October 13, 2014

DW: Mummy on the Orient Express

Title: Mummy on the Orient Express
Episode: 8.09
Space - ?

Companion: Clara

Guests: Samuel Anderson{6}
Frank Skinner {4}
David Bamber{17}
Christopher Villiers{29}
Foxes {1}

Writer: Jamie Mathieson {w9}
Director: Paul Wilmshurst{d4}

Rating: ****
The trailers did a great job of letting us think that this was a companionless episode. As soon as they come on board there she is, Clara in a stunning little flappers dress, straight out of the 20's. She's still upset with the Doctor, this is their last hurrah. She just can't keep doing this with him.

The mystery of the episode is introduced in the opening sequence, and the trailer. A elderly woman sees a Mummy in her dining car and dies in 66 seconds. When they find out about it, the Doctor puts it off as nothing. "Old ladies die all the time, its practically in the job description." Once in his own bed, the Doctor convinces himself that there is more to this than just a heart attack.

The Doctor seeks and finds Professor Moorhouse (Christopher Villiers, appeared in The Kings Demon's 1983 with 5th Doctor) , an expert on alien mythology. He drills the Prof for info on The Foretold, as he offers a Jelly Baby, and another person dies.

The analog clock is a great touch, to the mystery and the flavour of the setting aboard the Orient Express. The Doctor's cold and callous demeanor upsets Clara and she puts her foot down, telling Maisie the truth, that the Doctor can't save her.

A lot of people on the net are upset about this, this was Clara's exit, her final nail in the coffin as to why she was leaving. What has been missed is the Doctor's redemption in the final five minutes.

Why did he do it? Why is he so cold? Why is he heartless? There was, and always has been, a reason.

In the end this was a good episode that sees a turn in Clara's perception of the Doctor.

Opening: 8
Setting: 8
Conflict: 9
Plot: 7
Dialogue: 7
Aliens: 7
Costumes: 9

Doctor: I'm the Doctor and I'll be your victim this evening, are you my Mummy?

Doctor: Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to chose.

Next time on Doctor Who: Flatline

October 12, 2014

Foxes sings on Doctor Who

The full version of her song from the Mummy on the Orient Express episode.

October 06, 2014

DW: Kill the Moon

Title: Kill the Moon
Episode: 8.08
The Moon - 2049

Companion: Clara

Guests: Samuel Anderson{6}
Ellis George {4}
Hermione Norris {1}

Writer: Peter Harness {w1}
Director: Paul Wilmshurst{d3}

Rating: ***

Before even watching this episode I was wary. The excitement level just seemed to be missing from the trailer and the monsters where spiders. I know lots of people that are afraid of spiders, and given the right circumstances I don't like them either, but this wasn't one of those times for me.

The question of how the the moon puts on weight really threw me, an egg? First off, eggs don't gain mass, there's no external source. The Mexican moon base had an open door, yet when the power is restored there is a sudden supply of oxygen. Even when the lights/power go out? To quote Courtney, "Why did I just fly?"

There is fiction in Science Fiction, but it can't be so fictitious that it takes the show out of the realm of possibilities. When I stop and say, "What!?" during a show, it breaks my suspension-of-disbelief. That is something a show should never do, and this episode did it way too much. I even noticed that the cobwebs they used in the episode looked just like the ones I can buy in the Halloween shops right now.

Clara talks about the Doctor knowing that the moon doesn't get destroyed, because they've seen the future, and the Space Shuttle captain doesn't bat an eyelash when he talks about the fuzziness of the future and what he has seen.

Its not that the Doctor doesn't care, he does, he just needs to do it in a way that you'll learn. If a  parent is always cutting up your meat for, you'll see how its done, but you'll never learn to do it yourself. That was the situation with leaving Clara and the Captain to make the decision on using the nukes to them and not him. Danny was right though about the Doctor pushing too hard. Will we see him redeem himself. Noticeably Clara, Danny and Courtney are absent from the Next Time trailer.

Opening: 6
Setting: 7
Conflict: 8
Plot: 6
Dialogue: 7
Aliens: 5
Costumes: 5

Next time on Doctor Who: Mummy on the Orient Express

October 01, 2014

DW: The Caketaker

Title: The Caretaker
Episode: 8.06
Earth - Present

Companion: Clara

Guests: Samuel Anderson{5}
Ellis George {3}
Jimmy Vee{26}

Writer: Steven Moffat {w73}
Gareth Roberts {w27}

Director: Paul Murphy{d4}

Rating: ****
The Doctor as a Caretaker seems logical realy. He is the self appointed Caretaker of Earth, but in this case its Coal Hill School. A school with a fifty year history in Doctor Who, its where his granddaughter, Susan, attended in the first season of the original Doctor Who.

At the beginning of the episode we see Clara trying to run her dual lives. One of dating Danny and Teaching English, and one adventuring with The Doctor. She's running low on fuel. Suddenly the Doctor shows up at Coal Hill as the new

Caretaker, John Smith. For those not in the know, a Caretaker is the British version of Janitor, or Custodian or general all-round fix-it person in a school, like a building Super.

The Doctor shows his ongoing dislike for soldiers when introduced to former Sergeant, Danny Pink by another Coal Hill teacher. Constantly referring to him as a P.E. teacher, as if thats the only thing an ex-member of the military could do in a a school. Certainly not teach math (or as they call it Maths)

The Doctor sees that the person that she's been dating must be at the school, and when she walks off to talk Shakespeare's the Tempest, he thinks Adrian is the one, and he approves. Meanwhile The Doctor is planting devices around the school, he's looking for a deadly robotic alien soldier in the vicinity, that has already killed an investigating police officer. The Doctor is interrupted by a curious student and Clara. He reveals his new invention to Clara, an invisibility watch.

The Doctor uses the watch to lure the Skovox Blitzer back to the school at night when its empty. Only Danny has removed a few of the devices the Doctor planted and is wondering the hall looking for the Doctor, and Clara is too. All four, Doctor, Clara, Skovox and Danny end up in the gym and Danny avoids being shot by the Blitzer, and nearly sucked in to a time vortex that the Doctor set up to send the Skovox into the future. After a banter between The Doctor and Clara, Danny realises she's from space. Clara tries to pass it off as a school play. He sees through it, and Clara drops the L word.

Clara takes a confused Danny home and explains it all to him, but he doesn't get why she travels with the Doctor and how she feels. She sneaks Danny onto the TARDIS with the invisibility watch and lets Danny she how she interacts with The Doctor. A banter of alpha male dominance ensues when Danny's obvious dislike of aristocracy surfaces as the term Time Lord is mentioned.

After Clara and Danny leave, the Doctor's arrogance to show off surfaces as the curi
ous student shows up again and he shows her the TARDIS. Continuing to work on Skovox coming back, the Doctor creates what looks like a proton pack and in the middle of parents night the creature returns. Danny witnesses Clara running from the alien as a decoy and intervenes to buy the Doctor just enough time to shut it down. Danny saving Clara and the Doctor saving the world, calls into question who is the Caretaker?

The final scene gave us a bit more on Missy. And I won't say anymore and to avoid spoilers.

Opening: 7
Setting: 8
Conflict: 7
Plot: 9
Dialogue: 8
Aliens: 7
Costumes: 7

Next time on Doctor Who: Kill the Moon

September 22, 2014

DW: Time Heist

Title: Time Heist
Episode: 8.05
Karabraxos - Past
Earth - Present

Companion: Clara

Guests: Samuel Anderson{4}
Jonathan Bailey {8}
Pippa Bennett-Warner{1}
Keeley Hawes{12}

Writer: Steven Moffat {w72}
Steve Thompson {w7}

Director: Douglas Mackinnon {d13}

Rating: ****
It would be hard pressed follow an amazing episode like, Listen, but Time Heist was next on stage. I really think fans will forget this episode in the long run, as good as it was. It doesn't affect the overall Doctor Who mythology. Unless Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner) and Psi (Jonathan Bailey) return, which they may do.

While Clara is prepping for a date with Danny, The Doctor is trying to convince her to join him for another adventure aboard the TARDIS. A flashback shows Danny setting a time with her for the date, and that its been two months for them. As she's about to leave her flat (apartment) the phone rings on the TARDIS, parked in her spare room, when he answers the phone Clara and The Doctor are both suddenly sitting at a table with two others, all of them holding memory worms, last seen in The Snowmen, christmas special.

A quick briefing tells them that they've agreed to rob the Bank of Karabraxos, the most secured and fortified bank in the Universe. Their presence has set off alarms and a living guilt detector is issued to find them, The Teller. Nice double-entendre. The bank finds that they didn't get the right intruder, and continues their search. Meanwhile The Doctor and crew continue to make their way to the valts.

The question of the Good Man, came up again. As Saibra face agonizing death, she said, "Oh! A good man. I left it late to meet one of those." then she takes the exit strategy. Once Psi does his job of unlocking the 24 keys of the vault, he is sacrificed.

The Doctor and Clara are left to retrieving the things they want from the vaults, only to get caught themselves. As they think they're getting incinerated by a couple of guards, they discover the guards are Psi and Saibra in disguise and the exit strategy wasn't a vapourized body, but a teleport.

Off they go to finish the job and reunite The Teller with his mate, and at the end Clara with her date.

The episode really is a paradox, Madame Karabraxos calls the Doctor because he gave her his number in the past, but if she hadn't called and set-up the heist, he wouldn't have met het in the past and been able to give her his number,

Opening: 7
Setting: 9
Conflict: 8
Plot: 9
Dialogue: 8
Aliens: 7
Costumes: 7

Next time on Doctor Who: The Caretaker

Welcome to Coal Hill, Mr. Smith