Sunday, December 30, 2012



And  . . . . We’re . . . .  back . . . .for a little while at least!

Sorry this is a bit later than planned, it’s just been a kind of depressing holiday season this year.  Not going to get into the “whys” about it, it just has been and thanks to Laredo and Kat for being there for me, but The Doctor is back!

It’s Christmas Day and time for the annual Christmas Day Special and I have to say that while it was partly what I expected and it was much darker than expected, which I liked.

OK – so the Granthams are headed off to the Highlands and there are men in skirts . . . . sorry, wrong Christmas Special.

Let’s start of with the new – and improved in my opinion – opening credits.  It appears that Moffat and Company are in full 50th Anniversary mode.  The appearance of The Doctor’s face in the opening credits harkens back to the first ever appearance of The Doctor's face in the opening sequence during Patrick Troughton’s reign as the 2nd incarnation of The Doctor.

And the ending vortex effect seems to be an update on the vortex effect of the 1974 version of the Tom Baker era opening credits.

I do like the re-mixing of the show theme – being a bass player in real life I admit to being drawn to the lower end of the musical scale and the latest version “goes there” with that cello filled beginning.  

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first, that being the new console room.  I know that in the olden days the TARDIS console would change with no particular reason given – it just changed – mostly in the Time Rotor, but the Console Room would remain basically the same – a white room with roundels and a monitor to the outside world with a 6 sided console – which we returned to at the end of “The 11th Hour”.  OK – the rest of the console room was rather copper plated and such, but the basic 6 sided console was back after the clock inspired console of the Eccleston/Tennant era.  Was a change really needed??   Don't get me wrong - I do like the new one - and it might be nice if an explanation for the change was thrown into the mix at some point, I mean we got to see the Eccleston/Tennant one pretty much destroyed and out into storage, it might be nice to hear an explanation for this change, like The Doctor, in his self-imposed exile, became a brooding TARDIS interior decorator and confided his design ideas only with Sexy.

Doctor Brood

And I will state right here that I am in LOVE with Jenna-Louise Coleman – actually – not much of a statement since I fell in love with her during her nailing up the boards scene in “Asylum of the Daleks”.  Now for some more gratuitous J-L C.  Enjoy :-)

OK – let’s get on with the episode.

It’s the flipping Christmas Episode – after a hiatus of almost 3 months – and for just that reason we need to love it – but this year’s episode was even better than usual – I give it a 9 out of 10.   In this episode the writers brought back a “Bad guy” from 1967 (the Patrick Troughton era - more on this later), The Great Intelligence and we were re-introduced to Jenna-Louise Coleman!

Amy's Glasses - nice touch

“Those were the days.”  A little tear jerky, but I liked it.

Straxx as comedy relief.   He was great – between his bout with the Memory Worm ("Sir, it appears that I've been run over by a cab" to his calling the Doctor on his impersonation of Sherlock Holmes (nice shoutout to Tom Baker’s wearing the Holmesian deerstakler hat and coat in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”) he was priceless. 


Will the real non-Sherlock Holmes please stand up!

The entire “One Word” sequence.

Overall, this episode was slightly darker than previous Christmas episodes, though thinking back, “Voyage of the Damned” and “The Christmas Invasion” had their dark moments.  I guess that Matt Smith’s previous Christmas specials had been more light-hearted and were simply OK whereas I really loved this one.

OK – I know that weather over in England is not the same as here in the US.  When there’s snow on the ground and show in the air we wear parkas and boots.  Was there something special about Victorian era snowy weather over there that allowed the English to throw a scarf on over their normal everyday clothes and be completely ready for the snow???    It just seems like every time you see Bob Cratchet or any other Victorian character – they are wearing gloves with no fingers, a threadbeare scarf and a suit against the winter cold.  While I know they didn’t have today’s parkas – or anoraks - it just seems weird.

There are almost too many to mention here – but here are the ones that I loved:

“My Bustle is stuck” (I hate when that happens)

”Eyes front soldier.” (either every Englishwoman says this, Moffat is sloppy or it’s a clue to Clara’s origins since Amy said the same thing to Rory on occasion – hmmmmmm)

“Good Evening, I’m a Lizard Woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife.”  Totally cracked me up!

This secton will be where allusions to the past are recorded and in this Christmas episode there were tons.

The Great Intelligence, as I said earlier, first appeared in the 1967 6 part story, "The Abominable Snowmen" in which the Great Intelligence was able to gain a human form in the body of The High Lama Padmasambhava (say that 3 times fast) - here's a link to a synopsis of that story, if you'd like to read up on it:

The Great Intelligence returns in "The Web Of Fear" another 6 parter from 1967 in which the Great Intelligence and his robot Yeti come to Earth and set up shop in the London Underground (and a certain young Colonel Alistair Lethbridge Stewart - soon to be a Brigadier General - enters Doctor Who history) - now you know why both he and Vastra make reference to it in this episode - the Doctor gave the Great Intelligence the idea to attack from there.

We have now seen the same person die twice, once as a Dalek and once in Victorian England and yet she turns up in present day England walking over her own grave.  Here’s my theory, for the moment, and I am sticking to it.

Since it’s been established that this season is going to be a bit of a nostalgic season, and rigthfully so, what with the showing the birth of the Great Intelligence, the aforementioned return of both the deerstalker cap and the 6 sided TARDIS console, along with the Doctor’s face returning to the opening sequence and the vortex somewhat reminiscent of the “Pretwee/T. Baker era, I am going to go out on a slight limb here and predict that Clara is a clone that has been sent to trap The Doctor for the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian has had dealings with the Doctor twice, once in th “Key to Time” Series with Tom Baker and with a 3 story arc during Peter Davison’s run where Turlough was introduced.  Both times the Bolack Guardian went down to defeat – perhaps the third time is the charm???

My Grand Clara Theory will evolve as the season commences (whenever the hell that is).

I would really love to know what the BBC’s definition of “soon” is.  From what I have read on-line April is when The Doctor and Clara will be back – to me that’s not “soon”.  I know they are stretching things out for the 50th anniversary, but this is ridiculous.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The end of another Dalek Saucer

Followers of this blog will know we occasionally like to cause havoc and destruction on what we build - especially saucers!. Well today our Saucer, above London Village, took a beating!
Dastardly pepperpots. Minding their own business.
Can't have them minding their own business!
And the saucer is no more! Thanks to Simon Osei for a great build, we still have the schematics! It may return! But not before our update! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Paradox is Working . . . or not.

The night was moist and it was that night that he walked through my door. This is a town of hundreds of stories and his was just one . . . . . . . . .

Talk about horrible pulp fiction openings, but that was the level of writing back in the late 30's and the 40's, before TV there was radio and books written cheap and quick and published on pulp stock were the biggest entertainment and what better genre, than the one that gave us both the “hardboiled detective” and lots of good old Sci-fi to use as inspiration for this story. If you'd like to read up on pulp fiction head here:

For a long time now we have been prepared for the departure of Amy and Rory, as we have been prepared for the departures of Doctor 9, Doctor 10 and all of the companions, but damn it, even though I knew this would be a tear jerker, I wasn't prepared for how much of a tear jerker it would be. I say that and it's not really that it was Rory and Amy, the story could have been about two characters that we had just met and invested a lot in. I have to give props to Mister Moffatt, even though most will not.


Kudos to all three of our main characters, they did an amazing job.

Amy's reading glasses – she looked hot!


Nice slightly ironic use of Sting's “Englishman In New York” with its lyric "I'm a legal alien"  the opening titles, was kind of cute. Might have been even more interesting had they used his “When the Angels Fall” near the end, maybe as Amy and Rory fell off of the building and the angels were zapped by the paradox.  Anyway - for your entertainment, the complete "Englishman in New York".

We have seen The Doctor mad enough to kill, or at least cause others to be killed, as seen in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, saddened whenever anyone gives their lives for his quests for good, but Amy's choice to join her one true love and have somewhat of a “normal” life with him and The Doctor's anguish was incredible. His emotion was born out of pure selfishness, to be sure, but it was true. There was no way he was going to “figure something out”, in my opinion, he just wanted that first face that he saw with his current face to be there all the time, or at least available to him all the time.

The flipping Statue of Liberty as a Weeping Angel – too funny – but it made sense since it is the ultimate statue in both New York and the United States.

Hello There!
Killing off the Weeping Angels, or so it seems, except for that last annoying one in the cemetery They were great for 2 stories, this and their birth in “Blink”, but their time had come and gone, but you'd have to explain to me how one could have survived the paradox to still be there, hanging around a grave yard 74 years later (1938 to 2012), just waiting for Rory???  I mean what was so special about him that the Angels had to get him out of the way??

Matt Smith's party scar on his head was pretty prominent. Maybe I had missed it before, actually I do remember it from earlier, just noticed it more this time for some reason.

One psychopath per TARDIS.” Great line!

Bouncing off of 1938 – very cool.  If there was a year worth bouncing off of it was 1938!


OK – I have been to New York and there is no way for the Doctor and Amy to have travelled from Times Square (sight of the ONLY New Year's celebration that matters) to where the TARDIS was parked in the time it took The Doctor to answer Amy's question about how Rory could be in a book – it takes 17 minutes in a car – I know The Doctor travels through time and all that, but he ain't that good.  Pretty crummy to keep Amy waiting an hour, or more, for an answer to her Times Square question (approximate walking time).

“The TARDIS can never come back to New York, the time lines are too scrambled,” said The Doctor. But then he goes back and gets Amy's “Afterward” from the book – hmmmmmmm. Maybe it was just going back to 1938 he was referring to.

A friend of mine brought this up and I am not really sure if I don't like it or it's just a nit pick. Bringing in Brian Williams for 2 episodes, setting up the importance of Rory's family and what might happen to anyone traveling with The Doctor, and not one mention of Brian or even Amy's family for that matter, not even a “Tell our families we love them.” from Amy before she backed into the angel. Maybe a bit nit picky, but I saw my friend's point.

I know New York City is a pretty international kind of place, but nowhere is there a Winter Quay (pronounced “key”) - or anywhere else pronounced that way in NYC.

Last but not least - with all of this talk about paradoxes and such, The Doctor goes back to Amelia in her back yard to tell her of all of the adventures Amy had with him???  I realize that people do weird things when in mourning - and he was in mourning - but we already know that Amy had no idea what happened to The Doctor after he left her in the back yard.  I know it was a nice qway to bring her story full circle, but it kind of made no sense, ut then it you're REALLY picky, you could argue that her entire story made no sense.


Having to wait for the "official" debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman at Christmas.  I get why Moffatt and The Beeb split the season in two - 1) to compartmentalize "The Departure of the Ponds" and 2) so Moffatt could work on his other cash cow, "Sherlock", but I still hate waiting until Christmas and then still not knowing when the rest of the season will be broadcast (shakes fist at Moffatt and the BBC).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Patience is for Wimps!

Well . . . . now we now what Moffat and Company were setting us up for with their “Pond Life Omnibus” and its flappy month changes – showing snippets of the Ponds' life while The Doctor was away – we were treated to even more extended views of Any and Rory's lives both with and without The Doctor, a very interesting concept for an episode. I did more or less enjoy the story being told from Amy's perspective.

It's going to take me a while to get through all of the mess I scribbled down while watching this episode I find myself longing for the simplicity of cyborgs roaming the American West . . . anyway . . . on to . . . .


Brian Williams is back – what can I say – I just like the guy – he kind of finishes off the “family” of the Ponds-Williams and probably should have been introduced long ago, it's a shame we only got to see him for 2 episodes. In the 3 seasons we have seen the Ponds' the character of Brian Williams should have been brought in long ago, kind of like Wilf with Donna Noble or Rose's Mom or Martha's family. Who were all there at the beginning of each companion's time with The Doctor, but maybe that was just a Russell T. Davies concept, though I guess you could argue that the Amy/Rory/River episodes were "family" episodes.  


Kate Stewart – daughter of The Brig – in a very nice introduction. I do hope that she shows up occasionally – as her father did – it would be nice to keep that little bit of family continuity going and it's a nice reference to the old days. Could be a harbinger of what's to come in the 50th Anniversary season – I hope - bu I hope they work on her wardrobe (sheesh!  those pants!).

The juxtaposition of Amy and Rory's totally mundane home life (cleaning out the fridge and doing laundry – is it really common in England for the washing machine to be in the kitchen?  I'm not sure what "washing tablets" are, don't they trust you Brits to measure out laundry detergent by yourselves???) and their life with The Doctor. The Doctor's time with the Ponds' after he got them their house was a real departure from the standard Doctor/Companion(s) dynamic where he would drop them off at home and go off on his own, could have been somewhat interesting to see him do that at some time other than Christmas – but hey, what can I say.

Brian Williams interrogating The Doctor on the fates of his traveling companions, I actually perked up at that to see how they would handle that and they handled it well.  Most have left on their own, for whatever reason, some were left behind and some did die.  I remember being in total shock when I saw the end of “Earthshock” when Adric was killed while trying to stop the spaceship of the Cybermen from crashing into Earth – The Doctor knew that the crash was the catalyst for the death of the dinosaurs on Earth, but Adric just had to try to stop it – to the best of my knowledge it's the only story to end with no music – here's a link to it  You'll notice one interesting thing about The Doctor in this clip.

A nice reference to The Doctor's first sppearance in Amelia Pond's kitchen and his eating Fish Fingers and Custard, doing the same twith Amy and Rory on their couch - very cool.

And evidently The Doctor invented Yorkshire Pudding!

Another old school shout out with a mention of the Zygons and their ship being under the Savoy hotel – not exactly sure why The Doctor, Amy and Rory were sitting in the snow – unless that was ash from a recently exploded Zygon spaceship – but they would never go for that twice – would they???

Using the Tower of London as a UNIT base – very cool - it was mentioned in "The Christmas Invasion".

The scene with The Doctor and Amy outside of the Tower – talking about her life and her life with him.

Brian calling out Amy and Rory for being hooked on The Doctor, it's been hinted at in the last couple of episodes, but it's true, they are hooked on their times with him, I mean who wouldn't, but they still needed down time to recuperate and act like actual himans.

The mention that they had been traveling with him, in Earth years, for 10 of them and that Amy was now writing for travel magazines, having given up her modeling career.

Introduction of the Shakri as a newvillain, since they have a place in Time Lord folklore, perhaps a replacement for the Daleks?  or the Cybermen?? Could be interesting to see them pop up from time to time in their mission to serve The Tally as intergalactic Pest Control.  Hey, there are 6 more ships out there that weren't destroyed, that we know of and the Shakri seem to move between dimensions, so they have a future. 


OK - I live not too far from a very busy hospital and all of my various doctors (general, ob/gyn, dermotologist) are all  there too - and I am sure that someone would have noticed a little girl having been sitting in the Emergency Room waiting room for over a month - no matter how busy it was.

The sappy ending, that whole part about the cubed being the power of three and all that with the soaring music and close-up of The Doctor, Rory and Amy after Brian sends them off - a little too sweet for me.


Another trip to America and the end of an era . . . . . . . . . . . . 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Incinerating Intruders for Three Centuries

The year was 1870, only five years after the Civil War had split the United States in a bloody four year conflict where relatives fought on both sides and ten years before electric street lamps appeared anywhere in the United States, let alone a little out of the way western town like Mercy.   In 1870, towns like Mercy would have barely had flame torches lighting the streets and most likely the only light came from inside of whatever buildings lined the main street. Western towns in 1870 were pretty dark places after the sun went down.

Anyway, the only actual Town of Mercy I was able to find was the town of Mercy, Texas which seems to have existed in the early 1900's and became the sight of a large oil strike some years later.

So much for the history lesson – on with the review!


This was the 6th episode set in the United States (“Dalek”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks', “The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon” coming before), with one more to come (The Angels Take Manhattan). And what's the deal with Manhattan, we can't have an episode set in Philadelphia where maybe The Doctor is responsible for the crack in the Liberty Bell or something??? Where maybe the Doctor suggests stars to Betsy Ross to represent the new United States, maybe flies a kite with Ben Franklin or provides Edgar Allen Poe with the inspiration for “The Pit and the Pendulum”. Get on it Moffat!

Evidently The Doctor speaks horse and horses have “alternative lifestyles”, so said Susan the male horse.

Talking to Animals - Another Aspect of the Tardis Translator??
Amy - “Why would he want to kill you, unless he's met you.” Great line.

With the exception of when The Doctor was running Kahler Jex out of town to meet The Gunslinger – the soundtrack for this episode was very reminiscent of classic Western music – Murray Gold outdid himself – very nice.

Speaking of The Gunslinger, kudos to Andrew Brooke for surviving all of the prosthetics – an amazing performance considering it too 2 and a half hours to get that make-up on.

Howdy Pardner!
It was good to see that they used an actual American actor to play Sheriff Isaac, Ben Browder, whose sci-fi credits include “Farscape” and “Stargate SG1”, not too shabby.


Wow – from the Undertaker to the metal cup of coffee, to the saloon where the piano player stops as soon as The Doctor, Amy and Rory walk in, to the Preacher, to the Doctor meeting the Gunslinger at “High Noon”, I think pretty much every Western clichĂ© was covered. Only things missing was a bar brawl and an Indian raid.

One last Not Liking and that is that there are only 2 episodes left in this, the first section (can't call it a half – there are only 5 episodes), but it seems like in the next episode we get to see some of what has only been talked about (Rory leaving his phone charger behind perhaps??) Rory in his underwear and Rory's Dad again.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Only My Balls

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

OK – is it me or was this Chris Chibnall written episode dripping with sex and sexual innuendo??? Hey you, stop laughing, I hear you snickering at “innuendo” so stop it right this minute!

But seriously, it was like a couple of barely pubescent school boys wrote this, the only things missing was some "pull my finger" fart jokes, but it wa a pretty good story.

Between the insatiable Nefertiti, the the Great White hunter John Riddell bragging about his entertaining two dowagers while the Doctor disappeared for seven moths while on a licorice run to his suggesting a spanking over his knee for Nefertiti to Brian Williams and his (golf) balls. Criminey!

Naughty Nephi!
First, we get the VERY hot Jenna Louise Coleman last week (there was no end to all of the Dalek cooking a souffle fan art) and then this week we get Rupert Graves as Riddell and of “Sherlock” fame (YUM!) and Riann Steele (double YUM!) as Nefertiti – and then there's the scene at the very end showing Riddell and his souvenir with Nefertiti coming out of is tent locking and loading while looking even hotter.

And evidently even the protection of the Earth has been outsourced to India in 2367 AD

Anyway . . . . .


The Doctor puts a gang together - it's about time he had a gang, though you would think that Amy, Rory and River more or less make up a gang, but I guess that's more of a family.

The Gang's All Here!
Yet another appearance by the Silurians, nice to see them back, and Amy's mention of Homo Reptilius, a nice touch, since she has met them twice at least.

Great to see that Doctor Who can pull in movie actors with the appearances of both Mark Williams as Rory's dad and David Bradley as Solomon, both of the Harry Potter series, along with aforementioned Mr. Graves.

That the title of this episode was a riff on the American movie, “Snakes on a Plane”.

The CGI effects were pretty cool – the dinosaurs were depicted amazingly – kudos to the eggheads LOL

Rory's Dad.

Amy putting Riddell in his place as to her skills in fighting.

Brian Williams sitting in the doorway of the TARDIS and having a sandwich and some tea while looking down on the Earth – just a really great scene.

Tea Time in The Tardis
The robots.


Yet again, the Doctor was responsible for the death of someone. Granted, it was a loathsome someone and I can totally understand why he did what he did, to more or less, though he would never admit it, avenge the Silurians who had been so evilly killed off by Solomon's robots on his command, but it is still a jarring experience that this individual who abhors weapons and even reiterated that point in speaking with Indira of the Indian Space Agency when she mentioned the missiles.

That in the future even the defense of Earth from Outer Space visitors haev been outsourced to India - 1st all of the call centers - now space defense!

The robots. I know I said I liked them and I did, when they were “metal tantrum machines” but not so much when they were ordered to kill the Triceratops, not good at all.

Metal Tantrum Machines!
That's about it for the dislikes and this review. Overall is was a nice episode, nothing profound was learned, the story was advanced to the inevitable departure of the Ponds. It was cool to see Rory's dad and their bonding under ridiculous circumstances.

Pistol Packin' Mama
Next week it's off to the American West - or a reasonable facsimile thereof - so get your boy and girl hats ans spurs ready!