Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 1 – The Pilot

“What, in the end, are any of us looking for? Someone who’s looking for us.”

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Yes, I’ve been very lazy about writing on this blog for the last few months.  The second half of The Walking Dead’s most recent season left me largely indifferent, though I may return to look at it some time. Meanwhile, the world seems to be plunging into a new Dark Age in which the American public have knowingly handed the keys to their nuclear arsenal to a dangerous man-child whose every petulant utterance is demonstrably untrue, and yet is still considered fit to occupy the Oval Office. Which has been just too depressing to write about. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 10, Episode 1 – The Pilot”

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio

“The gemstone is giving you what it thinks you want. You’re a superhero!”

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It was inevitable, I suppose. Given the current domination of the big (and increasingly, small) screen by muscly men in spandex and rubber (the ones who aren’t in gay porn), it was only a matter of time until an honest to goodness superhero made his way onto Doctor Who. In a Christmas special only tangentially connected to Christmas (thank goodness), Steven Moffat managed to bring off this clash of styles with The Return of Doctor Mysterio, which managed to be both an enjoyable (if light) Doctor Who episode as well as a fond homage to comics superheroes in general. Continue reading “Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

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.”

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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 13 – The Husbands of River Song

“Are you acquainted with the criminal River Song?”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

So, she’s back. After a period in the middle of the Matt Smith era where Doctor Who appeared to be becoming The River Song Show, I’d thought I’d be annoyed to see her again, despite Alex Kingston’s scenery chewing antics. But actually it turns out a break can be good, and it was genuinely nice to see River back. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 9, Episode 13 – The Husbands of River Song”

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 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”

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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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: 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”