Monthly Archives: April 2017

Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: Thin Ice” *Contains Spoilers*

Okay, it turns out I was wrong about this week’s episode. It’s set in 1814, which is not considered Victorian times. My bad. But it does give us a wonderful chance to see Twelve dressed as his alternate Ninth self from “Scream of the Shalka” (let us pause for a moment of silence to mourn the fact that they did not cast Richard E. Grant in the 2005 revival). Bill also had an awesome outfit, and I think she’s really starting to come into her own as a companion.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Doctor and Bill find themselves at the last great Frost Fair of 1814 (and per “A Good Man Goes to War”, Eleven, River, and Stevie Wonder are around here somewhere), and Bill is having the time of her life (so’s the Doctor; we rarely see him look so happy). But, of course, the TARDIS brought them to the Frost Fair for a reason, and they soon find themselves right in the middle of an investigation of the myriad disappearances surrounding the fair. There’s something underneath the ice, and that something is very, very hungry. But the hungry creature is under the control of a ruthless businessman who thinks only of the profits the creature brings and cares nothing for the people who get hurt in the process.

So far it seems as if the episodes are getting progressively better, which is a good thing. But it also has the side effect of making me realize the many different reasons I am going to miss Peter Capaldi. For instance, his interactions with the orphans in this week’s episode were so perfectly Doctorish. People talk about how well Eleven interacted with children, but I think Twelve’s interactions are…better, somehow. I can’t quite put my finger on it. And I liked the callbacks to Martha’s first trip in the past.

Any theories yet as to what’s in the vault? A lot of people have suspected it’s the Master, but I’m not sure it’s him. Valyard, maybe? I would totally love to see Twelve face off against the Valyard before he regenerates.

Next week, David Suchet guest stars! Hercule Poirot, hooray! It’s weird seeing him without the mustache.


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Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: Smile” *Contains Spoilers*

It’s Week 2 of Doctor Who‘s tenth season, and it sees the Doctor taking Bill on her first proper trip in the TARDIS. Spoilers await any and all who venture further.

Even though Nardole reminds the Doctor that he took an oath to remain on Earth and guard the mysterious vault we saw in “The Pilot”, the Doctor offers Bill a proper chance to see the universe, which she eagerly accepts. The Doctor takes her to the planet Gliese 581 D to see an offworld human colony…except there are no humans there, only robots that communicate through emojis. And those robots seem awfully interested in whether or not the Doctor and Bill are happy…and then it starts to turn into Soylent Green (well, just a little–hey, if people are being turned into fertilizer, I’m going to draw comparisons, okay?).

I admit it; I thought the emojibots were going to be stupid, but I thought the way they were utilized in the episode actually made sense. Think about it–if you want robots that can communicate with the entire human race, it makes more sense to program them to communicate in universally-understood images than worrying about programming them to communicate in every single known language. I also liked how this ship was related to other ships from classic Doctor Who episodes that were evacuating humans from Earth due to massive solar flares that were going to render the planet uninhabitable. I think the concept was first introduced in “The Ark” from 1966, but we didn’t learn about the solar flares being the cause until “The Ark in Space” in 1975. I believe there were a few other episodes based on that concept in subsequent seasons, but I can’t remember what they were off the top of my head.

On the whole I felt this episode was much better than last week’s. The plot was more intriguing, and I think Bill’s personality is starting to develop. I think what helped was having just her and the Doctor for the majority of the episode. With just the two of them interacting, there was more time to get to know Bill as a person instead of the new companion. I’m still getting used to her, but she felt more substantial in this episode. And Capaldi as the teacher-Doctor is shaping up to be better than I ever anticipated.

Next week, Victorian London awaits us in “Thin Ice”, but no word on whether or not the Pater Noster Gang will be putting in an appearance.

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Happy Easter!

O Sons and Daughters, let us sing!
The King of Heaven, the Glorious King
O’er death today rose triumphing. Alleluia!

This feast is the center of our faith, the center of our lives. If Christ had not risen, our faith would be in vain. But He did rise, so hooray!

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Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: The Pilot” *Contains Spoilers*

Well, folks, Doctor Who‘s tenth season is upon us, and that means the return of my Doctor Who reviews! I’ve got to admit; I missed writing these last year. The only new episode we had was “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” at Christmas, so it’s nice to get back into the swing of things. As always, spoilers await those who venture further.

“The Pilot” sees Peter Capaldi return as the Doctor (for the last time, unfortunately) and Matt Lucas return as Nardole, and we finally get a proper introduction to Pearl Mackie’s new companion Bill Potts. Bill is a university canteen worker with an unrelenting thirst for knowledge, which leads her to sneak into the Doctor’s lectures. The Doctor admires her passion for learning and offers to tutor her. Bill’s not quite sure what to make of him, but she jumps at the chance to indulge in the learning she loves so much. But when her friend Heather turns into a watery apparition that starts stalking her night and day, Bill quickly learns that the Doctor is the only one who is able to help both of them.

I’ll be honest–this was surprisingly low-key for a season premiere. I was expecting it to be energetic and manic in true Moffat fashion, but instead it was very quiet and kind of subdued. If this was supposed to be a brand-new jumping on point for new viewers, I’m not sure if they would have found anything to get them excited and wanting to see more–expect maybe Capaldi, who gets some excellent Doctor-y lines in this episode (things like poetry is the same as physics because of the rhyming and that awesome dissertation on Time and Relative Dimension in Space). The more I see of Capaldi, the more I’m going to miss Twelve.

I was a little bit disappointed with Bill as well. There wasn’t really anything about her that reached out and grabbed me, but I’m going to wait a bit before passing judgement on her. After all, I didn’t really start to like Clara until season 8, but I hope it won’t take me as long to like Bill, especially considering the rumors that she’ll only be around for one season. I will say one thing I like about her, though–they’re setting her up to be a pupil-style companion like Ace, and I am excited to see how that turns out. I think some of the Doctor’s best interactions with his companions have been with him in the role of teacher. Seeing Capaldi in the role of teacher-Doctor will be the perfect way to end his run on the show.

And I’m just going to get this out of the way now–Bill lives with her foster-mother Moira since her birth mother is dead. We don’t know who her father is, which means he’s either not important or the Master, who we already know is returning in the persona of John Simm. I have literally nothing to base this on except the fact that this is Moffat’s last season, and after seven years of him as showrunner, I put nothing past him anymore. Nothing.

We did get to see the Movellans from “Destiny of the Daleks” again, but it wasn’t nearly as long as I would have liked. Perhaps they’ll be back for a longer period of time later in the season. I don’t think they would have hyped the Movellans’ return so much if they were only going to be back for ten seconds.

Next week, “Smile” takes us to a human colony that has emoji robots. Not being a fan of emojis myself, I hope this doesn’t turn out too stupid.


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Good Friday 2017

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

The human race was redeemed today, but that redemption came at a high cost, a cost that we must never forget. To that end, this is an article that details some of the relics associated with the Passion–things like a piece of the True Cross, the sign that hung over Jesus’s head, and the tunic He wore. It also lists the cup that tradition holds is the Holy Grail–so we’ve known where it was the entire time, and Indiana Jones’s quest was for nothing.

In all seriousness, though, there are some fascinating images included here.

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Holy Thursday 2017

Once again the Triduum is upon us, so once again I break out the presentation on the Fourth Cup. It’s a fascinating presentation, really, and I don’t ever really get tired of sharing it.

In a similar vein, I wanted to take the opportunity to recommend How Christ Said the First Mass by Fr. James L. Meagher. It’s an old book and was written before Vatican II (so its Mass references are talking about the Extraordinary Form), but I think that people who aren’t familiar with the Extraordinary Form would still find it interesting. It talks about the traditions surround the Hebrew Passover, how Christ observed those traditions, and how they became the Catholic Mass. There are some other minor traditions it addresses, too, such as how many children Adam and Eve had (here’s a hint: it was more than just Cain, Abel, and Seth). All in all, it’s an intriguing book I definitely recommend, especially for this time of year.

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Returning Character in “Doctor Who”

The BBC recently announced a humongous return for Doctor Who. Really, this is pretty stupendous, so turn away now if you don’t want to be spoiled!

Still here? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Per the official BBC website, John Simm will be returning sometime during the tenth season! He will be reprising his incarnation of the Master alongside Michelle Gomez, who plays the female Master regeneration, Missy. This is the first multi-Master story in the show’s history, and it will certainly be exciting to see how the Master reacts to seeing a future version of himself–and his reaction to the fact that future version of himself is a woman. There have been several multi-Doctor stories over the years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the Master team up with himself (herself?) for the first time.

Stuff like this is so exciting, it’s almost enough to make me forget that we’re losing Peter Capaldi…almost. I was doing so well until I saw this trailer.

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