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PaddyB's Unofficial, Anti-Statistical and Downright Inaccurate Breakdown:

Prettiest Episode- In the Forest of the Night

Silliest Line- Dorium's classic "Oh dear God! That's the attack prayer!" wins it, although the lesser known "He protected me from the virus by shrouding me in his smoke" by Novice Hame comes close

Best Showrunner- Stussel T Mavies

the Colgate Award for a Smile that Shines- the big swirly-faced sun in The Rings of Akhaten

Best Companion- Adam Mitchell

Best Doctor- Doctor Constantine obviously

Best Direction- turn left- no really, that's literally the best direction ever given to a Doctor Who character- it did save the universe after all!

Best Special- every episode is special to me

Best Interpretative Dance Routine- Shona McCullogh in Last Christmas.

Most profound, Life Affirming Line of Dialogue- "I want chips"- Rose Tyler

Mean, Mode and Median- working titles for the 'of the Doctor' trilogy.

Standard Deviation- deviation gotta be the standard man! If you don't deviate your just conforming- and that's what the establishment wants man! Don't be a square dude- you gotta deviate. If D'Who didn't deviate the Doc would still be played by Will Hartnell- and he's, like, totally dead, man!

Radical!

Best Episode Ever (Disagreement Will not be Tolerated)- Love and Monsters

6 hours ago on Your Top 20 TV Stories of the Decade

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As much as I'd like to say so, I didn't have the realisation that I would be a Doctor Who fan for the rest of my life when the credits of Rose rolled. I can say, however, that there was not the slightest doubt in my six year old mind that I was going to watch the following week's episode, and the week after that, and the week after that, and so on.

I literally can't imagine what I would be without Doctor Who. It has defined me over the last ten years. I remember being shocked, angered and confused when Nine regenerated. Who was this irritating man pretending to be the Doctor and what had he done with the real Doctor? (of course, Tennant went on to become my Doctor once I had grasped the concept of regeneration). Then I had to bid farewell to Tennant and welcome in Smith in the year I started at 'big school'. By the time Capaldi came along I was well acquainted with the show and how it worked, but even now, a whole decade on, it fills me with childish glee watching a new episode- even if it's Nightmare in Silver!

Some may criticise Rose for being too mainstream or dated, but what stays with me is the mysterious and elusive nature of the Doctor (much more mysterious and elusive than in An Unearthly Child, I find) coupled with Murray Gold's haunting theme. Eccelston's monologue still gives me goosebumps:

"It's like when you were a kid. The first time they tell you the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling round the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go. That's who I am."

10 hours, 21 minutes ago on Why I Love Rose

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Slightly arbitrary point regarding no. 12, but it's funnythat horizontal lines on a TV screen have become a kind of narrative device without a grounding in reality- since everyone has HD TV's these days the poor-definition horizontal lines are only really used to indicate a TV broadcast within the drama to the viewer.

2 days, 4 hours ago on The Best Pre-Title Sequences of the Revival (Part 2)

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@Gustaff @The Finn is excited for audio Kate Stewart! @DaftDalek is excited for Blade Runner 2 

1. Smith probably thinks the watch is broken like Yana did. The perception filter means that he doesn't pay the slightest bit of attention to it- even when he wants to tell the time.

2. C'man! Thats a teensy little production error. The shooting would have taken place on school grounds anyway- neighbouring farmers could well have been informed.

3. There was music playing in the dance hall and an ultimatum never sounds as impressive with a soundtrack of waltz music! 

4. Presumably the scarecrows require some structural integrity to survive- not that they're alive in the first place. Being ripped to shreds by a machine gun kinda denies them that.

5. Since when were you an expert in invisibility? It could be painted with invisible paint or made from invisible metal. Besides, we barely actually see the meadow post-explosion.

6. The scarecrow probably has a perception filter on it too.

7. The Doctor and Martha twiddling their thumbs and eating bacon and egg flavoured mars bars in the TARDIS for 3 months hardly makes for a good story ,does it?

2 days, 7 hours ago on Revival Face-Off: Semi-Final #2

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It's notable that Moffat era 'event episodes' tend to be the best received whereas it's the more low-profile, mid-series RTD era stories that are best rated. It's also worth mentioning that while the most popular Moffat episodes focus on the character of the Doctor, his authority and the consequences of his actions (The Eleventh Hour, A Good Man Goes to War, The Name of the Doctor, Day of the Doctor), RTD's most popular deal with the Doctor's absence (Human Nature, Blink, Turn Left) or his impotence in certain situations (The Parting of the Ways, Midnight, The Waters of Mars).

On another note, I'm delighted by how far Human Nature has come in the competition. As superb as Blink is, this is a more challenging storydue to, among others, John Smith's complicity in bullying, the casual use of racism and the Doctor's brutality, yet it's all the more rewarding for that reason, and reaps further benefits with every rewatch.

2 days, 8 hours ago on Revival Face-Off: Semi-Final #2

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Good list so far, although I think that the Flatline pre-titles sequence is more effective than that of Fear Her because it uses the artistic device of foreshortening, allowing a brilliant pan in to the skirting board where the man's face is revealed just as we crash into the title sequence.

3 days, 6 hours ago on The Best Pre-Title Sequences of the Revival (Part 1)

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My theory, which I stated on a similar article in my early days of commenting here, is that time doesn't exist in a conventional sense within the TARDIS, so it acts as a kind of aging limbo. As we all know, the Doctor is loathe to spend long in a single place and therefore he ages at a much slower rate than the rest of us. This accounts for Hartnell, Hurt and Smith's respective Doctors aging to death- One spent the majority of his life of Gallifrey, War may well have been separated from the TARDIS at intervals as he fought and Eleven spent the latter 900 years of his life grounded on Trenzalore.

5 days, 6 hours ago on Wearing A Bit Thin: A Theory on Time Lord Ageing

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I'm aware of some fans ranking each episode based on a number of set factors and have the average mark as an overall score. I don't find this completely fair (although I'm not one to judge since I don't rank episodes at all!) A story should be taken for what it is and nothing more, for example, The Crimson Horror is a thoroughly enjoyable romp, but I'm not going to mark it down for a lack of character development.

However, Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways as well as Human Nature/The Family of Blood are stories that excel in almost every respect. Both contain:

-memorable antagonists who pose a unique and pertinent threat

-a highly original central concept

-a strong emotional undercurrent with a generous dosage of 'weepy bits'

-engaging subplots and supporting characters

-superb acting

-excellent direction

-a great soundtrack

-bucket loads of character development!

I'm voting for Human Nature because it's my official favourite ever story- although that grandiose title is mainly for the sake of posterity- like I said, I'm not really one for ranking my enjoyment to 27 decimal places!

5 days, 7 hours ago on Revival Face-Off: RTD Era Triple

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Imagine an actual face off between the empty child and a weeping angel. Does he even blink? Could an angel be gas mask-ified? Would he have to blink in order to gas mask-ify the angel?

5 days, 10 hours ago on Revival Face-Off: RTD Era Triple

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Honestly, I never was quite sold on Freema Agyeman's acting when series 3 aired, although now I've come to accept that this is largely due to 'opinion osmosis' from the rest of my family on my young and impressionable mind.

Having rewatched some episodes recently I can see that she improves greatly as the series progresses, and she really gets a chance to shine in Human Nature/The Family of Blood and The Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords.

It's slightly sadistic that we wish appalling scenarios on the companions in order to get the best material out of them! (same goes for Clara in series 8)

5 days, 17 hours ago on Why I Love Martha Jones

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I love that epic hero shot of Clara, Courtney and Lundvik running down a corridor in Kill the Moon. There's random explosions going off all over the place, it's shot in slow-motion and there's a brilliantly high-octane version of Twelves theme to boot. It's completely over the top and it revels in its over the topness!

1 week ago on Top 21 Tracks of Series 8 (Part 2)

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@DWTV is No Thrills DWTV I'm not motivated by irony or pity, I just really really like it!

1 week ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #11

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@Missy's vortex manipulator confirmedAs much as I love Day of the Doctor, I might actually be inclined to vote for Love and Monsters in that poll :)

1 week ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #11

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For some reason whenever I hear Listen's sinister nursery rhyme, I can't help but hear it sung by a barbershop quartet:

-What's that in the mirror?

-In the corner of your eye?

bumbumbum

-What's that footstep following?

-But never passing by?

bumbumbum

-Perhaps they're all just waiting,

-Perhaps when we're all dead.

bumbumbum

-Out they'll come a slithering,

 (harmonising in unision)

From underneath your beeeeeeehhhhhd

1 week ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #11

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This is a bit of a pointless press release by the BBC. They could at least have revealed the writer and maybe included one of Moffat's characteristically vague hints!

1 week ago on Series 9: Episode 5 Filming Soon

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@Notsosmartguy @Planet of the Deaf @Clara Laurinda @TheTimeTraveller is excited for series 9 Well, I'm half-Human on my mother's side but everyone always gets cross when I tell them that...

1 week, 3 days ago on Why Doctor Who Should Visit Ireland

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On another note, I always found that the poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees his death' by WB Yeats reminds me of the Doctor:

"Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, Nor public man, nor cheering crowds, A lonely impulse of delight Drove to this tumult in the clouds; I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death."

1 week, 3 days ago on Why Doctor Who Should Visit Ireland

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Great article with some excellent suggestions. It does feel odd that a show that prides itself on its British heritage continues to neglect a quarter of the UK- not to mention the Republic as well.

There's some great cinematic scenery in NI alone: the Giant's Causeway (yes, I know, cliched), Carrick a rede rope bridge, the Mourne Mountains, Mussedin Temple in Castlerock, the Castleward estate- I can go on and on!

Maybe there's another Pandorica buried under Newgrange... or maybe not!

1 week, 3 days ago on Why Doctor Who Should Visit Ireland

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@supermoff is now a Maximoff @TheNightmareChild Dylan Moran would be great... although I doubt he'd be allowed to play the Doctor as a washed -out alcoholic!

1 week, 3 days ago on Why Doctor Who Should Visit Ireland

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@TheNightmareChild Just to say, I watched The Sound of Drums and Last of the Timelords last night and the story really went up in my estimation- I'd give it 10/10.

So thanks for that (:

1 week, 4 days ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #7

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Ohh, I never thought this day would come, but today I genuinely don't know which episode to vote for. Two wonderfully dark and mature stories which compliment each other excellently. Midnight shows us what happens when the Doctor isn't in control, Turn Left shows us what happens when the Doctor isn't there at all.

1 week, 4 days ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #7

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That title photo of Matt Smith's glowy hand has reminded me of two 'regeneration tropes' that were disappointingly not continued for the introduction of Capaldi's Doctor:

1. The 'Regenerative Burp'- you know that little plume of golden energy that escaped from the mouths of Ten and Eleven a few minutes into The Christmas Invasion and The Eleventh Hour? There was even a bit of a 'Regenerative burp' in the TV Movie when Paul McGann breathes out a little jet of white smoke. I miss that burp...

2. The 'Face Split in Half Regeneration Publicity Image'- the one they made for the NIne-Ten regeneration looks slightly cheap, but the Ten-Eleven image is a thing of beauty. Who knows where they could have gone with a Eleven-Twelve version? It pains me that we never got this!

Y'see, I could only ever say something like that on this site without people thinking I was a weirdo!

1 week, 5 days ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #6

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Any story with the orange spacesuit is a friend of mine- in fact just the other week I had The Impossible Planet, The Waters of Mars, Hide, Listen and Kill the Moon all over for dinner- I made a big pot of protein nine specially for the occasion!

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit- the archetypal orange spacesuit story, is my favourite of the lot. It manages to whip up a completely alien environment without alienating me in the slightest. Usually I'm the sort of wishy-washy fan who's only in it for the weepy, character-driven contemporary episodes and crying over sickeningly sentimental gifs of the saddest bits afterwards... but I found this to be properly engaging sci-fi... it even had a couple of weepy, gif-able moments!

The set of the 'Ikea Spaceship' is charmingly ramshackle with narrow corridors, ventilation shafts and steam billowing out of every crevice (every good space base has gotta have some steam). It's complimented excellently by the breathtakingly bleak CGI vistas of Krop Tor, with a big angry, orange black hole keeping watch over the planet. Murray Gold's soundtrack is uncharacteristically bleak too, with that discordant violin music really heightening the atmosphere (it's actually quite similar to his more recent 'Trenzalore' track). The Ood are brilliantly alien in appearance, and probably caused children across the country to rename raw mince meat 'Ood Dangly Bits'- I did anyway!

It's also probably Doctor Who's most underrated story in terms of scariness. As imagery goes, there's the aforementioned Ood, Toby's ultra-creepy grin just before he kills Scooti and the Beast himself, who is beautifully rendered. Plus, Gabriel Woolf's voice is evil distilled!

One thing I really love about the story is that it doesn't at all mince its words (or 'Ood Dangly Bits' its words) when it comes to the central concepts of faith, religion and evil. The Beast could well have turned out to be some kind of nondescript psychic projection...thing, but it's not. Doctor Who had the gall to make Satan himself the villain for two weeks and The Impossible Planet is all the more powerful and enduring for that reason.

I couldn't go without mentioning that brilliantly acted and directed scene where the Doctor is dangling over the darkness of the pit talking to Ida. The soundtrack completely cuts out so there's no discordant violin to distract us from the Doctor pondering the human instinct to jump... or fall. Also, just before he opts to fall, Ten finally acknowledges his feelings for his companion in a lovely understated line: "Tell Rose... Oh, she'll know."

As for my customary nitpick. It's all very sweet that Zach decides to list the dead, including all of the deceased Ood, at the end of part 2, but it's a bit odd that he doesn't mention Scooti who died in the previous episode!

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #3

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Moffat has a tendency to structure his episodes in an unconventional, almost literary style (he was an English teacher after all!) It doesn't always work for me, as is the case of The Big Bang or The Angels Take Manhattan, but when it works, as in Listen, it works brilliantly. This story isn't unlike a David Mitchell novel (no, not the comedian who played one of the robots in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, the author) with four thematically linked chapters, spanning time and space and of various genres, with the consequences of one chapter becoming clear in another.

Capaldi gives a more paranoid, conniving and on-edge take on his Doctor. His refusal to leave Orson's spaceship until the night is out echoes how he broke the TARDIS's mercury fluid link way back when he visited Skaro for the first time. This parallel is fitting given that words spoken to the Doctor's first incarnation in the final scene are the direct cause of the entire episode.

As for the final scene. Some may find it sacrilegious to show the Doctor as a child, but I find the scene vital in its role as both an introduction and a climax to the story. Without this scene, Listen would be a perfectly fine as a 'spooky Moffat episode' with another high-concept monster, but it's that detour to Gallifrey which really elevates Listen beyond that. Admittedly, it irks me slightly that Clara becomes so massively influential in the Doctor's life. In fact, it irks me in a similar way to how the half human thing from the TV Movie irks me, although to a much lesser extent. The Doctor decided to flee his home planet and help those in need across the universe because he is different from other Time lords, and different from any human, so it doesn't ring true to me that the intervention of some Pudding Brain has made him become the man he is today.

My main problem with Listen however, are the aforementioned "high-concept monsters"- so high-concept that they might not even exist! When the Doctor delivers his ominous opening monologue about a creature evolved for the specific purpose of hiding, all I could think about were the Silence- a race he had encountered only four episodes earlier. Has the Doctor forgotten the Silence?...Actually, forget I said that... At the end of the day, the nature of the creatures is irrelevant- they're only here (or not there) to illustrate a point- and a very good point it is too- but Moffat's recycling of ideas leaves a bad taste in the mouth for me.

I've gotten very negative now, which doesn't express my true feelings for the episode (now I'm starting to sound romantic!). My criticisms are just petty quibbles with what is a wonderful, funny, frightening, poignant love letter to the show itself.

Plus, I love the music that plays in the final scene. In subsequent episodes it was used to as a theme for Clara and Danny, but I'll always associate it with that lonely child, crying in his bed such a very long time ago, what he could represent and what he should represent, and what he... never won't represent... sort of thing.

Yours sincerely,

Bliss

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 2

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Something that can be said for both of Moffat's Doctor Debuts is that they are very visually distinctive. The Eleventh Hour effectively established the fairytale theme of series five and was imbued with a real sense of freshness- everything was bright and sparkling and picturesque.

Deep Breath on the other hand, had the TARDIS crashing down onto the grimy banks of the Thames in Victorian London, where the wind bites and the world is grey. The restaurant cum spaceship is particularly well realised- as are the wonderful intricacies of the Half-Faced Man's head (no wonder Wheatley used all those close-ups of the whirring clockwork- that animatronic model was brilliant).

Unusually and interestingly for a Doctor's opening episode, Twelve remains a closed-book throughout. He's a slippery character, evading questions and slipping off to further adventures at any given opportunity. The Doctor leaving Clara alone with the droids was the first time I've been genuinely shocked by his actions in a very long time. He's in no rush to save the day either- making time for a change of clothes (and face!) before he returns for Clara and having a drink with his adversary while his friends battle for their lives below him. We do get a glimpse of his more vulnerable side when he gently accuses Clara, "you look at me, and you don't see me," and his initial reticence makes this admission all the more satisfying. Also, I love his highly Doctorish disgruntlement that there's no sausages on offer at Mancini's- "do you have a children's menu?"

It's here that Clara began to seem like a real, multifaceted character for the first time. I found her perfectly likeable in series seven (I've never actively disliked a companion), but it's refreshing to see her in a situation that she can't shrug off with a glib quip and a flirtatious smile.

We get a surprising yet fitting new take on the Clockwork Droids, and they provide a nice parallel to regeneration, similarly, but to a greater extent, to Prisoner Zero in The Eleventh Hour. There's some heavily macabre imagery- the prime examples of which I hardly need to point out. Suffice to say the fairytale is over, welcome to a new era of Hinchliffe-esque gothic Who!

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 1

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@MrRazza, Craig Revel Horwood No More @SirTrey Can I be most enigmatic voter please? Not including my rankings makes  me feel left out!

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 1

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@supermoff, defender of Deep Breath Its a good monologue, but I always find it uncomfortable when she describes herself as "pretty". Who would actually call themselves pretty?

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 1

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I never got round to posting my reviews for 'Day' and 'Time' yesterday:

Steven Moffat was The Writer on the day that it was impossible to get it right... and he only went and got it right! Sure there are flaws with Day of the Doctor, the biggest ones for me being the portrayal of the Time War (although the special effects were excellent, it felt too much like a generic zappy space war for my liking) and the way in which the Daleks were defeated. So too, Tennant's Doctor wasn't quite as multifaceted as he had been during his own era, but realistically this wasn't his story, and he does gets some meaty dialogue in the Tower scene. Despite these quibbles, the special manages to encapsulate all that is great about Doctor Who: humour, emotion, action, twists, and a heady dose of timey-wimeyness.

Hurt does a great job portraying the War Doctor's journey from 'NotTheDoctor' to 'MostTheDoctorOfAllTheDoctors'. Eccelston in the role would have been preferable- effectively completing the New Who package, but Hurt is a very satisfying alternative as what is basically the voice of the Classic Series. Bringing back the Timelords was a potentially risky move. Showing the Doctor committing genocide on screen would have been far too dark, and it's nice for him to finally be allowed to redeem himself, but whether the risk has fully paid off depends on how it's dealt with in future episodes. I sort of want the Doctor's closest friends and family to remain dead (that didn't sound as brutal in my head!) because it makes him a more tragic, rootless character.

I actually enjoy the Zygon subplot, particularly the parallels it provides to the story's main gist (there's loads of parallelism here, which makes for far more engaging viewing). It was a good idea to bring back what are generally considered as Doctor Who's greatest one hit wonders for the Fiftieth.

The casting of Billie Piper as The Moment works brilliantly for me. It's very poetic that the woman who helped the Doctor to overcome his guilt and anger (to some extent) goes on to help him undo the very source of that guilt and anger (sort of). Once again, there are plenty of parallels to be drawn between this and Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways. I think it would be very distracting to have The Moment played by a whole host of classic companions, and could pull casual viewrs out of her scenes somewhat:

WAR DOCTOR: Ace? What are you doing here?

THE MOMENT: No Professor, I'm The Moment!

WAR DOCTOR: Oh... you again...

Hopefully I'll have time for a Time of the Doctor review later!

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2012-2013 Recap

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I have one particularly potent nit to pick when it comes to Time of the Doctor (don't worry, I'll say some nice things about it later)

In how much detail did the Doctor describe the pre-Trenzalore adventures of his current incarnation to the children of Christmas? 'Cause those drawings that adorn the inside walls of the clock tower are shockingly, unbelievably accurate when compared to the actual characters and situations that they derive from.  To give a few examples:

-The drawing of Kahler Jex looks uncannily similar to Adrian Scarborough and the drawings of Prisoner Zero has a striking resemblance of Olivia Coleman.

-Amy is seen wearing her checkered shirt from Day of the Moon and the Doctor is seen wearing his tweed jacket. I can't imagine Eleven going into the specifics of clothing when recounting his adventures!

-Certain locations such as the staircase of Craig's flat or Doctor Simeon's study are also surprisingly well depicted.

I apologise, I am an incredibly petty and mean-spirited human being.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 3

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@Typo42 "Magic Carrots" @PaddyB I just find the plot overly simplistic when I'm not distracted by the two big twists.

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1

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Asylum of the Daleks- I was hoping for a planet run amok with mad, cackling Daleks who'd give Crazy Cann a run for his money. Just imagine tribal Dalek cults practicing their prolonged extermination rituals on unfortunate humans; imagine paranoia-stricken Daleks attacking one another, both sides seeing their opponents as 'impure'; imagine deranged Dalek mutants strewn across the asylum floor, waiting in the dark, ready to wind themselves around the leg of any unsuspecting victim who might pass through...

Anyway, enough of my bid to be show runner and on with the story we did get. Instead of the aforementioned insane Daleks, we got a planet full of comatose Daleks- basically the same as ordinary Daleks, but slower and with a less accurate aim, so the episode hardly bolstered the reputation of the Metal Meanies (sorry, slipping into TV listings magazine terminology!) I did find the nano-cloud transformation to be quite disturbing, although it hardly seemed like a uniquely Dalek invention.

Amy and Rory's divorce felt like a botched attempt to add some character drama to the story- their relationship had been put to the test countless times already so I found it hard to believe that such a small misunderstanding would split them up. Infertility was a mature subject matter for the show to deal with, as was the previous series' child abduction plot, yet both were mishandled and contributed little in the way of character development.

As for Oswin... am I the only one to find Oswin extremely irritating. For the record, I have nothing against Clara- particularly given her development in series 8, but Oswin is an insufferable know it all who acts as a cheap vessel for 'cheeky' one-liners and is as vacuous as she is flirty. She's probably as close as Moffat's writing gets to the sexist stereotyping he's accused of. Nonetheless, Jenna (Louise) Coleman's premature appearance was a great surprise, as was the reveal that she was actually a Dalek! The thing about surprises though, is that when they come to define an episode, as this one does for me, the episode always seems more hollow and unsatisfying on repeat viewings.

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1

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Series Seven was unfortunately my least favourite series of the revival (not that I've watched a complete classic series yet!). I felt that Moffat's demands to pitch a 'movie title' rather than an idea stunted originality somewhat and left us with boringly digestible concepts that were overly genre-based.

Still, Doctor Who is Doctor Who and I can always gain enjoyment from it to some extent!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1

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I'm looking forward to reading this article- I haven't git the time just now, but ohh- look! A Delta Wave gif.

I like a DeltaWave gif me...

1 month ago on Doctor Who’s Impossible Choices and the Trolley Problem

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On second viewing, after my initial disappointment with the River Song reveal, I enjoyed this episode much more than I originally had. If it can be counted as a finale, it would be my favourite Matt Smith finale.

Anticipation is effectively built up at the start of the episode, with the Doctor lurking in the shadows and building up an army for his imminent offensive on the Silence. It really feels as though something big is coming- as it turns out he's only got some spitfires in space and Hugh Bonneville with his son- but let's forget that for now! I also love Amy's opening monologue, where any 'who's the daddy?' concerns are dispelled when it's revealed that she isn't talking about the Doctor, but 'The Last Centurion'.

After all his scaremongering- blowing up the Twelfth Cyber-Legion and such, it's nice to see a more mischievous Doctor popping up from under the robes of a Headless Monk. It's not long before the Doctor's true feelings come to light however, and the "Colonel Runaway" scene is undoubtedly the most memorable glimpse at Eleven's darker side during his era.

I find the Headless Monks quite funny, with their chanting sounding like the 'Church Choir' setting on a Yamaha keyboard! "Oh dear God- that's the attack prayer!" has to be one of the silliest lines in anything ever- and I love it for that reaon. The monks aren't wholly ineffective however, the scene where Dorium gets decapitated is particularly sinister. The ensuing battle is excellently directed- with River's poetry recital making it all the more epic. Amy's reaction when Melody turns to custard in her arms is deeply distressing, and the child abduction storyline was a very mature route for the show to take- if only the emotional impact on the Ponds had been better explored in the following episodes.

Returning to the River revelation. I'm sure that most viewers had worked it out five minutes in to the episode and as such, the final scene comes across as a bit of a damp squib. Still, Lorna's scroll is an clever plot device.

Nitpicker's Corner: What does the Doctor actually do between the end of A Good Man Goes to War and the start of Let's Kill Hitler?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 2

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Moffat's series tend to include a relatively straightforward moral dilemma story (The Hungry Earth, The Rebel flesh, A Town Called Mercy, Kill the Moon), all of which, bar Kill the Moon, I tend to find unremarkable, but perfectly enjoyable nonetheless.

The set-up of The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People is very familliar with clones rising up against their 'originals', although the concept of the Flesh, as well as the gothic setting is slightly more imaginative. There is some tonal inconsistency due to the second episode's attempt at surrealism, with the wall of eyes and that weird Lazarus Mark II creature that Jennifer turns into jarring somewhat with the main ethical gist of the story.

There's also the problem that I've had at several points during series six, of Eleven doing some very questionable things, which seemingly aren't meant to come across as questionable at all. In Day of The Moon he turns the human race into unwitting pawns in his act of genocide, in The Doctor's Wife he boasts to House about a prior act of genocide he committed and here the 'real' Doctor shoves Amy up against a wall and shouts in her face- for no apparent reason! So too, at the end of the story, after we've been repeatedly informed that the lives of non-independent gangers should be respected, the Doctor 'murders' Amy's ganger in a shockingly cold manner.

On to the things I do like. The rapport between the two Doctor's is very enjoyable, the scene when ganger Jimmy talks to his son is touching and of course, that cliffhanger is amazing- and far more revelatory than the one we'd be getting the following week, but more on that later.

Oh, and one last thing- does anyone else find it incredibly annoying when Jennifer keeps pronouncing "ganger" as "gang-gur"?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 2

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood Half of the scene was filmed in Wales rather than at St.Paul's, so maybe they just used it as a bit of set-dressing to make Wales look more like London?

1 month ago on Master Plan? The Mysteries of Missy

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@SirTrey @PaddyB At least there was a dark and foreboding tone during the 'Fury of a Timelord' scene in The Family of Blood. In Day of the Moon the tone was basically "The Doctor saves the day! Woo!" which felt slightly inappropriate to me.

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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@SirTrey @PaddyB He wouldn't have needed to be brought down a peg in The Waters of Mars if she hadn't brought him there in the first place!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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@TheNightmareChild is... Peeves @PaddyB l don't think I've encountered anyone other than you and Mr. Razza who doesn't like A Christmas Carol, but in case there are others, I didn't want them to feel left out!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood I can't agree with you on that one. I generally try to avoid saying nasty things about episodes I don't like, but I think I'll plow on ahead with my litany of woes when Nightmare in Silver comes around!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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There's a line I love in The Doctor's Wife:

"You didn't always take me where I wanted to go."

"No, but I always took you where you needed to go." 

One thing it does call into question though, was the TARDIS just being a vindictive b**** in Midnight? or The Waters of Mars? or The Girl Who Waited?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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@supermoff Wait a second... I thought you said that Listen was your favourite episode?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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Some commenters complained that the Doctor's actions in A Christmas Carol are just a tad morally dubious, which is a very valid criticism, yet I've always found it odd that his actions in the series six opener, which I find wholly immoral, don't tend to be brought up. 

Way back in The End of Time, the Doctor candidly told Wilf, "I've taken lives. I got worse. I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own." In Day of the Moon, he not only manipulates the Silence into bringing about their own extinction, he makes the entire human race, men, women and children alike, all unwitting perpetrators of his act of genocide. Now, it is a very clever resolution, I'll give Moffat that, but at very least Amy or Rory could have brought the Doctor to book for his actions.

Apart from that qualm (nice word, 'qualm') this is probably my favourite series opener. These two episodes turn on its head the preconception that the first story in a series should be a light-hearted and self-contained affair. Instead it pummels the viewer with a barrage of twists and shocks, most notably when the man who's been our hero for the previous 47 years gets bumped off ten minutes in! The American setting is well utilised and contributes to the tone of the story, rather than acting as a publicity ploy to get more viewers in the US like The Angels Take Manhattan. I also really like how the viewers are omniscient in terms of remembering the Silence in The Impossible Astronaut, whereas in Day of the Moon we are as susceptible to their powers as the characters.

As for my customary nitpick, it always annoys me when old Canton says, "That is most certainly the Doctor. And he is most certainly dead." How the hell would you know Canton?! You only knew him for two months 40-something years ago!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 1

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Great article! You've very effectively threaded together the schemes of Simm and Gomez's respective Masters and explored their underlying motivations.

I think it's wishful thinking on the Doctor's part that the Master could be redeemed. Even if she suddenly decided to change her ways and travel with the Doctor, would it really be fair for someone who has committed so many atrocities across so many lives to be allowed to start anew?

Actually, that could be interesting as a Boom Town-esque story! Missy would have to go bad again at the end of course!

1 month ago on The Doctor and the Master: Enemies Or Friends?

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@TakeTheType40 @PaddyB It's not the Pandorica restoring the universe that annoys me, it's that cause and effect is blatantly ignored so that the Doctor can free himself from the Pandorica- which could be opened remarkably easily as it was. The fact that the Pandorica can resurrect Amy also irks me- why does a prison need to keep its inhabitant alive?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2010 Part 3

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood The Doctor's goodbye to young Amelia is actually one of my favourite parts of the episode, but I find it irritating when he 'dies' after being shot by the stone Dalek, since it has no dramatic purpose other than to ratchet up the tension a bit, even though he's obviously not dead!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2010 Part 3

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There's a big pile of good things that I can say about Vincent and the Doctor:

The sensitive subject matter of depression is tackled masterfully. Tony Curran is an excellent choice to play the painter- both in terms of appearance and his portrayal of the character. Amy is at her compassionate and irreverent best. The museum scene is superb. lastly, the Doctor's 'good things-bad things' speech is a lovely sentiment.

Which brings me on to the bad things, or rather, thing...

The Krafayis adds nothing to the story and just seems like a half-hearted attempt to pad out the run-time with a generic monster that looks like a turkey (fittingly for a Richard Curtis script). Surely an antagonist which better reflected the themes of the episode could have been created- perhaps some kind of entity which feeds off anguish like the Mara. The story might even have worked as a pure historical.

Due to these qualms, I'm slightly conflicted in my rating of the episode.

I'm also conflicted when it comes to The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. I've outlined my grievances with the story recently- namely that the second episode provides a cop-out resolution to the first. By that logic, I should give 'Pandorica' a high rating and 'Bang' a low one, yet I feel that the poorness of  'Bang' impacts on the quality of 'Pandorica', so it isn't right to give them separate rankings. Sigh Maybe I'll just give 'em both 1/10...

Don't worry- I won't give them 1/10. I could never give an episode of Doctor Who 1/10- my hearts would break!

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2010 Part 3

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The Doctor gets increasingly lazy over the course of this series when dealing with alien threats. Firstly he saves the day  by telling the aliens to look up all those other times that he saved the day, later he leaves a giant carnivorous fish swimming around in the canals of Venice, then he leaves a giant invisible alien turkey lying dead in a French church and lastly he uses his reputation to scare off the bad guys once again. It isn't quite as effective this time however, and he ends up getting locked up in an impenetrable box for...five minutes?

1 month ago on Rank the Revival: 2010 Part 3

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Michelle Gomez is quite...odd. Which is good for the role she is playing!

1 month ago on Missy Back in Two-Part Series 9 Opener

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You want proof that the creatures from Listen exist? Look at the bottom-left hand corner of the photo at the top of the page...

Anyway, Fantastic article, you really encapsulated the reasons that Eccelston left us wanting more...much more... SO MUCH MORE!!!

Nine probably has the neatest character arc of all the Doctors, and Eccelston really helps to sell his journey from battle-scarred killer to a hopeful c̶o̶w̶a̶r̶d̶  hero. There are so many memorable moments and monologues in series 1- his conversation with Margaret in Boom Town is also my favourite, it's essentially the entirety of A town Called Mercy concentrated into one, super-intense scene!

1 month, 1 week ago on Why I Love The Ninth Doctor

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