Posts Tagged ‘ Time-Lord ’

50th Anniversary Retrospective: “The Day of the Doctor”

Doctor “I could retire and be the curator of this place.”
Curator “You know, I really think you might.”
Doctor “I never forget a face.”
Curator “I know you don’t. And in years to come you might find yourself…revisiting a few. But just the old favourites, eh?”

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Whenever I watch Doctor Who, it has almost entirely been from the sofa of whichever house I happened to be living in at the time, although I do have memories of my childhood viewing technique of lying down on the floor, elbows under my head, with chin perched on my hands. Most of the time, viewing was a solitary experience. My parents, to this day, don’t really get it, and my brother was never a fan. I married in 2002 (during the wilderness years), over a year before the show’s triumphant return was even announced and nearly three years before “Rose” was broadcast. My wife had no idea what she was getting into, but she has enough taste in good television to sit and enjoy the new show with me. Having said that, I’m still not sure I could convince her to sit down and watch “Image of the Fendahl” or “The Romans” or somesuch. Given all this, it was beyond my comprehension to think that I would be watching the 50th anniversary special by leaving the “Official 50th Celebration” at the Excel with a bunch of other fans, many of whom were in Doctor Who costume, getting a cable car across the River Thames to the O2 arena, where we would watch the episode with 775 other fans on a screen 22-metres wide in glorious 3D. Not only that, there were more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide showing the same thing at the same time as it was simulcast in 94 countries and dubbed or subtitled into 15 other languages, watched by nigh-on 13 million people in the UK and who knows how many elsewhere. Not bad for kid’s show. But what to make of it all? The brief was not exactly a simple one: write an episode of the greatest television show that the world has ever seen that celebrates its dazzling, fifty-year heritage; that impresses dedicated fans of all ages as the centrepiece of the anniversary celebrations; that appeals to a large slice of an audience who have a take it or leave attitude to the show (the fools!); and paves the way to securing another half-century of Whovian goodness. It would not have been many people’s first response to this challenge, which had indeed been laid at the feet of Steven Moffat, to say, “Right. Let’s bring back the Zygons”. 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

“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

“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