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I know neither of these gets an awful lot of fan love, which I think is a real shame: VOTD is a very enjoyable romp which is very funny and also astonishingly dark with some of RTD's strongest character and world building. "All that banter and not a word wasted" applies equally well to the Doctor and the script.

TND on the other hand was far more Christmassy (the sequence at the beginning with the Doctor just soaking it in is glorious) and also served the emotional story of Jackson Lake and a fun Cyber-romp at the same time. I think people look down on it because of the next Doctor or gimmick, but if it were otherwise billed and less of a let down in that department, I don't think I could see any flaws in it. Even the Cybershades are quite cool and look great. The sequence in the graveyard in the snow is another classic one.

I don't know which I'm going to vote for. I really don't!

14 hours, 49 minutes ago on Festive Face-Off: Voyage of the Damned vs The Next Doctor

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Ohhh... Cruel! I really like the Runaway Bride (yes, I know it hasn't got the best of reputations, but still...) but it doesn't have a hope in hell of beating The Christmas Invasion. It's so joyous and enjoyable, it makes a staggering hour's entertainment. The Runaway Bride, great as it is, doesn't quite live up to that. However, that final scene on its own puts it remarkably close. For a better story and more Christmassy-ness, I'm going The Christmas Invasion.

P.S. If this is littered with typos, I apologise. Autocorrect turned "beating" into "a bee sting" earlier so I'm finding it difficult to keep on top of it.

1 day, 14 hours ago on Festive Face-Off: The Christmas Invasion vs The Runaway Bride

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Gender is fluid on Earth too - sex is about genetics, xx and xy chromosomes. Gender is effectively a state of mind, the thoughts and feelings that are associated with being male or female. Unless Gallifreyan genetics work in a completely different way to ours (so the genes change when they regenerate) they would still be male or female by sex. However, there is nothing to say the body couldn't develop female features is there? And it has been established that mental states change, so a time lord could want to be a time lady.

None of which is particularly relevant to the question in hand, just something interesting to ponder.

1 week, 2 days ago on Moffat: Gender is Fluid on Gallifrey

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I have to say I'm against the idea of a female Doctor.

Before people come with pitchforks and fire, let me explain.

After fifty years, it would be too great a change I think to go for a female Doctor. While it's very easy to say that you wouldn't be bothered by a female Doctor, actually not being bothered is very different. I'm going to hold my hands up: I'm not a fan of the idea. It would be a huge move, and it would probably alienate a lot of viewers. It's maybe quite sad that in the current age of equality and feminism that is how people feel, but I do think it's true. I would certainly class myself as feminist: almost anything we men can do, women can do just as well or better. But I'm still against the idea of a female Doctor.

After having had 12(ish) male Doctors I just feel that no-one, no matter what their skill, could overcome the feeling they'd cast a female so they could demonstrate equality, and stop it feeling like a gimmick. Even with Missy, as great as Michelle Gomez was, I still think it was done for a plot point and a gimmick. I don't feel like Missy is the Master. At least not yet.

Sorry.

1 week, 3 days ago on Moffat: Gender is Fluid on Gallifrey

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Assuming that Gallifreyans go through normal pregnancy, what happens if a Time Lady becomes a Time Lord while bearing a child?

1 week, 3 days ago on Moffat: Gender is Fluid on Gallifrey

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Two possibilities: 1) The Mirror are covering themselves to stop themselves looking stupid or 2) this is somehow expected to increase surprise levels during the Christmas special.

Number one seems unlikely given the Mirror has never had any worries about spewing rubbish onto its pages, so in this situation it's probably number two, so it is intended to perhaps ramp up surprise for a possible departure in Last Christmas.

Wait, 3) has appeared! How about this: as before, it's a complete load of...

3 weeks ago on Rumour: Christmas Won’t Be Jenna Coleman’s Last

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Matt Fitton. Alan Barnes. Eddie Robson. Jonathan Morris. Seriously, it's a mystery to me why some of the Big Finish writers haven't been snapped up.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Writers to Bring Back for Series 9 & Beyond

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Your finales are better. My finales are better. Ha ha! It's an easy statement to make isn't it? (Though by the end of series 17 episode 12 "Bloodlines" I'm fairly sure you would agree with my second statement ;)

3 weeks, 2 days ago on New Who Finale Face-Off: Your Top 8

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Overjoyed to see some love for TSE/JE! So much fan hate and it still rocks up second on the poll.

I personally wouldn't have put TPO/TBB at the top, but ah well. It is a very good finale, but not my fave.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on New Who Finale Face-Off: Your Top 8

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I really don't know... McCoy was my first experience of Who and I will always love his Doctor.

However, Tennant was the Doctor on telly when I really got into the show.

But the two stories which really cemented my fan-ness were The Tomb of the Cybermen and Earthshock. As such, Troughton and Davison also hold very special places in my heart.

I also watched all of the Tom Baker stories in a row which makes him important to me too! If only it was simple... Which one should I choose?

3 weeks, 4 days ago on From 1-12: Who is YOUR Doctor?

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I can't accurately pinpoint the time I became a fan. Doctor Who has always been a part of my life, ever since I was tiny and sat on my dad's knee watching repeats on UKTV Gold. My first "solid" memory is of watching Time and the Rani on my own on a Sunday morning. This may be the basis for my irrational soft spot for the 80s.

What this means is that by the time the new series rolled around, I was already a fan of the show. So I don't know when I officially "joined" fandom - it just sort of slipped into my life.

I think the closest to a beginning I can find is December 2006. I've gone late night shopping in Hull with my mum and she says I can buy two DVDs. I go scurrying away and come trotting back, remarkably pleased with myself and purchase The Tomb of the Cybermen and Earthshock. (Incidentally, these remain some of my favourite stories, the Cybermen my favourite villains, and the second, fifth and seventh my favourites Doctors). Since then, I have collected every DVD available, a huge CD collection (thank you Big Finish) and countless books and magazines. I just want to take a moment to thank the likes of Panini and Big Finish who keep us in stories in the dark days between each series.

Doctor Who has become more than a show for me. It is escapism after a long day at college and a mountain of homework. It's diversion in the shower when I'm formulating my own ideas. And it is an ambition - I want to go away and become a doctor personally, but regardless of that, my main life aim is to write for Doctor Who. I will be devastated if I go through life and never get one of my scripts on the telly.

In two years time I will be packing off for university - med school hopefully! - and I will have to leave behind three things dear to me: my family, my cat, and my collection. I really don't know which I will miss most. After all, family can still gibber down a phone.

The point of all that was really to show that everyone has their own story. Your story will be hugely different to mine. Everyone's experience is unique. Who'd've through a silly little tv show nestled away on a Saturday evening would affect so many people?

51 years? Pfft. You can beat that!

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Doctor Who’s 51st Anniversary

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The wonder of BBC shop preorders!

3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Complete Eighth Series Box Set Review

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The special edition has a standard DVD style case as opposed to the digipak trays used in the series 1-7 boxes.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Complete Eighth Series Box Set Review

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Don't suppose anyone who has the "standard" box set can tell me whether it is in an amaray case or digipak can you? Thanks

3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Complete Eighth Series Box Set Review

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I've got a real soft spot for those early adventures, I think it's a testament to the quality of them that someone who wasn't born until the depths of the wilderness years can taken them to their heart. That original TARDIS team in that astonishing TARDIS set - well done. You got us this far!

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Happy Birthday, William Russell

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Why not? There's nothing wrong with flexibility. The first two were finales to eras, the second two finales to half-series. And also, I firmly believe that AGMGTW and TATM are a damn sight better than their respective series' "proper" finales.

1 month ago on Finale Face-Off (Series 1-8)

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1: Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways

2: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End (yes, I know)

3: The Name of the Doctor

4: The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang

5: Dark Water / Death in Heaven

6: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

7: The Wedding of River Song

8: The Sound of Drums / The Last of the Time Lords

The truth is though that I don't dislike any of them! TSOD/LOTTL comes at the bottom purely because I enjoy it least, but it is still great. They all have problems, but I somehow manage to overlook them for all of the finales. Weird.

1 month ago on Finale Face-Off (Series 1-8)

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Do you ever get the feeling that in this fandom there are some episodes you're just not allowed to like?

1 month ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 8

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I cant help but feel that this finale is a little bit overrated. Of course I love it, but I love all of Doctor Who. Sure, it's clever and funny and interesting and sad and twisty and turny but then so are lots of episodes. It was a great way to round off Smith's first series and I think encapsulated the series it concluded perfectly. It probably isn't my favourite simply because I wasn't a huge fan of the fairytale element. This comes fourth for me in the running of finales- following The Parting of the Ways, Journey's End (yes, I know...) and The Name of the Doctor. It comes joint fourth along with Death in Heaven for me.

1 month ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 5

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Oh no... This was always going to happen... I truly can't decide! Jacobi was incredibly intense and powerful and yet utterly heartbreaking too... I think of all new Who Masters, I think he is the most Master-y of them. But Simm was brilliantly deranged and creepy. Oh, but Gomez was so entertaining and mental too... Her quest to rediscover how old friend was surprisingly credible! I'm going to have to sit this one out, see how it falls.

1 month ago on Face-Off: New Who Masters

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I've got a real soft spot for this finale. Turn Left is wonderfully inventive and powerful, cleverly using a sort of shorthand in that we know how things should turn out from past episodes to show the devestation when it happens differently. the Stolen Earth is great Dalek fun. It's very enjoyable but also has some much darker moments. Journey's End is a heart lifting finale for me, it seems as though RTD was aware it was the show's 45th anniversary and celebrated it with a finale slipped in. It's great fun until it takes a sudden dive into heartbreak with Donna's departure. It is an incredibly moving scene for me.

Okay, it's got problems. Quite a lot of them. But I'm willing to overlook them, as I do for a lot of finales, because I enjoy it so much.

1 month ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 4

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Dear anyone who has given any episode 1/10

Don't you think that is a little bit of an overreaction? To give something one out of ten I would have to find no entertainment or amusement, no plot, no characters worthy of note, no emotions, etc.

I really think something worthy of one out of ten is something you can't bear to sit through and switch off instead of coping.

If you can't bring yourself to sit through an episode then that's understandable; but it really saddens me to see such hatred amongst fans.

Even the Twin Dilemma had Colin Baker, Azmael and a comedy slug.

1 month ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 4

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I think series two is really underrated - the only poor episodes as far as I can see are New Earth, Love and Monsters and Fear Her (all of which aren't quite as bad as people make out - "love" gags aside). The Torchwood arc isn't as non-existent as is made out either; The Christmas Invasion, Tooth and Claw, Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel and also to a lesser extent The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit add up to it nicely.

As a general rule (bear in mind I say general) I prefer RTD's finales because they function as their own stories too. There is no overly intricate story arc to try to tie up, so there is room for an individual story. That is why TATM is a great departure for the Ponds - they aren't competing with a conclusion. My list of finales, favourite to least would go:

1: Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways

2: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End

3: The Name of the Doctor

4: Dark Water/Death in Heaven

5: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

6: The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

7: The Wedding of River Song

8: Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords

Just to clarify, I do like them all! No hatred from me...

1 month, 1 week ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 2

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I'm really torn about this episode.

To begin with, I love Missy. Michelle Gomez is amazing and, although I disagree with the concept of changing gender (what's wrong with a Time Lord being a Time Lord and a Time Lady being a Time Lady?) I have to concede that she was amazing as the Master.

The story was also very interesting. Although I don't think the Cybermen had much place in it - they didn't work very well as Cybermen as explained in the review and did very little - it was nice to see them.

It was lovely to see some (albeit brief) UNIT action. The regulars put in astonishing performances and I thought it tied up the "Am I a good man?" arc nicely too.

However...

I thought it was quite sloppy in how it tied up the Missy arc. The explanation to how and why Missy put the Doctor and Clara together was almost non existent and the references to the Promised Land seemed to have been dropped in just so we could have a story arc in there.

It stretched credibility to suggest that every grave had been emptied - not to mention quite nasty to tell people that their loved ones have been turned into Cybermen, left to stagger - distraught at what they have become - around the graveyard and then blow themselves up.

Which brings me to the point where they all fly up into the air. Oh dear... Would you like some Jacob's crackers to go with that cheese? Samuel Anderson did very well with some cringeworthy lines though. "The promise of a soldier!" indeed. It probably sounded amazing on paper, but out loud... Less so.

And then onto the scene with the Brigadier. So much about this is wrong! Apart from the scientific inaccuracies which are barely noticeable to me because of how much everything else screams out, it destroys the character of the Brig for me. I will never be able to watch him again without thinking about that scene.

Then we have a beautiful scene in the café/restaurant doo-dah, and the episode picks itself up dramatically for me. It was a great ending.

Oh no it wasn't, because ruddy Father Christmas rocks up and it all comes plummeting down again.

Overall, I think I enjoy it more than I hate it, but really I find it very hard to make up a single opinion. So, a very good finale... But it should have been amazing. It could have been amazing. And that is infuriating.

1 month, 1 week ago on Death in Heaven Review (Part 1)

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I found that particular scene incredibly cheesy, and I can never really look at the Brigadier in the same way again. It's not looking for things to complain about though - some people just don't like some things!

1 month, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Death in Heaven

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I really don't know what to think. It had lots of good ideas, it tied up the "am I a good man" arc brilliantly, it was lovely and dark, and it furthered the story of Gallifrey's return nicely. But it was so cringey! Flying Cybermen, and gushing about love being a promise... Plus the exact same trick used in His Last Vow, and far less effectively. The resolution to the Missy arc seemed a bit sloppy too. Are we expected to believe that every grave on Earth is now empty? No point laying flowers now then! It stretches credibility too far for me. And that scene with the Brigadier... It has completely ruined him for me.

Michelle Gomez was fantastic though, I'm all for the female Master idea. The three regulars did great with what they had, and the ending (the bit before Father Christmas appeared) was wonderful writing and acting.

I honestly don't know what I make of it all! I'll have to watch it again before making a judgement. At the moment, I'd say it was all over the place.

1 month, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Death in Heaven

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A tragic hero is a powerful character destined for an inevitable downfall of their own making. Just like the story of Oedipus, whose father caused his own death.

Literally (literature-aly? What's the word for "about literature"?) speaking, a story is only a tragedy if the protagonist/s cause their own fate.

1 month, 1 week ago on The Tragedy of Clara Oswald

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Does that mean that the rest of the series was really a PG? Seriously? Did they actually look at that Mummy?

1 month, 1 week ago on Complete Eighth Series DVD Delayed

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I thought that too! Her turn in The Wrong Mans confirmed that one for me

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Dark Water

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He's invincible; the whole universe knows THAT!

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Dark Water

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I don't have a problem with the presence of a story arc, in fact I think it is quite important to use something to unify a series in the age of box set tv, and something that will grab the interest of more casual viewers in a way that independent episodes may not.

However, I think it is important to do it well. Series one and five I think we're done expertly, with a recurring theme and episodes within the series that add up to the finale. The story arcs are generally done well with episodes scattered in the series that turn out to be important to the finale even though we don't know it at the time, e.g. Human Nature. The only series I have problems with are six and seven.

I like the individual stories of series seven, and I think the main error was to include a story arc at all. There was no real build up, just the Doctor looking quizzically down the camera going "who on earth are you?" From time to time.

The arc of series six was interesting and enjoyable, but I think it really was a bit OTT. It attempted to make the whole series act as one story while retaining the power of individual episodes and, for me, ended up feeling a bit messy. Either produce a single thirteen episode story or go for a series of joined individual episodes.

I don't want anyone to think I dislike these series because I dont. I just don't like them as much as I could.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Trouble with Story Arcs

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You know that weird fan thing we do to save time writing comment of abbreviating a story title to the initials? Dark Water = DW. Funny.

What is up with that title? I don't trust it...

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Dark Water Advance Preview

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Not... Adric?

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dark Water Clip

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Plus cybermats!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Dark Water Clip

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Others presumably include trailers later in the week and posters...

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Next Time: Dark Water

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Have you ever heard the Big Finish audio drama "Afterlife"? Because he really isn't the only one...

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Next Time: Dark Water

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Don't make me do this! I love them both! MOTOE was a classic slice of Who, intriguing, fun, creepy, enjoyable... F was creepy and experimental. I can't choose! I think I'll have to vote Mummy, but its a very difficult choice.

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Face-Off: Mummy vs Flatline

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Okay, that first sentence is riddled with more typos than I actually thought possible. It's this new iOS update, it just doesn't work.

Should have been: I have no problem with Clara being the main focus.

2 months ago on ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Clara Who?’

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No have no problem with Clara benign he main focus; in fact it is an idea I support. The best way to tell a story is with a relatable central character. And the Doctor is such a vast, complex and simply different character that the best way to examine him is through a pane of glass with the companion as our guide. That being said, we should be paying as much attention to the Doctor as to Clara, and I would like to see a bit more Capaldi. MOTOE was perfect in that respect.

My problem with Clara really develops on the back of TNOTD and Listen. Companions always guide the Doctor. It's what they do: Rose helping him escape his war anger, Amy saving him from loneliness. Clara however is being forced into the Doctor's past too much for my liking. Guide his future by all means, but leave alone the past.

I'm willing to eat those words if this all turns out to be part of a long term Moffat plan though - I'll write them out in felt tips and everything.

2 months ago on ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Clara Who?’

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I'd say Peri went through the most in her time - something horrible happened to her in all of her televised episodes. Even speaking strictly about what they did with the Doctor, Ian and Barbara or Ace went through more to do with him.

2 months ago on Flatline Advance Review

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I'm afraid I disagree... The Big Bang is pretty average for me; The Wedding of River Songis a mess,

NOTD I love, it's definitely Moffat's best finale. As a rule, I'd say his finales are all over the place!


AGMGTW I adore though, it's truly epic. And TATM is also great, even if it is riddled with more (plot) holes that a slice of leerdammer.

2 months ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?

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Please don't make me hype the finale... I'd rather expect little and be surprised than expect something brilliant and be disappointed. It's always the way with finales (apart from TPOTW and D which didn't overface themselves) that they are not as good as they could (or probably should) be.

Mind you... I do count TSE/JE and TNOTD among some of my favourites... And series eight had been doing a brilliant job of bettering expectations (and that is even with some astonishingly high ones too) so it could just be possible...

No. Don't make me hype it! Let me live in a hype-free bubble. I'm not excited.

Not me.

2 months ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?

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I love it too... Right until the TARDIS comes flying at the screen towards the end of the sequence and it starts TRILLING. That awful sound, like a cat with a stamped-on tail takes me right out of it.

2 months, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Mummy on the Orient Express

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Really, nuking it would still cause huge chunks of "shell" to hit the Earth. So logically, I'd say just the Earth is better than the Earth and the creature.

2 months, 1 week ago on Poll: Lights On or Lights Off?

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Sounds intriguing!

By the way, is anyone else delighted that Doctor Who has got a regular slot? Every week, eight thirty. It feels... Right! Rather than hopping around every episode. It makes it feel like the show is holding up the schedule, rather than being an inconvenience.

2 months, 1 week ago on In the Forest of the Night Official Synopsis

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To be honest, I'm not bothered about the continuation of the Clara story - this looks like a fun, creepy, interesting and intriguing slice of Doctor Who. As long as it lives up to that, I'll be happy.

2 months, 1 week ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Advance Review

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I LOVE Murder on the Orient Express. I'm a sucker for a bit of Egyptology. Looks to be quite funny too. Plus I think Doctor Who is at its best when it's scary. And oh, is that mummy scary...

Why is it still only Monday?

2 months, 1 week ago on Next Time: Mummy on the Orient Express

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Fairly sure it is also a term used to describe plausibility.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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Team Doctor, because he trusted her to make the right decision.

Oh, but team Clara because he went about it in a horrible way.

Ah, but Team Doctor because this new Doctor is not very good at showing his emotions.

No, team Clara because he was foolish and cruel to her, and could have caused her to make a huge mistake!

Oh dear. This could get messy.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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I've just realised something! I actually like Clara! Kill the Moon has worked wonders. Now that I finally care about her, let's hope she isn't off at the end of then series.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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