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?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)

iewu

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count
: 376

It Ends With Us was another buddy read with fellow Blogateer Cátia, She’s already a huge CoHo (= Colleen Hoover) fan, but this was my first venture into her world of writing. I am not yet 100% sure I was converted, but IEWU definitely hit home in a way. Now, before I get into any kind of detail, I don’t think I can do this without Spoilers. I’ve thought about it, but even talking about what the book’s main topic is, can’t be said without spoiling something. So, proceed with caution! 

Have you ever looked at the face of someone you love and been scared? And I am not talking about scared you’re loosing them, or scared for them – I am talking about being afraid for your own safety. It irreversibly breaks something in the relationship you had. It’s something that can never be mended, but it does not mean that you stop loving them, because that’s not how this works. Lily, our main protagonist in IEWU, has to find out exactly that! Yes, this book is about domestic abuse.

In my opinion, CoHo went about this in a very smart way. She dazzles you with Ryle’s charm and looks, you fall for him alongside Lily. At the same time, she introduces you to her past, her issues with her father and Lily’s first love, Atlas, who is about to re-enter her life. All the while, you are certain, that girl will never get into an abusive relationship herself. Well, of course that’s not how the story goes. Shortly after the first incident, you are shocked and devastated. It’s the kind of incident that people try to rationalize and explain away, but no matter what the reasoning is, that doesn’t excuse it. Yet, Lily stays and it happens again and again.

I am not going to go into detail, or tell you what she did in the end, but that whole story tied my stomach into knots. I actually felt sick with what was happening, but I was very glad about the people in Lily’s life. They had her back, no matter what, especially when neither Lily nor the reader expected them to and that simply warmed my heart.

coho

Ultimately, I really enjoyed the writing. It was beautiful and felt very real, however, there are just a couple things that don’t make it the perfect read. To me, the story was very much about Lily and her growth. I wouldn’t really classify this as a romance to be honest or at least say that was the least important part of it. So, Ryle aside, I liked Atlas and I realise how important he was for Lily’s past and that she needed closure for that, but I probably would have felt a lot better about him, if he hadn’t just turned into a picture-perfect man. What’s his story? I have so many questions about him and how he became the person he’s now. To say he wasn’t necessary in the present tense would be a vast exaggeration, but I could have done without the epilogue … Still, I whole-heartedly believe that this was not my last CoHo book! Until next time!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! It was heartbreaking and raw, but I still could have done without a couple of elements.

4stars

 Have you read this one? What are your thoughts?

Doctor Who: Hell Bent

What a loaded Season 9 Finale of Doctor Who! Hell Bent definitely wasn’t the way I thought it would be, but with this show surprises can definitely be something good. Spoilers are coming your way!

hell bent

What was it about?

The Doctor uses his status as a war hero on Gallifrey to get back his beloved Clara. He is willing to tear apart time itself apparently, but his realisation about the hybrid and his best friend leads with them having to part ways anyways. 

My thoughts?

I know I say this almost every week, but I seriously don’t know where to start! I enjoyed last week (although not as much as some of you guys), but I definitely didn’t see this continuation of Heaven Sent coming! At the same time, this is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t think that Clara deserved such a short and uneventful death like the one in Face the Raven. She was and still is important to me and I wanted her to get a spectacular exit – Hell Bent gave her that and so much more! In the end she became what she was heading towards the entire time – immortal, running away with a TARDIS and possibly even her very own companion – basically the Doctor. I am sure that many won’t agree, but to me, that was really the perfect ending for her. And like with River, there is a slight possibility of Clara and the Doctor crossing paths again. I LOVE IT!

I think what got to me the most though, was that this was almost like a reversed Donna-scenario. When I realised that Twelve didn’t recognise Clara, I was heartbroken for her! Imagine your best friend not knowing who you are anymore … it’s really quite sad, especially since he was so convinced that he would recognise her. In the past I’ve complained about the excessive use of Twelve and his electric guitar, but wow, I am so glad he played Clara’s theme, that put some more cracks into my heart. Anyway, I am still wondering what exactly Clara told the Doctor in the Cloisters …

We haven’t had an episode on Gallifrey for a long time and they didn’t shy away from including some popular monsters as well. I almost wish they’d made it more Gallifreyian centered though, because it’s such a great setting for all kind of stories. However, aside from that I loved seeing all the other Time Lords and Ladies and how they idolise and fear the Doctor. Then again, I couldn’t believe some of the changes he had went through in those 4.5 billion years (still can’t believe it was that long!). He wasn’t really the Doctor anymore, I mean for crying out loud, he shot someone (even if he knew that he still had a regeneration left). It’s kind of frightening to think what all the Doctor would do for Clara. Which brings me to my next point!

The hybrid was Clara and the Doctor in the end? Did I get that correctly? Was that what was happening? Because after the last episode it was pointed out to me that “me” could have been the Doctor or Ashildr, which I was apparently way too tired to really notice. Many would have liked to see Ashildr become the Doctor’s new companion (I wasn’t one of them), but she ruined her chances of that. However, it was fitting that they met at the end of time and I am  now sort of hoping that she’s Clara’s new travel companion, taking the long route to Gallifrey.

Now, last but not least – THE SONIC SCREWDRIVER IS BACK! And it’s a glorious and fantastic looking one that I would love to add to my own collection!

I am sure I once again missed a ton of references to pre-2005 Whovian episodes, so if you wish to share some of your observations in the comments, be my guest! Also, sorry if I went on a tangent every now and then … it’s late. Other than that, I can only finish with being really excited for the Christmas Special. River was always one of my favourite characters!

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?

Chicago Med Series Premiere

Everyone who knows me just a little, knows how obsessed I am with the Chicago shows. Well, last night was the Premiere of the third installment in the franchise, Chicago Med. I’ve been excited for this for what seem like forever and as expected, it did not disappoint! SPOILERS ahead!

First, I want to say that I’ve been tired of medical dramas as well. There are so many out there and it was getting boring, but Dick Wolf, creator of most Chicago shows as well as the Law & Order universe, is simply a genius. Instead of doing a spin-off, he slowly spins the show into the already existing universe. The actors switch between sets almost seamlessly and you just get the impression that it’s all one and the same thing anyway. Which is great! There are characters related to each other and even some crossover-romances, which makes the actual crossover episodes even more fun.

I don’t think it would make much sense to go into the details of the different cases of the first episode. They were chosen wisely and we got to know all our doctors and nurses a lot better. So, lets break it down:

  • Dr. Will Halstead, brother of Detective Jay Halstead, has been on Fire and PD several times by now. We got to know him a little beforehand and I am really looking forward to finding out more about him. He’s really good at his job, but the thing is, he knows it too. He can be a bit brash sometimes, but I like that about him. I find his relationship with Dr. Natalie Manning really interesting, but for now, I hope that it will stay purely platonic. A thing that was definitely fun to see, was Will butting heads with Dr. Connor Rhodes. They are way more similar than they’d like to admit, but it’ll probably take some time until they become friends.
  • Speaking of Natalie Manning. I thought that Natalie was married, because I remembered reading that somewhere, but then April mentioned that Nat wouldn’t have to do the single-mom-thing on her own. I was really sad when I found out that her military husband had died. I’m glad that info didn’t leak to me beforehand.
  • Dr. Connor Rhodes has most of the ladies swooning and the guys annoyed to no end. He is so cool! I totally get it! He stitched his own wound and has some mean tattoos as well. I wonder where he was and what brought him back to Chicago. He definitely has me intrigued already and I see a ton of broken hearts along the way.
  • Dr. Daniel Charles has also been appearing regularly on Fire and PD already. He’s a good psychiatrist, who knows exactly what people need and when they need it. I gather he bends the rule in favour of his patients sometimes, but I don’t think that’s a bad quality. I liked seeing him care for Jamie as much as he did. He grows on me more with each episode!
  • April Sexton – there’s really not that much new to tell. She was really badass before and she will continue to kick ass in Chicago Med.
  • Dr. Ethan Choi – It’s a little early to tell, but I think I like him. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, but very capable.
  • Dr. Sarah Reese – She sort of surprised me. I knew that she had some troubles with the job, sometimes simply because she didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I didn’t expect her not to want to be at the ER at all. She thinks she’s a lab person, but I bet that the continuous exposure to patients will change her mind soon enough.
  • Maggie – she’s the kind of person who knows about everything that’s going on in the ER. Very cool!

I bet I forgot someone, but I really just wanted to say that I enjoyed the first episode of the show and that I can’t wait to watch the rest of it. There are several crossovers planned, especially around February I think. What did you think of the show?