Well, it’s better than The Twin Dilemma, but it’s not as straight-forwardly enjoyable as The Christmas Invasion. In fact, I think it’s going to take quite a few viewings to decide what I think about Deep Breath. There’s a lot to this episode, and I know I will only scratch the surface in this post. But it’s the unsettling experience of regeneration that raises all sorts of questions and uncertainties, rather than providing a triumphant moment of arrival for the new Doctor. The comparison with the the regeneration into the Sixth Doctor was inevitable since it was revealed the Twelfth Doctor would be “perhaps a little more fierce and a little less immediately knowable” (with more and more parallels emerging).
“It’s not a chair, it’s the most dangerous weapon in the Universe.”
“Why can’t it be both?”
In Day of the Doctor Steven Moffat has chosen to do two things: celebrate 50 years of one of the most affectionately regarded shows on British television, and go back and examine the moment the hero committed an act of genocide wiping out two and half billion innocent children. That’s not a difficult balancing act it’s an impossible one. How can the Doctor find redemption and honour the shows continuity? Yet how can this be a celebration if he can’t? Read the rest of this entry »
There are two ways Doctor Who appears to be in danger of disappearing up its own fundament in this story. One is that trope where the villain, rather than seeking money, power or universal domination, decides instead that the prime objective is to destroy the hero. The show becomes to conceited it elevates its hero’s importance above any other bounty imaginable (in this case above any world, or even any time period). It’s something you can perhaps get away with when it’s The Master, given his history. The inconvenience The Great Intelligence has suffered at the Doctor’s hands is trivial by comparison. The other danger, is, of course, too much continuity. Read the rest of this entry »
The debate had broken out again before the news of Matt Smith’s departure had hit the first editions. Will the next Doctor be a woman? Why does this ‘debate’ continue? PLEASE STOP. It’s over. The arguments have been exhausted. The barrel is being scraped. I had planned not to write this post; it’s redundant and writing it is somewhat hypocritical given my opening plea. But it’s the question I keep getting asked, especially IRL, especially by the ‘not-we’. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve tried to avoid any of the names that are already doing the rounds (not that I’ve any objection to Ben Wishaw, Idris Elba, Ben Daniels et. al.) because there are plenty of discussions about them already. Probably everyone on my list has already been suggested, but I haven’t seen them mentioned, at least since Matt Smith’s announcement. Read the rest of this entry »
Another Neil Gaimen episode was something to look forward to. The bad memory of the last time the cybermen appeared in the penultimate episode of a series was just a silly niggle, surely? Unfortunately, this one did turn out to be more Closing Time than The Doctor’s Wife.
Was it necessary to “make the cybermen scary again”? Did they stop being scary, or just get dealt a few duff stories? The problem with a cyberman that can move at something close to light speed is it’s not just scary – it is to all intents and purposes invincible. (And how come Angie didn’t suffer whiplash being carried away so fast no one could see her go?) The only way you can tell a story in which such a monster is defeated is to escalate the heroes’ power/weaponry to equally magical heights (a big magic gun that fires red lasers, for example) or just forget the cybermen can move fast and have them go back to lumbering again when they enter your castle. Read the rest of this entry »
By rights, putting that much slapstick in an episode of Doctor Who should have irritated the socks off me. Yet, even now, I’m chuckling at the puerile Thomas Thomas gag. How did The Crimson Horror get away with it? I’m not sure, but I think it has something do with its richness; in its inventive and elaborate structure, its unwatchably horrific goriness, its daring backstory and clever plotting, its drama and its fabulous characters. The slapstick is a part of that: more everything means more comedy. It just works. Read the rest of this entry »
This was an episode I was expecting would disappoint. An episode entirely set inside the TARDIS? Either it would be monotonous corridor wandering, as in Logopolis, or it would be ludicrous chase-nonsense, as in The Invasion of Time. In the event it struck a balance, but a mix of tediousness and excess does not guarantee a winning formula. It started badly; the small supporting cast of salvage crew were humourless and underdeveloped; the lumbering zombie monsters were somewhat generic (and initially seemed both unnecessary and inexplicable); and the plot seemed confused and incoherent. Read the rest of this entry »
Set in 1974, there’s more than a small nod to Jon Pertwee in this one, that I feel goes beyond merely mispronouncing Metebilis (there’s no way uber-nerd Tennant would have done that). There’s something of the sprit of the 3rd Doctor’s era in this one, even while the being in aesthetic and productions values a distinctly 2013 episode. Read the rest of this entry »
This mini-season of Doctor Who seems to be getting progressively better and better with every episode, and this one felt like a return to the cinematic feel of stories like the western, or Dinosaurs on a Spaceship from last September. Unlike Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Ice Warrior on a Submarine didn’t feel like so much of a gimmick. The cold war subaquatic setting really tapped in to that action-espionage genre. Read the rest of this entry »