Sunday, July 2, 2017
My review of last week's episode: World Enough and Time.
(This is a long review. You have been warned.)
Well, here we are. And I'm conflicted. On the one hand, The Doctor Falls is perhaps the clearest, most concise Steven Moffat finale that we've seen. But on the other, it's deeply unsatisfying.
Mostly because of Bill. Moffat wrote Bill Potts into a corner so dark that he couldn't break her out of it without a Deus ex machina, and that's a problem.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
My review of the previous episode: The Eaters of Light.
You know, there's a part of me that hates this type of episode. It's the first of a two-parter, and since this is Steven Moffat, I really doubt that he'll be able to pull off a safe landing, especially to a story as ambitious and twisty as this one. But boy, does he make me hope (and that's hard to resist).
Saturday, June 24, 2017
My review of the previous episode: Empress of Mars.
It's been a while since we've visited the home of the Twelfth Doctor's accent. With all the kilts and accents, it makes me nostalgic for Jamie McCrimmon and Amy Pond, and now I'm wondering what this story would have been like with an all-Scottish TARDIS team. I mean, it's still okay. It's even good. Honestly, it's probably one of the better episode this season, after the disappointment that was the Monks trilogy.
Also, a fun fact: this episode was written by Classic Who writer Rona Munro, who wrote the final episode before the show was cancelled.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
My review of the previous episode: The Lie of the Land.
To be one of New Who's longest-serving writers, Mark Gatiss really isn't all that impressive. He's turned in the occasional good episode, but most of his installments are just mediocre or genuinely bad (Sleep No More, I'm looking at you), with a few exceptions (The Unquiet Dead is good, and I have an irrational soft spot for Robin of Sherwood.) Empress of Mars is a pretty basic Gatiss episode, in that it's just...there.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
My review of the previous episode: The Pyramid at the End of the World.
Last week, I predicted this episode would have some similarities to Last of the Time Lords, and sure enough, there are a ton of parallels that could be drawn. For one thing, both episodes feature Britain overtaken by a fascist regime (in the latter case, complete with some on-the-nose Trump references), a female companion on the run but believing in the Doctor, and a Deus ex machina ending based on psychic links and faith and something something something.
While this episode really doesn't hold up to scrutiny, I will say this: about everything Last of the Time Lords did poorly, The Lie of the Land does...if not right, then at least better. Faint praise?
My review of the previous episode: Extremis.
[Sorry for the lateness: spent the last two weeks settling into my internship in Washington D.C. - in related news, keep an eye out for my writing at The Weekly Standard.]
If anyone was wondering which part of this episode Steven Moffat wrote, it should be pretty obvious when Peter Capaldi starts monologuing self-seriously about death. It's pure Heaven Sent. There's a kind of Moffaty gimmick at the center of The Pyramid at the End of the World, too: the concept of all-knowing aliens who can pinpoint world disasters and prevent them. On first viewing, I had rather a hard time coping with the idea of a benevolent invasion, but the more I think about it, the more I like it.
Monday, May 22, 2017
My review of the previous episode: Oxygen.
Steven Moffat is one of the greatest visionaries in Doctor Who history. He’s written multiple classic episodes and pushed the boundaries of the show in ways that no one has before. But there's a reason "Moffaty" exists as an adjective. And Extremis is very Moffaty.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
My review of the previous episode: Knock Knock.
Series 10 had been taking it pretty easy up till now. Slowly introducing us to Bill, dropping hints about what's inside the vault, giving the Doctor (and the show) a new lease on life. All of that changed with Oxygen, an episode heavy on plot, message, and thrills, complete with a game-changing twist in the final scene.