Posts Tagged ‘ Russell T Davies ’

“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

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“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

“The End of Time: Part 1” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Even if I change it still feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away… and I’m dead.”

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As the world holds its breath waiting to find out which episodes that the BBC is going to announce have been returned to the Doctor Who archives, it falls to me to continue with this marathon of new episodes. And so it is that I fire up the old Blu-ray and get to grips with “The End of Time, Part 1”. Together with its second part, this was a massive tapestry of plot threads that needed to be woven together and developed into a coherent whole, it might just have been the most complicated Doctor Who tale of all in the five years of Mr Davies’ stewardship that we have enjoyed. It began with Wilf, the adorable Bernard Cribbins acting his socks off to widespread if not unanimous praise, being drawn into a church during a choral performance. A mysterious woman, played by Claire Bloom, appeared and talked to Wilf in portentous and somewhat vague terms about the Doctor. This was the first of a number of visions that this woman made to Wilf before finally being revealed as a Time Lady in the service of (but rebelling against) the Lord President of Gallifrey during the climax of the adventure. Continue reading

“The Waters of Mars” – Review: Redux

The Doctor “Yes, because there are laws. There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws but they died. They all died. Do you know who that leaves? Me! It’s taken me all these years to realise that the laws of time are mine. And they will obey me!”

Waters of Mars

Okay, two bits of housekeeping to start with. Firstly, I appear to have had this blog post scheduled to be published in the middle of the afternoon today, which WordPress duly did faultlessly. However, I had only had my placeholder ready rather than any review or anything worth reading. To those who clicked through to their undoubted bemusement, I apologise. Secondly, what a day to be a Doctor Who blogger, or indeed a fan of the show! News has been bubbling around for the last few months about a find of lost episodes. I am deliriously happy right now at the rumours and news that I am hearing. This 50 episode blog will be interrupted with a special update very soon indeed. For now though, on with the show. Continue reading

“Planet of the Dead” – Review: Redux

Carmen “It is returning. it is returning through the dark. And then, Doctor. Oh but then, he will knock four times.”

Planet of the Dead

Back in 2008, we had all become familiar with Doctor Who’s new format, with a 13-episode series running in the spring along with a smattering of extra bits and bobs like Children in Need specials and musical concerts throughout the year, with the jewel of these bits/bobs being an hour-long Christmas extravaganza of varying quality. So, “The Planet of the Dead” Easter Special came with something akin to a sense of trepidation. This was all the Doctor Who we get between Christmas 2008 and mid-November 2009 when the third special of the gap year would arrive. It had better be bloody to make up for it, I thought. It wasn’t. I confess that I had been happy enough to dismiss any outcry over the gap year in a “you’ve-never-had-it-so-good / count-yourselves-lucky” kind of way, safe in the knowledge that a new and highly respected broom would be sweeping through the Upper Boat Studios in South Wales to regenerate our beloved series once more. In the interim and as an added bonus, we’d have five (count ‘em) brand new episodes to bring the RTD-era to an end. However, having watched “Planet of the Dead” on Easter Saturday night I must confess to a feeling a slight sense of injustice at that being all the new Who we’re getting this spring.  “Was that it?” I asked quite ungraciously. Continue reading

“The Next Doctor” – Review: Redux

Jackson Lake “There she is. My transport through time and space. The TARDIS.”
The Doctor “You’ve got a balloon.”
Jackson Lake “TARDIS. T – A – R – D – I – S. It stands for Tethered Aerial Release Developed in Style! Do you see?”
The Doctor “Well, I do now. I like it. Good TARDIS.”

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Normally I watch Doctor Who episodes at least twice. The first time is upon original transmission and I sit with wide-eyed pleasure and soak up every drop of new Whoishness that is played out before me. Despite the fact that I know that I will soon be watching it again with an aim of dissecting it, quoting it, arguing about it, analysing it and generally being far too critical, that first viewing is almost always the best before these corrupting influences of fandom begin to taint and smear the experience. Sometimes, and it’s wonderful when it happens, an episode will stand up to the inevitable barrage of negativity that its most loyal “fans” will lob its way. That Doctor Who so often rises above the critique is testament to its quality and the real reason why fandom persists and flourishes. On other occasions it is the passing of time itself that allows us ming-mongs to re-assess the stories and reach a genuine consensus (if such a thing even exists) as to any particular story’s true merit. On the flipside of this coin, there are those times, thankfully few and far between, that leave me a little cold on first viewing. Where the magic has been somehow dissipated or some essential ingredient is left either incorrectly mixed or missing entirely. On these occasions a second viewing can feel like a burden. Continue reading

“Journey’s End” – Review: Redux

Dalek “Exterminieren! Exterminieren! Halt! Sonst werden wir Sie exterminieren! Sie sind jetzt ein Gefangener der Daleks! Exterminieren! Exterminieren!”

Journey's End

9.4 million people tuned in to the Series Four finale and they were treated to sixty-five minutes of wonderful, sci-fi nonsense.  Beforehand, back in 2008, there was an abundance of newspaper articles across the whole gamut of broadsheets as well as the more typical tabloid fodder, plus guest appearances on TV shows and even features on the Six O’Clock news as a kind of Who-Shot-JR national fervour built up following the “I’m regenerating” cliff-hanger to “The Stolen Earth”.  The secrecy of the plot and the fact that none bar the inner sanctum of BBC Wales knew what was about to happen meant that the hype was going to be almost impossible to live up to.  Alas, that almost proved to be the case. Although this sense was all but lost in the 20/20 hindsight of this knowing look back. Continue reading