Space turkeys, in-jokes, mad paintings and timey-wimey stuff: it's a Spurious Awards special covering all of season five of Doctor Who
TRICKIEST QUESTION YOUR KIDS COULD ASK YOU OF THE YEAR
“So, if I see a Weeping Angel now, should I keep my eyes open or closed?”
MOST BIZARRE TIME DILATION OF THE YEAR
When the Doctor ponders, “You can do loads in 12 minutes,” in “The Big Bang”, as well as suggesting, “Suck a mint, buy a sledge, have a fast bath…” he could have added, “Adapt a fleet of Spitfires so they can fly in space and shoot lasers,” (“Victory Of The Daleks”) or, “Build a sensor grid from scratch, including finding all the equipment necessary from around an entire village,” (“The Hungry Earth”). Unlikely as it may seem.
MOST BIZARRE WHATEVER-THE-OPPOSITE-OF-TIME-DILATION-IS OF THE YEAR
The script makes a really big point of the fact that Amy can only look at the crack for “a second" in “Flesh And Stone” but when she finally opened her peepers she was gawping at the thing for bloody ages. Okay, us grown-ups can make excuses about poetic licence (“It must have felt like ages to her!”) but all the kids we knew were tutting and complaining and/or traumatised by the fact that she should be dead by now. That’s kid logic. Never underestimate it.
MOVIE REFERENCE OF THE YEAR
All the Star Wars references in “The Beast Below” (“Help us, Doctor. You’re our only hope”, a screenwipe between scenes, a trash compactor-esque moment, being trapped inside a giant space creature like in The Empire Strikes Back ) just win out over “Broadsword to Danny Boy” in “Victory Of The Daleks” (a line from Where Eagles Dare ), the The Thing -homaging Cyber-head crawling away and the Indiana Jones music in “The Pandorica Opens”.
UNEXPECTED CAMEOS OF THE YEAR
Mike Skinner from The Streets (in “The Time Of Angels”) and Patrick Moore (in “The Eleventh Hour”) were both more welcome than Ann Widdecombe or Derek Acorah.
MOST SADLY UNDERUSED CHARACTER TRAIT OF THE YEAR
We loved the idea of the Doctor’s bizarre taste in food in “The Eleventh Hour”, but it wasn’t mentioned again until “The Lodger”.
MOST UNDERUSED CATCHPHRASE OF THE YEAR
Geronimo! Come on, if it’s going to be a punchline in your final episode, at least use it more than four times in a season! Anyway, “Bow ties are cool!” was a much better catchphrase (and you get the feeling it evolved organically rather than being chosen as a catchphrase).
WEIRD INTERIOR DECOR OF THE YEAR
That painting in Craig's hall in “The Lodger” – the camera highlighted it so lovingly you thought it must have some significance. Did the director’s five-year-old son paint it?
MYSTERIOUS UNCANNILY RE-USED NUMBER OF THE YEAR
Strangely this isn’t 11 (though we did love the fact that in “The Lodger” the Doctor plays football in shirt 11, and “The Eleventh Hour” is a typically witty Moffat in-joke) but rather 12, which crops up rather a lot. Amy waits for the Doctor for 12 years in “The Eleventh Hour”, there are “a minimum 12,000 battleships” in “The Pandorica Opens” and the Doctor claims there is a lot you can do in 12 minutes in “The Big Bang”. Bet there are more references if you look for them… It’s all getting a bit like Lost , isn’t it?
OVER-FAMILIAR LOCATIONS OF THE YEAR
Hello again to the barely-redressed Temple Of Peace in Cardiff (the Silurian council chamber) and what are surely the corridors of the Millennium Stadium (River’s “storm cage” prison), both of which are beginning to feel a bit like New Who ’s answer to gravel pits.
MOST OVER-IMPRESSIVELY NAMED THING OF THE YEAR
River's Storm Cage containment facility sounded doomy and impressive when mentioned in “Flesh And Stone”. When we got to see it, it was just some ridiculously-easy-to-escape-from cell with a few bars that didn’t look much more high security than Slade Prison.
HEARTWARMING LOYALTY OF THE YEAR
Rory protecting the Pandorica for nearly 2000 years has raised the bar for boyfriends everywhere. The bastard.
DO-ANYTHING MAGUFFIN OF THE YEAR
The Pandorica! Not only is it a (rubbish) prison, but it brings the dead back to life, recreates universes and does a pretty mean impression of the Lament Configuration.
RUBBISH MONSTER OF THE YEAR
The Krafyasis, the space turkey in “Vincent And The Doctor” – thank God it was invisible most of the time. Maybe it was an homage to the classic Who story “The Invisible Enemy” – a giant prawn that would also have been better off left unseen.
OVERLY-FAMILIAR MOFFAT TROPE OF THE YEAR
All that talking-to-a-dead-person stuff in “The Time Of Angels”/“Flesh And Stone” was recycled from “Silence In The Library”. Still, it worked second time too, so we'll let him off.
BEST AMY MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Pond is just wonderful throughout the Van Gogh episode, but she has never looked more gorgeous then the moment when she tries to get Vinny interested in sunflowers. It’s one of the best single images of the season too.
MOST ANNOYING AMY MOMENT OF THE YEAR
So many to chose from... There’s lots to like about Amy, but she can be irritatingly insensitive at times: calling Rory “so needy” in the Silurian story, joking about snogging the Doctor on her wedding day, coming on to the Doctor on the eve of their wedding day, snapping "SHUT UP!" when Rory asks if she’s okay in the last episode...
WHOVIAN FANBOY IN-JOKE OF THE YEAR
The appearance of "Theta Sigma" (??) on that message on the cliff in “The Pandorica Opens” – it’s a nickname used by the Doctor during his years at the Time Lord Academy, according to 1979 story “The Armageddon Factor”.
SCI-FI FANBOY IN-JOKE OF THE YEAR
The Doctor telling the emergency holographic program in “The Lodger” to, “Please state the nature of the emergency.” (Think Star Trek: Voyager if you’re not getting it.)
POORLY SET ALARM CLOCK OF THE YEAR
Hang on, if the Silurians go to sleep for a thousand years, that means they'll wake up after the events of “The Beast Below”, when humanity has left the planet ’cos its uninhabitable. D’oh! (Maybe the Doctor sneakily engineered it that way?)
UNCANNY SIMILARITY OF THE YEAR
Tony Curran really does look like that self portrait by Van Gogh. And what an absolutely stunning performance.
MOST SHAMELESS TEAR-JERKING MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Playing Athlete at the end of “Vincent And The Doctor”. It was cynical, it was manipulative, it was… oh God, we’re tearing up again… pass the Kleenex.
MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT OF THE YEAR
The “Starry Night” homage in “Vincent And The Doctor”. It was possibly the most un- Doctor Who like moment ever in the show, and worked wonderfully.
ZINEDINE ZIDANE-STYLE TIME LORD POWER OF THE YEAR
The ability to transfer information via headbutt. Handy, but you can see why the Doctor usually prefers to tell people stuff instead. What would Mary Whitehouse have said about it? Wonder how many school bullies tried on, “But I was only giving him my revision notes, Miss!” at school the next week?
DUBIOUS USE OF THE STOCK COSTUMES CUPBOARD OF THE YEAR
The alien alliance in “The Pandorica Opens” includes the Hoix and some Weevils, both species of low intelligence who wouldn't be much use, surely? As alliances go, it's a bit like George Bush's Coalition Of The Willing, which included Micronesia and the Dominican Republic. The inclusion of the Silurians and the Judoon also seems tenuous, though you could argue that the Silurians had cottoned on to the Doctor’s alarm clock ruse (see above) and that the Shadow Proclamation are still not happy after the events of “The Stolen Earth” (though would they really form an alliance with the Daleks?).
BIGGEST “I’LL THINK YOU’LL FIND...” GIFT OF THE YEAR
And while we’re on the subject of that monster jamboree, it was fun pointing out to people wondering, “Why’s the Sontaran leader there? I thought the Doctor had killed him,” that the Sontarans are – I think you’ll find – a clone race. (Just hope they don’t ask why the other Sontaran in “The Sontaran Stratagem” had gappy teeth)
GENETICS ARE A WEIRD THING AWARD OF THE YEAR
DISAPPOINTING REDESIGN OF THE YEAR
People were falling over themselves to find the perfect description for the new Daleks: the Renault Megane Daleks; the Lego Daleks; the iDaleks; the action-figure-range-needs-a-boost Daleks. But our favourite forum comment was the person who said he tuned in late, and thought he was watching the Dorothy wannabe contestants on “Over The Rainbow”. Oh, which reminds us…
UNWELCOME GUEST STAR OF THE YEAR
BAFFLING FLASHBACK OF THE YEAR
Why does that montage of proof that "the Earth is defended" (in “The Eleventh Hour”) include the likes of the Hath and the Ood? Did we miss an adventure where they teamed up to try and invade Earth?
BAFFLING CHARACTER U-TURN OF THE YEAR
That Silurian scientist who goes from being Dr Mengele to Dr Snuggles in the blink of an eye.
SEXIEST OUTFIT OF THE YEAR
Amy Pond as a policewoman or Matt Smith in a towel, depending on your preferences.
UNSEXIEST OUTFIT OF THE YEAR
The Dream Lord in his hairy-chested medallion man look. Put us off our tea…
NAUGHTIEST JOKE OF THE YEAR
The Doctor's crack about Jeff's internet porn in “The Eleventh Hour”... Although we still like to think he was actually posting on Gallifrey Base. And talking of Jeff… who was he exactly? And why wasn’t he at Amy’s wedding?
THE “OH MY GOD THEY KILLED KENNY" AWARD
Can go to either Rory or Amy – take your pick.
DICK VAN DYKE COCKERNEE OF THE YEAR
Sophie Okonedo as Liz 10: “Oym tha bluddy Kween!”
MOST PROLIFIC DEAD GUY OF THE YEAR
William Hartnell – four appearances in the season. That’s some going.
EXISTENTIAL STATEMENT OF THE YEAR
“We’re all stories in the end.”
CONTINUITY ERROR THAT WASN’T OF THE YEAR
How were we to know it was all part of Moffat’s fiendish plan? He must have been loving it when Jacketgate exploded after the broadcast of “Flesh And Stone” with everyone pointing how one minute the Doctor didn’t have his coat on… and the next minute he did. Come “The Big Bang” and all is explained. Well, perhaps not quite all. Or indeed much, to be honest. But Jacketgate was explained, and it was a wonderful, enjoyable piece of time-wimey fluff. Classic Moffat. At least, we assume it was all planned...
SIGH OF RELIEF OF THE YEAR
Matt Smith. He’s brilliant. David who?
SFX RATINGS OF THE YEAR
Finally, we asked eight of SFX ’s regular writers to mark each episode out of 10, then averaged out the results to see what the SFX übermind really thought of the season. Here are the results:
"The Time Of Angels"
=1 "The Pandorica Opens" 8.625
3 "The Big Bang" 8.5
4 "Vincent And The Doctor" 8.375
5 "The Lodger" 8.25
6 "The Eleventh Hour" 8.125
7 "Flesh And Stone" 8
8 "The Vampires Of Venice" 7.125
9 "The Beast Below" 6.75
10 "Amy’s Choice" 6.25
= 11 "Cold Blood" 6.125
= 11 "The Hungry Earth" 6.125
13 "Victory Of The Daleks" 5.625