Doctor Who: 2017 Christmas Special – Twice Upon a Time

“Letting go of the Doctor is so, SO hard. Isn’t it?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s been a strange Christmas for me, with my life changing so much so quickly. In the circumstances, a story about letting go and embracing change was hugely appropriate, and strangely cheering. Twice Upon a Time felt like it should have been momentous – not only were we saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi’s superb Twelfth Doctor, but also to showrunner Steven Moffat. In the event, I didn’t think it quite lived up to that; though if I’m honest, neither did David Tennant / Russell T Davies farewell The End of Time. Continue reading “Doctor Who: 2017 Christmas Special – Twice Upon a Time”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 12 – The Doctor Falls

“Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win! I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone, because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun. God knows, it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

It’s (nearly) the end, but the moment has been prepared for. We knew from last week (and, let’s face it, some rather too revelatory pre-publicity) that a regeneration was in the offing for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, a man who seems to have spent much of this year trying to nobly sacrifice himself for the greater good. The Doctor Falls, steeped in the references to the show’s past so beloved of writer Steven Moffat, finally gave him his wish. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 12 – The Doctor Falls”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 11 – World Enough and Time

“So, a 400 mile long spaceship reversing away from the gravitational pull of a black hole. We having fun yet?”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Quite the fan pleasing episode from Steven Moffat this week! I’ve said a few times that this season, while generally rather good, has felt more low key than the last, which, let’s remember, opened with a sequel to Genesis of the Daleks featuring Missy and UNIT. It’s clear now that Moffat was saving that sort of thing for the end of the season this time – with a triple whammy of ‘Genesis of the Cybermen’ featuring both Missy and her previous incarnation, in the first ‘multi-Master’ story the show’s ever done. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 11 – World Enough and Time”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 8 – The Lie of the Land

“Relax, and do as you’re told. Your future’s taken care of.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Well, that was strangely anticlimactic. As the end of the so-called ‘Monk trilogy’, Lie of the Land started well, then seemed to just peter out, leaving the viewer none the wiser about many of the questions posed by the previous two parts. Who were the Monks, really? What did they hope to gain from now running the Earth? With that kind of technology, why not just take over by force, and why run when their ruse was revealed? Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 8 – The Lie of the Land”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 6 – Extremis

Particle physicists and priests. What could scare them both?

(SPOILER WARNING!)

We’re at the halfway point of the series, and who should drift back over the horizon but showrunner Steven Moffat, with his first episode since the season opener. Moffat’s kept a lower profile this year than the last, though presumably he’s been a guiding hand where plot arc threads are concerned. This week, however, was a definite return for his usual style – as usual, it screwed with your head. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 6 – Extremis”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 5 – Oxygen

“The end point of capitalism – a bottom line where human life has no value at all. We’re fighting an algorithm. A spreadsheet. Like every worker everywhere – we’re fighting the suits.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Thirty years ago, at the height of Reagan and Thatcher’s monetarism mania, Mel Brooks’ classic Star Wars parody Spaceballs showed us a world that had exhausted its air – but you could buy expensive cans of it (amusingly labelled ‘Perri-Aire’). At the time, it seemed an absurdist, hyperbolic take on the contemporary free market ideology that was coming to dominate the world. In today’s world, where ‘the market’ is worshipped like a god and the only value that counts is monetary, the idea of privatising the very air we breathe seems like a frighteningly believable prospect. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 5 – Oxygen”

Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 4 – Knock Knock

“You came here. You signed the contract. And now it’s time to pay.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

After a trip to the future and a trip to the past, this week Doctor Who was back on contemporary Earth for one of the classic story styles it usually does rather well – the tried-and-trusted haunted house tale. The show’s been here before, notably with 1989’s Ghost Light and 2013’s Hide, and the results are usually atmospheric if not always comprehensible (I’m looking at you, Ghost Light). Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 4 – Knock Knock”