Posts Tagged ‘ Noel Clarke ’

“The End of Time: Part 2” – Review: Redux

Doctor “I don’t want to go”

The End of Time Part Two

The king is dead, long live the king! In this case, the former is Russell T Davies and the latter Steven Moffat who wrote the final, post-regeneration minute or so of RTD’s swan-song opus, “The End of Time”, shown in two parts on Christmas Day 2009 and New Year’s Day 2010. Now that we see the baton being well and truly handed over it is a good moment to dwell for a moment on my little re-analysis of these early years of the Doctor’s resurrection. The 60-episode era really does stand up well. I went in to the process a little unsure about what I might find: would the magic still be there after eight years? Would Eccleston and Tennant compare favourably to Smith, or would Moffat’s fairy-tale take on the mythology outshine its predecessor? There will be time enough for that another day, but in isolation this was as perfect as something so diverse could be, and the end of Tennant, the end of Russell T Davies, and “The End of Time” were wrapped up as perfectly as anyone could’ve hoped. Continue reading

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“Doomsday” – Review: Redux

Rose “I… I love you”

Doctor “Quite right too”

Doomsday

The plot here is, on the surface, a little lightweight, with essentially just the Daleks and Cybermen slugging it out for world domination while humanity and the Doctor are caught in the crossfire. However, the depth of the story comes from the various interactions, combining action sequences deftly with scenes of emotional depth, all under the steady directorial hand of Graeme Harper. These scenes are some of the truly memorable ones from the 2005-2013 period of the show. For example, as the two foes size one another up there are some wonderful (some might say wonderfully silly) exchanges: to wit, during their first on-screen tete-a-tete, the Dalek simply dismisses the Cybermen with “This is not war. It is pest control“. (Of course, those in the know will realise that this is just a matter of Nick Briggs talking to himself because he provides the voices for both of them). I have heard that a meeting between the Doctor’s two biggest foes was originally proposed way back in the sixties, so it is something of a surprise that it took this long to materialise. Some may say that it is even more surprising therefore, that the battle, when it did come, was so heavily one-sided in favour of the Daleks. Continue reading

“Army of Ghosts” – Review: Redux

Rose Tyler “This is the story of how I died.”

Army of Ghosts

And so, Billie Piper’s 27-episode run as Rose has come to an end: trapped in a parallel universe with her family but with no chance of escape. The “Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday” double-part series finale lived up to the expectations of a demanding audience, not only did we get to see the inseparable duo separated but we got a Dalek/Cybermen war thrown in for good measure. I say “war”, more of a “battle”. I say “battle”, more of a “brief encounter”. There was a lot crammed into these two 45-minute segments and so many memorable moments, all of which were built in to the script to lead us in to that ending. Rose going head-to-head with the Cult of Skaro, Pete and Jackie being re-united, and the Daleks and the Cybermen in a war of words as well as weapons were all sequences that will stay with the viewer for quite some time. None of them however can hold a candle to the last 10 minutes of “Doomsday”. Continue reading

“The Age of Steel” – Review: Redux

Mickey Smith “You’re just making it up as you go along!”
The Doctor “Yep. But I do it brilliantly.”

Age of Steel

The cliffhanger was resolved in a rather unsatisfactory way with Ten whipping out his recharged power cell from the TARDIS and zapping the approaching Cybermen with some hitherto unseen energy ray. I guess that that is one of the challenges with that kind of situation: you have to have a moment of peril at the end of episode one but you have to get your protagonists out within moments of the start of the episode two. This resolution can either be signposted easily in advance or you can surprise the audience with something along these lines. It’s generally either too easy or too impossible to guess and getting the right balance is a skill in itself. Anyway as soon as the escape from the Cybermen had been affected, we soon had a band of good guys in a Transit van trying to save the world. Continue reading

“Rise of the Cybermen” – Review: Redux

Rose Tyler “They’re people?”
The Doctor “They were. Now they’ve had all their humanity taken away. That’s a living brain jammed inside a cybernetic body, with a heart of steel. All emotions removed.”

Rise of the Cybermen

As if the brilliance of the previous three episodes wasn’t enough, I originally approached this first double header of Series Two with some serious excitement. The Cybermen were back and, if last the “Dalek” reappearance in Series One was anything to go by, then we should be in for a cracker. Also worthy of note is the fact that the director of this tale, Graeme Harper, became the first classic series director to return to try his hand at the new series. His skills at structuring a story and his undoubted talents at directing a cracking action sequence or two meant that “The Rise of the Cybermen” and tomorrow’s “Age of Steel” were handled with aplomb. So why wasn’t this as good as it might have been?  Continue reading

“The Girl in the Fireplace” – Review: Redux

Madame du Pompadour “It is customary, I think, to have an imaginary friend only during your childhood. You are to be congratulated on your persistence.”

The Girl in the Fireplace

Episode 4 of this series (and the final episode on the second disc of the Complete Series Two boxset that I mentioned on Monday) sees the Doctor take a wander down the road less travelled, well at least as far as he’s concerned, and that is the road to love. This may not be the premise that would attract your “traditional” Doctor Who fan, but in the heady days of 2006 everybody seemed to be a fan of the show, as if a whole generation of kids who’d loved the show in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s suddenly had come out of their TARDIS-shaped closet and were happy to proclaim their love of Doctor Who to the world. So, may be a love story for the Doctor was overdue. Certainly, Rose has had her share of love interests over the course of the last 17 episodes with Mickey, Adam, Jack and even the Doctor himself but this was Ten’s turn for his hearts to melt. Continue reading

“School Reunion” – Review: Redux

The Doctor “Hello, Sarah-Jane”

School Reunion

When I first heard that Liz Sladen was to reprise her role as Sarah Jane Smith I have to confess that I doubted the wisdom of the decision. It’s been 30 years since she was regularly on our screens and travelling with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker’s 3rd and 4th Doctors, so how many of the much discussed eight million viewers were going to remember her and what kind of relevance would her presence bring to the story other than to kow-tow to us die-hard fans. It was that kind of indulgent, self-reverencial attitude that some argue led to the show being put on ice all those years ago. My recollection of her character was from the exact time I fell in love with Doctor Who, from all those years ago when the fan in me was born, from another time. Fine, bring back Doctor Who for a new generation, speed it up, smarten it up, sharpen it up and make it a 21st century success story, but don’t go messing with it and especially don’t go messing with the bits from my childhood. Continue reading