Class: Series 1, Episodes 3 and 4

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Episode 3 – Night Visiting

One of the real strengths of Patrick Ness’ writing for Class is its emphasis on character. Yes, each week’s central menace is whatever alien nasty has plunged through the Hellmouth Rift to Shoreditch this week; but each time, the plot is driven by how these developing characters, with continually developing back-stories, deal with it. After ep2’s focus on traumatised jock Ram, this week focused on Tanya, and her still-unresolved grief over the death of her father, established last time. Continue reading “Class: Series 1, Episodes 3 and 4”

Class: Series 1, Episodes 1 & 2

“Of course Coal Hill will continue to act like a beacon across all of space-time, to any being who might want to make mischief with it. So – you will have to be on your guard.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s been a very Doctor Who-less year, hasn’t it? For me, this has meant a nice long break from blogging, which was fortunate as I was in the labyrinthine process of buying a house with my partner and some friends. However, after a very long wait, the Doctor was finally back on our screens last Saturday; well, briefly, anyway. Long enough to hand over the reins to his show’s newest spinoff, the school-set, unimaginatively titled Class. Continue reading “Class: Series 1, Episodes 1 & 2”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 12 – Hell Bent

“Nothing’s sad till it’s over. Then everything is.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s exemplary step into experimental drama, I have to say I wasn’t overly surprised to find this week’s series finale of Doctor Who was very much back to business as usual for Steven Moffat. As ever,we had a script brimming over with fantastic ideas, many of which were never properly developed. As ever, we had a tricksy, non-linear narrative which gradually gave up the answers. As ever, there were fan-pleasing references everywhere. And as ever, the death of a major character turned out not to be so permanent after all. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 12 – Hell Bent”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 11 – Heaven Sent

“How many seconds in eternity?”

 

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Well, that was a thing of dark beauty. It was a bold move to have an episode that was, to all intents and purposes, a one man show; but with Steven Moffat’s writing, Rachel Talalay’s direction and, above all, Peter Capaldi’s acting, Heaven Sent turned out to be one of the strongest episodes this year. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 11 – Heaven Sent”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 10 – Face the Raven

“There’s no nice way to say you’re going to die.”

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And finally, all those series-long hints paid off this week. Clara Oswald is dead. Or is she? In one sense, it’s an audacious thing to do for Steven Moffat; this is the first time a companion has actually died since Adric in 1982. And definitely the first time a companion has left by dying since the show’s revival. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 10 – Face the Raven”

Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 9 – Sleep No More

“It doesn’t make sense! None of this makes any sense!”

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It’s good that Doctor Who has, since its revival, not been afraid to experiment with narrative form and structure. I know it’s divisive, but I really enjoyed Love and Monsters, the first ‘Doctor-lite’ episode, and that format has generally worked well – Blink, Turn Left and so on. However, when the plot starts to serve your narrative gimmick rather than the other way round, you’ll get problems. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 9 – Sleep No More”

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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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”