“They fought together, despite their differences. Together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy’s real. It’s always been real.”
As Game of Thrones moves ever-closer to its conclusion, the narrative pace seems to be massively accelerating in this shorter, penultimate season. Gone are the days when you could reasonably predict a season’s structure; that there’d be an impressive battle by episode four or so, then much political machination leading to events of great magnitude in episode nine, followed by one ep of picking up the pieces. We’ve only just got through four episodes, and we’ve had an epic naval battle, followed by the seizing of both Casterly Rock and Highgarden, and now the devastating first deployment of a dragon just outside King’s Landing.
Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War”
“Nothing’s sad till it’s over. Then everything is.”
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”
“There’s no nice way to say you’re going to die.”
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”
“Do you ever think, or care, what happens when you’ve flown away? I live in the world you leave behind.”
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”
“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”
“The war is over. The King is safe.”
If you thought Game of Thrones was getting popular last year, this year it’s a veritable cultural phenomenon. As the new season dawned, the papers were full of clickbait drawing fans in with the most tangential connections. There’s a certain amount of inevitability in pieces discussing the show’s representation of gender imbalance in its pseudo-historical setting, or instructions on how to make yourself look like Westeros’ most popular female characters. But what are we to make of it when former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard starts discussing how the show reminds her of her time in office? As if to prove how massive the show is, it actually broke HBO’s streaming service HBO Go with overwhelming demand for this fourth season premiere.
Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 1 – Two Swords”