Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Updates, Ratings, and New Images


I have a few updates about my last review, "Hide". Just a few things I noticed when I watched it with Scott. It isn't even worth adding them to the review. First of all, at the end of "The Snowmen", when we see a modern day Clara passing Victorian Clara's grave, her friend doesn't want to go though that way. Clara said that she doesn't believe in ghosts. I presumed that would be the Clara we see now, but Clara was very frightened in "Hide". It's probably nothing, but puzzling. Also, when the circle of chalk The Doctor drew disappeared, I think it was taken to form the letters of "HELP ME" that appeared on the wall. And lastly, I was wrong to let this line of dialog go by. When he had Emma hooked up with the crystal on her head and Emma asked what it does, The Doctor says, "It amplifies natural ability, like a microphone or a pooper scooper", and my ears did a double take and i giggled. Oh, I almost forgot. I heard the last name of Hilla, it sounded something like, Takoorian? Takorian? Emma was yelling it. The Doctor says it so fast.


I have no idea what's happening with the ratings. Looking at series 7 overall, going back to "Asylum of the Daleks", the series has done well in final numbers, better than the first 3 series, and pretty even with the past 2. But that could change because since Christmas, the numbers are steadily dropping. The latest episode, which I review next, only had 4.9 million overnight viewers, the lowest of the series. Even when the final numbers come in it will be one of the lowest since the show returned. It feels to me we still have the same number of people who hate it, and even more than before who love it. There are highs and lows to each series, so I guess it would be better explored in about a month when all the numbers are in.


They released new images from the upcoming episode, "The Crimson Horror".  here are a few I chose to share. Enjoy....

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Doctor Who Rumors, Quotes, and Theories

This week some interesting quotes came out about the finale (only 3 weeks away) Steven Moffat seems particularly pleased with his new monsters, The Whispermen, and if Jenna-Louise Coleman is to be believed they will be another Moffat classic. And I found what Jenna revealed about her character to be very intriguing, shedding some obscure light on the issue of who she may be. She said, "All I can say is that Clara hasn't just met The Doctor three times before..."

I already mentioned Steven Moffat's words on the finale and what may be revealed, but he also said this, "We'll also find out what makes his new companion so impossible and there's a surprise that no one has got right so far, and one that will change the course of Who forever!"

If you've read my previous posts you know I'm no fan of revealing The Doctor's name, but not once has Moffat said that this is what will happen. He has said the name of the episode, and said a secret will be revealed and of course it all sounds like what will happen, but when has Moffat ever operated that way?

As for Clara, this could somehow be tied up with the Library and River Song, since she is returning. I don't see how Clara could be River, or even the child of Rose and the metacrisis Doctor. With Jenna's new quote, I'm going with the theory I formed after "The Rings of Akhaten" and say that Clara is connected to Susan, The Doctor's granddaughter. Maybe something to do with Jenny from "The Doctor's Daughter" A friend of mine thinks she may be the TARDIS. But Moffat did ask Russel Davies to keep Jenny alive. Remember in "Hide" how strong the psychic link was because Hilla was the great x5 granddaughter of Emma, now apply the same logic to The Doctor and Clara. I just have a theory with no actual nuts and bolts of it all.

Concerning the finale, which is leading into the 50th anniversary, Steven Moffat said that no one had the surprise right so far. There are many theories out there and maybe he just hasn't heard the one I like the most. There are many thinking that John Hurt will be playing The Valeyard. Real quick, The Valeyard was an amalgamation of The Doctor's darker impulses in the future, if I remember right, somewhere between his 12th and final incarnations. I think I'll do a review of that entire season since it was under the umbrella title of "The Trial of a Time Lord"

There is an idea floating around out there that I do like. I know I saw it on io9 and Spoliertv, but I'm not sure where it originated, but they cite two independent "credible" sources. The idea is that John Hurt will play the REAL 9th Doctor, who has for some reason been suppressed or forgotten by the 3 most recent Doctors. The revelation would not be The Doctor's name, but that he is the 12th, not the 11th Doctor. Rumor or not, and most likely rumor, it's a fun idea. Think of the book from today's episode on the history of the time war. I posted a picture of it in a previous post. In "Rose", The Doctor appeared to look at his face for the first time, implying he had recently regenerated. What if he didn't regenerate from Paul McGann's Doctor, but another was in between who fought in the time war?

One more thing. From the filming pictures we have seen, it looks like David Tennant's hair is being styled they way it was in series 2, which would make sense with Rose coming back. So how will The Doctors link up I wonder.

Next a review of "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"


I don't know what happened to my last post. I could'nt view it and it won't copy and paste right so I have to retype it but it has some interesting rumors and quotes about the 50th and the finale.

Plus I just watched "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" and will start working on that review soon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Doctor Who Roundup and Promo Images From "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"

First I want to give credit to the sites I get information, etc from, besides the Doctor Who Tumblr and Facebook pages. If you are on Facebook, you should "Like" the page "Doctor Who and the TARDIS by Craig Hurle" I know there are others I have yet to try but this one is great at giving not only breaking information but fun pictures and trivia. I've mentioned Combom, where I have gone for years. They have slowed down but do the best they can and provide some things none of the other do like live streaming links and downloads. I don't always go to the next two because I usually see their articles referenced at the ones I've mentioned, but Doctor Who at Den of Geek and Doctor Who News are great sources for news. I've linked the sites so you can just click on their names to find them.

I saw an interesting quote from Steven Moffat in the Radio Times in his description of the series finale, "The Name of The Doctor"

      "There's going to be a revelation. I'm not teasing. I'm not wrong-footing you. You're about to learn something about The Doctor that you never knew before. And I think you're in for a shock."

So I think (wishful thinking?) that it isn't his name we will learn. He's being very non-specific. River will be there so she can hear his name, which makes me wonder what Doctor Ten meant in "The Forest of the Dead" when he told River there was only one reason he would ever tell anyone, only one time he could.

Okay now the fun thing that happened today. New promo images for "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" which has something to do with a salvage crew trying to pick apart the TARDIS. Click to enlarge.

In the second one, behind them is a doorway like we are seeing in the TARDIS interior shots for the episode, so where in the world did this doorway take them?

What are these? They're in the TARDIS. Are the the salvage team after something awful happens? The trailer mentioned something living being kept in the TARDIS. 

The first one is an interesting mirror representation, but not mirror image because of where The Doctor and Clara are. The second one shows the TARDIS being brought in by the salvage team, at a guess, but what is that circular blue light outside?

I don;t know if the catwalk is in the TARDIS or not, but is that the TARDIS library? And what's wrong or in Clara's hand?

What are these hanging globe lights with Gallifreyan writing on them?? And best for last, look at this book. Is it The Doctor's? I'd love a peek.

3days 20hours 11minutes 26seconds until "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" !!!


Being caught up on the new episode reviews has its' advantages. This is a great fourth Doctor quote i found the other day and in a little bit I'm going to post some of the promo images (and thoughts on them) for Saturday's "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS".

Monday, April 22, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Hide

Simply put i loved "Hide". I loved the way it made me feel. I love the way it was shot. I loved Jessica Raine as Emma and Dougray Scott as Alec. So a ghost story ended up being a love story, it didn't make the chills along the way any less real. And so it ended abruptly. Not everything needs to be neatly wrapped with a bow for you to get it does it? Everything resolved itself, we were just treated to an epilogue of sorts. This is an instant favorite for me and one I'm sure I will watch repeatedly for a while, so get ready Scott. It's been pretty quiet the past couple of days, with just a few shots from the filming of the 50th. I could mention that we will see Jessica later when she plays Verity Lambert, Doctor Who's first producer, in "An Adventure in Space and Time", the film they are making about the creation of the show. Now to the episode...

Sorry if you read this already without seeing the episode. I forgot to put the

It starts like many a good ghost story on a stormy night in a big eerie house on the moors, Caliburn house.  Inside, two people, one man one woman, are setting up for ghostly studies. You can already sense the sexual tension. He records the date as the 4th night of the study, November 25, 1974, 11:04pm. Again we have elevens, like Clara's mention of chapter 11 in the book in "The Bells of Saint John". Another one is coming. Also only a couple of days off of the anniversary date, which was the birth date (not year) of Clara from "The Snowmen".  Okay, so they call out to the spirits, or she does. He wears big 70's headphones. The equipment goes wild and the spirit approaches in flashes, passing through the woman, who declares the spirit to be dead. There is sudden knock at the door. The Doctor is there and says he is looking for a ghost, and the man asks who he is and Clara pops around and says "ghostbusters".

This seems as good a time as any to bring up something minor, but it drives me crazy. In the theme of 'The Snowmen", there is an additional electronic noise in the music. It begins right about the time the TARDIS disappears and goes on through into the vortex and title. Ever since then we only get a tiny bit right after the logo disappears and the new vortex begins. I love it and wish they had kept it. This happened last series. In the credits for "A Good Man Goes To War", when the Doctor Who logo comes up you can clearly hear the TARDIS even as the TARDIS on screen flies off in the vortex. That was the only episode that series it happened. I think he does this shit just to fuck with us.

The Doctor knows who the two are already. He uses the psychic paper to establish an identity with the ministry of intelligence, health and safety division. (he likes that cover, "Partners in Crime") He calls the man Major Alec Palmer, and recalls his triumphs in espionage and for the ministry of ungentlemanly warfare. The Doctor's resume for him also include being a talented watercolorist, professor of psychology and a ghost hunter. The woman is his assistant, Emma Grayling, a psychic. The Doctor oohs and aahs over the equipment and asks to be shown the ghost. I love the candelabra  So far it has a really good ghost feel with creaks and bangs echoing. Clara is spooked by the noises and calls Alec brave for buying the house.

The Doctor is taking selfies and once again helping himself to any food and drink present. Alec shows him pictures of the Caliburn ghost. Good shots of what you'd expect a ghost to look like, white, wide eyed, open mouthed.  It has been there longer than the house and present in many legends and poetry. She is called the witch of the well but there is no well on the property, and her sighting is usually accompanied by a knocking. Clara notices the ghost is always in the same position, no matter the angle of the picture. Emma hears her calling for help. Something passes behind them in the doorway. Still carrying a good spooky vibe.

An adorable exchange between Clara and The Doctor as he tries to get her to come find the ghost. Emma tells them the music room is the heart of the house. Scary candlelit journey and wood creaking behind them. Somethings is also in the shadows. Elsewhere, Emma tries to express her feelings to Alec, but he backs away. In the music room, The Doctor finds a cold spot and draws a chalk circle around that space on the floor. As they leave the room Clara runs through it. Downstairs the equipment starts to react. There is a knocking sound. It gets colder and Emma says, "She is coming".

They did the old I'm not holding your hand bit, but it was effective and we saw more of a glimpse of the creature behind them in the shadows when lightning flashed. The chalk circle starts to vaporize into the air. I'm just going to tell you right now I don't understand the circle and it didn't get explained. Downstairs a large spinning black disc appears floating. The other way the ghost appears, and is clearly standing in a forest. The Doctor is snapping pics of both. As both disappear a ghostly "Help Me" is scrawled on the wall a few seconds before vanishing.

Here is the other eleven reference. Clara and Emma have some whiskey, but Emma says she'd prefer tea. Clara agrees, claiming whiskey is the 11th most disgusting thing ever invented. WTF is going on with the elevens? Anyway, in the darkroom, The Doctor and Alec are developing pictures and discussing Alec's missions. We can see a similarity to The Doctor in living after seeing so much death. The selfie The Doctor took has a ghost over his shoulder. He says she isn't what he thought she'd be. He thought she'd be fun. Now he didn't come for the ghost, so I wonder if that's what he was really talking about. The Doctor borrows Alec's camera. Emma and Clara discuss romance and Clara assures her the feeling is mutual with Alec, she can tell. But when Emma asks if there's something between Clara and The Doctor, she is relieved when Clara tells her no. She says not to trust him, he has a sliver of ice in his heart. Strange stuff.

Clara tells The Doctor she doesn't think the TARDIS likes her. He says she's like a cat, and is slow to trust. Why doesn't Clara have a key yet? The Doctor has to let her in. I love the mention of needing a coat rack and The Doctor trying to remember if he had one at some time or if he was going mad. Doctor Who is the reason I got a coat rack years ago. Cute when Clara whispers "sorry" to the TARDIS after shaking out her wet umbrella inside. The Doctor brings out the orange spacesuit again and tells Clara they are not going anywhere but they are staying in the same spot, but going always. As the TARDIS dematerializes, Emma and Alec look out the window. When the lightning flashes there's an eerie reminder of a ghost story as we see a ghost off to their side. Great jump out of your skin moment.

The Doctor starts 6 billion years ago on a molten Earth taking pictures through time, all the way to what must be about the time The Doctor and Rose were on the observation platform in "The End of the World". Clara is greatly effected by seeing the entire life cycle of the planet. Probably picking up on his speech in "The Rings of Akhaten", she says they're all ghosts to him, they must be nothing. What can we possibly be she asks. The Doctor tells her, "The only mystery worth solving".

When they return, Emma sees Clara is shaken. Clara says she saw that everything dies. Emma says "Not everything, not love, not always" The Doctor says this later, but I feel it might be significant, since The Doctor told Clara they were going 'always' in the TARDIS. Here it turns from ghostly to sciency. The ghost is not a trapped spirit but a girl in a pocket universe where time runs 1 second for her and 100,000 years for us. She is a time traveler named Hilla something, i couldn't catch it and haven't found it printed yet. To Hilla, she crash landed 3 minutes ago and she is running from something. In a picture we see an odd dangerous looking creature not quite in focus. But Emma is a lantern drawing Hilla to this world and only Emma can save her.

In the plan, The Doctor uses a blue crystal from Metebelis 3, one was last used by the third Doctor, and pronounced differently. He also has a lit crystal thing he says is a subset of the eye of harmony. Alec asks Emma not to do it, fearing for her safety. we see her finally get through to him the feelings they share. Emma opens the doorway. The well is a reality well, a wormhole. The Doctor delivers a funny "Geronimo" and dives into the well attached to a harness.

Here we jump back to the creepy. The woods are foggy, creepy glimpses of the creature, the edge of this crumbling pocket universe was amazing looking. He finds Hilla, they get lost trying to find the harness. Emma calls out and projects an echo house from an echo universe to guide them. Inside they tie the door closed. The Doctor sends Hilla up in the harness. He hears the creature knock and realizes that is the knocking sound they've been hearing. With Hilla back, Alec takes the device off Emma's head and the well closes. Clara demands she reopen it. The floor under The Doctor disappears, replaced by forest floor. We hear the TARDIS cloister bells.

Clara tries to get into the TARDIS, who projects the voice visual interface in the form of Clara herself to argue that landing in the pocket universe would drain her. Clara won't listen, intent only on saving The Doctor. The TARDIS agrees and lets her in. Emma opens the doorway again. We see the TARDIS fly through the new vortex finally and I must say I approve. I'm still a great fan of the original (2005-2009) but this one is pretty damn good. In the woods The Doctor admits to being afraid. We get better glimpses of the creature and it's looking scarier each time. They way they shoot it as if in motion and standing still at the same time, just creepy. The Doctor knows the creature wants to piggy back over to the other world and begins to run. He's tackled by the creature and it's just even scarier this time with a good look. Here comes the TARDIS, flying by and not landing. One of those hilarious moments, like in Rat Race, when Rowan Atkinson was standing by the Amtrak tracks and when a train went by he just reached out and grabbed hold and ZIP was gone in a flash. That's how The Doctor did as the TARDIS whizzed by. The TARDIS makes it through Emma's doorway. The Doctor, who had been holding on outside the TARDIS, and Clara, who had been holding on for dear life inside, did a comical exhausted high five. It looks like it's over.... but it's not.

Remember I said The Doctor didn't come for the ghost? Emma figured it out. He came for her. He asks her what Clara is. She acts all innocent and passes her off as a perfectly ordinary girl, throwing out general descriptions like pretty and clever, a girl more scared than she lets on. But Emma doesn't trust The Doctor as we saw. She asks him isn't all of that enough? Goodbyes all around. The Doctor reveals the psychic link between Hilla and Emma was so strong because Hilla is Emma and Alecs great great great great great granddaughter. Here The Doctor says not everything ends, not love, not always. He remembers bits of conversation from the night and figures out the creature wasn't a threat, and not one creature. It's not a ghost story, it's a love story. These two got separated and trying to get back together. The Doctor asks Emma for a tiny favor.

The Doctor lands in the pocket universe and lets the creature know he understands and he can take the two of them somewhere safe. The creature comes and we get the best look. What a creation. Brilliant in that who would come up with that big hot mess? And a bit sad to think all this time it was a love struck boyfriend not a menacing killer. So misunderstood.  The Doctor was sweet when he called him "you old Romeo, you" and as the TARDIS comes flying through the air The Doctor ends it by saying "Get ready to jump". Yes, the abrupt ending, but I think I can figure out on my own what happens and it is fun to leave things at an exciting (safe) moment.

The preview for "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" look great. That looks strongly like the pool through that doorway Clara is in front of. It looks massive and the roof looks like a starlit sky. And what's that about keeping lifeforms in the TARDIS? What are those claw marks? And why is The Doctor asking Clara "What are you, eh? A trick, a trap?"

4days 13hours 58minutes 22seconds until "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Cold War

Pardon me for not ****SPOILER ALERT***ing already, but **** SPOILER ALERT****

Not to be too nit-picky but "Cold War" was a short episode. Right about 41 minutes including trailer for "Hide". It felt like it could have done without an extra 2 or 3 minutes at the end. I don't really consider that a complaint though, I mean, what do they say, leave them wanting more? It was a great episode. I really enjoy Mark Gatiss' writing. It really captured the feel of a classic episode. The Doctor trying to reason with the Ice Warrior reminded me of his first encounters with them. There was still a great struggle shown despite a confined space. It was quite thrilling at times, and kind of a treat for fans of the original Ice Warriors. The Ice Warrior armor both retained the original design and somehow completely updated it without altering the original idea too much, such as they did with the Silurians. (Which I did like, but totally unrecognizable) It's good they shake it up sometimes.

Some episodes begin before the credits with an introduction, or background information to set up the story. This was the case with the last two episodes. Some start telling the story, like a prologue. This one does the latter. This is also the first episode with Clara that is open ended. She is already with The Doctor when we see her and we leave her still with him. This opens up the possibility for adventures that we do not see happening between episodes.

The story opens in the icy waters of the north pole in 1983, under which travels a soviet submarine, and they are on alert and arming the nuclear weapons. They are comically interrupted by Professor Grisenko, played adorably by David Warner. He is singing along to his headphones, but has only interrupted a drill. This is the cold war, and we can see by the attitude of one officer that tension is high even during a drill. The captain orders the drill put off until morning, then asks the professor about the beast they found in the ice when drilling for oil, wondering if it is a mammoth. Down below we see a block of ice with a figure inside. One of the crew has, god knows why, decided not to wait until port to thaw the ice and applies a blowtorch. Movement in the ice. The ice cracks and we get a great shot of the Ice Warrior's hand shooting out to grab the crewman's throat.

After the credits, the sub is going down and the crew are being attacked by an Ice Warrior we only get tantalizing glimpses of. The TARDIS materializes and out pop The Doctor and Clara, thinking they were going to Las Vegas. By her dress and his Elvis sunglasses I'd say maybe the early to mid 60's? Everything is getting wet as the sub sinks further. The Doctor suggests a lateral move to land on a ridge which saves them all form imploding at a greater depth. When searched, they find on The Doctor his sonic screwdriver, the sunglasses, a ball of twine, a Barbie doll (blonde), and what looked like  a wrapped candy apple. Suddenly the TARDIS dematerializes. There's a jolt and Clara is knocked unconscious.

Clara comes to as The Doctor is trying to explain that they aren't spies but time travelers, choosing to use the truth for a change. Then the Ice Warrior appears behind The Doctor. Great chilling sound made by him. The Ice warrior, not The Doctor. It looked great but I covered that. The Doctor explains it is a martian warrior. He had been in the ice for about 5,000 years. He tells us he is Grand Marshall Skaldak. Good job on the voice. The Doctor seems to know the name but I can't find any reference in a televised episode. The Doctor tries to keep both sides from starting a battle when an officer shocks Skaldak with a cattle prod, knocking him out. They put Skaldak in chains. When he wakes up he begins sending a signal.

When the Russians think The Doctor and Clara are spies there is a funny moment when Clara learns that not only are they Russians speaking English  but that she is speaking Russian  So now the TARDIS is translating for her. Don't know if that was a mistake in the last episode or not. The captain is frustrated and his officer still in war mode. The captain won't let The Doctor speak to Skaldak and The Doctor says no soldier can. So Clara goes in with a headset to get instructions from The Doctor. She salutes Skaldak and begins to try and reason with him. The lights go out but she has a torch so approaches closer as she says they are not enemies. Skaldak says yet he is in chains. He mentions his daughter joining him in battle, but now she would be but dust. The Doctor says he can help and Clara notices something odd about the armor. It is empty. It opens and Clara is scared.

The Doctor admits he has never seen an Ice Warrior out of its armor before. They open the door for Clara and naked Skaldak shuffles away with nary a glimpse. Cute moment where Clara checks to make sure she did okay, then seems satisfied with her performance. Skaldak's signal stops. No answer from his Martian brothers. He feels abandoned. With nothing left to lose he is even more dangerous and oh, the ridge the sub is resting on is crumbling away.

We get some good Alien 2 (or more accurately, Aliens) feeling with the turning alert lighting and corridors with crawlspace in the walls, something i don't quite get on a submarine. That militant officer from before gets a shock when the bony hands of Skaldak grab him from behind. Very long, bony, and pale, this wasn't their best work. A bit of a glove feel with the way the nails/claws looked. They didn't fix the shot of his finger just flicking off the guys chin from lack of control and the hole in one finger. But I have to say it still felt a bit creepy. Before having his skull presumably crushed, the officer tried to make an alliance and told Skaldak of the cold war raging above.

The captain gives a pep talk. Clara learns time can be rewritten and could still end in 1983 if Skaldak launches missiles that begin mutual nuclear attacks. when the professor finds the sonic screwdriver and Barbie doll The Doctor says, as you do, that he could kiss him. Without missing a beat the professor casually says, "If you insist" and it made me laugh out loud. They all go to search the sub. The professor shares his trick of singing to feel less scared. His favorite band is Ultravox but he asks Clara if she knows Duran Duran's Hungry Like the Wolf. She refuses to sing whenever he brings it up, but claims she knows it from doing karaoke at hen nights (bachelorette parties for my fellow Americans) The professor remarks on Clara's excellent Russian but says she confuses him with what she says.

Kind of a funny Alien-y moment with Skaldak's really bony, long arms reaching down from above and snatching crew members by the head. They let us know the men were torn apart and Skaldak is learning their strengths and weaknesses. Clara is shaken. The Doctor asks her to stay behind when he goes off. She says ok but he says not to argue, then realizes for the first time he has a companion who listens, and goes off on his own. It has started to feel real for Clara. The professor is sweet as he tries to reassure and calm her. he tries to get her to talk about herself but she's to jumpy to even listen properly. He tries to get her to talk about time travel and breaks the tension by urgently insisting she tell him the future, which turned out to be whether or not Ultravox break up. Clara regains her smile and composure. but Skaldak reaches down and grabs her head. The professor shoots Skaldak and he lets go, only to grab the professor, Clara begging Skaldak to spare him. They only give us a shadowy look at Skaldak's face, but you can tell it's going to be cgi.

Skaldak summons his suit with his sonic technology and it's all nice and dramatic as it stomps closer. Skaldak threatens to start a war before letting the professor go and scurrying into the open suit, then stomping off towards the control room? Control deck? What do you call it on a sub? And so we see we aren't going to get a full body shot of an Ice Warrior out of armor. But he does have cool biomechanical looking finger extensions that plugged into the control panel and armed the nuclear warheads. The Doctor tries to reason, admitting the might of the Ice Warriors while downplaying the threat the humans actually pose. It would be the act of a murderer not a soldier.  Finally The Doctor just threatens to blow up the sub first and we see a new red setting on the sonic screwdriver.

The Doctor asks Skaldak to look in his eyes and we get a look at the head when he removes the helmet. Not bad. Pretty good even maybe. Would be better if it wasn't completely dissimilar to the arms and hands we saw. Clara points out he showed the professor compassion, and of all the daughters above that would die. Suddenly a really cool light beam locks hold of the submarine and lifts it. 1983 Ice Warriors heard him and came to get Skaldak. The sub breaks the icy surface, safe again. The Doctor pleads with Skaldak to go in peace. The Ice Warriors teleport him away, but the warheads are still armed. In this nervous moment Clara is finally scared enough to sing.. "...I'm lost and I'm found, and I'm hungry like the wolf..." I don't know if this is stretching things, but of all songs to choose, why would it be one with the word wolf in it? Bad wolf? Lost and found? I don't know. Maybe Steven Moffat is just teasing us. Anyway the warheads disarm, Skaldak showed compassion and mercy. Some really nice music during this part. More of that kind of thing, please.

Hugs all around. Cute moment when Clara checked to make sure they just saved the world and said "that's what we do". Atop the submarine the Ice Warrior spaceship looked just great. When Clara asked about where the TARDIS went I loved it because they brought back the H.A.D.S. Hostile action displacement system. If the TARDIS is attacked or in danger it relocates. Unfortunately when The Doctor tells Clara it relocated to the pole, she then got a shock when he explained it was at the south pole. When The Doctor asks the captain for a lift, everyone laughs. Matt Smith is cute when he laughs back as if to say "I don't see what's funny but haha anyway" or "You all think you're so funny". This is where I think they could've added time. The Doctor salutes the spaceship and it flies away, that's it. It doesn't bother me, I'm just greedy. Give me my 45 minutes. More even.

I was going to type here that the trailer for "Hide" looks good, but I just watched it and LOVED it. But I need to watch it again a time or two so I can make notes. I really wanted to finish this first.

Which means up next: "Hide"

Friday, April 19, 2013

Please be patient... Regenerating

I'm trying to morph my blog and hope I can still be found. I removed my domain name, reverting to sheridanistics.blogspot.com from now on. Right now it's causing issues with a follower but I'm hoping it's just something that fixes itself with time and all the lovely people who have been reading will continue to be able to do so.

In the meantime, here are the released promo images (movie posters really) for the rest of series 7 part 2. I am very happy that they titled the Neil Gaiman episode "Nightmare in Silver" instead of the rumored "Last of the Cybermen". Tomorrow's episode, "Hide", looks promising and I am just about to type my review of last week's "Cold War". Greatly looking forward to seeing Dame Diana Rigg in "The Crimson Horror". They just released today the title and image from the finale, "The Name of the Doctor". It took me a moment to realize the broken window he is looking out of is the TARDIS. I hope this is like "Let's Kill Hitler" and the title doesn't actually happen. Or, just a thought, we know at some point he tells River his name, and if he is forced to tell it, according to the prophecy it cannot be answered falsely or fail to be answered, he can tell it to River. We know she is back for that episode. Also they said it leads into the 50th. And i wonder how all this name business possibly ties in with Clara. I can hardly wait until tomorrow to see the preview of "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS". Is that a hint at an Escher-esque TARDIS? I'll be back with my "Cold War" review and tomorrow with "Hide".

19hours 59minutes 23seconds to "Hide"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Doctor Who Review: The Rings of Akhaten

It's been a week but still... SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

This episode starts with Clara's "page one", the leaf. The Doctor is watching Clara's parents as they meet, fall in love, and eventually raise Clara. Is he checking to make sure she is real? I think so. Before we can start with the leaf we have to bring up something. It isn't the same leaf from the previous episode. it is a reddish colored leaf like the other, but we see it dangling from a Maple tree (like the other leaf) and the leaves are shades of green and yellow. I have a possible theory on this I'll share later in the review. So this one leaf is blown off the tree into the face of Clara's father, causing him to stumble into the road in the path of an oncoming car. Clara's mom snatches him to safety just in time. As The Doctor watches them later on a date, possibly an anniversary, dad shows mom the leaf he saved, saying it is the most important leaf in human history because it had to grow in the right place and the right time to bring them together. We see them together in a nursery, then with a baby Clara, and then in a park they see The Doctor when Clara is maybe 4 or 5. Then they show Clara as a teen probably (good job on making her appear young) with her  father at her mother's grave. Going with the Rose and Clara connection theories, Clara's mother's date of death is March 5th 2005, the date that Rose first met The Doctor in "Rose".

After the credits I love how Clara is on the stairs waiting, presumably the day after "The Bells of Saint John". She even has the book, 101 Places To See. She hears The Doctor arrive and gets excited. It was cool that she couldn't figure out where to go. That would be my hardest decision. The Doctor takes her to Akhaten, her first new world. I thought it was beautiful with the rings and the people living in the rings instead of the planet they circled. A shining pyramid appears and The Doctor explains it is a temple where the song singers are of the 7 worlds, who believe all life originated on the planet.

The interior was very Star Wars meets "The Beast Below". So many amazing looking creatures and robots in a bazaar type feel setting. For some reason Clara wasn't getting translation from the TARDIS, except for the most human looking inhabitants. The Doctor mentions he has been here before with his granddaughter, a nice mention of Susan. They try a blue glowing food The Doctor whimsically describes as an "exotic fruit of some description " Everyone is there for the festival of offerings, which takes place every 1,000 years or so when the rings align. Clara learns that money here is based on psychometry,  using items of sentimental value, the more sentiment attached the more the value.

Clara sees a little girl in red velvet robes running from someone. Similarly robed men approach and ask if shes seen the Queen of Years, she says no. She goes to find the girl, Merry, and when she does she caringly reassures her that she wants to help. Merry asks for help when a black/purple cloud appears, fading to reveal The Vigil, 3 cyborg types, very steampunk, with creepy whispery voices calling out to Merry. Clara takes her to the TARDIS. The TARDIS won't open, but Clara didn't have a key. The TARDIS did make a funny gong noise and Clara commented that she doesn't think the TARDIS likes her. We know the TARDIS doesn't like paradoxes.

Clara learns Merry is a vessel for the history of her people, knowing every legend and song. She has to sing a song to a god and is afraid she will get it wrong and anger the god, also called Grandfather. I find this interesting because that's what Susan called The Doctor, grandfather, and they had been here. Does it mean anything? I don't know yet. Clara tells a story we see part of in flashbacks of getting lost as a child. After she found her, her mother took her home and told her a story and that she would always be with her and would always find her. Merry agrees to go back to sing.

Everything gets dramatic as the ceremony begins. The singing is lovely, with more great music from Murray Gold. We see the song singers in the pyramid singing to a mummy seated in a glass box. They sing their songs to keep him sleeping. Merry and the song singer seem to sing to each other from their distance. The crowd displays their offerings, gifts of value and mementos. Something goes wrong, a rumbling begins and an energy bubble surrounds merry and begins dragging her through the air to the pyramid.

Clara mistakenly thinks The Doctor is running away. He tells her pointedly they never walk away. They go to rent a moped but need psychometry money. Now, we know The Doctor's pockets are bigger on the inside and see in the next episode (SPOILER) that there are many things in them. But he makes Clara decide to offer a ring from her mother. Some test or does he know something? The moped ride among the rings was not bad. Fun.

Merry enters the pyramid, the door closes. Merry is scared and doesn't know what to do and the song singer is no help he won't stop singing. She approaches the glass case, the mummy's eyes light up red and Merry screams. The Doctor sonics the door open but it's heavy to hold up. Merry won't go with Clara, zapping her in some electric webbing stuck to the glass case. The Doctor let's the door close. The song ends, the song singer leaves and the mummy wakes.

The Doctor convinces Merry to resist offering herself. The Vigil arrive. Cool effects with their defenses. The Doctor fights back and they get Merry out. The mummy shatters the box. An intense beam shoots from the pyramid to the planet. The Doctor realizes the mummy was just the alarm clock, the planet is Grandfather, now awake to consume the 7 systems and beyond. They are sent back on the moped, but Merry and Clara want to help. Merry sings. Everyone sings. The Doctor tells a story about the people singing. Now forming a face the planet looks a bit like a planet sized jack-o-lantern, but pretty cool. The planet is a parasite, not a god, feeding on memory and love and loss. He offers his memories, if the planet has the room.

The Doctor gives a nice speech about his life and what he's seen and lost and what he knows and secrets that must never be spoken. Good job here by Matt. The planet begins to collapse but recovers. Clara has a flash of her mother, "I will find you" and The Doctor "you don't walk away" and takes the moped to the pyramid. She offers up the most important leaf in history, full of a future that never got lived. Here there is a flash again to the cemetery with Clara at her mother's grave, but we see her turn to where The Doctor stands in the background watching like before. As she offers all the days that never came, rays from the planet slowly dissolve the leaf into itself while The Doctor explains the difference in energy that was and what should have been. There's an awful lot of one, but an infinite amount of the other. The planet gets full and collapses. Infinity was too much.

The Doctor takes Clara home, noting remarkably that it's even the same day, a fact which I feel is significant in some way. Things look different to Clara. She remembers The Doctor at the cemetery and asks why he was there. He tells her of a dead friend she reminds him of. She says she will travel, fine, but as herself. The Doctor then presents her with her mother's ring. The people of Akhaten all wanted her to have it for saving them. He assures her it is only her and no one else.

So, the leaf. This is not totally thought out. But even Clara used it like it was "the" leaf. What if The Doctor went back to see if Clara was real and somehow messed up the meeting because of the leaf and he had to go back and find a leaf to place on the tree that would work, which would explain why he looked so concerned the entire time he was watching Clara's parents. Like i said it's rough, but something may be there.

I liked this episode quite well. I've seen a lot of negativity and I really don't see what they see. I felt it was pretty strong and if anyone has any questions let me know, because I liked the story. Very proper for a new companion's first time to the stars, and it had quite a classic feel to it.

Up next: "Cold War"

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Doctor Who Review: The Bells of Saint John

I found "The Bells of Saint John" to be entertaining and satisfying as both a (semi)series opener and as the first episode of a new companion. In the big mystery behind Clara we get a little bit of information that spawns many new questions. Set in modern day London this episode explores how connected we as people are to wifi. It opens with a warning against an odd wifi name and the dangers that can come from selecting these symbols. They can see you, they take you and trap your soul by uploading it, and your body eventually dies. We see a wall of screens with faces and we realize the warning is coming from someone trapped in the wifi already.

It looks like they are going to stick with a brushed metal type finish to the letters of the logo, and after the titles, begin the scene by going through the opening TARDIS doors, which I like. This one opens in 1207 Cumbria, where The Doctor is staying with monks. They come to tell him the bells of saint john are ringing. As he readies himself to go, we see a painting of Clara from "The Snowmen" with her final words "Run you clever boy, and remember" The monks seem to know of her as the girl twice dead, and to decipher the meaning behind her last words is why The Doctor has withdrawn to the monastery. I was so excited to find out what the bells were, the TARDIS exterior phone ringing. The monks were using the name of the Saint John's Ambulance symbol on the TARDIS door.

Now this whole time we have also been seeing Clara trying to connect with a help line for the internet. She seems to be once again watching children with a single father. The younger has a book called "Summer Falls", curiously authored by Amelia Williams. The boy tells Clara he is on chapter ten and she says, "chapter eleven is the best, you'll cry your eyes out." Is there meaning here in reference to the 10th and 11th Doctors? There is interesting speculation of a Rose connection with Clara, especially with Billie Piper coming back. Oswin wore a rose in her hair, Clara in "The Snowmen" worked at the rose and crown pub, and you'll see more references later and in the next 2 episodes.

The TARDIS is in a crypt(?) somewhere near the monastery and when he answers who is on the other line? Clara, whose been on hold this whole time waiting for him to pick up! He doesn't realize it's her and she's just looking for internet help. When The Doctor asks where she got the phone number she tells him some woman in a shop said it was the best help line in the universe. Could it be Rose? Or River? River is coming back for the finale. The Doctor tries to help her, and we see she knows nothing about computers. When she gets the password, rycbar123, she says aloud the mnemonic device to remember it "Run you clever boy and remember" which immediately stops The Doctor in his tracks. I don't know if this means anything, but she typed "1" and they showed Oswin, then she typed "2" and you see Victorian Clara, and when The Doctor blurts out "What did you say" she, instead of hitting "3", accidentally hit "4" and they show this Clara. But then she clicks the strange symbol on the wifi and we can see her face on the wall of screens, and see her turn away from the screen and walk off...

... to answer the door where The Doctor has arrived already. That cracked me up. They do the "Doctor Who, Doctor who?" things and when he says her name "Clara Oswin Oswald" she says it's just Clara Oswald and asks what that middle one was. Then finally we get a glimpse of the group behind this in their fancy offices. They seem to like Clara, wanting to upload her and splice her with a computer skills package. Send for the server, or "Spoonhead." The group is preserving minds in the cloud for their mysterious client. The head of the group, Ms. Kizlet, shows the control they have by adjusting qualities on her employees via her tablet, creating more obedience or less conscience and so on.

Meanwhile, Clara thinks The Doctor is crazy and won't talk to him. She hears a noise upstairs. An oddly familiar girl comes down the stairs and after strangely blank responses her head begins to turn and we see our first Spoonhead. Pretty cool effect and very creepy. The back of the head is concave with circuits and a beam to upload their victims souls. Oh, and it was the girl from the book cover earlier. The Doctor changes clothes (love the waistcoat) and finds Clara incapacitated, but calling out confused from the Spoonhead. The Doctor stops the upload (crazy fast typing skills), to the surprise of Ms.  Kizlet. When she finds out who he is she alerts the client that The Doctor had arrived as was warned.

The Doctor has put Clara to bed and is setting things up for her like a glass of water and some flowers (ROSES) and sees a book of hers "101 Places to See" that she has had since the age of 9. Every age is marked out but two are missing, 16 and 23. 24 is the oldest age. There is also a leaf in the front that The Doctor gives a good sniffing then a lick. He looked a bit confused as he placed the leaf back. There's going to be more to this next episode. The leaf was a Norwegian Maple. Norway is where Bad Wolf Bay was.

Clara wakes up, doesn't remember what happened, sees The Doctor camped outside guarding her, he suggests sleep but she joins him with a cup of tea. Ms. Kizlet sees the TARDIS in a view of Clara's house. They still want her. She increases the IQ of a worker on her tablet to devise a plan of attack. The Doctor explains the wifi problem, having worked some of it out, and Clara makes a Twitter joke which alerts him that Clara is suddenly computer savvy. The Doctor sees a Spoonhead (or walking wifi base station) and tries to get Clara in the TARDIS, which leads to a comical exchange where she wonders if it's his snog box. But something new has started. All the lights on the street are coming on. Then all the lights of the surrounding town start to go out. Then they see the plane coming towards them, in the middle of a lit target. IN THE BOX, a very quick bigger on the inside as Clara stumbles around amazed, not letting go of that tea cup. Shocked The Doctor is going out, Clara is even more shocked when the doors open to reveal they are in fact inside the airplane, where all passengers are asleep. . "It's all very sciency" explains The Doctor as they struggle their way to the cockpit. After pleas for explanation The Doctor reveals to Clara he is an alien with two hearts who is 1000 years old but can't fly a plane. Together they raise the plane to an upright position and The Doctor switches off the wifi allowing the crew to resume control. The Doctor snatches a dazed Clara, still holding that tea cup, away.

Quick scene of Ms. Kizlet confused at the TARDIS' disappearance. In the TARDIS, Clara wants more explanations and can't wait until the suggested breakfast discussion, again getting surprised when the door opens to reveal morning. We can see The Doctor popping down another hall of the TARDIS on his way to the garage, soon he comes out riding a motorcycle. Now a nice little spring zoom around London on motorbike. People taking pictures have alerted Ms Kizlet to the TARDIS' whereabouts as well as Clara's.

The Doctor can't hack the system to find out where these people are. He learns Clara has been watching the children about a year, since their mother died. Also a year for Oswin in "Asylum of the Daleks", and a year as governess in "The Snowmen". Clara notices how The Doctor keeps looking at her. She says she can hack in and get the location. In the coffee shop, The Doctor can't get coffee because Ms. Kizlet keeps talking to him through the people there, telling him he has no hope of saving Clara, so he goes to check on her. Meanwhile Clara just needs a password to set up what shes setting up. She says aloud "Oswald for the win" Then, "Oswin!" Again this jars The Doctor, and he goes back to the shop.

Clara uses the webcams of the workers at the, I don't even know what to call it. Organization? Anyway, she snaps all their pics and uses a face matching software to find them on social media, leading her to their work location, The Shard building in London. Clara tells The Doctor when he returns but it's actually a spoonhead and she gets properly uploaded this time. The real Doctor finds The Doctor spoonhead with Clara's face in it and aims his sonic screwdriver.

Ms Kizlet and company discuss Clara being fully integrated and how she can't be downloaded now, and also that The Doctor is coming, on the motorbike. Speaking through a bum, Ms Kizlet scoffs at The Doctor's attempt to enter the building. He shows her his motorcycle he rode in the anti-grav Olympics of 2074, where he came in last. But she tells him the building is on lock-down and he says wonderfully, "did you even hear the word anti-grav?" He hits a big button and zooms off and up the side of the Shard, crashing into Ms. Kizlet's office. He tells her to download Clara. She says they'd have to download the whole cloud and many have no bodies to go to. He then motivates her by revealing he never came, but sent the spoonhead, which hoovered Ms. Kizmet right up. The Doctor spoonhead then uses Kizlet's tablet to increase her aide's obedience to 100, so when her face on the wall of screened faces calls out to download her, he obeys and they all go back, but some to death. Still, better than frozen on that wall.

Then something funny happens. UNIT comes to secure the building, but nobody knows who UNIT are. Even Ms. Kizlet tells the client they must be friends of The Doctor. The client confirms because he does know UNIT.  The client ends up being The Great Intelligence again, this time using Simeon's face on the screen. He withdraws from their minds and she is reverted back to before he had control of her, a scared little girl looking for her mummy and daddy.

The Doctor shows up at Clara's. She comes in. Talks about how she was going to travel when she came here and their mother died. The Doctor says it's a time machine, they can always get back in time for anything and still see all of time and space out those doors, which cracks Clara up. She asks if his little act works to get people in his snogging booth. She says to ask her again tomorrow, then she might say yes. Before she goes he asks about the leaf she has in the book. She tells him it isn't a leaf, it's page one. The Doctor does look a bit confused at that. I hope so because I kind of am, especially given what happens in the next episode.

Up next, "The Rings of Akhaten"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Words for the Doctor Who Complainers


Seriously. I see you write reviews or complaints about the dialogue, the setting, the script, the effects, the direction of the show after each and every episode or series. Why are you still watching? We would all be happier without you needling at ridiculous points you feel are wrong with the show. I see you in the forums offering no support for blind statements of the shows' faults with nothing concrete to back them up as you criticize others for their enjoyment of the show. The show certainly won't miss you. Seriously, again, why are you watching? I don't watch things I don't like, but I'm just funny like that, I guess.

And don't tell me I just blindly love it no matter what happens. This is a popular argument when you have nothing of substance to contribute to the discussion. I can clearly recognize the ups and downs of the show, which are no worse with Steven Moffat. Remember having to sit through "Love & Monsters", "Fear Her", or that horrible 2 part Dalek abortion in series three? I think the show has more depth and drama than ever before. Story arcs excite me, as does the mind of Moffat. I can recognize that he isn't perfect, though. Was anyone else kind of let down by "The Wedding of River Song"? Any older fans not thrilled by The Doctor having a romance? The point is you don't see me drone on about it and use things as a reason to trash the show completely, bringing us back to the same question yet again of why the hell do you keep watching something you don't like. Pardon me if this isn't p.c., but using a term popular in my youth, it makes you look retarded.

These are people, though, that are never happy because they are always seeking perfection, and they have to deflect attention to others' faults to avoid drawing attention to their own. Some just aren't happy unless they can put someone else down for their opinions.  If you expect this show to remain the same show you are watching now, you are fooling only yourself. This show has always evolved with new actors, producers, TARDIS interiors, villains and if you don't like the way it works I guess you have one less thing in common with the millions around the world who have kept this show alive now for 50 years. I've said it before, Doctor Who isn't for everyone because it requires the use of intelligence, imagination, and attention to many details. Just because you can't keep up, comprehend, or appreciate what is happening is no reason to constantly criticize the show or the fans.

I'm behind on the new series, two episodes have already aired, but one review is done and the other I'm working on. I just HAD to get this off my chest.