Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Flatline”

Doctor Who - "Flatline"


Written by Jamie Mathieson, Flatline was unlike any other episode this series. It has a lot of factors that should make it one of my favorite episodes, but, it just isn’t. Clara and The Doctor are separated for the majority of the episode and Clara essentially takes the place of The Doctor as he is trapped inside the TARDIS. The villains are scary as usual, but, they lack a certain something, in fact, the whole episode lacks a certain something and I can’t quite put my finger on it; although, the writing doesn’t have that pop that we’ve seen previously. We start out, rather vaguely, with a man speaking to the police on the phone. He claims he knows who did it and that they are everywhere. Suddenly, he disappears, the camera pans over and we see the he is now in the wall, literally, he is a part of the wallpaper now. We first see our heroes when The Doctor is dropping Clara off at the same time and place-ish. When Clara goes outside to see where they are she sees that the door to the TARDIS has shrunk, in fact, the entire TARDIS exterior has shrunk so that the door is only about 3 feet tall. Clara goes out to investigate a little more while The Doctor stays at home to try to figure it out when somethings happens and suddenly the door is smaller, maybe a foot tall.

Doctor Who - "Flatline"

Clara comes across a memorial and an accompanying mural to people who have gone missing recently when she runs into Rigsy (Joivan Wade) who is a graffiti artist that subsequently happens to be on a community service team where he is forced to paint over his own work. He tells her all about the missing people and she immediately heads back to tell The Doctor only to find the tiny-TARDIS. The Doctor explains that someone is messing with the external dimensions which is causing only the outside of the TARDIS to shrink. However, The Doctor is now stuck inside and Clara cannot get inside. This is a very clever idea to separate The Doctor and his companion and we’ve seen it a few times before. I was excited to hear about this because I loved the idea of Clara becoming the main focus and having to do things The Doctor normally does. While she does this very well, she did it better in previous episodes in which it was far less implied. Well, The Doctor has figured out the source of whatever is shrinking the TARDIS and gives Clara the psychic paper and sonic screwdriver as well as an earpiece that allows The Doctor to see what Clara sees. Clara then returns to the memorial where she runs into Rigsy again where she introduces herself to him as Doctor Oswald. This leads to her making a few jabs about how The Doctor can be cocky which is funny. Rigsy takes Clara into the apartment of the man from the opening. Clara starts looking around the room, proposing that maybe he just became very small, like the TARDIS. This all makes Rigsy uncomfortable and he starts to leave until Clara introduces him to The Doctor inside the tiny-TARDIS when the energy is drained from the TARDIS again and they all run out of the apartment.

Doctor Who - "Flatline"

Out of nowhere, they are in another apartment with a police officer. Clara has told her that they are with MI5, which if you don’t know, is the UK’s version of the CIA. The police officer gets a call and goes into another room where she suddenly sees the wall start dripping in a very weird way and it starts moving towards her until it reaches her and sucks her into the ground leaving only her flashlight behind. Clara and Rigsy, who have been knocking out the wall in the other room, hear her scream and run in. The Doctor, seeing through Clara, notices a mural on the wall of a human nervous system, he deduces that it’s what’s left of the police officer and that it must be a species from a two dimensional universe trying to figure out our three dimensions. Another example of a concept that I really like that is just not executed very well. Visually, it is very scary and unlike anything I’ve seen before, but the dialogue just doesn’t allow me to buy it completely. They go to leave but the door knob has been flattened. They manage to escape by getting into a chair that hangs from the ceiling and they use it to break through the window and escape. During all this, Danny calls and Clara lies about what is happening, although, Danny knows something is up, but, The Doctor heard everything and realized that Clara lied to him as well. This is an interesting change as for the first half of the series it was Clara who was always mad at The Doctor for lying. Rigsy returns to work and finds them starting to paint over the memorial mural, he adamantly defends it until Clara shows up and The Doctor realizes that it’s not a mural but it’s actually the missing people. Clara tries to use the psychic paper on the the boss, Fenton (Christopher Fairbank), but it doesn’t work, which is a shock to both Clara and The Doctor. As they argue, the images of the people start turning around, they pull one of the workers into the mural and his image becomes like the others. They all make their way underground which Rigsy knows well. The Doctor urges Clara to become the leader which she does quite handily.

Doctor Who - "Flatline"

The Doctor wants the 2D to be good and gives them the benefit of the doubt for now. He tries to make contact with them and is kind of successful. He is able to speak to them and gets the response, “55”, which turns out to be the number on the dead worker’s jacket. It then says “22” the number on a living worker’s jacket. They all look over to him and he is unresponsive when he starts to melt and they’re all forced to run away again. They keep finding doors whose handles have been flattened and are therefore unusable when suddenly another one of the workers is snatched up by a giant hand and are beginning to be able to manifest themselves in 3 dimensions. They are able to escape with a device that The Doctor has made that can make things 3D again. During their escape, I guess Fenton has had enough and goes to grab the TARDIS out of Clara’s purse and he drops it down a hole where it lands smack on a train track with a train on its way. Clara suggests The Doctor move the TARDIS with his hand, Addams Family style and it works! Until the TARDIS tips backwards back onto the tracks and he is forced to put it in the TARDIS version of safe mode in which there is no way in or out and has lost contact with Clara. The rest of them head down to the tracks where they see that the 2Ds have blocked the exit. Another train is on the way and Clara manages to stop it and asks the conductor whether it would be possible to ram the blockage. In the mean time, Rigsy has already stepped into the train and is starting it down the tracks. Clara jumps on board and shows him that he doesn’t have to kill himself, she just uses her headband to automatically drive the train, the two of them jump off and the train hits the blockage only to be turned 2D.

Doctor Who - "Flatline"

Clara finds the TARDIS in its siege mode, which looks a bit like the Pandorica, and takes it with her. They all end up in a room together and need to come up with a plan when Clara has a bolt of inspiration. She pulls a poster down and asks Rigsy to paint a picture of a door on it. The now three dimensional 2D monsters are bearing down on them and come to the door that Rigsy painted. They can’t tell the difference and try to start to open it by sending energy through it. What they don’t know, is that they’re actually charging the TARDIS up until it is able to grow back into its full shape. It’s at this point that The Doctor finally makes his first real appearance where he is quickly able to repel the 3D 2D people which he names The Boneless. He then drops everyone off, again in just some random location where you’d expect a mafia hit to go down.

Doctor Who - "Flatline"

This is another one of those middle of the road episodes for me. I really liked a lot of the concepts like Clara being the main force for good in this one and having an enemy that is able to suck you out of the 3rd dimension, but, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. This episode gets a C+ for originality, humor, and concept, but suffers from a lack of decent execution. With only 3 episodes left, I really hope things truly get back to how they were at the start. If this truly is Clara’s last few episodes, they better count.

All pictures belong to the BBC and are credited to Adrian Rogers.

Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Mummy on the Orient Express”

Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express"

This episode was a return to form for Doctor Who. There were no kids, practically no Danny, and there was no nonsense. Just the Doctor and Clara doing their thing, and I couldn’t be happier. The episode deals a lot with soldiers and lying again, both of which seem to be central to overall story this series. We also get to see what has become of The Doctor and Clara’s relationship after last week’s falling out. We start out by seeing a light bulb flicker and a clock counting down from 66 seconds. We then cut to an old woman, Mrs. Pitt (Janet Henfrey) and her granddaughter, Maisie (Daisy Beaumont) in the dining car of a train when suddenly, Mrs. Pitt sees a mummy walking towards her, but, no one else can see it. She assumes it’s a man in costume, but, as the clock counts down and the mummy gets closer, she begins to get frightened until finally the mummy puts its hands on her head and she dies. The shots zooms out to reveal that it’s a train… in space! The Doctor and Clara arrive in the baggage car, which is slightly confusing as the last time we saw Clara she was telling The Doctor to never come back. Of course, we later find out that this is supposed to be their last adventure together and that Clara decided she doesn’t hate The Doctor because you can’t hate someone you don’t like. The Doctor is confused and, frankly, so am I. The Doctor changes the subject and starts telling her about all the different kinds of planets there are when they are interrupted by Maisie who claims The Doctor is lying since this one planet has existed in thousands of years. She is ushered off by Captain Quell (David Bamber) and he apologizes to Clara and The Doctor. After introductions, Quell mentions how they have lots of doctors and professors on the train. Clara asks what was wrong with her and Quell tells them about Mrs. Pitt and the mummy. Of course this piques The Doctor’s interest so he and Clara head off to investigate.

Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express"

As they make their way through the train, The Doctor starts saying his goodbyes in a way that only Capaldi’s Doctor could do. Clara asks him if he’ll come over for dinner, but, it quickly becomes apparent that this is probably goodbye forever. Clara seems sad, but her choice has been made and she’s sticking to it….for now. We then cut to The Doctor who is now alone in his room and is talking to himself, trying to figure everything out and he believes he’s getting closer. He heads to the engineer’s car where he meets Perkins (Frank Skinner) the train’s chief engineer. It’s a very awkward meeting and you’re not sure whether he’s a good guy or bad guy, but, he does seem very intelligent. In the mean time, Clara has decided to go speak to The Doctor but he’s not in his room so she goes to the TARDIS in the baggage car when she see Maisie heading towards a sealed compartment with her shoe in hand. They won’t let her see her grandmother’s body and she’s intent on breaking into the compartment to see her. She smashes her shoe into the control panel and the door opens. However, the door immediately shuts and they are now locked in the room. Oh, and there’s a sarcophagus in the room with them as well. The Doctor finds Professor Moorhouse (Christopher Villiers) who is a professor of alien mythology. They speak about the legend of The Foretold, a mummy who kills you 66 seconds after seeing it. He also informs The Doctor that there is supposedly one word that will stop it and that nothing else will. The Doctor offers him a jelly baby, which if you’re familiar with “classic” Who you’ll get a kick out of. As they speak, the mummy is attacking a chef in the kitchen who runs into the freezer and shuts the door. The mummy disappears only to reappear inside the freezer kills the chef.

 Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express"

At this point, The Doctor ambushes the Captain where he uses the psychic paper to make the Captain think The Doctor is a mystery shopper. I know they’re scary and all, but that’s your worst nightmare Cap? That’s weak. Anyway, Quell refuses to admit they have a problem and the Doctor leaves where he runs into Perkins in the hall who has a bunch of papers and information to give The Doctor about the mummy. Cut back to Clara and Maisie who are talking about The Doctor and how Clara is done with him and this is their last time together, Maisie doesn’t believe a word of it and is seemingly convincing Clara to stay with him. Of course they had to do something like this because we all know Clara’s not leaving the show just yet. I just wish they had done it in a different way. Having some random character push Clara to a point that she could have naturally gotten to anyway is just awkward and, in the end, it is mostly Clara that makes the choice to stay, so this scene was slightly unnecessary. The Doctor calls Clara to tell her that she should join him and the whole time Clara is trying to tell him she’s trapped until she finally blurts it out. The Doctor rushes to help her but cannot get the door open, his sonic screwdriver isn’t working due to some sort of containment field. The Doctor asks the computer to open the doors when it says it prefers to be called Gus and that it cannot open the door without executive orders. Suddenly, the lights flicker and the sarcophagus begins to open. We’re led to believe that Clara or Maisie is the target but what’s inside is just a bunch of bubble wrap encasing some red lights. At this point, the Captain shows up after having found out there was no mystery shopper on board and has The Doctor arrested. As they are transporting him, another member of the crew is killed by the mummy and the Captain finally relents and lets The Doctor help. At this point, the Doctor realizes that everyone on board were scientists and doctors. Gus congratulates The Doctor for figuring this out and suddenly the other people in the car disappear leaving only The Doctor and all the scientists. Hold on, is that Albert Einstein?? Well, he sure looks like him, and he has a significant amount of screen time, but, it’s never addressed and he has no lines for us to hear if he has a German accent….oh well, I’d like to believe it was Einstein who had somehow made it into the future. Either way, it’s obvious they’ve all been selected to study the mummy, and Gus informs them it wants them to stop it. In the lab is a partial scroll that has some writing on it.

Suddenly, the lights flicker, the clock starts and Professor Moorhouse sees the mummy, which is a shame, I really liked him. He starts to describe it to everyone but as his time winds down he wants to try and bargain for his life, knowing there’s a word that can stop it he tries to figure it out, but, unfortunately, he is unsuccessful and Prof. Moorhouse dies. Clara then calls The Doctor to tell him what she’s found out the sarcophagus is meant to store the mummy once it’s captured and they are not the first team to try to stop it. Gus has been telling The Doctor to hang up the phone but is getting the cold shoulder so he blows the kitchen crew into space. At this point, The Doctor hangs up.

 Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express"


The Doctor orders a full history on all the victims trying to find something in common with them all. After some research, and the help of good ol’ Perkins, they discover that all the victims were sick, either physically or psychologically, or, had false organs. They then set out to find out why this could be when Quell pulls The Doctor aside to tell him he suffers from PTSD and The Doctor tells him he’s probably next. Almost on cue, the lights flicker the mummy appears for Quell, and the clock starts. Quell first shoots at it and realizes there’s nothing he can do so he decides to help. The mummy teleports and approaches behind Quell and he describes how the mummy is reaching up to grab his head, he dies. The Doctor immediately gets back to work after figuring out that teleportation means technology, telling everyone else they don’t have time to mourn and that they all need to get back to work. They find out that Maisie is likely the next target and everyone, including Gus, think it’s best they come to the lab. The Doctor asks Clara to lie to Maisie and to tell her he could save her, even though he does not believe that to be true. As Clara and Maisie head out Clara tries to get into the TARDIS, but, there is a forcefield around it and she is unable to. When she gets to the lab she asks The Doctor about it and he claims it’s Gus. Clara comments on how if Gus knows what the TARDIS is he knows what The Doctor is, she accuses him of knowing and he admits that he had been invited before. In fact, if you go back to the episode “The Big Bang” in series 5, the 11th Doctor gets a phone call on the TARDIS and replies, “an Egyptian goddess loose on the Orient Express, in space?” It’s the second call back to a previous Doctor in this episode, something that Capaldi’s Doctor does quite frequently. It’s a lot of fun, and every era of Who is fair game.


Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express" 

Before Clara has a chance to get too mad, the lights flicker and the mummy appears for Maisie. Perkins asks if he should start the clock and The Doctor says no. Instead, he jumps in front of Maisie with a scanner and scans all of her fear and pain and puts it into himself. The mummy vanishes for Maisie and appears for The Doctor. They start the clock. The Doctor runs towards the mummy and asks it, “Are you my mummy?” an obvious reference to The 9th Doctor episodes “The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances.” Another great call back and it’s a phrase that Who fans love saying which makes it better. As the mummy advances, The Doctor notices some writing under it’s bandages. From this, he is able to put it together with the writing on the scroll and figures out it’s not a scroll but a battle flag and the mummy is a soldier. Just as the mummy is about to place its hand on The Doctor’s head, he says, “I surrender.” The mummy stops and is suddenly visible to everyone on board. It salutes The Doctor and he tells it it’s dismissed and it turns to dust revealing the technology inside.  Gus congratulates everyone and informs them that they are no longer needed and begins evacuating the cabin of oxygen. The Doctor furiously gets to work on the device to get the teleportation function to work as Clara and everyone else begin to pass out. Suddenly, we see The Doctor and Clara on a beach, Clara is still asleep and The Doctor is playing in the sand. She wakes up and he tells her he teleported everyone into the TARDIS and dropped them off on the nearest inhabited planet. Clara works out that The Doctor made her lie to Maisie because he didn’t want Gus finding out his plan and accuses him of not being heartless after all to which he basically says, whatever helps you sleep at night. Back in the TARDIS, Perkins is giving it the once over, saying it’s mostly beyond him but needs new drive stacks, The Doctor offers him a job on the TARDIS, but he refuses, saying a job like that could change a man, The Doctor tells him it does. I actually really like this Perkins guy and would have loved to see him become the TARDIS’ engineer, appearing every few episodes to help Clara and The Doctor. But, he’s right, and it’s probably best that they went their separate ways, at least for Perkins sake. They then return to Earth and it’s obvious that Clara is having trouble saying goodbye to The Doctor, but, finally does it. She gets a call from Danny whom she tells she did it and it’s over with The Doctor. They hang up and, much to The Doctor’s surprise, she says that Danny didn’t want her hanging out with him but had a change of heart is okay with them “knockin’ about”. The Doctor is obviously thrilled to hear this and Clara says they had a big wobble but that she’s okay now. She tells The Doctor to “Shut up and show me some planets!” They each grab a lever on the console, pull, and off they go. If only Clara could travel with Capaldi forever.

Doctor Who - "Mummy on the Orient Express"

I’m very glad to see the series return to the kind of show it was for the first five episode of the series. I was getting worried that Clara was getting soft and while she wasn’t back to her old self here, she definitely still has it in her. Another highlight were all of the guest characters. While they all were great, Prof. Moorhouse and Perkins were the stand outs for me. This weeks episode pulls in a solid B for having one of the scarier monsters yet this series, for having a story that got Who back on track (Pun definitely intended), and suffers only from Clara’s lack of involvement for most of the episode, might have been higher if she wasn’t stuck in a closet for half the episode. Tell us what you thought in the comments below!

Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Kill the Moon”

If you read my review last week, then you know that I was not too excited for this episode and having schoolgirl Courtney Woods tagging along with The Doctor. Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news: Courtney does not play a huge role in the episode and is pushed to the back of the scene on multiple occasions. The bad news, when she is on screen, she says the stupidest things at the most inappropriate times. The episode itself was…interesting, not always in a bad way. We start out on the Moon in the year 2049 and Clara is sending a message back to Earth. She’s asking the people of Earth to help her to decide whether or not they should risk the future of mankind or destroy an innocent life. Obviously, we’re seeing something that will happen later in the episode. We then cut to the present where Clara and The Doctor are walking down the halls of the school and Clara is scolding The Doctor for taking Courtney up in the Tardis and for telling her she’s not special. All Clara wants is for him to tell her she’s special, but, The Doctor doesn’t really understand what she’s asking or why. I love how aloof he seems now, claiming not to remember Courtney until Clara reminds him about the vomit. They walk into the Tardis and Courtney is messing around with stuff, The Doctor shoos her away and the three of them get into a heated argument over why Courtney is special. The Doctor finally concedes and asks her if she wants to be the first woman on the Moon, and he takes them to the Moon. They end up landing inside of a space shuttle that is about to land on the Moon. Once on board they see dozens of nukes lining the cargo hold. This of course terrifies them.

Doctor Who - "Kill the Moon"

It’s at this point they meet the crew of astronauts, Captain Lundvik (Hermione Norris) and two others. After a short, heated exchange the astronauts decide to trust The Doctor. He then pulls out a yo yo and asks why there is so much gravity on the Moon. He eventually works out that the Moon has grown and therefore it’s gravity has increased. This has had disastrous effects on Earth with the tides now destroying coastal cities and lots of people dying. They make their way out of the shuttle where Courtney really is the first woman to walk on the Moon, she immediately proceeds to bastardize Neil Armstrong first words on the Moon. I’m not even going to repeat it; you’ll be stupider once you hear it…another reason why kids should not travel with The Doctor! All six of them make their way to a mining camp that once was home to four Mexican miners. As they approach, they notice that it is covered in what looks like cobwebs. As they explore the base, Courtney discovers a body that has been stuck to the wall with the cobweb stuff. The Doctor hacks into their computers and finds out that they didn’t find anything of value there. He also discovers that the Moon is growing and therefore falling apart. In the meantime, one of the other astronauts is out exploring the terrain when he hears something and goes in to investigate. Hold on, isn’t the Moon supposed to be devoid of life? Why the hell would anyone move towards strange noises? It’s TV, that’s why. Anyway, the astronaut is immediately attacked and killed by something.

Doctor Who - "Kill the Moon"

Back at the camp they’re all sitting around talking when they hear what sounds like screams and walking. Suddenly, what looks like a giant spider walks into the room. They all run away and The Doctor tells them to freeze, that it won’t see them if they move slowly. So, they slowly head to the exit. That’s when the third astronaut bumbles into the room and the spider leaps on to it’s face Alien style and kills him which allows everyone else to escape. During their escape, and, I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve missed it on both viewing occasions, or it’s truly never explained, but, Courtney starts floating and the spider in bearing down on her. The Doctor uses his yo-yo to bring her down, but, the spider is there, and again, inexplicably, Courtney has a bottle of disinfectant which she sprays on the spider and kills it. This was truly the strangest scene in this episode. I was utterly confused the whole time and I really hope that I missed something. Either way, the disinfectant basically dissolved the spider and The Doctor notices that it’s not a spider at all but a single celled organism that has just evolved to have a similar appearance. It’s at this point that Courtney has had enough and wants to go home, and this does not sit well with The Doctor. He reluctantly, but without much argument, takes her back to the Tardis. While there, Clara asks why they can’t just leave, after all, she’s been to the future and the Moon was there. This conversation annoyed me because we’ve been through this already, Clara’s been through this already. We all know that the future can be changed. It’s almost as if ever since she fell in love, she’s started forgetting things and losing interest in The Doctor and the Universe. They eventually come across the remaining miners,  all of whom are dead. Suddenly, The Doctor is attacked by one of the spider-bacteria and it is only scared off when they shine sunlight on it. They shine a light down into the crevice it retreated down and see tons of spider-bacteria things. It’s disgusting.

Doctor Who - "Kill the Moon"

They make their way back to the mining camp again where The Doctor has established a communication link with Courtney in the Tardis and has figured out what is going on. The spider-bacteria are infesting the Moon. This can only be possible if the Moon was alive. He shows everyone a hologram of the Moon and then, what is inside. What they see is a massive winged creature. The Moon is actually an egg and it always has been. The Moon is not growing; it’s hatching, and they have 45 minutes until it completely hatches. Lundvik wants to kill it and everyone else objects. Suddenly, Courtney has a change of heart and wants to come back, so the Doctor explains to her how to get it back to him. While she does that, The Doctor explains to Clara that he cannot help, that it is now up to the three of them to figure it out. The Tardis arrives, Courtney gets out, The Doctor gets in and leaves. Clara, Courtney, and Lundvik argue over whether or not to kill the creature. Lundvik arms the bombs and sets the timer for 45 minutes, if they can convince her otherwise or if The Doctor comes back, she’ll turn it off.  Lundvik’s argument is sound in that they don’t know what the creature will do once it hatches, that there will be giants chunks of the shell flying towards Earth. Clara and Courtney are concerned with with destroying an innocent life. As they argue, a transmission from Earth comes through using their television satellites. Clara has an idea and broadcasts herself to everyone on Earth. This is where the opening bit comes full circle. Clara asks Earth to help them decide, she explains the situation and ask for them to turn their lights off if they want to kill the creature and leave them on to let it live. I find it interesting to think that Clara and Courtney were probably alive on Earth at the time and saw the message. Must have been strange for their future selves to see that and know what was about to happen. They wait and with five minutes left, the Earth votes, and they vote to kill. Clara respects the decision or so it seems, right as Lundvik is about to push the button of no return, Clara intercepts and turns it off. Immediately, The Doctor shows up and tells them all to get in the Tardis and takes them back to Earth to watch it hatch.


Doctor Who - "Kill the Moon"


What comes out is a gigantic four winged creature, the Moon does not break up into huge chunks that would cause dinosaur level extinctions, but, disintegrates. The creature does not attack Earth but merely lays another egg and moves on. Wait, what!?!?! Lays another egg….ugh…annoying. That’s why the Moon is always there in the future, and since when does a newborn lay eggs? I’m no biologist, but, I’ve never heard of that, but, it is an alien I guess….They then leave Lundvik alone, on a beach, 2000 miles from NASA, oh Doctor, you just don’t care. Once they arrive back in their own time, Clara hurries Courtney out of the Tardis and back to class. Clara needs to have a word with The Doctor. She is not happy that he left them their alone. She says that she almost didn’t stop the bomb and blames him for that. He tries to explain that it was a compliment, that they don’t need him to be amazing, but Clara finds that incredibly rude and patronizing. Clara tells him to leave and to never come back, he tries to plead his case a little, but, Clara wants none of it and insists. He leaves. Clara goes back to her classroom when Danny comes in and notices she’s upset. He realizes The Doctor has finally pushed her too hard….kind of strange it happened the episode after he told her to tell him when it did. She tells him the whole story and claims to be done with The Doctor, but, Danny knows better and says she won’t be over him until she’s not angry anymore.

Doctor Who - "Kill the Moon"

This episode had it’s problems and was barely better than last week romantic romp. I’m still glad that Courtney did not have as a large a role as previous children companions have. I thought that the spider-bacteria were very scary. In fact, one of my favorite things this season has been the bad guys, they’ve all been rather terrifying. I appreciated the yo-yo reference as the 4th Doctor was known for carrying a yo-yo around. I felt that this was another poor showing from Clara and am worried that love has made her a less interesting companion. The companions are always better when they’re not tied down to something back in the real world. This episode gets a C+ from me.  It would be higher if not for Courtney’s multiple facepalm moments. Let us know what you thought about it below!

All pictures used belong to the BBC.

Doctor Who Recap and Review – “The Caretaker”

“The Caretaker” was co-written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat. This was probably the campiest and rom/com-iest episode since Capaldi took over as The Doctor. I’ve watched this episode a few times now and I can’t find any glaring reasons to dislike it, but, I can’t find any reasons to really like it either. The Doctor’s hatred of soldiers seems more pronounced in this episode and that’s done mainly to build tension between The Doctor and Danny Pink finally meeting. We see more of a father/daughter relationship with The Doctor and Clara than we’ve seen before and it plays out once Danny and The Doctor realize who each other are. The bad guy in this one is scary but under used and there’s this new character that I’m rather nonplussed about.

Almost every episode has had a great opening and this was no exception. It’s a quick montage of Clara trying to juggle life with The Doctor with life outside the Tardis. At one point she questions whether or not she can do it anymore, but, quickly decides she can make it all work out. The Doctor arrives back at the school but this time he doesn’t need Clara’s help. He’s on his own mysterious mission. Clara returns to work and during the morning teacher’s meeting a new caretaker, John Smith, is introduced. It’s The Doctor! The meeting ends and Clara rushes back into the room to find out what The Doctor is doing, they argue for a while, and The Doctor makes a nice River Song reference. I hope we get to see more callbacks to previous Doctors. We then cut to a couple of boys from the school playing video games outside of an abandoned building when a police officer approaches and tells them to go back to school. He then hears some noises from inside the building and, thinking it’s more kids, goes in to investigate. However, it quickly becomes apparent that it is no kid, it’s the Skovox Blitzer, a terrifying war machine that is capable of taking out an entire planet on its own. The Blitzer quickly proceeds to kill the police officer, burning him to a crisp.


Doctor Who "The Caretaker"

Meanwhile, The Doctor interrupts Clara’s class by climbing up the wall and peeking in the window. They argue a bit about when Pride and Prejudice was written before he leaves and the class ends and Clara runs after him. She finds him messing around with the electrics and speaking to Danny and another teacher Adrian (Edward Harrison) who looks an awful lot like Matt Smith, bow tie and all. The Doctor finds out the Danny was a soldier and therefore cannot get it straight that he’s a math teacher and not a P.E. teacher. I did enjoy that little bit, it was very reminiscent of the Micky/Ricky issue he had in the first series. Clara does her best to try and keep The Doctor from embarrassing her and gets Danny out of there with no issues, but, the Matt Smith lookalike English teacher approaches her to talk about Shakespeare and The Doctor notices the resemblance and we get to see Capaldi play his Doctor as flattered for the first time. It was weird.


Doctor Who - "The Caretaker"

What The Doctor has been doing is placing these small, but conspicuous, devices all around the school. He finally gets them all placed and heads back to the Tardis where he is interrupted by Courtney Woods played by Ellis George, Courtney is a student at the school and introduces herself to The Doctor as “Disruptive Influence”. She’s just that and definitely get on The Doctor’s nerves. I don’t blame him one bit. She badgers him about his sign, his police box, the green light in that box to which The Doctor gives some great one liners in response.

Doctor Who - "The Caretaker"

Clara comes in as Courtney is leaving to confront The Doctor about putting the school in danger by being there. He shows her he’s been working on a scanner and shows her that it’s the Skovox Blitzer that he’s been looking for. He then tells Clara his plan which involves and invisibility watch to help him lure the Blitzer to the school where he can send it through a temporal rift where it will never get back to Earth. Clara wants to help The Doctor, but, he claims not to need her help and tells her to go kanoodle with her boyfriend, who he thinks is that Matt Smith lookalike. Clara happily obliges, but, when she meets up with Danny they both seem to be alright with rescheduling their date. Clara then heads back to help out The Doctor while Danny decides to investigate the “caretaker” after having found the devices he was leaving around the school. Danny inevitably ends up walking right into The Doctor’s trap for the Blitzer after it has arrived. The Blitzer fires at Danny before The Doctor opens up the rift and it slowly sucks the Blitzer through. During all the action, Clara enters the room and now has to try to explain to Danny what is going on. This leads to one of the worst moments I’ve seen on the show in which Clara tries to convince Danny that The Doctor and her were rehearsing a play. It’s the most ludicrous excuse which no intelligent adult would ever believe, luckily, Danny seems equally as insulted. Sorry Clara, a rare miss. The scene does get better when it’s revealed that Danny is actually Clara’s boyfriend and due to The Doctor’s insistence, she admits that she’s in love with him. The Doctor seems to cool down a bit at this point and allows Clara to explain who he is, he even lets Danny see the inside of the Tardis. The Doctor is not happy though and explains to Clara that her job is not finished; “You’ve explained me to him, but you haven’t explained him to me.”

Doctor Who - "The Caretaker"

Clara and Danny go home to talk more about what’s going on with everything…another rom-com scene that had me rolling my eyes. Danny keeps asking her all these questions about why she does it and he keeps accusing her of lying to him. He wants to see what she’s like with The Doctor, so, Clara comes up with another brilliant idea to give Danny the invisibility watch so he can sneak into the Tardis with her while she talks to The Doctor. This leads to a very awkward scene where The Doctor obviously knows Danny is there while Clara lies a couple times to The Doctor. The Doctor, who is obviously upset at Danny’s presence decides to take them for a trip, awkwardly insulting Danny until he turns the watch off. Danny and The Doctor have a very heated argument over each other’s character. The Doctor dislikes Danny because he is a soldier, but, Danny can see right through The Doctor for who he really is, an officer. Danny mocks The Doctor quite a bit in this scene and The Doctor’s reactions are actually very childish. The scene made me pretty uncomfortable and I loved it, by far the best scene in the episode. Danny and Clara storm off and Courtney mysteriously appears again. Okay, side note, this Courtney girl keeps showing up at the strangest times and this isn’t the first episode in which she’s done this. Her appearances are so strange, that it almost makes you wonder if she has some larger role to play, maybe as a villain. We know that she will actually be going on a trip to the moon with The Doctor and Clara in next week’s “Kill the Moon”. I don’t have any problems of the episodes that involve children in the plot, it is supposed to be a kids show after all, but, I can’t stand it when the kids travel with The Doctor. Hopefully it’s just a one shot and I’m just overreacting.

Doctor Who - "The Caretaker"

Danny and Clara are at parent’s night when the Blitzer makes his return earlier than The Doctor predicted and he finally needs her help. She ends up leaving parent’s night and Danny inevitably follows her out. They find out that The Doctor has a plan to lure the Blitzer to the caretaker’s shed using Clara as bait. All he needs from Danny is to leave them alone. As Danny heads back to parent’s night he sees Clara being chased by the Blitzer and decides to turn on the invisibility watch and follow them. Clara gets back to the shed and The Doctor has made this machine that makes the Blitzer think he’s its superior officer. The Doctor tries to get it to shut itself off but gives it the incorrect code so the Blitzer initiates self destruct mode. The Doctor needs the Blitzer distracted while he can fix his machine; that’s when Danny makes his heroic entrance, leaping over the Blitzer and giving the Doctor enough time to give the Blitzer the correct codes and the Blitzer shuts itself off. It’s at this point that Danny realizes why The Doctor is so angry at him. He needs to be good enough for Clara and The Doctor isn’t sure he is. Clara points out that he just saved the world and The Doctor says “Good start.”

Doctor Who - "The Caretaker"

We next see The Doctor dumping the Blitzer into space and he’s taken Courtney with him. Although, she is more sick than initially impressed and actually ends up vomiting inside the Tardis. Meanwhile, Danny and Clara are relaxing at home when Danny asks Clara to promise him one thing: that if The Doctor ever pushes her too hard, to tell him, and if she doesn’t it’s over between them.  Clara agrees. I find his constant obsession with her lying, even when she’s not, to be a bit off putting and I’m not sure why they decided to go in that direction, I’m also not sure why Clara puts up with it.

I didn’t love this episode or hate this episode. It had some great scenes and dialogue, and the monster was scary, but it played too much like a rom-com for me to have any real lasting interest. No other grade than a C makes sense for this one. I personally know some people who are going to love it and others who will hate it, but, what did you think about it? Let us know below!

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Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Listen”

I’ve been looking forward to this episode since I saw the first promo for it. It had the feel of the episode ‘Hide’ from last season, which was one of my favorites from that year. This week, I was not disappointed, and ‘Listen’ was one of the best episodes of Doctor Who yet. It was scary, heartfelt, emotional, funny and so many other adjectives, but, I’d rather not bore you with that. The Doctor has a lot of great lines in this one, and Clara continues to be a strong companion who knows how to boss the Doctor around.

The episode begins with the Doctor talking to himself in the Tardis and he’s trying to figure out whether or not it would be possible for there to be a species so good at hiding that no one would ever see them even though they were always with us. (Yeah, I thought The Silence too, it’s not). He’s breaking everything down on a chalkboard into a list: 1) Hunting, 2) Defense, which features a fantastic shot of the Doctor stepping out of the Tardis underwater protected by the Tardis’ shields, and, 3) Hiding. He’s frantically writing, talking, and flipping through books (wait, did he just flip us off?) when it cuts to Clara showing up to her date with Danny Pink. Things are going wonderfully awkward when they finally start to bond over a problem student they’ve both dealt with. Eventually, Clara mentions something that makes Danny think of his unpleasant time in the military and that’s when the date really goes off the rails and Clara marches out.

Doctor Who - "Listen"

Clara comes home to find the Doctor waiting for her in her bedroom claiming to be there in case she brought her date home…jealous much? The Doctor then goes on his little rant about how we might not ever be truly alone and how this one nightmare has been recorded time and time again in human history. The nightmare is that you’re asleep when you’re suddenly woken up and it feels like someone is there in the room with you even though you know there isn’t. Then, just as you step out of bed, sure that nothing is there, something grabs your ankle. The Doctor asks if Clara has had that dream which she is pretty sure she has. His response is to wire Clara into the Tardis in order to go back to the time she first had the dream so he can find out what’s under the bed. Wait, is Clara flying the Tardis?? Well, Danny ends up calling during this moment and Clara thinks about him. They end up landing at a children’s home in Glasgow, a place that Clara has never been. When the Doctor goes off to investigate, Clara see a boy in a window and finds out that his name is Rupert Pink which, of course, sets off alarm bells. She then sneaks into the home while the Doctor gives his creepy being alone rant to the caretaker.

Clara goes into Rupert’s room to find out what’s scaring him and finds out it’s the same nightmare the Doctor has just described to her. To make him feel better she looks under the bed and crawls under it encouraging him to do the same. Once they are both under the bed and Rupert is starting to feel better, something sits on the bed. Clara and Rupert get out from under the bed and see that there is a figure underneath a blanket on top of the bed. They are both very scared when we suddenly hear the Doctor’s (almost) familiar brogue. The Doctor does what he does best and assures Rupert that it is good to be scared, that being scared is his super power. He then convinces Rupert to turn his back on the creature and “Don’t look ‘round!”, that looking at it is giving it what it wants. The thing, which may or may not be just a kid playing a joke, gets off the bed and comes right up behind Rupert. As the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, the door slams and whatever it was is gone. Clara then sets up some toy soldiers under Rupert’s bed to keep him safe. One soldier in particular doesn’t have a gun and Clara explains that the bravest soldiers don’t need guns and that’s why they’re the leaders. An obvious nod to the Doctor. Rupert has named the soldier, Dan the Soldierman, if you hadn’t guessed already, Rupert is a young Danny Pink.

Doctor Who - "Listen"

Once back on the Tardis, Clara has to ask the Doctor for a favor and he drops her off just moments after she stormed out of her date with Danny. Present Clara tries to start over, but, quickly ruins things by calling him Rupert. She’s forced to tell Danny that she has a secret. In the mean time, someone in a spacesuit (like the one Tennant wears in The Satan Pit) walks in from the kitchen and beckons to Clara. Danny is demanding she tell him how she knew his real name and she can’t do it. This time, he storms out. Clara chases down spacesuit guy assuming it’s the Doctor, of course, it’s not. It turns out to be Orson Pink (who looks exactly like Danny if he’d been stranded somewhere for some length of time), the first time traveller from Earth about 100 years into Clara’s future. Turns out he was supposed to be shot into next week but was actually shot to, what turns out to be, the last planet in the universe. After picking up Clara in the present and going back to the last planet in the universe, the Doctor asks Orson why there is a locked door on his time machine when there is no one left in the universe to get in. He explains that he’s scared of something, probably his own shadow. There are lots of “probablies” in this episode, almost all of them turn out to be true.

Doctor Who - "Listen"

Clara and Orson start bringing his supplies into the Tardis when a toy soldier, the same one Clara gave too little Rupert Pink, falls out of his bag. He explains that it’s an old family heirloom and they begin to realize who they are to each other. Orson then mentions that time travel runs in the family and that one of his grandparents was rumored to have time travelled. Orson then gives his toy soldier to Clara and she refuses to take it saying it’s a family heirloom, he knows this, and gives it to her anyway, I mean, they’ve got to be family, right?!? The Doctor and Clara then sit down alone to chat and they start hearing noises outside. Really freaky noises in fact, like screaming and crawling. Eventually, those noises turn to knocks, don’t worry, it’s only 3 knocks. The Doctor says it’s probably venting or some other normal function, but it doesn’t make them any less scared. Finally, the Doctor decided to open the door and when he unlocks it the door starts to open without him. At this point he demands Clara get back into the Tardis, but, she doesn’t want to leave him. He orders her in saying she won’t be allowed to travel with him if she doesn’t do it, so, she reluctantly goes. Once inside we get to see what’s going on through the Tardis’ version of CCTV and almost as soon as the door opens the air shield breaks and the Doctor is almost thrown out of the ship and onto the planet’s surface. Orson puts on his suit and goes out to pull the Doctor back in, turns out he’s been hit in the head and knocked out cold. Clara then proceeds to link up with the Tardis again and this time she really is flying it without the Doctor standing by!

Doctor Who - "Listen"

When they land, Clara assumes that they are in another part of her timeline in regards to the Pink clan. She walks out of the Tardis into a barn and hears a boy crying. She goes up, thinking it’s Rupert, Danny, or Orson, and tries to find out what’s wrong. Suddenly, two people enter the barn looking for the child and Clara hides under the child’s bed. The woman is trying to get him to come back into the children’s home while the man is just annoyed that he has to do this, ridiculing the child that he’ll never be a soldier, or get in to the academy, or become a Time Lord….wait….WHAT!?!?!?! Once the two people leave, the young boy starts to get out of bed and as soon as he puts his feet on the ground, Clara grabs his ankle, just like in all those dreams. Clara convinces him that this is all a dream and to just lie back down. Clara begins to make her exit at this point when she turns back and sits on the boys bed. What follows is one of the most touching moments I’ve even seen in Doctor Who as Clara strokes his hair and give him the same speech the Doctor gave young Rupert about how being scared is his superpower. She continues by saying that fear is a constant companion and how that’s good and how one day he will come back to that barn to do one of the worst things he’ll ever do (destroy the Daleks and the Time Lords). When she’s done, she leaves the young Doctor the same toy soldier she gave to Rupert.

Doctor Who - "Listen"


This episode was truly one of my favorites and while it did have a couple weird moments that left me asking why they did that, they weren’t really large enough for me to be too upset. Capaldi is great in this episode. He has some great lines insulting the size of the human brain, and telling Clara to get her eyes under control when she first meets Orson. He also does a great job playing a crazy conspiracy theorist thinking there are living things with us all the time. It was nice to come full circle with the barn and see why that was so important to the Doctor. I also love that Clara really has been an important part of the Doctor’s life every since the beginning. Danny and Clara’s date was wonderfully awkward and it hurt to watch. I don’t really like to talk bad about something unless it was really bad, but, my main issues in this episode can almost be explained away as being a victim of a deleted scene. Either way, watch this episode now, if you’ve already seen it, watch it again, because it’s just as good the second time around and I’m sure the third, fourth, etc… Oh, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but, I love Clara! She is such a strong character and does things with this Doctor that I don’t think any other modern companion would be able to pull off with Capaldi’s incarnation. I mean, when they are leaving the barn on Gallifrey, she orders the Doctor not to look where they’ve been. The Doctor at first is like, whatever pudding brain, but she insists, and he listens to her and flies off, and when the Doctor starts to order her around, she refuses, adamantly, until she no longer has a choice and the Doctor has to get real mean in order to do it. I’m not sure whether it’s true that she’ll be leaving or not, but I certainly hope not. Capaldi’s Doctor really needs her to keep him under control, whether he’ll admit it or not, and at times, Clara seems to be more like the Doctor than the Doctor. Whether she’s curing a Dalek, taming a giant death sun, or just calming a young boy when he’s scared of what’s under the bed, she gets the job done. Keep kickin’ ass Clara! – A

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Doctor Who Recap and Review – Robot of Sherwood

Beware! Spoilers below!

I’ve been concerned about this episode ever since I first saw that the Doctor was going to meet Robin Hood. I mean, the Doctor has been to a lot of places and met a lot of strange people, but, it’s truly rare for him to meet a fictional character. So rare that I could only find four other instances where fictional characters appeared on screen. All four were with the first two Doctors, so…’s been a while. I know it’s kind of weird to complain about a fictional character meeting other fictional characters, but Doctor Who is supposed to be grounded in a bit of reality, especially in the historic episodes.


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood


That having been said, this episode was actually not as bad as I was expecting, and we can thank Mark Gatiss for that. I just went with the whole Robin Hood story and tried to enjoy it as a Doctor Who episode. And you know what? It worked! The animosity that the Doctor and Robin have for each other leads to some really funny scenes. Robin has a tendency to laugh at everything no matter how mundane, and the Doctor just despises it. This new Doctor also has a tendency to be a little less trusting; he doesn’t believe Robin Hood is real, he didn’t believe that Daleks could be good, and in that first episode he didn’t really believe anything anyone was saying. It’s a very nice character choice especially since he tends to be wrong.


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood

The episode opens with the Doctor asking Clara where she would like to go. She says that she wants to see Robin Hood regardless of how weird that sounds. The Doctor tries to convince her that Robin Hood is fictional but she insists and the Doctor obliges, if anything, to prove his point. And wouldn’t you know it, they land right in front of Robin Hood himself who promptly shoots the TARDIS with an arrow…uh oh…off to a rocky start…what follows is a bit of arguing and a wonderful “sword” fight where the Doctor uses a spoon with great skill against Robin’s sword. They end in a stalemate and Robin takes the Doctor and Clara back to camp to meet the yet unnamed Merry Men. The Doctor proceeds to examine the group trying to figure out why they appear so real. This is a very funny scene where the Doctor plucks hair from one man, steals a sandal from another and falsely accuses it as being fake, and finally does a blood exam where he informs the minstrel that he only has 6 months to live. We also find out that the Doctor has a hatred for the band’s constant, inane laughing, something that plays out throughout the episode. The Doctor also mentions that they may be inside a microscope which is a nod to a First Doctor and Third Doctor story.


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood


If you’re familiar with the story of Robin Hood at all, then you know that the archery competition is next. It comes down to Robin and the Sheriff, but, the Doctor soon intervenes with what later turns out to be homing arrows. Sick of the constant arrow splitting, the Doctor finally whips out his sonic screwdriver and blows the target up. This immediately leads to his, Clara’s and Robin’s capture. But, in the ensuing battle, we find out that the Sheriff is not exactly who you’d think he was. He actually has an army of robots disguised as knights. Robin eventually severs one of the robots arms and we get a look at the inner workings, which bear a striking resemblance to the clockwork robots from the Series 2 episode “Girl in the Fireplace” and Capaldi’s first full length episode, “Deep Breath.” Perhaps all these different robots are just the same “species” of robot and we’re just seeing them at different points in their “evolution” or maybe they are just all related somehow. I mean, every Capaldi episode so far has featured a robot of some sort. Either way, our intrepid trio has been captured…


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood


The scene when they’re all locked up together is probably my favorite in the episode. Robin and the Doctor continue to bicker over who is in charge, who would survive longer (it’s the Doctor if you’re wondering), whether or not there’s a guard outside the cell. Finally, Clara chimes in and brings both of them to a more focused state of mind, although not quite entirely. This is when we discover there was a guard who was posted to find out who the ring leader was. While the Doctor and Robin argue over who will be the better interrogatee, the guard is busy unchaining Clara to go speak to the Sheriff. This next scene is absolutely brilliant. Clara proves that she is one of the strongest companions of late and she solidifies her place as my favorite companion. In fact, if you showed me this scene and I knew nothing about Doctor Who, I would believe you if you told me that Clara was the Doctor. She manages to manipulate the Sheriff in a way that is so smart and clever. Right now, I feel she has more of a grasp on things then the Doctor. He really needs her right now, as more than just his caregiver.


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood


Meanwhile, the Doctor and Robin escape and eventually find themselves inside of a spaceship. The Doctor starts trying to find out why the robots are here and finds out they were headed to The Promised Land, which he recognizes from the robot in Deep Breath. Here, the Doctor also shows Robin that he is a fictional character by showing him the robots’ database’s records of Robin Hood. Here, we actually get a glimpse of Patrick Troughton when he once played Robin Hood. Troughton, of course, played the Second Doctor. There have actually been quite a bit of references to classic Doctor Who throughout Capaldi’s run so far. Eventually, Robin and the Sheriff end up in the inevitable battle we all knew was coming and, of course, Robin comes out on top. Without a leader, the robots leave Earth and because they didn’t have the proper fuel, they explode shortly after entering orbit.


Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood

Even though this episode was risky, I feel like they pulled it off as best they could. The actor playing Robin Hood was absolutely fantastic in bringing such an absurd character to the small screen and really making you feel for him. He was able to portray the bombastic nature of Robin Hood but still keeping him grounded in reality. He had a purpose and feelings masked behind the hero persona he put on. Overall, I give this episode a nice solid B. Did I ever think I’d rate an episode like this that high? No, but it really was a lot of fun. It’s also going to make a nice episode to put in between last weeks crazy Dalek episode and next week’s intensely scary one.

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Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Deep Breath”

FINALLY!!!! (Spoilers ahead!)

Hasn’t it felt like forever since we’ve seen a new episode of Doctor Who?! Well, it’s only been 8 months, but it feels like forever. We’ve not only had to wait for a new episode, but for a highly divisive new Doctor. Many were concerned about Peter Capaldi’s age, which turned out to be a non-issue, in his debut episode. But before Capaldi’s entrance, we got a glimpse at some old favorites. The episode opens with a Tyrannosaurus Rex walking around Victorian London. The police summon the Paternoster Gang, better known to us as Silurian Madame Vastra, her human wife and partner Jenny, and their butler Strax the Sontaran warrior.

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

The T-Rex then chokes up a familiar looking blue box that the gang immediately investigates. They notice that the T-Rex seems to have something stuck in its throat and out pops the TARDIS and our first glance at Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. It’s quick, it’s harsh, and it’s brilliant. The Doctor emerges and we realize that he has no true memory of anything. He seems to remember who everyone is, but, not what face goes with what individual. He confuses Clara and Strax, even when they’re standing right next to each other. This is one of my favorite scenes and it’s a great introduction to our new hero.

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

The Doctor then goes in to his typical post-regeneration “illness” so Clara and the gang take him back to their home so they can figure things out. Once the Doctor wakes up, he is utterly confused as to why a bedroom exists, not understanding that we have a room that’s meant for not being awake in. He eventually calms down and goes back to sleep, during this time he has a very touching moment where it’s just him and Clara in the room together. The Doctor is asleep and Clara is watching the T-Rex when the Doctor starts translating for the dino in his sleep. We realize that this poor creature is just as lost as confused as the Doctor is; he is truly a creature out of time.

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

In the meantime, Vastra once again interrogates Clara, as she doesn’t believe that Clara is worthy to be with the Doctor anymore, claiming she was only with him because she had a crush on the Doctor. Clara is absolutely furious at this assumption and makes one of the better speeches by a companion that I’ve seen. Vastra has a change of heart and accepts Clara. The scene itself is weird and out of place, but I loved it because it showed us how dedicated Clara is to the Doctor regardless of his outward appearance.

Later, when alone, the Doctor awakens and goes to help the confused dinosaur. He first goes to the door but claims that’s too boring for him and goes out through the window, a great moment that adds some of the humor of the past. He rushes to the roof and promises the mother T-Rex that he will get her home. Unfortunately, as is all too common in Doctor Who, the T-Rex bursts into flames and dies. The Doctor is soon joined on the scene by the rest of the gang where he berates their questions and asks the only real question, “Are there any other murders like this?” to which the answer is, of course, “Yes”. The Doctor then notices a strange individual and asks why someone would seemingly not care when a dinosaur is burning in front of them. This is our villain, a reverse Cyberman in that it’s a robot that uses organic parts for its upgrades. To avoid any further spoilers, I’ll end my synopsis here. (WARNING: I LIED, MORE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!)

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

Peter Capaldi has made a tremendous debut as the Doctor. He is fresh, familiar, funny, and dark. 12 does things to Clara that Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith never would do. I mean, he literally locks her in a room with an evil robot who likes to harvest human parts in order to stay alive. (Sound familiar at all, my fellow Whovians? It should. It did to the Doctor.) Of course, he has a plan and doesn’t let Clara die. In fact, this is a great moment for Clara who has to stand up to something absolutely terrifying and she does a damn good job of it. (Watch out Rose, Clara is turning out to be my favorite companion if she isn’t already.)

My absolute favorite scene is when the Doctor is in his pajamas after the T-Rex has died and is searching through the trash for stuff when he encounters a drunkard. The Doctor proceeds to rant on to him about his face and how it’s familiar (Fires of Pompeii anyone?) and how his eyebrows could open bottles. It’s a great moment of personal discovery for the Doctor seeing how much his physical appearance has aged and not fully understanding why.

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

I could go on forever about this, so to keep it relatively short I will summarize my favorite and least favorite parts here.

Let’s start with the bad:

– Vastra & Jenny’s relationship – Don’t get me wrong, I got no problem with bispecies homosexual relationships, but I think they went a little overboard with making that point. Every scene they were in had a reminder it seemed.

– Length – I feel like they substituted some quality in order to make it feature length. There was more than one scene I felt should have been cut.

– Clara Oswald – I really wish she could remember that the Doctor regenerates into different ages. Not Clara’s fault as much as the writers.

– Matt Smith’s cameo – Was it really needed? We’ve never needed it before. AS touching as it was, I felt it was only for the fangirls who have issues with an “old, non-hot” Doctor.

Doctor Who - "Deep Breath"

And now for my favorite stuff:

– The Doctor – He’s so dark! Did he throw that guy from the skin balloon? Did he steal the coat of that poor, cold drunkard? He could very well end up being my favorite Doctor if he keeps this up.

– Clara Oswald – A wonderfully strong companion. She has a few moments of weakness in this episode but she makes it up with gusto.

– The Doctor’s entrance, bedroom scene, Clara’s interrogation, the alley scene, the restaurant scene, Clara vs Robot, the skin balloon scene, etc…

– The lines – This episode is chock-full of great jokes, wonderful speeches, heartfelt moments, and many more.

– The TARDIS – Full of bookshelves and round things. The new TARDIS is super classy.

– The ending – Mysterious Missy…the Master, the Rani, River, someone else? Can’t wait to find out!

– Chalk – Looks like #12 is going to be writing things out a lot. That mixed with the books makes me very excited.

– Accent – Loving the Scottish dialect.

– Villains – Great call back to an older but recent villain. And, that woman at the end, she’s definitely up to no good…(probably not River).

– Matt Smith’s cameo – It was great to see him again of course. It was also a very well written piece and it made me cry.

– 12’s look to the camera! Terrifying and exhilarating!!

This episode gets a solid B+ in my book. I loved it, but, it wasn’t without its problems; a shorter episode would have been ideal. Capaldi and Clara may turn out to be my favorite combo yet and I cannot wait for next Saturday when we get to see Capaldi take on the Daleks! Either way, I’m just so happy that the Doctor is back on my television!

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Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Genre – Comic Book, Sci-Fi/Action, Comedy

Director – James Gunn (Slither, Super)

Cast – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, and so many more. 

Alluring element – Dave Bautista was one of my favorite parts and Vin Diesel almost made me cry. (Things that have never been said before.)

Plot – 9
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 10
Cinematography – 10
Effects/Environment – 10
Captivity – 10
Logical consistency – 9
Originality/Creativity – 9 
Soundtrack/Music – 10
Overall awesomeness – 10 
What can I say about Guardians of the Galaxy? My expectations going in to this film were very high. I hadn’t heard a single negative thing about it going into the theater on that July evening. Normally, I would be very hesitant of a film with as much hype as Guardians has, but, this is one of those wonderfully rare occasions where it not only lived up to its hype, but exceeded it. It was a Sci-Fi movie that had a bit of everything. It was action packed, extremely funny, heart-warming, and badass all at the same time. So, please, if you’re resisting the urge to see this because you think your expectations are too high, or “There’s a character that only says ‘I am Groot?'” Let go of all your preconceived notions and go buy your ticket and enjoy what may truly be MARVEL’s best film yet.
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The film opens with a bit of backstory for our main hero, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who prefers the name Star Lord – even if no one else seems to. Here is where we learn that Quill is an Earthling who has unfortunately suffered a great loss. He runs away and is picked up by and abducted by a spaceship. We then cut to 26 years later where Quill is a member of the Ravagers, a group of alien outlaws led by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). He is landing on an alien planet to steal a mysterious orb about which he knows nothing except that it’s worth a lot of money. While attempting the robbery, he is ambushed by a group of soldiers but is fortunately able to make his escape. During his escape he is contacted by Yondu who is not too happy that Quill has absconded with the orb.
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Quill ends up on Xandar (home of Nova Corps) where he intends to sell the orb, but, unfortunately for him, everyone is out to get their hands on this thing, including the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) who has lent his adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and his actual daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan) to Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Ronan sends Gamora to get the orb from Quill on Xandar. In the meantime, Yondu has put a hefty bounty on Quill’s head and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) want to collect. What follows is one of the more exceptional scenes in the film where our first four A-holes find themselves in an all out street brawl. But, as it always does, the law catches up to them and they find themselves in the worst prison in the galaxy where they meet the final member of the team, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who happens to have a bit of a vendetta against Gamora. Our five losers (“people who have lost things”) stage a prison break and find themselves unwillingly a team who has to keep this orb out of the hands of Ronan.
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Guardians is one of the more visually stunning films of the summer (I loved the way Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looked, as well). The opening credits scene is one of my favorites (I have a lot of those). From the very first alien planet we see, which is full of ancient ruins and strange rat…things that Quill uses as a makeshift microphone to Xander, a very Earth-like planet in a Star Trek era. Gunn really makes you feel like this is a large and heavily populated galaxy. There is very little CGI in this film’s characters, with the obvious exceptions being Rocket and Groot (and Nathan Fillions cameo). Most of your on screen aliens are make up and practical effects which I believe is wonderful (And, why I still have faith in Star Wars). There are a couple different members of the Ravagers who I particularly like. That’s not to put the CGI down however. Rocket is so real at times that I thought it was a real raccoon, not unlike certain moments in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
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The characters, and the performances of the actors are one of the best things about this film. Everyone has an adequate backstory that leaves a bit of room for mystery for future Guardians films. Cooper as Rocket was great, he was able to really make it something that was unique and not just Bradley Cooper doing voices. Diesel did an amazing job considering he only had to say 3 words, however, despite his limited vocabulary, he still nearly brought me to tears. The stand out performance for me was Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer. I’ve been a Guardians for about 3 years now and I’ve never really thought twice about Drax (except in The Thanos Imperative book) but he nearly stole the show in this. His very literal interpretation of things leads to some interesting misunderstandings. All I have to say about Pratt as Star-Lord is, perfect. My one minor complaint here would be Rooker as Yondu. He was good, don’t get me wrong, but, he was Rooker…just less of an asshole as on The Walking Dead, but, not by much. He makes up for it by having a pretty sweet weapon.
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The soundtrack for this film is one of the best parts. Quill and his mother shared a love for music and she had given him a mix tape of her favorite songs which are a mix of some of the best songs of the ’70s. From Blue Swede to The Jackson 5 to Marvin Gaye, it helps you to remember Quill’s humanity but it also allows you to tap your foot and maybe sing along…if you’re brave enough, I did and you probably should too. Plus, it was all relevant to plot points – just perfect.
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Well, if you couldn’t tell, I really enjoyed this film. What am I saying, that’s an understatement. This was my favorite MARVEL film by far. It’s also one of my favorites of the year. Please, do yourself a favor, let your skepticism go (if you have any) and see this as soon as you can. Big screen a must, 3D not necessary, but fun.
For the love of Groot! Have you bought your ticket yet?!?!?
All photos belong to Marvel Comics