Summary:  Can the Doctor even with the help of the Ghost foil this years Christmas invasion?

Plot: 25 years ago the Doctor accidentally gives a young kid superpowers. decades later while investigating Harmony Sholes a mysterious hero known as the Ghost saves him Nardole and a reporter Lucy Fletcher saves them.  Will the doctor be able to not only unravel the mystery of the stealth invasion by Harmony Sholes and solve the personal problems of the now grown up Grant behind the cape?
———————————–

Writing: Moffat writes a spectacular semi sequel to the Husbands of River song bring back Nardole and throwing in elements of super hero movies in the past.  He is best when he embraces the fun side of Doctor who and with this one he is really at his best.  The inclusion of Nardole as a companion, one who after River Song finds the Doctor almost anti-climatic is a stroke of genius.  The story is less about the invasion than about the relationships and that’s good but the fact that it watches like an old Douglas Adams episode is even better..

Acting: Matt Lucas’ Nardole is an excellent companion for the Doctor adding comedy & the advantages of someone not overawed by it all.  (His disease gives him an alien vibe which also works to his advantage)  Both Justin Chapwin as the Ghost and Charity Wakefield as Lucy do well.  The villains played Adetomiwa Edun & Aleksandar Jovanovic are adequate but it’s Chapwin’s mix of Michael Keaton and Chris Reeve that does the trick.  Also a shout out to young Logan Hoffman and Daniel Lorente as kid and teen Grant

Memorable Moments:  But Lois Lane doesn’t , Sign of a pro, Naked Hell, I’m live, I ruled I love buttons , Ruled firmly but wisely, How come our side never gets plans like that?

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The 24 years , NYC time issues his fault, the open head villains

Oddities:  I understand how River Song knew how to fly the Tardis but how did Nardole know it?  Furthermore if those heads open up does that mean those brains open up too since that’s the spot where they reside?  If there was a question of the Ghost being real why is he on TV pushing smoke detectors?  Since the bad guys kept the brains of those they took over it’s logical that they can be re transplanted.  Why is the Doctor not doing this?

Pet Peeves:  If only Davros knew that all he needed to get the Doctor to talk was an annoying squeak toy
Given the angle of his fall how did the Doctor catch the ledge?


Great Quote(s)

Young Grant: What are you doing?
The Doctor:  [swing back and forth upside down in front of his 60th floor window] I was setting a trap.
Young Grant: A trap?
The Doctor: On your roof.
Young Grant: What happened?
The Doctor: I tried it out.
Young Grant:  How?
The Doctor: Accidentally.


The Doctor: Why did they call him Spider-Man? Don’t they like him?
Young Grant: He was bitten by a radioactive spider, and guess what happened?
The Doctor: Radiation poisoning, I should think.
Young Grant: No, he got special powers.
The Doctor: What, vomiting, hair loss and death? Fat lot of use


The Doctor: [To Lucy who is eavesdropping on the bad guys inside the Harmony Sholes building who just noticed him behind her] It’s okay. I’m an intruder too. Yeah, I brought snacks. Mark of a pro. Keep listening.


The Doctor: (handing Jennifer over) You’re her nanny?
Grant: Yeah, her nanny. You got a problem with that?
The Doctor: No, no, it’s just, well, okay, so you are a superhero and a nanny?
Grant: Well, you’ve got to make a buck somehow. I mean, you don’t get paid for saving people.
Nardole: Oh, you don’t have to tell us. Here you go, nice and warm. And tasty: Ooo, elephant.
Grant: It’s fine. It’s a long-range baby-monitor. I can get back to this apartment quicker than most people can get to their kids’ bedrooms.
The Doctor: Grant, Grant, this is insane. Look, I’m me, the Doctor, and even I think this is insane.


The Doctor: You’re not looking at anyone. Are you shy now? Is that floor really interesting?
Teen Grant: I’m not shy. I just can’t stop it.
The Doctor: Can’t stop what?
Teen Grant: The X-Ray Vision
The Doctor: Oh.
Teen Grant:  I’m in hell. Naked hell. I just can’t look at people.
The Doctor: It’s the gemstone, responding to…puberty.


Nardole: Oh, Tokyo branch.
The Doctor: Yep.
Nardole:  A bit empty, isn’t it?
The Doctor: Yes, I created a distraction. I flooded downstairs with Pokémon.


Nardole: What’s plan B?
The Doctor: I have no idea, but it’s going to be a very big relief when I think of it.
Nardole: You are completely out of your mind!
The Doctor: How is that news to anyone?
Nardole: I know you miss her, but couldn’t you just write a poem?


Nardole: Her name was River Song. They were together for a while and they were very happy. And then she died, a long time ago, in a library.
Grant: Are you sure he’s going to be all right?
Nardole: Hmm. He’s the Doctor. He’s very brave and he’s very silly and I think, for a time, he’s going to be very sad. But I promise, in the end, he’ll be all right. I’ll make sure of it. Bye!


Final Verdict: 5 stars My type of story.  Could have fit right into the Tom Baker era

Ranking of Season: 1st of 1

Being the only episode of the year make it easy but if it had been in last season I would have ranked it 2nd or 3rd at the absolute worst.

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 4th Some might object to me ranking it so high but it has everything possible to appeal to me, A Tom Baker type script, comedy, no gratuitous killing of characters that we like, a clear hero and villain and a comic book motif.   In short this is Doctor Who not only as it once was but as it should be. This is a children’s show that adults can enjoy instead of a children show pushing adult themes, more please.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
5th. The Girl who Died
6th. The Witch’s Familiar
7th. Hell Bent
8th. Mummy on the Orient Express
9th. Face the Raven
10th. Into the Dalek

First some background

As I’ve mentioned before due a the weak tip jar over the last two years I’ve had to take an overnight job at a warehouse. Because this job involves repetitive menial work we are allowed an ear bud as we work and while most people listen to music I listen to my big finish/bbc Doctor who audios in Chronological Doctor (1st doctor thru 11th Doctor). I am currently on the 4th Doctor with Romana 2 the 2nd time around since I’ve been employed there..

I occasionally get new Doctor Who episodes due to sales at Big Finish and huge markdowns on Amazon for pre-orders I listen to those as they come in unless they happen to fall in sequence with episodes I’m currently listening to. Such was the case with Big Finish audio The Well Mannered War arrived at my house on my day off. As it would be in the sequence of episodes I would be listening to this week I decided to put it on my Ipod and wait till it came up at work before hearing it for the first time.

There is a brief amount of overlap between my shift and the previous one and in the section where I’m currently working two of us from the 3rd shift share a space with anywhere from 4-12 people of the 2nd, most of whom are foreign born and several of who speak little or no English. Such was the case Monday night when I was listening to this episode for the first time.

Now Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor mostly due to the comedy and his re-teaming with Lalla Ward is still new enough that it absolutely delights me As I listened to the episode I wore a large smile on my face and occasionally broke into laughter when I heard sequences like this.

and this

That laughter and my grin apparently drew a very odd look from a 2nd shift fellow at the next table who was working across from the other 3rd shift man. He asked him in Broken English “That guy crazy?” (in broken English). The man who worked with me for the last year or so tried to explain that I just was listening to stuff on my Mp3 player that wasn’t music.

Apparently that explanation didn’t wash and the fellow moved himself to the table as far away from me as possible.

Nobody from 2nd shift came within 10 yards of me for the rest of the night.

Over the next several days I’ll be listening to several other 4th Doctor episodes that I haven’t heard before, I anticipate smiles and laughter as a norm until I get to Peter Davison sometime next week, I suspect the opinion of the folks that’s now spreading among 2nd shift won’t be changing soon

Big Finish, Tom Baker, Lalla Ward et/all, it’s all your fault.

p12079367_b_v9_acBy John Ruberry

Without the phenomenal box office success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, HBO’s Game of Thrones series may not have ever launched. And without GoT’s ongoing critical and audience raves, The Last Kingdom would almost certainly never have been giving the green light by the BBC.

I just finished binge-watching the first season of The Last Kingdom, which like Game of Thrones is a television version of a series of books, in this case Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories. I might not have ever heard of the BBC series had not the ninth season of the Doctor Who reboot had been bombarded with Last Kingdom trailers. I guess that’s the point of promos.

Season two of The Last Kingdom is currently in production.

So how is it? Well, in a few words, LK is pretty good. After all, I kept watching, didn’t I?

Here’s how the series is set up–with spoilers for the most part that cover only the first half of the first episode:

The action begins in the late ninth century as Danish invaders–the word “vikings” is never used–have transformed themselves from coastal raiders into a disciplined army who have conquered each English kingdom save Wessex. The lead character is Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), the son of a Northumberland noblemen who as a child witnesses his father fall in a battle against the invaders. After he humorously attacks a Dane, Uhtred is taken as a slave. Losing his Christian faith, Uhtred the Godless, much in the matter of white characters captured by Indians in Old West movies, seems unsure of his loyalties, but he’s determined to reclaim his family castle from his duplicitous uncle.

An adult Uhtred, after his Danish family is killed by other Danes, makes his way to Wessex where he pledges loyalty to King Alfred and joins the Saxon cause.

Attractive in a Jon Snow sort of way, Uhtred doesn’t have a vow of chastity to hamper his romantic pursuits.

Religion greatly drives the plot, The priest who baptizes the young Uhtred–twice–has also made his way to Wessex, where he serves as a counselor to Alfred. Refreshingly, the Christians in The Last Kingdom are pious, but not portrayed as foolishly pious. The only religious character treated with disdain is a Danish sorcerer.

Alfred (David Dawson), the devout king, doesn’t let his sickliness damper his resolve to save his realm and drive the Danes out of England.

Besides Alfred, other historical characters who appear in The Last Kingdom are the Danish chieftains Ubba and Guthrum, Saxons Odda the Elder, King Edmund of East Anglia, Alfred’s nephew Aethelwold, and Welsh monk Asser, the biographer of the Wessex ruler. A glaring oversight is the omission of Ivor the Boneless, the Dane whose name still perplexes historians. Ivor was the half-brother of Ubba.

The show plays homage to the legend that Alfred, asked by a woman to keep an eye on loaves of bread being baked, allows them to burn as his mind wanders to pressing matters of kingship.

The cinematography is superb although the filming of the series in Hungary, rather than England, might be the catalyst of one of LK’s noticeable shortcomings, cheap-looking wardrobes and crowns that appear to be plastic. If the series was shot in Britain, or even Northern Ireland where some of Game of Thrones is filmed, I’m sure the costume department of The Last Kingdom could have scrounged up more convincing crowns some better period clothes from a regional Shakespeare company.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

If you are looking for one more Game of Thrones comparison, then I won’t let you down. While gratuitous nudity is absent from The Last Kingdom, the brief glimpses of bare flesh amid the armor and swords appear forced as if someone is screaming at the directors, “We need naked bums for better ratings!”

I’ll be back for season two, hoping for more. (More meaning better shows, not bare buttocks.) After all, the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood didn’t hit its stride until season two and it didn’t achieve consistent greatness until The Children of Earth in season three.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit
.

Summary: Will River Song’s attempts to get ahead be her downfall.

Plot: River Song has need of a Doctor a surgeon to be precise to operate on his husband to extract a priceless diamond what she gets is a Doctor who she doesn’t recognize and a headless murderous king out to kill her. Will she and her companion that she doesn’t recognize manage to get away or will they be surrounded by some of the most murderous folk in the universe, or both?
———————————–

Writing: Moffat loves himself a River Song story and all of the best of his magic comes into play. This episode keeps moving at a blistering pace and never stops the viewer from smiling, except for two moment which are so sentimental that only the most heartless could fail to be moved. Infinitely rewatchable.

Acting: If the makers had realized that Capaldi & Kingston had his much chemistry then Moffat might have changed the ending to ensure they would be paired up again. The supporting comic roles are all played well, special mention to Matt Lucas (Nardo) Rowan Polonski (Fleming) and Greg Davies (King Hydroflax)

Memorable Moments:  Doctor Song to you, Lying down people, Need a mop, Is this what you’re like, Why is everything sexy now? He’s never noticed before, avoid deck seven, shouldn’t do that in a restaurant, hello sweetie, spouse list, last christmas, 24 years.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Diary references of course, The library, Stealing a TARDIS (an unearthly child) Storage in the roundels (Castrovalva)

Oddities: You would think that if River Song was going to hire a surgeon she would know what he looks like While it a given that this is the only Capaldi/Kingston pair up as the nights are 24 years where they are doesn’t that leave plenty of time for Trouble to come looking for them there?

Pet Peeves: The provable murder of “multiple innocent life forms” is required to get on board that ship, so how is River there or do I want to know?


Great Quote(s)

Doctor: You’re talking about murdering someone.
River Song: No, I’m not. I’m actually murdering someone

***************************************************

River Song: It’s a time machine. I can take it, do whatever I want for as long as I like and pop it back a second later. He’ll never know it was gone.
Doctor: Yes, he will.
River Song: How?
Doctor: He’ll just know.
River Song: Well, he’s never noticed before.

**********************************************

Doctor: You’re doing it wrong.
River Song: I am certainly not.
Doctor: Not those levers.
River Song: Hush.
Doctor: You probably want to press that button.
River Song: Why? That evacuates the waste tank on deck seven.
Doctor: Does it?
River Song: What is wrong with you?
Doctor: Better avoid deck seven then.

**********************************

River Song: I don’t suppose you could fetch that over for me, could you?

************************

River Song: When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!
(She meets the Doctor’s eyes. He smiles and the penny finally drops for her. Long pause.)
Doctor: [as he sees dawn suddenly strike on marble head] Hello, sweetie.

*******

Doctor: So, King Hydroflax?
River Song: Oh, how many times? I married the diamond.
Doctor: So you say.
River Song: Elizabeth the First.
Doctor: Ramone.
River Song: Marilyn Monroe.
Doctor: Stephen Fry.
River Song: Cleopatra!
Doctor: Same thing.

********

River Song: How long is a night on Darillium?
Doctor: Twenty four years.
River Song: I hate you.
Doctor: No, you don’t.


Final Verdict: 5 stars If I had more starts to give this would get it

Ranking of Season: 1st of 13 Not only was this one of the funniest episodes but it was a welcome relief after the heavy previous episodes despite a slightly heavy ending. Reviews elsewhere might disagree but I don’t watch Doctor Who for high tragic drama, that’s not what it’s for and never has been. This is exactly that the series is meant to be, at least to me.

1st. The Husbands of River Song
2nd. The Girl who Died
3rd. The Witch’s Familiar
4th Hell Bent
5th. Face the Raven
6th Heaven Sent
7th. The Magician’s Apprentice
8th. The Woman who lived
9th. Before the Flood
10th. Under the Lake
11th The Zygon Inversion
12th. The Zygon Invasion
13th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 1st Without a doubt my Favorite Capaldi episode, in contention for best in the revised series and easily one of my top 10 since I discovered the series in 1976 & started watching regularly in 1981.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Girl who Died
5th. The Witch’s Familiar
6th. Hell Bent
7th. Mummy on the Orient Express
8th. Face the Raven
9th. Into the Dalek
10th. Dark Water

Summary: The Doctor vs the Time Lords, Does the late Clara Oswald have the answer to all their questions?

Plot: At a Diner the Doctor tell the story to a familiar looking waitress of his confrontation with the Time Lords. The fall of Rassilon and how Clara Oswald figures in all of this.

———————————–

Writing: Moffat has a history of timey wimey episode from Time Crash to Blink in a sense this is the ultimate expression of it playing every Time Lord Timey Wimey trick there is.  Didn’t see much of it coming the main complaint is I found the regeneration scene gratuitous.  It’s almost as if the Doctor is Huey Long the man of the people Doctor & the people vs the Time Lords, but given one of the quotes near the end it sounds like the entire episode is a trap by Missy for the Doctor and she wins.

Acting: A very strong cast in a very weird story, with several returning favorites.

Memorable Moments: Head cold, back and forth through the door, get off my planet, duty of care, classic design

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Flashing all the way back to an unearthly child with the “classic”  design.  Face the Raven of course., Deadly assassin with Doctor in the Matrix, Night of the Doctor with the Kahn sisterhood.

Oddities:  What is it about TARDIS’ and their chameleon circuits?  Do they ALL break if they come in contact with the Doctor even for a short period of time?

Pet Peeves: OK this episode undos one but creates a ton more:

Pet Peeve from Face the Raven fixed. The doctor “rescuing” Clara. Absolutely love it because it’s clear that this was his plan the moment he set foot on Gallifrey, that’s is in keeping with the Doctor finding a way no matter the cost.

Now the peeves. I understand the Doctor was tortured in theory for billions of years (but only a few days for that body) but no matter how many times he’s been tortured before he never “killed” anyone and regardless of the Doctor’s Man flu quip, we have yet to see a Time Lord regenerate from a regular Staser blast, how much less the odds given the whole “sidearm of the president’s guard” bit

Ignoring for a second the whole gratuitous PC regeneration Explain to me why the “general” recovers from his violent regeneration so easily without mental issues?

“Me” can last to the end of the universe but didn’t know how to defeat a shade or fix a chamelion circuit? unlikely.

The ending sets up a huge potential paradox because if anything at all happens to Clara during her travels the entire timeline potentially unravels.

You’re telling me that two versions of the 11th Doctor AND River song didn’t know a TARDIS when their in one? Please.

Since Clara is not aging you really can’t do anything with the new crew of the new TARDis i the future, expect with Big Finish of course. Would be funny if long after I’m dead Williams & Colemans are producing audios of their post 12th doctor adventures for an elderly Nick Brigs or his successors.


Great Quote(s)

Rassilon: What is he doing? What does he want? Revenge?
Ohila: The Doctor does not blame Gallifrey for the horrors of the Time War.
Rassilon: I should hope not.
Ohila: He just blames you.

**********************************************

Rassilon: Excellent, General. You sent for reinforcements.
Doctor: No, he didn’t. I did.
Rassilon: What? I am Rassilon the redeemer! Rassilon, the resurrected! Gallifrey is mine!
General: Lord President, with respect, get off his planet.

**********************************

Clara:One question. And you will answer. How long was the Doctor trapped inside the confession dial?
Ohila: We think four and a half billion years.
General: He could have left any time he wanted. He just had to say what he knew. The dial would have released him.
Clara [To the Doctor]: Four and a half billion years?
Doctor: If she says so.
Clara: No. Why would you even do that? I was dead! I was dead and gone. Why? Why would you even do that to yourself?
Doctor: I had a duty of care.

************************

General: You need to tell us what the Doctor is going to do now.
Clara: You really are thick, aren’t you? The Doctor is back on Gallifrey. Took him four and half billion years to get here. What do you think he’s going to do now? Why, he’s stealing a Tardis and running away. Bye!
*******

The Doctor: What do you think of the new wheels?
Clara: Basic.
The Doctor: Classic! Look at the colour scheme.
Clara: It’s all white.
The Doctor: Genius! Check your heartbeat again. I think that you’ll find you have one.
Clara: Yeah?
The Doctor: It should have restarted when we broke free of Gallifrey’s time zone. You’re alive! Now we just have to shake off the Time Lords. There’s only one place we can do that. What do you say to lunch, followed by breakfast? Because we’re time travellers and that’s how we roll. Then cocktails with Moses. Then I’m going to invent a flying submarine. Why? Because no one ever has and it’s annoying. And maybe we should use this Tardis to find my proper one. I need to change my shirt.

********

Ashilder: What if the Hybrid wasn’t one person, but two?
The Doctor: Two?
Ashilder: A dangerous combination of a passionate and powerful Time Lord and a young woman so very similar to him. Companions who are willing to push each other to extremes.
The Doctor: She’s my friend. She’s just my friend.
Ashilder:How did you meet her?
Clara: [in the TARDIS watching this conversation] Missy!
The Doctor: Missy.
Ashilder: Missy. The Master. The lover of chaos, who wants you to love it, too. She’s quite the matchmaker.
The Doctor: Clara’s my friend.
Ashilder: I know. And you’re willing to risk all of Time and Space because you miss her. One wonders what the pair of you will get up to next.


Final Verdict: 5 stars Not even all the pet peeves in the world can change that this story works

Ranking of Season: 3rd of 12 it’s just too cool to be lower and too full of pet peeves to be higher

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd Hell Bent
4th. Face the Raven
5th Heaven Sent
6th. The Magician’s Apprentice
7th. The Woman who lived
8th. Before the Flood
9th. Under the Lake
10th The Zygon Inversion
11th. The Zygon Invasion
12th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 5th The cool factor forgives a lot of sis

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Hell Bent
6th. Mummy on the Orient Express
7th. Face the Raven
8th. Into the Dalek
9th. Dark Water
10th. Heaven Sent

Summary: The Doctor Trapped scared and alone. What will he endure to win?

Plot: Having been teleported to an unknown location, a Castle with wall that move and reset themselves the Doctor finds himself pursued by a deadly shade that will only pause if he divulges a secret. What is the secret that it is looking for? Who has put him there can he escape and heartbroken as he is, will he want to?

———————————–

Writing: This has got to be one of the most offbeat episodes of the entire series. The first time I saw it my reaction was “What the hell was that?” You will have to watch it multiple times in my opinion to appreciate it.

Acting: It is rare for a Doctor to operate without a companion, it is unheard of for him to operate totally alone. Capaldi pulls it off.

Memorable Moments: Skulls, Hell of a bird, didn’t see this coming

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The long way around (Day of the Doctor), the doctor facing his fears Planet of the Spiders

Oddities: It seems to me that at the end we don’t have the Doctor but a duplicate of a duplicate etc etc etc. The doctor is in fact dead.  Furthermore given tens of millions of iterations one would think there would be enough of a variable so he would be able to power said machine & create multiple doctors unless it’s all basically a mental trap and none of it involved his physical body which seems unlikely

 

Pet Peeves: Once he figures out how to get out why doesn’t he take the shovel or some metal object with him to hit the wall? It would have cut the time to get through literally by billions of years?


Great Quote(s)

The Doctor: When the sun sets, I’ll be able to establish an exact position by the stars. Then you’ll have a choice. Come out, show yourself, or keep on hiding. Clara said I shouldn’t take revenge. You should know, I don’t always listen.

*******

The Doctor: It’s a killer puzzle box designed to scare me to death, and I’m trapped inside it. Must be Christmas.

********

On the Blackboard (in his mind): How are you going to win??
The Doctor: Can’t I just lose? Just this once? Easy. It would be easy. It would be so easy. Just tell them. Just tell them, whoever wants to know, all about the Hybrid. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t! I can’t always do this! It’s not fair! Clara, it’s just not fair! Why can’t I just lose?
On the Blackboard (in his mind): No!
The Doctor: But I can remember, Clara.You don’t understand, I can remember it all. Every time. And you’ll still be gone. Whatever I do, you still won’t be there.
Clara: Doctor, you are not the only person who ever lost someone. It’s the story of everybody. Get over it. Beat it. Break free. Doctor, it’s time. Get up, off your arse, and win!

 


Final Verdict: 5 stars Yeah it’s really good but like I said you’ll have to watch it a few times to get it

Ranking of Season: 4th of 11 but a really close 3rd

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd. Face the Raven
4th Heaven Sent
5th. The Magician’s Apprentice
6th. The Woman who lived
7th. Before the Flood
8th. Under the Lake
9th The Zygon Inversion
10th. The Zygon Invasion
11th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 9th Yes I know a lot of people think the world of this episode but I call it as I want to see it.

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Mummy on the Orient Express
6th. Face the Raven
7th. Into the Dalek
8th. Dark Water
9th. Heaven Sent
10th. Listen

Summary: How high a price are the Doctor & Clara willing to pay to save a friend?

Plot: Old friend Rigsy wakes up with a Tattoo that is counting down on the back of his neck, the Doctor and Clara trace it back to a secret enclave in the city run by old friend Ashildr. Can they prove that Rigsy did not commit the murder that he received this punishment for and if so will saving his life prove more costly than expected?

———————————–

Writing: Sarah Dollard gives us a tight story with more twists and turns than anyone might expect. The ending was a complete surprise to me and I really don’t dare say more without providing spoilers to those who haven’t already seen it. Suffice to say it is one of the more dramatic moments in the series.

Acting: This is the type of episode that really can test an actor. Will they overplay the moment or will they come through. Capaldi, Coleman and Maisie Williams all pass the test with flying colors.

Memorable Moments: Doctor 101, fix it now, I’ll do my best, promise me

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Rigsy from Flatline and his art, Earthshock for obvious reasons

Oddities: Is it just me or has Clara had a deathwish for a long time and simply keeps rolling the dice, suicide by Doctor.

Pet Peeves: It seems to me that if this raven thing was absolutely full proof someone would have used it against the Doctor forever ago.


Great Quote(s)

The Doctor: Fix this. Fix it now.

Ashildr: It, it’s not possible. I can’t.

The Doctor: Yes, it is, you can, and you will, or this street will be over. I’ll show you and all your funny little friends to the whole laughing world. I’ll bring UNIT, I’ll bring the Zygons. Give me a minute, I’ll bring the Daleks and the Cybermen. You will save Clara, and you will do it now, or I will rain hell on you for the rest of time.

Clara: Doctor, stop talking like that.

Ashildr: You can’t.

The Doctor: I can do whatever the hell I like. You’ve read the stories. You know who I am. And in all of that time, did you ever hear anything about anyone who stopped me?

Ashildr: I know the Doctor. The Doctor would never

The Doctor: The Doctor is no longer here! You are stuck with me. And I will end you, and everything you love.

***********

Clara: Liar. You always care. Always have. Your reign of terror will end with the sight of the first crying child and you know it.

********

Clara: You. Now, you listen to me. You’re going to be alone now, and you’re very bad at that. You’re going to be furious and you’re going to be sad, but listen to me. Don’t let this change you. No, listen. Whatever happens next, wherever she is sending you, I know what you’re capable of. You don’t be a Warrior. Promise me. Be a Doctor.

The Doctor: What’s the point of being a Doctor if I can’t cure you?

Clara: Heal yourself. You have to. You can’t let this turn you into a monster. So, I’m not asking you for a promise, I’m giving you an order. You will not insult my memory. There will be no revenge. I will die, and no one else, here or anywhere, will suffer.

***************

Clara: Let me be brave. Let me be brave.

*******************************

The Doctor: What Clara said about not taking revenge. Do you know why she said that?

Ashildr: She was saving you.

The Doctor: I was lost a long time ago. She was saving you. I’ll do my best, but I strongly advise you to keep out of my way. You’ll find that it’s a very small universe when I’m angry with you.

**************************************************

Final Verdict: 5 stars Deep and disturbing and quite a setup for what will come next.

Ranking of Season: 3rd of 10 but a really close 3rd

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd. Face the Raven
4th. The Magician’s Apprentice
5th. The Woman who lived
6th. Before the Flood
7th. Under the Lake
8th The Zygon Inversion
9th. The Zygon Invasion
10th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 6th

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Mummy on the Orient Express
6th. Face the Raven
7th. Into the Dalek
8th. Dark Water
9th. Listen
10th. Flatline

Summary: The Dust is coming to get you

Plot: An invention designed to allow a person to work with little or no sleep goes horribly wrong creating dust monsters. Can the Doctor Stop them from getting to earth or has he already failed.

———————————–

Writing:   Mark Gatiss proves that even the best pitchers will have a bad inning. A lot of people hated the “found footage” bit but that wouldn’t have been an issue if the entire story didn’t suck so bad.

Acting: They say that a bad actor can ruin a good script but a good actor can’t save a bad one. This episode is living proof that this axiom is completely true.

Memorable Moments: Make sure you remember not to under any circumstances show this to any person you want to introduce to the series.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Fear Her, because this one is even worse which takes some effort. This episode will give you flashbacks, none of them good.

Oddities:  n/a

Pet Peeves:  How can you have a pet peeve when the entire show bothers you?


Great Quote(s)

Zip Zero Nada


Final Verdict: 1 star. Easily the worst episode of the Capaldi era, Probably the worst episode of the revised series, Possibly the worst episode of the entire run.

Ranking of Season: 9th of 9.  

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd. The Magician’s Apprentice
4th. The Woman who lived
5th. Before the Flood
6th. Under the Lake
7th The Zygon Inversion
8th. The Zygon Invasion
9th Sleep no more

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Mummy on the Orient Express
6th. Into the Dalek
7th. Dark Water
8th. Listen
9th. Flatline
10th. Robots of Sherwood

Summary: Destroy the Zygons or reveal them all, pick one.

Plot: The renegade Zygons have discovered the existence of the Osgood Box which will end the treaty at once. One way or another. Will the Zygons and Kate Stewart get to it and what will happen next delicate treaty negotiated between the Humans and Zygons is threatened by a splinter group that is sick of pretending to be human and has launched an ambitious plan to cause every Zygon in the world to be revealed and force the issue of invasion.  Can the Doctor, Clara, Kate Stewart and the remaining Osgood (remember one of them was killed by Missy/The Master) be able to stop this and reestablish a cease fire and will they live long enough to even try?

———————————–

Writing:   Peter Harness’ is Joined by Moffatt for part two and writing is interesting and keeps the tension going although I found the ending a bit of an anti-climax. I particularly liked the Doctor Osgood sequences

Acting: Ingrid Oliver was even better than last episode and really works with Capaldi. Jenna Coleman excels in her duel role as Clara & Clara Zygon. Capaldi is given some big speeches and does them

Memorable Moments: The Osgood box scene

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The 50th anniversary Button, Five rounds rapid.

Oddities:  The Doctor has absolutely no problem repeatedly wiping Kate stewart’s memory nor apparently spending the majority of his existence constantly playing out the same scene.

Pet Peeves:  Two things both about the Osgood box business. #1 Anybody who knows the Doctor knows that he’s not going to give anybody the chance to either exterminate the Zygons or Nuke London. #2 The odds that the Doctor will successfully talk a Zygon out of a revolt fifteen times is almost nil. Sooner or later of them one of the Zygons or humans involved will choose war.


Great Quote(s)

The Doctor: What is it that you actually want?
Zygon Clara: War.
The Doctor: Ah. Ah, right. And when this war is over, when you have a homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? Will there be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who’s going to make the violins? Well? Oh, you don’t actually know, do you? Because, like every other tantrumming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and when it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?

Kate: This is all very well, but we know the boxes are empty now. We can’t forget that.
The Doctor: No, well, er, you’ve said that the last fifteen times.

Osgood: You take care of him. Don’t let him die or anything.
Clara: What if he’s really annoying?
Osgood: Then fine.
Clara: Got ya.


Final Verdict: 3 1/2 stars. Dramatic but I think the resolution was cheap

Ranking of Season: 7th of 8.  

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd. The Magician’s Apprentice
4th. The Woman who lived
5th. Before the Flood
6th. Under the Lake
7th The Zygon Inversion
8th. The Zygon Invasion

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Mummy on the Orient Express
6th. Into the Dalek
7th. Dark Water
8th. Listen
9th. Flatline
10th. Robots of Sherwood

Summary:  We’re Zygon, we’re proud and we’re here to stay!

Plot: The delicate treaty negotiated between the Humans and Zygons is threatened by a splinter group that is sick of pretending to be human and has launched an ambitious plan to cause every Zygon in the world to be revealed and force the issue of invasion.  Can the Doctor, Clara, Kate Stewart and the remaining Osgood (remember one of them was killed by Missy/The Master) be able to stop this and reestablish a cease fire and will they live long enough to even try?

———————————–

Writing:   Peter Harness’ writing is interesting and manages to juggle many different aspects of the story in a lot of different directions.  His use of the dynamic of all the characters in pretty much solo situations Osgood Clara the Doctor and particularly Kate are excellent, you never quite know where it is going (except for the soldiers scene where we all knew where it was going).

Acting: Ingrid Oliver continues to impress as Osgood and Jemma Redgrave really holds up her end.  Capaldi does his usual good job as does Coleman.

Memorable Moments: There is no backup (that’s it btw)

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Whole 50th anniversary is the opening, the whole “president of the world” thing

Oddities: Osgood refers to the Zygons as peaceful?  Since when?

Pet Peeves:  I’m sorry but the Zygons are a spacefaring race and they now have people in Unit.  There is absolutely no reason why they couldn’t find a more suitable planet to settle on if they didn’t like earth.  This is a gigantic plot hole that while less important in the 50th anniversary in the context of the invasion, is a real problem here.

Great Quote


The Doctor: Oh, I see you’ve accessorised it.
Osgood: Yes.
The Doctor: The old question marks.
Osgood:  You used to wear question marks. 
The Doctor: Oh, I know yes, I did. 
Osgood: They were nice.  Why don’t you wear them anymore.
The Doctor: Oh, I do.  I’ve got question mark underpants.
Osgood: Makes you wonder what the question is.


Final Verdict: 3 1/2 stars. Not bad at all

Ranking of Season: 7th of 7.  Well that’s just because it’s been a pretty good season

1st. The Girl who Died
2nd. The Witch’s Familiar
3rd. The Magician’s Apprentice
4th. The Woman who lived
5th. Before the Flood
6th. Under the Lake
7th. The Zygon Invasion

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

1st. Last Christmas
2nd. The Caretaker
3rd. The Girl who Died
4th. The Witch’s Familiar
5th. Mummy on the Orient Express
6th. Into the Dalek
7th. Dark Water
8th. Listen
9th. Flatline
10th. Robots of Sherwood