User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 209

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  1. Sep 24, 2010
    8
    Matt Smith portrays a very interesting Doctor, but he's not quite as charming as David Tennant. Amy Pond and Rory however are both great companions. The only thing I don't like is that some of the stories and special effects are rather simple. I hope the Christmas episode makes up for an above-average Doctor so far. The Big Bang so far has been the best episode.
  2. 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.
  3. Sep 22, 2010
    6
    matt smith takes to the role like a duck to the pond (no pun intended :P) he makes the doctor character look so old. i must admit though, matt smith is not my doctor. christopher eccleston was. he was malencholy, realistic, witty, and humorous. in my opinion christopher kinda makes matt smith look kind of feeble at times.
  4. 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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  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Sep 14, 2011
    8
    Good for the most part, but some plots were far too complicated. Still, Matt Smith proves himself as the best Doctor yet, and the companions have some more substance than previous ones.
  9. Nov 27, 2011
    7
    As always, I love looking forward to Doctor Who. I found it fascinating when Matt Smith appeared on the scene and was always willing to give the next incarnation of the Doctor a try. There was much I liked about this season, like the introduction of new characters such as the vampires which were actually aliens and the comeback of the Weeping Angels. Of course, it was then that I realised it looked more like a kid's show than a family favourite, which it isn't supposed to be. Not too bad for Matt's first series, although it could have been a little better - on another note, my favourite episode was Time of Angels. Expand
  10. 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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  11. Oct 24, 2010
    5
    I enjoyed this series, not as much as others, but it had good acting and writing. The big let-down though is the less-than-believable special effects, that ultimately let the show down.
  12. Mar 2, 2011
    0
    I didn't like it from way back when and it is no different now. Campy at its dumbest. I have a few friends that liked it many years ago but they have also lost interest.
  13. 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
  14. May 22, 2011
    5
    What's happened, Doctor? I used to love your show but now it's just terrible writing, too many reccuring characters and overfamiliar plots of 'Problem+Another character who's come back from death for the 17th time+Doctor+Sad casualty=Weak happy ending with everything solved.' It's saddening to watch a great series turn spineless and weak. Rory and Amy are good characters, if generic, though.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Feb 18, 2014
    8
    David Tennant and Matt Smith are very different Doctors. David Tennant was serious and silly, which was great in seasons 2-4. However, the writers saw this and thought the series needed a silly Doctor, which is what Matt Smith became. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed some of the silliness of Matt Smith, but the writers seemed to think they were writing a comedy with science fiction elements, when really they should have been writing a science fiction with comedy elements. Expand
  19. Nov 10, 2010
    1
    This season is losing me. I don't like Matt Smith or the girl who plays Amy. The story-lines have just died and the 'crack' in time that is meant to tie the stories together is just a pathetic, poor excuse. There was no mystery. We knew what it was before the last episode. Sad! The series has been Americanized. Totally ruined what Doctor Who is and the series has got too young. May as well be watching some American teen drama. BORING! Collapse
  20. May 29, 2011
    1
    Steven Moffat's storylines are for the most part ridiculous and full of plot holes. Matt Smith is but a shadow of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant - good enough for the Doctor's nephew, but not the Doctor himself. Amy Pond is an uninteresting girl with no life, obsessed with the Doctor and Rory is just as pathetic. The music theme has changed for the worse and I even hate the new sonic screwdriver! Russell T. Davies, David Tennant, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, you are terribly missed... Expand
  21. Oct 16, 2013
    6
    Smith is great as the doctor and Gillan is pretty solid as his companion Amy. Smith has certainly had his fair share of memorable moments through out the season. That being said, There really is not much of an overall plot (much like the first season of the rebooted Doctor Who). It's more of a singular episode plot and I understand that the doctor has many adventures so there is a lot of room for those kinds of one-shot episodes but let's be honest, The plot is far better when they have a big overall picture and this season doesn't have that.

    Overall, Smith alone makes it worth watching and any fan of the show will love it so can you really complain?
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  22. Jun 18, 2012
    3
    As a dedicated Whovian and general sci-fi fan, there has never been a bigger disappointment to me than when I began watching Matt Smith's first series of Doctor Who. When Smith was first announced as the new Doctor, and the first images circulated, there was much negativity, but I decided, despite first impressions, to give the new incumbent a chance, and saved my judgment. Then I started watching the series and realised what an idiot I had been. I have nothing against Matt Smith personally, but I find his performance to be a shallow reflection of previous Doctors, a politically-correct, Tennant-lite, court jester who is not funny, but simply irritating. In fact, I find it impossible to take his Doctor seriously in 'tense' moments, due to his 'comedy' nerd voice and mannerisms- more to the point, he lacks the sense of gravitas that all of the previous actors (yes, even Colin Baker) added to the role. Amy Pond is also a very irritating and unlikeable character, often promiscuous and rude (see especially her last-minute 'seduction' of the Doctor at the end of 'Flesh and Stone').However, I lay most of the blame for the gradual collapse of a once-intelligent show squarely at the current showrunner, Steven Moffat, whose reliance on repeatedly killing Rory as quick-fix drama, lazy depiction of the sonic screwdriver as an all-powerful, get-out-of-jail-free magic wand, and tedious overuse of 'sexy'/'sweetie'/'ginger' "jokes", are slowly but surely destroying a television phenomenon. Oh, and let's not forget the hideous new 'redesigns' of elements such as the daleks, the TARDIS interior and the silurians. All in all, a pretentious and hollow show disguised and fattened heavily by an increasing amount of marketing, and an equally hollow Doctor. Expand
  23. Apr 25, 2014
    8
    The Fifth Series of Doctor Who is by far the best. Matt Smith and Karren Gillan make for enjoyable leads and the plot becomes more complex and deep. Additinaly, the visual effects and production values are a huge step up from the previpus series. There were a few episodes which misfired, but overall, Doctor Who continues its great streak uptil now.
  24. 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.
  25. Apr 19, 2014
    8
    This season is so different from the previous four that it's practically a different show, which isn't necessarily bad. Matt Smith is a good Doctor, though it's hard to beat David Tennant. I liked most of the episodes in the first half of the season, but then lost some interest. Steven Moffat has taken the show in a new direction with this season. Though it's not as good as the previous four, it's still a great season. Collapse Expand
  26. Jul 22, 2014
    6
    After a well needed regeneration, a new style of who unfolds. Steven Moffat is now in control of the show, and (at the time) this was a great choice, Steven Moffat pretty much wrote the best stories of each season up till now. Now its gone a little down hill, I can't really understand why this doesn't live up to the previous series, I mean its Steven Moffat! and not to mention the new doctor probably the best of the new series doctors and some of the classic's so far. Matt Smith is just fantastic, truly a new lease of live that has charm as this series adopts a fairytale style format of storytelling, its nice and suites it but this is where the series fails, its just quite weak and fails to live up to the previous series completely, but only as an integral series, individually the episodes are disguised and fool you to thinking this series is good . Because I tell you what this series doesn't know whether its coming or going, everything just feels out of order, lost and pretty basic, apart from some well written, episodes, directing and acting this series is completely missable if you so wish it and to be honest I wouldn't blame anyone who does. this series is just... basic... nothing interesting... big disappointment.

    5.01: The Eleventh Hour
    After that big rant, I'll contradict myself here by saying that this is one of the best episodes ever! its beautifully acted, the best after regeneration story to date. its beautifully written and beautifully directed basically a gem of an episode. and sadly nothing in this series will ever live up to it. 1st of 10 stories
    5.02: The Beast Below
    A casual watch nothing really that interesting, I have to say the themes and convention here are a little too early for the doctor to be experiencing especially when the audience is trying to figure out who there new doctor is. This story isn't amazing but compared to the rest its decent. 5th out of 10 stories
    5.03: Victory of the Daleks
    A dalek story that follows continuity, sadly the rest of the story doesn't live up to its promises, the new daleks are just..well just new daleks, and the whole story is just running around waiting to end 6 out of 10 stories
    5.04: The Time of the Angels / 5.05: Flesh and Stone
    Probably the most decent two parter of the series, its a pretty simple plot but its very well mad, and the return of the weeping angels was just great, compared to everything else this two parter was great. 2nd out of 10 stories.
    5.06: The Vampires of Venice
    Another casual flick, that uses the past as its primary cause for concern if the doctor succeeds or not, its just ok, using a comical outlook on things. 7 out of 10 stories
    5.07: Amy's Choice
    Ok so now we get something interesting, however far fetched this episode is, its still quite brilliant, some great imagination here, but is a little silly, but hey ho, this episode is still good. 3rd out of 10 stories
    5.08: The Hungry Earth / 5.09: Cold Blood
    A really bad execution towards the "new" Silurians, I'm deeply disappointed in this two parter, nearly two hours of dribble. 10 out of 10 stories
    5.10: Vincent and the Doctor
    Not a bad effort at making a more quirkier tale of Doctor Who, I actually quite liked the chemistry behind this one, I found it very different not to mention the fact that it really puts the spotlight on Vincent Van Gough. 4th out of 10 stories
    5.11: The Lodger
    The most comical episode so far this episode justifys why I say this series sis neither one type or the other its just juggling to many things. but this episode, this episode is just bad.
    9th out of the stories
    5.12: The Pandorica Opens / 5.13: The Big Bang
    stupidly complicated that really throws out a good plot ark through the window, Steven Moffat has written a dreadfull two parter thats too complicated to care, the universe reboots....-.- ok whatever mate. 8 out of 10 stories

    so too round up, this series wasn't good at all what saved it was some fabulous writing and excellent acting from Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as Amy pond who is just ok as a companion, I find it hard to like this series, so I'm going to shut up now, for what looked like it could be the best series ever turned out to be a complete flop.
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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.