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

Before I get into the review for this week’s episode, I want to go ahead and mention the Doctor Who chat bot that’s available on Skype. It’s an interactive adventure where you and Twelve work together to reassemble the pieces of the Key to Time (although there’s no explanation for how it got disassembled after Four and Romana put it together). You basically get to be the Doctor’s companion. It’s only AI, but it’s the closest most of us will ever get to being a real companion, and for awhile we get to pretend that the Doctor really did tell us we were brilliant (not going to lie, that felt good).

Anyway, this week’s episode saw Bill and her friends renting a house from an extremely sketchy landlord, and it turns out the walls eat people (considering this is the same house where Sally and Larry encountered the Weeping Angels in “Blink”, I’m not too surprised at the weird things that are happening). And then the Doctor discovers the alien lice that live in the wood of the house, but that’s nothing compared to the secret the Landlord has been keeping for nearly seventy years.

I admit, I got a chuckle out of Bill introducing the Doctor as her grandfather–and the Doctor’s indignation at being considered so old. He had the same complaint in “The Caretaker”, insisting that he and Clara looked the same age. There was a meme that remarked how Twelve must keep forgetting that he doesn’t look like Eleven anymore, and I’m starting to think that’s true.

I’ve always loved David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, and watching him here, I was forced to ask myself, “Why has this man never been the Doctor?” Seriously, he’d be great at it. It’ll probably never happen, but it’s fun to speculate. And I really loved the twist about how he was the son all along, and Eliza was his mother. But how did Eliza forget? I don’t think they really explained that part. Of course, with it being seventy-some years, her memory may have slipped up.

Last week I said I didn’t think the Master was in the vault, but it was probably the Valeyard. This week I take it back; I’m starting to suspect it’s the Master in there. It’s difficult for me to imagine the Doctor being so casual and comfortable around anyone else that dangerous–plus, they implied that the prisoner was interested in the deaths the Doctor encountered during the episode (even though they didn’t really die). That totally strikes me as something the Master would want to hear about.

Next week, the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole face off against deadly spacesuits in “Oxygen”!

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May the Force be with You in Middle-Earth

It’s Star Wars Day, and I figured I’d do something a little different by going into the similarities between Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. It’s kind of a running joke in my family that Star Wars is really just The Lord of the Rings in space, and here I shall prove it to the world. Some of these may seem fairly obvious; others may be completely bonkers, but all should be entertaining.

Luke Skywalker = Frodo Baggins

Frodo and Luke

 

Ordinary guy (but with famous relatives) living a pretty ordinary life suddenly finds himself in the middle of a plot that could destroy the world.

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader = Bilbo Baggins

Darth Vader and Bilbo

First in the family to have epic adventures, is temporarily under the influence of the Dark Lord but fights off the influence and becomes one with the Force/sails to the Grey Havens.

Obi-Wan Kenobi = Gandalf

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Gandalf

The man responsible for seeing both generations off on their respective adventures–also dies and comes back in a more powerful form.

Emperor Palpatine = Sauron

Emperor Palpatine and Sauron

Do I really need to explain this one?

Han Solo = Aragorn

Han Solo and Aragorn

Ruffian who turns out to be a hero.

Princess Leia = Arwen

Princess Leia and Arwen

A princess who always has a plan and is not afraid to make sacrifices for the people closest to her no matter what the personal cost.

C-3PO and R2-D2 = Legolas and Gimli

C-3PO and R2-D2 and Legolas and Gimli

Best friends who are always bickering.

Lando Calrissian = Eomer

Lando Calrissian and Eomer

The friend who shows up in Part II and is crucial to helping win the battle in Part III.

Count Dooku = Saruman

Count Dooku and Saruman

Former good guy who turned traitor. Bonus points for both parts being played by Christopher Lee.

Yoda = Gollum

Yoda and Gollum

Odd-looking creature with a weird speech pattern who shows our hero the way to complete his quest.

I know, I know, I couldn’t find parallels for all of the LotR characters (which makes me sad because I would love to know who Eowyn and Sam are analogous to), but I think these are pretty accurate, nonetheless–and funny, too, which was the whole point behind this post.

Happy Star Wars Day!

 

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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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