Doctor Who: Heaven Sent

So, this is it! Heaven Sent was the first part of the Series 9 Finale of Doctor Who. My thoughts are still a little scrambled, but let’s try and tackle this anyway. As always, Spoilers are ahead! Please don’t read it if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

heaven sent

What was it about?

The Doctor arrives in his very own torture castle with projections from his memories and bad dreams. Not finding a way out, he is forced to relive the same scenarios 2 billion years until he can create a passage out of his personal nightmare, having to make some confessions on the way. He eventually ends up on Gallifrey and is hell bent on making the people pay who were responsible for Clara’s death and his entrapment. 

My thoughts?

I don’t think I have as much to say this week as I may have had in previous posts. I was originally very excited to have a Doctor-centered episode and I am not sure what I was expecting, but it didn’t quite hit home with me. I get the slow storytelling, but the first half of Heaven Sent was just a little boring to me nonetheless. I was hoping for more emotion, more devastation on the Doctor’s part, but somehow I didn’t really get that. I know that Twelve isn’t the type of person to dissolve in tears and he obviously had the tiny issue of needing to survive somehow, but there were only few moments where I really felt his pain (hint: it was Clara’s actual cameo). Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of the time Twelve is a little too composed for me, even when he is supposedly scared for his life.

Also, whatever was “chasing” him through the castle simply didn’t scare me. If anything, the sound of flies just annoyed me. I hate it so much! Most of it was cleverly done though, I am just wondering why room 12 is the only one not resetting itself like the other rooms. In addition to that, I have to say that I feel quite proud because I mentioned to a friend that I think the castle is like a real life confession dial and then lo and behold it turned out to be the confession dial. I got something right!!! I still can’t believe he hit a material seven times thicker than diamond for two billion years. He couldn’t remember it all, which is helpful I guess, but still … that’s such a long time. A great mind-blowing cycle though!

I realise now that I’ve made it all sound very bad, which it wasn’t. I’m just saying that it could have been better. The second half of the episode was more intriguing to me because it picked up in pace and the puzzle pieces started to put themselves together. The final confession of the Doctor, the one that he is the Hybrid, startled me though. Just like how? He’s clearly part Time Lord but what other master race is he made of? You can’t be a hybrid without being made of different components. (And yes I know about what the 8th Doctor said … are they seriously picking that up again?)

I’m really looking forward to next week’s conclusion. What did you think of Heaven Sent? Did it resonate with you or was it another miss of the season?

Doctor Who: Face the Raven

So, as I’ve mentioned in my previous post about the VIECC, I was a little busy this weekend, which is also the reason why I haven’t written about Doctor Who‘s Face the Raven yet. Well, that and that I had difficulties finding the right words … Spoilers ahead!!!

face the raven

What was it about?

Rigsy calls the TARDIS because he has a mysterious tattoo at the back of neck that’s counting down. He can’t remember what happened, but with the help of the Doctor and Clara, they discover that he stumbled upon a secret street amidst London. It is full with aliens looking for refuge and Ashildr is their mayor, who think that Rigsy killed one of their own – the numbers on his neck are the countdown to his death. Clara convinces him to give the death sentence to her, but it turn out everything was just a trick to catch the Doctor and now the death can’t be taken back. It’s the end of Clara Oswald and by the end the Doctor gets teleported to his own personal prison world.

My thoughts?

So, how do I do this? I know people’s feelings about Clara were mixed and it definitely was time for her to go. I won’t argue with that, but I loved her and her ending was just lacking something for me. Her growing recklessness had to end in something bad at some point, I am well aware of that, but her death was just stupid and useless. In a way, her end was a lot more finite and a whole lot darker than the one of Amy, Rose or Donna. They all got to live their lives happily ever after, they just weren’t with the Doctor anymore. Here it’s sort of the other way around.

All in all, I did somehow enjoy the episode. There were quite a lot of really good one-liners, but Capaldi‘s Doctor scares me sometimes. He’s just not acting like the Doctor anymore. Remember back in the day when you called upon him to fix things, these days barely anyone survives the episodes, except for Clara … that is until now of course. He really went mental on Ashildr and I get it, but saying “The Doctor is no longer here, you are stuck with me.” made me kind of sad. That was probably also why Clara’s last speech was the way it was, saying that he shouldn’t be a warrior and not take a revenge after she’s gone. The goodbye scene was really what got to me. Clara made it all about him, about wanting to help him get through this but not being able to. As much as I’ve struggled with their dynamic sometimes, they worked so great together this season.

I also really enjoyed Rigsy in this episode. I didn’t expect him to have a family of his own by now. He was sort of this innocent bystander who got mixed up in the Doctor’s business without really knowing why, but in the end his memorial for Clara was truly beautiful. I hope he won’t feel guilty though, I don’t think anyone could have stopped her really.

tardis

After the episode I ended up watching the saddest Doctor Who scenes on YouTube and continued to sob until I finally fell asleep. It showed to me that a lot of other departures were sadder than this one. Maybe it’s because her story isn’t actually all that over? She is supposed to appear again in the finale and I am hopeful that it will give me more closure. I know that many of you won’t miss Clara at all, but I will. I think she was an important companion, even if there were highs and lows with her. However, I am also looking forward to whoever will become companion next. Can everybody please just stop saying it’s Maisie Williams? Because that makes no sense whatsoever, especially not after Face the Raven. I am still no sure how I feel about her character on the show, but I just hope the new companion someone entirely new!

What’s your take on the episode? Did you like how Clara excited the show? Are you glad she is gone?

Doctor Who: Sleep No More

Okay, I like Mark Gatiss, I really do! But what was he thinking, writing this episode? As you can probably guess by now, I am fairly confused about Doctor Who‘s Sleep No More, but let’s just dive into the review. Spoilers ahead!!!

sleepnomore

What was it about?

Told via found footage, the Doctor and Clara have to face creatures called the Sandmen. They came to life after people started using Morpheus machines, which prevent them from sleeping. In the end, the Doctor and Clara can escape, but the Sandmen may have spread across the universe anyway.

My thoughts?

I know that I have written better summaries for episodes, but I am still struggling with what I have actually seen tonight. To begin with, I am not a huge fan of the shaky-camera/found-footage trope, however, if done well, it can be quite cool. I am not sure Doctor Who handled it all that brilliantly though, because from the beginning you knew something was off. The POV’s just didn’t fit at all! (at least the Doctor caught on to that as well)

The crew was a fairly standard mix of leader, goofball and grumpy-guy. The Sandmen as monsters were a little scary, but not as great as e.g. the ghosts in the first couple of episodes. Sometimes, when the light hit them just right and you could see their gaping hole of a mouth that could swallow you whole, yes, that looked freaky. But other times, they just looked a little too clumsy and heavy to really frighten me, especially considering that they are blind. The only time I was really freaked out, was during the last scene. The Doctor and Clara had gotten away in their TARDIS and everything just felt incomplete. Something still wasn’t right, the Doctor even remarked on it and then the self-recorded message of Rassmussen continued to play. He looked the part of psychotic scientist, but Rassmussen didn’t exactly sweep me off my feet until the finale of the episode, when he crumbled to dust/sand in front of us.

That scene is also what I have the most issues with. Did the bad guy just win? Was the message sent to the entire solar system and do I know have to be scared of the sleep dust in my eyes? Sleep No More was the first stand-alone episode this season and it ended with worst of a cliffhanger than some of the other episodes. I get that Doctor Who has to remain an aura of mystery around itself, but I can honestly tell you that I did not like that at all. I don’t want this to be resolved or picked up again in two seasons-time. I was excited to finally get a stand-alone episode and I wondered if they were going to be able to keep up the fantastic work of the two-parters, but I have to say I was fairly disappointed.

Last but not least, Clara has been infected and the process has begun. Did we all just forget about that? Will that be her ultimate demise or just another plot hole in the show? Or wasn’t she infected after all, since it was the broadcast message and not the pods? Why were there cameras from her POV then? I obviously don’t know the answers to any of this, but somehow I feel really unsatisfied with what I got from Doctor Who tonight.

So, as freaked out and confused as I was about Sleep No More, I am now kind of looking forward to Face the Raven as it is the return of Rigsy. Even though I don’t want him to become the new companion, I’d like to see how he’s doing and how the Doctor will hopefully prevent his death. Until next time! Gimme your thoughts on Sleep No More!

Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

Although the title may seem very similar to last week’s episode, it is indeed a new one. The Zygon Inversion is the conclusion to the Zygon Invasion, so let’s do this! Spoilers ahead!!

inversion

What was it about?

The Doctor could escape Zygilla’s (=faux Clara) attempt of assassination and the real Clara is seemingly also still alive, but trapped in her own mind while being in the Zygon Pot. Through some clever (mind) tricks involving the Osgood box, or rather boxes, ceasefire between humanity and the Zygons could ultimately be restored again.

My thoughts?

I was really worried that the Zygon Inversion wouldn’t hold up to it’s predecessor episode, but all the fretting was for naught. Twelve and Osgood escaping the airplane crash actually made sense, Clara fighting her “evil” counterpart was extremely well done and Capaldi finally got to make a speech that will keep you thinking for a while.

That was actually my favourite part of the episode – Twelve trying to get through to Kate and Zygilla/Bonnie. I’m not sure if my brain fails me or if Capaldi really hasn’t had the chance of performing a great monologue, but I feel like his previous dialogue was a lot more clunky. This one was very Matt Smith-esque though and even reminded me in parts of his speech in The Rings of Akathen. I also liked it when Twelve mentioned that it was the 15th time that he wiped Kate’s memory because of the boxes. There’s just no way around it, there are always consequences to a war and the Doctor pointing out that it can only end with the parties sitting down to talk and that being something they should have done from the beginning melted my heart, because there is so much truth it that. Another lesson of how important communication is.

For a moment there, I was really confused about the two Osgoods. I am happy though that they are likely to appear in the future. However, I don’t want them or one of them to become a companion. Somehow I don’t think it would work with Osgood being such a fangirl in the TARDIS.

Last but not least, was the scene at the end another ominous reference to Clara’s dooming fate? Only time can tell and I’ll let the Doctor be the judge of that.

Next episode will mark the first standalone this season, so I am fairly excited to see if they are able to create a great arc for just one episode. Any thoughts you would like to share?

Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion

A little late this time around, but the NaNoWriMo kick-off and generally getting ready for Halloween prevented me from watching Doctor Who live. However, I finally had time to watch The Zygon Invasion and am now ready to talk about it. Spoilers ahead!!!

zygon

What was it about?

We are back on the Day of the Doctor. Osgood and her Zygon counterpart explain how the peace treaty works, Zygons living peacefully among humans, in human form. But there is a splinter group of rebels that no longer wants to hide their true self. They kidnap the Osgood who is still alive and blackmail/threaten UNIT. The Doctor is of course already on the way to help, but little does he know how far the invasion has already progressed and that this time around he can’t count on his beloved companion, Clara.

TO BE CONTINUED …

My thoughts?

I loved this week’s episode, mostly because it felt very current. While the hints aren’t connected to any real life situation per se, there are parallels to the current refugee crisis, the paranoia and fear coming with it and also some references to terror units and drone strikes. I like how Doctor Who can tackle those topics and make them relevant without overdoing it, making you think without actually connecting it to real life events. And I get the Zygon’s point. They want to be themselves. Doesn’t everyone? Just that resorting to emotional blackmail and terrorism isn’t the way to get anywhere.

Another thing I loved, was the fact that Osgood is back. She clearly mourned the loss of her “sister” and I like how they dealt with the story and (after 2 years) finally filled some plot holes. Also, she has a new awesome fashion statement. Her character just feels so genuine, so I’m interested to see what part she will play during the Zygon Inversion. I have to say though that I am not a huge fan of Kate’s part in the story. Besides Doctor Who showing off that they can shoot all over the globe, we don’t learn anything new about the Zygon threat. It’s just supposed to build up tension I guess, but it didn’t do much for me.

While the Doctor’s guitar playing and disco references are getting a bit on my nerves by now, I keep liking Clara better each episode. I thought she was brilliant and her Zygon version was really awesome too. You just knew that something had to be up with her, that she wouldn’t just leave a child screaming behind with some strange people. But for some reason I didn’t think she was a Zygon until we saw the pods. Also, I get more and more curious as to how she’ll be leaving the show.

All in all, I am excited about next week! What did you think? Like or loathe or no opinion at all?