Quite a few twists and turns have popped up during the first part of Doctor Who‘s seventh season, so I’ve decided to briefly hightlight the first five episodes:
- Asylum of the Daleks: This was a strong story to kick off another season of the world’s longest-running science fiction show, memorable for introducing the Parliment of the Daleks, the lovely Oswin Oswald (whose real identity is something of a shock), and a startling twist that will undoubtedly influence future Doctor-Dalek relations in memorable ways.
- Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: I was initially leery of this episode since I had heard it was not one of Doctor Who‘s strongest outings, but you know what? It was fun. It’s good for Doctor Who to take a step back from the death and destruction that seem to follow in the Doctor’s wake and just be silly. Plus, it was entertaining to see the Doctor have a “gang” in the form of the Ponds, big game hunger John Riddell, Queen Nefertiti (yes, that Queen Nefertiti), and Rory’s dad Brian. If had just one complaint about the episode, it would be with Queen Nefertiti’s characterization–she tells Amy and Riddell that she finds her husband boring (that’s why she went with the Doctor, to have a bit of excitement in her life), yet according to history, Nefertiti was devoted to her husband (I only know this because Egypt was my favorite ancient culture to study in school).
- A Town Called Mercy: This episode introduced us to the intriguing Kahler-Jex, a scientist who fled his home planet to escape punishment for his war crimes and was trying to make amends for his past evils by caring for the inhabitants of the small Western town of Mercy. Kahler-Jex was an emotionally complex character, and I would have liked to see him in future episodes–too bad they killed him off.
- The Power of Three: We finally get to see what Amy and Rory’s lives are like when they’re not with the Doctor…and their lives are not easy since they never know when their friend will careen into their lives and whisk them off to a distant corner of the universe. They find they’re always waiting for him, and Rory observes that someday they’ll have to choose between normal life and life with the Doctor. On another note, this episode also introduced Kate Stewart, daughter of classic Who companion Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and we got to see Brian again.
- The Angels Take Manhattan: Easily the eeriest Angel episode since Blink. We were treated to more of the Doctor’s timey-wimey relationship with River (was it just me, or did a pained look cross his face when River said she was now Professor Song?), and Rory got to die and come back to life…again. It was also one of the saddest farewells since Donna’s departure in Journey’s End.