her Ganger. I never got that feeling that he was doing that when all he was doing was conducting the same pregnancy test over and over again.

Because River Song and the Doctor's relationship are fixed only in Steven Moffat's episodes, some of the actions she takes are a bit...forced and they don't quite make sense. I wished we could have seen what she was researching at the end of every episode in part 2 of Series 6, all it would take is 30 seconds to a minute of every episode. It would have felt more connected. I also finally got why the Doctor and River love each other. It happens in those moments like in the mini-episodes we got in the box set: Night and the Doctor.

I feel like I could continue on, but all the complaints I have after these are small niggles in a overall fantastic series. It doesn't quite live up to Series 5, but that shouldn't prevent you from seeing this wonderful series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Here's another one of what may be an unpopular review. I do not focus on such things like a story by story synopsis, since most other reviewers do this. Instead, I try to focus on the things which people should know about this product other than... "Episode one was great because of blah blah and the SFX. And in episode two..."

This season came under criticism on two fronts. One, was the fact the Stephen Moffat took advantage of the fact that this is a show revolving around time travelers. And as such, not everything took place in chronological order. B, I mean, two, the season was bisected, which as to allow the show to be seen over a longer period.

Moffat took a big leap in making the show more interesting by having a complex and convoluted story arc, and in my humble opinion, that was brilliant. Doctor Who was always meant to be an intelligent show, and I feel he did that quite well in the first part of the season. Anyone who needs to have their hand held, and have someone connect the dots between episodes one, to four, to six, etc., should probably be watching something more simplistic, like Sesame Street. It's just too bad that several episodes of the second part of the season were dumbed down. "Night Terrors, The Girl Who Waited, and The God Complex" were filler episodes, and even though "Closing Time" was as well, it was by far the best stand alone episode of the bunch.

Overall, in spite of these three filler episodes, this season on a whole was what Doctor Who should be. Engrossing, provocative, and intelligent. On the aspect of the program itself, I would give it 4 stars. It's well worth watching, and I'm happy to include it in my collection. As for the way this box set was made, I have to give it 1 star. While the prequels were included, there wasn't an option to watch them in order before their respective episodes. Even last year's set gave the opetion to view the "Meanwhile, in the TARDIS" shorts as part of the episode! COME ON 2|ENTERATIN!!! Use your brain and think about what you're doing when putting this together. Worse still is that there are commentaries on only four episodes. And the only thing worse than that, is when there is a commentary for only one of the two part episodes! REALLY? Couldn't you at least finish what you started? There was a time when commentaries were provided for every episode. Don't get lazy now! The fact that this was done so poorly, without any common sense, and lacking more features is not only sloppy, it's insulting.

Whether you agree with this review or not, please try to appreciate what season 6 has to offer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
Format: DVD
Others have listed and reviewed the content on the discs. I am disappointed that there is commentary on less than half the episodes, but I don't really buy the disc sets for the extras. I wanted to complete my set of the 'new' "Doctor Who" series, even though I thought Series Six was weak in several spots compared to Series Five and the Russell T Davies episodes.

With this particular set, I am very disappointed with the quality of the packaging. Upon arrival, I discovered that the middle spindles of the disc trays were broken out of the first four of the six discs. The first tray is also cracked from the corner into the center in two spots. This is probably because, compared to the Series Five set, the plastic used is thin and cheap. The case enveloping it also seems to be made of cheaper stock, and shows a clear and permanent crease in the spine.

Unfortunately, since I live in Mexico, returning them to Amazon for a replacement that is not torn up would cost a lot more than just buying a new set. I wish they'd just charged a little more and not used cheap and inferior materials for the packaging.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
Verified Purchase
There was a definite element of filler here but still fun. On the other hand, we saw the mysterious lady with the eye-patch again as well as the worrying scan of positive AND negative on Amy's pregnancy! The writers are definitely building (once again) towards a definite arch. I can't hardly wait to see where this will all end!!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
Spoilers:

During the sixth season the Doctor is murdered and he must find out who killed him. More importantly he has to discover WHO or WHAT the "Silence" is and why, well, they've chosen to silence HIM. The doctors lies, dies and Amy Pond cries. Steven Moffat comes up with an intriguing story arc that has a strong beginning, lags a bit in the middle but picks up again by the last third.

End of Spoilers:

While the sixth season of "Doctor Who" isn't flawless, it's ALWAYS entertaining even during the lesser episodes in this set. Writer/producer Moffat has made "Doctor Who" his own show (much as his predecessor Russell T. Davies did) in a sense rebooting the series with a new Doctor (Matt Smith)during the fifth season, a pair of new companions (Karen Gillian as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvil as Rory) who plays a role almost as important as the Doctor himself. It's a clever story arc that at times gets lost in its own cleverness but always returns to what makes the series fun. Smith has made the role his own which given the performances of his predecessors is saying something.

Moffat ties together the story strands from previous seasons including the origin of Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston). Any season that features one of my favorite actors Mark Sheppard ("Battlestar: Galatica", "Supernatural" and "Burn Notice" among other shows--please someone get this man a series!)is given a bit of leeway.

I do hope though that Moffat will move away from the all powerful Doctor as it would eventually become something of a narrative dead end for the show. There is a bit of noticeable banding now and again but on the whole the presentation is exceptionally good.

The Blu-ray for "Doctor Who" receives a marvelous looking transfer for home video in high def. Colors pop (well, when they're supposed to)and the show looks remarkably sharp with strong fine detail.

Audio sounds quite strong with a nice immersive 5.1 lossless mix but dialogue is quite strong.

Special features include a number of fun, informative commentary tracks for the following episodes: "The Impossible Astronaut","The Doctor's Wife","The Rebel Flesh", "A Good Man Goes To War", "The Wedding of River Song". We also get "Doctor Who: Classified", "Monster Files", episode prequels for episodes 1. 3. 7, 8 and 13 which although unnecessary are nice additions to the episodes as well as "A Christmas Carol" the annual Christmas episode, comic relief sketch and "Doctor Who: Confidential-A Night's Tale" plus deleted scenes for various epiosdes.

Although the sixth season has a couple of filler episodes and a few that don't resonante even though the concept is solid enough, the overall story arc for season six is well thought out and plotted.

Recommended.
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