Tag Archives: John Hurt

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

The-Day-of-the-DoctorI think Steven Moffat has given my brain indigestion. Even sleep didn’t untangle the knots he tied in my mind last night. It seems that The Day of the Doctor is an episode that genuinely requires two passes – the first to follow the plot, the second to absorb the story.

The first viewing left me a little deflated – there were so many good things in there, but it hadn’t moved me (and as you will know by now, I cry at the drop of hat – be it a fez or a stetson). A rewatching has, however, had me reaching for the tissues…

I can’t tell you if this is a reflection on my diminishing abilities to keep up with the Moff’s timey-wimey plotting, or a change in the way the man writes.

(Spoilers of many things 50th-related below the line…)

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Doctor Who (7.13): Love hurts actually

Seventh Doctor[Spoilers all the way down this week.]

Oh, he’s a clever so-and-so that Steven Moffat. The fans want a multi-Doctor episode to mark the 50th anniversary, so he gives us not one but several. He’s been dripfeeding us echoes of Doctors One to Ten for weeks and when we sit down to watch the series finale, with  – let’s be honest – half an eye on the November special, he gives us all Ten (blink and you miss Eight though) and in a way that makes sense.

He doesn’t, of course, tell us the Doctor’s name, because the power of it lies in its mystery. There is no name you can give him that can match his chosen name or the draw of the secret surrounding his other name.

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Raven: Ruffled Feathers

raven_water_800I’ve had ravens on the brain of late. I’m pleased that my son has returned to watching Raven on CBBC, because there aren’t many children’s programmes where mothers can legitimately enjoy a man striding about dramatically in black leather spouting nonsense about ‘The Way of the Warrior’. Yes of course it’s overacting to an absurd degree, but somehow James Mackenzie manages to do it without looking like an arse. 

merlinThe second raven has come about via the welcome return of a new series of Merlin on BBC1 Saturday evenings. Both Harry Potter and Agatha Christie films feature a roll call of Great British Actors that frankly become intrusive and irritating. You can’t escape into a film where you’re star-spotting. But Merlin seems to feature some really good actors (Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon, Richard Wilson as Gaius and the voice of John Hurt as the Great Dragon) without making a fuss about it.

Mackenzie Crook was in episode one, playing a petty thief whose body gets taken over by the spirit of Cornelius Sigan. He is an evil sorcerer whose symbol is a raven. What it is about these birds?

I kept expecting Crook to take his eye out a la Pirates of the Caribbean, but other than that, he plays Evil incarnate blindingly well and facial hair rather suits him. I also like the fact that the main actors in Merlin (Colin Morgan as Merlin, Bradley James as Arthur, Angel Coulby as Guinevere) are young, unknown and rather cute.  But best of all, I like a Saturday evening programme that we all watch as a family, clutching cushions en masse to our faces during the scary bits.

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