Tag Archives: Steven Moffat

Doctor Who: The Pyramid At The End Of The World “The End Of Your Life Has Already Begun”

This has got to be the first series of Doctor Who I have ever watched where I have past the half way point and have thoroughly enjoyed every episode so far. ‘The Pyramid At The End Of The World’ is indeed another winner.

Beginning the second part of a loose trilogy of episodes, we get to see the beginning of the invasion from the “Monks” who look to take over the earth. We believe these aliens are here to conquer the earth, but instead they say they will be offered the world in return for their help. A crisis is about to come and the Monks promise they will save the earth if they are given it.

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The Doctor, who still can not see, is tasked by the UN to help rid the earth of the Monks and investigate this pyramid (well, it is in the title) which has just appeared and sits between three of the earths most powerful armies. The Doctor, still known as President of the world, goes to see The Monks and finds out their plan.

On another side, we have two scientists who are working in a laboratory that have accidently created a super-bacterium which will prove to be fatal to the whole planet if unleashed. While this side of the episode takes its time to build, the tense feeling of what will happen next does settle in. We also start getting questions as why do the Monks want the earth? How can you save the world when you don’t know what will destroy it?

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I have already spoke a lot on the plot, but it is truly the last 10 minutes of this episode that ranks as some of the best Doctor Who I have ever seen. The Doctor is doing all he can to save the world, but you know that things will get worse before they get better.

Peter Harness and Steven Moffat present some tense writing and keep the darker theme on top priority. Doctor Who seems to work best when it explores an eerie tone. The acting as per usual is spot on, especially the lovely Rachel Denning as scientist Erica. Then we have Peter Capaldi still portraying the struggling Doctor who seems to hint towards his upcoming regeneration.

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Next week looks like it will take inspiration from 2007’s ‘Last Of The Time Lords’, but we will have to wait a week to get a feel for ‘The Lie Of The Land’. Oh god, trying to make lines with these titles have become really difficult.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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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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Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who!

Well the title says it all. Peter Capaldi has announced that he is to step down from Doctor Who after his upcoming third series as the Time Lord. I am someone who will miss Peter as The Doctor, he gave us a real mature Doctor (more for a mature look, but certainly had some zany moments). There are so many moments that the 12th Doctor has been part of which has stuck out for me.

We have got the new series of Doctor Who beginning on Saturday 15th April (back to the much favoured Easter start date, why did the BBC ever take it away from that date?), which means we still have twelve brand new episodes with Capaldi. Also, Steven Moffat will be making his Doctor Who finale writing this year’s upcoming Christmas special. Moffat and star Capaldi will both be leaving to give the incoming Chris Chibnall an almost blank slate to begin his Doctor Who role as head chief.

So, we know who will be leading Doctor Who behind the scenes from 2018, but who exactly will be taking the lead role in front of the camera? I will be writing a couple articles soon in regards to my favourite Capaldi moments from Series 8 and Series 9 and also a list of actors and actresses I think could take on the lead role and the likelihood of them getting cast. There is bound to be some casting news by May/June time as production on series 11 will have begun around that time. Until then, let’s get ready for series 10 and watch THAT trailer one more time!

Doctor Who returns to BBC ONE and BBC America on Saturday 15th April.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who: The Husbands Of River Song. “Now you’ve met me, you’ll do your very best to forget me.”

Doctor Who has been making some rather fitting endings over the last few weeks. In ‘Face The Raven’, we saw a well-constructed exit for Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman, how we miss you already). But, it looks like it is time to give a farewell to one of the longest recurring companions since the show came back. When Alex Kingston first debuted in 2008 as River Song for the ‘Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead’ two parter, many assumed she would not return and that her role as a companion of The Doctor would be more for the books or Big Finish audio productions. But, Alex has surely become one of the favourites in the New Who Era. In ‘The Husbands Of River Song’, we find the archaeologist is waiting for a surgeon to help her husband, King Hydroflax. The servant Nardole (an underused Matt Lucas) finds The Doctor and is convinced this is the surgeon they are waiting for. River comes face to face with The Doctor (the man who she is supposed to be married to), but she does not recognise this new face and doesn’t realise it is the Time Lord in front of her. So, apparently King Hydroflax is dying and a surgeon is needed to help him, where in reality there is a rare diamond lodged in his head (which is slowly killing him) and River wants it to sell. Though, it is very much only a head which Hydroflax has as it is attached to a huge red robot body. When River’s plan is discovered, what does she do? She steals the head and intends to sell her diamond while the king is very much alive and very angry.

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You wouldn’t think Greg Davies could do much as just a head, but there is a certain humour and depth to a character that has no body language he can use (and the SFX look rather good for that side of it, all hail King Hydroflax the CGI team). So, the body searches for its controller, and borrows the head of Nardole to help it out for the time being. They come across the TARDIS and Peter Capaldi finally gets to do what all Doctor Who actors have probably wanted to do, do the “it’s bigger on the inside” bit and it is funny. We eventually get to see the fallout of River’s desire for money as she finds herself and The Doctor in serious trouble. With one husband looking to get revenge on River, another husband who ends up going against his will to find River and finally discovering her husband The Doctor after she tearfully states how he never truly cares for her like she does for him. With so much going on towards the end, the execution to bring stability back is a little muddled but overall the fun has been had throughout. Over Christmas, you look to have something which is simple and entertaining. For 80% of this episode, that is exactly what you get. But, it is also nice to see some loose ends tied up to River Song. First, we see how she acquired that Sonic Screwdriver. Also, we finally get to see their supposed last night together, and the scene is beautiful and almost heart-breaking. For a character we saw die in her first appearance, it feels this really is the leaving point for Professor Song.

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Steven Moffat said he thought at one point this may have been his last episode of Doctor Who, and he does indeed write a fun story. At times the story is stretched and just played out a bit too much, but Christmas viewing is worth it when it is this easy. The laughs are good; a few humorous moments come from The Doctor trying to tell River who he is. As usual, Peter Capaldi does a stellar job as The Doctor. Alex Kingston, you will be sorely missed if this is your last episode. To see links back to her first story and others, it was a great way to show Moffat can stick a landing (even if it was over many years). The supporting cast do get swept away in this, though Greg Davies does give  a certain menace and humour in his portrayal and initially Matt Lucas is good fun. I just wish there was more from Nardole, the same for Ramone (Phillip Rhys) who just gets a minimal amount of time to show himself. The other villains are basically a robot body who does seem to have a funnybone and the combination of Flemming and Scratch barely do anything except look rather cool (the head trick that Scratch does was rather fun, and a bit freaky for just after Christmas Lunch). So, we don’t know when Doctor Who will be back on. What we do know is that we have at least one more series with Peter Capaldi leading the way, and it is supposed to debut at some point in 2016. My recommendation? Save this episode for Christmas viewing or when you don’t wanna think too much. Yes we get a lot on the River Song arc, but we don’t really get back into the main thrust of Doctor Who and it is nice to have a break in the show after what was a rather intense and fantastic series 9. Also, how many people noticed in the opening credits where we had the snow effects and the planets replaced with baubles! That was brilliant! Though I feel Moffat has got very few episodes left in him, it will be good to see him do one more episode with Douglas MacKinnon directing and he really needs to think about getting Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Dredd) and Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Arrow) to write for the show. How cool would it be? Well, 2016 isn’t far away…

Final Rating: 8/10 (all because of that last 10 minutes)

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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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.

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  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…

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  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!

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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?

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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…

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  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!

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Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

Doctor Who – Hell Bent. “Get off my planet.”

A finale of two halves is given to us here. ‘Hell Bent’ is a piece of Sci-Fi with many layers which some multiple views shall be required to get them all. The first half was superb, the second maybe not so much. In the Nevada desert, The Doctor is wandering around until he enters a similar looking diner. He finds a woman there who looks like Clara, though neither of the two seems to recognise each other (we will come back to this after). The Doctor is a broken man, he has been pushed to his limits and is ready to take what is his own; Gallifrey. After fighting for billions of years to get out of his confession dial to get home, all he wants to do is just rest and take in being home. The high council all panicking and fearful of what The Doctor is going to do, the idea of the “hybrid” is obviously not sitting well with them (and being the main reason for locking him away). President Rassilon is intent on getting rid of The Doctor, knowing that The Doctor can defeat him. After sending soldiers and other members of the council to bring The Doctor into the capital, Rassilon eventually comes to claim The Doctor himself. The Doctor only has four words for him, “Get Off My Planet”. The Time Lords don’t want to fight The Doctor, and they all side with The Doctor and we eventually see Rassilon getting chucked off Gallifrey. The Doctor, still clearly very angry, is determined to get one more request fulfilled before he is willing to divulge information on the hybrid. They need to see Clara, acquire her just before she dies…

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Using an extraction chamber, they are able to obtain Clara between her last two heartbeats of her life. The Doctor uses this as a way to keep her alive and take her away from her doom. Being frozen, she has no pulse and is ageless. The Doctor knows he is risking huge splinters in time by taking her away from her fate, and fights the Time Lords and the Sisterhood of Karn to get to The Cloisters. It is here The Doctor comes to steal a new TARDIS and hopes to pull Clara far enough away to give her life back and re-ignite her pulse. They go all the way to the end of time, just minutes away from the last remnants being destroyed. Clara is still frozen, but they do encounter Ashildr who has survived all the way to the end. The Doctor claims her to be the Hybrid, and this is denied. The Hybrid is by Ashildr to be The Doctor and Clara, a Time Lord and a human who both have the same characteristics and are willing to do anything. With The Doctor knowing he can’t save Clara, he decides he will have to wipe her mind of her time with The Doctor (similar to what he did to Donna in series 4). The device he goes to use is tampered with by Clara, and it results in The Doctor forgetting about Clara. Though he loses her face in his mind, he mostly remembers Clara by the time their chat in the diner finishes. Clara then leaves The Doctor in the stolen TARDIS with Ashildr and leaves his TARDIS for him. Clara tells Ashildr she will go back to Gallifrey to finally die, but wants to have some fun first. The Doctor takes to his TARDIS, and picks up a super-cool (I know, but it is) new sonic screwdriver and prepares for a new adventure.

I have heaps of praise for Peter Capaldi, this year he has been superb. From his top speeches, the quirky moments and the guitar solos have made him stand out as a top Doctor. Seeing The Doctor finally tread on Gallifrey again for the first time since the Time War, it was fantastic to embrace that and see what he would do with the power granted to him. Although this takes away somewhat from the epic death in ‘Face The Raven’, Jenna Coleman was great to see one more time. We see that she just wants to accept her fate, and knows she has to tear away from this hybrid combination that will destroy time if they stay together. Donald Sumpter gives a great move as Rassilon; it is just unfortunate we don’t get to see more of him in this episode (though this could be setting him up as the Minister Of War? Or am I looking into that too much?). Maisie Williams has done a superb job in this show, Ashildr has surely become the River Song of this series and I mean that very positively. Her character appears at the times when it is required and to see her right at the end of time is a nice touch and adds real solid ground to the shaky second half of this story. I feel Steven Moffat wanted to achieve so much in this story, and the call-backs to ‘The Impossible Astronaut’, ‘The Day Of The Doctor’ and ‘Listen’ work well in creating this story (and the trapping of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels in the cloister room). But, the whole aspect of bringing Clara back like that following her death was a bit too much. I was hoping she may appear pre-death sentence for The Doctor to say goodbye. Also, Ken Bones and Clare Higgins make great cast additions and really cement the re-emergence of the Time Lords that began with the 50th anniversary special. We now know that Gallifrey is back in the fold, The Doctor is free to travel again and it’s time for him to meet his wife again. But, has River Song been a bit naughty?

Overall, a great episode. Not as strong as the previous two leading into this story, but I feel Moffat should have just restricted the Clara role more as she was dead (and this is mentioned many times). Will the four billion years take a toll on The Doctor? I can’t wait to see. Such conflicting thoughts I have in certain aspects, but I still enjoyed this episode a lot and I can forgive the few problems to say series 9 has been nothing short of fantastic. Bring on Christmas!

Final rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who – Heaven Sent. “Get Up Off Your Arse…And Win!”

Having an episode which focuses almost solely on your title character, with only a couple very minor supporting cast members and an isolated location may not sound like it would work. But, this perhaps has set up one of the biggest finales for a long time. The scale throughout the series has been rather grand and the opening two-parter showed the return to Skaro being a major development to the show…but this time it is Gallifrey! Before Gallifrey though, The Doctor has got to figure his way out of this trap set up from the week before. Finding himself in a place which works like a living labyrinth, The Doctor has to figure out who has placed him here and how we can get out. Being followed by a lifeform draped in a white cloth, The Doctor finds that it is persistently following him and will not stop until it captures him. The Doctor feels he is in a place where time is not a factor, though he knows how many years it has been since he was taken from modern day earth. The Veil seems to be unstoppable, and will only stop when The Doctor commands a truth to the terrifying creature.

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There is a massive twist in this story; a huge number of skulls are discovered by The Doctor. It turns out, they all belong to him! As the place shifts and *restarts*, so does the contents of the rooms (except the Azbantium wall which is slowly warn down over billions of years from punching and the skulls of The Doctor after he keeps restarting his self in the castle-like labyrinth). This is what keeps reviving The Doctor to when he first arrived, and the experience is played out over and over while The Doctor continues to punch through that wall (and explains the changing of his wet clothes to a replica which are hanging by a fire). Groundhog Day the sci-fi way, and it is indeed a unique experience for Doctor Who. The Veil keeps mortally wounding The Doctor when he reaches the wall and this eventually ends as The Doctor punches his way through that way and makes it outside. Where was he exactly? Well, it was his confession dial that held him prisoner. After making his escape, as he did while trapped, he continues to talk about the Hybrid, the supposedly terrifying creature which has been teased throughout this series (Though I still want to see who the “Minister Of War” is). The Doctor sees a young boy, and tells him that he is ready to see them. Who is “them” you may say? Well, it is the frigging Time Lords and The Doctor is back on Gallifrey to seemingly face-off against his own people. Ladies and Gentleman, you won’t want to miss this! THE DOCTOR IS THE HYBRID

The single-hander (well…mostly single) was indeed a success for Doctor Who. In a show which has shown that it can adapt and change itself into many different forms (much like the title character). Peter Capaldi is on his best in this episode. It is not easy to have to throw dialogue against yourself, but the scenes in his mind of himself in the TARDIS working out his problems were indeed genius. It does give a brief sense of confusion for the viewer as to whether we are watching a non-linear story, but we are getting to see inside the brain of the 2000 year old Time Lord. He lost his best friend, and finds he is determined to get out of this trap. Massive marks to Jami Reid-Quarrell as he brought The Veil to life, just as he did with the snake-ish Colony Sarff and retains an air of creepiness and spectacle. The very brief inclusion of Jenna Coleman may seem a bit of a cheat after her death to keep her in the show, but The Doctor does continue to talk to Clara even though he knows she is dead. Her illusion in his mind telling him to “Get Up Off Your Arse…” was a reminder of what she said to him before her death, once again giving him the will to carry on and continue to be a force in the universe. The chalkboard also makes a dramatic return again, even if is all in his mind. Steven Moffat provides his top script for 2015, it is hard to compare it to the series 9 opener ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, but there certainly is a certain sense of scale which matches both episodes (though executed in unique ways). And has Moffat finally allowed swearing into Doctor Who? I know Arse is rather tame, but it is still there and it is shown late. Finally, Rachel Talalay is indeed the best director for Doctor Who finales and has set ending up to be just as jaw-dropping as last year’s penultimate was (though I did say from week one Missy was The Master, but will discuss that another time). She keeps the episode on a grand scale throughout and keeps the whole show ticking at great speed and captures all we need within her watchful eye. So, we still have some questions. How has The Doctor managed to now get to Gallifrey? Who wanted him? Why is Ashildr there? Is The Doctor about to have war with the Time Lords? And finally…will we ever find out how The Doctor found that cup of tea on Skaro? Find out next week, as we are surely ‘HELL BENT’ on seeing the conclusion to this so far perfect story!

P.S. I think it is official that Series 9 may just well be my favourite series ever!

Final Rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 24/11/2015 – Programme Name: Doctor Who – TX: 28/11/2015 – Episode: HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat) (No. 11) – Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED UNTIL 24th NOV 2015*** Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Simon Ridgway

Has the new Doctor Who trailer revealed a big spoiler?

We know how Steven Moffat likes to shake up Doctor Who now and again, but is this really giving us a bit too much? I think it may be a red herring, but it is a brave move to put this out after the next time trailer was broadcast…

Do you think we will be saying goodbye to Clara next weekend? Will she die? The speculation over how Jenna Coleman will exit the sci-fi series has been a big question for many since she announced her departure. But, will it be sooner rather than later? Find out as series 9 continues when ‘Face The Raven’ airs on Saturday 21st November on BBC ONE in the UK, BBC AMERICA in the USA and SPACE in Canada as well as all over the world!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

P.S. Will this picture be something linked to what may happen to Clara…

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Doctor Who – Under The Lake. “I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ll do all I can to solve the death of your friend slash family member slash pet.”

Following an episode where we had probably the biggest threat ever presented to The Doctor, this week he takes Clara on an adventure to an Underwater Base in Scotland. Ghosts are the monsters of this week…yep, ghosts. Well, something related to alien technology to create the ghosts. A signal broadcasting out, but to who? This episode does make a huge shift in tone, settling once again for a more intimate setting. We find out that the mystery behind this spaceship and its contents go back some hundreds of years, so what exactly happened? We first see a ghost of a Tivolian (the creature that David Walliams played in Toby Whithouse’s ‘The God Complex’) as it follows the crew of the base after it finds the alien spaceship. Once a crew member dies, they too then become a ghost. They are all saying the same words, as a transmitter. The signal gets stronger with every additional ghost.

The humour does stay true in this episode, the cue cards was indeed a great scene to help The Doctor when talking to people. Also, Clara still has great comedic timing when it comes to running some of her lines against the Time Lord. Also, the TARDIS hand-break? Yep! Anyway, we do get such a great mystery to solve, the supporting cast do get their own chance to shine, but it is a bit much when a couple of one-note characters really do just dissolve (not a ghost joke, though one of them doe’s become a ghost and another unfortunately doesn’t get much time to really breathe). Also, we have a mysterious pod which is deadlocked and cannot be opened. I already have a theory behind it, but will put that right at the end if you want to see it. So to discover what happened, The Doctor with O’Donnell and Bennet (Morven Christie who plays O’Donnell is a delight, and I can’t explain why, she is just great. Also, Arsher Ali does a good job as Bennet) head to the TARDIS to travel back in time to solve the ghost mystery and stop more from dying, while Clara is stuck at the flooding base with the deaf Cass (a good move I think, it’s nice to see a deaf actress actually given a role on Doctor Who. Top marks for the casting and writing in that area) and her interpreter Lunn. While they question what The Doctor will do, we discover a new ghost outside…OH NO!

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The start of another two-parter, and immediately we have more questions than answers at this point. This pod is going to provide a lot of theories, but I am sure my one will be correct. Also, well done to the supporting cast this week, I really did like some of the characters that came up. Unfortunately, Colin McFarlane doesn’t get much to do as a human, and as a ghost his presence never changes and Steven Robertson just couldn’t convince me to like him alive or dead as Pritchard. Paul Kaye works the creep look as a ghost superbly, but can he do when we actually see his physical self next week? Peter Capaldi once again sails through superbly as The Doctor; he keeps up a great level of humour and dramatic tension in the 45 minutes on screen. Jenna Coleman still gets some great lines and I am sure will see her become a more involved presence in ‘Before The Flood’ as she keeps the future base under control. Still a good episode, but character development was a mix bag and the story looks set to really evolve in part two as we do have a few too many gaps. Next Saturday, please hurry, I want to see what comes next!

Final Rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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P.S. The Doctor is a ghost, but I bet he is in the pod!

Doctor Who – The Magician’s Apprentice. “Doctor, What Have You Done?”

Series Nine gets a huge kick up the backside and brings probably one of the strongest openers ever! After the few teases in the last week showing the Doctor hanging around on Karn and Earth during the 1100’s, we are brought straight to the big battle that was teased. This so far is probably Peter Capaldi’s best performance of The Doctor since the episode ‘Listen’, my favourite of Series Eight. Before the Time War, there was another war. A war fought for so long that it was almost forgotten. The Doctor finds a child, scared and begging to be saved from “hand mines”. His only hope, The Doctor, of course. But, The Doctor runs away, and has continued running since. Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord then goes missing, nobody can find him. UNIT can’t get him on the phone, a creature made of snakes visits all the possible places The Doctor could be with a message for him. We get to see a bar filled with aliens The Doctor has faced before, The Shadow Proclamation (The Judoon were fun, hopefully we may see more of them one day) and even a visit to the Sisterhood of Karn; the guardians of the Flame and Elixir of Eternal Life (or utter boredom as said by Paul McGann’s sarcastic Doctor). Even Missy can’t find him, and she is literally stopping planes to get his attention.

Clara, concerned by the lack of communication from her friend, joins forces with a very unlikely ally to find him in Essex (I know, ESSEX!! Honestly. I mean, 1100’s Essex is still Essex though! But anyway, back to the review). Within this time, we have seen a very scared Doctor and a surprisingly worried Missy (though she is still not above killing for fun, even explaining her “death” as just dust off her shoulder). The axe battle provides a good laugh, and we wonder who is actually being serenaded to the rock ballad ‘Pretty Woman’. Eventually, The Doctor is to face the person he has been running from this whole time. An ancient foe returns; one that has been around and faced him many times for a countless number of years. Clara Oswald refuses to abandon her friend, even if she isn’t his best friend. Missy also comes for the ride, and winds up with Clara and a whole stack load of enemies that have been a force against her and The Doctor. Everything goes from bad to worse; everything The Doctor holds dear is destroyed in front of his eyes. References to a certain Tom Baker story, voted as the best Doctor Who story ever, is a big key to this episode. Also the episode features other uses from Colin Baker and more. I can only say well done to Steven Moffat for creating probably the best possible script using these characters I have ever seen come to life.

The finale gives a hint of some timey-wimey stuff to come. But, I really want to keep it as minimal on the spoilers as possible. This episode is purely brilliant. It is a shame Jemma Redgrave only got a minimal showing as Kate Stewart, though we will see more of her and UNIT later in the series. Jenna Coleman seemed a bit more background than I would have liked at times, I prefer when she really throws herself into the ring, though she does get some great lines such when a student says he will get his pre-chewed gum back later in the day. Also, Jenna really does come to life in the middle with her meeting with the evil Time Lady. Also, “hashtag planes have stopped” is trending on twitter at the time of writing this! The Witch’s Familiar has got a tough act to follow, but I am sure it shall be a belter! A top story, non-stop action throughout and more references than I have ever seen on the show before! 2015, Doctor Who is BACK!

Final rating: 9.5/10 Scratch that, 10/10. I was generally surprised by how good this was!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

WARNING: ONLY WATCH THE TRAILER FOR EP 2 IF YOU HAVE SEEN THE MAGICIAN’S APPRENTICE!