And the Doctor’s New Companion Is…

We're not straying too far from type here. The Doctor's new companion is still female and young. But if this trailer is anything to go by Bill as played by Pearl Mackie is going to bounce of the Doctor a little differently to the last two. I'm optimistic. I also really like this method of introducing the new companion. Rather than just giving us a press photo we get an idea of how she will act and speak in character.

Sherlock Christmas Special — The Abominable Bride

I'm not sure what exactly the expectations were for this year's Sherlock special The Abominable Bride. All the promotional material made it clear than unlike the regular series it was going to be set in the Victorian era and thus just a stand alone stocking-stuffer. And that's how it proceeded for let's say the first 60 minutes of its running time (I didn't use a stopwatch I may be off by 3 seconds). At which point it got, complicated. Okay let's step back. Opening with a "previously on" was an interesting technique that actually worked really well because it gave the audience an easy way to compare and contrast modern Sherlock with this Victorian …Read more  »

Doctor Who S09E11 — Heaven Sent

Well if this isn't just the most Moffaty of Steven Moffat episodes. In many ways it epitomizes what Steven Moffat brings to Doctor Who, both the good and the bad. Heaven Sent is the much heralded Doctor on his own episode with a promised huge cliffhanger. And, based on the online commentary at least, it has proved to be very popular episode. Which surprises me because as I said it's a very Moffat episode and not just the stuff everyone likes but the things people have been complaining about for several seasons now. Plus the cliffhanger really isn't anything to write home about. Peter Capaldi If you're compiling a list of …Read more  »

Doctor Who S09E10 — Face the Raven

I'm always a bit reluctant to rank Doctors or seasons of the show but I will say that season 9 is one of my favorites. The stories haven't been perfect, they never are, but I've loved the slower pacing and the variety on offer. There's really only been one clunker in my book and fortunately Face the Raven wasn't it. Generally I prefer two part stories because it gives things more time to breathe, but in this case the pacing was just fine. Yes, you could argue that this is really part 1 of a three parter, but you would be wrong. This is a stand alone story with a …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S09E03 — Under the Lake

I love a good base under siege story in Doctor Who and that's exactly what Toby Whithouse gave us this week. Or at least he gave us the first half of one, but I have high hopes for part 2. Whithouse has a pretty good track record when it comes to Doctor Who. He has given us The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex and A Town Called Mercy,  all of which should a solid grip on how to tell a Doctor Who story and in this case I think he's come up with something that should appeal to all Who fans. What's So Great About a Base Under Siege This particular story-telling trope isn't …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S09E02 — The Witch’s Familiar

Episode 2 is even better than episode 1 (which I enjoyed a lot). I'm pretty sure a lot of the people who haven't liked the direction Who has gone in for the last few seasons still won't like it though. The show isn't offering methodical, fill in all the gaps type of stories. It takes jumps and expects you to accept it (like the cuppa). Nor is it offering up sciencey science fiction. In all honesty it rarely did, but it has fully embraced bombastic movie blockbuster fantasy in stylings in recent years. The Titles, They Mean Something So last week Clara was the Magician's Apprentice and this week she …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S09E01 — The Magician’s Apprentice

Don't spend too long thinking about the title, its significance is likely not that great and besides you'll need to concentrate to catch everything that's going on in this episode. Despite being the return of two-parters (something I am terribly happy about)  there is no noticeable slowing of Doctor Who's break-neck pace here. If anything Moffat goes overboard in scattering ideas that could probably have sustained an entire episode in their own right only to sweep them aside and move on. But that's a minor criticism for what is not only a very enjoyable but also dense (in plot and character) episode of Doctor Who. And there's so much to like that …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: The Moonbase

The second outing for perennial Doctor Who villains the Cybermen and Patrick Troughton's first meeting with them is a less than thrilling affair. Even allowing for the much slower pace of a all the 60s Doctor Who there's still something particularly stagey about this adventure. Moonbase uses the base-in-peril format that was the template for this period of Doctor Who, but unfortunately the slow pace really undermines the tension that they are trying to build. An awful lot of time is spent talking to each other and explaining things that are mostly fairly obvious anyway. Slow, Very Slow [amazon template=image&asin=B00C6ACWLC]At this point in Doctor Who's history they are still paying …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: 2014 Christmas Special — Last Christmas

The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special was flawed by the need to resolve so many plot elements and give Matt Smith a swansong and to try and make it Christmassy as well. That's probably too many things for one special to achieve. This time out, it just had to be Christmassy. That's actually a Moffat thing. The earlier Christmas specials were only very loosely tied to Christmas, but Moffat likes to really hammer home the holiday vibe. I get it, but it's probably unnecessarily limiting. In this case however, putting Santa Claus into a Doctor Who episode is a stroke of genius. Wait, Santa? It could have gone hideously wrong …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S08E12 — Death In Heaven

As I mentioned in my review of Dark Water, Steven Moffat doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to concluding two parters. Indeed if there's one criticism you can always levy at him it's that he tries to cram too many ideas into his stories. I loved Dark Water which kept the action going from beginning to end and set up multiple cliffhangers for the season finale. But would Death In Heaven be able to deliver? Yes and no. There are some really strong elements to Death In Heaven with the interaction between Missy and The Doctor being right there at the top of the list. But there's …Read more  »