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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(SPOILER WARNING!)

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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(SPOILER WARNING!)

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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(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”