Archive for the ‘Dr.Who-Reviews’ Category

Dr.Who-Review-S3ep11 – Blink

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Dr.Who-Reviews

Blink

 

Wow.

 

Yes, I’ve heard that this episode was coming up, yes, I’ve heard all the Doctor who fans love this episode, and yes, I’ve heard that it was something unique and out there.

Every part of this is true, beyond a shred of a doubt, this episode was brilliant to a frightening level. Almost as if I was watching another show. Where did the Dr.Who that had the Dalek’s evolve into humans go? The farting aliens? The absorber? Where did all of that go?

Now we have a story that’s so jam packed with originality I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen, villians that were so unique to the setting, with both terror and intrigue, that I couldn’t… quite literally… take my eyes of the screen.

Saying this episode was the best this show has done is underselling it, this episode is something sci-fi TV strives for, something very few sci-fi shows can ever achieve in their perhaps long lifespan. Although I’ve seen episodes that rival ‘Blink’ in various ways, especially in a fantastic show like “Fringe”, but I never really expected something like “Dr.Who” to achieve such an episode that had THAT much intensity.

The characters introduced were interesting and well-acted… but the real highlight was the villain. The weeping angels put every other villain in the show to shame, not only because they are a hideously awesome creature, but also because of the way they do their “bad deeds”. As the Doctor said, they are the kindest killers, as all they do is transport you back in time to live out your life… however, the idea behind it is so gruesomely scary and fascinating that I couldn’t help but applaud the writer.

The Doctor wasn’t that prominent in this episode, however, he played a major role in it, as Martha and he are stuck in the past and have to use this complex method to deliver the video tapes to the protagonist of the episode. This entire system was captivating and it didn’t hesitate to enthrall me in the plausibility and mystery that could surround something like this.

Plausibility, IF there was a time lord in the real world, of course. There was no hesitation to progress this episode quickly, and although I would have loved to see more of these fantastic creatures, the fact that this episode was not a two parter makes it all the better. Because by the end, when they are facing off the Weeping Angels in the dark room, with the flickering light, I was at the edge of my seat.

The entire conclusion, in fact, was a perfect finale to a buildup that has been occurring for thirty or so minutes. The intrigue that surrounded these beings is still there, but the fact that we now see them attack… metaphorically, but whenever he blinks they get closer, showing their dreadful faces, was both incredibly intense, but also shockingly entertaining!

Needless to say, this episode is my favorite, not because I thought the theory and concept behind it was fantastic (like in ‘Gridlock’), but because everything about it was something to marvel at. The directing, the beings, the lore, everything. By the end I was just happy they stayed as mysterious as they came, because I’d hate them to be ruined with mediocre CGI.

Great job, Dr.Who… more like this episode please!

P.s- Wibbly Wobbly… timey wimey… stuff…

Grade: A

s3_e09

 

A successful two parter! Rejoice!!!

 

I think I’d put this Two-parter between “The Doctor Dances” and “The Satan Pit” as it has attributes of both, but with a different structure. In my previous review I said how the Doctor always needed a more dynamic role… oh brother, was I surprised. They quite literally TURNED HIM FREKEN HUMAN!

                These episodes were an examination of what the Doctor is like with… human flaws. Not flaws that ever creature has, but with the ones humans in particular own. But I’ll say… they just HAD to hammer in the “love” bit. Which was both painful and rewarding, since I still stand by the fact that Martha and the Doctor will never be.

And low and behold… in the second part Martha spews all that nonsense about her loving him, and nothing happens. Mr.Smith, the Doctor’s “human” name is somewhat of a reprise of his role in the first episode where he and Martha meet. Where she first develops feelings for him, and how he quite literally got tugged away by another.

This is an interesting dynamic, and although it’s not as poignant and downright amazing as “The Doctor Dances” it is still here to deliver a fantastic couple of episodes. The villain was a bit odd, but interesting, as this show never quite resolves to blood and gruesome violence, so the scene where all the children are mercilessly gunning down the scarecrows was ripe with emotion.

That may have been one of my favorite scenes of this season, if not the show, as it was just… heart wrenching to see something like this. The whole aspect of the kid who didn’t like to fight, but was somewhat of a psychic was interesting. But it didn’t have a proper payoff that I felt was warranted and lovable.

But I honestly don’t mind, this two parter did feel resoundingly “Human” and the change in the Doctor was definitely a noticeable and odd experience. It prompted questions, and developed his character more, which definitely signals a finale that will be perhaps slightly different than the other ones.

I’m definitely looking forward to it, because this episode hammers in the fact that David Tennant is great at performing his role in different aspects. And the way Mr.Smith acted was downright incredible, how little bits of the Doctor show through him, but he’s distinctly a different personality, capable of showing fear… something the Doctor can’t ALWAYS achieve (refer to the previous episode).

I don’t think it was just coincidence these episodes were placed close to each other, they bore resemblance and some form of continuity. Plus the villains in this episode were a bit odd… but I really don’t have much to say about them. I did love what he did to them after they were defeated, that thing he did to the young girl was definitely… frightening?

 

Grade:

Human Nature – B+

The Family of Blood – A-

Overall: A-

Dr.Who-Review-S3ep8 – 42

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Dr.Who-Reviews

s3_e07

 

The key to the universe? The answer to the greatest questions? Weird mask! Wait no… 42!

 

Honestly, I’m still confused as to why this episode is called “42”… maybe I’m just not as perceptive as I used to be? Perhaps it’s where they were? But damn! I still don’t know!

But the episode itself was generally pretty good, it had some issues, like perhaps the oddest of villains… but we were treated to a downright splendid performance by the Doctor. Is this the first time he’s properly screamed? The first time he’s said “I’m scared”… wow.

Christopher Eccelston (The ninth Doctor) only had a season to develop, but his development cycle was fast, and to the point. While Tennant is definitely taking his precious time to develop the Doctors new persona, almost painfully so. But today was definitely a development-heavy episode, as well as an episode where I came to the conclusion that Martha and the Doctor will never truly get together.

But let’s talk about the villain… who was the sun. The sun was a living organism that we polluted…oh wow, the satire! It hurts! But yes, this was quite clearly a social commentary as well, which wasn’t as grating as I thought it would be.

When I first laid eyes on the “baddy” in form of the woman’s (whom I forgot the name of) husband, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the silliness. And that annoying “silly” sensation didn’t stop until around midway through where the Doctor gets “Infected”, and shit really hits the fan. So yes, the Doctor really brought this somewhat mediocre episode from the gutter and into the ‘slightly above average’ range.

Which is definitely a happy occasion, since although Tennant has been great, he really needed something like this, a more dynamic and responsive role as the protagonist. He was quite literally sacrificing himself for the people, which we all knew he would do… but it was still somewhat cringe-worthy (in a good way) to see him struggle and try overcome this infestation of the sun throughout HIS OWN body.

Thank the stars for his two hearts, or he’d be toast for sure! The side characters were a little less important in this episode, which is whole-heartedly unfortunate since Dr.Who is always so good at making side characters seem three dimensional. I won’t say all of them were bad… none of them were, they just weren’t as prominent and interesting as they usually are.

But I digress… the episode was fine, the Doctor was brilliant, and we got to see Martha’s “why can’t I be with him” speech for not the first time… and surely not for the last.

Grade: B

s3_e06

 

The old get younger, and the cliché get cliché-er…

 

Yeah, you heard me, the episode tonight was extremely cliché, perhaps slightly underwhelming. But it definitely did something to start an ongoing theme within the season. Something that this season was either more subtle about… or just didn’t have. Lazarus, a man whom wanted to become young, became… well, young.

Except this experiment had a Side effect… he becomes a ravenous badly-cgi’d monster that stomps around turning people to bone by sucking out their “life force”. But what’s more remarkable, is the fact that we finally get a proper episode featuring Martha’s parents. Something I was whole heartedly eager to see…

Needless to say, her family is a pretty awfull… not the acting, that’s fairly good, but the entire dynamic of “Bitchy mother with no redeeming qualities” puts actually good characters like Rose’s mom to shame. Needless to say, her family was pretty low on chemistry, as well as appeal. Each one was somewhat rude, or just plain stupid.

I get the fact that Martha being with a guy can set a mom off… but here it just doesn’t make sense until some random man told her exactly how “bad” the Doctor is. It’s overlapping illogic that puts this episode down, the bad cgi I can deal with. Especially since I dealt with terrible CGI throughout most of the first season.

The unfortunate thing here is I actually LIKED this entire premise, it was cool and somewhat unique. I like that the Doctor has more reason to stick around, and the more episodes that don’t involve world-domination the better. Because I swear… if ONE more stupid villain wants to take over earth, I’ll just blow my brains out with my cliché pistol!

Apart from this, the execution was a bit better, and I found that, that is the redeeming quality of this episode. Its execution was good, and the resolve was more appealing, with a better lesson to back it up with. Which is something this show doesn’t always hammer in, but when it does, it surprisingly poignant and I appreciate that.

“The Lazarus Experiment” was a mixed back, just like the Shakespear episode, it was something of a tasters choice. And that’s sort of funny, since I still view this season as the best one so far… strange… perhaps I’m just becoming tougher to please with this show?

 

Grade: C

s3_e04

This isn’t even the Dalek’s final form yet!

 

So they travel back in time, only to be greated with more salt and pepper shakers! I swear, if they over-do this villain and make the-…great…

I don’t think I really liked this episode, but then again… wait… did I? It’s been a full three days since I watched it, and I still can’t form a coherent opinion on it. All I can properly say, is it was all over the place. This two parter was definitely… different. I think the entire theme was pretty interesting, but the accents and acting was SO mixed, I find it difficult to enjoy for more than a few minutes.

The Daleks evolved… or, I should say, one Dalek tried to evolve before he was put on some leash like he was auditioning for some bondage porno. It was an odd shift in tone, but I don’t think it was sold as well as it could have. This dragged the episode down, it had proper and interesting themes, but the execution of those themes wasn’t something that I can say was impressive.

We had that little love story between lady-do-how, and pig-man-sort-of, which never really got anywhere. It started the episode, and then just ended it, answering or progressing nothing. This show is usually quite adept and making the side characters be engaging and three dimensional, so I’d think a two parter would give them MORE opportunity to do so. But no… these characters were nothing but some exposition device and some strangely reference-y dialogue.

Sheesh… were people really THAT cliché back then? The entire aspect of the Daleks evolving is interesting, better yet, the entire aspect of them gaining feelings is VERY interesting. But the way it was sold here was just… not.

I can’t really say this episode acted like a two parter, since by the end of the first episode everything is already in full motion. While much more successful two parters like “The Satan Pit” built their story and villains up gradually, this one didn’t really succeed in that aspect as well.

However, this is where it DID succeed, it succeeded in being quite fun. Even in its lowest point, the show never quite stooped to being boring. Every seen contained enough development and action to keep be going, and Tennant’s performance was particularly strong in this episode, as he portrayed his emotion towards the Daleks to a fantastic degree. I will say though, him pretty much letting the last one go… AGAIN, was sort of a frustrating moment. I mean, how many times do they have to threaten the world until you realize they need to go?!

I suppose I can’t take too much off this episode… it’s simply not wrong enough, as it’s the writers trying something new and getting a slightly sub-par episode in return. Let’s hope the next two parter is more promising.

Grade:

Ep1: B-

Ep2: B-

Overall: B-

Dr.Who-Review-S3ep4 – Gridlock

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Dr.Who-Reviews

s3_e03

 

In which we meet my favorite episode

 

You know that feeling when something just clicks? When you just like something so much, it fits like a missing puzzle piece? The concept of something is so interesting and unique, you can’t help but fall in love with it? That’s the kind of feeling that dominated this episode for me. It was really something else.

Now I’m struggling, because I know it wasn’t the highest quality episode this show has done, not the best acted, or even the most plot-progressing. But guess what, it was so much fun! We got to see the face of Bo, again, which was fascinating, but better yet, the entire concept was damn interesting. I loved the idea that the entire world these poor people live in is an ever circling and never-changing sphere of misplaced hope.

Perhaps I’m looking a little too deep into it, but I can’t help it. I had the biggest smile on my face throughout this episode. The fact that people wait years and years just to move a few yards, is just sort of funny and sad! Makes me laugh at how people complain about an hour long drive in traffic.

This episode was not just a bog-standard episode, while it didn’t change the face of the show, like some episodes have, it still was unique in every single way. I can easily say I have never seen an idea like this, and one that is executed so well. We once again get solid side-characters that were well-acted and interesting, from the cat-man to the lesbian grandmas in the car near them. Each one had their unique little niche to them that made me laugh, or just find interesting.

I watched this episode a few days ago already, yet I can’t help gush over it, still! It is somewhat of a little masterpiece in my mind, as I am rarely so invested in a plot-device. Even the giant-crab things, although containing various plot-holes, were still something out of the norm enough, but IN the norm enough for Dr.Who, that I just loved it! I liked the sense of mystery, and I loved how hard they worked on making this place seem so… lonely.

I mean, the CGI was actually really fantastic in this episode, for Dr.Who standards, but still miles ahead of what we have previously seen. We also got a few callbacks to the season 2 episode “New Earth” with the reformed cat-nun taking care of the Face of Bo. I liked this as well, as every character introduced in this show (if not killed) has a chance to return in later episodes.

Although was pretty “meh” on “New Earth” as an episode, this episode totally shifted my thoughts. It was something that I re-watched right after just to see if I missed anything, because there was just so much going on. Every bit of character dialogue was well-acted and meaningful, and the “villians” that were introduced in this episode weren’t ACTUALLY villians, just ones who care about their own life. I love when a show can adapt characters that aren’t so one-noted and boring.

Overall, this episode encapsulated me in its world, with vast and impressive CGI, good acting, and best of all, the coolest idea this show has thought up since… well since I started watching! Congratulations “Gridlock”, for some weird unexplainable reason… you are now my favorite episode!

 

Grade: A

s3_e02

 

Dickens? Shakespear? I can’t keep track anymore!

 

So the Doctor and his new companion Martha just met Shakespear… and he’s a womanizing drunk who is apparently very smart? This is probably the main gripe I have with this episode. They make him seem so cool and smart, yet we don’t even get a look at HOW he is that smart. How did he know the Doctor had psychic paper? What? My brain! IT HURTS!

Apart from these blatant logical and writing flaws, we also get a witches. Which is… expected? I mean, we got ghosts and zombies, so witches seem like the logical next step in the parade, right? Where they cool, unique, and interesting villians? Nope, they were witches. They weren’t like… interesting witches either. Just witches, doing witch things with their witch brooms and cauldrons.

Perhaps the only interesting aspect about them was the way they controlled people, and how they were defeated. Naming a witch apparently makes her teleport back to her other witch-friends? As you can see, I was left slightly baffled by this episode.

The Doctors performance was spot on, as well as Martha, whom is proving to be a very capable companion. I really love how she doesn’t just fall into shakespear’s arms like some malformed harlot looking for a good time.

Perhaps she was the saving grace of this episode, because it just felt like a bog-standard episode full of things that weren’t too important. There is clearly a budding romance between her and the Doctor and I’m generally curious whether or not he’ll give in. If he does, the writers better explain it as well as their little hearts can, because I’ll be upset if it’s unconvincing and contrived.

The concept of the voodoo doll is something we’ve seen in Scooby doo specials, so it wasn’t frightening or interesting, just a bit… predictable? I will say though, for the material given, the witches did a bang up job with their witchy-ness. As convincing as you can possibly get playing something so silly.

Overall, this episode wasn’t bad, it was just another “meh” episode of the show that seems to be sprinkled throughout the entirety of it because apparently thirteen episodes is too much for the writers to create creative and imaginative plotlines. Overall, it’s not something I really want to rewatch, but it was fun while it lasted.

Grade: C+

6a00d8341bfcfe53ef00e54f208c4d8834-800wi

Doctor! Meet your new assistant!

 

Now I know the Doctor only said that she will be going with him “once”… but come-on, two assistant “dumps” in two episodes? Seems completely unlikely! I think we just met our new assistant and my first impression is…I like her! In fact, I like her more than I liked Rose in season 1! This is because Martha is actually competent, she’s smart, therefore proving to be much more helpful to the Doctor than Rose was in the beginning.

While this episode was set back by a few… oddities, it was still a fantastic installment no less! We had some very interesting aspects, fit with a big enough budget for giant alien space ships! And in those spaceships? RHINOCEROS PEOPLE!!

This… what? I don’t even… I think my brain… what?!

That just outlined my reaction, because although their makeup models looked good and well made, they seriously should have worked better in animating the mouths… Apart from the intimidating march that the rhinoceros people have, when they talk, I can’t help but giggle. The entirety of this storyline was really interesting though.

I love the fact that there is some galactic police force filled with brutish mercenaries that aren’t just inherently evil. They do their job, because they are paid. It’s not like they go out of their way to hurt people, they are just rough badasses that are hired for their efficiency. This caused an interesting dynamic within the hospital, because after the initial “WTF” moment of being on the moon wore off, the audience needed something else to either love or hate. These rhino people where that something.

They were trying to find some criminal alien scum, whom can suck the blood out of the victim and gain their blood type. The only true misstep with this plot was her whole “I want to destroy the earth” scheme… as I found this just stupid. It wasn’t convincing or well-acted, it was just there for the sake of being something dangerous. I much rather them stick with dealing with the Rhino problem, and them trying to find the alien on board.

Again, this made for an interesting dynamic! Having every episode surround the destruction of the world tends to wear a little bit thin, and get sort of banal and boring. But apart from the silly facial animations, and the stupid “world destruction” plan, this episode was surprisingly solid. A very fit introduction for the Doctor’s new assistant, whom I’m very fond of! I eagerly await the next installment of the show, hopefully one that doesn’t hesitate to leave London.

P.S- I adore the personality they are starting to implant within Martha. Instead of freaking the hell out over being on the moon, and cowering in some corner, she was the one who was trying to figure everything out. Not only that, she had some brilliantly snappy dialogue with the Doctor, something we didn’t get to see much of!

 

Grade: B+

The-Doctor-and-Donna-Runaway-Bride-the-doctor-and-donna-doctordonna-8146952-800-600

 

Deck the halls with more christman ro-bots… falalalala… you get it.

 

Season three started with yet another holiday special… well, I’m starting to think all season will start like this. I do hope they become a little more diverse, because it’s seriously getting a bit boring watching the same Christmas robots do their business. However, I was warned that Christmas specials tend to be a little soppier… a little more emotional. Funny enough, this aspect of the episode hardly bothered me, in fact, I thought it provided for the best moment of this one hour run!

In which we meet Donna… I was a bit surprised, mostly because at the end she didn’t jump into the TARDIS with the Doctor, is she not going to be the new assistant? If not, then that’s fine. I honestly can’t gather up my thoughts about her, is she annoying, or funny? Or both? Because although she was played by a capable actress, it’s almost as if half the dialogue she wrote was written by a fantastic writer, and the other half by a pillock.

Her entire episode-long arch seemed to jump around, either developing too quickly, or too slowly. This caused for a somewhat disjointed experience that damaged the episodes enjoyment for me. However, we still got to see the Doctor mourning Rose (something I do hope carries on, since it’s simple, yet well-acted).

The threat was pretty… silly. A giant spider, very oddly acted, was definitely something I wasn’t expecting! Either for the good or for the bad, it was definitely an unexpected turn of events for the episode. The husband being a bad guy, yes, this was totally more expected if not blatant.

I do like the way Donna was developed overall though, no matter how disjointed the process felt. She is a character that tends to latch on, easily. Which makes her susceptible to being hurt… which is something the Doctor JUST went through, so it was a bit odd seeing them part ways at the end of the episode. Man, I would have actually been pretty heartbroken if the Doctor left without saying a goodbye.

As I said above, I found the emotional segment at the end of the episode the best part, as it harbored better acting in it than the entire episode combined. As per usual, this Dr.Who episode had just the right amount of campy to make me laugh at how silly the villain was. Thankfully it wasn’t “the absorber” silly… but it was still fairly cringe worthy in some areas.

Overall, it was a decent starter episode, full of solid dialogue and a somewhat wasted introduction to a character I’m guessing we will see reappear soon enough. On to the rest of the season!

 

Grade: B

doomsday

 

Goodbye Rose…

 

Tonight, it ends. The two parters try to do so much, in the extended time they were given, in fact, we got to see SO many resolutions happen. Torchwood, Rose, her family, we even got to see Micky! I felt that this seasons had a gradual build up, as I’ve said in previous reviews, they were throwing hints at us, quiet but not-so-subtle hints.

Torchwood has been mentioned since the season two began, and it’s pretty much been an ongoing theme. Thankfully it’s a little more prominent than “bad wolf” last season, however, I really did enjoy “bad wolf” as an “ohhhhh, THAT’S why!” moment. Of course, this seasons was executed better, but, I will say that I enjoyed the episode “Badwolf” more than “The Army of Ghosts”.

There was nothing inherently wrong with “Army of Ghosts”, it just wasn’t as exciting as the previous season’s climactic episode. But I digress, the true thing that matters is the finale, and this year it was as good, if not better, than season 1’s. I will say that Tennant does an admirable job as the Doctor, and he is a very good actor. I can never say I like him more than Eccleston though, however, Tennant has two more seasons to change my mind!

This was quite literally the attack of both the Cybermen from that one alternate dimension, and the Daleks from the super spherical sphere! (IT’S SPHERICAL!!!)

How come I didn’t guess it was the Dalek? I guess I was too wrapped up in seeing Micky being back, and how terribly acted that one Doctor who got his face squeezed was. I suppose the entire concept wasn’t as much flawed, as it was over-reaching. I hope they don’t run dry on the Dalek material, as the entire premise of these creatures is “take of the world”, and if every time they return it’s the same shtick, then it’ll get old fast. Thankfully, in this episode it was pretty exhilarating!

The return of the alt-dimension characters was welcome as well, Micky is noticeably more confident now, which is definitely a step in the right direction for the character… even if we won’t ever see him again, unfortunately. Same with Jackie and her alternate dimension husband, both of which had a nice reunion (somewhat).

The climax of the episode concluded with Rose not being killed, but being trapped in the other world. I have to say, Billie Piper killed it this episode, she was fantastic. I’m not sure if I would have liked her to die… or if this was a fitting end. The reason I say that is because perhaps the death would have been a better and more hammered in aspect of the episode.

Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the climax arriving, leaving, and then we get a seven minute sequence with the Doctor’s and Roses REAL goodbye… I did enjoy the way it was executed. Man, the more I think about it, the better the acting gets. It was truly great during those final moments.

So Rose is gone, and that’s disappointing, I really did like her as an assistant to the Doctor, and more so as a character during the second season. Although the whole “wow so new” stage was fun to see… I more enjoy to see Rose and the Doctor being on the same ‘level’ in a sense. Where they are both cracking jokes, being wacky, yet saving the world all the same. Unfortunately, there simply wasn’t enough of this.

Overall though, this season was definitely a few points ahead of the previous one, maybe just because its start wasn’t as rocky. This season did have a stinker (Love & Monsters), but it was definitely more solid. It had a select few standouts, and was stronger during its second half. Tennant is growing on me, however, that’s not to say that I didn’t like him. In fact, I really like Tennant, I just think Eccleston was a bit better for the time being.

Then again, this was only Tennant’s first season, onwards to the next!

 

Grades:

Army of Ghosts: B+

Doomsday: A-

Overall: A-

 

Season grade: B