Posts Tagged ‘ UNIT ’

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

“The Bells of St. John” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Right then, Clara Oswald. Time to find out who you are.”

The Bells of Saint John

So the first review of an episode, the original airing of which was this year, which can only mean that the end is in sight. Quite how I’m managing to concentrate on “The Bells of St.John” after today’s revelations is beyond me though. Expect some rambling below. TBOSJ, while ostensibly the beginning of the second half of Series Seven, felt for all the world like the beginning of a new Series. The splitting of this series across two years effectively delivered a slow-down in the number of Doctor Who episodes produced, from the heady days of fourteen a year (plus all the extra stuff we used to get like Confidential, Totally Doctor Who, Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures) to a rather miserly-sounding, eight. Of course 2013 is a year quite unlike any other before it in the universe of Doctor Who given its Golden Celebration happening in ten day’s time, but this reduction still sticks in the craw somewhat. 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 Poison Sky” – Review: Redux

Commander Skorr “This isn’t war. This is sport.”

The Poison Sky

The Poison Sky was the conclusion to yesterday’s cliffhanger although no-one was expecting the surprise of another one tagged on the end, which, upon original broadcast, had been only slightly spoiled by the BBC’s “One to Watch” trailer earlier in the day, more on that later though.  It hardly took a great mind to work out the best way to rescue poor Wilf from the car, in fact while the “great mind” was tinkering about under the car with his suddenly impotent sonic screwdriver, it was Sylvia, whose handy (and somewhat scary) burglar-detering axe was readily available for some windscreen smashing, and a short time later we were back in to the action finding out why the Sontaran’s wanted  to poison the sky in the first place. Continue reading

“The Sontaran Strategem” – Review: Redux

General Stall “Sontar-Ha”

The Sontaran Strategem

It’s always nice to have a stratagem, which, according to the dictionary is a plan, scheme or trick for deceiving an enemy, although what exactly the inhabitants of Earth had done to deserve the wrath of Staal The Undefeated and his Tenth Sontaran battle fleet wasn’t quite clear from episode one of this series’ first two-parter, although I’m sure all will be revealed tomorrow. Essentially, the plot involved the Sontarans surreptitiously distributing a new carbon eliminating device for all the world’s 800 million cars that was coupled with a free satnav device that had a secret, second purpose that turned the cars into weapons for the impending invasion. Business as usual in the world of Doctor Who then. Continue reading