Posts Tagged ‘doctor who’

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?

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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?”.

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As you may know I am not a huge fan of rebooting classic films, see Total Recall….Not another remake!!!  but I watched something the other day that may have changed my mind.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I decided to watch superman 2 with my 5 year old son.  I had recorded it for him as I thought he may enjoy it. I have always thought that “superman” and “superman 2” were brilliant (at the time). For me, superman will always be Christopher Reeve.

When it first came out back in 1980 I was still at school and I remember the fuss at the time when I went to see it at the cinema and I remember being blown away by the special effects.  Never before had we seen superheroes fighting super villains with superpowers, except in cartoons. But the other day when I was watching it with my son, it suddenly dawned on me how crap the special effects were compared to say the “Avengers Assemble” or “Iron Man” or even probably the “Man of Steel” (superman reboot) which I haven’t seen yet. My son loved it, but I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong Christopher Reeve is brilliant and the action and story is pretty darn good, well if you ignore the fact superman can wipe somebodies memory just be kissing them, but for me the effects look really bad.

Superman was and still is one of my favourite superheroes. I loved reading the comics and watching the different TV series/films. I still remember when I was young boy (late 70s I think) watching old repeats of “the adventures of superman” on a Saturday morning starring George Reeves.  And I remember the anticipation waiting for Clark Kent to turn into superman and use his powers to thwart the baddies. It was the highlight of the show.  Now if I had watched that now I will probably think what a load of rubbish.

And it got me thinking. Have I gotten too old to enjoy classic blockbusters and television series or I am expecting too much from special effects. Is it me?  Am I being too demanding as a viewer or do we need to reboot now and again just to keep up with current technology/trends

Here is another example to illustrate my point. In 1933 they released a horror movie that set the standard at the time. It had loads of action, state of the art special effects and was a brilliant movie, for its time. Do you know what it was called, “King Kong”. It was remade in 1976, and then again in 2005.  The 2005 version was really good and for me was almost as good as the original. Did it need to be remade/rebooted?

Well I hate admit it but sometimes I think yes things have to rebooted  to keep up with current trends and current technology of film/television program making.  The original “King Kong” is still a masterpiece and the remakes haven’t detracted from that.  In fact I think the remakes have made it relevant to a younger audience and in turn they may seek out the original.

So does that mean change is necessary?

I will give you an example of where change has been paramount to its success. Take Doctor Who, my favourite and the longest running science fiction series on TV. Here is an example of something that keeps reinventing/rebooting itself to keep up to date with modern audiences. And because it does this, in my opinion, it is still as good and keeps getting better.

So does that mean change is good?

No not in all cases.  Take another of my favourite films “Star Wars”.  I can still watch the original “star wars” from 1977 and still be entertained and blown away by the movie. In my opinion the effects are brilliant and the film hasn’t dated. I liked the sequels and prequels, but they didn’t have the magic of the original. And even though they are making some more sequels in the next couple of years (of which I have no interest in at the moment) I don’t think that original should ever ever ever be rebooted.  But then that’s the nostalgic part of me resisting change. And I think “if it ain’t broke why fix it.”.

Anyway, I guess I am rambling now. And what I am trying to say is that some films/TV shows date well and some don’t and therefor some do need rebooting and some don’t.  But who am I to say which ones?

What do you think?

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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?

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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.

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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?

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