Tag Archives: Jenna Coleman

Doctor Who – series nine round-up

doctor-who-hell-bent-previewApologies for covering five episodes in one go (and being so late getting to the first four – real life has been getting in the way of the important business of TV watching/reviewing recently). Let us take a leaf out of the Doctor’s book and ignore anything inconvenient while rushing towards the action…

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Doctor Who (9.7): A 10-minute story lost in a 45-minute episode

9492447-low-1I understand the desire to have more two-part stories, I do. Sometimes a story really needs more than 45 minutes (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances being a particularly strong example in new Who) – but this Zygon story is not one of them. Next week’s conclusion could be an absolute zinger, but there’s no getting away from this half being much more filler than thriller.

[Spoilers below the line…]

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Doctor Who (9.6): Ill-met by moonlight

9476965-low-1Back in 2011, Matthew Graham or Ashley Pharaoh (co-creators/writers of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes) was kind enough to give me some advice on writing a TV review. In a nutshell, it was ‘judge the work on its aims and ambitions rather than on what you want it to achieve’. This seems an excellent time to hold myself to this higher standard…

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Doctor Who (9.5): Don’t tell him your name Lofty!

DWS9-Trailer2Pix12I doubt I’m the only one welcoming Jamie Mathieson back to the DW writer’s room this series. His episodes last year stood head and shoulders above everybody else’s and he’s showing no signs of slacking here either. Thankfully The Girl Who Died is a lot better than last week’s trailer would have had you believe and has the Doctor at his best (i.e. doing something clever and making everything alright – or, if you’re a Cabin Pressure fan, finding his inner Douglas Richardson*).

[Spoilers below the line…] Continue reading

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Doctor Who (9.4): In which the Doctor breaks the fourth wall (and my brain)

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… and I’m left wanting to break his guitar. Not because I can’t get my head around the Bootstrap Paradox (even with the help of the Radio Times), but because I can’t buy the Doctor as a rocker. A dancer, yes; a reader, (*Tenth Doctor voice*) oh yes!; but a rock musician, not so much. (To be fair, I’m not that keen on Patrick Troughton’s recorder either.) But I digress.

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Doctor Who (9.3): Well, since you ask me for a ghost story…

DoctorWho-UndertheLake-ghosts-720x479Ohhhh – that’s more like it… And not a moment too soon.

I don’t mind being on my own in being dissatisfied with The Witch’s Familiar, but I really dislike writing reviews that are more negative than positive. So, hurrah for Toby Whithouse – a man who can really write ghost stories. (I can’t believe I haven’t given Being Human the Joy of Sets treatment yet – I must remedy this soon.)

[Yada-yada, spoilers below the line…] Continue reading

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Doctor Who (9.2): In which the quality of mercy *is* strained…

9275114-high-… and the witch is, indeed, familiar. As is what I’m coming to realise is the Moffat trope that annoys me the most – things done for just for show. Lord knows, I’m no fan of Clara and I was happy to enjoy her being strung up and tutored/tortured by Missy – right up until the point it was clear there was no point to it. (See also last week’s Doctor on a tank with a guitar.)  It’s a shame, because otherwise it was quite a nifty piece of cliffhanger exposition – not an easy thing to do well. (Pushing Clara down the sewer to gauge the depth, on the other hand, was funny even if you could see the joke coming a mile away, because there was at least a purpose to it.)

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Doctor Who (9.1): Oh Missy, you *are* so fine…

doctor_who_the_magicians_apprentice_1Ah, autumn. Season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and Doctor Who  – as Keats didn’t say. The evenings are drawing in, the spiders are preparing to make their break from under the sofa and our favourite Time Lord returns. (Not to mention our favourite Time Lady…)

Regular readers will, perhaps, recall my growing discontment with the last series, and I have to confess to approaching series nine with some trepidation. The good news is that The Magician’s Assistant is a much stronger start than I was expecting…

[Spoilers below the line. You know the drill by now…] Continue reading

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Doctor Who (8.12): Heaven knows, I’m miserable now…

dw death in heaven

Here be spoilers…

If this were Tumblr, there would be a very high probability that my submission for this evening would be the picture above with overlaid text indicating the fandom on the right and Steven Moffat on the left and something shouty in speechmarks. “Damn you Moffat!”, “This is why we can’t have nice things!” or “You had ONE job!”. You get the idea.

To be fair, Russell T Davies managed only two really good two-parter series finales (Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways and Army of Ghosts/Doomsday) – the rest suffered from the same puffiness that Death in Heaven was afflicted with.

The last few minutes were excellent, but (for me) couldn’t redeem the mawkish Clara and Danny scenes, the death of one of the best minor characters of the Moffat era and plot holes so big you could drop a full-grown Racnoss through them (the Cybermen not spotting Clara has only one heart, the fact that many of the dead would be beyond converting – though after last week’s horrors, I should probably be glad they stayed away from decomposition, UNIT getting the Tardis out of St Paul’s, but not Clara). Not to mention making Osgood credit OCD with an ability to rapidly count 87 moving Cybermen (she would know better, even if Steven Moffat doesn’t).

I’m holding out the slimmest hope that Missy killed Osgood’s alien doppelganger (I can see UNIT hanging on to her as a useful resource), because otherwise Steven Moffat has shot himself in the foot by writing out one of the best characters he’s created.

That said, there were moments to enjoy along the way – Osgood and Colonel Ahmed (always a pleasure to see Sanjeev Bhaskar) geeking about Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, with a bonus Doctor’s anecdote about foxtrotting with Sylvia Anderson, for example. I have to confess I missed the Jungle Book joke on my first pass too (at least, I assume “Man Scout” is a play on “man cub”…).

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Doctor Who (8.11): Dark doesn’t begin to cover it

dw missyI like dark. I also like tongue-in-cheek, and I’m a sucker for a in-joke. Wallop me with a lot of heart (insert your own Time Lord joke here) and I’ll leap aboard your show’s fandom like it’s the last bus out of Spalding on a Saturday night. You can see why Doctor Who has me firmly in its clutches…

I really want to be able to sing the praises of Dark Water – there was so much that was right about it – but it touched a horribly raw nerve for me, and I’m betting I’m not the only person thinking that for a little while it went just a shade too dark for a family show.

[Spoilers below the line…] Continue reading

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