Monday, 31 May 2010

Doctor Who: Cold Blood (2)

Doctor: 'Yes, squeaky bum time.'

Virtually every TV paper this week gave tonight's episode a lukewarm reception. Some even went as far as saying that it was a disappointment after last week's 'suspenseful opener'. I respectfully disagree. Firstly, I didn't think last week's episode was particularly suspenseful, and secondly, I don't think tonight's episode suffered by way of comparison. Okay, so it wasn't marvellous—but there was more than enough content to keep me entertained, and plenty of mystery to keep me wondering.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Doctor Who: The Hungry Earth (1)

Amy: 'Oh please, have you always been this disgusting?'
Doctor: 'No, it's recent.'

To some degree, this whole episode felt like an homage to the Pertwee era. The return of the Silurians was the most obvious tip of that hat, but there was also the TARDIS landing in the wrong place, at the wrong time (as was the norm in Worzel's day); the mining plot, which shared many story elements with 1970's episode 'Inferno' (i.e. a team of science boffins, drilling through the earth's crust, attempting to mine its rare resources... etc); and the idea of brokering a peace between the Silurians and mankind was an idea first explored in the imaginatively named 'Doctor Who and the Silurians'. I guess, after 47 years, it's only natural that a show's going to repeat itself.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Doctor Who: Amy's Choice

Doctor: 'Look at you both, five years later and you haven't changed a bit. Apart from age... and size.'

I read an interesting thing on a Doctor Who forum last week. Someone made the comment 'The difference between a good episode of Doctor Who and a bad one is how much people want to talk about it afterwards'. There's probably some truth to that. When an episode's bad, many see it as a call to arms. Some find ripping into the writers/actors/production team a satisfying and cathartic way of expressing their displeasure. Others choose the more traditional route of identifying an episode's faults, and then proposing a potential fix. Whichever method you choose, the point is, dissatisfaction and confusion increase discussion exponentially.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Doctor Who: The Vampires of Venice

Rory: 'You know what's dangerous about you? It's not that you make people take risks, it's that you make them want to impress you.'

It's been four years since Toby Whithouse last wrote an episode of Doctor Who. I know he's been busy with No Angels and Being Human, but after the unmitigated success of 'School Reunion' (one of my favourite episodes, ever), it's been a long and frustrating wait. After the debacle that was 'Victory of the Daleks' my expectations this week were low. So far this season, the only episode not penned by Moffat, turned out to be an absolute turkey. Thankfully, Whithouse's script was streets ahead of Gatiss' dreck: the story was solid, the vampires were frightening, and the humour was bang on the money. Even Rory made me chuckle. I take back what I said about him being the new Mickey. He's so not! Well... not so much.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone (2)

Doctor: 'I wish I'd known you better.'
Octavian: 'I think, Sir, you know me at my best.'

Doctor Who's really tapping into its fantasy roots this season. In 'The Eleventh Hour' the Doctor commented that Amy's name sounded like something out of a fairy tale. Couple that with Amy's gingerbread house, the Raggedy Man, the Byzantium's forest-like interior, and Amy walking through it like some kind of modern day Little Red Riding Hood, and the imagery was really quite striking. Is the Pandorica a fairy tale, too? How much do you want to bet that it isn't?