Doctor Who – Series 9, Episode 8 – The Zygon Inversion

“You’re not superior to the people who are cruel to you. You’re just a whole new bunch of cruel people.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

Before I begin, a brief word of explanation to the two or three of you who wait with bated breath for my opinions on Doctor Who – I was on a pub crawl. Yes, I know, I don’t usually miss the show on its first broadcast, but it was a mate’s birthday, and to give him credit, the best planned pub crawl I’ve ever been on. Trouble was, after eleven pubs I was a bit hungover when I finally got to watch the show (and may have had a hair of the dog). Consequently, I thought it might be better to write about the show when I’d rewatched it and could actually remember what happened… Continue reading “Doctor Who – Series 9, Episode 8 – The Zygon Inversion”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 7 – The Zygon Invasion

Any living thing in this world, including my family and friends could turn into a Zygon and kill me. Any second now. It’s not paranoia when it’s real.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After all the existential sturm und drang of recent episodes, you might have wanted a very traditional Doctor Who story; something with blobby aliens trying to take over the world, faced down by our hero and his plucky band of associates. Something, in fact, like a 1970s UNIT story. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 7 – The Zygon Invasion”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 6 – The Woman Who Lived

“Do you ever think, or care, what happens when you’ve flown away? I live in the world you leave behind.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

In a year dominated by two part stories, this was a bit of an odd one – not strictly a second part, but definitely a companion piece, or a sequel, to last week’s. As with all the best sequels, it (and its predecessor) can stand perfectly well on its own; but, as an examination of one character, they complement each other. Even more unusually, this had a different writer to last week, Torchwood’s Catherine Tregenna making her debut writing for the show. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 6 – The Woman Who Lived”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 5 – The Girl Who Died

“We’re time travellers. We tread softly. It’s ok to make ripples, but not tidal waves.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

With the fifth episode of this much-improved series of Doctor Who, we’ve finally reached the episode with the much-trumpeted casting of Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. As a stalwart of probably the most successful show right now, Williams’ casting generated much in the way of headlines; she’s certainly a talented actor, having shown herself to be more than capable of matching the likes of Charles Dance in a scene of heavy dialogue. And the ep was written by Jamie Mathieson (with some nudges form one Steven Moffat), who wrote two of my favourites last year, Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 5 – The Girl Who Died”

Doctor Who: Season 9, Episode 4 – Before the Flood

“This isn’t about saving me, I’m a dead man walking. I’m changing history to save Clara.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s still a pretty good hit rate for this two-parter oriented season of Doctor Who. After a (very well done) slice of ultra-traditional Who last week, this week’s conclusion was very much riddled with what we are now bound to call “timey-wimeyness”. The fact that the ep opened with the Doctor giving a reasonably clear explanation of the bootstrap paradox set the tone for Toby Whithouse’s script from the very outset; last week was “trad-Who”, this week was “Nu-Who”. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 9, Episode 4 – Before the Flood”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 3 – Under the Lake

“So, we are fighting an unknown homicidal force that’s taken the form of your commanding officer and a cowardly alien, underwater, in a nuclear reactor. Anything else I ought to know, someone got a peanut allergy or something?”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

With ratings juggernaut and offence to human culture Strictly Come Dancing once again dominating Saturday evening (to the tune of two bloody hours), this week Doctor Who found itself ignominiously shoved away from its traditional teatime slot to the graveyard depths of 8.25, by which time many of us would normally have gone out. Cue the usual ill-informed bunch of Moffat-haters claiming that drastic drops in the overnight ratings heralded that The End is Nigh? Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 3 – Under the Lake”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 2 – The Witch’s Familiar

“Imagine. To hold in your hand, the heartbeat of every Dalek on Skaro. They send me life. Is it beyond the wit of a Time Lord to send them death?”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

I’ll admit, last week I was a trifle surprised to find that Steven Moffat had the chutzpah to open the new series of Doctor Who by writing, effectively, a sequel to Genesis of the Daleks – a story regularly voted the best the show ever did. Yet for me, he pulled it off surprisingly well, building cleverly on the themes, characterisation and philosophy espoused by both the Doctor and Davros in that first meeting. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 2 – The Witch’s Familiar”