Tag Archives: Steven Moffat

Doctor Who Review: Twice Upon a Time *Contains Spoilers*

Well, here we are folks, the final Doctor Who review of 2017…and the final time I’ll be reviewing Capaldi’s irascible, incorrigible Twelfth Doctor. I’ll tell you what, though–there’s a part of me that feels as though he hasn’t stopped being the Doctor. I know Jodie Whittaker has officially taken over the role now, but it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It still feels that in some corner of the universe, Twelve is still roaming around time and space making wisecracks about pudding brains and playing riffs on his guitar.

Maybe it’s because his stubbornness from “The Doctor Falls” is a holdover of sorts, and we got a double dose of it in the form of the First Doctor (portrayed here by David Bradley). Both Doctors are refusing to change; both Doctors insist they have the right to die as they are. And this stubborn insistence is creating a paradox and interfering with the normal flow of time, which is part of how Captain Archibald Lethbridge-Stewart (none other than the Brigadier’s father and Kate’s grandfather) finds himself involved in their escapade. An organization known as the Testimony extracted Archibald from his timeline temporarily in order to harvest information about his life before he died, and when they tried to return him, the regeneration paradox caused them to accidentally strand him at the South Pole. The Testimony offers the Twelfth Doctor a deal–return the Captain to them, and they will return Bill to the TARDIS. But is it really Bill? And what exactly is the Testimony’s motive?

This wasn’t a loud, bombastic, edge-of-your-seat episode; it was quiet and understated, and that mood really seemed to fit the story. It allowed the focus to be more on Twelve and his final days, and it also served as a farewell tour for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who has been both a writer and an actor on the show since the 2005 revival; here he portrays the Brigadier’s father Archibald). It was a fan’s farewell to the show, from the inclusion of the First Doctor to Rusty’s return to allowing Twelve to say goodbye to Clara and Nardole. There was passion and enthusiasm and genuine love…and Twelve’s final words are the most heartbreaking yet.

It’s difficult for me to give my impressions on Thirteen yet because, well, she didn’t really do very much. She saw her new appearance in the console screen, pushed a button, and triggered something in the TARDIS that results in her sliding out of the console room and plummeting to the world below. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed they’re going with the whole “The Doctor just regenerated, and now the TARDIS is wildly out of control” theme again–they’ve been doing this since Tennant, and it’s getting old! Do something different already!

It’s been a wild ride, and I will miss every moment of Capaldi’s tenure. Following his powerhouse performance will be no easy feat, and I wish Jodie Whittaker the best of luck. I hope for her sake that Thirteen isn’t an unlucky number.

I have to admit, though, that a part of my heart will always belong to Twelve. I could never choose a favorite; I loved them all…but Twelve, now and forever, is my Doctor.

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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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Doctor Who Review: The Return of Doctor Mysterio *Contains Spoilers*

Considering this was the only new episode of Doctor Who we could expect to see this year, writing a review of it was kind of a no-brainer. I did miss having new episodes to review each week, so I looked forward to having a chance to write down my thoughts on the 2016 Christmas special. It’s been exactly one year since our last new episode–was it worth the wait?

“The Return of Doctor Mysterio” sees, well, the return of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor with Matt Lucas reprising his role of Nardole from last year’s Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song” (yes, there is an explanation as to why he is back in one piece after he was beheaded last year). After his twenty-four-year night with River on Darillium, the Doctor reattached Nardole’s head to his body and offered him a place aboard the TARDIS–with both Clara and River gone, he didn’t want to travel alone (although he denies this reason). They turn up in New York City investigating Harmony Shoal, suspecting it’s a front for alien activity. Their investigation leads them to cross paths with Lucy Fletcher, a journalist trying to get background information on Harmony Shoal’s real purpose, and the Ghost, a masked superhero who has made it his mission to protect the city from all threats. Plot twist–the Doctor and the Ghost have met before. Twenty-four years ago, there was a little boy named Grant who had a conversation with a madman on a roof, and during the course of the conversation, he accidentally swallowed a Hazandra gemstone. Known as the “Ghost of Love and Wishes”, this gemstone has the ability to grant any wish–to a young boy with a love of comic books, it gives him super powers. The Doctor made Grant promise never to use his powers, but Grant saw an opportunity to help people, and he took it.

This wasn’t the best of the Christmas specials, but it was very good, nonetheless. There was much poking of fun at common superhero clichés and wry commentary. What I noticed, though, is that Moffat seemed to have toned down his writing this time; it seemed less frantic and manic than previous specials. Frankly, I think the story benefitted from that change of pace–when Moffat slows down and takes the time to work out the plot, his writing is much better. Also, I hope we get to see Grant and Lucy again in the future; they were fun characters. They started as parodies of Superman and Lois Lane but turned into characters I genuinely cared about.

Something else that struck me was a change in Nardole’s character–he seemed wiser, somehow, and seemed to have a good understanding of the Doctor. I’m not sure if that wisdom came from having a drastic perspective shift from being beheaded or if it came from many previous travels, but he definitely understands the Doctor’s pain and wants to help him heal. The Doctor certainly trusts him, or else I don’t imagine he would have taught him how to fly the TARDIS. But Nardole is showing he can be more than an inept bumbler, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out in season 10.

And speaking of season 10…

Allons-y!

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“Doctor Who” 2016 Christmas Special: We Have a Title!

Although the wait for new Doctor Who has seemed interminable, hope is on the horizon! We have a look at the upcoming Christmas special, titled “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”. It’s more of a behind-the-scenes look than a true trailer, but, hey, it’s still the newest episode.

What’s interesting is that Doctor Mysterio is how the show is known in Spanish-speaking countries, and Capaldi has previously stated that he thinks Doctor Mysterio is an awesome title. Will it be the alias the Doctor adopts in the latest special? Time will tell, I guess.

At last, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

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The Little Grey Cells Team up with the Big Blue Box in Doctor Who’s Tenth Season

The BBC recently confirmed that renowned actor David Suchet, whom most people might know as Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, will be appearing in Doctor Who‘s tenth season in 2017. Little is known about his character other than he is referred to as the Landlord (a Time Lord title, perhaps?), but considering how awesome Suchet was as Poirot, this mysterious character is sure to be a welcome addition to the Whoniverse.

http://www.doctorwho.tv/whats-new/article/acting-legend-david-suchet-joins-the-guest-cast-of-doctor-who-series-10

Season 10 may be shaping up to be well worth the wait. I hate that we have to wait so long, but it looks as though we may be well rewarded.

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Capaldi’s Not Turning in the TARDIS Keys Just Yet

Ever since Steven Moffat announced that he was resigning as showrunner after Doctor Who‘s tenth season, rumors were rampant that Peter Capaldi, the irrepressible Twelfth Doctor, would be leaving as well. After all, David Tennant and Russell T. Davies left at the same time; why wouldn’t Moffat and Capaldi do the same?

Well, Den of Geek recently published an interview with Moffat where he says there are currently no plans for Capaldi to regenerate at the end of season 10. As the Moff himself says, “Peter is loving the role, and long may he do so.”

Of course, this is Moffat we’re talking about; he could be lying through his teeth. But this is one time where I’m inclined to believe him.

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BREAKING NEWS: Steven Moffat Resigns as Doctor Who Showrunner, Series 10 Pushed Back to 2017

The Radio Times website reported today that Steven Moffat, the showrunner Whovians love to hate, will leave Doctor Who after series 10…but series 10 won’t air until 2017. Oh, we’ll get a Christmas special this year, but you can forget any fond hopes you nursed about an epic, timey-wimey 2016. Apparently the BBC decided that Moffat’s last series as showrunner would be overshadowed by the Olympics, so in order to give him a proper sendoff, they’re going to wait a year to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

A year? Really? Are you trying to antagonize the fans?

Anyway, the new showrunner will be Chris Chibnall, whom I remember as writing some very excellent episodes of Doctor Who in past series (“42” was very taught and well-paced, and “The Power of Three” deftly illustrated the push-pull relationship of a normal life and a life with the Doctor), and so I am greatly anticipating the stories and tone he will be bringing to the show when he assumes the showrunner mantle in 2018.

Let it be known, however, that I fully disapprove of the year-long hiatus of Doctor Who; I think the BBC is making a mistake by making the fans wait that long, and if this is a sneaky way of trying to kill the show, well, I think they’re going to be awfully surprised. We’ve survived longer hiatuses than this one; we will prevail over this one, too!

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