Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5 – Eastwatch

“So we fight and die, or we submit and die? I know my choice.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

For a wonder, we got through this week’s Game of Thrones without a single epic battle. To be fair, it looked like everyone was still pretty shellshocked from last week’s dragon holocaust! Jaime Lannister, in particular, looked like the crestfallen Nazi generals in Downfall, who’ve realised there’s no way to win but can’t seem to communicate this to the oblivious Fuhrer (ie Cersei). Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5 – Eastwatch”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War

“They fought together, despite their differences. Together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy’s real. It’s always been real.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

As Game of Thrones moves ever-closer to its conclusion, the narrative pace seems to be massively accelerating in this shorter, penultimate season. Gone are the days when you could reasonably predict a season’s structure; that there’d be an impressive battle by episode four or so, then much political machination leading to events of great magnitude in episode nine, followed by one ep of picking up the pieces. We’ve only just got through four episodes, and we’ve had an epic naval battle, followed by the seizing of both Casterly Rock and Highgarden, and now the devastating first deployment of a dragon just outside King’s Landing.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 3 – The Queen’s Justice

“If we don’t put aside our enmities we will all die. And then it won’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

A talkier episode than last week for Game of Thrones, but a thrilling one nonetheless. There was plenty of plot development going on, but aside from the usual intrigue, the focal point of this ep was on the long-awaited meeting of Daenerys Targaryen with Jon Snow. It didn’t disappoint. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 3 – The Queen’s Justice”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2 – Stormborn

“You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any King or Queen, but with the people. The people who suffer under despots and prosper under just rule. The people whose hearts you aim to win.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Perhaps it’s a result of this year’s shorter than usual season run, but this week’s second episode of Game of Thrones seemed to really ramp up the pace after last week’s relatively sedate scene-setter. The show’s always been unpredictable in giving us eps packed with intrigue, thrills and spectacle fairly early in the run; but never so early, as I recall, as the very second episode. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2 – Stormborn”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 1 – Dragonstone

“Shall we begin?”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

In these ratings-hungry times, most genre shows tend to open their new seasons with slam-bang episodes full of action. There’ll be lots of explosions, or a giant space battle, or hordes of marauding zombies. Game of Thrones, secure in its audience, doesn’t need to do that (well, maybe the zombies), and its season openers tend to be more sedate. With its multitude of major characters and intersecting, complex plotlines, showrunners Benioff and Weiss usually choose to catch us up on where they all are, what they’re doing, and what they’re planning to do next. It’s like the opening gambits in a game of chess. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 1 – Dragonstone”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 12 – The Doctor Falls

“Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win! I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone, because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun. God knows, it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

It’s (nearly) the end, but the moment has been prepared for. We knew from last week (and, let’s face it, some rather too revelatory pre-publicity) that a regeneration was in the offing for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, a man who seems to have spent much of this year trying to nobly sacrifice himself for the greater good. The Doctor Falls, steeped in the references to the show’s past so beloved of writer Steven Moffat, finally gave him his wish. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 12 – The Doctor Falls”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 11 – World Enough and Time

“So, a 400 mile long spaceship reversing away from the gravitational pull of a black hole. We having fun yet?”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Quite the fan pleasing episode from Steven Moffat this week! I’ve said a few times that this season, while generally rather good, has felt more low key than the last, which, let’s remember, opened with a sequel to Genesis of the Daleks featuring Missy and UNIT. It’s clear now that Moffat was saving that sort of thing for the end of the season this time – with a triple whammy of ‘Genesis of the Cybermen’ featuring both Missy and her previous incarnation, in the first ‘multi-Master’ story the show’s ever done. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 11 – World Enough and Time”