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 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  »

Doctor Who Review: S08E11 — Dark Water

This is what happens when you have 10 episodes to build up an emotional connection with a character. An opening sequence that hits hard and then a story that just keeps kicking you. For me, Steven Moffat's track record on season closing stories is a bit mixed. So this could still go off the rails. But, judging purely by Dark Water, the first part of this two part finale for Season 8, this could also be the strongest story in what I think has been a great season. Back To The Familiar That's an opinion that is not universally shared admittedly. But it's okay, you can be wrong. One of …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S08E10 — In The Forest Of The Night

An episode with significant structural flaws yet it entertained me anyway. Steven Moffat has gone on record that part of his vision for Doctor Who is for the show to be a dark fairytale. This approach is certainly not universally popular since it tends to downplay the science elements of the show. How strong those science elements every were is admittedly debatable, but still it's a bit of a hot button with people. I mention this because Season 8, Episode 10 - In The Forest Of The Night just screamed fairytale to me. Perhaps most blatant were the scenes of a young girl in a red coat walking through a forest …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review: S08E02 Into The Dalek

I was really looking forward to this episode. We’re now free of the encumbrance of regeneration and able to see the 12th Doctor in his own environment. Plus a return of the Daleks. Granted Dalek stories have always been hit and miss affairs, but when they work they can be really good. The episode opened strong with CGI that seemed noticeably better than the giant dinosaur from last week and I loved Peter Capaldi’s delivery of the Doctor’s lines as he insisted on a “please” from the person he rescued. Its that sort of detail that makes this Doctor feel different to what we’ve seen for years now. And that …Read more  »

Doctor Who Re-Review: S07E07 — The Bells of Saint John

 When reviewing The Bells of Saint John for the first time my takeaway was that this was a solid but unexceptional episode that used a lot of familiar elements. After a re-watch I think that's still broadly true. It's certainly not the strongest episode of the season and the Spoonheads with their revolving head gimmick are clearly very similar to The Winders in The Beast Below, only not quite as effective. There's not a lot of depth to the story either. It's very much a reintroduction to The Doctor and what he does. Which obviously isn't going to be incredibly appealing to long time fans. But I think we sometimes forget …Read more  »

Doctor Who Re-Review: S07E06 — The Snowmen

Season 7's Christmas special was the official introduction of the new companion Clara as played by Jenna Coleman. Of course she had appeared previously in the show but this is where her story really begins. And her interaction here with Matt Smith's 11th Doctor, just like the previous verbal sparring in Asylum of the Daleks is the high point of the episode. The core of this particular story is the Doctor finding himself again. He's essentially moping after what happened with the Pond's (okay I'm not being very sympathetic... but it's true) and he's largely cut himself off from interaction with the world. Not completely though, which is the first hint …Read more  »

Doctor Who Review — The Day of the Doctor

Writing an anniversary special is something of a poison chalice at the best of times. Writing a 50th Anniversary special for a show that has to appeal to all ages in prime time and has a rabid fan base who have memorised every detail of the shows inconsistent continuity and will pick it to death is and all of those people expect references to their memories of the show…. Well Moffat was the script writer on the day it wasn’t possible to get it right really wasn’t he? No, The Day of the Doctor is not the perfect Doctor Who episode. It can’t be, because it has too many roles …Read more  »

Doctor Who Season 6 Mid-season Review

So by this point most fans have seen A Good Man Goes To War and now impatiently waiting for the second half the season some time in the Autumn. Which seems like a good time to look back at the season so far. The most obvious thing about season 6 is how dominating the story arc is. In season 5, Moffat made the arc much [caption id="attachment_17568" align="alignleft" width="234" caption="Doctor Who - Season 6"][/caption] more prominent than it had been in the previous 4 seasons, but this time out Moffat laid out multiple on-going plot lines from the first episode of the season and they have been strongly referenced in the stand …Read more  »

Sherlock S01E03 — The Great Game, Review

Absolutely bloody brilliant! The third and final episode of Sherlock was the best of the series.  The first episode was excellent and the second okay, but this one didn't put a foot wrong for the entire 90 minutes. I have to admit I had my doubts going in. Mark Gatiss recent Doctor Who episode hadn't  impressed me much and Steven Moffat is rarely out-written. On top of which I was very dubious about the wisdom of introducing Moriarity so early in the series existence. I'm pleased to say that I was wrong on all counts though. Gatiss penned the most authentic Sherlock Holmes episode I have ever seen even if …Read more  »