Archive for the ‘ Series Six ’ Category

“The Wedding of River Song” – Review: Redux

Dorium “The first question! The question that must never be answered; hidden in plain sight. The question you’ve been running from all your life. Doctor, who? Doctor, who? Doctor, who?”

The Wedding of River Song

And so, we arrive at the end of Series Six. When Sir Steven of the Moffat took over the reins of the show from RTD, he must, one suspects, have had a plan of what he wanted to do with it. Piecing together the puzzle of interviews, comments and a miscellany of reported news, it is fairly easy to surmise that the  kind of show he wanted was a fantasy, fairy-tale-esque type affair with some fresh ideas and interesting character developments for the main protagonists. Quite whether “The Wedding of River Song” is exactly how he envisaged his second year concluding is open to some question. My guess is that the writing, which The Moff confesses is always pretty last minute, has no more than the vague semblance of a skeleton, perhaps no more than the fossilised remains of one of those early hominids that they dig up in Ethiopia where they fill in the missing bits of a skeleton with what can only be described as a best guess, and the rest is up to panic of last minute deadlines. That’s the impression he likes to give, at any rate. Continue reading

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“Closing Time” – Review: Redux

Doctor “No. That’s impossible and also grossly sentimental and over-simplistic. You destroyed them because of the deeply-ingrained hereditary human trait to protect one’s own genes. Which in turn triggered a… a…. Yeah. Love. You blew them up with love.”

Closing Time

I’ve mentioned a couple of love-conquers-all endings that have popped up in recent episodes of Doctor Who where just wishing really, really hard or thinking of someone you love is enough to overcome the deadliest of adversaries. Well, here comes another one and, while it’s by far from being the last one you’ll see in these final episodes of my mini-marathon, it’s one of the most blatant. Don’t get me wrong it’s a pretty good episode, played by and large for laughs, but with a good dose of pathos brought about by the fact that the Doctor knows that he’s nearing his ultimate demise, a fact which has been on the back of viewers’ minds since the opening instalment of Series Six. Additionally, there is an incongruous River Song / Madame Kovarian scene at the end that sets up tomorrow’s Series Finale “The Wedding of River Song”. However, the addition of this scene did diminish the impact of this bromance tale by reducing it to being little more that an appetiser, as we await the main course. The decision to revert to standalone, movie-of-the-week stories for the duration of Series Seven begins to look smarter by the minute Continue reading

“The God Complex” – Review: Redux

Lucy “My name is Lucy Hayward. And I’m the last one left. It’s funny. You don’t know what’s going to be in your room until you see it. Then you realize it could never have been anything else. The gaps between my worship are getting shorter. This is what happened to the others. It’s all so clear now. I’m so happy. Praise him. Praise him.”

The God Complex

“The God Complex” is a fascinating story and stands up well to repeated viewing. The tone is very much in keeping with “Night Terrors” earlier in the series with its claustrophobic, gloomy interiors and peculiar camera angles adding the sense of not-quite-rightness to what superficially appears to be a 1980’s hotel. It soon becomes clear, inevitably, that all is not as it should be. It is also an ensemble piece with Rita, Howie, Joe and Gibbis being the other people who have found themselves trapped in the mysterious Scooby-Doo-esque hotel. Any fears that David Walliams would be hamming his part as the alien, Gibbis, were soon diminished as he was revealed as an interesting, three-dimensional character, perhaps more so than the other three guests. Also thrown in to the mix, right from the title itself, we get one of Doctor Who’s most interesting explorations in to matters of faith. All that, before the ending that sees the departure, for the moment, of the two companions. Continue reading

“The Girl Who Waited” – Review: Redux

Rory “I’m not on my own. I’ve got my wives.”

The Girl Who Waited

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the March 2012 Official Doctor Who Convention held in Cardiff (much as I am also fortunate enough to be going to the 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Excel in a little under three week’s time). It was at this convention that one of the panels, ‘Creators and Directors‘, focussed on “The Girl Who Waited”, appropriately enough given that the Millennium Centre itself had featured in the episode. The session was hosted by Gary Russell and the guests were Neill Gorton (Millennium FX), Robert Allsop (Designer), Marcus Wilson (Producer), and Tom MacRae (Writer). This was the kind of detailed analysis that fans adore, giving Tom the opportunity to describe the various stages that the script went through under guidance from Marcus and the team. Interestingly, Tom described television as a writer’s medium while film was a director’s one, illustrating this by saying that he viewed his script as a blueprint from which the show had to be built. Once this blueprint was out there, folk like Neill and Robert would start to plan their approaches. Continue reading

“Night Terrors” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire. Through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought and a whole terrible wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They’re old eyes. And one thing I can tell you, Alex, monsters are real.”
Alex “You’re not from Social Services, are you?”

Night Terrors

So, after the rough ‘n’ tumble of the last two episodes, with their arc-heavy, rapid-fire bluster, it’s time to take the foot off the accelerator and have a good old fashioned creepy horror story. And when Steven Moffat sits on his Executive Producer throne and ponders the need for a scary story, who else would he turn to other that marvellous Mark Gatiss? Starting with the lovely “The Unquiet Dead” all the way back in episode three of this marathon, through the intriguing “The Idiot’s Lantern”, and on to the not-quite-as-successful-as-it-should-have-been “Victory of the Daleks”, we arrive at Mr Gatiss’s fourth writing credit on Doctor Who, “Night Terrors”. This is one of the very few episodes that I have only watched once, and I can confirm that I enjoyed the rewatch an awful lot more than I thought I would. It is set in a contemporary, nameless tower block, or “Eastendersland” as Rory comically describes it, and the story is designed purely for scares. Continue reading

“Let’s Kill Hitler” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Well, at least I’m not a time-traveling, shape-shifting robot operated by miniaturized cross people. Which I’ve got to admit, I didn’t see coming.”

Let's Kill Hitler

Let’s get this out of the way first: when the words “Let’s Kill Hitler” first appeared on screen at the end of the mid-series finale, I could’ve punched the air with joy. It was a brave, controversial, memorable choice and one of the last second stings that we’ve seen from time to time through modern Doctor Who. I am thinking of the appearances of both Catherine Tate and the Titanic, or when Rose tyler turned around in “Partners in Crime”, or when the Doctor started to regenerate in “The Stolen Earth” as prime examples of when you are sat there waiting for the credits to roll and the writers pull off a jaw-dropping shock for you. Let’s. Kill. Hitler. did just the same for me. Thinking about further it might not be the most appropriate title for what is, on certain levels, a show about pacifism. Furthermore, it’s one of those titles that tells you almost nothing about what it’s actually all about. Much like Series Seven’s “The Bells of St. John”. However, despite it’s possible inappropriateness and lack of relevance, it’s still a pretty good yarn. Continue reading

“A Good Man Goes to War” – Review: Redux

River “Demons run when a good man goes to war. Night will fall and drown the sun when a good man goes to war. Friendship dies and true love lies, night will fall and the dark will rise when a good man goes to war. Demons run, but count the cost. The battle’s won but the child is lost.”

A Good Man Goes to War

“A Good Man Goes to War” is a very different kind of Doctor Who episode. It is stand-alone story in as much as it does not have a second part but in truth the storyline is essentially the tying together of many plot threads from previous Moffat era stories and the creation of many new ones that reach out in to Series Seven and perhaps, beyond. The revelation at the end of the previous episode that the Amy who has been travelling with Rory and the Doctor (since, as we discover here, before the beginning of Series Six) has been nothing more than a Flesh Avatar, meant that we now find out that the real Amy has been stuck on the converted Demon’s Run asteroid, being guided through her pregnancy under the beady eye of Madame Kovarian, played with delightful evilness by Frances Barber. The discovery of this deceit has clearly spurred the two men in Amy’s life into a massively complicated and not a little timey-wimey plan that is cleverly played out in the pre-title sequence. Continue reading