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.

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.

Mummy on the Orient Express

What sounds like an Agatha Christie mystery is actually this week’s episode of Doctor Who. You know the drill; this review of “Mummy on the Orient Express” includes several Spoilers as I am laying out my thoughts. Proceed with caution!

I loved this episode from start to finish! All the references, the cameos and the whole 20’s look of it – brilliant! Visually, this episode really was another gem of this Series. In my opinion, putting the clock on screen was another smart move. But let’s not just talk about cinematography, but about the storyline as well. This episodes was supposed to serve as final farewell journey for Clara and the Doctor before they part their ways. Of course, in the end she couldn’t leave him, because just like a drug addict, she needed another shot of adventure. But let’s break it down a little more:

  • I was actually surprised to see Clara in this episode. As much as I love her, I expected the Doctor to sulk a little after their huge fight last week and to go on an adventure by himself. However, in the end I didn’t mind at all that Clara was on board, because the episode was not centered around her. I enjoyed seeing them talk about their fight and their future together. Clara’s relationship with the Doctor is so special and I am never sure how to categorize it, but not everything needs a label anyway – I just love their dynamic together. Also, I am really glad that Danny doesn’t stand in the way of Clara and the Doctor hanging out together, but I would like to actually see him tag along on one (or several) trip(s).
  • All through this season, I had the impression that the Doctor wasn’t even fazed or distressed when people died around him. It seemed like that wasn’t much different this episode, but I then was relieved to see him step up and actually put an effort into saving people. He is not heartless, well he in fact has two hearts, and I am happy about that.
  • The Mummy as a monster wasn’t the most terrible idea I’ve ever seen, but they always rush the ending so much. The creatures seem invincible and intricate most of the time and then they get defeated in a matter of seconds. Literally 66 seconds this time! I don’t want to complain too much, because this episode was mostly very well executed, but this is more of general feeling throughout the entire season so far. Please don’t keep rushing the endings!
  • I thought it was funny that all the experts, doctors and so on, looked a bit like famous dead scientists. Did I spy an Einstein?
  • Again no Missy!  With all those people dying, I thought she’d make an appearance for sure. But maybe she is behind “Gus”? Who knows …
  • Loved some of the cameos and actors. That interpretation of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Foxes was amazing – I didn’t think I’d hear a Queen song on Doctor Who when I got up this morning. Also, Frank Skinner as Perkins was delightful and amazingly helpful to the Doctor. When he first appeared, he seemed a little creepy to me – lurking in the shadows and all – but he then redeemed himself. You should never say “No” to the Doctor though, when he asks you to tag along on the TARDIS.
  • The references were great and I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for them to come up. On the one hand there was the obvious one to “The Empty Child” – meaning “Are you my Mummy?” – and on the other hand there was the reference to “The Big Bang“. When the Doctor said that Gus tried to coax him into coming before, he actually referenced to the time of Amy’s and Rory’s wedding where the Doctor got a call, where it was mentioned that an Egyptian goddess was loose on the Orient Express in space. I know that a lot of people are tired of the references to Matt Smith/Eleven, but I will never be one of them.

So, I probably forgot to mention something, but if that something comes up, we can just discuss it in the comments. “Flatline” looks like another potentially creepy episode. As always, I’m already looking forward to more next week. Read you soon!

The Caretaker Has Come to Save the World!

It’s Doctor Who Saturday and this is the obligatory review for “The Caretaker“. I’m always writing this right after I finished watching it and it consists of numerous Spoilers! Consider yourself warned!

Although I am sure some people find the Skovox Blitzer very scary, I do not; but the episode really wasn’t about it (him?). It was rather about Clara having to see her two worlds collide. Let’s face it, we all knew she couldn’t keep her private life and her Doctor life separated forever. I was anticipating this episode ever since they introduced Danny Pink to us, and it was amazing! Here are my thoughts on “The Caretaker“:

  • I liked the beginning where you could see Clara trying to juggle her lifestyles while still keeping up appearances. I’m sure some of the places she went to with the Doctor would have made for great (long-format) stories.
  • John Smith is back and it’s been a while! I like it when the Doctor has to use his alias or his psychic paper in episodes, because to me it seems like forever that he did. I remember episodes where it was something of a requirement to use the psychic paper at least once, but I understand that they wanted to give it a break in order to not overdo it too much.
  • My favourite part by far was the proper meeting or rather introduction of the Doctor and Danny. I knew it would cause tension that Danny was a soldier and I think this will make for great material in the future. When I see them fighting, I never know on which side I should be, because they both care about Clara and want her best. On the one hand I don’t want Danny to be the cause for trouble in the (almost) perfect relationship between Clara and the Doctor, but on the other hand the Doctor is so stubborn. Clara and Danny are the cutest together.
  • I can’t believe Clara dropped the l-bomb. I have no clue how long they’ve actually been dating, but I guess no one expected her to use the word “love” just yet.
  • Somehow, I got really sad when the Doctor got confused about Clara’s boyfriend. Not the fact that he didn’t like Danny, I expected that, but that he thought she was dating someone who looked like Eleven. A ton of people already commented on the preview for the episode that Adrian (Clara’s colleague) looks a lot like Matt Smith, but I didn’t see it at first. It dawned on me extremely late, but yeah … the bow tie, the hair … they are definitely not twins, but I will grant them somewhat of a resemblance.
  • Courtney is such a lucky girl! There is nothing more to add.
  • We got another Paradise/Missy hint. Again, it wasn’t much, but at least we now know that she doesn’t work alone. It’s something.

I am not yet sure what to think of next weeks episode “Kill the Moon“, probably because I cannot yet comprehend what it’s actually about. What are your thoughts so far?

Deep Breath(s): The Doctor Is Back!

Okay, first off, imagine me doing my best River Song impression: Spoilers! I will not be held responsible if you read on and get spoiled for Doctor Who‘s first episode “Deep Breath” of Series 8!

I went into this episode feeling a lot like Clara. I conciously knew that the Doctor had regenerated, but he also changed (meaning not just his face) and I didn’t know what that meant for me. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith was my first Doctor, and therefore always had a special place in my heart, but now there was this new man. A man who is the Doctor, although he doesn’t yet look like it because I still had this very different image of him in my head. After watching the Time of the Doctor, I knew that Matt, my beloved Eleven, was gone, but somehow it didn’t actually hit me until Deep Breath what that meant. I can’t believe it still fazes me so much when the Doctor regenerates and I will embarrassingly admit that I cried multiple times during Deep Breath. By the end of the episode though, it was settled – Capaldi is the Doctor. He is still the great man/alien we all know and he’s going to take us on some mindblowing and brilliant adventures in space and time. All of this isn’t just new for us, it’s new for him too. I cannot wait for the rest of Series 8 and the everything that follows!

But let’s get more specific concerning Deep Breath! Here are my thoughts about the episode:

  • Amongst my friends, I am the only one who likes Clara. I don’t have to have the same opinion as everyone else, so that is totally fine with me, but I think she is a brilliant companion and I loved her in this episode. I just think that it is so easy to relate to her. Just like I was heartbroken when the Doctor left her behind in the Time of the Doctor, I could totally understand her reservations towards his new appearance and character.
  • The Paternoster Gang is back! You just have to love Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny. I think they were a great addition to the show and I always like the dynamic they bring to the episodes. Sometimes they bring great comic relief and other times they ground us and remind us who the Doctor really is.
  • The droids/humanoids/robots from The Girl in the Fireplace were back. I didn’t care so much about the robots or whatever they are, but the Girl in the Fireplace was one of my all time favourite episodes. Just the reference to it made me happy.
  • I know it’s silly, but I tried holding my breath whenever the characters did during the episode. That was insanely long! I couldn’t stand doing it even for half of the time they did. Maybe I should practice holding my breath, just in case I run into some crazy humanoids who want my body parts.
  • Who is Missy (played by Michelle Gomez)? And why on earth does she call the Doctor her boyfriend? Colour me surprised and definitely intrigued!
  • The girl from the shop, who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number, was mentioned again. Is she behind the advert in the newspaper that brought Clara and the Doctor back together? Is the girl the mysterious Missy from the point above? I’m glad they are diving into that matter! Who wants the Doctor and Clara to stick together? I so want to know!
  • The Doctor-Clara dynamic is of course different than it was between Eleven and Clara, but I think it is still great. Their bickering and teasing each other is hilarious to watch. I am looking forward to them getting to know each other all over again.
  • One of my favourite parts of the episode was Matt’s/Eleven’s phone call! What a fantastic idea to give Clara closure and at the same time give her reason to stick with the Doctor. It was heartbreaking to see Twelve struggle with Clara’s attitude. Wanting her back as his friend and his companion and her finally realising that Twelve is still her Doctor – I loved that scene from start to finish!
  • So, this is the last point and it’s about Twelve’s new face. Apparently, there is a reason he chose to go with that face. He still can’t remember where he knows it from, but I hope there will be more hints as to why he got the face he has now throughout the season.

What did you think of the first episode of Series 8? Do you like Capaldi as the new Doctor? I sure do!