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”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 10 – The Eaters of Light

“They think these cairns are gateways to another world. Given that they keep going on about gates, possibly they’re right.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Welcome back Rona Munro, the first writer from classic Who to get a gig on the new show, and still one of very few women to have written for the show in either era. Her 1989 story Survival was the very last of the classic run, and a favourite of mine; it’s an intelligent, mature story that tackles a number of themes the show had barely touched on before. She’s also an award-winning novelist and playwright, so it’s fair to say that my expectations for The Eaters of Light was pretty high. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 10 – The Eaters of Light”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 9 – Empress of Mars

“Don’t belong here? We’re British. Mars is part of the Empire now!”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Well that was exciting, wasn’t it? A thrilling roller coaster ride in which a reptilian Ice Queen’s hard-hearted ambitions were thwarted by a selfless, mild-mannered man appealing to a sense of honour and justice. But enough about the General Election, there was an episode of Doctor Who on too (b’doom tish). Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 9 – Empress of Mars”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 8 – The Lie of the Land

“Relax, and do as you’re told. Your future’s taken care of.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Well, that was strangely anticlimactic. As the end of the so-called ‘Monk trilogy’, Lie of the Land started well, then seemed to just peter out, leaving the viewer none the wiser about many of the questions posed by the previous two parts. Who were the Monks, really? What did they hope to gain from now running the Earth? With that kind of technology, why not just take over by force, and why run when their ruse was revealed? Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 8 – The Lie of the Land”

Doctor Who : Season 10, Episode 7 – The Pyramid at the End of the World

It’s a 5000 year old pyramid. There’s one problem with that, one little problem. It wasn’t there yesterday.

(SPOILER WARNING!)

So, we’re into the middle part of the ‘Monk trilogy’ in this week’s Doctor Who, and while Steven Moffat’s still on writing duties, this time he’s enlisted the help of Peter Harness, who I thought did rather well with the Zygon two-parter in the last full season. Continue reading “Doctor Who : Season 10, Episode 7 – The Pyramid at the End of the World”