User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 211 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 211

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  1. Sep 6, 2010
    9
    Having seen the whole series, I was pleased to see an improvement over the last series. Better companion, better episodes, and a interesting theme throughout. With Season 4, David managed to hold it together, but the new episodes are generally good. There are some tedious and annoying scenes, but other than that this is some great TV, and well worth seeing.
  2. Jan 7, 2012
    10
    The best season of Doctor Who ever!!! Season 4 was the lowest point of the new series, a non-existent story arc, mediocre start, a disappointing finish and several horrid episodes. The 2009 Specials didn't fair much better, with The End of Time gaining the reputation for being the DW equivalent to Episode I (but that's probably just me).
    The good news was that the series was getting an
    overhaul, with new cast, new directors, new writers, new producers, and most importantly: a new showrunner. Steven Moffat in my opinion is for the new series, what Terry Nation was for the classic series. An amazing writer that brought into the show a wade array of memorable villains. Naturally him becoming the showrunner was one of the best things to happen to the show. And that's especially true with Season 5. Steven Moffat began the season with the best premiere any show could ask for, The Eleventh Hour, which introduced the new Doctor and companions perfectly and is among my top 20 best episodes. The resulting momentum wasn't lost in the following 12 episodes, most of which were pretty good, 2 were average, and 2 were bad (but not too bad). The season finale, The Big Bang is by far one of the best finales in Doctor Who history, with an amazing script and performances, winning a Hugo award for best dramatic presentation (short form).
    The season as a whole consisted of 7 awesome episodes and 4 average-to-subpar episodes. So if you haven't seen the show yet then this is the perfect season to start it off.
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  3. Oct 17, 2010
    10
    A stunning debut season from new head writer Steven Moffat and new Doctor Matt Smith. Smith settles in brilliantly and shows that he is the Doctor albeit in a very different from David Tennant and Chris Eccelstone. Karen Gillan is perfect and sexy as Amy Pond. A fantastic season that sees the return of the Weeping Angels and Silurians and teases all season with a single question; what is the Pandorica? A high quality season filled with everything that makes Doctor Who great. Expand
  4. Nov 10, 2010
    10
    This is an excellent show! and the new doctor, although not David Tennant, is brilliant. I hope this show never goes off the air, I can't get enough of it.
  5. Jul 3, 2011
    9
    Although inconsistent standard of Episodes, the Head Writer Steven Moffat showcased brilliance (except 'The Beast Below') all the way through, the Crack in the Wall was a great premise but was obvious the last two Episodes would be dedicated towards it. The Structure of the Plot was flawless, it fooled me what this 'Perception Filter' Business was and decided not to conclude to it. Altogether, the Vortex Manipulator was a cop out end to this AMAZING plot but was blown out the water by AMAZING Episodes like 'Vincent and the Doctor', 'Victory of the Daleks', 'The Hungry Earth', 'Cold Blood' and the brilliant season opener 'The Eleventh Hour'. The greatest series of Doctor Who since the revival! Expand
  6. tce
    Dec 4, 2010
    10
    Well, thank god. This show had pretty much become an embarrassment to all British TV under Russell T Davies, culminating in last year's utterly horrendous specials. Thankfully Steven Moffat, as head writer and executive producer, has gotten rid of all the disgusting cloying emotionalism, manipulative nonsense, terrible plotting, pathetic direction and soap-opera tone that seemed to plague the RTD years. Perhaps once all the tasteless fanboys have gotten over the transition, Doctor Who can go back to being appropriate for ALL ages again, instead of just being targeted at moody teenagers?

    But enough complaining! The fifth season of the revived series has been brilliant on all fronts.

    The fresh Doctor, Matt Smith ditches Tennant's forced wackiness and forced seriousness, in favour of a much subtler and more subdued approach that deserves to make him a favourite among all age groups. He's NATURALLY strange - strange face, strange voice, strange physicality - and exudes a wholly natural, seamless eccentricity that we haven't really had since the days of Tom Baker (no disrespect to Davison, C. Baker, McCoy, McGann or Eccleston's lovely portrayals (yes, Colin and McGann were really good in their audio plays)). Instead of conforming to a range of very specific acting tropes, he's good at sliding around between them, conveying lots of mixed emotions simultaneously. Of course, it helps that the character of his Doctor in the scripts is massively improved as well - a return to the zany professor of Classic Who, as opposed to the moody graphic novel superhero Ten seemed to become.

    As for the rest of the cast? Karen Gillan is fun to watch and plays up the amazing chemistry between Amy and the Doctor to a great extent, even in the face of her rather vague characterization. Arthur Darvill as her nice-guy boyfriend Rory is effortlessly hilarious and sympathetic - a perfect piece of casting there. And Alex Kingston infuses River Song with just the right balance of RAGE-inducing smugness ("Spoilers!") and femme-fatale charisma.

    You can spot a noticeable rise in the standard of writing this season too. Funnily enough, in the RTD years, it wasn't RTD himself producing most of the embarassing rubbish. It was the rest of the writers (not including Moffat or Paul Cornell, of course). But this year, we had a pair of brilliant efforts from guest writers Simon Nye and Richard Curtis, a very fun companion-lite episode from the usually subpar Gareth Roberts, and a mostly tolerable story set in Venice from Toby Whithouse (who did the rather naff School Reunion one with Sarah Jane). Let's just try to forget Victory of the Daleks (which shouldn't be too hard as it was pretty damn forgettable to begin with. I don't mind the new Daleks though!).

    Steven Moffat's new approach to Who storytelling has proved a success so far, doing away with RTD's "hint at the season finale" gimmick in favour of a slow-burning, intrigue-laden arc plot that seems to extend across multiple seasons. Unlike the writers of a certain popular American serial that concluded on a flat note this year, Moffat has a very clear knowledge of where he's taking this all (having possibly planned it as far back as 2008 when River made her first appearance) so we can be sure that the inevitable revelation surrounding her true connection to the Doctor, the nature of the Silence, and the ultimate significance of Amy, will be a jaw-dropping one.

    Congratulation must also go to everyone else involved (save that trollop who laid Graham Norton over The Time of Angels). New cameras and new directors made this season utterly gorgeous, freeing it of that cheap look that it's had since 2005 (when the camera was like an abused child). The new TARDIS set is stunning and a hell of a lot nicer to look at than that ugly coral one. Murray Gold's score is much more reserved now and complements the action rather than competing with it (and the new theme tune is much more appropriate to the tone of the show, even if it still doesn't compare with Delia's). And to top it all off, even the new CGI opening titles, with that stormy time vortex, make nicer viewing than the slipstream of alien vomit we had before.

    So, in summary, brilliant. Doctor Who is in safe hands, the safest it's been in a long time. And, phwoar - does that Christmas special look brilliant or what? A Who Xmas special that's actually about Xmas. Incredible. Moffat had better stay on for a very long time, and so had Smith.
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  7. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    Amazing! The writing in this series is the best it has ever been. Plus, great performances from Matt Smith and other cast members. And the soundtrack is incredible! Way to go Moffat and team
  8. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    Hands down the best season of Doctor Who so far. Moffat is a clever writer, with episodes that make you realize that The Doctor is more than just a silly man with a time machine. Sure, its ridiculous, but if you're bashing this season for being overly ridiculous, you should step back and realize that you're watching a show starring a man named "The Doctor" who is a time traveling alien called a Time Lord, with two hearts and a sonic screwdriver that can basically do anything, and can't die because he just turns into a different person basically. If that's not ridiculous, you have no business watching this show. As a friend of mine said, The Doctor's greatest tool is his cartoon resourcefulness. Every episode in this season is brilliant, Matt Smith is an incredible actor, and everything is so shiny and fancy, not cheap-feeling like seasons before. I'm glad Moffat took the reigns. He's a brilliant writer and is turning the show into something great and its never been before. Expand
  9. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    After David Tennant was gone from the show I was concerned that I wouldn't like the next Doctor, but Matt Smith manages to pull it off well and put his own spin on the Character. Amy is the strongest companion since Rose Tyler, Rory is kind of weak in this season (although I like him more in later seasons). This season takes the show in a more "Tim Burton-esk" fantasy and steam-punk direction which is an interesting direction for the show. Expand
  10. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    Joshua Jacobi is well known person in Texas area. He is man of great heart, I definitely want to say. His intelligence, experience, mentality are something different than other. Please give him a chance to come in TV show. I hope the Christmas episode makes up for an above-average Doctor so far. Jacobi can make a episode more successful. We are looking forward to hearing from authority.
  11. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    A brilliant series and the one which got me hooked on to become a Whovian. I really love Matt Smith's Doctor and I feel it well written most of the time.
    You must watch it.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    80
    It's family-friendly and adult-pleasing, over-the-top and nightmarish, witty and deep all at the same time.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    Truth is there’s nothing off in either Smith’s infectiously enthusiastic spin on the good Doctor or in newly installed executive producer Steven Moffat's confident storytelling.
  3. 75
    There's no darkness looming just yet, and the season premiere is almost too jokey at times--certain comedic bits are stretched longer than they should be. Still, this is quite a bold and energetic (if not frenetic) new edition of Doctor Who. Hang on to the TARDIS, fans, it looks like we're in for quite a ride.