Browsing: Doctor Who

Doctor Who Time Heist

One of the virtues of Doctor Who is that it can be anything from week to week: a comedy, a drama, a horror film or an action adventure. It can be set in the future, the past, or the present. It can hail from any genre, or mix them up and try to create something totally new.

Doctor Who Listen

To anyone who’s really clever, the concepts of fear and bravery are inextricably linked. True bravery isn’t the ability to shut out fear; it isn’t the capability of walking into danger unafraid. No, true bravery is shown by what you do when you’re afraid.

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Legends are more powerful than mere men. Stories contain messages. Symbols contain power. Become more than just another struggler, step out of the day-to-day life, elevate yourself to the point of mythology, and you can become something grander than you can possibly imagine. You can become an inspiration.

Doctor Who Into the Dalek

The Daleks have always defined Doctor Who and, to some extent, The Doctor himself. So far, the eighth series has mirrored the first season of Classic Who, with a prehistoric-tinged first story that introduces The Doctor as a dangerous, unpredictable renegade and a second story that puts him up against his greatest enemy, the darkest force against which he ever stands, the thing that taught him how to stand in the first place: the Daleks.

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I didn’t like this episode at first. It was written by Neil Cross, whose ‘Luther’ I dislike and who disappointed a couple of weeks ago with ‘The Rings of Akhtaten’. It guest starred Dougray Scott who generally heralds something distinctly average, and Jessica Raine, who up til now I have considered the UK’s answer to Anne Hathaway (I’m afraid I’m one of her many oh-so-fashionable detractors, but I have been since before it was cool, I swear!); that same brand of doe-eyed brittleness having previously been on display in the cloying and dire ‘Call the Midwife’. The plot deflates a promising 70s-set straight-up haunted house story (we open with some satisfyingly retro paranormal recording equipment, presided over by the clearly hotsed up for each other Dougray and Jessica) far too soon in the episode in exchange for a poorly explained (faintly amusing balloon demonstration notwithstanding) tale of a Donnie Darko-esque collapsing ‘pocket universe’ that can only be reached via a psychic wired up to a tiara and a bunch of clocks. We get a potentially kickass lady time traveller from way forward when, but she isn’t given a chance to do anything except get lost and get rescued. AND they top the whole thing off with the Doctor performing not one but two matchmaking services, one of which is for a pair of giant stick insects.

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The opening of this week’s episode is something of a comedown for Doctor and Clara, who arrive dressed to the nines, hot from Las Vegas (I was hoping that Clara might be a bit tipsy, so Jenna Louise Coleman could flex her comedy muscles some more, but alas, no. The consolation was a pair of novelty Elvis glasses resting resplendently on the Doctor’s face) straight into the middle of the 1980s Cold War, onboard a sinking Soviet sub.

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We begin with a prologue, in which we learn that were it not for an errant autumn leaf flying into Clara’s father’s face at the opportune moment, he would never have met her mother, and Clara would never have been. This sparks all sorts of exciting possibilities in my mind – has the doctor, or someone else, engineered the parents’ meeting to produce the very special and mysterious Clara Oswin Oswald?, is this ‘leaf’ in fact some kind of alien parasite that feeds off romantic comedy ‘meet-cutes’?, was someone actually trying to kill Clara’s father and prevent her from being born? – but by the end of the episode these theories fizzle into yet another message on the ‘power of love’ and the leaf turns out to be… just a leaf. This kind of underwhelming story reveal does not bode well for the Clara Who? mystery arc.