“You guys are my favourite show!” – God
(SPOILER WARNING – DON’T READ UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN SUPERNATURAL RIGHT TO THE END!)
Well, I guess it was time.
Long past time, if I’m honest, for the longest running American genre show of all time to come to an end. Supernatural has been with us now for fifteen years. Cast your mind back to 2005 – a different world to the one we live in now. Nobody imagined a world where a baroque nutjob like Donald Trump was President, or a massive credit crunch that nearly destroyed the world’s financial system, or everyone having a supercomputer smartphone in their pockets, or a pandemic that had most of the world confined to their homes to varying degrees. I mean yeah, George W Bush was President, 9/11 was still fresh in American memories, and much of the world was outraged by the ongoing occupation of several Middle Eastern countries on which the US had imposed its will in the name of freedom. But still, compared to today, it felt like a simpler time.
Continue reading “Not with a bang but a Winchester”
“The Cybermen were defeated. The victims of a billion battles, broken. An empire of might and terror, fallen. Their weaknesses exploited, their armies outfought. Every empire has its time, and every empire falls. But that which is dead can live again – in the hands of a believer.”
The Cybermen are made up of parts. Spare parts, human and machine. So it’s apt that almost every latterday story about them has itself been made up of parts of other Cyber stories – and this was no exception. However, that didn’t stop it being a very, very good Doctor Who episode in a season that has been unexpectedly good after last year’s rather lacklustre effort. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 9 – Ascension of the Cybermen”
“How about writing the most gruesome, spine-chilling ghost story of all time?”
It was a dark and stormy night…
How many classic ghost stories begin with that one line? Just maybe, it has its origins in the famous night visited by the Doctor and his companions in this week’s suitably spooky episode – the fevered, intense gathering by Lake Geneva of the early 19th century’s most notorious literary talents. In June 1816, in Villa Diodati, on the shores of the lake, George Gordon (better known as Lord Byron), his current lover Clair Clairmont, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his common law wife Mary Godwin (better known as Mary Shelley) gathered together with their friend Dr John Polidori for a party that would be remembered in the annals of literature for centuries to come. From that party came one of the best known tales of terror in history – Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 8 – The Haunting of Villa Diodati”
“You’re wrong about humans. They’re not pathetic. They’re magnificent. They live with their fears, doubts, guilts, they face them down every day, and they prevail! That’s not weakness. It’s strength.”
Ostensibly a stab at one of the horror stories Doctor Who has traditionally done so well, Can You Hear Me? was another divisive ep in the way it took on another Big Issue. This time it was mental health, a topic the show has dealt with before (rather more effectively in my opinion) in 2010’s Vincent and the Doctor. The difference here is that rather than showing us a historical figure beset by his personal demons, this time it was the TARDIS crew who were revealed to have fears and anxieties of their own. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 7 – Can You Hear Me?”
“An alien bacteria has come to this planet – and it found a feast.”
Gotta admit, I didn’t take to Pete McTighe’s last script for Doctor Who. Kerblam! (for such was its title, exclamation mark and all) was a fluffy romp that made a misjudged attempt at a Big Message. Trouble was, the Big Message seemed to go against the very ethos of Doctor Who – that big corporations like Amazon were cuddly and caring, while anti-capitalists who try to disrupt their profiteering are terrorists. It didn’t sit well with the show’s previous depictions of such scenarios. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 6 – Praxeus”
“I don’t think you are who you say you are – or even who you think you are.”
Well, this season of Doctor Who suddenly got a LOT more interesting. Fugitive of the Judoon, like several of its characters, was a clever episode that was emphatically not what it seemed at first, and undoubtedly the most intriguing story since Chris Chibnall took over as showrunner. And while it’s no disrespect to him, this was in large part because of its deliberate echoes of the previous two showrunners, both of whom loomed large over the concepts, plots and characters appearing here. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 5 – Fugitive of the Judoon”
“Nikola Tesla – you’re going to change the world. But first, you’re gonna save it.”
After last week’s uncoordinated mess of an episode, it was rather a relief to come back to what’s admittedly become a formulaic story for Doctor Who since 2005 – the ep centred around a well-known historical figure. Since The Unquiet Dead, these have been a staple of the show; but often the story ends up playing second fiddle to the fannish exaltation of whichever historical figure is on centre stage. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 4 – Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror”
“Doctor – the security of the planet is at stake. Can we rely on you?”
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”
“Love is the death of duty.”
“Sometimes duty is the death of love.”
So. After 8 years and 73 episodes, the biggest TV show of the last decade has finally come to a conclusion. It’s fair to say that, even with the last couple of years admittedly reducing and simplifying the show’s multifarious convoluted plotlines, tying up every loose end satisfactorily was always going to be a tall order. Expectations for a series finale have rarely been higher – and harder to meet.
Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6 – The Iron Throne”