Doctor Who: Oxygen

Well hello there to another one of my super quick and not very thought-through Doctor Who reviews! This one is for episode 5 of series 10 titled Oxygen. As always, be aware that this review includes Spoilers!

What was it about?

The Doctor gets a case of wanderlust and takes Bill to a dystopian space station where the crew is direly in need of some help.

My thoughts?

The formula of this episode seemed pretty standard, but by the end I was releasing a breath of relief, thinking “We are finally getting somewhere”, but more about that later. These past weeks have not been easy for me. I want to like Doctor Who as much as I used to, but it’s such a drag to watch it, because there’s simply nothing that excites me about it. No episode has truly emotionally touched me, and just to clarify, neither has this one. I remain of the opinion that Nardole has been utterly useless so far, even if he finally got a little more screen time than in previous episodes. I don’t even find him particularly funny, which is a shame, because I suppose that’s his role here. Bill‘s wonder at experiencing life with the Doctor for the first time is still fun, but it cannot save the plot. I am seriously just scraping by and trying to find things I appreciate, so here’s what I got for Oxygen:

  • I liked the constant double meaning of their remarks towards suits.
  • Bill’s mum obviously plays a bigger role and I am curious to find out what it is.
  • The show playing with the notion of racism again (as they previously did in Thin Ice).

I am not a person that gets excited about space zombies (unless we are talking Illuminae files or something like that), but I am interested in the vault, the reason for the Doctor having to stay on earth and most of all the Doctor turning blind. I know that he has a special awareness of the world around him, but I wonder how long he can keep up the ruse of pretending he can see. Will this be a permanent condition until his regeneration? It’s like the first time we don’t have an entirely able bodied Doctor and that’s an interesting representation that I am curious about.

That’s all I got for you today, except for my favourite quote of the week:

“The universe shows us its true self when it asks for help, we show ours by how we respond.”

I caught a glimpse of Missy for next week, so I am hoping that will bring some much needed urgency to the episode! What are your thoughts, folks? Did you enjoy Oxygen?

Doctor Who: Knock, Knock

I have not dropped off the face of the earth (yet), but there’s only T minus 9 days until my flight for Canada takes off … so, loads of things to do, tons of people to meet up beforehand with. Generally, what I am trying to say here is, that there are just so many things happening right now and blogging will inevitably take a backseat for the time being. But here I am, still reviewing Doctor Who‘s episode 4 of Season 10 called “Knock, Knock” only slightly delayed. Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

Bill moves into a new house with some of her mates and the Doctor suspects there is something off with their new living quarters. It turns out there are some unexpected inhabitants in the wood that endanger the group.

My thoughts?

I am going to keep this rather short because I am a tad late and in a bit of a time scrunch. Generally, I thought the episode had a touch of creepiness, which I suppose they wanted to achieve, and it was decent. I don’t particularly like it when they make me associate things I usually love with gross aliens that could eat me. The scent of wood always reminds me of my grandpa and I get super freaked out by insects, so mixing those two and making them into a potentially lethal combo isn’t something I am going to immediately love. It didn’t remind me of a gazillion episodes I had seen before, which was good, but I also doubt it will be one that stays in my mind for a long time. There just wasn’t anything wow-ing me (which seems to be a reoccurring theme this season).

So, first things first, I thought the title of this episode might reminisce the knocking from the vault from Thin Ice … which it clearly didn’t but whatever. If a random, slightly unnerving old man came to me to ask me if I needed a place to live, I am not sure I would go with him. No less would I sign a contract without actually reading it beforehand. I really thought Bill was smarter than that, because it’s a brilliant idea to use the TARDIS to move all your stuff. Also, once more she was the one who had to point out the oh so obvious thing to the Doctor. It’s a shame when plot twists aren’t really that great of a twist and when it came to the landlord, I wasn’t really shocked about the truth of it all.

I am not sure how I felt about Bill being embarrassed (?) about the Doctor. I guess I can understand where the sentiment comes from since they all know him from uni and being friends with one of the professors is probably weird, but still … he’s the Doctor. You won’t be able to separate him from your regular life forever. However, I do love Bill learning about Timelords and regenerations. I really hope Bill is around for his regeneration. When companions have to go through that, it’s always so extraordinary to see how they react.

The vault is really one of the few things that manages to get my attention every time, although I can’t help but think that Nardole has been fairly unnecessary in the episodes so far. The Doctor put a piano in there and … I don’t know, but I am just going to be so disappointed if it isn’t John Simm’s Master in the vault. I already highly suspected it last week after all, but OF COURSE they didn’t reveal the identity of the person in there yet. There will probably be a two-episode arc at the very end of the season or something instead.

Final thought, I don’t know how I feel about the new Sonic Screwdriver yet. It looks like a plastic toy.

What are your thoughts? Are you liking the season?

Doctor Who: Thin Ice

I know, I’ve been pretty quiet this week, but I wouldn’t miss Doctor Who! Even though it has just been a cold, it has drained pretty much all of my energy and concentration, which is why I didn’t do more than the necessary these past days (hence no new posts and no reading). However, here is my review for episode 3 of series 10 called Thin Ice! Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

The TARDIS traps the Doctor and Bill in London 1814 to save an extraterrestrial sea creature and some street urchins.

My thoughts?

So, I enjoyed Thin Ice more than Smile, but still did not love it. I think my biggest problem with the season so far is that I really don’t care about the episode plots. It just all feels like “seen it/done it before” and that’s no fun. Just think about it, “extraterrestrial creature gets trapped and the Doctor can’t make the decision for humanity on what to do about it, his companion has to make the tough call”. Haven’t you heard that before? Just to name some recent examples, I will give you Clara and the moon egg story in Kill the Moon, where she has to decide whether to kill the creature that is supposed to hatch from the egg or endanger humanity by letting it live and possibly destroy the moon. I mean, the Doctor almost gave 1:1 the same speech about serving humanity but not making their decisions for them. Or we have Amy and the space whale in The Beast Below, which comes even closer to this because of the nautical aspect of Thin Ice (whale – sea creature … you know?). The space whale was feeling lonely and he didn’t want to hurt anyone, so he didn’t when he was set free just like the creature in this episode didn’t go on to eat half of London. Also, I almost mentioned The Beast Below last week because it again was an episode with a human colonization in space … very similar to what was happening in Smile. I just keep having these constant flashbacks to things I have already seen in Moffat’s time as showrunner.

What I am trying to say here is that the episodes aren’t crafted in a bad way, but their content doesn’t feel original. They follow pretty typical Doctor-Who-standards and are fun to watch, but not if you can still remember almost every single episode from the past 12 years. I feel like I am being especially hard on this season because it’s Moffat’s final one and he didn’t give us any new Who in 2016 because he wanted to go out with a bang … so, I am waiting for that darn bang. And I can see it coming, I know that the vault story is holding something big! (Who else thought of the Master when they heard the knocking?) But until then they really need to step up their game with the weekly topics, because I adore Bill and her interactions with the Doctor. She keeps asking all the right questions and challenges the Doctor while also bringing out his softer side again. I think she’s good for him and she feels like such a natural addition to this world, like she was always meant to fit in. And Twelve said some beautiful, note-worthy and very quotable stuff.

“History is a white wash.”

“I am 2000 years old and I never had the time for the luxury of outrage.”

I loved his speech about being defined as a species by how much we cared for the unimportant people, how much we value those without privilege. The Doctor has never met anyone who wasn’t important, if I recall those words correctly from Eleven’s time, and that is how I like to go through life as well. He was also hilarious when he gave Bill that lecture about diplomacy winning over passion, but then he downright knocked the guy out who insulted her. The Bill-Doctor-relationship already feels very special and I so appreciate that. I want more of that!

So, next week has some House of Anubis vibes for me, but we will see what it holds in store. Maybe I will finally get an episode that doesn’t constantly remind of the past? Oh, but one final thing, a virtual jammie dodger for anyone who can tell me who Pete is!

What did you think of Thin Ice? Did you enjoy the episode? Any and all thoughts are welcome!

Doctor Who: Smile

This is actually happening! My weekly reviews of Doctor Who are back! I am not sure how long I can keep this up, with my Canada trip just around the corner and all, but I will do them while I still can. As I did in the past, I will review all episodes right after having watched them, so you get almost like a real time feed of my thoughts (which are subject to change). Today is all about episode 2 of Season 10 Smile and be aware that this is filled with Spoilers!

What was it about?

The Doctor takes Bill on her first adventure to the future, where they immediately run into misguided emojibots which endanger the last hope for human civilization.

My thoughts?

Unfortunately, I have to say that I wasn’t particularly impressed by this episode. It’s absolutely not that it was badly executed or that the message was a bad one. After all these years, the first thing humanity resorts to is apparently still weapons. Do we not learn? Do we not appreciate other cultures and creatures? Why can we never accept indigenous people? Why do we have this need to colonize everything and make it fit us? All valid topics for an episode, but the way it was done was literally something I’ve seen countless times on the show already.

Here are a few examples of what I meant by “I have seen this before”- We have the misunderstood lifeform that actually wants to help people which faintly reminded me of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (people getting uploaded in the libarary to be save) and The Girl Who Waited (letting people live out their days in kindness chambers … I mean the robots even kind of remind me of each other …), just that the Vardis actually killed the inhabitants here.

Then we have the age old question, who is actually entitled to the place? Who was there first? Who is allowed to live there? The whole “having to negotiate between humans and race XY” was only recently done in the Zygon Inversion and a while back in the Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. Just that this time it was solved super easily by resetting and wiping the robots memories. Which, by the way, was a different circumstance but nonetheless criticized just last week.

There are a couple things I do like. I quite enjoy how naturally Bill fits into the show, how funny she is and how incredibly smart. I mean, sometimes, I don’t really get her thought process. She questions things that have been unsaid for years and years of this show’s existence, but then she cannot possibly imagine what is in the pods of the human spaceship they built to find a place they could colonize? Weird in my eyes, but nothing too distracting. Bill is amazing and that’s all I need to know for now. She discovers the Doctor and his personality all anew. I love watching that realisation click in a companions eyes when they just know that the Doctor would never leave anyone behind or simply not help. She’s like a gust of fresh air again. Also, does she already have a catch phrase of sorts by saying “like a penguin with his arse on fire” whenever she sees the Doctor run now?

I am also happy about the fact that the vault-scenario is not being forgotten. I am assuming this will the story arc of this season and I sincerely hope that we will also figure out how Nardole (who was delighfully unamused at Bill’s presence in the TARDIS) will figure into all of this.

The way into next episode has already been provided at the end of Smile. The dynamic of that season is pretty interesting so far and I think it’s a decent formula to let Bill see the future and then the past in the next one. Regency England here we come!

What did you think of Smile? How are you liking the season?

#CurrentlyWatching: Class

My love for Doctor Who is no secret and if you’ve known me for a while, you are probably also aware of my adoration for its spin-off series Class! The show premiered in October last year in the UK, however, there is a reason why I chose to talk about it just now. Despite having been really well-received (from what I heard at least), the show just started on BBC America now. The first episode aired last week and from now on it airs every Saturday after the new Season 10 episodes of Doctor Who. The fate of its future and a possible Season 2 (which I NEED) now depends on the American ratings. I am really unhappy with that, because why on earth does it depend on US ratings now to renew a perfectly British show, but whatever. This post is a plea for you to watch it and ensure that Class definitely gets another season!

I want to start off by saying that a lot of small references or certain villains will probably make more sense if you have watched Doctor Who, but it is not strictly necessary to have watched the “parent show” beforehand. The Doctor makes a short appearance in the first episode, but thus far that’s all in terms of crossovers.

The students of Coal Hill Academy once more have to deal with extra-terrestrial threats and the stressful fact of being a teenager at the same time.

Class was created and written by Patrick Ness, a name you will probably have heard in the world of YA books before. I’ve only reviewed one of his books, which you can read here, but when I got news that he would be involved I was excited from the start. Class is a fast-paced show, yet it still manages to get you utterly invested in the fate of everyone. There are so many reasons why I love the show and it’s difficult to wrap my head around where I should even start. So, I am going to do this old-school and make a list:

  • A super diverse cast: We have POCs and people of different nationalities as main characters, we get to see different religions, disabled characters who are not defined by their disability and a canon gay relationship established in the first episode. There’s not just inter-racial but actual inter-species love because of our cinnamon roll alien prince, Charlie. Doesn’t that all sound swoonworthy amazing already?
  • Girls and boys can be friends – and JUST friends at that! The relationship between Ram and Tanya was one of my favourites, because they were so close but it never crossed over in the romantic world. It’s sad how rare that is on TV.
  • Boys get to be vulnerable and girls get to be badass. (I think this is self explanatory. Yay for defying stereotypes!)
  • Family matters! All too often when the teens get to go on adventures, the parents are just sort of … I don’t know, forgotten? Here the parents don’t hinder the action, but they worry and fret for their children. Their presence is at least always there in the back of your mind.
  • It tackles heavy topics with grace, such as homophobia, grief and complex moral questions.
  • Not one character is ignored. They each get their time to shine and it’s so worth it, because there is not a single character I don’t like. The relationships and the group dynamic is just amazing. While the romantic ships feel a bit rushed sometimes, due to the fast pace in general, I never once doubted the friendship and closeness. It just really fits the tone of the show.
  • Pop culture references! Wohooo!
  • Best one-liners on TV! *cough* I don’t like knives *cough*
  • Actually scary villains and a surprise return of an old foe in the end.

See, I am just in love with that show! Please, please tell me what’s not to like about it? I am waiting! Because here I am sitting and just enjoying it all and really hoping that I will get to see more of all those fantastic people. So, go and get caught up on that episode from last week and then tune in live or via the BBC America website for the rest of the season.

Class definitely felt a lot more adult to me than Doctor Who sometimes does. This is not exactly a show for kids, but Patrick Ness himself said that if you are into YA books and can deal with what’s going on there, you will be able to handle the show as well. There’s a LOT more blood and naked skin than in Doctor Who for sure.

Did you watch Class? Are you hoping for another season as much as I do?

Doctor Who: The Pilot

So, I haven’t done any Whovian review in a very long time. First, there were no episodes of Doctor Who in 2016, except for the Christmas Special (which I honestly just found very boring) and second, my enthusiasm has run on an all time low recently. I adored Clara, but I knew that her time had come to an end and I was glad about the way she left the show … but … Capaldi just really isn’t my particular Doctor. I know there are people who love him and that’s great, but I am not one of them. Without Clara by his side, I was worried … but Bill’s character sounded so promising and this was Capaldi’s final run. I just had to do a review for the Season 10 premiere again. I probably even would have had it up on my usual schedule (which is right after it airs in the UK), but my laptop and wifi weren’t really compliant yesterday. Anyway, beware of Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

The Doctor is under disguise as a professor at some university when Bill Potts, a cafeteria employee, catches his attention. He decides to become her private tutor, not knowing that there is already a space-water-creature following and trying to catch her. A chase through time and space ensues.

My thoughts?

I liked how this episode started out really slow and quiet. Bill is such a strong character from the way she acts to the way she talks, that giving her an action sequence to begin with, would have been too much in my opinion. Instead, we see the Doctor’s office, Nardole (from the 2015 Christmas Special), the TARDIS in the corner and lovely pictures of River and Susan (yes, sometimes even I recognise old Who stuff) on Twelve’s desk. So you get eased into this new setting with a lot of reminders of the past, that’s always a good way to go when you establish the new Doctor/companion dynamic.

With Clara there were hints at her being bisexual, but it was never explicitly said. Now with Bill we have the first openly gay companion (if you discount Captain Jack? I guess he was never a full companion …) and she has two crushes in the first episode. Now this is where things got a little over the top for me. Heather was actual brilliant, stoic, water-creepiness and I get the whole “last conscious thought” thing that kept her tethered to Bill, but since we didn’t get all that much interaction between the two, I wasn’t that emotionally invested in the end. I know that Bill having to let her go was supposed to be really heartbreaking, but  somehow I just didn’t feel that much with them. Even the Doctor remarked, she was “only” a crush. Not to underestimate a crush … but you know, there was no time to actually get attached to anyone yet.

I think it’s funny how different Bill thinks to regular companions. Sometimes she notices things others never did (like why TARDIS was actually English) and then she takes much longer to get other stuff (they got there in the end with the “It’s bigger on the inside”), but she really has a knack for ruining those violin-playing moments sometimes. I hope they don’t play on that too much in the upcoming season. All in all, I really enjoyed her first episode though and I am looking forward to where we are going with her.

There were a couple of moments that really touched me. For one, the moment they started playing Joy Division‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” because it gives me flashbacks to 13 Reasons Why, but on a more serious note, it was so lovely when Bill discovered that the Doctor took photos of her mother so she would have a reminder of her. Bill said that having a picture of someone, even if you don’t remember knowing them, matters and I didn’t realise it in that moment, but I think it reminded the Doctor of Clara and the fact that he doesn’t even know how she looks like. That really got to me. Just like the scene when he was about to wipe Bill’s memory and she scolded him by asking how he would feel if someone did that to him. Oh boy, when they started playing Clara’s theme song in the background, I almost teared up. As you’ve noticed by now, I saw a lot of residual Clara in this episode and I am immensely happy about that. I think I feared that since he couldn’t remember about her, that chapter would just be done with, but it’s those little things that keep her alive still.

Before I wrap this up, I just want to ask my American readers to please, please, please tune in to Class, which airs on BBC America right after Doctor Who. I ADORE this show and I need a second season, but apparently the BBC is still waiting on the American ratings before they decide on the renewal of the show. We deserve another season and I really NEED it. I am going to do a #CurrentlyWatching post for it this upcoming Friday to make sure everyone knows how awesome the show is, so stay on the lookout for that for sure!

How did you like the Season 10 premiere? What are your thoughts on Bill?

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (April 18-24)

trailers

I’ve been lacking a little bit in the TV show department, but today there are some really exciting promos for one of my all time favourite show. But don’t you worry! I have plenty of movie trailers for you as well!

Movies

The Girl on the Train

I have not read the book! I feel like I should before the movie comes out though, even if I am not a thriller-kind-of-girl. Can anyone who’s read it tell me what they thought of the book? Is it worth the hype?

The Magnificent Seven

Looks good? I like the casting choice, but despite the era they are in, this doesn’t exactly scream “Let’s go see a Western” to me.

Equals

I think this looks magnificent. AURORA’s music, beautiful imagery, Nicholas Hoult and in this case, I think the role will work for Kristen too. Everyone always complained about her being not very expressive, that could be good in this kind of society, right?

Jason Bourne

I am not a massive fan of the movie franchise, but ALICIA VIKANDER! There wasn’t nearly enough of her in the trailer, so I will have to watch the whole thing.

The Founder

It’s the McDonald’s origin story! I am kind of sad to say that I learned about this in school, but reality is I did.

Café Society

I love old, glamorous Hollywood movies and then there’s Jesse Eisenberg too? Count me in!

Independence Day: Resurgence

I don’t know what to say here. Either you are into that kind of stuff or not, I guess.

TV Shows

Doctor Who: New Companion

I have never seen that actress before, but I like her. She already seems funny and clueless, as they should be in the beginning. Maybe she could have a kind of Donna-vibe? I would definitely like that!

Class

This is the new Doctor Who spin-off and the cast has already been shown, but we have yet to wait for a proper trailer. This bit is a little pointless, sorry!

What are you going to watch? How was your week? Tell me all about it!