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You're referring to Miss Hartigan, from The Next Doctor. In my opinion, no, they don't seem particularly alike, but I've seen other people make comparisons between them. And this is Doctor Who, so it's certainly not impossible. It'd be a bit of a tenuous throwback though; not many people are likely to remember that episode well, so it'd be odd - in my view - if there was a link between them.
1 day, 13 hours ago on Dark Water Clip
Remarkable how close the Flatline vs. MotOE poll was - then again, when two consecutive episodes are that good, I suppose it's nigh-impossible to choose between them. I sincerely hope Mathieson returns to Who next year, he's absolutely brimming with potential. If he can maintain the standard he set for himself this series, we could be looking at one of the show's great writers - and, dare I say it, one of the stand-out candidates to (potentially) replace Moffat the day he packs his bags. I know it's early to make such bold claims, but it's just so rare that a writer can produce multiple spectacular episodes without faltering, and Mathieson's have been not only amongst my favourites of this series, but perhaps of Nu Who in general.
2 days, 18 hours ago on Your Verdict on Flatline & Episode Ranking
Yeah, I suppose I can't deny that...
2 days, 22 hours ago on Dark Water TV Trailer
The difference being that Tasha wasn't plastered all over the trailer with such a big point being made out of her identity. Trailers aren't just thrown together with any old footage, they're there to tell a story in themselves - the fact that they're emphasising the mystery surrounding who Missy is gives me confidence that we're not looking at a repeat of Tasha.
I'm obviously not DWTV (or am I? muahaha... no, I'm not), but I'm now pretty confident that Missy will be a character we've met before. Whether she's from Nu Who or Classic, I couldn't say, but the "you know who I am" line would seem like an awfully mean tease if she's someone we've never met.
I know full well that I'm probably jumping the gun here, but after the two trailers we've seen so far I'd willingly stake my right arm on this being the best finale since, at the very least, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. It all looks so tense, brooding and eerie - exactly what I'd hoped for from Capaldi's first series-ender. The skeletal arm and the mysterious silhouette rising behind Capaldi as he delivers the "dead don't come back" line gave me genuine chills, which I seldom get from Doctor Who these days, and Missy's "you know who I am"... I'm literally rocking back and forth in my seat with excitement just thinking about it. But what thrills me the most about this episode is that, if done right, it seems like it could be exactly the kind of blood-curdling relaunch that the Cybermen have been in such dire need of. All of the pieces appear to be falling into place for a finale that we'll never forget.
Excellent review, Clint (as per usual). My preference being for Doctor Who to be more Sci-Fi than Fantasy, I can't say I rated this episode all that highly, but your analysis and insight never ceases to make me re-assess what I've seen in a more positive and thoughtful light. I still think that it was a flawed episode, tarnished by unresolved plot threads, the ease by which the "surprise" ending was given away in the early going and a sub-plot which added absolutely no value to the story other than to raise questions destined never to receive any semblance of an answer. That's not even to mention the wild non-science (but we'll leave that can of worms closed for now). For those reasons, I'd still consider it one of the weaker episodes of this series (which, considering how strong this series has been as a whole, isn't quite as damning a criticism as it may sound). However, it certainly wasn't without merit - as a vehicle for the progression of the Danny/Clara/Doctor triangle, it served its purpose terrifically (it did strike me as odd how laidback Danny was about seeing Clara's lies unravel, but I suppose you can justify that with 'he's just a really nice guy'), really lingering on Clara's inner conflict - sets her up perfectly for her role in the finale. The progression in the Doctor's character - "I walk your world, I breathe your air" (loved how this directly echoed Clara's words in Kill The Moon) - was nice to see too. As fascinating as he's been as a character, Twelve hasn't really shown much development yet, so this seemed like quite a poignant moment, almost an admittance that despite his tough, unconcerned demeanour, he's always listening and caring. Even the child actors, for the most part, were impressive - no mean feat, considering that they juggled at least a dozen of them in this episode. The other thing that came across about this episode - similarly to Robots of Sherwood - was that it seemed like a necessary bridge between the Smith and Capaldi eras, which otherwise feel a bit thematically disjointed. The fairy-tale tone definitely harked back to Series 5/6. All in all, I think this was one of those episodes where the self-contained weekly story elements didn't really deliver the way I'd hoped, but the ongoing arc elements were enough to salvage it. On one hand, it's a shame that our lead-in to the finale wasn't as spectacular as it could have been, but on the other I suppose with Dark Water right around the corner, it's easier to forgive In The Forest of the Night for any shortcomings - it's hard to bemoan a lacklustre entrée when you can see a delicious main course being carried over. 7/10, IMO.
3 days, 21 hours ago on In the Forest of the Night Review
I could be mistaken, but I thought the "plane" was intentional; as in "dimensional planes" (considering that the Boneless are from another dimension). It seemed like a deliberate choice of words to me.
1 week, 3 days ago on 12 Great Moments From Flatline
I'd probably put him in third, behind Tom Baker and David Tennant. He's already surpassed Smith, Eccleston and McCoy as my other personal favourites.
1 week, 3 days ago on Flatline Review
Not as far as I understood it - as the Doctor stated, he'd managed to put the TARDIS into "Siege Mode" right before the train hit (which is what stopped the TARDIS from being destroyed; the shields were down and it couldn't withstand another hit), so my interpretation was that the little Gallifreyan cube-like thing was the TARDIS' outer shell when in Siege Mode. Note that it becomes tiny (even smaller than the shrunken TARDIS), has no sign of any door, and takes on a solid, metallic casing. Seems ideal for making sure nobody gets in. The non-camouflaged exterior was shown during the "of the Doctor" trilogy, when Clara talks the First Doctor into stealing a specific one.
1 week, 4 days ago on Doctor Who Extra: Flatline
I'd suggest you learn to levitate. Quickly.
1 week, 5 days ago on Flatline Clip
Personally, I find that taking them to that ultimate extreme actually neutralises the only aspect of them that I actually find quite chilling. Indeed, the idea behind them is that they've replaced so much of themselves that they're no longer human, but it's the fact that they were human (effectively - I know they are/were technically Mondasians) that makes them uncomfortable to think about it. So to maximise their creepiness, I think it's essential that their writing plays off against the fact that, deep in their core, there's still something organic. I don't find anything scary about robots; but people being surgically transformed into part-robots is another ball-game. It's body horror, pure and simple. I don't think it's any coincidence that in NuWho, when the Cybermen have been at their most robotic, so many people are lambasting them for not being scary or written at well. They've lost touch with the element that made them so uncomfortable and unnatural, and now they're just 10-a-penny robots that you could pluck from any Sci Fi ever. In my opinion, if they really care about making the Cybermen scary again, they need to re-envision them in a way more consistent with their initial conception - excessively augmented humans, as opposed to robots that are capable of operating with no organic parts whatsoever.
1 week, 6 days ago on Dark Water Official Synopsis
Then it would still have had huge ramifications on the climate, atmosphere and rotation/axis of the Earth and we'd all still be in pretty hot water. Hence the common assumption that the second egg was more or less identical to the first.
1 week, 6 days ago on Details on Episodes 9-12 of Series 8
I think it was a good episode that happened to feature the Cybermen, but it wasn't a good episode for the Cybermen, for the same reason you gave; I suppose it depends what you mean by a "good Cybermen episode", really. They were actually quite imposing until the Cult of Skaro showed up and used them for target practice.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?
As fond as I've grown of his character this series, I simply can't see it happening. He feels very much like the "secondary companion", so to speak, whose presence is ultimately tied to the "primary companion", which would be Clara. Much like Mickey, or Rory, I simply can't envision him being kept around without the counterpart that first dragged them into the Doctor's world. With all the signs pointing toward Clara's exit in the near future, I'd suspect we should start getting ready to say our goodbyes to Danny Pink too. I just hope he's given a chance to truly shine in the finale; he needs a big, memorable moment to cap off his run. One last hoorah.
As much as the "Clara Who?" shtick might grow tiresome to many of us, what always annoys me more is this "well don't watch it then" attitude. Being a fan of something doesn't mean that you have to love every aspect of it unconditionally, and that applies more than usual to a show like Doctor Who which is constantly evolving, changing and trying new directions. Inevitably, sooner or later, it's always going to go in a direction that alienates some portion of the fandom, and they've every right to voice their concern without being told to go away and find something else to be a fan of instead. To me, a real fan is someone who wants the show to be the best it can possibly be; somebody who actually cares enough to worry when they don't think it's moving in the right direction. Sure, nobody likes to see negativity (especially when it's copy+paste negativity that we're getting bored of reading), but without criticism - without people holding the show to account, so to speak - the show risks stagnation. Criticisms of Doctor Who have, without a doubt, played some role in shaping it over recent years. The split-series was almost Universally panned, and now there's no split series. The Paradigm Daleks were loathed pretty much across the board, and now we've got the old Daleks back. The heavy-handedness of the Series 6 arc was criticised, and now we have more dialled-back arcs once again. It's good that people are able to see what they don't like about the show and voice that opinion; it all helps to inform what the show may become in the future. If we all just sit back and mindlessly applaud anything it throws at us, we risk an entire series of Love & Monsters. Where would we be then? So please, feel free to disagree with people, but don't tell them to stop watching - not only is it rude and petty, but it's just plain silly.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Next Time: Flatline
It took a good 5 seconds for that to sink in. I'm ashamed of myself.
I don't think any more technobabble would have been necessary; the specifics of the Mummy's background weren't important to the story, and so to waste time with detailed exposition would have been a bit of a waste IMO. We got the concept, and they also explained it in a quite a visual way - rather than simply with monologue - with the Doctor retrieving the technological device for study; we knew all we really needed to know from that. Moreover, I think it's befitting of Twelve's character that rather than dwell on trying to explain the problem he'd already solved, that he immediately moved on to concerning himself with the new problem: the nature of Gus, and whomever orchestrated the entire scenario. Plus, it's possible that the Doctor simply didn't know anything more about the Mummy or its origins. I understand that rushed explanations are an issue for some people (they are for me too, sometimes), but I think this was one of those occasions where the quick summary was actually sufficient for its purposes.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Rate & Discuss Mummy on the Orient Express
I have strong suspicions that, like the mysterious woman in the shop, it's all going to relate back to Missy and the Nethersphere. I'd be surprised if we're left without answers in terms of who staged it all, as that felt very much like a plot point that had been purposefully highlighted to leave us thinking.
That scene took me right back to the sheer awe I felt back in The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit (I forget which part), where the dome retracted to reveal Scooti floating lifeless through space against the backdrop of the black hole (still one of my favourite scenes, and favourite stories). In both instances, it was an incredibly well-crafted visual sequence with quite an emotional punch behind it. Very sad, but very eerie and cosmic at the same time. Definitely one of this episode's best moments. I'd have to agree that the Mummy's murders didn't seem all that visually impressive, but I suppose they didn't need to when the creature itself was such a mastercraft in body horror.
The Skovox Blitzer wasn't "evil" either; it was simply operating the way it was programmed. It was a weapon, and you can't blame a weapon for the deaths it causes; you can only blame those who created/operated it. So realistically, we've not had "evil" all series. Personally, I absolutely love that though; although Good vs Evil is a simple, tried-and-true narrative, reality is never so simple. There are countless shades of grey in between, and that's where interesting drama comes from, in my opinion. The glorious hero defeating the irredeemable evil is a concept that's been done to death a billion times over, whereas there's always interesting ground to explore when you're dealing with moralities that fall between the two. I'm absolutely enamoured with Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor for the very same reason.
Thinking that whatever hatches would murder everything on Earth and then progress to murder other species and civilisations is also a very big assumption. Why would you so naturally assume that allowing this unknown creature to survive would be a death sentence to every other living being? There is no more reason to assume it will be innately hostile than there is to assume that it'll be friendly and leave us alone; whether you choose lights on or lights off, you're not doing so based on a reasoned decision based upon facts. You're jumping to a conclusion based on zero evidence either way. There's a lot of assumptions involved no matter how you look at it or what decision you make.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Poll: Lights On or Lights Off?
The tides would be massively weakened (we'd still have tides, because the sun contributes to their presence as well, but they'd be much less than what we're used to; we'd have much more stationary oceans), and the Earth's speed of rotation and axis would both be affected; the Earth would turn quicker, due to the reduced effect of tidal friction, and our axis would wobble a lot more, due to the absence of the moon's stabilising effect. This would have enormous ramifications on weather, day/night cycles, etc, and would be extremely unpredictable. We wouldn't necessarily die (by all accounts, we should be quite capable of surviving if the moon were to simply disappear overnight), but the effects it would have on our climate, calender, etc would be huge and definitely not for the better.
And how would she have survived that, exactly? Imagine the Earth got blasted into floating chunks by a series of enormous tactically placed nuclear explosions, and then gradually sort-of reformed under their own gravity. Do you not imagine there would be a huge, if not entire, loss of life in the process?
People disagreeing over opinions? On DoctorWhoTV? Surely you jest?
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Advance Review
I'd been looking forward to this episode, until I read "...something of a mix between Voyage of the Damned and The Unicorn and the Wasp". That's really not a good way to sell this episode to me; the only worse sentence I could hope to read in a DWTV preview would be "something of a mix between Love & Monsters and Let's Kill Hitler". At least there was some damage control with the promise that it takes itself more seriously than the aforementioned, and I take consolation in the fact that the Mummy looks terrifying and that Frank Skinner, by the sounds of things, isn't there simply to be killed off in the early going. This is shaping up to be a (potentially) promising episode, but there's a nagging part of me that's urging me not to set my hopes too high. That said, even if it fails to deliver on its own merits, Capaldi is always there to salvage something from it - even in the worst episodes of the series thus far (of which, to be fair, there have been few), he always shines and keeps me watching intently. It'll be interesting to see how he fares with no Jenna to bounce off, though - their chemistry and dynamic has been magnificent, and has provided some of the best moments of Series 8 so far. I'm sure he'll do terrifically on his own, though.
Whilst I accept that the difference is minor at best, and perhaps undermines my indignant annoyance at The Shakespeare Code, what made the "science" of the Logopolitans easier to digest was that it was grounded in complex mathematics - and mathematics, as we know, are a Universal way of understanding, well, the Universe. It seems more feasible that with enough understanding of mathematics, one could essentially "decode" the Universe. But words aren't Universal. Words hold no intrinsic meaning.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Kill The Moon Review
I await them as anxiously as always, Caleb. :)
I think what we have to accept is that there needs to be some sort of balancing of the two. Admittedly, being a cynical 20-something University student (with friends who are mostly the same), I'm not the key target demographic for the show anymore. But after browsing my social media following this episode, pretty much every comment I saw about the night's episode ridiculed it for being ridiculous and inane. Those who desire harder science fiction may not account for the majority of the audience, but we're still a part of it, and it can be quickly seen as patronising when the show makes zero effort to make itself seem credible. I wouldn't expect a writer to meticulously research every imaginable facet of the past in order to write a historical - but if they wrote a historical starring Genghis Khan and set it in the mid 1970s, I'd feel insulted, because even the most historically-uneducated amongst us know that simply wouldn't have happened. That's why I don't really mind when the show takes heavy liberties with speculative and even fictitious branches of science that we don't really understand, and can even accept some degree of manipulation of the sciences that we do understand if it facilitates the story. However, once it throws all science - even common knowledge stuff - out of the window and delves straight into pure fantasy, I'm jolted right out of the moment. If the next episode were to be set on the Sun, and they just wandered casually across its surface with no protective gear and only briefly commented "it's a little bit warm", I'd turn off the television. There's an area between "hard sci-fi" and "pure fantasy" which is where the show traditionally sits, and personally I'm comfortable with it being there, it's part of the appeal for me. But just as I wouldn't expect to show to adhere to the principles of hard science fiction and meticulously research everything to provide a scientifically-watertight story, I also don't expect it to ignore even simple, beginner-level science and write pure and utter nonsense that stretches my suspension of disbelief beyond its limits. The show needs to strike the right balance between the whimsical and the believable, and in my opinion, Kill the Moon veered too far toward the former and completely pulled me out of the moment.
He might have said that, but it the explanation was still so bogus it made magic seem more plausible. They come from a dimension/time where the Universe was defined by words instead of maths and science, and can be banished just by rhyming a few sentences together? They might have refuted it was magic, but that's so far beyond even the most speculative science that it made me cringe so hard I'm still recovering from it.
I don't really understand in what sense Journey's End was trying to be "clever" - it didn't cast off the shackles of logic quite as brazenly, but I certainly didn't feel it was trying to hide behind the veneer of any "real science". But to each their own; they both suffered from a lack of sense in their own ways, I suppose there's no real need to split hairs over which was the worst offender.
What's "real science" about parallel Universes? It's a purely hypothetical idea and, like time travel itself, nobody can claim to understand how it actually works. It's speculative. So when the show tackles something like that, it's easier to suspend one's own disbelief. When the show does get legitimate, well-understand sciences wrong - like Kill The Moon did at every turn - it's much harder to suspend that disbelief. Of course, false science crops up a lot in Doctor Who, and Journey's End is no exception, but I don't understand how you can criticise the show's handling of a "science" that nobody understands whilst being content when it totally bungles sciences that are very well understood.
My memory is hazy, but I think that was said from an out-of-Whoniverse perspective; the location in Lanzarote where the exterior Moon scenes of "Kill the Moon" were shot was also used back in 1984 as the setting for the serial "Planet of Fire". So in a sense, they were returning to the scene of a previous adventure, in terms of the cast and crew returned there to film this episode. It doesn't directly tie in to any previous story/serial from an in-show, in-Whoniverse perspective though.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
Whilst the fact that it was immediately able to lay a new egg does require quite some suspension of disbelief, what personally perplexed me most was that for the Earth to suffer no ill-effects (which it surely would have done, no matter how they tried to justify it), the egg laid needed to be the same size and mass of the the previous egg - the one that the creature had only just hatched from. How does any creature lay an egg that's as large as, if not larger, than itself? It was ludicrous in that regard - laying an egg that size so soon after being born would have required literally ripping the poor animal to pieces the moment it had been born. No wonder it's one-of-a-kind with that kind of self-destructive biology.
I've seen people discussing this, and I can't help but feel they're over-reading slightly. I can see the dots that they've joined, but I don't feel it was intentional. It was more of issue of exploring how much a life is worth - would you end one life to save millions - rather than an exploration of Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice. The symbolism of the Moon being an egg is probably what caused this tangential line of thinking, but again, I don't think that was ever the aim. It certainly didn't feel that way to me. To quote the Doctor: "I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there."
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
That's not because of commercials. Doctor Who is produced by the BBC, which is funded by taxes rather than commercial revenue - there's no advertising. The reason it typically runs at 45 minutes is simply because that's the length that was decided on back in 2005, and is likely constrained by the balancing of budgetary concerns with the desire to have a fairly extended series run (i.e. not simply produce 3 much lengthier episodes a year, like 'Sherlock'). Sometimes, 45 minutes does feel restrictive to the pace of story-telling. Sometimes, it doesn't. It all depends on how much the episode tries to bite off in one go. Personally, I'd simply bring back the format of having two double-parters each year, and using those to maximise the stories with the most meat to them.
I'll be honest: I'm a little disappointed. It certainly had some excellent moments (not least the confrontation between Clara and The Doctor at the end; that was very powerful drama with excellent acting on both sides), but by and large it just didn't deliver in the way I'd hoped and expected. Looking at all the individual elements on paper, it seems strange that it didn't excel as a whole. I thought The Doctor's "not my problem" approach was a fascinating idea: the show's basic formula is that whatever goes wrong, The Doctor fixes it, and whatever decisions need to be made, The Doctor makes them. He's the man who perpetually swoops in to save us all. To flip that on its head and put the humans in charge of making such an impossible decision while The Doctor saunters off was a brilliant subversion of the norm. I also really liked the concept, albeit a little far-out, that the Moon was in fact an egg containing a creature that may be the only one of its kind in the Universe. It pushed closer to Fantasy territory than Sci-Fi in that regard, but whatever, I enjoyed it (the science was all out-of-whack throughout the episode, really, so you learned to ignore it after a while). As to what didn't work so well - the ending. The creature, within moments of being born, lays it's own egg - the same size and mass of the one it had only just hatched from - which instantly becomes the new 'Moon' and the Earth is fine? It really feels like Harness wrote himself into a corner from which the only escape was to leap gallantly into the heart of fairy-tale territory. That's not really in keeping with the tone of Capaldi's Doctor, or this series in general - I thought (or I'd hoped) we'd moved on from that, and into darker, grittier and more grounded story-telling. That said, the way it tied that event to humanity's spreading into the stars was a little tingly and heart-warming. I'm also a little disappointed in how little tension they managed to squeeze from the moral dilemma - I was expecting it to take up a fairly significant portion of the story, and really delve into the ethics and motivations of those characters. Instead, it lasted all of about five minutes and left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. All in all, I just feel that it didn't really deliver on the creepiness, it didn't really deliver on the tension and it was all bow-tied far too neatly and easily. I'd hoped for a story that, overall, was more meaty - but the only real substance seemed to come from the way it facilitated the ongoing character development and relationship disintegration between Clara and The Doctor. The self-contained plot, about the Moon-Egg and Space-Spiders, ultimately felt like a pretty flimsy shell around that (yes, that was intended, and no, don't judge me for it). All in all, I'd give it a 7/10 - or, more accurately, a 6/10 for the self-contained plot aspects, and an 8/10 for the the progression of the Clara/Doctor dynamic. Still a good episode - just a notch or two below the overall standard this series has so far mostly sustained.
Agreed, actually - Series 5 did strike a pretty good balance when it came to the arc. It was nice to learn about it over the course of the season, rather than just have loads of explanations and exposition dropped on us right at the very end, but it never felt overly intrusive into the standalone weekly episodes either. Series 6 was where things truly turned for the worse. You might have a point.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Thoughts on Series 8 at the Halfway Point
Probably a reaction to the criticism commonly directed at Moffat that he's made the show too arc-centric; maybe the knee jerk reaction has been to pull a little too far in the opposite direction, but personally I'm just enjoying a pleasant break from intrusive year-long plotlines. The current 'arc' with Missy also reminds me a little of the RTD style of 'arc' (i.e. repeat the same phrase now and then, before explaining it all in one go in the finale), which is nostalgic, only it's much more obvious and visible which creates a little more suspense. It would be nice to see a slightly more involved arc again next year though; they're not a bad idea by any means, I just don't feel Moffat has done one particularly well yet. It'd be a shame if he were to stop trying though - regardless of whether you loved or loathed the recent arcs, they did rejuvenate and spice up the show.
Not to mention tiresome.
It's not often that I can read a post this long and agree with pretty much every word of it. I personally enjoyed The Doctor's Wife and, to a lesser extent, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (taken as a whole, it wasn't spectacular, but it had some very interesting, clever and humorous elements to it), and have no fondness for A Good Man Goes To War, but other than that I think you've summed up my thoughts even better than I could. You also win some bonus Whovian love for liking Cold War (criminally underrated by the masses, I feel). I still have to ask you to kindly vacate my brain, though.
It is worth noting that we are only half-way through, so there's always the potential for a Love & Monsters or a Fear Her to pop up in a few weeks time, but so far you're absolutely right - and from what we know of the remaining episodes, none of them seem at high risk of disappointing. Of all the episodes of this series, it was probably Robot of Sherwood or Time Heist that had me most worried of a potential flop - but while neither were amazing (in my view), they both held their own. Maybe we've finally reached that long over-due year where we as a fandom simply can't find anything to hate on.
At the moment, I'd be inclined to say that the current series is on course to be my favourite yet. Other than Robot of Sherwood (which felt out-of-place in its inanity, but was a necessary concession to appeal to fans of the slightly more jolly-feeling Tennant and Smith eras), there's hardly been a dull moment. Every other episode has delivered in spades, and Capaldi has imparted such gusto to the role, and commanded it so effortlessly, that you'd be forgiven for thinking he's been the Doctor for years. Clara, if a little heavily leaned on, has evolved massively from the character once heavily criticised for being 'just a plot device' - she's rapidly becoming one of my favourite companions of the show's entire 51 years, having developed into a well-rounded individual with strengths, flaws and a believable home life. From what relatively little we've seen of Danny Pink so far (in contrast to his closest counterpart - Rory Williams - at least), he's also shaping up into a very interesting and varied character. So we've had a string of phenomenal episodes (and diverse ones to boot - 'Listen' was an excellent piece of concept exploration, whilst 'Time Heist' made for a great homage/pastiche, 'The Caretaker' was an excellent character study, and so on). We've got a brilliant companion dynamic. We've got a fascinating new Doctor who flies in the face of his recent predecessors. We've even got an arc that seems to be striking the right balance between the old RTD 'buzzword' arcs and the over-the-top Moffat arcs of recent years. The show is hitting all the right nails into all the right places right now, and in all honesty, I've never been more excited to be a Whovian. It's absolute must-see TV.
For me, it's Politicians. *shudder*
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Kill the Moon Advance Review
Has to be The Caretaker for me. Historically, I've not been mightily impressed by Gareth Roberts' episodes; his first two outings are amongst the very few episodes that I'm so disinterested in that I never even bother to re-watch them when on my sporadic Doctor Who binges (...okay, not so sporadic). Things picked up a little with Planet of the Dead - at first I thought it was no more than average, but time has fostered somewhat of a fondness for it (at the very least, I'd say it's generally a bit underrated) - and then The Lodger and Closing Time were fairly decent (the former more so than the latter, but even Closing Time had its merits). I enjoyed the shared premise of The Doctor attempting to assimilate into a normal human lifestyle, even if the result was that he came off a bit too chummy, more like a quirky neighbour than an ancient alien known by such names as 'The Oncoming Storm'). I suppose that's where my like for The Caretaker stems from. It again adopts the same premise, but the characterisation of Capaldi's Doctor left it feeling a million miles from the prior two outings: it actually did feel like this was The Oncoming Storm coming to stay for dinner. I liked that. The fierceness and anti-social-ness (it's a word, just don't look it up) really ramped up the tension and created added conflict. It was much more compelling than watching him eat biscuits, kick a football or play with remote-controlled toys, yet it still managed to find its own humour whilst creating a much more dramatic piece overall. It wasn't a perfect episode - none of Gareth Roberts' have been, as far as I'm concerned - but it did feel like a marked improvement on his prior outings, even if he's in danger of becoming seen as a one-trick pony with this recurring theme he keeps rehashing/being saddled with. It wins my vote.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Face-Off: Gareth Roberts’ Episodes
I much preferred that they attempted to "upgrade" the full human, rather than simply remove the brain and stick it in a robot. It's much more in line with the original concept of the Cybermen and paved the way for the Pete's World variants to be replaced by Gaiman's re-imagined Mondas Cybermen. I think it was a good move. That said, I do think it's overly simplistic that they'd just weld a helmet around his head - surely there's all sorts of complex wiring that needs to be done to truly merge man and machine. And the fact that he was still fully clothed seemed a bit odd - surely they'd start to smell pretty bad after a few thousand years as a Cyberman? I can understand the BBC's reluctance to show a naked James Corden being subjected to brutal cybernetic surgery on Saturday evening primetime television, but it does seem that for a species that prizes logic above all else, they're not all that logical.
People differ. I watched the leaked cut of Deep Breath within days of it hitting the internet, and browsed through three of the scripts to boot. I haven't enjoyed the series any less for doing so. If anything, as a fan of the show who was becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Moffat era, those "spoilers" actually served to reinvigorate my love and excitement for the show and get me genuinely interested in what was to come - I've been watching this series religiously every Saturday so far, even eschewing more sociable plans to do so, whereas previously I'd started slipping into the habit of watching the show 'when I get around to it'. I've got the utmost respect for those who prefer to avoid spoilers at all costs, but not all of us are that dogged about it and sometimes - just sometimes - spoilers can actually enhancement our enjoyment (or at least our excitement).
Well, if they were just your straight up Earth spiders, it probably wouldn't all that horrifying unless you're severely arachnophobic. But enormous, vicious spider-like alien monsters? Now you're in nightmare territory.
Exactly - it'd be as if Sarah-Jane was reintroduced by way of a fleeting background cameo instead of taking on a big role in School Reunion.
4 weeks ago on Roberts Explains Why Ian Chesterton Didn’t Appear in The Caretaker
I'm not sure if that connection is robust enough to fit the theory - the other instances of characters dying due to the Doctor's involvement this series have been far more direct; the Doctor's culpability was knowing in those prior instances, he was entirely aware of his actions and the immediate consequences of those actions. He knew that he was signing a death warrant, no two ways about it. With the policeman, there was a much more indirect link between the Doctor and the loss of life - he couldn't possibly have known that his fondness for the Coal Hill area would eventually, many centuries and incarnations later, result in a Skovox Blizter targeting the area and killing that officer, so I'm not sure how much that can be held against him (unfortunate as it may be). Of course, it's possible that the link being more forced and indirect in this case won't matter, that the theory holds true, and the Doctor is in some way being held accountable for even the deaths he had no way of knowing of or preventing rather than just those he caused directly. But it does feel like a departure from the M.O. as it's been shown so far, so I'm weary as to whether the theory as it's commonly held is true, or just a complete fabrication we've collectively latched onto.
1 month ago on 12 Great Moments From The Caretaker