Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar

Tonight we got to see the continuation of last week’s Doctor Who episode “The Magician’s Apprentice” which was called “The Witch’s Familiar“. As always, beware of Spoilers from this point onwards!!!

Can I just say one thing up front? I WILL NOT ACCEPT SUNGLASSES INSTEAD OF A SONIC SCREWDRIVER! NOT EVER! Puh, now that that is out of the way, I can continue.

What was it about?

The Doctor may be without friends, without the TARDIS and without his Sonic Screwdriver, but he can still manage to stay alive surrounded by who knows how many Daleks. He has an “honest” heart to heart with Davros, while really they just keep deceiving each other (seriously – who can think that far ahead except for the Doctor?). Meanwhile Clara and Missy of course aren’t dead, neither is the TARDIS lost forever. Everything ends with the Daleks basically destroying themselves. 

My thoughts?

Sorry for keeping the summary a bit short, but I am guessing you watched it already anyway and I wanted it to be more succinct than last week.

I thought we would jump in right where we left of, but instead that particular scene with young Davros is kept for the very end. I liked the Witch’s Familiar a bit better than the Magician’s Apprentice. It felt more focused and had some really nice surprises in there. The thing is, Moffat had to come up with some freaking good reasons as to how things could revert from the dire state of last episode and I am glad he took some time to explain. I thought the Clara and Missy teleporting-story was quite alright and the TARDIS was always capable of relocating itself I guess, so it made sense.

What I probably liked most about the episode was a more vulnerable and partially funny Davros. Even if it was only fake, it was still interesting to see him pose all those questions. In fact very similar questions to the ones the Doctor asked himself last season aka “Am I a good man?”. Also, pushing him about why he left Gallifrey in the first place and the constant references to the Doctor being the one constantly on the run made me curious.

I personally didn’t enjoy the Clara-Missy team-up very much; they have terrible chemistry – which could have something to do with the fact that Missy keeps trying to kill Clara. However, I did like the translation from human to Dalek. It was so interesting to see how their brains work and made me wonder if sometimes they have to say things they don’t actually mean. As for the end and the whole mercy-business though, I thought that was strange. Why was the Doctor so surprised that the Dalek knew the word “mercy”? They’ve used it before (watch proof by clicking here), maybe not in the same context but they have used it.

It felt like this time around the focus was more balanced between showing the Doctor and his companion(s). The story could have used some more depth every now and then (e.g. I was a bit confused about the Colony of Sarff’s role), but I think it was a satisfying conclusion. Now, if only we could keep exploring Twelve’s motives some more in the future. On a completely different note, I am assuming that the titles of the two episodes were referring to the Doctor being seen as a magician or witch, but beyond that I have no idea what their connection was to the actual content of the episodes. If you do have more insight on that than me, please enlighten me!

When it comes to the rest of this season, I am looking forward to finding out what’s in the confession dial. What about you? Thoughts on any of this?

Doctor Who: The Magician’s Apprentice

Season 9 of Doctor Who has finally started with the first episode of a 2-arc story titled “The Magicians’ Apprentice“. Doctor Who is one of the few shows where I review and recap each single episode. So SPOILERS!!! If you haven’t watched the episode yet, proceed with caution!

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So, after finishing the episode, my first thought was “What the heck did I just watch?”. As a fair warning here, I don’t give myself a lot of processing time after an episode, I just jump right into writing the review. Sometimes I’ll even have changed my opinion a little by the time I get up the next morning. However, this way you definitely get my uncensored and unfiltered first thoughts.

What was the episode about?

War wherever you look, in the middle of it a child. Creepy handmines (mines made out of hands with eyes that grab you and suck you into the earth) have trapped said child in the middle of nowhere. He is crying for help and lo and behold who shows up: The Doctor. He asks the child for his name, who is the boy that won’t die today? Davros. (Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either)
Meanwhile in the presence: The Doctor is in hiding, no one knows where to find him. There is a mysterious guy made of snakes looking for him. Clara is off teaching when suddenly every plane on the planet is frozen in the air and she rushes off to help UNIT solve the mystery. Turns out Missy isn’t dead but needed Clara’s attention because she received the Doctor’s confession dial (a sort of last will that gets delivered to his best friend shortly before his death, but doesn’t open until he is dead). Missy and Clara team up to find the Doctor partying in the 12th century and all of him is invited. But he can no longer escape snake-guy, who’s employer is Davros.
“Davros knows, Davros remembers.”
They head off to meet with him, but it turns out it was all a trap so that the Daleks could get to the TARDIS. The Doctor, Clara and Missy are all brought to Skaro where Twelve finally has to face Davros. Meanwhile Clara and Missy go exploring and find out about the Daleks having the TARDIS. They exterminate Clara and Missy.
The Doctor travels back in time to young and deserted Davros to kill him in order to save his friends.
TO BE CONTINUED … 

My thoughts?

Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. In fact, I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, some of the dialogue was really great and funny. I am definitely going to try and use the “Pardon my sci fi.”-remark sometime soon in the future. Also, it had a handful of references, which I probably didn’t catch in their entirety, because I am still not as familiar with the original episodes as I should be, but that were still awesome. It was fast-paced and definitely not a soft opener. They did have my attention the moment the kid said his name was Davros.

On the other hand, this felt like a very lengthy prequel. (Which I know, it kind of was with being the first part of a 2-episode storyline …) Still, it felt strange. Twelve was basically missing the first half of the episode, even though I was hoping he’d be more front and center this time around. Clara clearly had no lingering grief for Danny and was just living her life as a teacher and UNIT agent (and apparently she’s bi now?). Missy isn’t dead, even though it is not explained how she survived. Yet everyone was basically dead and the TARDIS destroyed by the end of the episode. And the Doctor was about to do something that would change history forever. But Davros is in the next episode, so he couldn’t have killed him … I mean, he wouldn’t shoot a child in the face, would he? This was just confusing to no end.

So, as I said, I didn’t like it that much. I didn’t hate it either though. I think it much depends on how they’re going to round it all up in “The Witch’s Familiar” next week. There better be a VERY GOOD explanation as to how everyone survives and the TARDIS gets restored. Maybe Davros wants the Doctor to take over his place and become leader of the Daleks? Nah, probably not. He maybe wants to turn him into a Dalek as well though. I don’t know, that’s just sort of what I gathered from the promo below. What was your impression of the start of Series 9?

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014

Before I start this post: I wish all of you readers happy holidays! It’s been a great year and I am thankful for all the support I’ve got from you. I’m truly happy about every visit to my page, like and comment! Thanks!

Now, on to Doctor Who! Despite the fact that the episode was named after the single most terrible Christmas song ever produced, meaning Last Christmas, the episode wasn’t nearly as bad. Beware of Spoilers ahead!

Last Christmas … I don’t even know where to start. This was definitely the most Inception-like plot ever, because there were just so many dreams in dreams and technically we still don’t know if they woke up (just like in the movie). There were parts I really liked and others I didn’t like so much. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on this years’ Christmas Special of Doctor Who:

  • Nick Frost as Santa together with his elves was simply hilarious. Also I was very happy to see Nathan McMullen, who I first encountered on Misfits, in this episode. I like the way they incorporated Santa and left it open as to whether he truly exists or not, even though we don’t actually have Santa in my country and I never believed in him, the thought of him is quite nice. And just fyi: I like getting tangerines. They are totally yummy!
  • Leave it to Steven Moffat to make dreaming unsafe. I generally didn’t dislike the episode, but it was really confusing and even repetitive at times. A very interesting concept, but at times copied from Inception (as I mentioned above).
  • Unfortunately I didn’t care that much about the other dreamers. The only thing that was a bit interesting to see was where and how they woke up.
  • A lot of people wondered why the episode was called “Last Christmas” because there were so many rumours about Jenna Coleman leaving. In truth though, it was Clara‘s and Danny‘s last Christmas together. It was heartbreaking to see them part yet again. Danny is just too perfect, even if he was just a projection in a dream.
  • Well, Jenna Coleman didn’t leave, although I read somewhere that she had a change of heart at the last minute and that they had to rewrite the ending of the episode. (This information was never actually confirmed though) It was originally planned that Clara would die at old age with the Doctor visiting her for the last time. It doesn’t really matter now that that didn’t happen, although that part of was brilliant. The prosthetics didn’t look as terrible as they sometimes tend to look and I just loved the whole scene. The way the Doctor still saw her the way she looked like when she was young and Clara telling him that there was only one other man than Danny, but that he was impossible. In the end, I am very happy though to see her for at least another half-season. We’ll see if she still stays after that.
  • Clara and the Doctor on the sleigh was so cute and lovely. Another one of my favourite moments!
  • I’m not exactly sure I can pinpoint it, but a lot of this episode reminded me of Donna. The way Clara dreamt about her life with Danny, made me think of Donna while she was saved in the library and the Dream Crabs really reminded me of that thing on Donna’s back during Turn Left.
  • While we still don’t know when Series 9 will continue, we have a title for the first episode: The Magician’s Apprentice. Sounds interesting.

It may still not rank as one of my favourite Christmas Specials, but it wasn’t bad at all. I quite liked it, what about you? What are your thoughts?

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.

Listen!

I think we have established by now that I am covering every episode of Doctor Who, and “Listen” is no exception. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched it yet – do that and then come back!

Listen was definitely the obligatory creepy episode of this season. Unfortunately, Moffat’s curse set in again. Now, what do I mean by that? I’m not an opponent of Moffat, like a lot of people are, because I usually like his story arcs. He’s brilliant when it comes to setting up a story. Everything seems all intricate, intriguing and like he’s the only one who can solve the mystery, but then he just doesn’t deliver! His resolutions are, more often than not, very disappointing and Listen is in my opinion no different from previous cases. It’s like he just discards everything he’s established at the beginning of the episode and acts as if that’s perfectly normal, but my problem is that we saw something under the bedspread. I don’t think that was just another kid who wanted to scare Rupert, and if it actually was just another kid, that should have been made clear at some later point. Am I alone with that opinion?

Here are some other thoughts about the episode:

  • I think that it was the creepiest proposition ever that we are never really alone; that there is a reason we talk to ourselves when we know that no one else is there. Unfortunately, I don’t like the “explanation”, but I think I’ve thorougly established that above.
  • I wonder which planet Clara and the young Doctor were on when she comforted him. Was it Gallifrey? Because I thought that that wasn’t possible anymore. Also, the shed the War Doctor went to wasn’t on Gallifrey. Or was it? Maybe I’m just confused…
  • Clara and Danny are really cute, although I have a feeling he’s going to get a serious head injury if he keeps dating her. Having said that, it was a little early for me to establish that they are probably going to get married and have (great-grand) children. That is if I understood the episode correctly.
  • I like how the Doctor is very protective of Clara, even though they bicker and tease each other all the time. It was hilarious when he said that he waited in the bedroom in case she brought her date home. I love the dynamic between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman!
  • As little as this detail was, I am very happy that the psychic paper made an appearance. Haven’t seen it in a while.

That’s all for today! Next episode “Time Heist” looks interesting enough, with Clara and the Doctor robbing a bank. What did you think of Listen? Does your opinion differ from mine?