Sunday, June 11, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - The Lie of the Land - Episode Review


Image result for the lie of the land doctor whoMy 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?

Doctor Who Series 10 - The Pyramid at the End of the World - Episode Review

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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

Doctor Who Series 10 - Extremis - Episode Review

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My review of the previous episode: Oxygen.

Oh, Moffat.

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

Doctor Who Series 10 - Oxygen - Episode Review

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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.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - Knock Knock - Episode Review

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My review of last week's episode: Thin Ice.

Knock knock...

...Who's there.

Bill’s TARDIS adventures don’t appear to have gone to her head: she’s back to her usual life, looking for a place to stay with a group of friends (or more accurately: a friend and a group of her friends). When the Doctor gets involved, Bill’s not happy about it, though why, or how strongly, she wants to isolate this part of her life isn’t quite clear.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - Thin Ice - Episode Review


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My review of the previous episode: Smile.

Thin Ice is just about everything I love about Doctor Who, from its compelling, evocative setting to its epic, spooky monster to its deft mixture of the serious and the silly. It's easily my favorite of this season, one of my favorite Capaldi episodes overall, and a welcome second installment from promising newbie Who writer, Sarah Dollard.

Bill and the Doctor arrive on the frozen Thames in 1814. When a street urchin steals the sonic screwdriver, the Doctor and Bill chase him out onto the ice, only to watch as the boy is sucked beneath the ice by mysterious green lights. Why? Well, it turns out a massive creature is sleeping beneath the Thames, devouring unwary Fair-goers and turning them into a super-powered fuel. A predatory aristocrat is promoting visitors to the Frost Fair to amp up production.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - Smile - Episode Review

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My review of the previous episode: The Pilot.

Bill and the Doctor arrive in the distant future, where a group of mood-sensitive robots have gone rogue and slaughtered the crew of a small human colony. The main thing Bill wants to know about the future: is it happy?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - The Pilot - Episode Review

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Basically anyone can tell you that I'm obsessed with Doctor Who, and have been since...roughly...last June. I tore through all of the rebooted show (2005 - now) last summer and fall, then dove into the Doctor Who Silmarillion: the vast expanse of Classic Who. I'm nearly finished with Tom Baker's seven-year run as the Doctor. I dressed as River Song for Halloween and special ordered jelly babies from Ireland for Christmas. Considering all of this, it's surprising that I let something as trivial as finals and internship paperwork get in the way of reviewing the show's new season, but...here we are.

Better late than never, right? That is certainly in the Doctor Who tradition.

One of the things I love about Doctor Who is that it renews itself so often. Every few years, we get a new leading man, and a completely new style. After ten years, the rebooted show is probably due a makeover, and that's what we get with The Pilot, a double entendre title which emphasizes both the show's soft reboot of itself, and references a plot point in the episode.