Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Moment is Coming - Or . . . . .

 . . . . . or “Day of the Doctor – Trailers 1 and 2”
or Three Doctors – Three TARDISes – A Kabillion Daleks and at Least One Zygon

Finally! Final-flipping-ly!! It's here at last!!! Hallelujah!!! The long awaited trailer – or trailers – to “The Day of the Doctor” have finally arrived and are chock full of cool stuff!

The first, which was “leaked” to the Internet on Friday was very cool, the second, released on the BBC's website was even better, chock full of Whovian goodness! I'll be covering aspects of both here.

I, like the vast majority of you, have been cursing Steven Moffatt and the rest of the Who Crew since the San Diego Comic-Con where they showed a trailer to those in attendance. Cursing Moffatt, Smith, Coleman, Gatiss and everyone even remotely associated with the show, but I have to hand it to those in attendance, no one posted it on the Internet and that was actually cool.

Anyway – on to the Trailer – I'll be covering Trailer 2 here since it gives us the most information and I'll be covering it in my usual style, starting with . . . .

What's not to love?? It's the trailer for the 50th anniversary episode of the show we all love.

Billie Piper  is back and, I posit, visible to only John Hurt's version of The Doctor in her Bad Wolf persona. If you remember back to “The Parting Of Ways”, Rose had spread the Bad Wolf warning associated with only the Daleks throughout all time and space and what better time than the Time War itself for the Bad Wolf warning to show up, and we all know she hates the Daleks, so eggs Hurt's Doctor on to use “The Moment”, which it was established was in the possession of The Doctor by The High Council of the Time Lords in “The End of Time”.

As I said above, it was established that The Doctor possessed “The Moment” and it's been assumed that it was what he used to end the Time War. It's been assumed that The Moment trapped both the Daleks and the Time Lords in a time loop, but is that what really happened? The 9th Doctor tells about how he saw them all burn, but did they?? Did he really commit double genocide?  When he had the chance to have killed off the Daleks forever in his 4th incarnation (“Genesis of the Daleks”) and didn't?  I know that regenerations mess with the Time Lord brain, but The Doctor usually stops at genocide, unless .. . . . . .”The Moment” goes even further than Rose did in destroying the Dalek fleet in “The Parting of Ways”. Guess we'll have to wait for that.

The Moment we've all been waiting for?

I've had many faces, many lives, I don't admit to all of them. There's one I've tried very hard to forget.”

In a bit of a shout out to the 10th season's “The Three Doctors” which featured Doctors 1, 2 and 3, we again have the drawing of 3 versions of The Doctor together. Drawn by the Bad Wolf persona to once again battle an immense Dalek fleet?? Or something more sinister?

Our Heroes???
Since "The Three Doctors" we've had "The Five Doctors" which was an official 20th anniversary episode (shown in the US on November 22, 1983 before it was shown in the UK on November 23) and "The Two Doctors" which featured Doctors 2 (Patrick Troughton) and 6 (Colin Baker) in 1985.

Very cool sightings of 10's TRADIS being back in action and Hurt's (seemingly with some of the organic elements of 10's – which kind of begs the question – what was 9 doing to the poor thing to make it so “lived in” looking?? Unless Hurt's Doctor did a redesign on it after the Time War. . . . . . . . .  You can also see that the Time Rotor is pretty much the same as 10's - aside from the white light as opposed to the bluish/green.

In this picture, we seem to have 2 Doctors and 2 Kate Stewarts – hmmmmmmm – what's up what that??  I get the feeling that we're seeing a split screen that shows the Doctors with Kate Stewart in two different time frames.  Just a feeling.

Boys will be boys, comparing their respective sonic screwdrivers . . . . . . . . 

. . . . AND A ZYGON!
For some reason I have had the feeling that ever since it was announced that the Zygons would be baking a comeback to the show after a mere 38 year absence that they really wouldn't be playing that much of a role in the actual story here. Like we would see Doctors 10 or 11 vanquishing them in the beginning of the show and then heading off into the meat of the story, and the trailer, at least for me, has done nothing to change that feeling. We just see a snarling Zygon breaking some glass. I guess, in the end the Zygon could be the entire cause of the Time War, but I'm not laying any bets on that.

It's been long rumored that the Cybermen would be making some sort of an appearance here, but not even a flash of silver to be seen.

Once again, The Doctor takes on the might if the Dalek fleet (they do have a nasty habit of constantly showing up).

Much has been made since John Hurt was brought on to play a mysterious incarnation of The Doctor that has never been seen, nor has he ever, before the end of "The Name of the Doctor" even been mentioned.

The Doctor himself, in his 9th, 10th and 11th incarnations have all told of how the killed off the Time Lords and then thus guy comes along, an incarnation of the Doctor who acted, we assume, during the Time War, not in the name of The Doctor and his is the one that all subsequent regenerations of The Doctor strive to forget.  By this do they mean that he was acting as a mere pawn to the Bad Wolf warning, acting for it instead of for the good of the Universe?  And if he wanted to forget that act, why does he goi around constantly telling people he did it.  I get the guilt, I get that he wants to, but can never actually forget what he did, but he seems to be trying to forget one whole regeneration's worth of his life.

On top of all of that, the speculation as to which Doctor John Hurt is actually playing, with his seeming to wear 9's leather coat with aspects of 8's Victorian era look and who knows what else, has been all over the place.  Is he some weird incarnation between 8 and 9 - Doctor 8.5?  Is he the Valeyard of old, a future version of himself?  The 13th Regeneration?

Here's my thought.  John Hurt is playing the 8th Doctor and here's why.  Since the 1996 movie an the 2005 return to TV, Paul McGann's 8th Doctor has been the longest tenured of all of the Doctors, having appeared in numerous audio, comic and literary venues.  Why Moffatt decided toi go with Hurt as opposed to bringing back McGann, which I think would have been cool, is beyond me, except for maybe 2 reasons.  He really wanted to age the 8th Doctor and you grab John Hurt for your TV show when you can. 

That and I have read something in going through various websites regarding The Moment and the information I found led me to believe that Hurt is the 8th.  I don;t want to explain any more since I guess it could be considered spoilery, so I won't go there

I think like pretty much all Whovians around the world, this one episode has been the most anticipated ever and will either raise the bar for future episodes or could possibly fail miserably.  I don't think there is really any in between here.  A less than totally magnificent episode will seem like such a letdown because of all of the anticipation.  This is one chance for the Who Crew to really shine and I hope that they do.  I'll be glued to my television at 2:50pm my time on November 23 (since there was not getting near any of the theaters here to get tickets) aong with millions of others around the world.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Day of the Doctor - The Non-Trailer Trailer!

Ever since the Doctor Who session in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con where attendees were shown a trailer for the 50th Anniversary feature length (is 75 minutes reallyfeature length”?) 3-D extravaganza of an episode to be shown simultaneously all over the world and in cinemas (we have word on where it will be shown in flippin' New Zealand cinemas – but not a word here in America) on November 23, 2013, we the common folk all over the world who weren't in San Diego that fateful day have been waiting for a trailer to call our own. And the BBC dissed us again.

There was not one frame from “The Day of The Doctor” to be seen, not a one. What it appeared to be was a trip through the TARDIS attic – so to speak in a mishmash of all 12 incarnations along with a Dalek (of course) – the Key to Time – the Clockwork robots – The Master – and a few other enemies – ending with Matt Smith and his wig grabbing his own sonic screwdriver out of the collected mess.

The voiceover was interesting starting with David Bradley (playing William Hartnell as the 1st Doctor and a nice tie-in to “An Adventure in Space and Time” the BBC docudrama about the beginnings of “Doctor Who”) and eventually melding into Matt Smith at exactly the time that Clara shows up in the video with her leaf. Also interesting is that he goes on about trying to bring peace to a universe at war for over 900 years. Even if we discount his babbling about being over 2000 years old in “A Nightmare in Silver”, it's been established that The Doctor is over 1000 years old, as he was when he was “killed' at Lake Silencio.

I loved that it started out with a London Bobby in black and white, for that is the very first scene in “An Unearthly Child”, the first ever story (OK – all four episodes had their singular names – but for our purposes it's “An Unearthly Child”) - a bobby on a foggy night in London town outside the gates of 76 Totter's Lane, the home of I. M. Foreman - Scrap Merchant, making his rounds. Here's a link to so you can see for yourself:

I also loved that Sarah Jane Smith, was the only other companion shown (at least that I saw – except for a reflection on the crystal ball that looked not like her or Clara – but Susan - which would be very fitting) and that she was with K-9. I truly miss Sarah Jane and wish that Elisabeth Sladen was still with us to meet up with Mr Capaldi's 12th. To me she is the ultimate companion, having appeared with Doctors 3, 4, 10 and 11 (with Matt Smith's turn in “The Sarah Jane Adventures – The Death of the Doctor” – along with Katy Manning as Jo Grant – Sarah Jane's predecessor).

What else did we see? The Third Doctor's car, “Bessie”, The Key to Time shattered, it's Tracer appearing between the legs of the UNIT soldier killed by a Dalek, the remaining pieces shooting past the 11th Doctor's head. The Fez! Mini yetis, the clockwork robot face mask, the Cybermen circa 1980, more Daleks, a Silent, an Ice Warrior, an Angel, a golden Sandminer Robot (from the 4th Doctor story “Robots of Death”), Big Ben, more incarnations of the Sonic Screwdriver.

We also saw all 11 Doctors, The Master (with the 3rd sword fighting in the TARDIS Console Room), jelly babies, The Golden Gate Bridge (behind the 11th – a reference to the 8th).  And if that's Matt Smith's wig - sheeeeeesh.  What is it with actors to haev played the Doctor recently and their hair issues - Criminey! 

Then there was finally the 11th speaking – before grabbing his sonic from the maelstrom, “our future depends on on single moment from one impossible day, the day he's been running from all his life”. Is this reference to a “moment” screamingly loud advertisement that we will see his using “The Moment” to freeze the Time Lords and the Daleks in time? I guess we'll find out.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor

This is it people, the moment we've all been waiting for. From the moment that Matt Smith told the world that he is leaving the role of The Doctor in “Doctor Who”, the world, from London and Cardiff to Philadelphia (yeah that's right, Philly!) to Sydney and everywhere in between has been speculating on who would take over the role that made Smith a household name on 5 continents.

Now I realize that it's part of the British psyche to blow things out of proportion, their tabloid newspapers prove that on a daily basis, but is a live broadcast dedicated to the choice of a new actor to play a role that has been around for 50 years and has been played by 11 other people really necessary?

I get that the British betting parlors had nothing better to do after Kate and Will had their flippin' kid (seriously - you people need a life), but to be taking bets on who the next actor to play The Doctor????? To us here in the US, that's like taking bets on who will go to the bathroom next. In other words, it's inconsequential and not that important.

Previously, the next actor to play The Doctor had been introduced in a blurb in the Radio Times or some other publication and that was that. There might have been a picture of them in their new outfit (which kind of spoils things if you ask me), and a few words from the actor and that was it.

I get that “Doctor Who” is now a huge world wide cash cow for the BBC (and they'd better start putting that money into better special effects), but I really think they are starting to over hype things. With this “Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor” they are, somewhat embarrassingly, starting to believe the hype and get a little full of themselves, at least as far as I am concerned.

In August, 2013, there is no reason why the name of an actor, who will not appear on or TV screens until a year from now, need be announced. I know, I know, it takes the mystery out of things and allows them to film the climactic Christmas episode without a lot of leach-like paparazzi following their every move trying to figure out what actor they've brought in for the “Regeneration Scene”, but this over hyping of the actor's selection could possibly be what brings the show down in the end.

I truly believe that Moffatt and Company should heed the words of Patrick Troughton on taking over the role of The Doctor from the original, William Hartnell, "I think acting is magic. If I tell you all about myself it will spoil it."

See that, even Troughton was against spoliers, sweety.

And I think that's my biggest problem with this whole thing. I grant you that we over here in the US have not known any actor, except for maybe Peter Davison from his “All Creatures Great and Small” days, before they took on the role of The Doctor, or if they were known, they weren't widely known (like Eccleston and Tennant), and to me that's part of the “magic”.

These actors come to us with no proconceived notions, no baggage from earlier parts, which is something that makes, in my opinion accepting a new actor in the role a lot easier.

There was much hand wringing and gnashing of teeth when it was announced that Matt Smith was taking over in the role of The Doctor. I was one of those wringers and gnashers. I loved Dsavid Tennant. He brought the right amount of fury and comedy to the role an as much as I hated “The Season of Specials” and what I called “The 10th's Goodbye Tour and Extreme Makeover – TARDIS Edition”, I, like 10, didn't want him to go, but go he did and Matt Smith took over.

And you know what??? I am where I was at the end of Tennant's run, but even more so. I wasn't ever actually nervous about the naming of a new Doctor as I am now. From the second that Matt Smith stood down the Atraxi in “
The Eleventh Hour” I was hooked on the newly bow tied Doctor who would eventually allow his hat fetish to come out. I'm not going to say that I loved all of the concepts that Moffatt threw out there, especially at the end of Smith's 1st season, where after the events of the Pandorcia, bascially we had a universe that came from Amy's imagination, what I called the “Universe pulled out of Amy's Ass”.

Anyway, I have let my “Matt Love” get in the way here.

I truly hope that this over hyping of Smith's replacement does not raise the expectations of the fans too much, or in contrast, dash them to pieces. I would just rather be like The Doctor at the end of “The Eleventh Hour” when he approaches the newly rebuilt TARDIS in Amy's Aunt's backyard and says, “OK, what have you got for me this time?” when it comes to new actor in the role and I truly hope they are up to what's in store for them, for even before they have said one word of dialogue or flipped one switch on the TARDIS console, they will be the most sought after actor in the world.

As for me, I hope they go a little older, in the Tennant range. I think a transition from Smith to an actor that is more than 10 years older will be unbelievable. Matt's 30 now so a 40ish actor will work and, to be honest, even though The Doctor can appear to be anyone, by today's standards, a Doctor in his 50's or older , travelling along with Clara would be kind of creepy.  It was OK in the early 60's when The Doctor was Susan's Grandfather or when Dodo was there with Ben, but to have a 50something Doctor travelling with a 20something companion these days is weird.

Yes, I know that Billie Piper was 19 when she took on the role of Rose, but Eccleston didn't look old and neither did Tennant when he took over.

Despite his youth, Matt Smith could project that he was playing a character that was over a thousand years old, better even than David Tennant and Chrostopher Eccleston could. OK, they were in their 900's, but still, you get the idea and that was the genius in casting Matt Smith as Doctor Number 11. I truly hope they have that genius this time and that this extravagaganza on a Sunday afternoon here in the US and up in Canada (and in the VERY early Aussie and New Zealand morning on Monday) do not destroy the show that millions have grown to love.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

The 11th Hour (Redux)

OK, it seems like a cliché has hit Doctor Who, the cliché being “I've always wanted to direct.”

It seems like only yesterday that Matt Smith came crashing into both our living rooms and Amy Pond's backyard on April 3, 2010. It's hard to believe that a little over three years have passed since The Doctor began his 11th incarnation by going up against both the Atraxi and Prisoner 0.

It seems like only yesterday . . . . . and now it's almost over and yes, I am not at all happy about it. There, I said it, not happy at all.

This comes as a total surprise to me as I had read that Smith had recently signed on for Season 8 and he said filming would be starting in January of 2014. I am bummed out in that I had actually been looking forward to maybe an entire 13 episode in a row run instead of the split season nonsense we've suffered through the last 2 years. Maybe we'll get 13 in a row with whoever the new guy is.

Smith made the part his own after having some seriously huge sneakers to fill. David Tennant left a large shadow over the part. People cried with his leaving the show (yeah I did), just knowing that no one could ever take his place, and yet a 26 year old relative unknown (totally unknown over here in the US as pretty much all of the actors to have played The Doctor have been) took over and, with some ups and downs, became The Doctor!

Trust me, I had some serious love for David Tennant (and for his now wife Georgia and his wearing suits with blue in them and his classically American high top Converse Chuck Taylor canvas sneakers – even though the logos were sanded off – we know our “Chucks”) and was really sorry to see him go, but unlike those who have only watched the show since it was resurrected in 2005, I have been through all of the previous regenerations and was willing to give this long, narrow faced kid a shot and I am glad that I did.

From Fish Fingers and Custard to the Pandorica to the 'Gangers and that whole Madame Kovarian silliness (though I liked the Headless Monks – great name for a rock band too!), we broke out of the “one companion per season” mold of the Tennant years to a Doctor who occasionally popped in and out of the lives of an off again/on again then married couple with some side visits to a guy named Craig (I loved Stromageddon!) and a visit from the heart of the TARDIS herself (I love Neil Gaiman, but he should never write another episode of Doctor Who, “A Nightmare in Silverwas OK, but it kind of tarnishes his amazingThe Doctor's Wife” (I still cry on watching Idris return to the console))

I did get a bit tired of the Rory dying all the time but – but that was not Smith's fault. And Smith got to act with not one, but two old school companions in “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, Sarah Jane Smith and Jo Grant, not even Tennant pulled that off! Elizabeth Sladen and Katy Manning are Doctor Who royalty! I actually watched that story over the weekend and there were some interesting references in it having to do with regenerations and how The Doctor never pops back to see old companions.

I know there are Smith haters out there and I have to admit that I haven't always liked the show since Steven Moffatt took over. I think Moffat's better suited to just writing great single episodes of TV. He did give us River Song and the weeping angels of “Blink” (no – I was not thrilled with the other episodes they were in – except for their actual filming here in the US for the last one in Manhattan – that was cool) and “Sherlock” and “Coupling”, but I think I am pretty sure that he is not right to be a show runner, and he is the reason for the Smith haters out there.

Russell T Davies threw the occasional concept out there (loved the "15 hour rule for regenerations)", but I think he kept it to a level that we, from kids to adults, could relate to. Moffatt throwing in things that you almost have to be a nuclear physicist to understand and he has seriously messed with Doctor Who canon (an Eye of Harmony powers all TARDISes???) and Matt Smith has been the victim of some fan backlash because of that. That and what was up with the no explanation re-do of the TARDIS console room??? I like the design but there was no reason given for it in the show. Not even a one off line about how he was broodingly redecorating up on his cloud from Madame Vastra during “The Snowmen”.

Anyway, I truly hope that they keep the trend of a younger actor playing The Doctor going. Matt Smith proved time and again that a mid-twenties guy could look like both a frat house clown and a guy who had lived a thousand years in a way that I'm not sure that Tennant or Eccleston ever captured.

Farewell Matt, I hope your successor becomes less dependent on the sonic screwdriver (I really wonder what you're looking at sometimes LOL), or that the next sonic actually projects images that can be read or has a little video window or something – THAT would be cool!

OK – after all of that I am seriously miffed at Matt Smith. I'm not sure, but I think in an interview with him that I read on-line he said he was back for season 8 and that they would be filming the Christmas special this month and starting in on Season 8 in January. Which to me meant that we would be having the purple coated, bow tied Doctor back for at least one more season, which made me happy. I liked the “OK I'm over brooding about Amy and Rory” Doctor and wanted him back for a little more.

I liked that long face and slightly crazy hair (loved the longer version in “A Good Man Goes to War”), loved that you echoed Patrick Troughton's cosmic hobo with your suspenders and too short pants. Loved the change to the longer, more Victorian jacket and waistcoat with pocket watch chain and now you're just going to take off to direct. The least you could have done was stay for one or two episodes of the 8th season, then take off.

From David love to Matt love I had graduated, I loved seeing you on the screen, even with some of the lesser episodes. But I liked you a lot and loved the change to the longer coated Victorian look (OK – I admit that I had started to have a blue version made – it was in the drawing stages – I like long tailed coats – what can I say????)

Mister Smith, it's my love for you in the part of The Doctor that has me miffed that you are leaving with the end of the Christmas Special. You could have given us at least a couple more episodes for a more organic leaving.

There, I've had my say.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

DOCTOR WOT?!?!?!?!!?

I've given myself a few days to decompress from this season (series) ending episode and took the time to read a few other reviews of “The Name of the Doctor” and I am starting to wonder if I watched the same show.

I am not sure whether it was the heightened anticipation for this episode or that going into it that it would be the last for 6 long months (knowing that filming on it is already done doesn't help any) or the story itself, or that it's only Part 1 and that the story isn't finished yet, but I find myself really disappointed by this episode.

In a change of pace, I am going to start out with what I didn't like . . . . . . .

I think that Stephen Moffat tries to get too cute with "concepts" too often.  I know that this is the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who and that he's maybe trying to top the past, but maybe he needs to dial it back a bit.

Jenny, a Victorian Lady's Maid knows what a “desktop” is???   Maybe she picked up the concept during other “Conference Calls” to which we, obviously, have not been privy.  It would have been nice if we had known about the concept of the “Conference Calls” previously, even with a passing comment but this is a new one Moffatt pulled out on us.

Never has a regenerated Doctor appeared in the last seconds of an episode and they break the 4th wall, so to speak and put “Introducing so and so as The Doctor”, it's always in the closing credits, but no, Moffat and Company felt it necessary to throw a huge “Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor” at the very end.

On top of that, Hurt's reveal followed this bit of dialogue:

Hurt: What I did, I did without choice.
Smith: I know
Hurt: in the name of peace and sanity.
Smith: But not in the name of The Doctor

After just saying that he acted not in the name of The Doctor, the credits come up calling Hurt The Doctor. To kind of quote River, what in the name of sanity is that?

River, after The Doctor and Clara land Trenzalor, reconnects with Clara, having somehow kept the “Conference Call” open.

We had yet another “The stars are going out moment” after The Great Intelligence went into The Doctor's time line. I was waiting for another “Amy pulls an entire universe out of her arse” moment.  Evidently it was Clara going  into The Doctor's timeline, since The Victorian Gang were all back.  And Clara's simply going in killed off the Great Intelligence??  I mean I never thought he lived up to his name, but I also didn't think he was that much of a woosie.

That Moffat finally decided to say goodbye to the character of River (I'll miss her) in her Library persona, which, quite frankly, made no sense to me. It was a nice touch in this particular episode, but we all knew that River “died” on the Library planet and that The Doctor had more or less saved a copy of her there. I guess it worked in getting her to Trenzalor. Which of course brings up the following:

All of a sudden he can see her, The Doctor doesn't see her in the grave yard, doesn't see her in the catacombs, but “he always sees her.”?????? Yes, it was a nice, romantic send off, even I squeed a bit over that kiss, but I think it would have been cooler had she turned up in an "alive" persona as the wife of some alien tribal chief dragged in to help her husband one last time, with her kissing him off at the end.  And I guess we'll never actually see where she forced him to tell her his name.  I mean she could come back, but this seemed like kind of a final send off to the character.  Whosoever Moffatt createth, so Moffat can killeth off.

And when did she force his name out of him?!?!?!?!

Um . . . . wasn't it established in "The Doctor's Wife" that the TARDIS had stolen The Doctor??  Moffat pretty much killed that by having Clara direct The Doctor to another TARDIS, unless of course The TARDIS put it in Clara's head to redirect The Doctor to that fabled Type 40.

Yes, I liked a few things and here they are:

I liked the sequence where The Doctor had decided to rescue the Victorian Gang and The TARDIS was having none of it.  Then the release of the anti-grav - nice effects, the cooling down of the TARDIS exterior and the broken glass were nice touches.

The opening, showing Clara at various times in The Doctor's life, that was cute, though at a couple of points it didn't make much sense (Troughton in his fur coat running on what looked like a beach in the Los Angeles area while no one reacts to him), at least to me, but it was cool.

Blind Man's Bluff - that was a little silly, but cool.  1000 years old and The Doctor is still fooled by a couple of kids.

Scottish Straax!  If there's one group in the UK that will one day become the Sontarans it's probably the Scots!

Souffle Girl explained!  I knew it had to do something with the "Default Clara" so to speak, but obviously we'd never been told why she was so hot for them.  In hindsight, her making disastrous soufflés in the Dalek Asylum and then recording messages for her (dead) mother makes that opening to season 7 all that more poignant.

This ends Season 7 - so far - I will have 2 more postings coming up - I am spacing them out a bit because of the 6 month lay-off between now and the 23rd of November.  They will cover speculations on what Doctor John Hurt is actually playing - I have my thoughts on this and some of those thoughts are out there - and an overall review of Season 7.
No Pictures this time, I need to take some time to actually learn to set things up in BlogSpot while on Windows - Season 8 should be better in that regard :-)



Thursday, May 16, 2013

They call me .. . ..Porridge!

Neil Gaiman, writer of one of the most beloved episodes since The Doctor's return, “The Doctor's Wife”, is back by popular demand to once again show us his love for the series with his take on the iconic Cybermen and, in the local American parlance, he's hit it out of the park.

The run-up to the 50th Anniversary of “Doctor Who” has seen a nice mix of old school enemies coming back. The Daleks, the Ice Warriors, the Great Intelligence and now the Cybermen and with advances in television technology, these foes, some going back to 1963 (the Daleks), have been given new and incredible looking new life.

It is interesting that, in this episode, that the Cybermen go through yet another transformation, almost, if you're cynical, yet another “upgrade”. Over the years since the Cybermen appeared first in 1965 in “The Tenth Planet” as the residents of the Earth mirror planet of Mondas, the Cybermen have been redesigned and redesigned and re-re- re-designed, having gone through various upgrades.

In the Eccleston era, all 1 season of it, the Cybermen were referred to in the episode “Dalek” (the best of his run), when in the alien museum The Doctor and Rose saw an old school version of a Cyberman head on display, a version last seen in the Sylvester McCoy era, nice continuity.

Then The Doctor and Rose saw the re-birth of the Cybermen in the new series with the creation of the Cybex Cybermen in the alternative universe, which in hindsight, seems a bit nonsense. I mean the Cybermen have a history of “upgrading” based on their changing appearance, they could have just as easily re-introduced them as an upgrade. Oh well, as they say, hindsight is 20-20.

OK, enough of that, onto . . . . .

Neil Gaiman's back and he's all fanboyish, which is cool.

An interesting redesign of the Cybermen, more alien and more human at the same time (not gonna get into the whole looking like Iron Man thing). The rounded face, the spine in the back, the less obtrusive head handles.

The inclusion of children in the story. Doctor Who is a kids' show after all, and it was nice to see some actual “hide behind the couch” moments with this episode. I have to a admit that I jumped when the Chess playing Cyberman grabbed Mister Webley by the wrists and Cybermyted him into an upgrade.


Nice shoutout to the past with the reference to gold screwing with Cyber technology, which.

I think that not since “Rose's Theme” have I liked a companion's accompanying music, but I like “Clara's Theme” a lot. And speaking of music, this episode seemed to be very orchestral in its background music. To me it actually stood out, and in this episode it was a good thing.

Gaiman borrowed heavily from Stare Trek: The Next Generation for this eposide, which was something I feared might be the case. Simply seeing The Doctor in the previews with that piece of Cyber Technology on his face was reminiscent of seeing Captain Picard in the ST:TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds” when he was assimilated into the Borg Collective and renamed Locutus.

Also, the new (to us, as evidently this “new” version has been around for about 1000 years when The Doctor and crew stumble across them) Cybermen's ability to “upgrade” is pretty much the same as the Borg's ability to adapt to pretty much any situation and do it quickly. This is very evident when the gun that usually destroys them suddenly doesn't.

Angie was quite the annoying tween. She gets a ride in the TARDIS, ends up on another planet and acts like she's being dragged to some lame amusement park (OK as amusement parks go, it was pretty lame, aside from it being on a different planet, in a different galaxy, a kabillion years in the future).

It seems as if the Make-up Department are having a really bad time hiding the forehead scar on Matt Smith, and given the picture that I saw of his American movie debut character, that scare is seriously nasty.

That this is the penultimate episode for this season, and this is my BIGGEST complaint about Doctor Who, that we're given 13 episodes per season (or series as the Brits call them for some reason), it would be nice to have them all at one time, all in a row. Short season American shows seem to get it right, 13 episodes in a row and done until next year. We could live with that. On the SyFy Channel (an abominable name), they've actually nailed it on Warehouse 13 with their 13 episodes and a Christmas Special. They probably stole the concept from from Doctor Who in that the last Christmas special had to do with time travel (that and having a Christmas Special to begin with). Split seasons do nothing but annoy the fans and they are not the ones you want to annoy, they tend to go away when you mess with them (ya hear me Moffatt and the BBC?!!?)


Captain: Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle
Clara: Real castle? Drawbridge? Moat?
Captain: Yes, but comical.

Sorry, that was funny.

LASTLY . . . . . . .

The Clara Conundrum - I am sticking with my theory that she is a clone that has been seeded throughout The Doctor's life, but I am still not sure who did it.  I think that she was there for the benefit of The Doctor, but given his obvious regenerations, not always at the right time, since she never got him out of trouble during those regenerations.  I guess we'll find out next Saturday . . . . . .

This Cheery Fellow - great (a bunch of times)
Grandfather of the guys below.
9 Runs Into an
"Old Friend"

"'ello just dropped by from an alternate Universe"
"Want to play a game?"


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Attack of the Supermodels!!

OK – this was the 3rd, in my opinion, most anticipated episode of the season in that it meant the return of our Victorian era heroes, Madame Vastra, her lover Jenny and Straxx, the amazing Sontaran and they did not disappoint.

For me, this had to be the funniest episode of Doctor Who in quite a while and there was one scene that had me laughing out loud for at least 5 minutes, simply because of the “wrongness” of it.   More on that later.

There was a nice shout out to Peter Davison's 5th Doctor as The Doctor and Clara arrived in Yorkshire and how he had so much trouble getting an Australian stewardess back to Heathrow Airport . . . . . . 
That Diana Rigg was chosen to be in this episode. For a woman to have an acting career last as long as hers, over 50 years, is an amazing achievement.   Best known for her role as Emma Peel in the 60's series "The Avengers" (she was their Leela in that she added a bit of sexual tension), Ms Rigg has been in an amazing number of productions, including the current "Game of Thrones".

Also cool was that Doctor Who brought Dame Diana and her daughter, Rachel Stirling, together for the first time ever, Stirling playing the blinded daughter Ada.

Jenny and Vastra were back and kickin' some butt, especially Jenny (yummy in her Victorian Catsuit - Maybe that was Victoria's Secret!)

Just an aside here, but we know that Vastra wears a black veil when travelling the streets of Victorian London, but is no one actually able to at least get a glimpse or a hint as to her actual face??  We had "fainting guy" and Mr Penny Dreadful shocked at her appearance when we can see that she is obviously not human.   Hmmmmmmmmm  . . . . .

Even though this was a Doctor and companion light episode, I have to give Matt Smith high praise for his performance in this episode, maybe it's a little Matt Smith crush, but his playing as "Ada's Monster" was great.

That Ada got her vengeance at the end.

Straxx - the worst shot in the Sontarran army, yet he came through at the end.  Sontar Hai!
Actually, there wasn't much I didn't like in this episode, other than maybe the very ending, where Clara's charges, Artie and Angie had found images of Clara in the past.  I mean what would they have been studying to have come across her in those two distinctly different times and places?  Had they stumbled across a website set up something along the lines by a group who had noticed Clara and her popping up in different places - along the lines of those who had been looking for The Doctor in "Love and Monsters" (another Doctor and companion light episode)?  We might have to wait until next week to find that answer out.

The Clara Conundrum (This week's title for the Clara Mystery)
I guess I could just repeat what I just wrote above, but, there's more.  One of the pictures of Clara was obviously of the dead Clara Oswin Osgood, Victorian era nanny, known to Vastra, Jenny and Straxx.

I am going to stick to my theory that Clara Oswin Osgood and Oswin Osgood of the Alaska are clones of the present day Clara.  If the Doctor pops in at the beginning of the next episode as Clara is pulling a soufflé out of the oven and the TARDIS vibrations make it fall, I'll be convinced and I guess we'll find out who's actually behind her cloning during the last episode of this run, "The Name of the Doctor".
Sorry for the lack of pictures and video this week, but it was not for lack of trying.  Evidently I need practice with this new computer and BLOGSPOT on formatting things.  Inserting pictures and videos within the text have been a mess - so I left them for the end :-)

MRS PEEL (definitely hotter)

'ello Luv!

The Sonic Gives The Doctor Away!
Hello  . . . . erm  . . . Sweety
My Monster!