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Timelash, Part 1

Tonight I watched “Timelash”, a rather maligned episode of the original series of Doctor Who, and twittered Episode 1 while I watched it. It took longer than expected, but I thought I’d add it here if anyone’s interested.

  • Watching “Time Lash” for the first time ever. Even the DVD extras warn me that this ep of Dr. Who is a turkey. May comment during…
  • First up, Doctor and Peri bickering. Typical. I like how Peri’s not digging the recommendation of the Eye of Orion…
  • Rebels hiding. “They’ll throw us in the Time Lash!” Maybe it’s the 80s, but that doesn’t sound frightening in the way they wanted
  • “That is a Time Corridor” No, THAT is some bad Amiga graphics that make Windows 95 look good.
  • Well, there’s Colin Baker’s first over the top loud expression. “Bad? BAD!!!!!!”
  • Back on future world, and it’s an Andorian whose lost his Antennae. And bad laser effects that looked better 5 years ago. WTF?
  • And now we have a redesigned set from Vengeance on Varos. It’s the same big TV screen from that episode.
  • A rebel slave with lipstick. And an evil man of mystery on a chair studded with diamonds. What are they trying to say?
  • I can tell you that in the distant future we will all evolve into people with upper class English accents.
  • “The Borat has promised…” THE BORAT!?!?!?!? *checks*, No, The Borad. Shame.
  • Oh The Bandrils. So THIS is where that nerdy Dr. Who injoke comes from..
  • The Andorian’s assistant has a haircut like one of the ABBA blokes. Geez, Andromeda in the future is regressing..
  • Mygod! The guards are wearing Bee veils! Are the Bandrils some sort of insect menace or is this bad BBC costuming??
  • The Timelash. Death by bad BBC fx. *shudder*
  • Boring plot development. Andorian sounds like Robbie the Robot. TARDIS is broken again.
  • “Cure your future wife, my daughter of her stubbornness” Oh, the wonderful 80s and their views.
  • Power mad leader going out of control, check. Not a lot of Dr/Peri in this ep.
  • Hah. Android/Andorian 2 has yellow hair/black skin instead of white hair/blue skin. Same actor. HOW CLEVER!!!
  • Belt up for Time Corridor. Cause the last couple of times involved sideways camera work, I mean turbulance.
  • Hahah. Aging death ray turns you into cheap fake skeleton you find in science labs.
  • Woops. Think Android is the same one. Hah. Turbulance in TARDIS means bad camera shots and chipmunk voices
  • Oh, Borat has met The Doctor before. Of course, not in an actual episode of the show…
  • Dr’s landed, necklaces of Peri’s are being stolen… The Doc’s not too happy on their progress. They know Time Lords here, though.
  • BWHAHAHAHA! The Bandrils! They look ridiculous! I bet they were expensive at the time too..
  • Poor Peri. She may have been annoying at times, but she put up with a lot with Doc 6.
  • And then she sticks her tongue out at alien plant life. Well done. Oh, there’s a kidnapping on the way…
  • Have to admit, the underground sets don’t look that bad, although you can hear the bang as Peri walks into styrofoam
  • Oh special effects of a self moving glass on a self made ojiga board, however you spell it. We’re finally back in time
  • Oh Peri, fear the plastic snake alien creature. It could of eaten you by the time help is on its way.
  • Oh! These people have a photo of Jo Grant! Nice old school reference!
  • “Herbert” thinks the lady from the future is a spirit. He’s not sure whether she is angel or demon, but is still looking after her.
  • Hahaha. Herbert’s answer to warding off the TARDIS is a crucifix and a bible.
  • Hahaha. “Herbert” (historical celebrity not revealed as yet) snuck into the TARDIS. Doc’s expression is priceless…
  • Hah. The Doctor in the “Timelash” as a cliffhanger. Surely a Time Lord can handle something like this
  • And that’s it. Must sleep now. Sorry for taking over the timeline…. Night night…

Well, that’s Part 1. I’ll try Part 2 tomorrow night with a little more alcohol cause I think I’m going to need it. Night all.

Doctor Who – Journey’s End

Martha. Rose. Sarah Jane. Every other character who is available? Check.

Russell T Davies crams as much as he can for the two part finale. He may not be leaving for another year, but I think this the concluding chapter to his four years on the show. And it’s a pretty good one too. I wouldn’t say it was prefect, but getting all the characters from the spin offs together, throwing out so many references to past stories – It’s all here. Even a second Doctor! I didn’t see that coming. I knew the regeneration would be quickly brushed off but didn’t expect that.

However, Rose continues to annoy me. Here we are, trying to be told that Rose has grown up, she doesn’t need the Doctor any more. Part One all she does is pine for him (although their initial meet up before the cliffhanger was a great moment) and when she finally gets back, she turns into child mode again. Not any more mature, still pining after the Doctor, so much so she’s given a spare Doctor. That was “interesting”, to say the least. Here’s a question, he’s meant to be an identical copy, if a little more angrier, slightly human. You think he’d like to be stuck on one planet? Living a normal life? Don’t think so. And what about Mickey? He doesn’t even get a farewell scene with Rose, I thought that was interesting. His scene with Jackie was probably the sweetest moment – “I’m going to miss you the most”. Awww. At least the rumours of a Torchwood with Martha and Mickey are probably true. We may see these two in the Whoniverse again, but I think that’s the end of the Tylers. Sad, really. I thought Rose would get a better send off than that. I was expecting her death actually.

Donna is the hero in this piece. Her DoctorDonna link was clever, and it was brilliant seeing her becoming more like him. The end with her back to the way she used to be was a little sad. I would of liked to have seen a little moment with maybe not her remembering anything, but a glimpse at her slightly changed for the better. Doctor’s moment with her grandfather was great. Shame we won’t see him again. And his moment with her mum – “try telling her that once in a while” – great to see that my main criticism of Turn Left was addressed.

Davros wasn’t that bad. Still the same old madman, although the weapon reminded me a little of the universe killer from the Big Finish Dalek Empire episode, which name completely escapes me. I think laughing Dalek Caan and his twist to the good side at the end was the best. Seeing what the Daleks really were was a top moment. And no reset switch! Thank god for that!!!

I have to give this episode 4 out of 5. I really think this episode could of done with another five or so minutes, it was very fast. That moment where all the companions all around the TARDIS saving the day was one of the best scenes from the series so far. Well done Russell. You may have had your weak moments and I am looking forward to Stephen Moffatt, but you started a show we thought long gone and made it a success again.

Doctor Who – Turn Left

There’s an episode of Doctor Who during the old days that reminded me of the latest episode, The Five Doctors.

I won’t go into too much detail, but The Doctor in this episode has been “taken out of time” by an unknown baddie. The Time Lords, (still alive), in an act of desperation, call on the Master to help. This is back when the wonderful Anthony Ainley played the part. Whilst always enemies (The Doctor called him his “best enemy”), The Master comments – “A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about.”

Welcome to Turn Left. This is what this episode is all about.

Donna and The Doctor land on an Asian-styled planet which reminded me a little too much of Firefly/Serenity and Donna bumps into Chantho, this time in human form, as a fortune teller. Well, a futuristic fortune teller which manages (thanks to a terrible special effect beetle) to change the course of Donna’s life. She doesn’t meet the Doctor on that fateful Christmas and he doesn’t get out in time when destroying the Racnoss. What happens to the world now?

It’s a really well thought out and done episode, despite it being a “what if?” story. You know none of it is going to matter, but it’s still enjoyable anyway. The world gets worse and worse without The Doctor to save the day. The Titanic crashes into London destroying most of it, The Adipose move to America instead and eat all of their fat, and the the rest of the world continues to choke on Sontaren fumes. That’s not to say the world doesn’t have its fighters still – Jack and Torchwood perish saving the world during “The Poison Sky”, Sarah Jane, Luke and Martha die up on the Moon instead. They’re not included in the episode, just referenced. It’s nice to know these people wouldn’t sit by idly and let these things go down even without that Time Lord. We do get Rose again, though.

Rose. What to say? Maybe she was a little nervous? She lisps and mumbles through her scenes, and she just “looks” different. Hopefully next week will be better, but this time around she’s there in the background, helping Donna to realise that she needs to go back and set things right again. I have to say, this is all Donnas episode though. We do get a little of the annoying “Am I Bovvered?” Donna again but you can still tell she cares, she just doesn’t know what to do about it all, like the rest of the world. The moment at the end with her in the room of mirrors is probably one of Catherine Tate’s finest moments in this show. It’s pretty much confirmed she’s not returning next year, I’m glad she did join the TARDIS for that scene.

We also get a lot of supporting crew scenes in Donna’s family. Wilfred gets some damn fine scenes (there’s a moment where he says “it’s happening again” – I won’t spoil it, but it’s a beautiful moment) and he’s probably the main point of hope in this world gone wrong. Donna’s mother falls further into despair as the world tumbles and she’s also lost her husband. There’s one moment which I didn’t quite like. Donna says to her mother – “you always told me I was useless” and she replies with a single “yeah”. Whether she wasn’t listening or agreeing, it’s still cold.

Of course, everything is done right by end and the only big let downs for me are the beetle (which looked terrible), Rose and the climax. Knowing full well that Rose is coming back, having the big reveal for The Doctor didn’t excite me that much. Still, brilliant episode and judging by the sneak peeks online, the next two are only going to get better and better. 4 out of 5.

Doctor Who – Midnight

You know, It doesn’t feel right not posting about last weeks Who. By this point, everyone’s debated, discussed and fought over it on the many forums. Hey, it wouldn’t be fandom without it.

Well, Midnight.

Rule one – This isn’t just for Dr. Who. This is TV, movie, life rule. Never NEVER say “What could go wrong?” This is the only time bad luck is guaranteed to happen. My father curses me whenever I say it. 😛

This was a pretty decent standalone episode. Having the two main characters absent from each others episodes works cleverly (I do like these special one off episodes, but why don’t they just add more time to the filming schedule?) and this one was probably the cheapest the show has done. A shuttle that noone can see outside of, it even looks like they just remade the old shuttle from Gridlock, I’m not sure.

As for the story? I did like it, but will it be as fondly remembered as Blink? Sadly, I don’t think so. I have to say, it’s probably Russell’s best episode in a long while. It did remind me a little of an episode of the Twilight Zone starring a very young and thin William Shatner called “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”. I like how you never see the bad guy in this, although I would of like more emphasis on the suspense, not actually ever knowing whether a monster gets in or not. Having everyone turn on the Doctor is an interesting change – He has noone to back him up, Donna’s soaking up the (extonic) rays klicks and klicks away. The supporting characters though, meh. It’s like Russell was deliberately trying to get all the cliches he could in an episode. And I didn’t pick until after the episode that the old man is in fact The Second Doctor’s sun. Wow. Shows you how much of a fan I am! 😛

I really wish I had more to say. I didn’t LOVE this episode, but I wasn’t bored with it either. Finally we get onto the meatier side of the series, and we start to figure out what the hell is actually going on this year!!! Three out of Five this week.

Doctor Who – Forest of the Dead

The Moffster returns in part two of his brilliant story set in a mysterious library. But not only do we get a clever original story, we also get to know more about The Doctor than we discovered since the show has started back up.

First up, I’ll talk about the story. I don’t think the monsters were as frightening as the statues were last year, but like I said, dust, shadows – Steven likes using everyday ordinary things to get kids frightened. There’s nothing more clever than that.

Probably the best thing about these episodes are what we discover about The Doctor, and what is to come. The mysterious “River Song” is, yes in fact a future companion to come. I think with Russell’s time on the show coming to an end, we have Steven Moffat’s first seeds to what is to come – and what a clever idea. We’ve only ever seen The Doctor’s future once before, but that set of stories is best forgotten anyway, and the strike put those ideas on hold, and eventually thrown out the window to start anew. The big mystery that they seem to be heading towards is the truth about The Doctors name. River whispers it to him, he loses his name at a price, at the Medusa Cascade, but the reason behind it? just keep us guessing for time. it’s obvious that the “Cartmel Masterplan” is being thrown in the bin, and I’m actually all for it. i just hope they don’t do an X-Files on us and keep teasing and never answer these questions. i’m quite happy not to know the doctors name (let’s be honest, it would be disappointing no matter what it was…) but the reasons behind it? yeah, I am. even the Donna mystery is keeping me guessing. How does she leave the show?

I have to say, the part Donna plays this week was quite good. She gets the normal happy life she never got around to having yet on earth through Virtual Reality. I would of played with that more, have the separation more disastrous and just have her with the Hubby and kids, no questions asked. but I think it worked out okay. The end part where she walks off and just misses the guy was sad. leaves an interesting thought – what would of happened if she saw him?

The part that really bugged me with the whole episode was the dealing with the monsters. It’s all wrapped up so easy – “You have the knowledge of the library, look me up” – “Okay then, I give up”. Just like that? it’s good to see that an whole race of creatures (maybe bad) get to live. i find the reactions of everyone not kicking up a fuss about leaving a little questionable, but a pretty good episode.

Definitely four out of five this week. River totally stole the show this week, and I hope she returns in the near future and is not just a clever cameo.

Doctor Who – Silence in the Library

Spoilers!

Heh, I like using that this week. It suits the whole episode.

I actually dislike reviewing two parters. You’re only getting half of the story, and so far only questions. But what questions this week! We’ve got a mysterious little girl who seems to be able to control what’s happening to The Doctor and Donna. You have a library full of killer shadows and you have a Professor who has had past experience with The Doctor. Just that The Doctor hasn’t, just yet.

Steven Moffat, in his typical brilliant way, makes the most mundane things frightening. First he gives us the statues that kill when we blink, this time its the very shadows itself. To keep us guessing, we are also seeing a little girl who somehow is involved with this all. She sees the Doctor and Donna in her head, on her television, she can control what’s happening slightly with her remote control. I think I know where this is going, but I’ll keep my thoughts to myself for the time being.

Probably the most interesting part of it all is Professor River Song. An “acquaintance” of the Doctors, except The Doctor hasn’t met her yet in his timestream. I think she’s meant to be new Who’s version of Benny Summerfield. An archaeologist exploring ancient planets who the Doctor trusts with his life? Sounds like her to me. It’s a shame they couldn’t actually get Benny on the show (Lisa Bowerman would be awesome, I know it!) but I suppose a fresh start is always good. I hope to god they don’t kill the character off at the end so none of it doesn’t happen. I’m a fan of the New Adventures, having a reoccurring character like this would be fun. Next time they meet have her meet The Doctor for the first time, where he has to pretend they’ve never met .. And the hints of Donna not lasting till the end of the season, I kinda figured that. On the commentary of The Fires of Pompeii, Catherine talks about how she just had her final day, which tells me she’s not staying on. Which is a shame. She’s no Martha, but she’s had some great moments this year. Her horror of the young Red Shirt, I mean girl dying and the tech keeping her conscious alive for a few moments was sad.

So far so good. It felt a little too rushed, you think a two parter would have a little breathing time but obviously part two is as action packed as the last. Four outta five this week.

Neil, Steven and the good Doctor

First off, Have some Pork and Beans. (Thanks, Bloggasm!)

Secondly, with a week Doctor Who free (damn you, Eurovision!), we’ve have nothing but the mid season trailer (ps, awesome!) and lots of news. News is always being released for this show, but the past week has been especially good.

First off was the news that Steven Moffat is taking over Doctor Who once Russell T Davies leaves sometime in 2009. This is brilliant news. If you don’t know who he is, apart from making some of the best episodes of the new series, he’s also made some great TV in the past. From the creepy (but brilliant) sequel to Dr. Jeckyll and mr. Hyde, simply called Jekyll, to Coupling, one of the best comedy sitcoms for a long long time, to everyone over 20 favourite kids show, Press Gang. This guy has steadily made good TV for quite a while. The fact that he is a long time Dr. Who fan only makes this news better. People are all a-twitter over the news, that he’ll mix up the show and make it more in his image. I hardly think they’ll change such a successful formula (say what you like about RTD, he might make a weak ending but he has revitalised this show and made it popular for a whole new generation) but with Steven behind the wheel, I see just better things for the show in the future. Better Steven than just a TV writer who has never seen an episode before, hey?

Since this news, rumours are flying around about which writers will come to the show once the next proper 2010 season begins (2009 is a year of three specials, as David Tennant has other commitments. Better that than him leaving..). Warren Ellis quickly made his opinion (that’s not how it works were his direct words on his website) due to rumours, but the latest are Neil Gaiman. Yes, THAT Neil Gaiman. Neil has quite been happy to admit he’s a fan of the new series, writing on his blog how he watches with his daughter Maddy. He also has written for TV before (an episode of Babylon 5, the only one in the later period when the creator took over all creative input and wrote every episode), and he’s not confirming, or denying these rumours. He also writes Childrens books well, so it wouldn’t be too difficult a stretch to write something for Who. We can imagine, anyway. Two geeky things combined and probably the only way I could get my friend Julia to sit down and actually WATCH an episode of Dr. Who. Hah. 🙂

Thirdly, sorry about the links. You probably know all about this anyway, just thought I’d make sure 😉