Doctor Who: Series 8 Review

This is the full review for Series 8 of Doctor Who. Be warned, full spoilers follow for the series. In this very special end of series review I look at the story-lines, acting, cinematography, special effects and the over all story arc leading up to the end. When the review is over there is a final score, much like the ending of one of my Game Reviews. 

NOTE: Due to Gamotere's updated review policy scores are no longer being used. Scores for this review were removed 07/03/2015.

I think this might have been my favourite series of Doctor Who since when it was David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Of course there was some stupidly bad episodes (Robot Of Sherwood), some really annoying choices made by the people doing the special effects (the green screens in Deep Breath) and it wouldn't be Doctor Who without some bad child actors (The Caretaker). But, overall I really enjoyed it. Read on to find out why!

Looking back, I think the only really weak story was Robot Of Sherwood, which I found truly awful. As I said in my review, when Doctor Who tries to be too funny, it never works - and this was a classic example. Some of the jokes were funny to begin with, but those were just over used time and time again rendering them dry and pointless. For me the best story of the series was in Dark Water, the first part of the season finale. But I don't think that was just down to the story, but also how it was acted, and how the death of Danny was handled. For me that was the high, but other notable episodes that could come out as a contender for the best were Listen (which I really loved, but doesn't leaving a brilliant lasting impression on me as much as Dark Water) and I loved Mummy On The Orient Express because I thought it was fun, and it was interesting to see how the Doctor and Clara's relationship recovered so quickly.

Acting was superb, especially from the two leads Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman who's performances throughout deserve some recognition above me telling whoever reads this that it was good. Especially for it to be a new Doctor's first series and for him to fit in as well as he did I think was commendable. Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink I thought was also excellent, especially in the final two episodes when we got to see the emotional side of him. Lots of brilliant guests as well, who all did a tremendous job.

I couldn't not mention Michelle Gomez Missy/Master as I think that is possibly my favourite performance of the Master ever, even taking over John Simm who I thought was superb.

The shots and Directing were also some of the best we've seen in Doctor Who. I think some of the creative choices taken were inspired and I wonder if having a seasoned Director take on the role of the Doctor had anything to do with this. Saying that Directing is never bad in Doctor Who. It was just extra good this time around.

Something that is normally good but was shockingly bad at some points in the past series (I've already called out Deep Breath's green screen work) was the visual effects. In some places they were gorgeous, in others they were abysmal, and I really don't know why this is. Maybe a lot of this budget was spent on the final few episodes where CGI was unavoidable - but still the team behind it are normally better.

I also think I should mention that I don't like that the title sequence was copied from a YouTuber as it takes away the magic of those awesome fan-made trailers and I think would make other creators bitter and less willing to do what they love as they weren't chosen.

Finally we come to the story-arc of the series. It was very Clara-sentric, which isn't a bad thing as I think if you've got a great actor as the companion you should definitely use them. However it does make me long for some Doctor only adventures (The Waters Of Mars was one of my favourite 10th Doctor episodes, and I wish that kind of atmosphere of the Doctor not really having anyone to help him could be re-created) but I did really overall like it. I think the use of Danny as not someone to drag the companion away when the audience gets bored of them kind of story was refreshing to see, and I wish that choice would be made more often. I loved the slow reveal of Missy as the Master, and I love how everything ended.


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