Archive for the ‘ Series Three ’ Category

“The Last of the Time Lords” – Review: Redux

Captain Jack Harkness “Used to be a poster boy when I was a kid, living in the Bo-shang peninsula… tiny little place. I was the first one ever to be signed up for the Time Agency, they were so proud of me. The Face of Bo they called me”

Last of the Time Lords

And so this marathon reaches another milestone with the end of Series Three and “The Last of the Time Lords”. Even though it seemed loved and loathed in equal measure within the picky world of fandom, the broadcast secured some very positive viewing figures that we all now seem to take for granted from these finales and fairly widespread acclaim to boot.  Even the BBC invested a little extra in this televisual treat by commissioning an extra 8 minutes of the show in order to save some scenes from the cutting room floor. Whether this was a wise decision remains open to question. Continue reading

“The Sound of Drums” – Review: Redux

The Master “This country has been sick, this country needs healing, this country needs medicine – in fact I’d go so far as to say that, what this country really needs, right now, is a Doctor.”

The Sound of Drums

A three-parter in new Doctor Who is unheard of, although the older fans among us may remember the occasional 6 x 25-minute stories of old that equate to much the same duration. The result is that “The Sound of Drums” might sit a little uncomfortably between the opening shocks of “Utopia” and the thrills and spills that undoubtedly await us in the finale, “The Last Of The Time Lords”, tomorrow. So, for an episode with neither a beginning nor an end it is a little unusual, but it still manages thrills a plenty. Continue reading

“Utopia” – Review: Redux

Professor Yana “That is not my name! ‘The Professor’ was an invention. So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am.”
Chantho: “Chan- Then who are you -tho?”
The Master: “I am… the Master.”

Utopia

Following a week off for Eurovision, two weeks with John Smith instead of the Tenth Doctor and then the Doctor-lite episode last week it has been, despite the fact that those three episodes were generally brilliant, a period of about a month when we have been deprived of a fix of our favourite Time Lord. So, what happens when he returns?  Well, as well as David Tennant back on fine form we get Jack back as well, we get the return of the Master, we get a regeneration scene and we get a cliffhanger that was a complete surprise all wrapped up in forty-five minutes of brilliant television aimed fairly and squarely at fans of the show. Okay, I exaggerate… it was only “brilliant” for about half an hour because the first 15 minutes was strictly “sci-fi-by-numbers” but the lull before the storm was all part of the fun. Continue reading

“Blink” – Review: Redux

The Doctor “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a nonlinear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff.”

Blink

It might have just been me, and judging by reaction elsewhere I could be right that it is only me, but “Blink” wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. You’d think that this might teach me (once again) not to believe the hype generated by an online fan community, I had been hearing tales of RTD being positively chilled as he viewed the rushes during production and scoring it as 5-and-a-half out of 5. It is, without doubt it is an episode that stays with the viewer. For about a week after first watching “Blink” I remember that every time I saw a statue in the background of a news report or if I caught a glimpse of one in any TV programme, I would whisper to my wife “Whatever you do, don’t blink!” (Yes, I am an absolute joy to live with). Continue reading

“The Family of Blood” – Review: Redux

Tim Latimer “Because I’ve seen him. He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever… He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe… And… he’s wonderful.”

Family of Blood

I thought that there was, quite simply, no way that “The Family Of Blood” could live up to the greatness of part one of the story, “Human Nature” that we watched yesterday, despite the fact that that episode blasted onto the screen in the midst of battle and the fact that the events unfolded with the pace to which we’ve become so accustomed, there was a gentleness, almost melancholia, about the John and Joan love story that raised this story head and shoulders above others. The second half of most of the two-parters that have graced our screens over the first three series have been a little bit weaker than its preceding instalment. Additionally, “Human Nature” was such a fantastic 45-minutes of TV that it was always going to be nigh-on-impossible to top. Or so you’d think. In the immediate aftermath of this episode, the ever-interesting polls that are held after each transmission over on the fans’ forums, where readers are asked to vote on marks out 10 or some-such, showed that of the 37 episodes of new Doctor Who, these two episodes sat proudly in positions one and two with an average score (on Outpost Gallifrey at any rate) of over 94%…. and for a fickle community, that’s quite an achievement. Continue reading

“Human Nature” – Review: Redux

John Smith “I sometimes think how magical life would be if stories like this were true.”

Human Nature

When I set out on this marathon viewing of twenty-first century Doctor Who, there were two things I was looking forward to more than anything else. Firstly, seeing whether rewatching any stories that never captured the imagination first time around could strike a chord this time round. And secondly, whether any of those stories which had been put on a pedestal and find themselves atop fans’ lists of “Best episodes evah!” deserved knocking down a notch or two. And I have come to Disc Five of the Complete Series Three box-set to re-watch “Human Nature”, it’s second half, “Family of Blood” and this series’ Doctor-light episode “Blink”, very much in relation to that second point: Are they still as good as everyone reckons? Continue reading

“42” – Review: Redux

Sinister Woman “Thanks for all your doing Mrs. Jones. Mister Saxon will be very grateful.”

42

It seemed to me that Torchwoood’s head honcho and first time Doctor Who writer, (now perhaps better known for “Broadchurch”) Chris Chibnall’s introduction to the bigger stage of the Whoniverse was a somewhat derivative storyline. Any genre fan worth his salt (never understood that phrase… answers on a postcard) would be able to spot at least a dozen similarities between this story and many other movies and programmes of a similar ilk. However, if you flip between either using the phrase“rip-off” or the phrase “homage” you can view “42″ from two completely different perspectives. The main driver, and also the pun contained within the title, is that the episode runs in real time, so the 42 minutes of the episode un-fold without a pause (in the same way as popular US series of the time, “24”). It is a device which works extremely well and gives the events a relentlessness and pace that work so well that you wonder why they haven’t performed the same trick again. Continue reading