We all knew time was up for the Ponds and this first half of the series did a good job of entertaining us enough to forget that sorry fact. Moffat returned to straightforward storytelling after last year’s timey-wimey, River-Song-y mystery and we get to have the most fun on the TARDIS that we’ve had in ages.
Daleks from every era were reunited with their Doctor, while Amy and Rory’s relationship was temporarily severed in the same epic opener, ‘Asylum Of The Daleks’. We even unwrapped the new companion earlier than her planned Christmas debut, with Jenna Louise Coleman proving to be like a sassy Willow Rosenberg, computer hacking and spouting throwaway comments about sexual experimentation (“Actually it was Nina – I was going through a phase…”).
It was a series of cinematically minded episodes that sent production values rocketing with trips abroad to Spain and New York. We saw Matt Smith ride a triceratops and a horse, and tackle multiple moral conundrums. ‘A Town Called Mercy’ epitomised this with a gun-slinging cyborg we actually sympathised with, and we understood the underrated importance of the companion to bring the Doctor back to Earth, so to speak.
‘The Power Of Three’ recalled Russell T Davies-era Who with a slow Earth invasion plot and reunited us with Rory’s dad Brian, played by Mark Williams (we always suspected Rory was a Weasley). He seemed like a simple plot device, used to usher the Ponds back onboard the TARDIS, but the unshot scene where he discovers what’s become of them is heartbreaking (check it out!).
When it came to the mid-series’ finale, even the Statue Of Liberty couldn’t overshadow the Ponds’ exit, though she gave it a good go. It was librating that, for once, love didn’t save the day. It actually ruined everything as far as the Doctor’s concerned. Amy’s journey came full-circle, starting as a fairytale with the Raggedy Doctor in the garden and ending in the pages of a storybook.
It’s the end of an era but the start of a golden one for Doctor Who.