Tag Archives: 2017

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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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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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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Final Countdown!

It’s March 15, and you know what that means–it’s officially one month until Doctor Who returns! And look at what we have to look forward to!

Ice Warriors! Mondasian Cybermen! A trip to Egypt! The Fourth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver! David Suchet!

Allons-y!

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Wolverine Tribute

This weekend saw the release of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine. I haven’t seen it yet, but I keep hearing great reviews for it. And I know I’m going to have mixed feelings about it–it’s another Wolverine movie! But it’s the last one with Hugh Jackman! How can this be a good thing?

Either way, I wanted to post this video as a tribute to the irascible mutant even if it’s not a particularly serious video. This was recorded in 2014 when Hugh Jackman visited a radio station to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past. This video was actually what made me decide to look into the X-Men movies, and I am so glad I did.

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Mauve Alert! Peter Capaldi Announces He’s LEAVING DOCTOR WHO!

Peter Capaldi announced today that the 2017 Christmas special will be his last appearance as the Doctor. He will be regenerating to make way for a new Doctor in 2018, which will also be seeing Chris Chibnall taking over as showrunner from Steven Moffat.

I am not taking this well. I feel as if he’s being forced out of the show because all the nuWho fangirls hated that he was older and not a pretty boy. The Doctor was never supposed to be your boyfriend! Watch some classic Who and get an education!

And if they use his departure as an excuse/opportunity to cast a woman as the Doctor because something something diversity, something something open-mindedness, I will be so done with the modern series. So. Done.

On the other hand, I suppose I could try looking at it as another opportunity for my dream-casting of Hugh Laurie as the Doctor. But…drat it all, we just got Capaldi! I’m not ready to let go yet!

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Farewell to the War Doctor

I was saddened to learn yesterday of the death of actor John Hurt, whom countless Whovians remember as the War Doctor from Doctor Who. I first knew him as the voice of Kilgharrah the Dragon on Merlin (he also voiced Hazel in Watership Down, but I didn’t realize that at the time) and later as Winston in 1984 (having read the book, I don’t think anyone could have played that role better than he did). But it was his performance as the War Doctor, a Doctor without hope or a future yet still somehow the Time Lord we all know and love, that really captured my imagination.

He was the Doctor on the day it was impossible to get it right, and we will never forget him for it. May he rest in peace.

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