Welp, we’ve hit the point where the show really goes downhill. Quite a few bad episodes in this season, and I remember watching this live thinking “this is the beginning of the end”, and I was kind of right. How would I rank this selection of mediocre stories?
See below some of my other Doctor Who posts:
13- The Crimson Horror
One of the worst offending Gatiss episodes, “The Crimson Horror” is just undoubtedly a bad episode of television that I never plan on re-watching.
12 – The Rings of Akhaten
An amazing speech and some amazing music / singing can’t hide the fact this episode has no substance, and you can easily just skip this episode and watch the speech on YouTube and you wouldn’t miss anything.
11 – Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
I remember sitting my family down to watch this episode, and I felt completely embarrassed (I never made them watch another episode with me again after this one).
This Chibnall episode should have been mindless fun, but instead it’s just too mindless and totally unbearable.
10 – The Power of Three
The other Chibnall offender in season 7, it’s the ending of this story that lets it down (apparently they had to cut the real ending for budget reasons, and if that’s true then sorry Chibbs).
The first half of this is actually quite fun with the Doctor trying to live a normal life (and there’s also a mandatory Chibnall countdown in the background but whatever), but the finale with the forgettable villain and cheaply executed solution will always put this story in the D tier or less.
9 – The Bells of Saint John
Controversial opinion, but I don’t really like Clara as a companion, especially in season 7. This was meant to be her triumphant introduction, but it just falls flat.
8 – The Angels Take Manhattan
This Weeping Angels episode was … OK.
There are some great Angel moments, and some not so great moments (how does the Statue of Liberty being an Angel even work?!?). The finale has an unbelievably heart-wrenching companion exit, and that scene will probably be the moment from this episode that I remember forever.
7 – The Name of the Doctor
This was kind of a disappointing Moffat finale, but not in a crippling sort of way, just a “oh right, I guess that was fine” sort of way.
The whole mystery surrounding Clara “Impossible Girl” Oswald is wrapped up quickly and ineffectively, but at least the final reveal was awesome and set up the 50th anniversary nicely.
6 – Hide
A lot of season 7 episode suffer from being almost good, but not quite there.
This story has all the scary Who monster stuff we’ve come to expect, but it doesn’t really do anything with it. Not a terrible episode though.
5 – Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
Although this is probably a bad episode on the whole, I really like the premise of exploring into the TARDIS. The premise is so good in fact that I’ve bumped this story up to a B- grade.
4 – Cold War
A claustrophobic base-under-siege episode that really feels like some classic Who, and having the Ice Warriors return meant the villain was scary and memorable – something the second half of season 7 was sorely missing.
Having an Ice Warrior out of its armour is a bit weird, so points removed for that.
3 – Nightmare in Silver
This Neil Gaiman story should definitely have been a two-parter, but the interactions between good / evil Matt Smith is a sight to behold.
The ending is a bit abrupt and the child actors are annoying as hell, so I don’t think this episode is as good as Gaiman’s other Who contribution “The Doctor’s Wife”, but it’s still a fun story.
2 – A Town Called Mercy
This was one of the biggest surprises when re-watching the series – this episode is actually amazing!
You can feel a tension in the air as the town must decide what to do in the face of impending doom, and the cowboy / wild west tone is an oddly perfect setting for the Doctor and his bravado. Excellent stuff.
1 – Asylum of the Daleks
One of the better Dalek episodes we’ve ever had, “Asylum of the Daleks” is a great season opener that cleverly embeds Clara’s arc for the rest of the season.
This is one of those big in scale Doctor Who episodes that could have been a movie if it wanted, and the grandiose theatrical story is partly why I’ve put it at number 1 in this list.
Season Rating: E+
If I could separate the two halves of the season, I would probably give the first half a B- grade and the second half an E-, but I have to look at both of them so an E+ seems fair. Let’s look at the season’s stats:
- 2 As (15%)
- 3 Bs (23%)
- 3 Cs (23%)
- 3 Ds (23%)
- 2 Es (15%)
Pretty poor on the whole, but not the worst we’ll see. Now for Matt Smith’s Tenure as the Doctor:
- 8 As (24%)
- 9 Bs (26%)
- 7 Cs (21%)
- 7 Ds (21%)
- 3 Es (9%)
- 34 Stories
Pretty hit or miss with Matt Smith’s era, with 30% of his stories being sub par. To be fair, half of them are at least good, with a quarter being at least amazing (Season 5 helped a lot with those A grades).
I didn’t include “Day of the Doctor” or “Time of the Doctor” because they’re not technically season 7 episodes, but if I were to grade them I’d say 50th anniversary gets an A or A+ and the regeneration episode gets a B.
Next time we’ll look at Peter Capaldi’s divisive first outing, but in the meantime you should check out some of my latest posts:
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