The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who

Summary: Murder strikes Bristol in a totally different Dimension or the lack thereof.

Plot:  The TARDIS lands in the wrong place (Bristol) and with the wrong exterior dimensions to the point he and Clara can barely get out. The Doctor re-enters and sends Clara off with his psychic paper and sonic screwdriver to try and trace the source which is a set of two dimensional beings responsible for a series of disappearances using the “murals” of the dead as disguises. Clara with the TARDIS now small enough to fit in her purse must take the role of the Doctor. Can she keep everyone alive long enough to both restore the TARDIS and save everyone while she’s doing it?

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Writing:    Jamie Mathieson’s 2nd Doctor Who story is another horror with a touch of Adams family comedy. He keeps it moving while putting the Doctor in Clara’s head both in terms of a camera and earpiece. It’s a winner although with two straight horrors it remains to be seen if he can write something with a different motif vein, but even if every time we see his credit at the start it means another horror at least we know disappointment is unlikely to follow.

Acting: Both & Coleman do their usual good job Capaldi does most of his work alone and Coleman splits time with the supporting cast (mostly Joivan Wade’s “Rigby”) with Coleman doing the better job in an episode that neither by costume or dialogue plays on her sexuality. As far as the supporting cast, nothing special going on, they are adequate but not memorable.

Memorable Moments: Something I don’t know, numbers, Thing.  Lies, The Phone call to Danny. I name you.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   Shrinking TARDIS Logopolis (4th Doctor) The Man who stops the monsters…The Girl in the Fireplace, I name you… The Shakespeare Code, The wrong people surviving Voyage of the Damned (all 10th doctor) Having to lie The Wedding of River Song (11th Doctor).

Oddities: The scene where the TARDIS is shrunk really brings out how tiny (5′ 2″) Jenna Coleman is, particularly compared to Peter Capaldi’s 6′ height. From the shooting it appears Jenna was the only one actually ever fully inside the prop.
Pet Peeves:   Since the outside dimension of TARDIS and the inner shell are in different dimensions why would the size of said dimensions have any effect on the power levels?

Great Quote(s) 

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The Doctor: This is annoying. The Tardis never does this. This is huge! Well, not literally huge. Slightly smaller than usual. Which is huge.
Clara: Yes. I get it. You’re excited. When can I go home?
The Doctor: Your house isn’t going anywhere. And neither is mine until I get this figured out. Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? I mean, it happens so rarely.

********************
Risby You never did tell me your name.
The Doctor: [speaking to Clara through her earpiece from the Shrunken TARDIS] No time to fraternize. Come on, get rid of him.
Clara: I’m er, I’m the Doctor.
The Doctor: [EST] In the TARDIS Don’t you dare.
Clara: Doctor Oswald. But you can call me Clara.
Risby I’m Risby. So er, what are you a doctor of?
The Doctor: [EST] Of lies.
Clara: Well, I’m usually quite vague about that. I think I just picked the title because it makes me sound important.

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Risby It’s bigger. On the inside.
The Doctor: [ST]Do you know, I don’t think that statement’s ever been truer.

***************************************
The Doctor: [CST] Excellent lying, Doctor Oswald.
Clara:   Yeah? Well, thought it was pretty weak myself.
The Doctor: [CST] I meant to me.

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

The Doctor: [CST] Clara, this is a Vital stage. This little group is currently confused and disorientated. But pretty soon a leader is going to emerge. You need to make sure that leader is you.
Clara:  I’m on it. George. George, isn’t it? Can you watch that area? If you hear anything, anything moves, you shout, okay?
Fenton: He will do no such thing until I get some answers. Who are you? That’s what I want to know. Impersonating a government official. Trespassing on council property.
Clara:  Seriously?
Fenton: Seriously.
Clara:   Fine, I’ll tell you who I am. I am the one chance you’ve got of staying alive. That’s who I am.

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

Clara:   Er, what are you doing?
Risby I’m going to ram them, buy you some time.
Clara:   You’ll die.
Risby Yeah, course I’ll die. Now go!
Clara:  Well, why’d you want to do that?
Risby Just go, okay? Let me do this.
Clara:   Okay, fine, yeah. And I’ll always remember you.
Risby Fine. Great
Clara:  Cos I was just going to do this. [attaches hairband to control to hold it in place] No driver required. And I really like that hair band, but I suppose I’ll just take it, will I? And every time I look at it, I’ll remember the hero who died to save it.

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

The Doctor: I tried to talk. I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out, I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think you just don’t care. And I don’t know whether you are here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don’t suppose it really matters now. You are monsters. That is the role you seem determined to play. So it seems I must play mine. [Dramatically exits the TARDIS] The man that stops the monsters. I’m sending you back to your own dimension. Who knows? Some of you may even survive the trip. And, if you do, remember this. You are not welcome here. This plane is protected. I am the Doctor. And I name you The Boneless.

Final Verdict:   Four stars. Solid episode

Ranking of Season:   5th of 8.   That “monster” speech is going to get a lot of youtube replays.

1. The Caretaker
2. Mummy on the Orient Express
3. Into the Dalek
4. Listen
5. Flatline
6. Robot of Sherwood
7. Time Heist
8. Kill the Moon
9. Deep Breath

The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who

Summary:  A horrible choice has to be made on behalf of Humanity and the Doctor is staying out of it

Plot:  Clara & Courtney Woods (miss disruptive influence from last episode) are upset because the Doctor said she wasn’t special so to quiet them down he plans a quick trip to the moon in the mid 21st century but instead they end up on a space shuttle full on Nuclear Bombs crashing into the moon. The ragtag crew was sent to blow it up because odd changes are causing massive flooding and death on the earth.  The Doctor decides to investigate whats going on and upon discovering that the moon has a secret millions of years old that changes everything they know. Will they have to destroy the moon to save the earth and with strange spider like creatures attacking them, will they live long enough decide one way or the other?

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Writing:    This is Peter Harness’ first writing credit for Doctor Who and all in all it’s a mixed bag, I like his characterization of both Courtney & to some degree Clara and the general plot putting them in a position to decide the fate of the earth and moon makes for an interesting and suspenseful plot, we honestly don’t know what’s going to happen and the decision of the Doctor to basically butt out made it even more interesting.  In that respect it’s almost a Doctor lite episode as while the Doctor figures out what’s going on he absolutely and positively refuses to do anything about it as if he has adopted the philosophy of the time Lords.  Nevertheless with repeated viewing and thought the holes in the episode become more plain.  Entertaining television and not a bad first effort but by Doctor Who standards, Meh.

Acting:   Capaldi seems never more Time Lordish than in this episode but a bit less the Doctor in the sense of his decision NOT to save the day, his performance good and at points nearly Bakerish but it’s still likely his worst of the series so far but that’s no big deal because

1. He’s been at such a high level one might not notice.
2. He isn’t the primary character of this episode.

Meanwhile Coleman continues to take advantage of this different Doctor to advance & develop Clara.  I think however the real kudos of the episode go to Hermione Norris who as Lundvik outdoes them both in a performance that puts her in the “Companion for next year” sweepstakes and in her first real substantial episode Ellis George the young acting student does an excellent job.  She is the most believable fifteen year old girl playing a kid suddenly thrust into both the TARDIS not like some sort of savant but the way a kid actually would, of course being an actual secondary school student she has an advantage there.

Memorable Moments:   Psychic paper as fake ID to buy booze, shoot her first  , smack you so hard you’ll regenerate.  Can I go home now

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   The Tom Baker Yo-Yo (The Ark in Space) ,  The remote control disk for the TARDIS (Blink 10th Doctor) , Killing Hitler (11th Doctor let’s kill Hitler)

Oddities:  Clara lines concerning “We know the moon is still there” is reminiscent the same lines in cold war she should know better.

Pet Peeves:  Really hated that the episode is driven by Clara’s insistence that the Doctor tell Courtney she’s special but it’s culturally correct for a modern teacher.  Additionally the Doctor has been on the moon more than once and given all the time he has spent on earth I would expect he would have noticed a few things odd about the moon vs other moons, after all it’s not the first moon he’s been on.  Plus if the moon is an egg then the creature would have to be laying eggs made of rock because of the moon rocks involved.  Plus I hated the spray bottle thing.

Great Quote(s) 

 

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The Doctor:   She’s fine, what are you 35?  
Courtney: 15

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The Doctor:  And Don’t touch anything 
Courtney Do you have any games
The Doctor:   Oh Don’t be stupid
Courtney Ca
n I get reception here?

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Courtney  Miss I’m bored when are you coming back?
Clara:  Where on our way, What are you doing?
Courtney   Putting some pictures on Tumblr
Clara: No!  Courtney don’t put any photos on Tumblr!
Lundvik: My gran used to put things on Tumblr

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Clara:  I  am asking you for help. 
The Doctor:  Listen we went to dinner in Berlin 1937 right?  We didn’t pop off after pudding and kill Hitler.  I’ve never killed Hitler and you wouldn’t expect me to kill Hitler the future is no more malleable than the past.
Clara:    OK don’t you do this to make some kind of point. 
The Doctor:  I’m sorry, Actually I’m not sorry.  It’s time to take the stabilizers off your bike.  It’s your moon, womonkind,  it’s your choice. 
Clara:  And you’re  just going to stand there?
The Doctor: Absolutely not [The TARDIS APPEARS].
Clara: Doctor.
The Doctor:  A teenager, an Astronaut and a Schoolteacher.
Lundvik::  Hang on a minute we can get in there you can sort it out with that thing.
The Doctor:  No some decision are too important not to make on your own.
Clara:  Doctor?  Doctor! Doctor [TARDIS Disappears]
Lundvik::  Hmmph What a prat!

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Final Verdict: Four stars. My opinion on the episode changes each time I watch it.  That in itself is rather interesting.

Ranking of Season: Sixth of 7th  Another episode better acted than written & plotted. Just goes to show you just because an episode is linear doesn’t make it superior.

1. The Caretaker
2. Into the Dalek
3. Listen
4. Robot of Sherwood
5. Time Heist
6. Kill the Moon
7. Deep Breath

 

The First of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who

Summary: Can Clara and the Doctor deal with his new regeneration and a series of murders in Victorian London at the same time?.

Plot: In the middle of Victorian London a Flesh eating Dinosaur appears liked agitated both by being displaced in time and a TARDIS in its mouth.  While the completely baffled London police are relying on Madame Vastra to deal with it the Doctor is still trying to figure out who he is, what he is and how to tell Clara and Strax apart.  But when the when the Dinosaur meets an unexpectedly violent has somebody saved the day or it is another in a string of unlikely murders and will Vastra, Jenny, and Strax live long enough and Clara stick around long enough to find up.

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Writing:  The two regenerations of Steven Moffat are at war in this episode, the adult writer who wants to put together a tight quality script and the fanboy still playing with his Doctor Who toys on his bed. Half of the episode seems like a fan film and the other half is simply spectacular. These aspects were mixed together in such a way that it’s almost impossible to divorce the one from the other. It reminded me of Robot the 1st Tom Baker 4th episode which was written like a run of the mill Jon Pertwee 3rd Doctor episode with a regeneration thrown into it. The majority of the settings, characters and even the villain were throw away characters as if Moffat had written a script and then said, “it would be cool if we did this.” It’s as if Doctor Who doesn’t employ an editor or said editor was on holiday leaving Moffat to play with his dolls on his desk (Who knew Peter Davison nailed him so completely in the fiveish doctors reboot?)

Acting: Like the proverbial British solder who gives a good account of themselves in an impossible situation the two leads take this material and absolutely shine in it. I simply didn’t realize how good an actor Capaldi was but I know it now and his scenes with Jenna Coleman are so riveting. I suspect I’ll be fast forwarding to them on demand for years. McIntosh, Stewart and Starkey characters do a decent job with the caricatures their characters (Vastra, Jenny & Strax) have become, with Starkey having the easiest time because of the comic scene stealing nature of the character but their primary job is to serve batting practice to sluggers and given how Coleman & Capaldi knocked it out like Ortiz in a World Series they certainly did their job. And the surprise guest star at the end was strong too.

Memorable Moments: The same size, Any other murders like this one, Going gray, A room just for sleeping?

Really cool moment: The appearance of Matt Smith in new scenes at the end of the episode was pretty much a fan wet dream.

Oddities: Is anyone not bothered by the fact that Jenny doesn’t mind Vastra eating people? Is it not odd that the Doctor isn’t bothered by it?

Pet Peeves: Unlike Cyberbmen Dinosaurs are not bullet proof and Victorian London was not unarmed nor were they sheep. That large reptile wouldn’t have gotten 100 yards before being shot dead either by the army, or by the various armed citizens taking potshots at it from every possible angle.

Furthermore I’m really getting sick of the caricature of Victorian England, the time of their country’s greatest economic, scientific, industrial and social years as a bunch of bigoted backward dopes as opposed to the inspiration of those who saved France in 1914 & the world in 1941 by not giving in to the Nazis when all else did.

Great Quote(s):

Strax: How do you know?
12th Doctor: Come on Clara you know I speak Dinosaur.

Clara: [indicating Strax] He’s not clara I’M Clara

12th Doctor:We’ll you’re very similar heights, maybe you should wear labels?

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

12th Doctor:  Door, boring, not me

*************************************************
12th Doctor:  So who is it?

11th Doctor: [Speaking on the phone] Is that the Doctor?

12th DoctorIs that the Doctor?

Clara: [To both] Yes.

11th Doctor:He sounds old, please tell me I didn’t get old, anything but old. I was young. Ohhh. Is he Gray?

*******************************************************************
12th Doctor:Well

Clara:Well what?

12th Doctor:He asked you a question, Will you help me?

Clara:You shouldn’t have been listening.

12th Doctor:I wasn’t, I didn’t need to. That was me talking.

Final Verdict: Three Stars out of Five  Capaldi’s acting and the multi doctor aspect that appeals to the Doctor Who geek in me forces a third star onto this episode.  What really upsets it is it could have been a five star episode if it had been edited and cut to 45 minutes. Furthermore this was the worst new Doctor intro episode since the revival of the series.

Ranking of Season: 1st of one and I sincerely hope it doesn’t stay there otherwise in ten years Capaldi will spend his lifetime fighting to get ahead of Colin Baker & Sylvester McCoy on the favorite Doctor’s list.

1. Deep Breath

Because of the unexpected guest star at the end of the episode I’m going to for the fun of it rank it in the last season of Matt Smith, I won’t rank it as a “special” as it’s a regular (albeit long) episode.

1. The Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. The Crimson Horror
4. The Power of three
5. The Name of the Doctor
6. The Snowmen
7. Nightmare in Silver
8. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
9. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
10. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
11.  Deep Breath
12. Cold War
13. A Town Called Mercy
14. Asylum of the Daleks
15. The Rings of Akhaten
16. Hide
17. The Angels Take Manhattan

 

The final in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: The Doctor comes to Trenzalore. Will he be able to save the people even if it takes the rest of his life?

Plot: The Doctor traveling with a pet Cyberman head finds himself pulled both to a Christmas dinner with Clara & to a summons by the Papal Mainframe. After a brief, briefless visit with her family they visit the Papal Mainframe where a woman informs him that everyone from the Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Sontarans, Daleks and more a surrounding a planet waiting to attack but all afraid to go first. The Planet it turns out is Trenzalore, and after slipping down to the planet discovers a Planet where nobody can speak falsely and the Crack in Amy Pond’s wall. On the other side of the crack are the Time Lords and Gallifrey in the Universe where they are trapped waiting to come back with a word from the Doctor. It becomes a standoff, the legions around the planet need to stop the Doctor, but if they make a move they doctor will say the word and bring the time Lords back. Meanwhile the Doctor can’t bring the Time Lords back without restarting the time war with a dozen extra races ready to fight taking the Universe back to war, yet if he leave not only does he abandon his people but the forces surrounding the planet will slaughter the people. Will he spend the rest of his final regeneration defending this world and the people in it?

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Writing: A much better story than I expected. I presume Moffat had this story in mind along with Day of the Doctor. He manages to integrate the large selections of villains in a clever way. In one sense it’s the ultimate paradox connecting this episode with Matt Smith’s very first one. Even more incredible he manages to make this episode very fresh and almost entirely unpredictable. If this episode was judged by script alone, I think it would stand among some of the finest there have been.

Acting: Matt Smith gives a performance that starts slightly above average and continues to improve as the episode goes on until he simply shines both as an aging Doctor & before his death. Oddly Jenna Louise Coleman gives her least memorable performance since she joined the series, and the supporting cast is entirely forgettable. Part of it is the script that overshadows them but none of the actors, other than Smith rise to the level of the story they are in and it takes Matt Time to get there. That’s a real shame

Anniversary Moment: Two key links to the Five Doctors one more obvious than the other.

Memorable Moments: A nude Christmas Dinner, The first encounter, Sending Clara home, the old man,

Really cool moment: The shedding of his costume. The idea that Matt Smith’s doctor removes his costume knowing that he will be replaced really works.

Oddities: The Doctor talks about how is out of regenerations but his 13th self was there saving Gallifrey.

Pet Peeves: While the line is clever the Papel hottie flying the Tardis was a cheap way of getting Clara back to the world.

I really liked…: The respect for the actual rules of regeneration and the consistency with the Time Lords doing for the Doctor what they did for the Master (or offered to do) in the Five Doctors.

Great Quote(s):

 CLARA:I need you for Christmas Dinner.
The Doctor:I’m being shot at by Cybermen!
Clara:Well can’t we do both?

********************************************
Clara:No one but me can see your clothes?
The Doctor: And I think it might be causing some tension
******************************************

Mother Superior: Speak your name and this planet burns.
The Doctor:This Planet is protected.

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

The Doctor:Number 10 regenerated and kept the same face, I had vanity issues then.

Final Verdict: 5 Stars, The writing really raises this episode beyond the supporting performances around it. I reserve the right to change my opinion of what follows only as I’ve only see this episode once thus far but my first impression is if the level of action from the previous special had been in this one it might be not only the best Matt Smith Episode but in the top 10 of all time.

Ranking in specials 3rd of 5

1. The Day of the Doctor
2. A Christmas Carol
3. The Time of the Doctor
4. The Snowmen
5. The Doctor, the Widow & the Wardrobe

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown) Doesn’t place, If the acting reached the left of the writing it would have been top 3 at worst (most likely 2nd)

1. Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. Let’s Kill Hitler
4. The Girl who waited
5. The Doctor’s Wife
6. The Pandorica Opens
7. A Good Man Goes to War
8. The Eleventh Hour
9. The Big Bang
10. The Crimson Horror

The penultimate in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: The Doctor relives the worst day of his existence, will his future selves convince him to do something he will regret forever.

Plot: While planning a day out with Clara the TARDIS is grabbed by Unit for help with a mystery by Royal Command of Queen Elizabeth the first. Upon arriving he is greeted with a Gallfreyian painting of the last day of the time war, he remissness back to his days as the War Doctor (see Night of the Doctor mini episode) on that Day the War Doctor decides he’s had enough of the Time War declaring No More. He steals the ultimate weapons with the intention of destroying Daleks and Time Lords alike to end the war but the weapons has developed a conscience and that conscience appears as Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf. He suggests he doesn’t want to survive the destruction he is planning she replies that will be his punishment and challenges him to see what destroying Gallfrey will do to his future, what kind of man it will make him, she opens a time rift to the future which promptly produces a Fez…

Meanwhile back in the present the Doctor opens the letter from Elizabeth I which declares a deadly danger has come to her kingdom and when the time is right he is to be made curator to the undergallery. He remembers back to his time as the 10th doctor picnicking with a young Elizabeth where he proposes marriage, after she accepts he produces a machines that goes “ding” and confidently pronounces her a Zygon in disguise right up until his horse converts into a Zygon and chases him them, they are separated and after a dramatic confrontation with a rabbit he finds two Elizabeths. Before he can deduce which is real a time rift opens up and out pops…a fez.

Back in the present the 11th Doctor finds a group of broken statues to be analyzed by his biggest fan in Unit. After he grabs a Fez he spot on display Kate Stewart shows him a group of paintings with glass shattered as if something came out, all these paintings are landscapes but used to have figures in them, as they continue to the next room suddenly a time rift opens, he vaguely remembers it tosses his Fez through and then Leaps through the rift….

landing in front of the 10th doctor and the two Elizabeth the 1sts. After some snappy patter the rift starts getting active and they advise the two Elizabeths to run in opposite directions. He can hear Clara & Kate through the rift and tests it’s two way capacity by throwing his Fez through it. it doesn’t arrive back but seconds later…

…the war doctor appears to the horror of both of them. He is looking for the Doctor and after some snappy patter are confronted by the Queen’s guards. They are in the process of convincing them Clara is a witch about to hex them when an Elizabeth turns up and at the 11th Doctor’s suggestion has them thrown in the Tower where Kate Stewart is…

…meanwhile as Kate Stewart takes Clara to the Black Archive in the tower looking for a message planted by the Doctor. back in the undergallery Osgood discovers that the place is crawling with Zygons barely escaping from her double Clara discovers Kate has been replaced as well but manages to get the code from the planted message and escapes to where the three doctors are using Captain Jack’s vortex manipulator.

In the past the Doctor’s discover the Zygon’s are planning to invade earth by hiding in 3D painting when the time is right and have captured the black tower, Kate Stewart is freed by the Osgood and is determined to destroy the weaponry there before the Zygons can use it to conquer earth. Will the Doctors & Clara be able to stop the Zygon Invasion, the Destruction of London and will these actions cause the War Doctor to finally decide to destroy Gallfrey and end the time war?

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Writing: Steven Moffat’s story reads like the type of story a Doctor Who fan would write if he wanted a multi Doctor Story. The dialogue is snappy and the interactions between the doctors are clever. The inclusion of Osgood complete with 4th Doctor Scarf is a brilliant stroke as is the inclusion of the curator at the end, however I see no reason why the rest of the doctors couldn’t have been included in the big climax scene as it would not have added much time to the show, nor why they could have not been included in the epilogue, but these are 50th anniversary quibbles and these don’t reflect on the quality of the episode itself which is VERY well done. I particularly like the last ten minutes but I don’t want to spoil it.

Acting: Lots of strong performances, by the regular cast, David Tennant seems to be having a lot of fun, John Hurt is so good that you can believe he has been playing the Doctor forever but the single best performance is Billie Piper who absolutely owns her role. The Curator at the end steals his scene, but that’s just his nature.

Ultimate Anniversary Moment: “No sir Thirteen!”

Memorable Moments: I wasn’t expecting that, you’re basically just a rabbit, I’m not judging you, Timey Wimey?, Breath that could stun a horse, weak and feeble woman, sorry about the Dalek, Bad wolf girl I could kiss you , Who nose.

Really cool moment: The Daleks on detecting the Doctor stop killing time lords En Masse to go after him…very bad move

Oddities: Shouldn’t the time lords only be acquainted with Doctors one through War doctor (8 1/2) How do they recognize the ones after him?

Pet Peeves: If the Daleks are that obsessed with the Doctor couldn’t he have led them away from Gallfrey simply by showing up elsewhere? How does the Doctor’s interaction with the General in Arcadia effect the actions of Rassilon & the high counsel. How would the Zygons know about what happened to the Sycorax?

Great Quote(s):

War Doctor: Don’t sit on that!
The (Bad Wolf) Moment: Why not?
War Doctor: Because it’s not a chair, it’s the most dangerous weapon in the universe.
The (Bad Wolf) Moment: Why can’t it be both?

********************************************
10th Doctor: It was the horse. I’m going to be King. Run!

******************************************
10th Doctor: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Oh, very clever. Whatever you’ve got planned, forget it. I’m the Doctor. I’m nine hundred and four years old. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness, and you are basically just a rabbit, aren’t you? Okay, carry on. Just a general warning.

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

10th Doctor: What are you doing here? I’m busy.
11th Doctor: Oh, busy. I see. Is that what we’re calling it, eh? Eh? Hello, ladies.
10th Doctor: Don’t start.
11th Doctor: Listen, what you get up to in the privacy of your own regeneration is your business.
10th Doctor: One of them is a Zygon.
11th Doctor: Urgh. I’m not judging you.

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

War Doctor: You’re me? Both of you?
10th Doctor: Yep.
War Doctor: Even that one?
11th Doctor: Yes!
War Doctor: You’re my future selves?
10th & 11th Doctor: Yes!
War Doctor: Am I having a midlife crisis? Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They’re scientific instruments, not water pistols.

**************************************************
Clara: Hang on. Three of you in one cell, and none of you thought to try the door?

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

10th Doctor: Ow! The desktop is glitching.
War Doctor: Three of us from different time zones. It’s trying to compensate.
11th Doctor: Hey, look. The round things.
10th Doctor: I love the round things.
11th Doctor: What are the round things?
10th Doctor: No idea.

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

11th Doctor: Alien technology plus human stupidity. Trust me, it’s unbeatable.

***************
11th Doctor: Hello, hello, Gallifrey High Command, this is the Doctor speaking.
10th Doctor: Hello! Also the Doctor. Can you hear me?
War Doctor: Also the Doctor, standing ready.
GENERAL: Dear God, three of them. All my worst nightmares at once.

**************************************
General: I didn’t know when I was well off. All twelve of them!
12th Doctor: No, sir. All thirteen!

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

11th Doctor: I could be a curator. I’d be great at curating. I’d be the Great Curator. I could retire and do that. I could retire and be the curator of this place.
Curator (elderly 4th Doctor): You know, I really think you might.
11th Doctor: I never forget a face.
Curator (elderly 4th Doctor): I know you don’t. And in years to come, you might find yourself revisiting a few. But just the old favourites, eh?

Final Verdict: 5 Stars, could it have been a better 50th anniversary episode? Yes. Was it not as good as the fiveish Doctors? Yes. but is it a spectacular story in it’s own right? Without a question.

Ranking of Season 1st of 16 Frankly if it wasn’t the BEST episode of the season it would be a failure.

1. The Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. The Crimson Horror
4. The Power of three
5. The Name of the Doctor
6. The Snowmen
7. Nightmare in Silver
8. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
9. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
10. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
11. Cold War
12. A Town Called Mercy
13. Asylum of the Daleks
14. The Rings of Akhaten
15. Hide
16. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown) 1st but again if a multi doctor story that’s the 50th anniversary isn’t the best of the era it would almost be a failure

1. Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. Let’s Kill Hitler
4. The Girl who waited
5. The Doctor’s Wife
6. The Pandorica Opens
7. A Good Man Goes to War
8. The Eleventh Hour
9. The Big Bang
10. The Crimson Horror

Summary:  Can the forgotten heroes of ages past gain their rightful due?

 

Plot:  Peter Davison , Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy find themselves getting more and more concerned as the filming dates for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special comes ever closed ad they’re not called.    Their repeated calls to Stephen Moffat offices go unanswered and they are driving their families up the wall.  Finally with time running short they decide along  to act with Paul McGann (schedule permitting) to do something about it as Tom Baker is caught in a time eddy.  But if they can’t get Stephen Moffat  to change his minds can they someone sneak onto the set and get themselves in the episode without getting caught and thrown off the set?

 

Writing:  Peter Davison story is simply fantastic poking fun at all the idioms of both Doctor Who and the fleeting attention of fame.  The genius of the story is that while Doctor Who fans   a person who has never seen the show can easily understand the plot and the comedy.  It both respects and lampoons all the people involved.   The perspective of dealing with the fans on a daily basis really make a huge difference

 

Acting:   Davison Baker and McCoy all pull it off brilliantly McGann in a smaller role work very well.  John Barrowman who was also disappointed in not making the 50th has a great atypical part.  The number of cameos from not only those involved in the show but the  great and famous from Olivia Colman to Peter Jackson are all excellent but my favorites are the families particular  Colin Baker wife who is just hilarious.  Russell T Davies & Steven Moffat

Anniversary:  Do I really have to say it?

 

Great Moments:  The Dream sequence, playing with toys,  don’t tell anyone, celery and ice cream, I’ve locked all the doors,  Autographs That’s the making of Documentary,  Russell’s call.

 

Oddities:    If you look at the Shroud Scene in this picture and in the actual special they sure look alike, (and one of the shrouded Zygons in the actual special is suspiciously short.)

 

Pet Peeves:   Why are John Barrowman CD’s legal tender to get into the Doctor Who Experience?

 

Great Quote(s)

Jenna Louise Colman:  You were always my mon’s favorite…pause, camera moves forward then back to her  You were always my favorite

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Janet Fielding: Your dreaming Pete, they’re not going to call you Pete, They don’t want you Pete, they don’t want any of you Pete, Get up and walk the dog.

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Colin Baker: Oh you’re in the hobbit I didn’t know

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Peter Davison: this is not some flash in the pan 500 million dollars picture, this is important!

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Final Verdict:  Five Stars and easily of the 4 50th anniversary specials including the big finish , the Night of the Doctor and the Day of the Doctor the best of the batch.  Simply

If we were to rank this in the Doctor who specials of the Matt smith Era, it would be first.

We really can’t rank this as a Doctor Who episode but If we were to rank this in the Doctor Who episodes of the Matt Smith Era it would be 1st.  If I did rank it as an episode in the Matt Smith era it would be just behind Let’s Kill Hitler at 3rd.

Oh just watch it now

The (final for a bit) in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: The Doctor’s final secret is revealed will he discover Clara’s as well?

Plot: The episode start with the 1st Doctor in the process of stealing the TARDIS when interrupted by Clara. It then flashes through her seemingly falling through time encountering all the incarnations of the Doctor leading to the opening credits. Back in 1893 a killer on death row has a vision of the Doctor that peaks the interest of Madame Vastra who calls an unconscious conference call between her, Jenny, Strax (who is in the North) along with Clara in the future and River Song trapped in the database of the Library. During their conference they are attacked by strange creatures (The Whisper Men) and the Great Intelligence who kill Jenny and threaten Strax & Vastra unless the Doctor comes to Trenzalore. When Clara wakes she tells the Doctor of the encounter which shakes him to his core. The Doctor Travels to Trenzalore having to fight the TARDIS which resists him all the way due to the paradox of it being the final resting place of both it (the TARDIS and the Doctor). There he and Clara encounter the Whispermen and find Vastra Strax & Clara (who has been revived by Strax) and their master the Great Intelligence who is determined to destroy the Doctor for all time. Can he stop them without sacrificing himself, Clara or River?

Writing: Stephen Moffat has written less of a season finale as an intro to the 50th anniversary special. His use of just about every single Doctor in this episode likely is to make up for the purported exclusion of all the old doctors from the anniversary. The Whisperman are a very cool monster but seem to do absolutely nothing other than act spooky. There is also a huge hole in the resolution but it’s not clear if that is due to be resolved in the special. This makes this one of the hardest to judge.

Acting: Richard E Grant really brings real horror to his role as the Great Intelligence. Strax, Jenny & Vastra are their usual great selves as is Jenna Louise Coleman but as always Alex Kingston steal every single scene she is in and her final conversation with the Doctor is one for the ages.

Anniversary with just about every doctor in this episode it’s a superfluous question

Memorable Moments: Sorry Archie, Not the one with the big head, blood soaked, I will not open my tomb, God knows how that looked, I’ve got him rattled, ask Solomon, there will be consequences.

Oddities: When the Doctor says…”somebody stop him” why do none of his friends move to do while he is delivering his monologue?

Pet Peeves: For Clara’s gambit to work she has to defeat the Great Intelligence everywhere he exists in the Doctor’s Time line. Given she has no special powers other than being there, how does she manage it? Also shouldn’t the Doctor have a memory of Clara in every regeneration?

Great Quote(s):

Vastra: Professor. Help yourself to some tea.
River: Why thank you. {she has a champagne bucket}
Jenny: How did you do that?!
River: Disgracefully.

********************************************
Vastra: Ah, perhaps you two haven’t met. This is the Doctor’s companion. That is, his current travelling assistant.
Clara: Assistant?
Strax: Have you gone a darker green?

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

Clara: You okay? Visiting your own grave, anyone would be scared.
The Doctor: It’s more than that. I’m a time traveller. I’ve probably time travelled more than anyone else.
Clara: Meaning?
The Doctor: Meaning… my grave is potentially the most dangerous place in the Universe. Shall we?

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

Strax: Madame, boys. Combat formations! They are unarmed.
Jenny: So are we!
Strax: Do not divulge our military secrets!

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Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars but I reserve the right to change my opinion after the 50th anniversary special & Christmas special if they are all linked. It won’t drop below four and I can’t see it going to 5 but we’ll see.

Ranking of Season 4th of 15 It’s worth noting that only one Rory/Amy episode ranked in the top 5 and only two in the top 10.

1. The Bells of St. John
2. The Crimson Horror
3. The Power of three
4. The Name of the Doctor
5. The Snowmen
6. Nightmare in Silver
7. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
8. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
9. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
10. Cold War
11. A Town Called Mercy
12. Asylum of the Daleks
13. The Rings of Akhaten
14. Hide
15. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown)

1. The Bells of St. John
2. Let’s Kill Hitler
3. The Girl who waited
4. The Doctor’s Wife
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. A Good Man Goes to War
7. The Eleventh Hour
8. The Big Bang
9. The Crimson Horror
10. The Lodger

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: Something horrible is hiding in the greatest Amusement Park that there ever was and the existence of the Human race is going to come down to a game of chess.

Plot: Clara’s “kids” having figured out the how she has been spending her spare time end up on a trip with the Doctor to the greatest amusement part in the universe where they find carney folk an platoon of inept soldiers and Cybermen who take over the children and half of the Doctor. It’s a race against time can Clara and the inept soldiers hold off the Cybermen long enough for the Doctor to win his winner take all chess match with the Cyber-planner in his head? Or will it come down to vaporizing the entire planet to save the universe?

Writing: Neil Gaiman gives us a story that’s has a mix of real horror and real terror. He also turns the Cybermen into an almost invincible foe that can adapt instantly. While the design is has another winner this makes them an impossibly powerful foe. Then again as this takes place in the very far future we might be able to ignore quite a lot of it.

Acting: Veteran actor Warwick Davis is great as Porridge Jenna Louise Coleman continues to excel as Clara. Tamzin Outhwaite’s captain is a bit memorable and Matt Smith’s seeming dual role is interesting as far as it goes.

Anniversary 6th Doctor: A marriage proposal from an Emperor to a doctor’s companion.

Memorable Moments: Sandwich, no blowing up the planet, Mr. clever, good news bad news We are going to the NORTH, Tom Tom, the wrong hands, my monster, that’s my girl.

Oddities: The Cybermen are simply too powerful. There is no way they lose their war with man given their strength (unless of course the Doctor intervened at some time in the past or future.

Pet Peeves: Once the doctor figures out the Cybermen are on the planet why doesn’t he just take the kids back to earth (fast return switch) and then come back (fast return again)?

Great Quote(s):

Clara: The only reason I’m still alive is because I do what the doctor says. Can you guarantee me you’d bring me back my children alive and unharmed? I trust the Doctor.

Captain: You think he knows what he’s doing?

Clara: I’m not sure I’d go that far

********************************************
Porridge: That used to be the Tiberian Spiral Galaxy. A million star systems, a hundred million worlds, a billion trillion people. It’s not there anymore. No more Tiberian Galaxy. No more Cybermen. It was effective.

Clara: It’s horrible.

Porridge: Yeah. I feel like a monster sometimes.

Clara: Why?

Porridge: Because instead of mourning a billion trillion dead people, I just feel sorry for the bloke who had to press the button and blow it all up.
*************************************************

Clara: Chess game. Stakes.
The Doctor: If he wins, I give up my mind and he gets access to all my memories along with knowledge of time travel. But! If I win. he’ll break his promises to get out of my head and then kill us all anyway.
Clara: That’s not reassuring!
The Doctor: No.

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

Final Verdict: 4 1/2 An excellent episode

Ranking of Season 7 5th of 14

1. The Bells of St. John
2. The Crimson Horror
3. The Power of three
4. The Snowmen
5. Nightmare in Silver
6. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
7. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
8. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
9. Cold War
10. A Town Called Mercy
11. Asylum of the Daleks
12. The Rings of Akhaten
13. Hide
14. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown)

1. The Bells of St. John
2. Let’s Kill Hitler
3. The Girl who waited
4. The Doctor’s Wife
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. A Good Man Goes to War
7. The Eleventh Hour
8. The Big Bang
9. The Crimson Horror
10. The Lodger

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: A series of gruesome deaths take place in Yorkshire and in the eye of the latest victim, is the image of the Doctor.

Plot: Madame Vastra is engaged to investigate the murder of a reporter by his brother She Jenny and Strax head north to Yorkshire to Sweetville a new utopia run by a Mrs Gillyflower and her very silent partner Mr. Sweet. In the course of infiltrating the commune that only accepts the very best Jenny discovers not only that the factories are a front but find the Doctor chained and infected by a horrible disease (The crimson horror) After explaining to Jenny what happened (including his adoption by the Mrs. Gilyflower’s blind daughter Ada he then tries to discover Clara but even with Clara, Jenny Vastra and Strax can he stop Mrs. Gillyflower’s plan to purge the earth.

Writing: Mark Gatiss has another winner I suspect this might have been almost a pilot for Vastra, Jenny & Strax For an episode where the Doctor arrives late. It never stops being interesting. It’s a fun episode the really holds up well.

Acting: OK everyone expects me to be complementing Diana Rigg (she was great) but it’s Rachel Stirling her daughter playing, Ada who steals the show and it’s not easy to steal the show when Dan Starkey has it in his pocket and is about to walk away with it.

Anniversary 5th Doctor: Brave Heart Clara

Memorable Moments: We are going to the NORTH, Tom Tom, the wrong hands, my monster, that’s my girl.

Oddities: Vastra’s existence is not all that well known yet are hired off the street

Pet Peeves: Exactly where do those photos the kids found come from?

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor: I’m the Doctor, you’re nuts and I’m going to stop you.

********************************************
The Doctor: In the wrong hands that venom could wipe out all life on this planet.

Mrs. Gillyflower:
[showing her hands] Do you know what these are? The wrong hands!

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

Two clips that go together that can’t be appreciated without being seen: So Jenny

Then Strax

Final Verdict: 5 stars Great Actors + Great Story = Great Episode

Ranking of Season 7 2nd of 13

1. The Bells of St. John
2. The Crimson Horror
3. The Power of three
4. The Snowmen
5. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
6. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
7. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
8. Cold War
9. A Town Called Mercy
10. Asylum of the Daleks
11. The Rings of Akhaten
12. Hide
13. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown) 9th

1. The Bells of St. John
2. Let’s Kill Hitler
3. The Girl who waited
4. The Doctor’s Wife
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. A Good Man Goes to War
7. The Eleventh Hour
8. The Big Bang
9. The Crimson Horror
10. The Lodger

Update: Left out Hide for some reason, fixed.

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: the Shields are down the Tardis is damaged and Clara is in the center of it.

Plot: The Doctor is giving Clara a flying lesson when a salvage ship mistaking the TARDIS for a bit of space flotsam catches it in a beam & draws it in (the shields being down in basic mode) without a big friendly button to make everything right there is a crash and the Doctor enlists the salvage crew of two brothers and an android to get Clara out of the damaged TARDIS offering both a carrot of the salvage of a lifetime and the stick TARDIS self destruct. Meanwhile an out of phase Clara is finding interesting things and a molten beast out to kill her. Temporal anomalies continue make things more and more unstable as they travel deeper and deeper meanwhile the salvagers continue to try to strip the machine. Can the paradoxes all be resolved before with everyone alive and well without secrets nobody is meant to know being reveled?

Writing: Stephen Thompson’s tale give us a look deep into the TARDIS for the first time in Decades and it’s both a scary and fascinating but the real gem of this episode are the characterizations they make the episode although frankly I’m a bit paradox ed out.

Acting: Probably the best interaction between Matt Smith & Jenna Louise Coleman since the Bells of St. John the Salvage crew played by Ashley Walters, Mark Oliver & Jahvel Hall do a more than credible job.

Anniversary Flashback 4th doctor, the entire Tardis trip brings to mind the Invasion of time additionally there is a series of voices Susan, Jo Grant, Martha Jones, Amy Pond, Ian Chesterton & the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 11th doctor (plus the TARDIS herself Idris)

Memorable Moments: countdown, big friendly button, Everything!, history of the time war, lots of screaming, your name.

Oddities: Is it just me or does Clara carrying herself in provocative fashion at the end of the show?

Pet Peeves: Time including the Doctor’s own past is re-written yet her remembers it.

Great Quote(s):

Gregor: Report.
Computer: Everything, behind that door.
Gregor: Everything?
Computer: Sensor detects everything you could possibly want. Everything.
Gregor: I don’t understand. Give me a price tag.
Computer: Incalculable.
Gregor: What?
Computer: More valuable than the total sum of any currency.

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

Clara: What do you keep in here? Why have you got zombie creatures? Good guys do not have zombie creatures. Rule one, basic story telling

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

Final Verdict: 4 stars a lot to work with here.

Ranking of Season 7 6th of 11

1. The Bells of St. John
2. The Power of three
3. The Snowmen
4. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
5. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
6. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
7. Cold War
8. A Town Called Mercy
9. Asylum of the Daleks
10. The Rings of Akhaten
11. Hide
12. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown)

1. The Bells of St. John
2. Let’s Kill Hitler
3. The Girl who waited
4. The Doctor’s Wife
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. A Good Man Goes to War
7. The Eleventh Hour
8. The Big Bang
9. The Lodger
10. A Christmas Carol

Update: Accidentally left out hide from the list fixed