Tag Archives: Jamie Mathieson

Doctor Who: Oxygen “Space, The Final Frontier. Final Because It Wants To Kill Us”

*Mild Spoilers* *Some Information On The Final Moments Of The Episode Ahead*

Jamie Mathieson has wowed me with a hat-trick of fantastic Doctor Who scripts and ‘Oxygen’ is yet another winner for the writer!

doctor-who-oxygen-photo017-1494514386879_1280w

Starting off in the depths of space, a mining station sends a distress call for help after members of the crew begin to die and zombies seemingly take over…so The Doctor answers the call. The Doctor makes it clear he misses his travels, tricking Nardole and inviting Bill to go on an adventure and leaving the vault unprotected.

When the trio arrive in the station, the episode really kicks into action. Bill is amazed at the idea of actually being in space, whereas The Doctor continues his investigation and Nardole can’t help but remind The Doctor of his duty back on earth. The idea of having the walking dead isn’t a real sci-fi trope, but this is not a typical “zombie” story. It’s not about dying and coming back to life, this is about keeping yourself alive by the number of breaths that you take.

The_Tardis_is_in_trouble_in_new_Doctor_Who_Oxygen_clip

This is maybe the first story this series where The Doctor, Bill and Nardole all get their chance to really shine in equal measure. Matt Lucas does again get to deliver some truly comical lines, the best coming from his discussion of a former partner or the sat-nav line. Pearl Mackie’s Bill is presented with some real danger, on at least two occasions you do genuinely worry about the character (plus, there must be some big pay-off coming soon for her Mum). Then there is Peter Capaldi who gets to pull off a very different side to The Doctor.

At the heart of this story, there is some very political messages coming into play. The idea of literally working to death is one that many may think they can relate to, having to buy the very air that you breathe. Also, racism is jokingly tackled in this episode and who would have thought that Doctor Who would teach people to respect one another better (Nardole tries to diffuse this such situation by saying “Some of my best friends are blue-ish”).

landscape-1494348327-doctor-who-oxygen-doctor-bill

There are laughs, there are scares and it makes you happy that you don’t have to work for such a god-awful company that can take the very oxygen away from you. Not only are we presented with yet another fantastic episode, but we get a cliffhanger which a. none of us would have expected and b. we know that things will be highly interesting when episode 6 comes round next week! The Doctor faces a dilemma which has never been a factor for him before and it does tease what is to come, especially with the knowledge that Capaldi is to soon leave the BBC show.

Jamie Mathieson, please make sure you have at least TWO episodes next year, we need more like this!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next week, The TARDIS gets a visit from the Pope? The Doctor looks like he is about to go to some Extremis measures (ok, trying to do lines around the episode titles isn’t too easy). Only watch this video if you have seen ‘Oxygen’!

gallery-1494348562-doctor-who-oxygen-preview

Advertisements

Doctor Who Series Nine Review

Another series has come to an end, but what a great series it was. Seeing a more settled Peter Capaldi lead this series, he gets to show a superbly fun streak while keeping the deeply moving moments when needs to. From busting out guitar solos to heart-wrenching speeches, it was a fantastic series which built upon the 2014 run and came out high. Jenna Coleman may now have left, but we got some great episodes featuring Clara to show how much we shall all miss her. Plus, who can forget appearances from Reece Shearsmith, Maisie Williams, and even Ingrid Oliver coming back as Osgood.

  1. The Zygon Inversion by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat

Not by any means a bad episode (compared to series 8 which had a few weak episodes), but arguably I felt this conclusion to the Zygon two-parter lacked much substance to me. I felt at this point Clara was very much just being sidelined to make Osgood appear to be a replacement. The threat from the rogue Zygons never feels as grand as it should, there isn’t that worldwide ramification which is teased in the first part and to see Kate Stewart minimalised is a crime. But, the speech from Peter Capaldi does really stand out as one of the best acting movements from the Scottish actor.

doctor_who_zygon_inversion

  1. Under The Lake by Toby Whithouse

Following on from one of the most thrilling two-parters ever, Toby Whithouse had to give a story which could keep the same attention as Steven Moffat had done for the previous two weeks. Though it seemed some of the cast was wasted to short parts, the characters of Cass and Lunn really make a good mark as the double act. But Morven Christie is superb as O’Donnell, it is just a shame that her great presence is then minimalised in part two. The tension builds nicely and makes for a great conclusion, which I will discuss later…

doctor-who-under-the-lake-1

  1. The Woman Who Lived by Catherine Tregenna

When we see Ashildr after so many years, we find that she is almost nothing like the Viking girl we met in ‘The Girl Who Died’. Maisie Williams proves to be the best guest star of series 9 with her appearances in the show. This one sees her very much become traitor as she looks to trick The Doctor to get away from earth and explore the world, but the alien Leandro looks set to make his own plans (I have to admit, he was a weak villain in an otherwise strong story). Also, it was nice having a companion-lite story and who would have thought Rufus Hound was cast so well? It may not be a classic, but Catherine Tregenna should come back!

doctorwho0906__article-house-780x440

  1. Sleep No More by Mark Gatiss

This episode took me by surprise, making a twist to the found-footage genre and giving it a Doctor Who episode was definitely out of the ordinary. On first viewing, I was greatly impressed. But, the second time really was a killer. I still get a great chill from that last scene, as it really does infuse a horror element to the show with an effortless performance from Reece Shearsmith. The creatures themselves were a great invention, though I would think this story could be expanded upon and a follow-up could be better.

Doctor_Who_Sleep_No_More_review__Mark_Gatiss_keeps_us_wide_awake_in_his_spookiest_episode_yet

  1. Hell Bent by Steven Moffat

The finale came and wow! First off, The Doctor is back on Gallifrey and is finally free from billions of years stuck in his confession dial. Though the Time Lords ask for his help, he merely despises for their actions and eventually dethrones Rassilon. The humour is great and to see many story strands conclude here is all well and good. But, as much as I loved Jenna Coleman, bringing Clara back really seemed to destroy the outstanding exit scene she was given just two weeks prior. On the plus side, we do get to see a second TARDIS and Ashildr returns.

DoctorWhoHELLBENTPIC

  1. The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness

The Zygons exploded back onto the screen this year, and they brought Osgood back with them too. With the fear of a fracture in the treaty between human and Zygon, The Doctor is called upon by UNIT to help stop everything going to hell. The choice to have a mostly female led cast was genius and highlighted the best in Doctor Who with Osgood, Kate and Clara. The cliffhanger may not be the most stunning in its history, but the Clara reveal was well played and really made the stakes high.

INVASION OF THE ZYGONS (By Peter Harness)

  1. Before The Flood by Toby Whithouse

A two-parter unlike any other, this second part saw The Doctor travel over 100 years to the past to see what happened to cause these ghosts to appear. As well as meeting the mole-like Prentis, we also get to see The Fisher King, one of the most haunting and creepy monster’s to appear in the show. The combination of three separate actors bringing The Fisher King to life was indeed impressive and how long will you be questioning if Beethoven really made his own music?

before the flood pic

  1. The Witch’s Familiar by Steven Moffat

Fighting the Daleks, stealing chairs and drinking a cup of tea from an unknown source was just the starters of this episode. Seeing two hero/villain double acts fill the majority of the episode was impressive. While Clara and Missy teamed up to save The Doctor, The Doctor and Davros were getting chatty and some serious and fun moments evolved from that. The joke about the only other chair on Skaro will be a long lasting one. Also, kudos to the special effects team, Skaro looked really cool.

witchs-familiar

  1. The Girl Who Died by Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat

Jamie Mathieson wrote the superb ‘Flatline’ last year, and it was not an easy task to follow on from that. But, he did so and more. A Viking village is attacked by alien race The Mire and young Viking Ashildr declares war against the warrior race. The Doctor and Clara then have just 24 hours to train the village to become warriors like those they have lost. Putting in many great jokes, some stunning action sequences and seeing The Doctor talk baby again. A winning episode which finally tells what helped the Time Lord get the familiar looking face he currently holds.

girl-who-died-main-promo-pic

  1. Heaven Sent by Steven Moffat

Imagine being stuck in a loop for billions of years, being chased by a creature that can’t die and won’t stop. Imagine being all alone with no companions and no exit. The Doctor literally punches his way out of this nightmare trap over the years and slowly wears a wall away until he is free. Seeing a vulnerable and frightened Doctor, it was a great in-depth look into the mind of our hero and a story which could never be replicated. A grieving Time Lord after losing his friend is a dangerous thing.

HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat)

  1. Face The Raven by Sarah Dollard

We knew it was coming, but who would have thought the death of Clara Oswald would have been so moving? Jenna Coleman provides one of her greatest performances as she does her best to save friend Rigsy and tries to be like The Doctor. Learning the hard way she can’t be like the Time Lord, the ultimate price is paid for trying to be more than human. The Doctor physically and mentally is shaken by the series of events, and even looks to destroy former ally Ashildr after she sets up the trap which puts all these events into motion. Seeing Clara fall to the ground will haunt Doctor Who fans for many years to come…

doctor_who_face_the_raven

  1. The Magician’s Apprentice by Steven Moffat

To start off on such a massive high is a huge gamble, but started what was to be a fantastic series can’t be denied. With The Doctor missing, Missy and Clara working together and the best axe battle of all time, there was a lot to enjoy. The biggest surprise comes in the opening minutes when The Doctor meets a young Davros on a battlefield and leaves him to die. He then goes to hide, knowing that Davros survives the events and is looking to get him. With the pace being hectic, yet grounded, we have such a strong opener which floods the screen with references and characters. All perfectly placed, all pieces move towards what becomes the biggest ever cliffhanger in the history of the show!

DW magicians

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

Doctor Who – Flatline. “… Goodness had nothing to do with it.”

There is a man who is stuck in a wall within the first few moments of this week’s episode. That was enough to intrigue me. The TARDIS lands (in Bristol) and the doorway out is about half its original size, it’s almost like a child’s TARDIS play set and is a bit humorous as The Doctor and Clara squeeze themselves out of there. The Doctor is fascinated by the change in size on the outside, so he intends to investigate what is happening while Clara goes for a walk. Clara goes through a “graffiti mural” which features many lost loved ones. The TARDIS has gotten even smaller and Clara has a good laugh as she can now carry the box in her handbag. The Doctor then assigns Clara (who becomes Doctor Clara, and shows a few characteristics of The Doctor) to investigate and they find a guy called Rigsy who is a graffiti artist currently serving community service. He also notices people disappearing and the idea comes up about people being stuck in the walls, rather than shrinking like what is happening to the TARDIS. A police officer is pulled into the floor by the mysterious force and it is discovered something that exists mostly on a 2D scale is emerging in the world. There is something that is making things that are 3D into 2D. The Doctor realises the mural is actually the missing people and the force is coming for them.

doctorwhoflatline

Clara and Rigsy end up with the rest of the community service and look to survive and work out what this force wants. One by one, the community service workers are absorbed by the force and it continues chasing those who remain into a train tunnel. The force then creates zombie-like creatures into the 3D perspective that hunt down Clara, Rigsy and the rest of the community support workers. Even throwing a train at it doesn’t work and is then made to look like graffiti in the tunnel. As this happens, the TARDIS has continually been having its power absorbed by the force until its get to the point where the TARDIS itself goes into lockdown and The Doctor is in danger. Can you bargain with something that you can’t communicate with? Of course you can’t. Well, eventually it comes to a point where the idea is to use the power of your enemy against them. Clara may be able to save the day, but who can save Clara from becoming something different?

I have to admit, I like this episode a lot. The idea of the 2D and 3D perspectives of our world colliding was intriguing, the force which is present in this episode is something that is so mysterious and out of the ordinary that The Doctor doesn’t even know what they/it is. Calling them “The Boneless”, they are indeed a menacing threat and one that we are more terrified about because we don’t know that much about them. Joivan Wade who plays Rigsy in this episode is probably the best supporting character in the bunch; he has a great mind and shows to be a caring person throughout the 45 minutes of this episode. I think the rest of the cast was a bit wasted and underused, but I am still happy with the outcome. Peter Capaldi plays a more mortal version of The Doctor this week as he is almost powerless to help and stuck in the miniature TARDIS for the majority of the running time. Biggest points this week go to Jenna Coleman for her big turn in Clara’s personality and story. Not only does she start to think more like The Doctor in terms of action, Clara also lies to Danny about being in danger and has lied to Danny stating she was to give up travelling but also lied to The Doctor about Danny being ok with her continued journeys on the TARDIS. The most chilling point in the episode is when The Doctor says to Clara “You were an exceptional Doctor, Clara…goodness had nothing to do with it”. I think we can start worrying for Clara’s soul now. Amongst all this, Clara is beginning to take on too much and there will be a big crash soon. Finally, Missy is still in the shadows and we have still got no clue on who she is and what she is doing. Though, I am sure with just three more episodes to go (THREE MORE? NOOOOO!!! THAT’S GONE WAY TOO QUICK!!!!!), we will soon be learning a lot more. Also big credit to writer Jamie Mathieson for his second brilliant script of the series and am hoping that Series 9 will feature him doing the same again (plus, the humor in this episode was brilliant and was completely different to his offering last week). So, London is a forest next week?

Final Rating: 9/10.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove.