Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 2 – Smile

“They want to help you. Killing you is just a side effect.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

A couple of years ago, acclaimed writer Frank Cottrell Boyce penned his first script for Doctor Who, In the Forest of the Night.

I didn’t like it.

Not because it wasn’t interesting, or imaginative; it was both. But what it wasn’t was a Doctor Who story. As a deconstruction of classic fairy tales, it would have stood a far better chance as a story unencumbered by the rules of the Doctor Who universe (such as they are), and the stranglehold of the Doctor/Clara/Danny angst fest that dominated that season. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 2 – Smile”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 1 – The Pilot

“What, in the end, are any of us looking for? Someone who’s looking for us.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Yes, I’ve been very lazy about writing on this blog for the last few months.  The second half of The Walking Dead’s most recent season left me largely indifferent, though I may return to look at it some time. Meanwhile, the world seems to be plunging into a new Dark Age in which the American public have knowingly handed the keys to their nuclear arsenal to a dangerous man-child whose every petulant utterance is demonstrably untrue, and yet is still considered fit to occupy the Oval Office. Which has been just too depressing to write about. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 1 – The Pilot”

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio

“The gemstone is giving you what it thinks you want. You’re a superhero!”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It was inevitable, I suppose. Given the current domination of the big (and increasingly, small) screen by muscly men in spandex and rubber (the ones who aren’t in gay porn), it was only a matter of time until an honest to goodness superhero made his way onto Doctor Who. In a Christmas special only tangentially connected to Christmas (thank goodness), Steven Moffat managed to bring off this clash of styles with The Return of Doctor Mysterio, which managed to be both an enjoyable (if light) Doctor Who episode as well as a fond homage to comics superheroes in general. Continue reading “Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating

“Either your heart’s beating or it isn’t. Your loved ones’ hearts are beating or they aren’t.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

And so, a generally low-key half-season has come to an equally low-key climax. OK, it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t usually describe a mid-season finale in which one of the main characters is gutted by a smiling psychopath while playing pool in the street “low-key”, but this is The Walking Dead. Anything less than a massive battle, a huge explosion or a vast horde of hungry corpses seems a bit anticlimactic. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 8 – Hearts Still Beating”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, episode 7 – Sing Me a Song

“You mowed down two of my men with a machine gun, I want something in return for that. Sing me a song.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Another week, another tense but leisurely look at one of the post-apocalyptic communities in this week’s The Walking Dead. Following on from episode 3, this week saw a return to the Savior HQ, the Sanctuary, as the ever-genial Negan welcomed his most recent subject – Carl Grimes. I’d been wondering if the show would adapt this aspect of the comic, which sees Carl and Negan building a twisted Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter bond, and I’m glad it has. It just had to find a different way of getting Rick’s obstreperous son there, as his place was taken in the season opener by Daryl. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, episode 7 – Sing Me a Song”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 6 – Swear

“If it’s you or someone else, you choose you. You take what you can. You take out who you have to. And you get to keep going. Nobody’s in this together. Not any more.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

A truly interesting sidestep for The Walking Dead this week, as David Leslie Johnson’s clever script took one of Alexandria’s less interesting residents and put her into a situation the show’s not done before. Tara (for it was she) carried the whole episode with some aplomb as she found herself washed up on a beach next to a hidden community that was populated entirely by women. Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 6 – Swear”

The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 5 – Go Getters

“Everything just feels wrong.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Another week, another community menaced by the Saviors. In this week’s The Walking Dead, it was the turn of the Hilltop to be menaced by Negan’s ever-helpful ambassadors, in an ep that did a great deal for developing characters we already knew but not very well; along with answering the mystery of just where Maggie had got to while the Alexandrians were cleverly pretending she was dead.

Continue reading “The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 5 – Go Getters”