Yeah I loved Series 6, however 7a was amazing with the stand alone episodes but I think the hook of the Ponds leaving was stronger than the Clara mystery
What, you mean like series 6? The series the media panned as being "too complicated", thus leading to a whole series of stand-alone episodes with a weak story arc?
I think the series could be a lot better if they had more two or even three-parters to allow characters to be fleshed out and plots to be more complex as well as allowing for cliffhangers. This is would also save on the budget too as they can reuse sets and not have to rely on being on Earth all the damn time.