I know I usually don’t lead with a Doctor Who review but I’ve been sick this week and I needed to get it in before the new episode.

Summary:  Something odd is going on at St Luke’s University Bristol where there is a Doctor in Residence

Plot: The Doctor notices a woman named Bill who works in the kitchen of the campus who has been attending his lectures, Bill has been noticing various women but one of them has noticed an odd puddle that leads to trouble.
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Writing: Moffat puts us in an interesting setting, suggesting subplot after subplot with an obvious season long arc brewing it’s a situation full of promise.  (I REALLY liked the whole Doctor noticing the lunch lady in the lectures bit)  and delivers one of the weakest, most contrived SJW stories that one could give and the worst story to introduce a character since the Twin Dilemma.  It’s as if the story itself was an afterthought to all that’s going on in his head.

Acting:  There is a lot wrong with this episode but none of it has to do with the acting,  Peter Capaldi shines, delivers, Pearl Mackie’s does a more than adequate job as Bill with strong hints of even better to come but it’s Matt Lucas’ Nardole again in a lesser role really makes it all come together.  I’m shocked at how much he ads to the show.

Memorable Moments:  The Doctor’s office, I fattened her up.  The first mention to my knowledge of the Tardis Bathroom (other than Deck 7)

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Pictures of River Song and Susan, Sonic Screwdrivers, Movellans

Oddities:  There are signs that Nardole is cybernetic yet he give a warning about the Tardis Bathroom, The Doctor refers to the Morvellans as Friends but that’s not quite accurate.

Pet Peeves:  Ok so you have this puddle, it’s apparently so powerful that it’s able to travel through time and space on a whim and even defeat Daleks and all it really wanted to was:

1. Take over one human
2. follow a crush.

I’m sorry you’re telling me that such an artifact couldn’t resist that last thought? And what’s it actually doing there? It’s not about an actual plot, it’s about emphasizing Bill as a lesbian and legitimizing such a crush to an audience of kids.  The irony of course is the rather humorous chips scene had already accomplished that purpose but was well written.  If you had an actual plot or reason behind such a super powerful liquid life form or whatever there, that would be one thing, but there was no sign of it.  This was just spiking the ball in your face, full SJW the same thing that killed the first series.

I’ve grown used to dealing dealing with  SJW in entertainment in general and Doctor Who in particularly, I do my best to ignore it but as objectionable as it it’s even worse when paired bad storytelling.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Bill: Look at this place. It’s like a
The Doctor: Spaceship.
Bill:  Kitchen.
The Doctor: A what?
Bill: A really posh kitchen, all metal. What happened with the doors, though? Did you run out of money?


Nardole: Oh, human! Human alert. Do you want me to repel her?
The Doctor: She’s just passing through. She wants to use the toilet.
Nardole: Oh. I’d er give it a minute, if I were you.


Bill:  Doctor! It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!

Nardole: Way-hey! We got there! (Nardole and the Doctor shake hands.)
Bill: How is that possible? How do you do that?
Nardole: Well, first you have to imagine a very big box fitting inside a very small box.
Bill: Okay.
Nardole: Then you have to make one. It’s the second part people normally get stuck on.


The Doctor: Nardole, we need to move away from the doors and towards the Tardis.
Nardole: What if it attacks us?
The Doctor:  Well, that’s the good news. It means it’s not interested in what’s inside the vault. It just wants to kill us.
Nardole: Oh.
The Doctor: Run!


Bill:  Can I ask you a personal question?
The Doctor: No.
Bill: Can I anyway?
The Doctor: Yes.
Bill:  Are you from space?
The Doctor: No, of course not. Nobody’s from space. I’m from a planet like everybody else.
Bill:  This planet?
The Doctor: No, not specifically this one.


Final Verdict: 2 1/2 stars My wife thinks it deserves less and it might but there was enough there to get this level.  What’s really a shame is this episode could have easily been 4 stars or more.  So much potential and so much waste for a story they had a whole figgen year to write.  I’m hoping and expecting a lot better given good writes given such a talented cast

Ranking of Season: 1st of 1 (by default) that won’t last (at least I hope not)

1st  The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place but it’s worth repeating what I said while complementing the Return of Doctor Mysterio:  “This is a children’s show that adults can enjoy instead of a children show pushing adult themes, more please.”  Apparently they didn’t take my advice.

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

The latest rumor that Tilda Swinton is the top runner to be the next Doctor is all over the place.

As insanity of the social justice warriors in media envelops their fellow SJW’s at the BBC, who get the final say in remaking The Doctor in their own cultural image,  let me highlight a few practical points before you decide to give red Tilda, or any other woman, the keys to the Doctor’s TARDIS and throw the final vestiges of what is a children’s show, and not as it may seem a show for adults who are still children, into the bin.

  1. History

People tend to see the world based on the world around them, however history didn’t start in 1990. For the vast majority of human history women were chattel at worst and subordinates as best and in most Islamist countries that remains true today. Given the history how many knots are you going to have to twist any time a female Doctor arrives at any date prior to 1900 or in any non western society today (say Saudi Arabia) and get her to persuade the various powers that be to give “her” the ability to deal with threat X, Y or Z? And unless you plan on only one adventure in Earth’s past how do you plan on making said “twist” work each time?

  1. The Teenage boy fan base

There are a lot of teenage boys who watch Doctor Who, I discovered it myself as a teenager. The idea of a time traveling eccentric who travels the universe defeating monsters and saving planets was very appealing to me as I suspect tales of heroism have been to young men ever since there have been young men.

How do you think those young men approaching or in puberty (not to mention many who haven’t bothered to develop maturity these day) are going to see a Doctor to put it bluntly, with tits?

Do you really want to turn the Doctor, who is essentially the hero fighting the monsters, into a sex object because that is what is going to happen, however you dress this Doctor or however you play it the sexuality angle will be on the table (and in Swinton’s case there is plenty on youtube to fuel it)

Russell T. Davies and gay icons status notwithstanding, do you want the Doctor to become mastubation material for teenage boys? And is the BBC ready for the inevitable porn parody that will follow which would likely involve scarves, fezs, celery and the Doctor literally doing him/her self which will be watched by every kid with an internet connection over the age of 8?

Yeah that’s the image the that we want to leave with the youth of Britain and the world

  1. The Doctor in combat as a prisoner

As anyone who has followed the Doctor on TV or in books or via Big Finish knows, the Doctor is constantly getting captured and chained up in dungeons, and prisons and getting tortured. One the Doctor is a woman there is an entirely different dimension.

Rape.

How do you deal with the inevitable possibility in fact probability of the Doctor being raped after being taken? How do you explain it away? How do you get that to play on what is supposed to be a kids show and is the theme you really want to be dealing with?

Because anywhere that the TARDIS lands where women are property if the Doctor is captured that’s on the table, and if the Doctor is in that situation is the companion going to show up in the nick of time?

  1. Bringing Back those women viewers:

One of the knocks against Capaldi, who like Peter Davidson is in my opinion an excellent Doctor who had the misfortune of following the best actor who held the role in his generation, is that being older he lost some of the female audience because of the lack of sexual tension in the background. This is actually again goes to the door of Russell Davies who decided once Eccleston was gone, to turn the Doctor/Companion relationship into something more, first pining for Rose, then missing Rose while the Martha pined for him, then Donna and the recurring “we’re not a couple” gag. And Matt Smith with Amy, then the Doctor/Rory rivalry, then Clara, the TARDIS has been full of sexual tension and relationships, which thanks to good writing and fine actors was handled without destroying the nature of the show & the appeal to kids.

I can understand wanting to get that base back but the truth is making the Doctor a woman will not bring back the tension that attracted the female audience. The critics will love it of course but that’s not the audience they lost. They can try to play up the “Woman can be a hero too” business but that’s already been demonstrated in the series as far back a Romana & Leela. Making the Doctor a woman will just be a stunt and like all stunts will fizzle?

5…and getting out of it

This should really be 4a but when, not if, the SJW affirmative action Doctor fails what then? If the ratings don’t improve and the audience doesn’t return do you DARE kill off the 1st woman doctor after one season? After two? Do you risk the wrath of the SJW community if you don’t replace the 1st woman doctor with the 2nd woman doctor or the first openly gay doctor hitting on every man in history or the first transgender doctor or the first cisnormative but sexually confused asian crossdressing doctor? You get the idea. Once you start down this path you’ll have a tough time getting out of it without facing a backlash and we’ve already seen how very nice the SJW community reacts?

It won’t be pretty

  1. All girls together

If you want a “woman” doctor why not give a series to Romanna, or Jenny (the Doctor’s Daughter) or Susan (The Doctor’s Granddaughter)? Why not take a female Time Lord inspired by the Doctor, and have her go off to do what the Doctor Does? You could even have Catherine Tate thanks to the Meta Crisis (The Doctor Donna) do it and regenerate. Hell you could Bring back River Song, give her a new regeneration and let her do it. Want a hero for young girls, let that hero be a woman from start to finish, someone they can dream like being without an expensive operation. Let the “female” doctor be a woman right from the start and show that she can carry a series on her own and a TARDIS on her own, granted you have some of the same problems that I’ve already mentioned above, but with a different character and a different back story you have the flexibility that you don’t have with the Doctor.

  1. The Lessons of history

Finally let me remind you all of what happened the last time the BBC decided to play SJW with the Time Lord:

The idea of bringing politics into Doctor Who was deliberate, but we had to do it very quietly and certainly didn’t shout about it,” said McCoy.

“We were a group of politically motivated people and it seemed the right thing to do.

His companion Ace/Sophie Aldred agreed

Sophie Aldred, who played Ace, the Doctor’s feminist companion, said a shared contempt for right-wing ideology had inspired “a real bonding process” for cast and crew.

“Thatcher was our prime minister and we weren’t happy,” she said.

So the decision was made to turn a children’s television show into a platform for 80’s SJW. The result?

ratings slumped from a high of 16m, when Tom Baker was the Doctor a decade earlier, to 3m and the show was taken off air twice: in 1986-7 by Michael Grade, then the director of programmes — who said it had “no redeeming features” — and again in 1989, two years after Grade had left the BBC.

Ah the joys of the left managing to make a British institution so unpalatable that it could not survive.

One would think that a show about time travel would be more attuned to the lessons of history.

Anyways they likely care what a fifty something like me thinks even though both of my sons discovered fandom thru me they will do what they want.

…Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who:

Speaking in an interview on BBC’s Radio 2, the Scottish star said he felt it was “time to move on to different challenges” after being in the role since 2013. The actor will leave the Tardis for the last time in the 2017 Christmas special.

In the surprise announcement he said: “I’m always someone that did different things. I’ve never done one job for three years before and I feel it’s time for me to move on to different challenges.”

Capaldi as a fan long before he was the Doctor understood what the role means:

“Sometimes I walk into a room and children gasp, and it’s not because of me … it’s because Doctor Who just walked in. That’s an incredibly wonderful place to be,” he said, adding that the BBC had been a true pillar of support for both him and his colleagues in the industry.

The 58-year-old performer confirmed that the cast and crew were now working on the latest season — his last — and were “about four episodes from the end.”

Capaldi’s final season as the Time Lord will launch in the U.K. on April 15, a day after the actor’s birthday. It’s also the final season for Doctor Who’s head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat.

With the death of John Hurt (who played the War Doctor both in the 50th anniversary episode and in four audio boxed sets for Big Finish (the 4th which is yet to be released) that makes two earth shatterng changes to Doctor Who in this new year.

Already however there have been signs that I hate to admit was not entirely unexpected.

Doctor Who fans have called on the programme’s new lead writer to seize the opportunity to appoint a black or female actor as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord, following the announcement that Peter Capaldi is leaving.

Which doctor who fans have done this? I haven’t talked to any of them and I’ve been a fan since 1976 but in fairness this is coming from the Guardian which lives for the whole sjw thing:

Chibnall has an obvious opportunity – at a time of urgent debate in British TV about diversity – to think outside the Tardis. It seems likely that Charlotte Moore, BBC TV’s director of content, will at least want a conversation about whether the gender and race of the character played by a dozen white men so far is written in stone tablets somewhere in the galaxy.

In other words you already see people pushing for the new doctor to be a sjw choice.

Let me remind these people what happened the last time Doctor Who went this route

Sylvester McCoy, the actor who played Doctor Who for two years in the 1980s, has revealed that left-wing scriptwriters hired by the BBC wrote propaganda into the plots in an attempt to undermine Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

The Telegraph wrote about this a year ago:

McCoy, who played the seventh doctor from 1987 to 1989, and Andrew Cartmel, the script editor at the time, both admitted the conspiracy, saying that it “seemed the right thing to do”.
However, the secret messages remained a secret to all but Doctor Who insiders. Meanwhile the show’s popularity went into freefall and it was taken off air in 1989.
McCoy, now 66, who took over as the Doctor three months after Margaret Thatcher’s third election victory in 1987, said they brought politics into the show “deliberately” but “very quietly”.
He said: “We were a group of politically motivated people and it seemed the right thing to do.
“Our feeling was that Margaret Thatcher was far more terrifying than any monster the Doctor had encountered,” he told the Sunday Times.

The result? Doctor Who was cancelled and didn’t return till 2005.

As for me? I think there are plenty of quality actors who are out there who could be selected & if you choose a good one I’m fine with it but let’s make something clear

In terms of Doctor Who fandom I’m an old man and they likely don’t give a damn what I think but It’s worth noting that Doctor Who’s popularity is not confined to the SJW enclaves of London or Hollywood and it’s up to the folks at the BBC if they choose to toss those fans away to make a statement.

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

Some thoughts running through my head.

The weakness of the Democrat party doesn’t surprise me but their willingness to advertise their weakness does by things like this 

Democrats are warning Republicans not to repeal Obamacare. ”They will rue the day” they move in that direction,Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has stated ominously

Nothing says: I have no power and can’t stop you. Like ominous warnings, but what can we expect from a party with visuals like this?

In fairness to Democrats they don’t have Kelly Anne Conway who continues to prove her exceptional value shooting down leftist memes every single day:

Of course a woman who has fought the left and media for pro-life causes is going to know how to handle falsehoods thrown around like a baseball

Of course it’s not only going against Kelly Anne Conway that doesn’t end well:

Retailers enjoyed their best Christmas in more than a decade following the election of President Trump, and the return of enthusiasm and hope. Sales were up 4.1% to 4.9% over last year, CNBC reported.

Except at Macy’s, where sales were down 2.1% It will close 100 stores, and dump 10,000 workers.

If you really want to understand what went wrong, Macy’s stock peaked at $72.31 two weeks after dropping Donald Trump.

Today in the middle of a stock market boom their stock and a Christmas Season that went so well for others:

Macy’s shares recently changed hands at $32.60, down $3.24, or 9 percent.

If Macy’s wants to be a niche market than Trump voters will be happy to let them become one.

Speaking of Niche markets this one via GOP USA caught my eye.

 

Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken is among a couple of dozen restaurants across the country to sign onto a new “sanctuary restaurant” movement meant to offer safe workplaces for immigrants, Muslims and other communities they feel are under threat in the current political climate.

The movement is a joint project of ROC United, a national group that advocates for higher wages for restaurant workers, and Presente.org, whose mission is to “advance Latinx power” (Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina).

According to a news release Wednesday, sanctuary restaurants do not allow harassment of individuals based on immigrant or refugee status or race, religion, gender or sexual orientation; participate in peer networks to exchange ideas for protecting targeted workers; and agree to place prominent signs that state “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone” at their establishments.

 

Two things hit me, the idea that all a group has to do is feel threatened to make their list but if I was in charge of the IRS this would be an open invitation to investigate an employer and levy a large fine for disobeying federal law.

Of course given the left’s decision to use law and regulations as a club against their enemies I’ve never understood their willingness to set the precedent concerning openly ignoring them.

In a recent post I argued that the whole Hillary for Mayor business is all about the Clinton foundation lack of dollars but there is one other thing in play that I didn’t mention.

There are plenty of FOB who were expecting to cash in on a Hillary Clinton presidency, while smaller in scale at least some of those folks can still cash in if Clinton ends up Mayor of NY.

And of course if Hillary becomes Mayor of NYC there is no reason why Chelsea can’t follow her, sure she has no skills or talent but she also has none of the baggage of her mother and father so if you are a person who makes a living off of Clinton Inc, that’s a viable long term plan.

Locally I was very pleased to see this story:

The Planned Parenthood office on Main Street closed last month after operating in the space for six years.

The office, at 208 Main St., opened in 2010, and was routinely the subject of protests held by religious groups outside the office.

Yup praying to stop the murder of children, that’s what we do.

In a press release, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak said the state’s chapter decided to close the Somerville and Milford centers due to a “strategic decision” rather than a budgetary one.

I suspect once the federal dollars are turned off under a Trump administration we’ll see a lot more of this. Yet another bit of proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Every time I see a story like this I wonder why the state of Israel doesn’t just wipe the Palestinians off the map:

It’s not as if they have the Christian command to turn the other cheek.

Incidentally there is an interested pair of stories that have gotten little attention, this:

Arab media is buzzing about a visit to Bahrain by a delegation of 28 religious American Jewish businessmen.

The visit was to explore opportunities from a free trade agreement between the US and Bahrain.

The delegation also is visiting Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

A Bahraini businessman said that the delegation’s visit was an opportunity to introduce them to a tolerant kingdom, adding that “the visit opened the way for economic and trade opportunities.”

Solomon Eisenberg, a member of the Jewish delegation, said that there was a need for direct dialogue, away from governments and media, between people of different faiths and origins

The visit included the Jews and Muslims singing and dancing together (which did not sit well with some Arabs on Twitter.)

followed by this from Bahrain’s house of representatives:

The Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.he Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.

Remind we why we treat these fools like anything other than Barbarians?

Some Sports on the radio this week there was a big fuss about some writer in Philly both calling Curt Schilling a “scumbag” and leaving him off the HOF ballot.  I have three thoughts on this.

First of all part of the discussion was that Wins as a stat was meaningless next to ERA, and others.  I totally disagree, we are long past the time when Connie Mack declared that the best result for him is a team that starts strong but finishes 4th since such a team  will draw enough to make a profit and you don’t have to give a guy a raise for something he didn’t do.  The whole reason why a player is signed by a team is for them to win, both games and championships.  Schilling’s greatness comes from the fact that he delivered and has the three rings to prove it.

Second If Curt Schilling was all in for Hillary vs a GOP stalwart the sports writers of America who these days are a bunch of MSNBC wannabees likely would carry him into the Hall of Fame on their shoulders.

Finally when it comes to the Hall of Fame I think there should be a two tiered system where only the greatest of the great make the highest level, or to put it another way, to my mind if you hear a players name and don’t immediately thing HOF, or have to think even for a moment if a player belongs in the HOF he doesn’t.

In Entertainment Newsbusters is as a rule an invaluable watch on the MSM and culture but I think this story was a bit much.

Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.

I’m sorry but I’m a very conservative Christians and I didn’t find the jokes offensive in the least nor do I suspect did most Christians who watched it.  I understand the broken windows theory but let’s focus on the real thing rather than this penny ante stuff.

Finally let me sing the praises of the only original episode of Doctor Who not produced by Big Finish this year, the Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio.  Watching that show brought me back to the old days of Tom Baker when the show was meant for kids.  No big social agenda, no massive angst, just the Doctor foiling the monsters with a bit of laughter and fun on the side.

More please

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
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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