Archive for the ‘Gossip/News/Reviews – TV’ Category

I know there have probably been a few reviews written and you are all doctor who out I thought I would let you know what I thought. I am sorry it is a bit late, but have been really busy.

I (Well the whole family) had been looking forward to this for months ever since John Hurt was revealed as a Doctor at the end of “the name of the doctor”.  But I was worried that because of the amount of hype that it had received it wouldn’t meet my expectations. But I shouldn’t have worried.

I had some boxes that I wanted ticking prior to watching. Nod to classic series – ticked, Action – ticked, special effects – ticked, Time war – ticked, daleks – ticked. So I was satisfied.

From the start with the classic old titles, music and walking policeman you felt this was going something special.

Steven Moffat always had a difficult job to do, balance pleaseiing classic and modern doctor fans as well as pleasing those that havent seen doctor who before. And he think he managed it beutifully.  I have read some comments from people complaining that histtory was changed by having the doctor hide galfrey instead of destroying it. But if you think about it, history hasn’t changed. The John hurt and david tennant doctor will still think gallefrey was destroyed because they forgot the new event as soon as they went off in their respective Tardis’s. I thought it was a very clever move as it has taken the show in awhole new direction.

When Doctor Who first started many moons ago, the Doctor was running away from his home planet — first as a TARDIS-stealing criminal, then in exile, then running from his responsibilities to help govern there, and finally running away from the memory of having destroyed it. Now, he’s running back home.

There are plenty of shout-outs for “Whovians” young and old. From a distinct Fourth Doctor-like scarf appearing wrapped around a nerdy peripheral character, the prominence of old Who comrades U.N.I.T throughout the episode and a reprised Billie Piper’s role as an omniscient Rose/Bad Wolf helping to steer the War Doctor in the right direction, this is an episode that wants to celebrate 50 years as well as tell something brand new.

There were brilliant special affects and loads of action.  and more Daleks than you can count.

At the heart(s) of the episode, we have a simple tale of Doctor Who baddies The Zygons – shapeshifting monsters that can mimic people (and animals) around them but otherwise look like big, ugly suckers – breaking free from oil paintings in London’s National Gallery to take over the world. Meanwhile, Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor jumps through a time fissure to team up with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and save the day.

It’s not all fun and action though. Delivering on the epic saga side of the Time Lord’s story was the mysterious ‘War doctor’ (John Hurt) who was on the brink of carrying out the mass genocide that has dogged the Doctor ever since Christopher Eccleston walked out of the TARDIS in the regenerated show in 2005. The ruthless Doctor is given a chance to meet his future incarnations to see first-hand the consequences of his actions and how he will feel about them with the benefit of hindsight.

As for the assistants, Jenna Coleman’s Clara was touching and Billie Piper (Rose) was transfixing as the “Bad Wolf” Rose. But its a shame David Tennant’s doctor couldn’t see her.  But since it was the weapons “consciousness” maybe it could have took the form of other previous companion’s as well, for example Jack Harkness, Donna Noble or others, just a thought.

One of the highlights  for me, though was when the three Doctors came together, thanks to a time fissure and some fez throwing.  The manner in which John Hurt’s The War Doctor ripped the piss out of Ten and Eleven was relentless and glorious. The dialogue John Hurt got to play with in particular was fantastic. The line  “Are You Capable Of Speaking Without Flapping Your Hands About?” was one of many that had me in stiches.

But the funniest moment has to be when three versions of one of the cleverest characters in the universe forgot to check that the door that they were trapped behind wasn’t locked. Brilliant.

Tantalisingly, we were also given a surprise debut from new Doctor Peter Capaldi, his eyes flashing before us, that hinted at trouble to come.

But it was the last five minutes that stole the show for me as fourth Doctor Tom Baker made his appearance. Baker appeared as a “curator” telling Matt Smith’s Doctor to go and look for Gallifrey. His voice from the past was haunting and the exchange between Baker and Smith was very tender. And then seeing all the doctors at the end looking out proved too much for me and bought a tear to my eyes.

My Verdict, Well the whole familys verdict, it was absolutely brilliant :), what do you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Last Friday on channel 4 was the first episode of “Marvels agents of shield” and here is my review.

This is a coup for channel 4 and we watched with anticipation.

This spin off follows on from the avengers film but here, S.H.I.E.L.D’s boss Nick Fury (played by Samuel L Jackson in Avengers Assemble) is neither seen nor mentioned, at least in this first episode. It is Agent Coulson (a charmingly wry Clark Gregg) who takes centre stage. If you remember Coulson died in the battle for New York. but it seems that Coulson was actually swiftly resuscitated and sent to recover in Tahiti (“Welcome to Level 7”) – or so he thinks. There’s a secret  that we’ll have to keep watching to discover (“He can never know,” says Agent Hill (Colbie Smulders) mysteriously). I have my suspicions that he is actually a clone or some sort of robot, what do you think?

Anyway The big question was whether anyone else from the Avengers would drop into the opening episode. In a word, no. Not a single familiar superhero popped his head around the door. A quick cameo from Iron Man or Captain America (Coulson’s favourite) would have been a nice touch– though it was admittedly unlikely. Yet we can cling to the possibility of this happening in future episodes.

So back to the pilot.  The show opens is with a flurry of comic books pages and the Marvel logo. We are taken to city block where an unknown man is seen with his son outside a building which explodes in a fireball. The man tells his son to stay put and then rushes to the building. He puts on his hood, thus dubbing him “The Hooded Hero” in news stories throughout the episode, climbs a brick wall like Spiderman and saves a woman from the inferno.

We are then taken to Paris where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is in the midst of trying to steal a piece of Chitauri technology from an enemy named “The Rising Tide.” There is a fight scene as he gets caught trying to steal the Chitauri artifact, but he makes it out with the device and catches a helicopter on the roof with the Eiffel Tower in the background. He then heads to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters we he meets Agent Coulson. The Rising Tide is then revealed to be an anti-government criminal organization, trying to reveal government secret programs like S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to know who the newest gifted (person with superpowers) is before The Rising Tide gets to him first. Coulson and Ward set out on a mission with Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) to find the Hooded Hero via a fringe Rising Tide hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennett) they have tracked, and who saw the Hooded Hero save the woman from the fire.

It is revealed that the Hooded Hero, real name Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), is actually a created superhero. He has a “centipede” on his arm, which is a metal injecting device filled with fluid similar to the superhero fluid developed in the 1940s to make Captain America. The centipede is also filled with Extremis, which Marvel fans will remember from “Iron Man 3”. The side effect of Extremis are irrational anger and, eventually, spontaneous human combustion. Once finding this out, Skye switches allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mike begins to exhibit symptoms of Extremis and attacks his boss, who had fired him earlier, with his superhero strength.

It is then revealed that the explosion at the beginning where Mike saved the woman from was a resulting explosion from another individual with Extremis. The woman Mike saved was the doctor who gave him the centipede with the super soldier fluid and the Extremis fluid.

Mike confides in Skye that he just wants to live safely with his son. Skye informs him that he can remove all evidence he ever existed so both S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Rising Tide will never find him. Mike begins to exhibit Extremis paranoia and he kidnaps Skye.

S.H.I.E.L.D. begins a massive hunt for Skye and to contain Mike before he explodes and destroys everything in a “two block radius.”

In a climatic battle Mike takes a hostage and is shot by a unknown foe, probably an associate of the doctor that gave him the Extremis potion, Agent Coulson finally subdues him and promises him peace. The doctor and her hired gun get away.

However, there is a happy ending as Mike is reunited with his son, relocated to a safe house by Coulson. Coulson then offers Skye a job with S.H.I.E.L.D. He then receives a call about an “OH4” that needs immediate attention.

And the episode ends.

First, how can I sum up “Marvels agents of shield”, well It’s a secret agent series set in the Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed this pilot episode. It had action, gadgets and some good lines and references to the marvel universe.  Overall, it is witty, quick moving, smart and incredibly well-done. But those wanting to see loads of superheroes with powers will be very disappointed. However, this is a great start and this series has the potential to be really, really good. Well worth a watch in my opinion.

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

This week we saw the first episode of “Under the Dome” on channel five and here is my review.

It is based on Stephen King’s novel set in the fictional Chester’s Mill, it’s about a small town that inexplicably finds itself sealed off, snow globe-like, by a sky-high transparent dome.

Well first I have say haven’t we seen this story before??? Mmmmm Oh yes I know it’s  “The Simpsons” Movie. Did the producers of “Under The Dome” really think no one would notice? I just couldn’t stop myself thinking about the Simpsons and half expected Homer Simpson to appear.

Anyway, back to “Under the Dome”.

In the opening moments of “Under the Dome” an impenetrable dome falls over the fictional town of Chester’s Mill. A light aircraft hits the invisible wall, explodes and tumbles out of the sky, a cow is sliced clean in half and the residents quickly realise there is no getting out… or in. Families are separated, emergency services are unreachable, and food and fuel are strictly limited.

Because things would otherwise get very dull very quickly, all the people trapped inside have secrets: “Big Jim” Rennie (Dean Norris), power-mad dignitary and possible propane smuggler; his psychotic son Jim Jr (Alexander Koch), who has the girl he’s loved since the third grade chained up in a fallout shelter; Dale Barbara (Mike Vogel), a criminal seen burying a body in the first scene who insists that everyone call him “Barbie”; and Julie (Rachelle Lefevre), an improbably sexy local newspaper editor whose husband is stuck on the other side of the dome – or is he?

This was a great start to the series and is an interesting premise. What happens to a town (or us for that matter) if we are cut off from the rest of civilization. The acting, story and effects are good. The story rattled along, and it was crammed with familiar Stephen King themes: the ravens, the dank woods, the clinker-built houses, the sheriff who sleeps in his own cells.

But why didn’t anyone try digging under the dome? Why isn’t the army trying to blow it up. Come to that, why didn’t the local rednecks start firing their guns at it? And why is that light is able penetrate the dome when radio waves and sound waves can’t.

I have not read the Stephen King novel so I don’t know what is going to happen but how long will we put up with stories in the town before we find out what the dome is or become bored with the whole thing.  I just hope it doesn’t become another “Lost”,

What do you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Over the weekend the family (me, wife and our son Oscar) watched Doctor Who.  As you know I am a huge fan of Doctor Who but now Oscar, who is only 6, loves doctor who too and now he keeps saying “When can I watch another Doctor who?”.

Until the revamp in 2005 Doctor Who was always Tom Baker for me.  I lost interest in it when Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker were in the roles.  But had my interest renewed in 2005 when the series was reinvented with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. Ever since then I have been watching it religiously.

And now Oscar has started watching doctor who. He saw episode 10 of series 7 back in april 2013 and he was hooked straight away. When the series ended in May the first thing he said was “when can I watch another Doctor who?”. So we decided to catch up on the all the old doctor who from series 1 (2005). We have been watching the odd episode each weekend.

But last weekend we had a huge marathon session which we all enjoyed including Oscar. We watched most of series 4 (with David Tennant as the Doctor) and all the specials leading up to the regeneration into Matt Smith.  And now we are up to series 5 with Matt Smith and Oscar still wants more.

He just loves it, and he understand a lot for his age. He gets that the doctor is a time lord and is immortal because he can regenerate. He is transfixed. There are some things and some story lines he doesn’t understand, but then again there are some I don’t understand either :). I think Its amazing and shows the huge influence that doctor who has on every one. I mean there are not too many programs that the whole family can enjoy and will keep a 6-year-old and 43-year-old engrossed. can you think of any? And that’s whats so brilliant about Doctor who, its science fiction for everyone.

And its British.

We can’t wait till the 50th Anniversary special on the 23rd November this year. I know its only about 3 months away but we still have to keep putting up with Oscar asking “When can I watch another Doctor who?”.

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of episode 13 (final episode of series 7) of Doctor who which was on BBC1 on Saturday 18th May 2013.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this episode, spoiler alert.

In the beginning of the episode, Clara is seen falling through time and space, and appearing near several of the past Doctors. She claims that she has been running throughout history in order to save him, and that he rarely hears her.

Madame Vastra and Jenny learn of a prophecy told by an insane man regarding the Doctor; in particular, he claims to have a “secret” about the Doctor. They hold a “conference call” to bring themselves, Strax, and Clara Oswald across time and space into a dream realm using special drugs , where they explain the prophecy relating to the planet Trenzalore. The consciousness of the deceased River Song, saved in the Great Library in “Forest of the Dead”, also joins them. While in the call, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are attacked by Whisper Men, strange faceless creatures. Thinking quickly, River forces Strax, Vastra and Clara to wake up. Clara wakes up back in contemporary London to find the Doctor looking for her.

Clara quickly explains what she remembered to the Doctor, including the apparent deaths of his friends. The Doctor decides that they must go to Trenzalore to save them. As he fires up the TARDIS, the Doctor explains that the prophecy relates to his death, and Trenzalore will be the place he is buried, and is the one place he should not go. The Doctor plugs Clara into the TARDIS’ port, allowing it to access her memory of the coordinates. The TARDIS resists, unwilling to cross the Doctor’s timeline, but he manages to crash the ship onto the planet, ravaged by a giant war in the past and covered in gravestones. One of the stones looks like an enormous, monolithic effigy of the TARDIS. The Doctor points out that the structure is not a tombstone, rather it actually is the future TARDIS, dying and thus unable to control its transdimensional functions.

The Whisper Men appear to attack the duo. Clara notices the gravestone of River Song, something the Doctor calls “impossible”, due to her physical death at the Great Library. River appears to Clara, and tells her that although she can see her due to the conference link, the Doctor cannot. With River’s help, Clara suggests that the gravestone is actually a secret entrance. The Doctor accidentally reveals River to be his wife, and he and Clara crash through the stone. Elsewhere, Vastra and Strax find themselves outside the giant TARDIS, along with Jenny’s comatose body; Strax manages to revive Jenny before they are surrounded by Whisper Men. The Whisper Men are part of the Great Intelligence and are led by Dr. Simeon (“The Snowmen”); although he has died, he remains as a conduit for the Whisper Men, who can shift their appearance to look like him. While Clara and the Doctor are running through the telepathic fields of the dying TARDIS, Clara begins to remember the events of “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” through the telepathic link with the TARDIS. The duo soon arrive outside the giant TARDIS, where they are held along with his allies by Simeon and the Whisper Men.

Simeon demands the Doctor say his true name or else he would have the Whisper Men stop his friends’ hearts. The Doctor refuses but River Song appears at the last moment, having said his name and allowing the doors to open. Inside, a pulsating column of light sits where the console would normally be. The Doctor tells them that it is the scars of time travel that he has left on the universe. Simeon declares his intention to climb inside and undo the deeds of the Doctor’s past; though Simeon knows he will die, the act would destroy the Doctor. His entrance into the column sends the Doctor to collapse on the floor, as he is “dying all at once.” As the Great Intelligence disappears, Vastra, Jenny and Strax find that stars outside are going out, erased from existence by the new timeline. Jenny also disappears, and Strax denounces Vastra as “reptile scum,” forgetting that they are friends. Vastra is forced to kill him to save herself, and she runs back inside.

Clara’s knowledge about her existence deepens, and she realizes that if she also enters the timeline, she will be able to save the Doctor from Simeon’s meddling. River appears and tells her that she will not be able to come back, and the Doctor tells her not to go, but she decides to enter the timeline anyway. She calls to the Doctor, “Run, you clever boy. And remember me.” before she enters. The events from the episode cold opening play out, where she witnesses events from all of the previous incarnations of the Doctor and helping him along (including from “Asylum of the Daleks” and “The Snowmen”). Having saved the Doctor’s timeline (subsequently restoring Jenny and Strax along with the rest of the universe), she finds herself falling indefinitely and considers her role as the “impossible girl” done.

The Doctor is able to wake up, and he decides to rescue Clara by entering the column of light. River, who believes he cannot hear her, yells at him to not be so stupid and tries to slap him; however, he is able to catch her wrist. She sadly asks why he has been ignoring her, and he tells her that he does not know how to say goodbye to her. River says that she will only accept a goodbye spoken as if they will see each other again; the Doctor does this, and River fades away. The Doctor jumps into the timeline in an attempt to save Clara.

Clara falls into a cavernous place, and sees ghosts of the past Doctors race past her. The Doctor’s voice guides her to catch the leaf that was responsible for her life (“The Rings of Akhaten”) and helps her to find him as the space around them collapses. As they are about to leave, they spot one more figure nearby, whom Clara has never seen before. The Doctor reveals this is an incarnation that didn’t even hold the moniker of “the Doctor” due to his actions in life. He explains to Clara that his real name is not the point; he chose the name “the Doctor” and the name a person chooses is like a promise, and this unknown incarnation is “the one who broke the promise. He is my secret.” This unknown incarnation responds by defending his actions, stating he had “no choice” and that he did what he did “in the name of peace and sanity,” which the Eleventh acknowledges to be true but not “in the name of the Doctor.” The figure (John Hurt) turns to look at them, as the screen credits identify him as “The Doctor”.

Well, what can I say?


What a fantastic way to end this momentous series in the 50th year of Doctor Who. They certainly saved the best till last, but why oh why did we have to wait so long for a brilliant episode. Overall, it had everything that you could possibly want from a good episode of Doctor Who. It had brilliant effects, sadness, joy and action.

And at least we discovered why Clara was the impossible girl and it all made sense. It was a noble act to splinter herself into a million pieces across time and space for the Doctor. The Doctor’s kiss with River Song bought a tear to my eye as the doctor showed his true love for her.

It was an utterly fantastic episode and I was overwhelmed with joy at seeing all the doctors at the start. And seeing William Hartnell in “colour” and Clara talking to him was brilliantly done. It was really nice to see that the show’s long history has not been forgotten. I personally think the flashbacks were done really well.

And then there was the ending which made my jaw drop when John Hurt was introduced as the Doctor which will be probably be picked up in the 50th anniversary episode in November.  The question now is: who is John Hurt’s Doctor and what does he want?

But what did you think? Do you agree?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of episode 12 (series 7) of doctor who which was on BBC1 on Saturday 11th May 2013.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this episode, spoiler alert.

This episode found The Doctor and Clara taking her babysitting charges, Angie and Artie, to the largest theme park in the universe—a theme park that’d long since been abandoned because people kept disappearing from it. All that was left was a very jumpy platoon and a friendly oddball of a guy, Webley, who still had a few remnants of the theme park he was willing to share with the kids. One of his tricks was a hollowed-out Cyberman who played chess, which scared the hell out of The Doctor, until he realized it was actually being controlled by a man named Porridge (Played by Warwick Davis).

After having fun playing at some of the park’s attractions, Clara is ready to take Angie and Artie back home. However, the Doctor decides to stay, becoming suspicious of strange bugs infesting the park. The bugs are revealed to be Cybermites, which reactivate the Cybermen in the museum. The Cybermen then abduct Webley, Angie, and Artie.

The Captain and her platoon are shocked that there are still active Cybermen, and admit that they are a punishment unit that was banished to this planet to keep them out of the way. The Doctor then puts Clara in charge of the troops, warning her not to let them destroy the planet while he goes to rescue Angie and Artie. Since communications with the rest of the Empire are cut off, Clara has them relocate to a nearby castle to fortify it. Meanwhile, the Doctor finds Angie and Artie have been infected with the Cybermites and are under the Cybermen’s control. A partially converted Webley reveals to the Doctor that the Cybermen have been secretly rebuilding themselves, kidnapping people from the amusement park before it closed. However, to further their plans, they need an advanced brain like the Doctor’s. The Doctor points out that Cybermen can only use humans, but Cyber-Webley reveals that they have upgraded themselves to the point where they can convert any organic lifeform, and infects the Doctor with Cybermites. The Cyberman consciousness known as the Cyber-Planner that attempts to take control of the Doctor’s mind, powered up by having access to a Time Lord brain, then dubs itself Mr. Clever. To prevent Mr. Clever from seizing control of his mind, the Doctor threatens to initiate a regeneration, which would destroy the Cyberman implants in his brain. Realizing that they are at a stalemate, the Cyber-planner agrees to the Doctor’s challenge to play a game of chess, with the winner taking control of the Doctor’s mind.

Meanwhile, at the castle, Clara takes stock of the platoon’s anti-Cybermen weapons. However, they only possess one anti-Cyberman gun, several hand pulsers, and a planet-destroying bomb. Clara takes possession of the bomb trigger and orders the Captain not to use the bomb’s verbal command. In a private moment, the Captain reveals that, having once been part of the Imperial Guard, she knows Porridge, who is later revealed to be the missing Emperor. Porridge tells Clara that drastic measures are the only way to fight the Cybermen, and if a Cyberman cannot be immediately destroyed, then the entire planet must be destroyed. The Captain, having been sent to the punishment platoon for disobeying orders, decides to make up for her past failure by activating the bomb, despite Clara and Porridge’s protests. However, the Captain is shot and killed by a Cyberman before she can give the detonation command. Clara decides to go on the offensive, and working with the platoon, she manages to destroy the Cyberman attacking them.

In the Cyberman base, the Doctor manages to temporarily disrupt the Cyber-planner’s control over him, and reunites with Clara, warning her that Mr. Clever will reactivate the rest of the dormant Cybermen in order to wipe them out. He then continues the chess game against Clever, knowing that it will not keep its promise if he wins. Posing as the Doctor, Clever then tricks Clara into giving it the bomb trigger, which he destroys. With no more threats to himself , Clever then sends its entire Cyberman army against Clara and the platoon. As the humans and Cybermen battle, the Doctor agrees to sacrifice his Queen and guarantee his loss in return for setting Angie and Artie free.

The Doctor’s insistence that he could end the chess game in three moves stumped Mr. Clever, and he shut down all Cybermen mid-attack in order to focus on the puzzle at hand. The Doctor then uses the distraction to disable his implants with a powered-up hand pulser, banishing Clever from his mind…. but no one was really safe until the Cybermen were destroyed.

So the Cybermen begin to reactivate. Porridge, who never wanted to be Emperor, reluctantly uses his voice command to activate the bomb, revealing that using this command will immediately summon his flagship which will automatically teleport him aboard. Everybody is transported to safety while the planet is destroyed along with all of the Cybermen. Porridge then asks Clara to marry him, impressed by her beauty and intelligence. However, Clara turns him down saying she has no wish to be the Queen of the Universe. The Doctor and Clara then return Angie and Artie home.

The episode ended with The Doctor once again wondering about his “mystery wrapped in an enigma squeezed into a skirt that’s just a little too tight.” 🙂

This on the whole was a pretty good episode. Although I don’t think it was as good as last weeks effort it still had plenty of thrills and the Cyberman were pretty frightening. especially the scene where there are loads of columns of cybermen marching up to the moat of the castle. And then watching the Cybermen move lightning fast, shoot lasers, and steadily clomp their way across the moat to get to the platoon was really chilling.

With the upcoming 50th Anniversary a few months away, it was nice to see all the Doctors in this one. Sure, it is just a fleeting glimpse but still a nice little nod to previous Doctors.

Matt Smith is good as usual, displaying good and evil tendencies. The dialogue for the Doctor’s internal battle was written well.  He looked quite eerie at times. And when the Doctor screams ‘Good news, boys and girls! They’re heeeere!’,  it is a proper ‘Here’s Johnny!’ moment.

The effects were good and the visuals were fantastic. Clara also had some good moments with the Doctor, both versions, and this was a welcome return as last week there was little, if any, interaction between them. Warwick Davis had a good part as Porridge. He played his role wonderfully. However, I thought Tamzin Outhwaite was underused as the Captain.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

A prequel to next weeks finale….. I cant wait.

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of episode 11 (series 7) of doctor who which was on BBC1 on Saturday 4th May 2013.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this episode, spoiler alert.

This episode is set in 1893, where Silurian Madame Vastra, her human partner Jenny, and their Sontarium butler Strax investigate “The Crimson Horror”, a mysterious cause of death in which victims are found with red skin. Superstition states that the retina retains the image last seen by the person, and they are shocked to find that the latest victim had seen the Doctor. They travel to Yorkshire, where Jenny infiltrates Sweetville, a community led by Mrs. Gillyflower and Mr. Sweet, who is not seen. Mrs. Gillyflower preaches about the coming apocalypse to encourage people to come. She has a daughter, Ada, who is blind because she had been beaten by her late father, according to Mrs. Gillyflower.

Jenny discovers the Doctor, who is chained up and exhibits red skin and a stiff stature. The Doctor enters a chamber to reverse the process, and explains to Jenny that he and Clara had arrived and discovered the mystery of “The Crimson Horror”. They had joined Sweetville to investigate, but learned that they were to be preserved to survive the apocalypse. The process did not work on the Doctor because he was not human, and was saved from being destroyed by Ada, who affectionately calls him “my monster”. The Doctor finds Clara and reverses the process on her. Meanwhile, Vastra recognises that Sweetville is using the venom of a prehistoric red leech. The Doctor and Clara confront Mrs. Gillyflower, who reveals that she plans to launch a rocket to spread the poison all over the skies. “Mr. Sweet” is also revealed to be a red leech that has formed a symbiotic relationship with Mrs. Gillyflower. The Doctor berates Mrs. Gillyflower for experimenting on Ada to get the preservation formula right. Ada, overhearing this, angrily advances toward her mother, but Mrs. Gillyflower holds a gun to her head and heads into the rocket silo, which has been disguised as a chimney.

Mrs. Gillyflower launches the rocket, but Vastra and Jenny reveal themselves with the vat of poison that they have removed from it. Mrs. Gillyflower turns on the Doctor, but Strax appears at the top of the chimney and shoots at her, causing her to tumble over the staircase. As she dies, Mr. Sweet abandons her. In rage, Ada strikes the leech with her cane. The Doctor and Clara say goodbye; Ada says that she is looking forward to finding new opportunities on life. Vastra and Jenny ask about Clara, as they had previously met a Victorian version of her in “The Snowmen”, in which she died. The Doctor does not wish to explain, however.

Clara returns home, where she is confronted by the two children she babysits for, Angie and Artie. They pull of pictures they have found of her in the past on the Internet, and question if she has been travelling in time with the Doctor. They also find an 1892 photo of Clara as seen in “The Snowmen”, who they assume is also their Clara. They then blackmail her by threatening to tell their father if she does not take them on a trip, which means they will probably be joining us in the next episode.

The Crimson Horror is hugely entertaining. It is a sort of sequel to last year’s Christmas special ‘The Snowmen’. I really enjoyed it and there is much fun to be had with the peculiar threesome of Jenni, Vastra and Strax.  Strax is really funny in this episode and gets some of the funniest lines (“We are going to the North”) and did any one else spot the gag with Tom Tom.

It’s a long time before we actually see the Doctor in “The Crimson Horror” as the episode really centres around the exploits of Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax.  The Doctor and Clara do not enter the episode until around fifteen minutes into the episode. The grainy flashback by the doctor of how he and Clara ended up in such dire straights is a nice touch and means the story moves along very fast.

Former Avengers icon Diana Rigg is the guest star and plays the thoroughly vile a villainess Winifred Gillyflower. She has no redeeming qualities, no vestige of human kindness; she’s wicked to the core. And Diana Riggs daughter Rachel Stirling plays Mrs Gillyflower’s daughter Ada. It’s the first time that they have acted on-screen together and they were pretty good.

There was also a nod to one of the past doctors where we have a reference back to the fifth doctor (Peter Davison).  The current Doctor tells Clara: “I once spent a long time trying to get a gobby Australian to Heathrow Airport.” This is a reference to the 5th doctors companion Tegan (Janet Fielding).

On the whole I thought it was a good episode but not brilliant.  It was entertaining but did little to further the ongoing mystery of Clara or to build up much-needed momentum for the season finale, which is only a 2 episodes away.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of episode 7 of doctor who which returned to BBC1 on Saturday 29th March 2013.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this episode, spoiler alert.drwho

When we last saw doctor at the end of the Christmas episode he had just witnessed the death of the 2nd incarnation of Clara Oswin Oswald and he’s determined to find her once again. At the start of this episode we find him in a thirteenth century monastery trying to figure out who/where “Clara” is.  Clara meanwhile, now a nanny in present day London is having computer issues – so she rings a Help line she was given by “a woman in the shop” after being told that it’s “the best help-line around”.  This gets her (amusingly) in touch with the Doctor. The bells of saint john, is the telephone on TARDIS ringing.  And that’s why the reason for title of the episode, nothing to do with the story of the episode itself.

Clara find herself connected to a different Wi-Fi network labelled by alien-like symbols. This alerts a technician working under Miss Kizlet, who instructs him to send a mobile server, a humanoid robot that can take the appearance of anyone taken from a person’s memories, to her address. The servers are nicknamed ‘Spoonheads’ because of a spoon-like antenna dish on the back of their head that they use to upload their victims to Kizlet’s cloud storage.

The Doctor investigates and is, ultimately, able to save Clara from being permanently trapped in the Spoonheads network. This kicks off the partnership between Clara and The Doctor, as he courts her with bedside flowers and cookies, ultimately explaining to her who/what he is. Clara is initially disbelieving, but she’s quick to accept The Doctor and his alien nature, as her reticence is outweighed by her curiosity and her ambition for travel.

The Doctor explains that someone is using the Wi-Fi networks to download and conform human consciousnesses all over London for some purpose; he demonstrates that Clara has gained newfound computer skills due to her encounter. When Miss Kislet’s agents discover the pair, she orders the Wi-Fi network to be activated, causing the crew of a jetliner to fall asleep as it is landing at Heathrow. The Doctor drags Clara to the TARDIS and boards the plane. The pair help to prevent the aircraft from crashing and ensuring the crew and passengers are protected from the Wi-Fi, as they begin to wake, before departing.

The Doctor and Clara land the next morning and take a motorbike to a café adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral. The Doctor is unable to find the base of operations for the Wi-Fi network from Clara’s computer, but she offers to use her new skills to do so. The Doctor enters the café to get coffee when Miss Kislet, using the various patrons in the café, taunts the Doctor and shows her abilities to control the London population. Meanwhile, Clara discovers by hacking the webcams and using social media that all of the technicians for Miss Kislet work at The Shard. She tells this to the Doctor, only realizing that the Doctor before her is a Spoonhead, and her consciousness is downloaded; the real Doctor arrives too late to stop this.

The Doctor, not wishing to lose her again, rides to the Shard on his motorbike, and uses its anti-gravity feature to scale the Shard, crashing into Miss Kislet’s office. She calmly explains she is doing the work of her client who needs the human consciousness for its purposes and refuses to release the stored consciousnesses. The Doctor reveals that he is really the Spoonhead she sent to the cafe, being controlled by the real Doctor who is still there. The Doctor downloads Miss Kislet into the array of other consciousnesses, and then alters the obedience of her second-in-command to release all of them. Clara is restored to normal. As UNIT forces rush in to secure the facility, Miss Kislet explains to her client, the Great Intelligence, that she has failed him, and proceeds to do a “system reset”; she and all the other technicians are reverted to a mental state before they were part of the Great Intelligence’s plan. Last spotted in the 2012 Christmas Special “The Snowmen”, The Great Intelligence has long been one of The Doctor’s most enigmatic nemeses. What his exact plan is this time is anyone’s guess.

I really enjoyed this episode. It was a welcome return for Doctor who.  The story is pretty good and it is pretty scary to think that something maybe lurking in the Wifi network waiting to zap us. The effects and action sequences were good. And the chemistry between the doctor and Clara Oswin Oswald was fantastic to watch. Clara’s comment about the TARDIS being a snog box was very funny. But just who is she? We still don’t know.

Did anybody note that “Summer Falls,” the book Clara grabbed at the start of the episode was written by an Amelia Williams.  Her comment about a chapter of the book, “11′s the best, you’ll cry your eyes out” seems to either be a tease about what’s to come, or a call out to the emotional end to Amelia Pond and Rory Williams’ adventures with the 11th Doctor, nice touch.

The episode may also give us a bit of a link between Clara and Oswin. At the start of the episode, the new girl is completely computer-illeterate but over the course of events she becomes a computer genius. Not only that, but it’s alien computer genius. Which links to Oswin’s computational-prowess in Asylum of the Daleks. 

So well worth a watch in my opinion and a welcome return to the series.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of the christmas day special of doctor who which was on BBC1 on christmas day.  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

Christmas day has become synonymous with doctor who and I await each year to see what story is dreamt up.  And fortunately this year it wasn’t a another retelling  of the Scrooge myth.

When we last saw doctor who he had just goodbye to Rory and Amy but now he has become a grim figure, living as a recluse in late Victorian London. The Doctor is now the man in the high castle, living alone in the TARDIS (with a smashing new control room which looks pretty good-by the way) high above the smog of London in 1892. As far as he is concerned, the Universe can just go and save itself for a change.

His only friends are Madame Vastra the Silurian, her human companion (and wife!) Jenny, and Strax the Sontaran. You may remember these folk from “A Good Man Goes to War,” and we got to spend a lot more time with them in “The Snowmen.” We learned that Vastra and Jenny are the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

Anyway the christmas special starts off with a boy who is a bit of a loner as he makes a snowman that seemingly begins to talk back at him in the voice of Gandalf. The snowman (voiced wonderfully by Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen) tells the little boy he can help him. Fifty years later, the boy becomes Dr. Walter Simeon who runs the Great Intelligence Institute (GI for short) and has cared for this “voice” that is now inside a sphere. As he spoons snow into the orb, they talk about how their plan to end humanity is coming along.

Over at The Rose & Crown Tavern, bar maid Clara heads out into the back alley and suddenly notices a snowman that wasn’t there a moment ago. She asks the man who was passing by if he made it but he tells her no. When he turns around, we see it’s the Doctor. He heads to the snowman to examine it and suggests to Clara that the snow may have remembered how to make itself into a snowman. She tells him that’s silly. He asks her what is wrong with silly and she immediately responded, “Nothing. I’m still talking to you, aren’t?” And so establishes the great repartee that will be seen throughout the episode between the two. Something about her rather audacious spirit hits a button with the Doctor, but he refuses to be drawn in.

As he walks away, she follows him. Obviously curiosity has gotten the better of her and she decides to catch up to the carriage that the Doctor is riding in. Inside, the Doctor is talking to Vastra over a “phone” saying that Clara doesn’t even know he is the Doctor. Clara overhears part of the conversation and emerging upside down and in his face from the “sun roof” of the carriage asks “Doctor who?”

Meanwhile, Simeon is walking back to the institute after leaving Captain Latimer’s home and letting him know under uncertain terms that whatever is growing in his pond underneath the frozen water belongs to the ‘GI.’ Apparently the Captain’s former nanny had fallen in and it froze over leaving her dead body in the ice. He meets up with Madame Vastra and her wife, Jenny.  Simeon is already on Vastra’s radar but he doesn’t care. A nice exchange occurs where Simeon informs them that Arthur Conan Doyle has been using the duo’s exploits as the basis for his novels – with a few alterations. Mainly Doyle excludes the fact that Sherlock Holmes is a lizard, he and Watson are both women and are married!

Vastra knows that Simeon is involved somehow with the low-level telepathic snow that is falling – snow that can seemingly respond to the thoughts and memories of people around it. She issues a veiled warning to Simeon but he tells her that the last winter of humankind is coming and there is nothing she can do to stop it.

In another part of town, the Doctor and Strax are investigating the GI and the snow. The Doctor realizes that the snow is alien but refuses to  get involved any further despite Strax’s opposition to his apathy.  While Strax tries to change the Doctor’s mind, Clara, locked inside of the carriage, is trying to get out. All her yelling about has exasperated the Doctor so he goes to her and threatens her with a memory worm that will erase the last hour of a person’s memory just by touching it.

What follows is a very humorous interaction among the three with Strax trying to obtain the memory worm, the Doctor encouraging his efforts and Clara sticking around watching it all happen. Frankly, it was such a great sequence that no recap can do it justice!

In the end, the Doctor and Clara begin to form a friendship. After all, isn’t that what normally happens when snowmen with jagged teeth emerge around you because you just happen to think of them? The Doctor tells Clara how to get rid of the snowmen (since the snow has linked to her telepathically, all she has to do is think of the snowmen melting) but when she informs him that if it happens again she won’t remember what to do (since he still had that pesky memory worm in his possession), he decides to let her go and asks Strax to take her back to where they found her.

Oh, but that doesn’t stop the rather rare and inquisitive Clara. She manages to get out of the carriage without Strax knowing and trails the Doctor. She sees him grab a ladder seemingly out of nowhere and decides to follow. It leads her into the air toward a spiral staircase leading to a cloud that is housing the TARDIS. Clearly this is too much to take in and Clara runs back down to Earth.

The next morning Clara heads to her other job: as governess to Captain Latimer’s children. With her Cockney accent gone and a change of clothing, Clara transforms into Miss Montague, the proper English nanny.

The children (as well as the Captain) are happy to see her return and Francesca has informed Miss Montague of her nightmares of the previous nanny coming out of the frozen pond and coming angrily towards them to punish her. Digby shows “Clara” the still frozen pond and tells her that he thinks his sister needs is a doctor.

This gives Clara an idea. She returns to where she found the TARDIS ladder and unable to reach it, begins calling for the Doctor. Jenny happens to be there and takes her to see Madame Vastra where she plays the one word truth game with the governess to find out why she needs him so badly. She asks Clara to give one word that would make the Doctor decide to help her. In what could only be called as a brilliant bit of writing, she chooses the one word that would be the Doctor’s call to action: “pond.”

Down at the GI, the “voice” tells Simeon that he senses a great intelligence “beyond anything else in this time and place” in their mist. Soon after, Sherlock Holmes is announced to have come to see Simeon. But instead of seeing Vastra we see the Doctor dressed up as the detective himself!  The Doctor manages to find out the plans of the “voice” (it needs human DNA to evolve into a being that won’t melt) and deduces that the dead governess in the pond is key to their plans!

The Doctor heads to Captain Latimer’s home with Strax (who manages to get in some zingers where the Doctor is concerned) and examines the frozen pond. Clara sees him from an upstairs window and invites him in. While he tells himself he doesn’t want to go, his hand gives the thumbs up sign but as heads inside, the ice in the pond begins to crack.

While waiting for the Doctor to come in, Clara tucks the children in bed assuring Francesca that she won’t have any nightmares as there is a man called the Doctor who lives in the clouds that keeps children from having bad dreams. Unfortunately, he’s not there to help them as the Ice Governess comes through the bedroom door towards them. She traps them in the play room but before she can do any harm to Clara and the children, the doctor appears and causes her to explode via a sonic screwdriver.

Meanwhile Simeon has arrived to the Latimer house and has turned on the snow machine which causes the governess to reform. Unfortunately the sonic screwdriver doesn’t work on her anymore so everyone rushes downstairs where they run into Latimer.

He demands to know what is happening and who this man with Clara is. The Doctor tells him he’s Clara’s gentleman friend and they’ve just been upstairs snogging. Strax, Vastra and Jenny come into the home to help just as the Ice Governess shows up at the top of the stairs. Jenny throws a containment device around the former nanny. Strax tells the Doctor that the snowmen are in a defensive formation so there must be something they want. What they want is the Ice Governess as she’s the perfect embodiment of human DNA in ice form – she’s the perfect blueprint for the snow to evolve.

With Simeons’s and the “voice’s” plan all figured out, the Doctor lures the Ice Governess away from the house and away from Simeon’s snowmen. He and Clara head up to the roof where Clara grabs the invisible ladder with the umbrella the Doctor just happened to have grabbed and with a bit of back and forth flirting, head up to the TARDIS with the Ice Governess following closely behind.

He leads Clara into the TARDIS and reveals a newly decorated interior (which looked pretty cool, don’t you think?). To prove that Clara is not your ordinary companion, instead of the usual phrase that the previous companions have used to describe the TARDIS, Clara exclaims, “It’s smaller on the outside.” Again proving that she is something special, the Doctor gives the key to the TARDIS as a symbol of him giving in.

But the celebration doesn’t last long as the Ice Governess has reached the top and has grabbed Clara dragging her outside. The Doctor tries to make her stop but can only watch as the Ice Governess falls off the cloud edge with Clara falling alongside. Clara obviously doesn’t survive the fall.

But she’s not fully dead, at least not by Sontaran standards as Strax has a device that can momentarily bring her back but not for long. Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is once again filled with guilt over her fall. He heads outside and hands Clara the TARDIS key once again. She asks if he’ll save the world. He counters that if he does, will she go away with him? Clara agrees and the Doctor is filled with a new found mission.

The Doctor is back! He straightens his bow tie and confronts Simeon with a piece of the Ice Governess and tells him to meet him in his GI office. The Doctor uses his screwdriver to strip the snow voice, of its voice and disconnects Simeon’s link to the parasite. Simeon grabs the box that “contains” the ice shard but instead finds the memory worm (remember the memory worm from before?) which bites Simeon removing all his memory.

You would think this would be a nice tidy ending to the episode but the snow has evolved and now has power of its own. It begins to increase the snowfall and controls Simeon to attack the Doctor. As Simeon freezes the Doctor, things look bleak.

Ah, but Moffat has written this episode and it’s Christmas so expect a Christmas miracle. And it comes in the form of a teardrop. The tear that Clara has before she is about to die is mirrored in the snow and has transformed the falling snow into salt water rain – teardrops. It drowns everything associated with the snow and kills Simeon. Those familiar with the classic episodes will recall that the 2nd Doctor had fought something called the “Voice” once before in the London underground of 1967 (hence the importance of the box as the Great Intelligence at the time thought the London underground was a “key strategic weakness”). In a sense, the Doctor may have inadvertently caused his own adventure by giving the box with the map to Simeon.

Anyway, the Doctor heads back to the Latimer manor where Strax tells him that Clara only has moments to live. He tells her they saved the world together and he will no longer go back into isolation. With her last dying breath, she tells the Doctor to “run. Run, you clever boy… and remember.”

At her funeral, the Doctor looks at Clara’s headstone and sees Clara’s full name: Clara Oswin Oswald. The same girl who was trapped with the Daleks! He begins to remember, and although he never saw Oswin from ‘Asylum of the Daleks,’ he recognizes her voice. He becomes excited as he realizes the two are the same and have died twice! Something impossible is happening and he’s determined to find her once again.

In the future, a young girl and her friend are walking though the same graveyard where she stops by Clara’s headstone. The friend tells her the place is creepy but the girl turns around and says she doesn’t believe in ghosts. It’s Clara!

I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this christmas special.  It was the best christmas special for a long time. There were many nods to the classic episodes. The new opening title sequence is awesome. And then there is the new TARDIS and the new companion! So lots to take in!

Strax, the potato-headed Sontarin, brought some welcome comedic relief to a show that seems to be increasingly humorless, as the Doctor has been sinking into darkness. His interactions with the Doctor were certainly the most hilarious moments in the episode.  But I have to mention Clara as the chemistry between the doctor and Clara Oswin Oswald was magnificent and a joy to watch. But just who is she? Is she some sort of sentient being that may take on many forms but we only see her in the form of Clara much like Sam Beckett in the series ‘Quantum Leap’. I don’t know, but I guess we will find out.

So well worth a watch in my opinion and I can’t wait for the continuation of the series later in the year.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Last night we saw the mid season finale of new series of Doctor Who and here is my review of episode 5 and series so far.  Please don’t read if you have not seen any of the episodes, major spoiler alert.

In this episode the Doctor takes Amy and Rory to Central Park. While the Doctor reads a “Melody Malone” novel to Amy, Rory is taken by a Weeping Angel on his way back from getting coffee. In 1938 New York City, Rory meets River Song, posing as a private investigator and as the Doctor discovers, the author of his Melody Malone novel. The Doctor and Amy use the novel to break their way into a time locked 1938 and find Rory, while he and River investigate the Angels’ takeover of Manhattan. At the Winter Quay hotel, they find an aged Rory on his deathbed, confirming Rory’s fate. The Angels created the hotel in order to keep their victims and maintain a constant source of potential energy on which to feed. To escape his fate, Rory and Amy jump off the top of the building to their deaths, creating a paradox which erases the Angels and their hotel. Waking up in a graveyard with the Tardis, all seems well until Rory is transported back in time by a surviving Angel. Rescuing him with another paradox would rip New York City apart. As the Doctor begs for Amy to come back into the Tardis, she bids a tearful farewell as she commits suicide by letting Angel to send her back with Rory, creating a fixed point in time. Later, the devastated Doctor reads an afterword by Amy in the novel, telling him all is well and asking him not to be alone, as well as requesting he visit young Amelia Pond as she waits in the garden.

We have known for quiet a while that episode 5 would be Rory and Amy’s last appearance on Doctor who.  And it looks as though the writers and firmly slammed the door shut on them, tying up a story that began all the way back in “The Eleventh Hour”.  Although it was a sad moment, I didn’t think it was as sad and emotionally charged as previous companions leaving the show (eg Rose Tyler and Donna Nobel) but that’s just my opinion.

To be honest I felt that the Rory and Amy’s departure should have been handled differently.  And maybe their final episode should have been back in series 6 in “The God Complex”. In that story, the Doctor realized how much he was endangering this couple he loved so much, and ultimately left them in a nice flat in London, telling them to start forging independent, non-TARDIS lives together. So why oh why does the doctor risk their lives again?? Why bring them back for series 7?

On the whole, this was a good standalone episode. There was humour, action and emotion.  I really liked the atmospheric pre-credits opening, that teased the detective story, complete with obligatory typewriter, and also reintroduced the scary Angels. And as a bonus we also got the return of the lovely River Song here. But given that it was her parents who were going away, I guess it was inevitable she’d be around for their farewell.  Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were again in tip top form. And the foreboding warning that his Doctor should never travel alone came through loud and clear here.

However, apart from episode 1 and 5 I really don’t think much of the current series of doctor who. Dont get me wrong I love to watch doctor who as I am huge fan. Yes, there have been dinosaurs, cowboys and daleks but no real story arc. It’s been ok but not great and to me it feels like its missing something and that the episodes have just been thrown together to show Amy and Rory on various adventures and to fill the current series.  Maybe its just me and maybe they are saving the best for next year, I don’t know.

Anyway, Doctor who will return at christmas when it ‘officially’ introduces new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman to the show. Having already appeared on the show in the form of Oswin Oswald in “Asylum Of The Daleks”, Coleman’s ongoing role is said to be a different character to the one she played previously. How this fits together with her appearance as Oswin is a mystery. Can she ever fill the void left by Rory and Amy?

I await with bated breath.

What did you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.