Tag Archives: Bill Potts

Doctor Who – The Doctor Falls. “You May Be A Doctor. But I Am The Doctor. The Original, You Might Say.”

I will tell you now, there is a fair few spoilers!

Doctor Who concluded its tenth series of the revival with one of its most heartfelt, powerful episode’s that Moffat has ever delivered. We had Bill as a Cyberman, a spaceship where the flow of time was all messed up and TWO Masters! How do you get out of this one? Well, with a 90% success rate.

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We begin the episode with Missy and The Master teaming up for a great and slightly creepy partnership (The Master flirting with himself/herself and pushing sexual chemistry with themselves is disturbing) to defeat The Doctor. The Doctor manages to get the upper hand early on, encouraging his rival (rivals?) to lend a hand to survive.

For the first time in quite a while, the Cybermen do feel like a real threat. Eventually, they turn on their controller and look to destroy/convert EVERYONE! Seeing the different generations of Cybermen on screen was a visual treat and seeing them blow up was action-packed and a bit funny (loads of them go flying through the air, you will laugh!).

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Elsewhere, what has become of poor Bill? Well, she is still a Cyberman! It was upsetting to see Pearl Mackie deliver them lines of sadness and anger as her character struggles with the idea of no longer being human.

Having The Master and Missy certainly was great, and to see the two conflicting was just a treat. While Michelle Gomez brings Missy down from her crazy ways, John Simm continues his ever so twisted plan to defeat his rival (and luckily not dancing around like a lunatic. But I do enjoy his nod to Delgado and Ainley).

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‘The Doctor Falls’ is not all about deception, evil and sadness (though that is a majority of it). Matt Lucas gets to once more make Nardole a very comedic character and his interactions with a slightly flirtatious Samantha Spiro was worth watching alone. If this is the last we see of Nardole, at least he had a happy ending…living on a floor of a giant spaceship that looked like the countryside.

Speaking of endings, Bill gets a nice ending which brings her face to face with someone from the past and the emotions are already high. Pearl Mackie has been a magnificent part of the cast and it is a shame to see her bow out here. But, Capaldi manages to steal the show back in that final scene!

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Remember that tease at the beginning of ‘World Enough And Time’? Well, Capaldi literally punches his way out of regenerating, setting up what may be a very explosive chain of events which could lead to a highly traumatic change at Christmas. Then we have that familiar face come to The Doctor, but what does this mean for the Time Lord?

I thought this episode was great, and to see Steven Moffat throw so much into his penultimate Doctor Who script was mostly well executed. It was a shame to see Nardole left behind, but I did enjoy how Pearl Mackie was present on screen throughout the episode while still being a Cyberman. To see John Simm take on a disguise as The Master and seeing his look was like being in the classic Who era, and to have Gomez take him on was truly spectacular. Moffat wants his time on the show to go out with a bang, and his fuse which has been burning away since April, is now fit to blow.

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While we now have that wait until Christmas for the next lot of Doctor Who, it is clear that the special in December will be one you cannot miss!

Probably the best series finale of Doctor Who since 2008!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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P.S. How great does David Bradley look as the First Doctor? To quote Christopher Eccleston, “FANTASTIC!”

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Doctor Who: Extremis. “Life Can Be A Cunning Enemy”

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*

So within the first few minutes, we finally find out who is contained within that vault (are we surprised?). But this is just one aspect of the story…

Beginning what will possibly be an arc for the next few episodes, we meet The Doctor as he is greeted by The Pope and members of The Vatican, presenting him with the details of “Veritas”, an ancient text that causes its reader to commit suicide. The Pope asks The Doctor if he will read the text to stop any further deaths, but there is one problem…The Doctor is still blind!

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In a secret library in the Vatican, the text lies ready to be read by the Time Lord. There is also a strange light which appears to come from nowhere and some creepy, freaky monks trying to seemingly capture The Doctor. The Doctor does all he can to read the text while Bill and Nardole investigate the light.

The light acts as a portal to a central hub, where we find portals which lead to other places around the world, including The Pentagon and CERN. The truth of the text leads to a shocking twist which affects about 90% of the whole episode, a truth which hits Nardole and Bill like a ton of bricks.

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That other 10%? well that deals with the return of another certain Time Lord (Lady)! Missy returns in a way that we are not used to, she is a prisoner, ready to be executed. It was nice to see Missy pop up throughout the episode, while at the same time not affecting the main story of ‘Extremis’ which will at least lead into the next episode.

Thinking last week when Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was hit with blindness, we had no idea that he would be without his sight for this long. He manages to go through the whole episode and still comes no closer to regaining his eyesight. Though the episode could have almost been a throwaway, it actually becomes the most important episode of the series so far.

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What the show has really needed is an arc which presented a good tease and some immediate consequences. We had weeks of teases from the vault, but once The Doctor begins to realise what is happening, suddenly the vault looks a bit less interesting and the TARDIS crew now has a HUGE challenge on their hands. It’s time to save the world!

Trying not to give too much away, but this episode surely was one of the darkest episodes that Doctor Who has ever produced. Steven Moffat once again proves that his scripts can still be very sharp and yet genuinely surprise you. There are a lot of references to video games and this episode does well at giving us something new to discuss and wait to see on screen.

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The new enemy, The Monks, surely do leave an impression of fear. This is something which we haven’t seen before, an enemy making some careful plans on how they are going to invade the world. Could The Monks possibly rival The Daleks and Weeping Angels? I think so!

While the central trio of Capaldi, Mackie and Lucas are great as always, we get to see a very different side to them, literally! The fear from the companions was unexpected and seemed really honest. Then we have Michelle Gomez who always impresses as Missy. While we don’t get a lot of her in this episode, she is integral to the last act and we know there is more to come from her.

Another fantastic episode and the only real sad point is that we are now half way through the series! Keep the quality coming!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next week, pack your suitcase as we are heading to ‘The Pyramid At The End Of The World’!

P.S. I did like the inclusion of Ivanno Jeremiah in the episode (he is Max in the fantastic Humans!)

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Doctor Who: Knock Knock “There’s Plenty Of Things That Want To Kill You Right Here On Earth”

Now and again, Doctor Who does like to tackle a haunted house story. This story does also include a dig or two at the housing crisis (but, I don’t fancy being political…for now!). This week, we get a story where the house itself is actually the killer…kind of! Bill is moving in with some friends from Uni (well her friend Shireen played by the lovely Mandeep Dhillon and four of her friends) and they need to find a place that will work best for them. After numerous places fail to work out for them, they are approached by a man in the street who offers them somewhere to stay (why would you just say yes to some creepy guy who walks up to you and offers you a home?).

The Doctor helps Bill move in, but he begins to suspect there is something more sinister happening. The house is definitely old, the creeks come very often and The Landlord just appears any time he fancies.  The fascinations over the amount of wood and how dated everything is in the house is worrying for The Doctor and the students begin to feel uneasy themselves.

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Throughout this episode, we get to see Bill trying to stand on her own two feet. This is not a bad thing as it allows Bill the chance to show she can make her own decisions and not depend on The Doctor for help. Though luckily The Doctor is there, and he slowly deduces what is happening in the house. Pearl Mackie gets to show her best acting to date when she interacts with one certain character in the third act.

Guest stars are only as good as the part they are given and David Suchet is bloody brilliant as The Landlord. Yes, he plays a superbly creepy Landlord who I wouldn’t want to share a bus ride with, but there is a great amount of emotion that could only come from one of Britain’s finest! The final ten minutes of this episode gives us one of the finest pieces of writing I have ever seen on the show. Even though Capaldi and Mackie are still fantastic throughout, Suchet does steal the show!

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This episode is fantastic. I mean, this is the highlight of the series for me so far. I will admit there are a few minor gripes with a couple of plot holes and lack of some explanation. But, honestly, is it that much of a problem? We get so much emotion in this episode and a lot of character development on Bill again as we see she doesn’t want to be away from the life she knows (unlike Rose, Donna and Amy who never wanted to leave The Doctor’s side!).

In the end, we are stunned by that BIG twist and then there is still a few questions to be answered. Mostly it comes in the form of “what the f**k is in that vault”? We do have an idea, but it is a bit too obvious? Steven Moffat has promised we will learn the identity of who is in there very soon!

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But for now, I will call ‘Knock Knock’ my favourite episode of the series so far. The comedy is still fun and the drama will pull you to the edge of your seat. The only main gripe I have is that we only get Matt Luca’s Nardole for a short while of the episode. Mike Bartlett has written a sharp and inspiring script, let us hope this will be a trend from Mike for future series!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written By Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: You May Need Some Oxygen for the next “out of this world” adventure!

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Doctor Who: Thin Ice “You know what happens if you don’t move on? More people will die”

Sarah Dollard wrote one of the best New Who episodes in 2015 with ‘Face The Raven’, and I can honestly say ‘Thin Ice’ is another fantastic effort from the writer. Plus, we also get a reminder of The Doctor’s constant companion…DEATH!

Starting where the last episode abruptly finished, The Doctor and Bill find themselves in London in 1814 for the Frost Fest. After The Doctor explains that the TARDIS likes to make its own way around the universe, he comes to the conclusion there must be something they need to do. It doesn’t take long for us to learn about the creature in the Thames.

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The first steps onto the ice is the start to their investigation. Bill begins to notice there are lights coming from under their feet, and then we find out exactly what the lights are doing. From this, we get reacquainted with the ways that The Doctor operates and the way he seemingly cares nothing for those who die around him. Pearl Mackie again shows great emotional depth as she questions The Doctor and wants to know the kind of person he really is.

There were some great uses of the sonic screwdriver in this episode. In some episodes, I am sure it is just a cheap way to get out of a sticky situation (yet, I am not aware of any time The Doctor actually uses it to put up a shelf). The screwdriver does come into play a number of times and I do enjoy seeing it used as a distraction device than a tool.

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The villain is a bit…well…pants! I know that the villain isn’t exactly the key to this episode, it is the remainder of the supporting cast. This episode gets to showcase some great young talent. The young gang and the way they interact with the TARDIS crew and fit into 19th century London was great to see. The highlight being Asiatu Koroma as Kitty; This girl is set to be something special, showing some great acting chops against the more experienced cast.

Speaking of the cast, it was another great week for our TARDIS duo (it is a shame that Nardole is relegated to the end of the episode). Peter Capaldi does continue to impress in his final series and Pearl Mackie is slowly becoming a favourite in the show. Bill Potts in indeed the everyman (or woman) that the show needed. The writing reflects Bill’s progression to this point where she now has to think about her time with The Doctor and what could possibly happen on these adventures.

With the “thing” in the vault seemingly restless (is it The Master? Or Missy? Maybe both?), we know this is something that will be continually teased for some time. Overall, a great episode with some real depth (Was that a pun?). The winning part of this story is clearly Sarah Dollard’s writing and we can only hope she continues to contribute to the show.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: We get a ‘Knock Knock’ from David Suchet!

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Doctor Who: Smile “Who Needs Loo’s…There’s Probably An App For That!”

Emojibots! F***ing Emojibots! You know what? They were pretty scary!

Who would have thought 4-foot-tall robots who communicate with smileys and skulls on their face would be so terrifying and so cute at the same time! The Doctor takes Bill on her first real trip in the TARDIS and it’s a journey that you will never forget.

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Let’s first congratulate Frank Cottrell-Boyce on creating a brilliant episode (he wrote ‘In The Forest Of The Night’ in 2014, one of the worst in Doctor Who history). Frank, who has written the charming book Millions and the fantastic film 24 Hour Party People, has given us a very thoughtful and thought-provoking episode of Doctor Who which will both shock and entertain in equal measure.

‘Smile’ sees The Doctor and Bill travel to a colony world being prepared for humans to take refuge after having to leave earth. With the opening show the eradication of the humans there, we then see The Doctor and Bill as they reach the colony and come into contact with the Emojibots. They present the duo with discs which monitor their moods. The bots are shown to be happy when the humans are happy. When they aren’t happy…s**t happens! Barely escaping with their lives, The Doctor insists he needs to go back to destroy them. But, is that the right thing to do?

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There are plenty of topics that we are used to in Doctor Who on show here. The concept of death and moving on, maintaining the future of the human race, reliance on technology and keeping peace. We also get to see Bill question what actually happens to earth and the human race. This isn’t the first time we get this discussion in the show, but it is always good to have a reminder when cast and audience change/develop over the years.

Though this episode is rather darker in tone, can we agree this was rather funny too? Matt Lucas may have only had about 90 seconds of screen time, but he does manage to pack about 3 or 4 great comical lines in. Then we get the penguin comment again from Bill and then the mention of rent (watch the episode and you will see) does make a great laugh too! Peter Capaldi puts in another great performance, but Pearl Mackie once again manages to steal the show. For someone who hasn’t had a lot of TV roles before becoming the new companion, Mackie has proven herself to be a truly wonderful actress and she is playing a role that many can relate to.

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A good episode of Doctor Who requires three things. A great script (once again, well done Frank!), fantastic acting and a memorable villain. This episode delivers on all three. Apart from the opening 5 minutes and the last 10-15 minutes, the only actors you have on screen is Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie (plus the guys playing the bots). It is testament to Doctor Who that an episode can be both intimate and epic at the same time. We go to the future, we explore a new world and a spaceship, but we have hardly any actors throughout the episode.

This episode made me almost think this could have worked as a Black Mirror story. Emoji is almost a language in its own right now, who knows how much it will get used in the future. I could imagine that if we do end up with robots assisting us, this could be what we get. The stories which you take away with you are the ones that could be real…and robots which work to your mood could be very likely to happen in the future, and that would scare me!

Funny, shocking, thoughtful and a tough one to beat!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Final Thought: Ralf Little has a part in the episode, for about 5 minutes!

Next Week: The Doctor and Bill are both literally on ‘Thin Ice’!

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