Tag Archives: TARDIS

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

 

Advertisements

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…

HELL BENT (By Steven Moffat)

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

DoctorWhoHELLBENTPIC

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.

4281

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

HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat)
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

Doctor Who – Dark Water. “Oh, you know who I am.  I’m Missy.”

Ok, this review is going to have probably the highest spoiler level I have ever written so far. You have five seconds to stop reading if you haven’t watched ‘Dark Water’ yet. So this first part gave us more of Chris Addison acting like an usher to those who had died, proclaiming about how they had Steve Jobs design the iPads that they use in the Nethersphere. Any, I have more on the Nethersphere later. Clara calls Danny to tell him the whole truth about everything, but Danny dies before they get to talk. Clara then tries to contact The Doctor, she hatches a plan to force The Doctor to save Danny, but things don’t go as planned. Clara has become an almost different person, threatening to destroy all the TARDIS keys to stop The Doctor gaining access again unless he helps her and betraying her friend to do this. The Doctor forgives Clara, even though Clara realises she pushed too far. The Doctor gets Clara to use the TARDIS to sync herself to Danny again and find themselves in the Nethersphere. The Doctor claims all cultures believe in an afterlife, so they go to explore what is really happening once the living depart. The Nethersphere holds the essence of many people, including Danny Pink as he is being greeted by Seb. Seb reminds you of an insurance salesman who just wants to do his job but thinks he is a part-time comedian. Danny is told that The Nethersphere is basically the next step after you die. Meanwhile, The Doctor and Clara arrive at their destination to find Mr Pink.

A Mausoleum is where the TARDIS lands. Inside they find many tanks which are filled with skeletons covered in a water-like substance. While looking around, they find Missy. Missy has been appearing throughout the series, and is shown here to be an android who gives information to The Doctor and Clara, or is she actually something different? Well, Doctor Chang takes The Doctor and Clara to show them about their life preservation work and the Dark Water, a liquid which allows only organic material to be seen through it. So no clothes, jewellery or metal (yes, you see where this is going). Missy then begins to unleash the skeletons from their tanks or “tombs”. Danny finds himself being confronted with a deceased child who died during his time as a solider. The truth about the dead bodies and how they are still intact with their minds after they have been placed into the Nethersphere is revealed and that they are being kept for something. Missy then begins to flush out the tanks; the water slowly reveals that the deceased are all actually Cybermen. The Nethersphere is shown to be in the middle of the mausoleum, a device which is of Time Lord Technology (the device is used to look after the minds until the bodies are ready to be used once converted). Missy reveals she is a Time Lord (or Time Lady) and calls herself “The one you abandoned, the one you left for dead”. As The Doctor runs outside (into Contemporary London) he tries to warn the crowd of the Cybermen emerging. Danny Pink manages to talk to Clara through a device which can contact the dead, but she is not convinced Danny is the person on the line. Meanwhile, Clara is stuck in a room with a Cyberman and Danny contemplates erasing his whole life to free himself from the pain he is suffering in the Nethersphere. The Cybermen begin to unveil themselves all over London and the world. Finally, Missy reveals her big secret to The Doctor. The line that says it all from Missy is “Please, try to keep up. Short for Mistress. Well, I couldn’t keep calling myself The Master, now could I?” and the dreaded TO BE CONTINUED is finally back to taunt us for 7 days of guesses, ideas, theories and crazy fan fiction.

BRILLIANT EPISODE!! Clara finally becomes Clara again after realising she went too far when threatening The Doctor. Jenna Coleman plays the episode well. Samuel Anderson gives probably the best emotional performance as the deceased Danny Pink, his scenes warrant enough for award for best actor in this episode. Points also to Peter Capaldi, especially after that kiss with Missy and The Doctor. He knows that what is happening is familiar, and it really affects him that he couldn’t see that the Cybermen were in full force. Chris Addison should get a mention too as he was slimy, weird and all round fun. Perfect Doctor Thirteen material is Mr Addison. Also there should be a mention of Steven Moffat for once again using his lies to bring back The Master, the most iconic Time Lord that has ever rivalled The Doctor. Finally, how can I forget Michelle Gomez? This woman probably has been given the biggest task this year to bring back one of the most popular characters in the history of Doctor Who. Michelle Gomez is wonderfully cast and brings a great menace as the gender-swapped renegade Time Lord. The story is well written and the story is strong. The story opens for old and new alike and brings together elements ranging from many episodes (The Doctor Wife bringing the idea that Time Lords can change gender). So, next week is the finale and no trailer is out for this…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Bring us Saturday night!!!!!!!!!!!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove.

Lets just share that reveal one more time…

Dark Water

Doctor Who – Robot Of Sherwood. “No damsels in distress, no pretty castles and no such thing as Robin Hood!”

“Earth, England, Sherwood Forest, 1190AD-ish!” That’s where we are taken this week after a destination suggested by Impossible Girl Clara Oswald. Mark Gatiss, you are indeed a pain in the arse, but for a good reason. I thought I could suss out what was gonna be the reason he had Robin Hood in an episode about time travel. A well-written script from one of britains sharpest minds, Mark Gatiss has made probably this series best episode so far. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the reason behind the infamous Robin Hood being a part of this historic-based episode is rather genius and is given after a great amount of laughs and some brilliant scenes with such exquisite detail. Also, that golden arrow would look perfect on my wall.

The episode takes only two minutes for The Doctor to come face to face with the legendary outlaw. Robin Hood, who indeed is a delight, a warrior, a decent fellow and a bit pompous in places, Tom Riley does a good job of portraying the hero of Sherwood. The TARDIS crew are introduced to the merry men, it seems like Christmas for Clara but The Doctor remains adamant that they can’t be real and that there must be something going on. Robin Hood joins The Doctor and Clara in the hunt for the truth behind what is happening in Nottingham. An archery competition sees Robin Hood and the villainous Sheriff Of Nottingham (Ben Miller, though a bit cheesy in the part) brings a fun scene where The Doctor shows his skills with a bow and arrow. The Doctor, eventually agitated from the archery, blows up the target and demands answers, though The Doctor soon realises that robots are in play and they end up in jail (The Doctor sees this as his plan to get to the inside). A hilarious argument between The Doctor and Robin ensues, but eventually they join forces to get free and get to the bottom of the mystery. The Sci-Fi bit really kicks in during the third act and Robin Hood has to decide whether he is a real hero or a myth (trust me; it is a good twist when you know the truth).

Peter Capaldi, now on his third episode as the 2000 year old Time Lord, still amazes and shows his temper can be short when irritated and by now fairly obvious he is more blunt and mature than Doctor’s Ten and Eleven. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor does get pissed off more than his predecessors and has no time for those he feels are wrong or out of place on purpose, though he does show he can be a “good man” as he will do the right thing if he thinks he can. Jenna Coleman’s Clara becomes very tough and bossy while separating the two “kids” in her care (The Doctor and Robin Hood) and its intriguing to see Robin Hood having his identity crisis when The Doctor pushes too far with the tales of the legendary outlaw. The Promised Land is mentioned again, this is definitely building towards the theme for the finale. The merry men barely get five minutes of screen time; I feel it could have been nice to have seen more from them. While I think Ben Miller is a bit off, but ultimately does a good job as the Sheriff and the final fight is fun and well-choreographed. Also, you may notice a certain Maid Marian during the episode, and there is a happy ending at the end of this tale. So, we have seen! It is now time to ‘Listen’!

Final Rating: 9/10.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Robot of sherwood pic