By Ken Parker
10 - Its all about the Doctor – Fans of the Doctor and his companions and friends revel in the fact that much of the seasons and season finales are about these characters including “The Wedding of River Song” and “ The Name of the Doctor”. Each season’s main connecting plot line has to do with the fate of the TARDIS, The Doctor, Clara and so on. The secondary events of the Pandorica, The Silence and the Great Intelligence are pushed aside as less important to these characters. This will continue with "The Day of the Doctor" and no doubt in the Christmas special.
9 - Misleading –Moffat is great at delivering stories full of misleads and misinformation in order to keep viewers guessing. His complex stories are even more so because of the way he begins a plot only to change it drastically. My favorite example of this was the superior ending to “The Pandorica Opens” which includes the Doctor being trapped forever, River being blown up in the TARDIS and Amy being shot and killed by an Auton Rory. Then we have “The Big Bang” where the Pandorica opens only to find a still alive Amy. WHAT? Great stuff. He also likes to mislead us with titles like “Let’s Kill Hitler.”
8 - Imagery - One of Moffat's strengths his his strong imagery. From the skull astronauts in "Silence in the Library" to so many during the Smith era. The Impossible Astronaut, the creepy hotel rooms in "The God Complex" and the 'dead' TARDIS in "The Name of the Doctor" are great examples.
7 -Clara – a great breath of fresh air for companions. It is good to see Smith work with at least one other character whose last name didn't end in Pond. Jenna Coleman added quite a bit quirkiness to the role which was superb in “Asylum of the Daleks.” Her character was very believable and seemed to be vulnerable in most of the episodes, which is excellent to see. Not exactly sure what happened with her throughout time but it will be good to see her get through the next two important stories and hopefully continue to develop with the next Doctor.
6 -Season 7 Part 2 – In my opinion, the Matt Smith era finally got some stability with this part of the season. With stories like “The Bells of St. John”, “Cold War”, “Journey to the Center of the TARDIS and the brave but often misunderstood “Rings of Akhaten” I could finally enjoy Doctor Who in the first time in quite some time. Unfortunately most disagree with me so hopefully the show will learn from this lesson and go back to frantic story telling with shocking reveals about characters for the sake of the masses!
5 -Vincent and the Doctor – Richard Curtis wrote the best story of the 11th Doctor’s first season which really gave both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan something meaty to chew into. The story was more classic Doctor Who than in recent years and really gave me hope for the future of the series.
4 - The Ponds – Bringing in two companions that actually love each other and fall for each other and marry one another and argue with one another and choose one another (most of the time) and become pregnant (I think) and sacrifice themselves for one another over and over again is one of the highlights of this era and was one of the better character pieces of that time.
3 -The Girl Who Waited – Similarly with Donna Noble and her introductory episode, Amy Pond was not a character I cared to see much of but in this episode she rocked. Karen Gillan did a great job with a story that is so well crafted that it rivals “The Doctor’s Wife” (Neil Gaiman) as the best of the season. Writer Tom MacRae gives Amy and Rory some great character moments and delivers a fairly solid story to boot.
2 - Moffat – His style of showrunner appeals to many while it may not for others. I personally feel he is better as a guest writer but alas, he is the producer. His style certainly has brought the main cast to the front spotlight within these complex and layered stories. Moffat has also built up secondary characters like River Song and the Victorian trio creating a crowded group of semi regular companions. His building of climaxes is so over the top and bigger than in previous seasons, it is almost silly at times. He knows how to up the ante and really go all out. Nobody has been able to touch that.
1 - Matt Smith – His eccentricity brings up even the most mediocre story. He has rarely had time to show off some of his skills but his ability to change gears and be sad and crazy within one scene is pretty impressive. He reminds me of William Hartnell in some ways and that is a good thing.