Archive for December, 2013

DOCTOR WHO Ep 7

Today, the Doctor saved face! (And everyone turned into slendermen!)

 

This episode pretty much hammers in all the preconceived notions about Dr.Who. Is it weird? Yes! Is it loud? Yes! Is it silly? Yes! Is it campy? Yes! Is it fun? Yes! And is it well acted? Yes! Most of these can be perceived as good or bad, but I think I’ve watched Dr.Who enough to appreciate the campiness, embrace the silliness, and just have a great time! So was “The Idiot’s Lantern” a success? Yes!

We have an alien named “The wire” (not to be confused with the hit TV-show) that pretty much feeds off people’s faces… yep… faces. Or at least that’s what it looked like, apparently it’s something to do with the brain. The main fault of this episode was that it pretty much finished its story before the opening credits even started, as we already knew what was going on, there really was hardly any mystery. We know the Doctor was going to defeat the alien… we were just eager to figure out how.

The setting did wonders though, they went back to the early 1950’s at the same time the new Queen was being crowned, so the entirety of this episode was well-shot and very pretty setting wise. The story was decent, however, I still firmly believe that this show does a fantastic job of writing convincing background/guest characters.

The dysfunctional family with the verbally abusive father is another addition into the long line of fantastic guest stars, knowing how to drag the emotion out of the admittedly sobby scenes, quite well. I actually very much enjoyed seeing that kid go along with the Doctor and save the day, instead of the Doctor handling everything.

I will admit that the lady whom acted “The Wire” was on and off, and I’m not sure if she was meant to give such a stilted performance. As in, at times her dialogue came off as forced to the point of cringe-inducing gags, however, other times she was the perfect amount of both chipper, and threatening.

I however, don’t have too much else to say about this episode, it was a decent entry in an above average season of Dr.Who. I’m eager to look into the next episode, as its title is already very intriguing!

P.S- Yay for more side-characters being awesome!

Grade: B

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You’ll be missed, idiot… you’ll be missed.

 

The climax of this episode felt appropriate, through the mini-story arc that has been running ever since season 1, about Micky feeling like the third wheel… this two parter felt right at home and a proper conclusion. I have to say, that I was quite sad to see Micky leave, because as of recently I began to very much enjoy his presence around the TARDIS, in fact, I thought he contributed a lot to the chemistry in the show.

But… as soon as they introduced his blind grandma, I knew deep down that we won’t be seeing Micky anymore after this episode. It’s unfortunate really, not only because he was entertaining, but because he just started to become a three dimensional character, harboring traits that I found both amusing and touching. Also, the fact that Rose no longer “need him” was somewhat heartbreaking… but realistic. What I like about this show is that although it may be horribly cliché and campy at times, it sells its emotional aspects with surprise. Things don’t really end happily ever after, especially in this episode.

So let’s talk about the invasion of the cybermen, whom we saw a glimpse of back in “Daleks” all the way back in season one. The entire story was decent, it did have some silly moments that didn’t fit the scenario, and the pacing seemed to jolt about the entire first episode. However, it thankfully corrected itself in the second episode, providing a thoroughly entertaining piece of media that never really slowed down.

I also enjoyed the design of the cybermen, as they had the perfect amount of camp-factor and intimidation. Needless to say, they were perfect for a show like this. The story in this episode was also somewhat grim, in the sense that at the end we literally saw hundreds (if not thousands) of people getting electrocuted to death by their own metallic bodies.

What I find shockingly pleasing about this show is that it never introduces side characters/guest stars that aren’t explored and used to their full potential. The women the Doctor talked with while invading the factory was a great example of this, and how do I know? I knew because when she inevitably died, I actually felt a little bit of sorrow towards her, even if she didn’t receive much dialogue. That’s something that I respect, making the secondary characters just as interesting and powerful as the primary ones.

After the intense invasion of London, the climax of this episode felt understandably… anticlimactic. However, I will say that I enjoyed the way the Doctor solved the issue, by indirectly speaking to Micky. Micky also went through a few changes. From the somewhat cowardly yet large-hearted fellah, to a more powerful yet kind character. This was an OK wrap up to the characters arc, as if we do ever see him again (which we probably won’t) it’ll be for an episode or two.

All in all, this episode succeeded in providing intensity and some emotional resonance during the final few scenes. It was a successful episode, and makes me further enjoy and look forward to some of the outlandish possibilities that this show can wander over to. I will miss Micky, as I began to truly like his character, however, this change should not drastically change the show in any means. Let’s see what it has to offer next!

 

Grade:

Episode 1: B

Episode 2: B+

Overall: B+

1934

Tic Toc goes the clock

 

In the previous episodes review I said that I wish that this show would have another “classic”, an episode that stands out from the rest for one reason or another. Just like “Bad Wolf” stood out for its wackiness, or “The Doctor Dances” stood out for its creepiness. It seems like the TV-show gods have answered my prayers as I received a spectacular episode tonight.

However this episode didn’t stand out for the creepiness, or the humor, but for the emotional impact that it provided. Today I saw the Doctor fall in love with Jeanne or Madame de Pompadour. This was an interesting take on the situation since for her, he was always somewhat of an ethereal creature whom acted as a guardian angel. And what was perhaps even more fascinating, is the fact that the Doctor does all of this within the span of a few hours.

When they land on a stalled (broken?) alien spaceship that is pretty much tearing a hole in the world. This is because there are these odd mechanical machines (that dress in frightening garb) that needed to go back to the 1700’s to… harvest the brain of Madame de Pompano? Ok…? Needless to say, apart from a few plot holes this episode was a surprisingly fantastic installment.

Yes, Fantastic! Because although Tennant has not grown on me even remotely as much as Eccleston, we were still treated to some great emotional scenes in this episode. Overall, Tennant’s acting was pretty much spot on for this episode, and apart from that seriously out of place “drunk” scene… I was definitely entertained by him. So… apparently the doctor “danced” in this episode, good for him!

I was honestly touched during the final few minutes of the episode, even if a bit of me knew that after the Doctor went back through the fireplace to get the TARDIS ready… that when he returns he will somehow miss Madame. I was expecting a heartfelt scene with her on her deathbed, instead, I was treated to a much more subtle scene that was ten times better than what I was expecting. In fact, I almost applauded at the subtlety of this scene, nay, the ENTIRETY of the final ten minutes of this episode were spectacular.

I prefer subtle emotion over glaring bang-you-over-the-head emotion, so this was completely up my alley. Also, may I just say that Sophie Myles was fantastic as Madame de Pompadour. This entire episode was a testament to how good this show can be when it ventures out of its norm and does a very intriguing and interesting story, with fascinating “monsters”, and a very poignant emotional aspect.

However, it is not without its flaws. There are a few plot holes, as in, it is never explained as to why the Doctor can’t use his TARDIS to travel back in time… I understand that it’s supposed to be something about them being “a part of the timeline”, but why was this never a hindrance before? It seems like an excuse for the sake of there being a need for one.

In the end, this episode had a few plot holes that somewhat set back the episode, however, once it shifted into hard-hitting emotion and action, it shined without a shred of a doubt. This is once again one of those memorable episodes that I can’t help but love.

Grade: A-

SchoolReunionPhoto4

 

Welcome back to school!

 

                So today we get introduced to a character whom was the Doctor’s (or one of them) previous assistant. This means that she was with the Doctor until he so-called “abandons” her, and through this a very interesting point gets brought up by Rose. What happens when the Doctor decides to leave her? Of course the Doc said that, that won’t happen… but I’m not so sure. He made it abundantly clear that he finds it painful to see his apprentices grow old.

                But apart from this, the episode was pretty benign and systematic in general. I did like that they jumped right into the plot, having it explained as the episode progresses. We find out that Micky was the one who called them to check out this school… and we soon figure out there are these strange alien-things that are making the students geniuses and using them to crack some code that apparently controls the universe.

                None of this is explained too well however, why is there this code? Why does there even need to be one? Why use students? And these aliens were a bit disappointing for the fantastic concept that they are surrounded by. They quite literally morph and evolve as they conquer, meaning that they gain the best aspects of the race they take over… this.was.not.utilized. I was thoroughly disappointed that they just looked like some random bats that have to just claw at a door to get it open… this could have been one of the coolest monsters the Doctor interacted with, but nope… just bat things.

                Just like the previous episodes case-of-the-week, this one seemed pretty out of the blue and not following through on some bigger plot thread. But then again, last seasons connected episodes seemed completely out of the blue before they were all tied together within the final two episodes (which I thought was a great way to do things).

                The previous assistant had a few cringe-worthy moments with Rose, as they fought over the Doctor like a bunch of schoolgirls, however, this was fixed rather quickly so I was OK with it. We also got to see Micky again, and I must say, he’s starting to grow on me. So I am surprisingly alright with him sticking around for the upcoming adventures (if he decides too).

                In the end, it was an episode that wasn’t too memorable, however, it provided a decent story and an interesting plot point that kept its somewhat tedious pace in check. I am just glad that Dr.Who seems to have a decent pace going in general, as in that there are no rapid jumps in quality like there was last season.

Grade: B

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Things get hairy!

 

So I think it’s about time they have an episode about a werewolf? OH LOOK, here we go! I honestly don’t have a huge opinion on this episode, it was simply solid all the way through. It didn’t have a standout, but it didn’t really have a major downfall either. It seems like one of those regular “that was cool” filler episodes that tend to come along when the writers don’t have something madly creative in mind.

We see glimpses (and perhaps the start) of “Torchwood”, which is the adult-oriented spinoff… so that’s something? But, that was a necessary development. It didn’t do much, but it was enough to convince me.

As for the Queen? That was interesting, we saw countless famous references, and neat little “I bet you didn’t know this!” Easter eggs. Apart from that, we received a decent storyline involving an alien who can turn into a werewolf. Which is always in interesting spin on the common mythos. As in, “look ghosts!” Nope! Spectral beings that look like ghosts, but they are actually aliens!

As always, this show isn’t frightened to attack the corny/cheesy aspects like a cat attacks a mouse. We saw strange kung-fu fighting, over-dramatized acting, and some great dialogue delivery by the Doctor.

I’m honestly used to all of this by now, and since it’s being executed better than it was in season one, I can’t have too many gripes about it. The Doctor is still an oddball for me, at some points he’s just “there”. And at other points, he’s having some great lines. Tennant may be regarded as the best Doctor of the series thus far, but currently, I don’t see it.

What I enjoyed the most about this episode was its knack for filling in history with alien-answers. The Queen was known to have a blood disorder… HEY she may be a werewolf! The telescope? Actually made to kill werewolves! Things like this I can’t help but enjoy, as I love history and having the obscure and unanswered things be answered in a fun little way is just one of those things that I like!

Overall, it was a solid entry in the second season, providing enough entertainment and fun bits and pieces to sustain me through the forty minute run. Here’s hoping we get a little better look at torchwood as we continue on with the series. This series has always been good on continuity, so I’m eager to see how it all wraps up!

P.S- So it’s been confirmed the Queen is a werewolf… or as they said it could just reside in her blood… werewolves in modern day London!

Grade: B

s0_01

 

Deck the halls with red aliens!

 

Season two of Dr.Who starts off with a slightly strange episode, that doesn’t hesitate to revisit a lot of the previous episode’s ideas and characters. For example, we get another (very welcome) return of one of my favorite guest stars from season one, Harriet Jones. This time, her role is that of the Prime Minister who is very proactive and smart. This is fantastic, finally we get a character that isn’t either related or with Rose, and isn’t the villain… until the end.

At the end of the episode, the writers decide to make Harriet attack the leaving alien ship, and killing thousands… I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this. She’s now hated by the Doctor, and is having a mental breakdown. This was unfortunate because I would have loved to see her in future episodes.

But anyway, this entire episode was fairly solid, however had a few missteps. The pacing was slightly off, the aliens weren’t too intimidating, and there was a sorry lack of the ACTUAL Doctor, which was unfortunate. Let me take this moment to say that I’m not sure on Tennant right now, I’m aware the fans adore him, so I’m sure he gets better. But as of right now, he is decent at best.

The alien threat was assessed, and the plot thickened very quickly, but still felt somewhat disjointed and slow in areas. Everything about this episode felt just slightly off… from the not-so-threatening alien, to the odd final battle involving swords… I was just not too sure about the entire episode in general.

However, I must say that Tennant does a good job delivering his lines, as he seems to have quite a bit of energy to his words, just like Eccleston did. Although the Doctor may be different, their personalities are still somewhat the same. Using slapstick humor to lighten a dark situation, and have some really badass moments.

But overall, it was a fairly unremarkable episode, it didn’t do anything totally wrong, but it did have a few glaring issues that speckled the entirety of it. I do hope this show gets back into shape quicker than season 1 did, because it does finally seem like the writers know how to utilize all the characters in the episode without going overboard. Let’s see what the first proper episode of season 2 brings, let’s go!

P.S- Seems that the catchphrase is here to stay! Fantastic!

 

Grade: B-

640px-Daring_Do_with_Ring_of_Destiny_S4E04

 

I’m your BIGGEST fan!

 

Today we witness yet another excellent departure for the series, one that explores areas of Equestria we weren’t aware of, as well as expanding on previously introduced characters in a way that I more than welcome. Right after the first sentence you can tell that this is yet another episode that succeeded in entertaining me to no end.

Firstly, we have Rainbow Dash being completely adorable as the massive “Daring do book” fangirl. I’ve always said that this is my favorite version of her, one that is capable of being super dorky yet maintain an image. It’s interesting, cute, and best of all, character strengthening. All of this with the fantastic Aztec mythology references, and a fast yet oddly paced episode, provided for an entertaining thrill ride.

The introduction of Daring-Do as the “lone-ranger” esq character was an interesting choice that I liked. Her entire character was memorable, and a somewhat realistic portrayal of what I imagined Daring Do to be like. However, Dash following her around was a little odd at first, but it ended up picking up pace with the introduction of Ahuizotle, the seemingly ongoing villain in the Daring Do books.

This, with the perfect blend of action and adventure provided for an exhilarating second act. Having Daring Do quite literally kick butt was exhilarating, and we got to see a lot of that. The gang, whom was there to save Daring Do, was mostly under-utilized, but for an understandable reason. This episode was extremely fast paced, almost begging for screen time. I could have seen this being spread out into a two-parter and still succeeding with flying colors.

Rainbow dash, although not truly developing within this episode, still manages to be an extremely likable character. Instead of being arrogant to the point of “face pain”, she instead was convincing herself of her own “awesomeness” just so she could face her hero. This was a heartwarming and interesting take on her character that I welcome with open arms.

I was happy to see this storyline being told, mostly due to the fact that I was a huge fan of the “Daring Do Book’s” introductory episode as well, “Read it and Weep”. Once again, this series proves that it is still not on a decline, rather on an incline still, showing that it can pull out fresh ideas and interesting episodes almost every single episode it puts out.

In the end, it was a worthy installment of this show. It was visually appealing, hilarious, and best of all, extremely entertaining. Hopefully this show keeps it’s pace, because so far it’s shaping up to be a wild ride!

P.S- What’s up with Dash creating some of the most nightmare-fuel faces I’ve ever seen?!

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Grade: A-

s1_e13

 

Are these new teeth?

 

WOooOOOooOO! Well THAT was season 1! I have to say, about thirty minutes into the episode, when Rose is trying her hardest to open up the heart of the TARDIS, I was thinking to myself “wow, what a B+ episode this is.” And you know what? I would have given it a B+, I really would have, you know… until I realized that by the end I was both laughing and applauding with the dumbest grin on my face.

Was this episode good? No. It was fantastic. The doctor was fantastic, better yet, Jack the bisexual rogue was fantastic. Even Rose, who was having on and off performances throughout the season, she was fantastic! I finally got to see what the regeneration process is like, and I got to see what the hell Badwolf means!

I think my main, and only, gripe with this episode lies with the whole execution of “Badwolf” (not the episode), how Rose was just completely omnipotent, able to change whatever she wanted. I don’t know how I feel about this… it just felt slightly off.

Anyway! Apart from that it had a decent first half, which involved them setting up a way to exterminate (hehe) the Daleks AND the human race on accident. However, we soon figure out (as guessed) the Doctor really isn’t like the Daleks, he isn’t capable of destroying an entire race (or at least I think). Perhaps Rose changed him.

The fact of the matter is, we got plenty of campy and cheesy dialogue that never strafed overboard into the “ugh, what the hell?” territory, and I got a good chunk of laughs as well. The entire story between Rose being “stuck” on earth was slightly upsetting. The fact that she bluntly tells Micky (is he even her boyfriend anymore?) that she has NOTHING left for her… I don’t know how I feel about that, but it does seem like an understandable character choice so I let it pass.

So what exactly happens? Rose returns and kicks some Dalek ass, the Doctor smooches her, and then transfers all the energy back into the TARDIS. May I just say, THIS… THIS is how romance should be done in tv-shows. In a SUBTLE way for once, where it’s not banged over your god damn head every minute with longing stares and gasps. SCREW THAT, instead, please do what Dr.Who did, and make these characters grow through dialogue that isn’t just endless dumb flirting that makes me want to dip my face in acid.

I do hope they keep this trend going somewhat, if they want romance (which they don’t need at all, it really doesn’t add much), then they should do it in a subtle way, not address or talk about it in a serious manner either. Of course we got to see close-quarters combat between the humans and the Dalek, and that was majorly just alright, mainly because I know this show isn’t running on a high budget and they need to save it for the CGI goodness that occurred in the final ten minutes.

We had Jack die, sadly, and then get revived… only to be left on his own. Sad, but I really do hope they see him again. I honestly REALLY liked Jack as a character, and if in some alternate universe he turned out to be a permanent star on the show, I would be nothing but happy to see him. After all, his chemistry with the Doctor was addressed directly… with a kiss. Which was fantastic!

I really enjoyed this episode, if you couldn’t tell already. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a fitting conclusion to a very memorable character. Mr.Eccleston, you shall be missed! But it is time to move on to Tennant, whom had a fantastic character entrance.

OFF TO BARCELONA!   …………………… The planet.

Grade: A-

doctor-who-bad-wolf-31000

Who let the Dogs out? Wait no… WOLFS!

 

WHAT?! WHEN?! HOW?! Guess who’s ACTUALLY back?!

Oh boy was this episode fun! Oh boy was this episode interesting. OH BOY was this episode intense! And holy CRAP was it original!  I think I just summed up what this episode did to my brain, and how downright inexplicably intense it was.  

                So the Doctor, Rose, and Jack all get beamed up into the future, however, we recognize this place. It’s the satellite they visited in the previous episode “The long Game” and I’m ecstatic that, that title finally makes sense! It was all the Daleks, they are back to exterminate everything!

Now, I can obviously say that “how did they all survive?” or… “WHAT?!” But for the time being I’m willing to believe they will all explain this in the finale, and if they don’t I’ll have to change this grade! Because so far, this was an absurdly enjoyable episode. We get goofy humor that never goes all out bonkers (thankfully), pop culture references, and some cool ideas that played very well!

I remember writing my review for “The long Game” and mentioning that I’m not sure what will happen to the earth now that the Doctor destroyed the Satellite…. And low and behold, the earth is quite literally in ruins. It’s played as a puppet, taking any person at random and using them for their entertainment. This is a ballistic situation that I somehow was fully enveloped in. Seeing how the world was 100 years ago (when the satellite was still broadcasting news), made me think that this situation is somewhat plausible for a world filled with such mindless drones.

I also won’t forget at how many twists and turns this episode was able to pull off. Rose getting disintegrated was a brilliant touch as well. The Doctors reaction…. Bloody fantastic! I’m never endlessly intrigued by this earth that is 200,000 years in the future, and I’m eagerly anticipated the moment I’m done with this review so I can sit down and finish the season.

The Daleks are back, they have hundreds if not thousands of ships, and there are two thousands of them per ship. Judging at how difficult it was to kill one… this is going to be one tough and long ride. But that is all for the next episode, as for this one, we received some intriguing continuity. I knew, deep down, that the word “bad wolf” as mentioned in the previous episode had some bigger meaning… I just didn’t know it was THIS big!

This episode had blazing hot pacing, shooting through each act like a bullet, but never truly feeling as if it’s going too fast. Now I won’t claim that “Badwolfs” was a perfect episode, by no means. I still have lots of unanswered questions, and also, a few holes in the stories plot. However, it was very fun, and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what I like seeing from a show like this!

Dr.Who has proven to me that it can do fun, and it’s at its best when it can do fun! However, it can also do spooky and scary as in the second two parter, and it can do emotional like in “Fathers day”. Now it hasn’t mastered any of this so far, but it has proven to me that it can do it to varying extents. Lets hope the finale truly packs a wallop!

Grade: A-

s1_e11

Guess who’s back? Back again.

 

I suppose it’s almost logical that after a stellar two parter comes a somewhat mediocre episode revolving around aliens that are too stupid and silly to be taken seriously. At one point the alien has a conversation (while it’s in the bathroom) with one of the women it’s trying to kill. It’s supposed to be an emotionally resonant moment, but instead it’s some half-witted schlocky attempt at character development… but what exactly is the character here? Some decently acted plump women that’s supposed to be a farting alien? No thanks.

However, I will say that the chemistry between the three characters is better than ever, and I have to say that I adore Jack’s presence in the group. He’s witty, fun, and he’s a great fit. I was happy to see him back. Unfortunately, this chemistry only lasts for a short period of time because before we know it they are all being serious in the face of a surfboard-planning alien criminal.

The plan was silly, the story was silly, and the execution was silly. However, I will give credit where credit is due, and the dinner scene between the doctor and the alien was riveting. It was an exciting and well-acted scene that both delivered on the comedy aspect, and the emotionally one too, bringing up some half-decent points at least.

The moment a story takes place in London, present day, it automatically seems dull compared to the ones where they go on bonkers adventures. So, I must cut this episode SOME slack, at least it was all about farting bullshit.

                So yes, she lied to the Doctor, he believed her, and of course, she ended up betraying him. Apparently the TARDIS have a soul or something… and she looked into it, causing her to revert back to an egg. This really did confuse me because the only thing they had to base this on was a small line in the second episode of this show… so I guess it works?

I can’t say I was disappointed with this episode, but I can’t say I was excited by it either. It wasn’t some high-concept well-acted masterpiece, but it wasn’t as terribly bad as the first entry of farting aliens. Overall, a somewhat decent episode is what I watched tonight, now… onto the next one.

Grade: C+