Posts Tagged ‘Television’

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-

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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+ 

s1_e08

 

Fathers Day arrives with a blast

 

When this show focuses on something, it delivers its best episodes without a shred of a doubt. For the most part, this episode ditched the cliché and campy humor for a very human that was both emotionally powerful, and fascinating.

When Rose’s emotions overcome her, and she saves her Father from dying in the intended car crash, she literally screws up time, and these strange beasts (reapers) appear in London (and apparently the rest of the world) to quite literally kill everyone, to correct this malfunction. There were a few issues with this episode, firstly, why do these creatures not like “old” things? And it never quite felt like the end of the world.

But apart from these two things, this episode was mostly solid. We saw an emotional storyline involving Rose’s father, who was played brilliantly played by Shaun Dingwall. I will say right away that I loved her father’s personality, he was quirky and not in the least bit sardonic. Both of these traits are a pleasure to see, and he really did deviate from my expectations. We also found out how much of an absolute bitch Rose’s mother used to be, it may have been for a reason, but quite honestly, she did not gain any sympathy from me for the plain fact that her reason for her anger was not explained in full detail.

We also see the TARDIS stop functioning (for whatever reason) and we see a wedding get crashed. Everyone who attended were hiding in a church, and although this episode did not have some epic feel to it, it did have a personal one. I will easily admit that a few scenes in this episode were heartwarming and well-enough acted that I could overlook some of the clichés.

In the end, Rose’s father sacrifices himself for the sake of humanity. I was originally not enjoying this episode too much, it was slow paced for the first twenty or so minutes, however, it quickly began picking up to be one of the best ones of the show so far (if not the best). So I will freely applaud it’s deviation from the Dr.Who norm and hope that it’s not the only one that’s like this.

Although there were a few things that weren’t explained properly, the entirety of it was a solid forty minutes of emotional, and character developing goodness that I just had to re-watch. Rose, or Billie Piper, I should say. Has come a long way acting wise, she was much too stiff in the first few episodes, but now she has truly started to show her range as she conveyed true emotions through some of these scenes.

I am not sure if I like “Daleks” more than this episode, or if I enjoy this episode more than “Daleks”… all I do know is that it was an entertaining half hour of TV that I shall remember for the future seasons to come.

P.S- But really… what’sup with the TARDIS just randomly failing? Did I miss why?

 

Grade: B+

s1_e07

 

Fox news really advanced in 200,000 years…

 

In episode seven we see less character driven story, but an interesting setting that works for the most part. To my knowledge, this was a fully original episode, nothing was really bothered from previous doctor who’s or at least… nothing too important (correct me if I’m wrong). If you are wondering whether this episode was solid, in my opinion, I will definitely say yes. It was structurally sound, and some of the tech and ideas were cool.

Right off the bat I liked how the Doctor was somewhat wrong about where they landed, how the tech was ninety years behind. And why was this tech so behind? Because of corrupt news stations! I can’t help but feel that this episode was a small satire on how our world is being run now, how everyone doesn’t ask questions and just listens to the news. Which the Doctor pointed out (in a fantastic way).

In the end, they persevered after one of the workers began to disobey the news stations, and save them. Adding further satire to the already satirical situation, the head of the news station was some ugly fat bloated alien that expelled a lot of “hot air”… is this genius? Or am I just reading into things?

Where the episode faltered was in some of the storytelling aspects. The pacing was fine, but seemed to slow during the middle of the episode, following the insignificant third wheel of the Doctor and Rose. His blithering stupidity almost got himself and them killed, only to return back to present day with his strange brain-surgery-thing, and freak out his mother… I don’t know how I honestly felt about this story, all I know is that it was illogical. Especially for the Doctor to bring along some completely random stranger.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the elusive “floor 500”, where the “walls are made of gold”… This better be another satire, because if people are really stupid enough to believe that, then the media has their claws into society so much so, that after the Doctor killed the Alien-media leader, the world must have turned into complete chaos.

Also, Simon Pegg! He brought his great acting into Doctor Who, and it was a lot of fun to see him play the sarcastic lackey. It was obligatory to see Simon in at least ONE Doctor Who episode, and oh boy was I happy to see him here.

Overall, this episode wasn’t as intense and gripping as “Daleks” but it was more solid than the previous entries in the series, causing me to believe that this show can in fact be a weekly piece of solid entertainment rather than some rarely good show. Which is promising! Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I have become accustomed to the campiness of the show, but it seems to have significantly been dialed down, and this is nothing but good. The comedy and thrilling aspects of these episodes has been balanced very well, and I hope to see more episodes with this sort of structure.

P.S- So the Doctor allows anyone to really come with him? And what now? The mom knows her son implanted some messed up brain-chip thing that makes his brain visible with the snap of his fingers?

 

Grade: B

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EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!!

 

Right from the moment I saw this… Dalek, I couldn’t help but shout “Blorgon! Inspector, watch out!” If you readers do not understand this reference, it is from my favorite TV show “Community”, which spoofed Dr.Who in a few episodes with its own version, “Inspector Spacetime”.

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Now is the episode “Dalek” silly? Yes, without a doubt. Is it more grim, intense, gripping, and concentrated? Yes! Although there were a few jokes in this episode, it was mostly a more serious and less contrived story which filled in some of the black and white background the Doctor has forged for himself. The good news is that the jokes in this episode were actually laugh-out-loud funny, and when the show wanted to switch to being intense? Almost like magic, I was leaning into my monitor, my heart racing.

Let me just say, this is hands down my favorite episode of the show thus far, it accomplishes a lot in the time given and is much more entertaining than previous episodes. This is the first GOOD episode of the show, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

The villain in this episode is the Dalek, the last of the Dalek’s, which are a genetically created alien race out to quite literally… exterminate. This episode draws a few parallels between the Dalek and the Doctor, whom are both the last of their species, and are out to kill each other. This was an intriguing way to introduce a villain, because before this the baddies were… well… just plain out baddies. They were evil for the hell of being evil, with hackneyed excuses as to why they are doing what they are doing. Here, although the Dalek was “bred to exterminate”, has a hatred of the Doctor as the Doctor has a hatred for him.

Needless to say, I very much enjoyed this development. We got a little backstory on the “Last time war” and we got to see what the weird deformed alien-Dalek looks like. A pretty interesting accomplishment within this universe the writers are attempting to create.

Also, may I just say that every main actor (there are only two) in this episode seemed to be on their A-game. I was actually VERY impressed by Eccleston’s performance in this episode. He delivered some fantastic emotional bits without coming off as too cheesy. Rose on the other hand, was much better but was a bit lacking in the emotional aspect of the episodes dialogue. But that’s understandable, this ain’t dr.who if it isn’t campy!

And this episode is somewhat campy, significantly less than the previous ones, but it was still there. The Dalek’s voice was silly, yet I liked it. The two generic side characters were silly, and the one villainous Van Statten was just a two dimensional caricature. BUT, he was the outlet for the Doctor to deliver just a killer speech to him over how he squanders his life collecting alien garbage.

Overall, this was a good episode, in fact, I’d say that it was very good. It was a significant and emotional upgrade over the previous silly departures, and I found great joy in re-watching it for a second time. Brava, Dr. Who, you have my attention…

P.S- So the Doctor has two hearts…

P.S #2- So they took that random “genius” with them?

Grade: B+