“Night of the Doctor”

I am in something of a state of shock.

It’s long been rumoured, but to actually see this has blown my mind.

Enjoy!

“The Snowmen” – Review: Redux

Doctor “When you find something brand new in the world. Something you’ve never seen before. What’s the next thing you look for?”
Strax “A grenade”

The Snowmen

In the grand scheme of things and the fact that this one-hundred-and-two day Doctor Who extravaganza is now 93 days old, last Christmas seems like no more than a blink of an eye away. Throughout its resurgence since 2005, one of the only constants in twenty-first century Who’s life has been the Christmas special. So the question as we sit down to re-watch the the eighth and most recent is “Have they figured out what to do with them yet?. The answer is an unequivocal “Yes!” and as we sit here on the eve of the 50th Anniversary , looking forward to the next ‘golden’ special as well as the first Christmas Special to feature a regeneration, we can cast an eye back over the last festive outing and can assess a job well done. Continue reading

“The Angels Take Manhattan” – Review: Redux

Amy “Hello, old friend. And here we are. You and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you always. Sometimes I do worry about you though. I think once we’re gone you won’t be coming back here for awhile. And you might be alone. Which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor.”

The Angels Take Manhattan

And so it came to pass that the Ponds/Williams’es have finally left the Doctor to his own devices and gone to live as normal a life as they could muster. Not in the Victorian terrace that had been their Earthbound domestic dwelling place donated to them by their friend but instead in old New York. Prior to airing and, in essence, ever since Karen and Arthur announced that they would be leaving, speculation was rife as to exactly how this would happen. Infamously, The Moff said that not everyone would make it out alive and that “This time I’m kidding!”: A none too subtle reference to the fact, and an admission of his fibbing, when he had said that one of the characters would absolutely, definitely be killed in “The Impossible Astronaut” Continue reading

“The Power of Three” – Review: Redux

Doctor “I am not running away from things, I am running towards them. Before they flare and fade, forever…. You were the first. The first face this face saw. And you are seared on to my hearts, Amelia Pond. I am running to you and Rory before you fade from me.

Dr Who XI 3 Ep4

I think that this may have been the best episode of the four that we’ve seen in Series Seven, so far. On the surface it was a simple tale: there were no headline acts here: no dinosaurs or cowboys, no Daleks or Angels, but what it did have was a soul and, both figuratively and literally, it went for the heart. Of course, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who without an alien threat of some description [Well, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who since the purely historical tales of yesteryear] but the simplicity of that ‘invasion’ part of the plot seemed to be designed so as not to detract or distract from the core material. That core material being the drawing together of the ongoing narrative that has been developing since the Doctor bought Amy and Rory a house at the end of “The God Complex”, providing us with more insight about the impact of these double lives that the Ponds are living and setting us up nicely for their departure when the Angels take Manhattan next time out. Continue reading

“A Town Called Mercy” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Anachronistic electricity. ‘Keep Out’ signs. Aggressive stares. Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?”

A Town Called Mercy

I’ve never been a fan of westerns. To be frank, I have a less than average amount of enthusiasm for movies at all, 90% of the time I would prefer small screen entertainment anyway, but even so, westerns have always left me little cold. I remember watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” after it turned up on some Sky Movies channel or other and it was jarringly bad. Yes, it was atmospheric, it had an iconic musical score, it was reasonably well acted, and it was visually dramatic but I couldn’t get through much more than 20 minutes before it all got too much. it  It’s one of those films that seems widely lauded as ‘best in class’ along with other examples of the genre like “True Grit”, “Unforgiven” and so on, but for me it just served as an excellent reminder to myself why I shouldn’t bother with the genre any more. Having said that, I’m sure there are quality tales out there that would appeal to me and I’d happily take some advice if you’re willing to proffer it, but I tend to get to the end of films like this with nothing but a numbing realisation that there’s two hours of my life that I’m never getting back. Even TV series with western settings used to bore me rigid, and I grew out of things like “The Lone Ranger”, “Bonanza”, and “Alias Smith and Jones” by the time I’d got to high school. So, when I heard that Doctor Who was dipping its toe in the dusty, scorching heat of Almeria to deliver us a wild west tale, I could almost hear the tumbleweed rolling past whispering “Meh!” as it went. Continue reading

“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” – Review: Redux

Riddell “Know what I want more than anything else?”
Amy Pond “Lessons in gender politics?”

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

You’ve seen Jurassic Park, well now get a load of Silurian Ark. You can imagine the fun that was had in the early stages of development of this episode; the child-like glee of a taking a much-talked about movie title and Doctor Who’ing it. “You know ‘Snakes On A Plane’ right?! Well, instead of a plane, it’s a spaceship! And instead of snakes, it’s dinosaurs! Now, off you go and contrive something akin to a plot out of that lot”. To be frank, if this doesn’t titillate and excite the geeky neurons in your brain from the outset, then you’re probably watching the wrong show and Chris Chibnall clearly went away with great enthusiasm and dreamt up the details of this episode: in the process creating the absolute definition of a Doctor Who “romp”. There were no concerns about arc stories or forced references to ongoing continuity and only the merest aside hinting at the forthcoming departure of Amy and Rory, instead we just focussed on the story and having a right good slice of family fun. Of course, one imagines the writers of “Snakes on a Plane” also went with this title first, story second contrivance but thankfully the results here are much better than that celluloid turkey. Continue reading

“Asylum of the Daleks” – Review: Redux

Oswin “Run, you clever boy. And remember.”

Asylum of the Daleks

252 days passed between the previous episode of Doctor Who, “The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe” and first instalment of Series Seven. Of course, that is assuming that you are discounting the Blue Peter special “Good As Gold”, the quirky online/red button curtain raiser “Pond Life”, and the episode prequel. Whether or not you do discount these offerings, they probably didn’t satiate the desire to sit down in front of the now familiar 45-minute slice of Moffatian goodness. Before launching in to my review of “Asylum of the Daleks” it is probably worth giving “Pond Life” a quick mention. The collection of daily, mini episodes only ran to about five-and-a-half minutes in total and, right up until the final moments, it seemed set to be little more than a comic diversion. However, the sit-com feel turned slightly sombre as it became clear that the happily ever life of the Ponds was going through problems of its own. It might have just made us ready for the fact that AotD wasn’t going to be a laugh a minute affair. “We need you, Raggedy Man” said Amy, and so did we, the viewers. Continue reading