“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.”
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”
“We’re time travellers. We tread softly. It’s ok to make ripples, but not tidal waves.”
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”
“I am the one chance you’ve got of staying alive. That’s who I am.”
On writing duties for the second week in a row, Doctor Who newbie Jamie Mathieson is on a roll, producing yet another excellent episode after last week’s Mummy on the Orient Express. Presumably serving as this year’s ‘Doctor-lite’ episode, Flatline boasted an imaginative and scary monster of the week concept, some well-fleshed out guest characters, and most interestingly, thrust Clara into the spotlight as a Doctor-substitute, allowing the script to examine (and gently poke fun at) the Doctor’s usual method of operation.
Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 9 – Flatline”
“There’s a monster on this train that can only be seen by people about to die. If you do see it, you only have 66 seconds to live.”
Fun fact – the very first horror movie I ever saw was set on a train. 1970’s Horror Express is a chilling tale of a preserved prehistoric monster menacing the passengers of the Trans-Siberian Express (including, inevitably, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee), in the early years of the 20th century. It’s not the best horror movie ever (and certainly not the most scientifically accurate), but it still works very well due in large part to that setting – a moving railway train on an epic, lengthy journey from which there is no escape when the monster comes for you.
Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 8 – Mummy on the Orient Express”