As a child of the NES and Aqua Net generation, I cut my cinematic teeth on the movies from Cannon Films and Orion Pictures like Masters of the Universe and Robocop. It’s my firm belief that the best action movies truly came from the 1980s. Certainly, they aren’t high brow or even have intelligent or coherent plot logic in many cases, but they were fun. So why am I mentioning these film studios and this rad decade when talking about Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel’s latest cinematic universe release?
Doctor Who “The Fall of the Doctor” Review
It’s the beginning of the end for Peter Capaldi’s run as the Twelfth Doctor, as the Cybermen arise, the Masters are a force of chaos, and Bill is trapped as a newly converted Cyberman.
The Gist of It
It’s a rough day for the Doctor: his loyal companion in what was minutes to hours for him but ten years for her was lost and converted to a Cyberman, the Cyber armor is here and that means they’ll eventually want to take over and convert all the remaining humans, and oh, there’s now two Masters to contend with: Missy and her previous incarnation if the form of John Simm’s Master who we last saw in The End of Time during David Tennant’s run as Tenth Doctor. And in facing her past self, Missy is of course conflicted and has seemed to side with her past self self.
And we also know, from the previous episode’s cold open, that a regeneration doth approach.
The Spoiler-y Review
Doctor Who “World and Enough Time” Review
Hello and we’re back as we witness the penultimate regular episode of Series 10 for Doctor Who, “World and Enough Time.” I’m trying a bit more of structured format with this review, consider it a genesis, if you will.
The Gist of It
Capaldi’s hair is going borderline Pertwee and the Doctor is giving Missy a test run to prove she can be good because at the end of the day, Missy/The Master was his first friend and longest friend and apparently his man crush. Somewhere the shippers pump their first in the air, Tumblr goes nuts. Thusly, the Doctor is giddy at the chance to reform his friend, who is the closest person left like him. They were going to see all the stars together, but the Master got sidetracked with burning them.
Bill is skeptical because Missy really scares her. Rightfully so. Because taking Missy for a test run to answer the distress call of a massive colony ship is going to have consequences and the return of an old face or two.
When In Scotland, Don’t Do As The Romans Do
Scotland, because there’s more to the UK than London. 2nd Century AD, Aberdeen. Taking a trip in the past to prove each other wrong about an argument about the missing Roman Ninth Legion, the Doctor and Bill find more trouble than just settling a historical debate.
::Spoilers In Review::
The Ice Warriors are Back
NASA, not rogue tweeting. We haven’t hit full dystopia. The Doctor and Bill and Nardole bust in on the Valkyrie launch to probe Martian ice caps. So you know you’re getting the Ice Warriors, because ice caps + Mars= this classic Who villain.
This episode was written by Mark Gatiss, who many Whovians tend to feel can be hit or miss when it comes to writing Who. I liked “The Unquiet Dead”, “The Lazarus Experiment”, “The Crimson Horror” (horrible moment of the Doctor towards Jenny aside), less loved “The Idiot’s Lantern” and some of the others. I don’t think he’s a bad writer, though, and his stories always have an interesting concept even if I might not always like them. What Gatiss does well, I think, is writes very contained episodes that often don’t have much impact to the overall story but often do come with some great moments of tension. They’re like those nights when you just want a box of mac and cheese but add a little gouda or Gruyere for some substance while knowing full when it’s still one-off comfort goo.
In the third and last episode featuring the Silence x Beef Jerky-like Monks, lies and truth are a big theme and this episode makes no bones about being an allegory for our current “post-truth”/alternative facts political landscape. Where we last left off, Bill consented to the Monks to save the Doctor and they now reign over the Earth, using their alien technology to alter everyone’s memories so they think that the Monks were always there. After all, you can’t complain about things that have always been what they were. Anyone who remembers the truth is taken away, and Bill has been struggling for the past six months to hold onto her actual memories, anchored by the memory of her mother and separated from the Doctor. Until Nardole comes calling.
Hello Whovians! Missed a week last week due to being out of the country, but we’re back in the TARDIS again for a trip to the Vatican in an episode that feels like an odd sci-fi love letter to Dan Brown and the second episode on the story that is a pyramid episode that makes me wish it was on Mars. But alas!
In the fifth episode of this season of Doctor Who, The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole find themselves caught up in new dangers as they answer a distress call coming from deep space, the sort of thing that’s never just an easy rescue. Especially when big corporate who only cares about the bottom line is involved. And so we have “Oxygen”, which feels like a space take on zombies-but-not-zombies. This review is very belated because much like the Doctor’s capers, shit happens that puts a wrench in things, like moving apartments and not having a desk or knowing where you packed your laptop for a few days. I digress.
This week if you thought the titular “Knock, Knock” meant learning more about what’s in that mysterious vault then guess again! It’s a creepy “haunted” house story this time around and in this episode we get to see some of what makes up the best and worst of this era of Doctor Who.
Where we last off with The Doctor and Bill, they were trying to get back from the future in time for tea only to find themselves landing on a frozen Thames River in Regency London. 1814 to be precise.
Doctor Who finally returns after a long hiatus for it’s tenth series (of the NuWho ones anyway) and as an avid Whovian: Attender of Cons I asked to tackle reviewing the current season and decided to review the first two episodes together to get a better sense of how this series, showrunner Steven Moffat’s last, felt at the kickoff. Initially I’ll say this, my feelings are mixed and traditionally I find myself more aggravated with Moffat than appreciative, but as I generally have kept my expectations low with Moffat!Who, I can say I have been pleasantly surprised so far.