Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 3 – Orphan 55

“You want me to tell you that Earth’s going to be ok – but I can’t. In your time, humanity’s busy arguing over the washing up while the house burns down.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Doctor Who is too preachy these days”. That’s a view I’ve been hearing on and off since the show’s 2005 return after its lengthy break. It’s been heard more frequently since Chris Chibnall took over, usually as a coded way of justifying unjustifiable objections to a female Doctor and a multi-ethnic regular cast. However, after the sledgehammer unsubtle final speech of Orphan 55, it was a view I was dismayed to find myself agreeing with for the first time – although possibly not for the reasons you’d think, and certainly not for the reasons mentioned above. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 3 – Orphan 55”

Doctor Who: Season 12, Episodes 1&2 – Spyfall

“Doctor – the security of the planet is at stake. Can we rely on you?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

OK, so it’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, being in the UK when the first ep of Doctor Who’s new season was broadcast and flying back to Barcelona pretty much the next day, then getting to grips with a packed new teaching schedule. The upshot is that I haven’t much of a chance, till now, to jot down my thoughts on this big, expansive season opener. But also, crucially, it means I’ve now seen both parts of it. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episodes 1&2 – Spyfall”

Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 9 – See How They Fly

“Great. You stopped the clock. What happens if it starts up again?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Tricky things, endings. As Game of Thrones recently proved, it can be very, very difficult to get them right in a way that satisfies the fans’ anticipation. Watchmen may not have had to cap off eight years of storytelling, but it’s packed so much intricacy and so many puzzles into its short runtime that a satisfying ending was something about which I was sceptical. Especially given that the showrunner was Damon Lindelof, who had so singularly failed to deliver endings that satisfied the promises in Lost and Prometheus. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 9 – See How They Fly”

Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 8 – A God Walks into Abar

“Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer appears to be both – at the same time.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

The Doctor will see you now. Yes, after hanging heavy over the narrative since the very first ep, Dr Manhattan finally put in a proper appearance this week. And what an appearance it was, capturing perfectly Alan Moore’s complex character and suddenly providing us with a barrage of explanation for the show’s mysteries, all of which make perfect sense in retrospect. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 8 – A God Walks into Abar”

Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 7 – An Almost Religious Awe

“It is extremely difficult to be a white man in America right now. So I’m thinking, why not be a blue one?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Watchmen, the show, set its thematic stall out from the very beginning. Opening with that racially motivated massacre in 1921 Tulsa, it was clear that skin colour was the biggest driving force in this plot. Yet it’s been hard to forget that alongside white, black, and varying shades of brown, there’s another skin colour in this narrative. And it’s blue. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 7 – An Almost Religious Awe”

Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 6 – This Extraordinary Being

“Who wants to be in the present when you can live in the past?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

“Tonight, on a very special episode of Watchmen…” Yes, this week Watchmen continued to experiment with form, with a self-contained episode very different in style to any that have gone before. As with everything on this well-executed series, that’s something that has precedent in the original comic; for example, one issue is entitled Fearful Symmetry, and every page is the mirror image of its equivalent on the same sheet of paper. Hence, p1 is mirrored on p28, p2 on p27, and so on – until the very middle of the comic, where pages 14 and 15 mirror each other. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 6 – This Extraordinary Being”

Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 5 – Little Fear of Lightning

“We know there are other dimensions than this one, but this is the dimension where we live – and we will not live in fear.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Last week, I wrote that Looking Glass was fast becoming my favourite of Watchmen’s minor characters, and I hoped we’d be seeing more of him. It now looks as though he was being prepared for that since the very beginning, as this week the focus was squarely on him. This ep cleverly managed to combine his origin story (his “trauma” as Laurie would put it) with an examination of his psyche overall; and along the way, gave us perhaps more exposition about this world than any ep so far. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 5 – Little Fear of Lightning”