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: 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: 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!!!

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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!

Death In Heaven

It’s over … well until the Christmas Special that is. “Death in Heaven” was the Doctor Who season finale of Series 8 and this is my review for it. As always your inner River Song should tell you: Spoilers!

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this finale. You know, I always write these reviews right after watching them, so I sometimes change my opinion later on. But right now, I feel like crying. A lot has happened, while also nothing has happened at all because there weren’t many surprises in my opinion. Does that make sense? This episode was 60 minutes long, but it still felt rushed sometimes and like 30 minutes max to me.

But let’s talk a bit about the story first. Cybermen technology has evolved so far that they can now convert the dead. This of course means that they are invincible, because how do you win against an enemy that weaponises the dead? While the Doctor gets appointed President of the Earth, which he obviously hates, Clara finds the upgraded Danny Pink, or rather he finds her. He wants her to switch off his emotions, but she can’t do it alone and asks the Doctor for help, who is busy dealing with his plane crashing and Missy killing his friends. The Doctor doesn’t want Clara to turn Danny’s emotions off, because he thinks that Danny would instantly kill her, which he promises not to do. Clara uses the Screwdriver to activate the Cyberman mode on Danny, just in time for Missy to arrive and announce that the whole Cyberman army is just a gift for the Doctor (What?). She’s so busy trying to prove to him that they are more alike than he wants to admit, that she doesn’t notice that Danny doesn’t comply like the others. In the end, Danny gets the bracelet that gives him power over all the Cybermen and orders for everyone to destroy themselves in the sky, so that the Cybermen cloud/rain wouldn’t kill the rest of humanity. Does that sum it up alright? Then here are the rest of my thoughts:

  • Osgood is dead and I’m not okay with how little that was acknowledged! She was super-smart and had the perfect taste in accessories.
  • Seb was still weirdly creepy, but he was killed by Missy as well.
  • Kate Stewart almost got killed, but her now-Cyberman father saved her from falling to her death. Brigadier Letbridge-Stewart appeared in previous Doctor Who episodes and all he ever wanted was for the Doctor to salute him. Which he accomplishes by the end of the episode, after he killed (?) Missy.
  • Missy really is bananas, just killing people as she goes about her day. I have no idea if she is dead for good now or not and I also don’t understand how she still lived in the first place anyway. It has something to do with the Doctor saving Gallifrey, but I didn’t actually understand the logic behind that. Also, since it’s now confirmed that Missy was the woman in the shop, I don’t understand her reasons for wanting the Doctor together with Clara either. Was it because she thought Clara could exercise control over him? But it was fun to see Missy floating down with her umbrella like Mary Poppins. She was generally a really hilarious character at times.
  • The scene where the Doctor falls out of the plane and manages to get to his TARDIS in mid-air was really cool in my opinion.
  • It’s sad to think that even at last, the Doctor and Danny didn’t really get along. I loved Danny and he looked terribly frightening as a Cyberman to me. I was sitting in my seat almost crying at the misery that they couldn’t save him and that he died after all. Then he gets the chance to come back, and he still does the right thing, rather than the thing that would make him happy. He sends back the boy he killed from the afterlife (which now looks a lot more like the one from Torchwood), instead of returning to Clara himself. You just can’t really be mad at him after doing something as noble as that.
  • I loved Clara in the last two episodes! There definitely was a bit too much of her this season as a whole, but I enjoyed her darker side towards the end. Also, I adore the whole love can conquer (almost) everything theme that she had going on with Danny and of course the great friendship scenes with her and the Doctor. Is their story really over now? And I’m talking about both, the Doctor and Danny. Because how would Orson Pink ever happen if Danny’s gone for good?
  • Humanity certainly has a lot of darkest hours.
  • The Doctor and Clara part and I am so very unhappy about that. I understand that they probably will get back together … at least I hope so, but it’s so sad to think that they parted with a lie. Clara saying that she’s now living her life with Danny and the Doctor about finding Gallifrey and going back home. Loved the hugging line though, because in a way they really are deceiving by giving one the opportunity to hide your face.
  • The Christmas Special … I want to watch it! How else could it be? We already saw Santa barging in on the TARDIS, but I didn’t understand the Sneak Peek, nor do I know if Clara will be in it.

How did you feel about the season finale? I wanted more … but then again I always want more when it comes to Doctor Who.

Dark Water

So this is it! Only one week until the finale of Series 8 of Doctor Who and I have to say that “Dark Water” was a great way to start the two-parter! Be warned, there will be Spoilers if you continue to read!

So much was happening this week and I have to say they did well, at least in my opinion. Starting the episode by killing Danny, reminded me of the olden days when Rory used to die every other episode. What a shocker, but also logical one, if they want to have a valid reason to go to the Nether-sphere. I’m really excited to see how they are going to let this end next week (even though I am not happy that it’ll be over so soon again), because there were definitely some cliffhangers at the end of “Dark Water“. So let’s start my list of thoughts, because there are a lot this time around:

  • First thing I want to say: HA! My theory about Missy being short for Mistress, which in turn is the female version Master was right! Needed to get that out of the way, because I am never right about anything when it comes to Doctor Who.
  • How sweet that Clara’s gran had another appearance, but it was heartbreaking to see Clara loose it after Danny’s death.
  • Clara betraying the Doctor … I don’t know what to say about it, but I loved the whole thing. Her going so far as to destroy all seven TARDIS keys, the Doctor caring so much about her that he would help her even afterwards and their interaction in general – just perfect. I mean the Doctor saying “Go to hell!” was totally misunderstandable and brilliant. I might even go as far as to say that that was my favourite part of the episode!
  • Okay, we need to talk about 3W! I did not think that the three lifechanging words would be “Don’t cremate me!” … that was sort of odd and I find it scary to think that I would still be linked to my body after dying and fully aware of everything that’s about to happen. That’s just a really creepy thought! But the entire time they showed the symbol of 3W, I thought that I knew it from somewhere. I kept thinking and thinking, but it wasn’t until the sliding doors closed that I finally realised that it was a Cyberman eye. Smart move! But I am afraid I don’t get the whole uploading people’s minds on a Gallifreyan harddrive, while upgrading their human remains to Cybermen … oh wait, I think I just explained it to myself.
  • Poor Dr. Chang got killed so soon … but then again, Andrew Leung was just there to explain the reasoning behing the episode title anyway.
  • There were some really funny moments in the episode, although it had much of a doom and gloom vibe. I mean, WiFi in the afterlife, iPads because of Steve Jobs and Missy saying she’s not a Dalek when the Doctor took the stairs. I don’t know about you, but I laughed at that.
  • I would not want to be greeted by Mr Armitage (Nigel Betts) after I die. I don’t know why exactly, but I don’t find him to be very comforting.
  • Danny, oh Danny … that poor fellow really had to deal with a lot this week. Clara confessing her eternal love for him, his death, meeting the boy he killed during his time as a soldier and then having the possibility to delete himself. (Which would probably just turn him into a Cyberman !) I feel sorry for him and through all of this he still wants to protect Clara, he’s just too good to be true. I could imagine the young boy persuading him to not delete himself next episode, but I am still curious as to see how they’ll get him back to life.
  • As you know by now, the Cybermen are back and they are made from an army of dead people. Actually not a bad idea, since the dead outnumber the living by a number I don’t even want to think about. We’ll see how they’ll deal with that next week as well.
  • Speaking of next week, there was no promo right after the episode, but they showed some material in the last promo that didn’t appear in “Dark Water“. I am psyched for it no matter what, because the Master is back and that can only be interesting.

What were your thoughts on this week’s episode? I quite enjoyed it and it brought back some of my enthusiasm for the show, but maybe that was only the case because I was right about something for once.

Flatline or the Adventures of Doctor Clara

Another Whovian Saturday! In this week’s episode “FlatlineJamie Mathieson/Steven Moffat were dead set on getting us scared of walls and giving Clara another opportunity to shine. As always you should hear River in your head by now: “Spoilers!

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After I’ve seen the promo for “Flatline“, I thought the episode had potential to be really creepy. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up liking it that much. While I really love Series 8 as a whole, I also have my issues with it. So far, there haven’t been any terrible episodes, but there also haven’t been any outstanding ones. I’ve been waiting for an episode to really wow me and excite me, like for example “Vincent and the Doctor“, “Blink“, “The Empty Child“/”The Doctor Dances” or “The Girl in the Fireplace” did. And those are just the examples I could come up with from the top of my head! Again, “Flatline” wasn’t bad at all, but I doubt it’ll stay in my memory forever. However, it did have it’s moments! Since the Doctor was stuck in the shrunken TARDIS, Clara had to do his job and defeat the monsters. Here are my thoughts about the occurrences of “Flatline”.

  • So, as I mentioned above, our weekly monster was a little different this time around. It started out in 2D, but quickly evolved to something more 3D by draining the TARDIS of its power. In my opinion, those creatures (Do they have a name? They remind me a bit of the Vashta Nerada to be honest) have the potential to be really creepy, but didn’t fully realise said potential during the course of this episode. In the end, they just looked like pixelated and glitching Zombies.
  • Clara was the center of attention once again. It’s not like I don’t like her, but come on. This is turning into the Adventures of (Doctor) Clara Oswald rather than Doctor Who. Is that just my feeling? Because I don’t remember the other companions being that much the focus of the show. Also, she’s turning more and more into the Doctor – the lies, her way of thinking …
  • Danny … oh poor Danny. Always having to worry about Clara. He’s not stupid! He clearly knew she was getting into trouble with the Doctor and she shouldn’t lie to him. If she’s getting into a dangerous situation, he needs to know that. At least, he said that that’s a deal breaker when they started dating.
  • Rigsy (Joivan Wade) was sweet and he looked like he had a crush on Clara. But why exactly did he want to sacrifice his life for no reason?
  • Did not like grumpy old man Fenton (Christopher Fairbank), but I suppose it was intended that we dislike him.
  • I like the use of psychic paper, even if it was beaten by utter lack of imagination.
  • Did I just imagine that, or did the TARDIS in siege mode look like the Pandorica? I know that it was Gallifreyan writing on the box, but it still very much reminded me of the Pandorica.
  • The Addams Family-hand reference was funny.
  • The Doctor, as always, is a mystery to me. On the one hand, he had hope that it was all just a misunderstanding with the enemy creatures and I again saw a glimpse of the man who finds every creature in the universe important and beautiful, but then he did not hesitate to destroy them. He compliments Clara for how she handled the situation, but at the same time tells her that his actions have nothing to do with being good or goodness. I still want to believe that the Doctor is a good man, but he himself seems to have stopped believing that altogether. However, I still like the scenes where we see that the Doctor cares about Clara and sometimes even is jealous, even if he doesn’t like that she’s becoming more like him.
  • Missy had her almost obligatory tiny appearance again. Tonight’s episode seemed to be another hint that she might truly have been the woman in the shop. She called her “My Clara” (wasn’t that Eleven’s thing?) and said that she chose her well, so, that just makes me assume she’s the one who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number. After the torturous and slow build-up of her character I hope the season finale, which supposedly reveals everything, will be as good as I expect it to be by now.

What were your thoughts about this week’s episode? I’m already looking forward to “In the Forest of the Night” (which oddly makes me think about “Forest of the Dead” and the Forest people, although I doubt it has any connection to those things), because Danny will finally tag along on the TARDIS … even if it is with an entire group of children.

To Kill the Moon, or to Not Kill the Moon?

Kill the Moon was a really tough episode for me. So many emotions and so much to consider … here’s the weekly review of Doctor Who‘s episode. Beware of Spoilers!

I am still not entirely sure what I expected from the episode after the promo, but it definitely wasn’t this. Basically, the Doctor doesn’t want to tell Courtney that she is special, so he takes her and Clara to the moon to make her special. Arriving on site, they find out that the moon is actually an egg and that whatever was growing inside is hatching now and may or may not destroy the earth and humankind. Now, you’d think the Doctor would come to save the day, but no – he disappears and let’s Clara make the decision. That’s what’s happened and here are my thoughts about it:

  • I thought the episode was very gripping from start to finish! As I mentioned, I didn’t really know what to expect and the episode did surprise me on some parts.
  • I hate spiders and those germ-thingies very much looked like spiders to me! They were gross and creepy, so I liked them without ever fully grasping their purpose.
  • Courtney is a really, really lucky girl! Seriously, she got to come back? How awesome would it be to be her right now? She’s also a great comic relief sometimes (e.g. the Tumblr stuff had me cracking up!), but I don’t need her in every episode.
  • Doctor, oh Doctor …  I don’t know what to think about you … I can’t believe he just left Clara to make this decision. He very often seems so indifferent now and I am not sure I like that about his new personality. Yes, he sometimes wants to make us humans think about what to do and how to find the right way on going about things when we deal with something alien (just look at The Day of the Doctor or The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood), but did he really have to abandon her like that? I understand her anger and frustration with him, however, their fight at the end broke my heart.
  • At the beginning I thought it was really weird that it had no consequences whatsoever that the moon wasn’t there anymore, but they resolved that nicely with the “dragon” that hatched laying another egg.
  • There was no sign of Missy and Paradise this week. I’m a little disappointed …
  • Finally something very marginal, but something I nonetheless keep thinking about. I wonder why Danny‘s day was so bad. The answer is probably perfectly normal, but with him I always think that there could be more to it. Still loving him together with Clara.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode very much. Next week, I think we might finally get an episode that is not centered around Clara. There might not even be a Clara in it. Not that I don’t like her, I love her (online personality quizzes told me several times that she is the companion I am most alike, so there is no other way than loving her for me)! Nonetheless, all throughout this season I thought Capaldi could really use an episode where the spotlight is solely on him. What do you think?

Journey to the Center of the Dalek

Here we go again! Ahead there are Spoilers for Doctor Who‘s Into the Dalek, so, consider yourself warned!

So, last weeks start of Series 8 made me instantly recognise Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, but I wasn’t yet sure what sort of man he would be, and I think that Into the Dalek gave us an impression of what we can expect from him throughout the season. Although it wasn’t a terrible episode, it also wasn’t my favourite. Just like last time, I’m going to summarise my thoughts in a couple of points, but maybe a little less detailed than I did for Deep Breath:

  • “Am I a good man?” – what a question and such a difficult one to answer. I would have said the same as Clara, because I simply don’t know. I am still not sure how to feel about him, because people died and he didn’t even get angry, he just accepted it. Did I imagine that? Because I know that he has compession and that he feels for all creatures in the universe (except for maybe Daleks – we always knew that the Doctor’s hate for the Daleks was rooted deep inside him, but this time it took on new extremes). And then when Journey Blue asked if she could come with him, he simply denied her – I felt really sorry for her.
  • The Daleks weren’t really that scary to me … at least not in the past seasons, but I really enjoyed them this episode (although they still aren’t scary). I guess I like the idea, that there is a slight chance that a Dalek can be good.
  • Danny Pink – what shall I say? I like him, or rather, I am intrigued by him. There’s definitely going to be a conflict between the Doctor and Danny, because he was a soldier and I can’t wait for that to unravel. Also, I want to know more about his past and last but not least I think it’s cute how nervous he is about Clara. I wonder what’s up with the ladykiller business though …
  • I was always mad that we didn’t get to see how Clara became a teacher. From one episode to the next, she just worked at a school – I didn’t even know she wanted to be a teacher. Just because she liked children, doesn’t mean she wants to work with them in school, but enough of my rambling – I am just glad that we get to see more of her everyday life. Tiny bits, but still something.
  • Okay, I need to know what’s up with Missy and Heaven/Paradise or whatever the place is called! There better be a good explanation to all of that.

I’m really looking forward to next week, because although I am not always happy with the episodes, I’m also barely ever disappointed. Next week we’ll get a look at Robin Hood, so that sounds interesting. What did you think of Into the Dalek?