First some background

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

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

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

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

and this

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

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

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

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

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

p12079367_b_v9_acBy John Ruberry

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

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

Season two of The Last Kingdom is currently in production.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Quote(s)

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Quote(s)

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Great Quote(s)

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Quote(s)

The Doctor: Fix this. Fix it now.

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

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

Clara: Doctor, stop talking like that.

Ashildr: You can’t.

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

Ashildr: I know the Doctor. The Doctor would never

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


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


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

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

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


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


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

Ashildr: She was saving you.

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


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

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

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

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 6th

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

Summary: The Dust is coming to get you

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


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

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

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

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

Oddities:  n/a

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

Great Quote(s)

Zip Zero Nada

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

Ranking of Season: 9th of 9.  

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

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

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

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

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


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

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

Memorable Moments: The Osgood box scene

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

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

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

Great Quote(s)

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

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

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

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

Ranking of Season: 7th of 8.  

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

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Quote

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

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

Summary: There are sometimes costs to being saved by the Doctor, can one be saved from them?

Plot: While Clara is on holiday the Doctor is trailing alien to England of the 16th century where he encounters a highwayman who turns out to be Ashildr.  She is disappointed to find the Doctor has not come to take her away as centuries of life have changed her for the worse to the point where she has even abandoned her name (calling herself “Me”) can the Doctor redeem her as they both seek that alien tech or is there something deeper going on?


Writing:  This episode unlike the other two parters of the season can stand alone as a great story particularly as it deals with the side effects of the Doctor’s acts.  You are never sure how or where it is going to go, which is exactly how a Doctor Who episode is supposed to be.

Acting: Maisie Williams and Capaldi clearly have chemistry and if the decision was made to include her as a permanent companion it would not be bad.  Sam Swift (Rufus Hound) does an admirable job but the character is so well written that it’s fairly easy.

Memorable Moments: Oddly enough only the initial robbery is all that memorable.  While the episode is good nothing really stands out except perhaps the various flashbacks by Ashildr.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Burning of London by the Terileptils (The Visitation 5th doctor) Consequences of the Doctor Saving the day (9th Doctor Long Game / Bad Wold) 10th Doctor (School Reunion).

Oddities: Given the number of years she has lived I would think she would have had a lot more “Doctor” knowledge.

Pet Peeves:  The view of Ashildr in the 21st century assumes the device never wears out.  Given that the aliens the Doctor were fighting were not immortal and given the constant bits of the Tardis breaking that seems unlikely.

Great Quote(s)


The Doctor: Oh, don’t mind me, don’t mind me. I’m only going to be a minute. Don’t worry. Oh, very warm.
Highwayman: What are you doing?
The Doctor: Oh, just ignore me, I’m just passing through, like fish in the night.
Highwayman: This is a robbery!
The Doctor: It’s not fish in the night, it’s something else.
Highwayman: This is my robbery.
The Doctor: No, ships in the night. Yeah, something like that.
Highwayman: Step aside or I shall blow your brains out.
The Doctor: Sorry, were you talking to me there? Try again. I promise I’ll listen this time.
Highwayman: You have interrupted my robbery, sir, and you will step away, if you wish to take another breath.
Coachman: You’re going to get us all killed, if you don’t shut your mouth.
The Doctor: Sorry. Sorry, I really was planning to listen that time but, basically, I didn’t. Usually, someone hits me at this point, but she’s taking the Year 7s for Taekwondo. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! Yes! Got you! Oh, hang on. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was a robbery.
Highwayman: I am robbing these people. You are getting out of my way.
The Doctor: I just need one tiny little thing from out of this box.
Highwayman: This is my robbery!
The Doctor: Well, can’t we share it? Isn’t that what robbery’s all about?

Ashildr/Me: Ten thousand hours is all it takes to master any skill. Over over a hundred thousand hours and you’re the best there’s ever been. I don’t need to be indestructible, I’m superb.

Llewelyn: There’s a bounty on your head for twenty pounds.
The Doctor: Twenty pounds? Is that all?
Stout: ‘Tis a small fortune to us.
The Doctor: Well, in that case, I know where Lady Me keeps all of her money. Almost thirty pounds.
Llewelyn: Now why didn’t you say that in the first place?


Final Verdict: 4 stars. A Good episode

Ranking of Season: 4th of 6.

1. The Girl who Died
2. The Witch’s Familiar
3. The Magician’s Apprentice
4. The Woman who lived
5. Before the Flood
6. Under the Lake

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a

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

Step One: Have Wife tell you she can’t find TV Remote

Step Two: Look for Remote Find it, but pretend otherwise

Step Three: Ask wife to pass you Son’s Toy Series 7 Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver that he left behind when he moved out.

Step Four: Point the toy around the room while hitting the button that makes the scanning sound.

Step Five: Look at the screwdriver as if you’re reading the results of the scan.

Step Six: Produce missing Remote from the spot where you found it but left it saying here you are.

Summary: Can the Doctor Save the Day when he’s apparently already dead?

Plot: The Doctor’s trip to the past to solve the ghost issue has already apparently killed him as his ghost has appeared yet before it has happened he is via his phone dealing with Clara as he arrives in the area before it has flooded to try and discover what has gone on. Can he solve the mystery and save the remaining crew and if he is already doomed, what will become of Clara?


Writing: Another part 2 of a two parter and like the first episode other than the rather fun intro the supporting cast continues to outshine the stars.

Acting: As I said last time You find yourself liking and caring about these people because Zaqi Ismail, Sophie Lee Stone, Morven Christie and Arsher Ali in particular make this episode. Sophie Stone’s Cass really shines, and that’s not easy when silent

Memorable Moments: Bootstrap paradox. The ghost stalking Cass, in fact it’s one of the best an scariest scenes you will find., the final translation.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Another example of the Bootstrap paradox is in the 50th anniversary episode none the 11th doctor finds a fez in the Under Gallery. It is thrown into the Elizabethan era, then to the War Doctor on Gallifrey who takes it with him to the other doctors. In the end it ends up in the Under Gallery where the 11th doctor finds it. So, when was it actually made?

Oddities: Peter Capaldi plays a guitar version of the Doctor Who Theme used in the opening it’s quite good actually

Pet Peeves: Nothing really bothered me.

Great Quote(s)


Bennett: That list your ghost was saying, that’s the order in which people are going to die, isn’t it? I mean, I’ve only just figured that out. But you knew that all along, didn’t you? Moran, Pritchard, Prentis, O’Donnell.
The Doctor: I thought perhaps, because her ghost wasn’t there in the future, like Prentis’s was, I thought maybe, maybe it wouldn’t happen. Maybe she stood a chance.
Bennett: Yeah, but you didn’t try very hard to stop her, though, did you? It was almost like you wanted to test your theory. So who’s next?
The Doctor: Clara.
Bennett: Yeah. Yeah. Except now you’re going to do something about it, aren’t you? Yeah, because it’s getting closer to you. You change history to save yourself but not to save O’Donnell. You wouldn’t save her.
The Doctor: This isn’t about saving me. I’m a dead man walking. I’m changing history to save Clara.


The Doctor: So there’s this man. He has a time machine. Up and down history he goes, zip zip zip zip zip, getting into scrapes. Another thing he has is a passion for the works of Ludwig van Beethoven. And one day he thinks, what’s the point of having a time machine if you don’t get to meet your heroes? So off he goes to eighteenth century Germany. But he can’t find Beethoven anywhere. No one’s heard of him, not even his family have any idea who the time traveller is talking about. Beethoven literally doesn’t exist. This didn’t happen, by the way. I’ve met Beethoven. Nice chap. Very intense. Loved an arm-wrestle. No, this is called the Bootstrap Paradox. Google it. The time traveller panics. He can’t bear the thought of a world without the music of Beethoven. Luckily he’d brought all of his Beethoven sheet music for Ludwig to sign. So he copies out all the concertos, and the symphonies and he gets them published. He becomes Beethoven. And history continues with barely a feather ruffled. But my question is this. Who put those notes and phrases together? Who really composed Beethoven’s Fifth?


Final Verdict: 4 stars. .

Ranking of Season: 3rd of 4.

1. The Witch’s Familiar
2. The Magician’s Apprentice
3. Before the Flood
4. Under the Lake

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/r

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. The Witch’s Familiar
4. Mummy on the Orient Express
5. Into the Dalek
6. Dark Water
7. Listen
8. Flatline
9. Robots of Sherwood
10. The Magician’s Apprentice

Summary: Can The Doctor save an army team from Ghosts in a base under the lake?

Plot: Clara is seeking an adventure so the The Doctor lands in a sea base under a lake where the team there have found an alien spacecraft. As crew members start dying they turn into Ghosts and attack the others. The Doctor traces it to the spaceship which showed up just before the area was flooded. Can the Doctor contain the Ghost and will his trip with part of the crew to the point where the spaceship & flood arrive provide the solution or just more ghosts.


Writing: Another two parter and this one is more character driven by the relationships between the characters. You also have the stock. “company” guy that everyone can’t wait to see killed. There is nothing here that really jumps out to talk about

Acting: I think the supporting cast here overshadows Capaldi and Coleman but that’s because the story is written that way. You find yourself liking and caring about these people because Zaqi Ismail, Sophie Lee Stone, Morven Christie and Arsher Ali in particular make this episode (You’ll hear more than the same next time).

Memorable Moments: the cards

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Ghosts of N Space (which is a BBC audio 3rd Doctor story)

Oddities: The Psychic paper declares the Doctor is from UNIT. That is actually kinda accurate.

Pet Peeves: The Doctor Talks the crew into staying instead of getting out alive, this is very countra doctor.

Great Quote(s)


Bennett: Wait, you’re going to go back in time? How do you do that?
The Doctor: Extremely well.


The Doctor: They’re ghosts! Yeah, ghosts
Clara: You said there was no such thing. You actually pooh-poohed the ghost theory.
The Doctor: Yes, well, well, there was no such thing as, as socks or smartphones and badgers until there suddenly were.


Final Verdict: 4 stars. A good story part 1.

Ranking of Season: 3rd of 3.

1. The Witch’s Familiar
2. The Magician’s Apprentice
3. Under the Lake

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/r

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. The Witch’s Familiar
4. Mummy on the Orient Express
5. Into the Dalek
6. Dark Water
7. Listen
8. Flatline
9. Robots of Sherwood
10. The Magician’s Apprentice

FYI you might be wondering why I took so long to start reviewing this season, it’s because no season required more thought to figure out.

Summary: The Doctor is alone with Davros, Clara is alone with Missy, who is in the greatest danger?

Plot: The Doctor dialogs with the dying Davros while hoping to somehow save Clara, meanwhile , Meanwhile Clara & Missy are plotting to assault the Dalek capital with a pointed stick to save the doctor. Will Missy betray Clara, Will Clara kill Missy if she gets the chance? Will the doctor escape Davros, will Davros escape the Doctor? Does Davros have a cunning plan and will everyone just end up exterminated by the Daleks?


Writing: This episode is part two of a two parter and it’s much stronger because it has a unified storyline. It’s clear that Moffat absolutely loves writing for Missy (who I think would have been better as a new character). Amazingly the writing for Davros is also great as is the dialog between him and the Doctor. It’s yet another episode where Capaldi has little physical exertion but you never notice because it’s so damn good. That’s the problem with being Reggie Jackson people are so used to the Home Runs that they act offended when he grounds out or hits a mere single. This one is a homer

Acting: The problem with Michelle Gomez is she is so good that it’s easy to ignore the spectacular performances of Julian Bleach’s Davros opposite Capaldi and Coleman’s excellent foil to Gomez. The quality of acting exceeds the writing and the writing on this episode is superb.

Memorable Moments: the flashback, the Doctor Joke, You’re my secret favorite, 20 feet, the chair

Doctor Who Flashbacks:
the entire opening sequence is a brand new flashback. Very good.

Oddities: Didn’t a Dalek ask for mercy of River Song (without success)? In fairness the Doctor was not there to hear it..

Pet Peeves: While the Doctor’s is not aware of his Timeline Davors is so for him to even have this plan he has to figure out that there is a gap between the Doctor’s two actions that are by his perception minutes apart and more importantly how does he know when to seize the Doctor to make sure he is in that time?

Great Quote(s)


Clara: Why are you sharpening that stick?
MISSY: Well, I’ve no idea how long we’re going to be stuck out here. Might have to go hunting.
CLARA: So why am I tied up?
MISSY: In case there’s nothing to hunt.


Clara: So the androids think he’s dead and the Doctor escapes.
Missy: No, he’s the Doctor. He fell into a nest of vampire monkeys.


Clara: What are you doing?
Missy: Murdering a Dalek. I’m a Time Lady, it’s our golf.

Oh hell let’s just take it as read that every line from Missy in this episode is a great quote


12th Doctor: Of course, the real question is, where did I get the cup of tea? Answer? I’m the Doctor. Just accept it.


The Doctor: You really are dying, aren’t you?
Davros: Look at me. Did you doubt it?
The Doctor: Yes.
Davros: Then we have established one thing only.
The Doctor: What?
Davros: You are not a good doctor.


Final Verdict: 5 stars. Even with the huge plot hole (see pet peeves) it’s a great episode & Michelle Gomez give it an unfair advantage.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 2.

1. The Witch’s Familiar
2. The Magician’s Apprentice

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 3rd. If the episode was presented as a single one with the Magician’s Apprentice it might have managed 2nd.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. The Witch’s Familiar
4. Mummy on the Orient Express
5. Into the Dalek
6. Dark Water
7. Listen
8. Flatline
9. Robots of Sherwood
10. The Magician’s Apprentice
FYI you might be wondering why I took so long to start reviewing this season, it’s because no season required more thought to figure out.

Summary: Everyone’s Looking for the Doctor but he’s throwing a Going away party for himself

Plot:   The Doctor’s meeting with the Pre-Teen Davros so affects him he withdraws, prompting Davros, Missy, Unit and Clara to go on a full court press to find him. Where is the Doctor? Why has he sent his confession dial to the Master/Missy and why is Davros so eager to see him before he (Davros) dies?


Writing:  This episode is part one of a two parter which makes the story deceptive. When viewed alone it seems completely discombobulated, but when viewed as a two parter (Which is a traditional 2 hour four part Doctor Who story) it’s a lot better. There is a lot to take in here and while there is plenty to like it’s very hard to follow, particularly if you haven’t seen the prequel. The real problem with the episode is the amount of throw away in it that wouldn’t’ be throw away in the old 30 minute episode format of the 70’s 80. Or to put it another way, good writing in a so so cover.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman as usual are strong, both get some fun time but even in her short time on the screen comparatively Michelle Gomez really dominates the episode. I thought gender bending the Master was a cheap stunt but Gomez is just so damn good that it’s impossible to not like her. Julian Bleach’s plays Davros as if he never left the role Colony Sarff is a cool villain as sidekick to Davros. Jemma Redgrave doesn’t get her due here and the cameos of Claire Higgins & Kelly Hunter as the head of the shadow proclamation are cute but have little purpose.

Memorable Moments: help me? Guitar Solo, Pretty Woman, Mickey becomes Missy, Would you rather kill me, The hunt.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: 4th Doctor’s moral dilemma (Genesis of the Daleks) , A series of voice overs from doctors 5 Resurrection of the Daleks, 6 Revelation of the Daleks, 7 Remembrance of the Daleks & 10 The Stolen Earth are played.

Oddities:  Getting the Tank in and out of the TARDIS would have been odd, and the Dude stuff was a bit weird.

Pet Peeves:   If Colony Sarff & the Daleks don’t know where the Doctor is Bros a Dalek slave, and if all it takes is one snake to make one into a Dalek why isn’t he just converting Clara & Missy. Do we really need the lesbian hint stuff?

Great Quote(s) 


The Doctor: Davros is my archenemy. Why would I want to talk with him?
Missy: Now wait, hang on a minute. Davros is your archenemy now? I’ll Scratch is eye out


Colony Sarff: Are you so dangerous, little man?
The Doctor: You want to know how dangerous I am? Davros sent you. You know how stupid you are? You came.


Clara: OK, look. I guessed a party, but not like this. What is this? This isn’t you.
The Doctor: I spent all day yesterday in a bow tie, the day before in a long scarf. It’s my party, and all of me is invited.


Davros: Do you know why you came, Doctor? You have a sense of duty. Of guilt, perhaps. And certainly of shame.
The Doctor: You flatter me.
Davros: Pity. I intended to accuse.

Davros: See how they play with her. See how they toy. They want her to run. They need her to run. Do you feel their need, Doctor? Their blood is screaming kill, kill, kill! Hunter and prey, held in the ecstasy of crisis. Is this not life at its purest?


Final Verdict:   4 stars. When I Watched it my reaction was What the hell was that?   This needed to be two 30 minute episodes

Ranking of Season:   1st of 1.

1. The Magician’s Apprentice

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 9th. My opinion of Robots of sherwood has grown and if it was considered a single episode with the next one it might have ranked higher.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. The Magician’s Apprentice
10. Time Heist

FYI you might be wondering why I took so long to start reviewing this season, it’s because no season required more thought to figure out.

The problem with having a life is I’m constantly becoming the last Doctor Who fan to see stuff like this:

With the War Doctor , the Unit series and the River Song series we are now in full new series Doctor Who mode at Big Finish.

I can’t wait to see a Tom Baker Crossover here.

This was going to be my lead Friday post but not even tennant’s return as the Doctor is bigger news than San Bernadino

Charley Pollard: [In a note the 8th Doctor is reading]: Dear Doctor. It’s been such a long journey for both of us. I never, ever wanted it to end, but end it has. We both know that.
8th Doctor: Ah, Charley, no.
Charley [The Note]: A long time ago now, I said you were the oddest man I’d ever met. You’re that still. You’re the best man I’ve ever met too. But we’ve chanced our luck once too often I think, so I’m bailing out.

Big Finish Doctor Who: The Girl who Never Was 2007

Rory Williams: You know what’s dangerous about you? It’s not that you make people take risks, it’s that you make them want to impress you. You make it so they don’t want to let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you’re around.

Doctor Who  The Vampires of Venice 2010

In Last week’s Doctor Who the Character of Clara Oswald, one of the longest running companions in the series in terms of years was killed off.

There are several opinions I have on the subject but they are better saved for when I start reviewing this season but there is one aspect of the episode that appeals to the math lover in me.

In terms of Doctor Who companions that longest running were Jamie McCrimmon (2nd Doctor Just under 3 seasons), Jo Grant (3rd Doctor 3 seasons) Sarah Jane Smith (3rd & 4th Doctor) who holds the record 3 1/4 seasons and Clara (Just under 3 seasons).

If you are at all familiar with the series you know that with very rare exceptions, the Doctor and his companions are constantly facing death.

They’ve been sold into Slavery (The Romans), Put into the front lines in World War 1 (the War Games), Defended Castles from attacks (The Time Warrior), Kidnapped to be Sacrificed to Pagan Gods (The Masque of Mandragora), Threatened with Execution by Kings (The King’s Demons),  Been on the Dinner Menu (The Two Doctors) ,  Faced Arthurian Legends (Battlefield),  Dodged Gangsters (Invaders from Mars) , Dodged German Bombs (The Empty Child), and Volcanos (The Fires of Pompeii) , Nuclear Devastation ( Cold War) and the Sheriff of Nottingham ( Robot of Sherwood)

And that’s just adventures on Earth.

Over and over the Doctor and his companions find themselves in situations where death is practically certain and over and over again with the exception of Katerina (The Dalek Master Plan) regularly  manage to cheat it.    Of course the Doctor occasionally fails  to Cheat Death himself (Planet of the Spiders) (Logopolis) (Caves of the Androzani) (Time & the Rani) (The Doctor Who Movie) (The Night of the Doctor) (The Parting of the Ways) (The End of Time) (Time of the Doctor) and thanks to that failure regenerates but his companions don’t have that luxury.

Simple math says a lot more of them should have died in action than the few who have and logically the longer you stay the better the chances that your luck runs out.

The based on the math the wonder isn’t that any of the Doctor’s companions have lasted as long as Jamie, Jo, Sarah Jane or Clara.  The wonder is that of the four only Clara was killed while adventuring with him.

I can’t imagine a more dangerous hobby in the entire universe.

For some reason whenever I look at the #Mizzou #Millionstudentmarch & #amherstuprising hastags this exchange from the Doctor Who Episode: The Invasion of Time (1978) pops into my mind

Nesbin: Well, out here it’s different. You have to fend for yourself.
Rodan: Fend?
Nesbin: That’s right. What are you going to eat, for instance?
Rodan: I have some supplies. [takes out tablets] Look.

Nesbin: They won’t last long. When they’ve gone, what will you do?
Rodan: I, I don’t know.
Nesbin: I thought not. You wouldn’t even know what you could eat, would you? Have you ever eaten flesh or fruit?
Rodan: No.
Nesbin: And shelter. Do you understand the need for shelter? No, of course you don’t. You wouldn’t last three days out here.
Rodan: I didn’t realise. I’m so tired and cold.
Nesbin: Better get her inside.
Presta: Are we going to let them stay, then?
Nesbin: We’ll decide about that when we’ve heard their story. This one’ll need rest and shelter before she can tell us anything.

I can’t for the life of me imagine why

For a while one of my favorite places on the net was Rich’s comic blog.  It ran the incredible strip The Ten Doctors, an almost 2 year extravaganza that you can download from this page.  My daily visit to the spot to see if the next strip was up was the first place I looked each morning.

When the 10 doctors was finished he followed it with several great Doctor Who strips, The Stalker of Norfolk featuring the 3rd Doctor,   Forever Janette featuring the 5th & 8th doctor (crossing over with the series Forever knight) .  There was an aborted James Bond Dr. Who Crossover featuring the 3rd & 10th Doctors and multiple bonds which one might hope could someday return.

There was also a story called Outrage, featuring the 6th Doctor that had a crossover with a TV show I’d never heard of, Jem and the Holograms.  The 6th doctor being who he is,  sees through Jem disguise “I know a complex double reflex stable mobile holographic projection when I see through one” but as the story develops it turns out the Doctor’s and his companion visit to a Jem concert puts them in a middle of a plot involving the Misfits, a renegade time lord and the zygons.  (the story was eventually renamed “outrage of the Zygons” once the villains were revealed.)

Over the two months I got to know the characters a little.  They very much seemed a kids or young teen girl music show but Morris’s Doctor Who story & excellent art kept me and I suspect other fans unacquainted with Jem and the Holograms  interested for the two to three months or so that the story ran.

That is apparently is stark contrast to what Hollywood has managed to do

Those of us hos from the 80s who were planning to meet with lawyers this morning to discuss suing Universal Pictures for viciously defaming the image of Jem by turning her into an annoying ABC Family movie character, don’t even have to bother. Universal got their punishment, because Jem and the Holograms was an even bigger flop than everyone predicted.

How bad?  This bad:

Jem had the worst wide opening weekend ever for a movie released by a major studio (Universal Pictures), with major marketing muscle behind it.

However Box office Mojo offers this consolation to this movie that only took in an average of $547 for each of the 2413 theaters that carried it:

Despite the lackluster result, the financial picture for Universal isn’t at all troubling as the film was reportedly made on only a $5 million budget.

That being the case the 1.3 million they took in isn’t going to be as costly a disaster as it could have been.

By contrast Rich’s comic’s blog operates completely by tip jar hits and while Rich has not put out figures on how much the tip jar jingled during his Doctor Who meets Jem days I’ll wager it didn’t result in a loss of over 3 million.

So my advice is this.   If you are a reader who has any interest in seeing what a good Gem and the Holograms story is  go to this page and read Rich’s story, and maybe kick a dollar into his tip jar on his main page.

As for universal my advice is this.  Buy the rights to Rich’s Story, license Dr. Who for the picture remake your Gem movie based on it.  Even if you cast a 72 year old Colin Baker & a 51 year old Bonnie Langford rather than a current Doctor I guarantee you’ll make your money back and then some.



Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

The Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers 2002

As anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a big fan of Doctor Who (and tremendously excited by the new John Hurt War Doctor stories coming from Big finish but I digress).

Yesterday’s episode the Girl who Died had a moment that reminded me why I like the Doctor so much.

For those unfamiliar with the series the Doctor as a member of the TimeLord race, when dying, regenerates into a whole new body with a whole face and personality. This has allowed 13 different actors (including John Hurt’s war doctor) to play the same character over the course of the series run since 1963. Peter Capaldi is the second (Colin Baker being the first) actor in the history of the series to be cast as the doctor after playing a different character on a previous episode. He played Caecilius in the 2008 episode The fires of Pompeii opposite 10th doctor David Tennant who saves him and his family from Pompeii. When he was introduced last year there was a scene where he sees his face for the first time and notes he’d seen his own face before but couldn’t quite place it.

The Doctor is an unapologetic hero and no matter how much various writers have tried to spin it on occasion he has a specific moral code and that code values the lives of the innocent and even sometimes the lives of the not so innocent and will fight to the death to protect them. No matter how futile it may sometimes see he will forever be the person throwing starfish washed on shore back into the ocean to give them a chance.

That’s what makes a hero a hero, one who persists in heroics no matter what anyone else says.


That brings me to Ted Cruz.

Today someone from Ted Cruz’s campaign accidently tweeted out an old 2011 Jim DeMint  endorsement from his senate primary race.  While I suspect that was accidental reading the piece there was a quote from candidate Cruz that I found quite telling:

To my mind, what this primary is about in Texas is helping to provide real leadership to stand up and stop the Obama agenda. One thing that I have told Tea Party activists around the state is that if I simply go to Washington and serve in the U.S. Senate and vote correctly, 100 percent all the time, I will consider myself an abject failure. I’ve asked them to hold me accountable — if that’s all I do, hold me accountable for not doing my job. The reason I’m running is not merely to vote right. What we have a desperate need for is real leadership to stand up and defend free-market principles. And if I am not helping lead the fight, standing there with arrows in my torso, I will not be doing my job. For too long, there have been a few lonely leaders in Washington, such as Jim DeMint in the Senate and Paul Ryan in the House. 2010 provided them with much-needed reinforcement — some very strong leaders such as Mike Lee and Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. But what this election is all about is helping provide leadership to defend free-market principles and stop the Obama agenda.

Cruz in 2011 is making the promise to fight and he further tells voter to hold him accountable if he does not.  He doesn’t say:  “I promise to fight when the party is in favor of it.”  or “I promise to fight if it brings me popularity” or I promise to fight as long as the “few lonely leaders” fight.

He’s given his word to the people who elected him, he’s pledged his word and over the last four year he has kept it, without apology, without equivocation without distraction.  He’s promised to fight and fight he has even when it seems all of Washington is out to stop him.

He’s demonstrated that two me personally twice, once at an event he promised me an interview at the end of the day and even though it was the end of another impossibly long day and his aides came to me saying we just don’t have the time, he sat down with me and kept that promise he made.

It would have been very easy to walk away to use the excuse of a long day.  He did not.

Likewise Saturday after his interview I privately asked a favor that if elected I could grab an interview between election day and his inauguration.  He told me that he could not make that commitment.  He noted quite correctly that the period of time is one of the busiest times for a newly elected president and didn’t want to make the promise if circumstances meant he couldn’t keep it.

Think about that for a second.  He hasn’t yet won the nomination, he hasn’t yet won a primary.  It would be the easiest thing in the world to make such a promise to someone like me and then apologize later if it doesn’t happen and from what I’ve seen 99 candidates out of 100 would have given the easy “yes” without a second thought.

Not Ted Cruz, his word means something, not just to the person he gives it to ,but to him, and he wasn’t about to make a promise he didn’t know he could keep.

Ted Cruz is an unapologetic political hero.  No matter how much media, interest and even his own party tries to spin him otherwise in the end he has a specific moral code and that code values the things he believes in and his word both to those who support him and to himself.  He will continue to make the political fights even if other call them futile, or dangerous electorally

That’s what makes a political hero, one who persists in fighting for the right thing  no matter what anyone else says.


And that finally brings us to the Roman Catholic Church and to some degree to Synod 2015

From the very start the Church has had a priority, Truth, in fact one of the most famous quotes in scripture is: “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” but to really appreciate what that means one read both before and after that verse:

He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.”  So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”

He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.  That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”  So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.  I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.”  They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.

So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.  The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.”

Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.   Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”  Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.

John 8: 21-36

Even when some disciples left over the the bread of life discourses the message didn’t change.  Even after Crucifixion the word of Jesus remained

He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16

Not the persecution in Jerusalem, the persecutions of Rome, Arianism, Gnosticism, Protestantism, the Persecution of the French Revolution, Darwinism, Modernism, Secularism and Communism caused the church to abandon truth.  Not even the liturgical changes of Vatican II , the bending of the Protestants or even the outrage of liberal catholics caused the Church to abandon truth as evidenced by Humanae Vitae   Even as a post Christian era for our protestant brothers: (via instapundit) began

Barbara Rudolph, head of the Ecumenical Department of the Protestant Church in Germany’s Rheinland region, recalls speaking some time ago with Austrian sociologist Mouhanad Khorchide at an academic seminar. Khorchide, who holds the chair for Islamic Religious Studies at the University of Muenster, was explaining his belief that God loves all people – no matter their religion, or lack thereof – and that God only expects compassion and kindness towards others, not pious dogmas.

Rudolph asked herself why she should wish to convert such a good man. “He would have been well within his rights to view that as a slap in the face,” she recalls.

Through all of this the church stood tall and even today the knives are still out for the doctrine of the church

Because there is nothing that the church needs more than taking advice from couples openly and willingly living in mortal and if you don’t think so & say otherwise you are “vicious“. The problem with that argument is that once you apply it to other mortal sins, its absurdity becomes self evident:

Remember Jesus’s words about being “a slave to sin”.  He does not moderate, he does not equivocate he bluntly says the truth inviting those who follow it to know that truth saying that this knowledge will set them free from the slavery of sin.

That’s the whole point of what Jesus does, he calls all of us as the sinners we are, but he doesn’t call us to remain where we are.

As I’ve said many times the reason to be a Christian in general and  Catholic in particular is because it is true.  Not because it is fun, or easy or popular.  Not because we hope that the ladies on The View will say nice things about us.  Because it is true and if it’s true, if heaven & hell exist then nothing is more “vicious” or selfish than to enable a person in mortal sin for the sake of one’s own self esteem.

And that’s why for all the faults of some of it’s members the Catholic Church is an unapologetic moral hero.  No matter how much media,  various interests and even some within it’s own hierarchy tries to bring it down, it continues to not only proclaim the word as it has been, while at the same time doing the works of Charity around the world from Africa and Asia to your own town.  The church’s Catechism  is the moral code grounded in sacred scripture proclaimed at every mass, sacred tradition which predates and defined scripture in the world.  It will continue to make the twin fight for the value of each life and the love of God even in a world that proclaims God is dead.

That’s the Church inspired by the spirit persisting in fighting for the truth


When you pursue what is right without apology and persist against all the forces out to destroy you, whether your domain is the world of fantasy like The Doctor, the world of politics like Ted Cruz , or the spiritual world like the Catholic Church, and do so with courage in the face of unyielding opposition, you’re a hero.


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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Amy Fowler Kane:You don’t Like my husband, do you?
Hotel Clerk:No.
Amy Fowler Kane:Why?
Hotel Clerk:Lots of reasons. This place was always busy when Frank Miller was around. I’m not the only one. Plenty of people think he’s got a comeuppance coming. You asked me, ma’am, so I’m telling you.

High Noon 1952

An Important reminder via Ed Driscoll at  Instapundit over the latest court ruling gutting the Giuliani era laws that cleaned up Times Square

Just a reminder, this is what a certain Weimar-ish clique of dissipated elite New Yorkers have wanted ever since Giuliani cleaned the city up.

This mindset is perfectly illustrated in this fourteen second clip from Doctor Who

Remember all values systems are equal so if you question Sutekh’s designs, you’re a bigot and he’s a victim.


Judge:You will confine your question to the Bible

Drummond:  Alright, forget it. We’ll play in your ballpark Colonel.

Inherit The Wind 1960

One of my absolutely favorite episodes in the entire 52 years of Doctor Who is the Deadly Assassin.

In this episode (the only one in the original series without a companion) the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) returns to Gallifrey due to a premonition of the murder of the President.  Landing in the Capital the head of security Castellan Spandrell (George Pravda) is after him.  Eluding him The Doctor fails to save the President from Assassination and in arrested for the Murder.  At a Trial presided on by the presumptive successor Chancellor Goth (Bernard Horsfall) the Doctor is able to use a legal technicality supported by his old teacher & jurist Cardinal Brousa (Angus MacKay) to delay his execution. He discovers that his old enemy The Master (Peter Pratt) is behind it having beamed his premonition from the Panatropic network used to anticipate such events.  The Doctor enters the Panatropic net with the help of Co-ordinator Engin (Erik Chitty) and manages to survive an epic battle in a dreamworld created in the APC net by his foes and expose Goth & the Master’s plot. While Brousa decides to paint the now dead Goth as a hero to deflect scandal, the Master, having feigned suicide managed to acquire his goal the ceremonial items of the Time Lord Presidency which unbeknownst to all are the key to the entire powersource of the planet which the Master is prepared to destroy to allow him to regenerate. After one more epic battle the Doctor saves the planet earning the grudging respect of his old teacher as his TARDIS leaves the Master’s Tardis also disappears into a universe that Castellan Spandrell suggests “isn’t big enough for the two of them.”

While it’s a delightful story that you can purchase here  I suspect you are asking the obvious question, what does this have to do with Ted Cruz and the MSM not to mention election 2016?

Well because the relationship between the Doctor, The Master and the Chancellor reminds me so much of the relationship between Senator Cruz, the Democrats and their media servants.

Senator Cruz has been getting some flack from the MSM concerning his refusal to attack Donald Trump either over his statements concerning illegal immigration or his counterattack on John McCain after Senator McCain referred to Trump’a Arizona supporters as “crazies”.

And said flack has not been confined to the MSM

Cruz explained to Kelly that he’s “not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.” Fine. But that doesn’t mean he should salute an obvious fraud like Donald Trump.

Mirengoff’s is quite correct that Cruz is looking to keep himself viable with Trump’s supporters but that is actually purely incidental to the main thing that Ted Cruz is doing, and that’s defying the construct that the MSM is creating.

And that’s where Ted Cruz is playing the 4th Doctor to the Democrat’s Master. The First thing the Doctor does is recognize the Master’s methods

Castellan Spandrell: I’ve never seen anything like it.

4th Doctor: I have, I’m afraid.

Castellan Spandrell: You have?

4th Doctor: Yes. It’s a technique the Master picked up somewhere on his travels.

Castellan Spandrell: Who’s the Master?

4th Doctor: Who is the Master? He’s my sworn arch-enemy.

Somehow our friends like Senator McCain and Governor Romney never seem to recognize the Democrats for what they are as Cruz does.

Furthermore like the 4th Doctor in this episode he realizes that their friends in the media are looking for a lot more than just wounding Donald Trump

Castellan Spandrell: Four cold-blooded killings in one day.

4th Doctor: Flea-bitings, Spandrell, flea-bitings. Things will get a lot worse

But it’s more than this, as I said there is no better parallel to the relationship between the MSM and the Democrat left as the this episode of Doctor Who.  For example in this episode the Master’s servants create a false reality in the APC net & attempt to trap the Doctor in it.

4th Doctor: It’s an illusion. Dreams, I deny this reality. The reality is a computation matrix.

Figure: I am the creator here, Doctor. This is my world. There is no escape for you.

In he same way the MSM create a reality and try to trap their foes as you can see during this ABC interview with Trump.  No mater what he says the next question goes to the attack again.

TrumpWhat happened is, later on, the Republican candidates, some of whom are registering 1 percent and zero, and they’re very upset that I’m leading the polls by actually a nice margin, they’re extremely upset and they were extremely when the Nevada numbers just came out and they’re through the roof too. They started attacking me —

Raddatz: Mr. Trump, I want to — let’s go back to this issue of John McCain, and you’re talking about the Sharyl Attkisson piece. You said he’s a war hero because he was captured, I believe perhaps he’s a war hero.

and again

Trump… And the vets — I’ve been going around to the campaign trail. They’re treated like third-class citizens. He’s done nothing to help the vets. And I will tell you, they are living in hell.

Raddatz: You — let me tell you this, what the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, John Stroud (ph), said about your comments….

and again

Trump I go all over the country and I speak to vets all the time. And they’re absolutely having miserable times. It takes them six, seven days just to get into waiting in a reception room, just trying to get in to see a doctor. They’re treated horribly. And everybody knows it and it —

Raddatz:   Let’s go back here — let’s go back to your comment about John McCain –…

and again

TrumpMartha, when we had thousands and thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona, and John — who, by the way, are devastated by illegal immigration, something I’m very proud to have brought to the forefront. We had thousands of people and he said they’re all crazies. He called them crazies.

And frankly, I think he owes them an apology.

Raddatz:Let me talk about your language about him being captured…

and again

Trump…People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also.

Raddatz: I think people do talk about those people as well.

and again

Trump…And as in the report, it said, from Sharyl Attkisson, four times, I said he is a hero. But you know, people choose little selective like you try to do. People choose little selective pieces. If you read what I say or if you watch what I say, which is even better, you’ll say that there was nothing wrong. But the people that weren’t captured are also heroes, Martha.

Raddatz: I want to talk about you and your deferment.

There was not a question concerning any presidential issue in the entire interview and when Trump pointed to an actual issue, the treatment of vets, Raddatz spun away & turned to attack again

No other topic other than attacking a republican is allowed, Take Bill Kristol later on that same show.  He tries to bring up the  “All Lives Matter” meltdown for Martin O’Malley at Netroots Nation on ABC’s this week, suddenly the subject abruptly changes.  No other member of the panel is to be consulted or made to comment, there is a reality that their Democrat master’s demand is pushed and that alone:

The Master:  Stand. I have a task for you.  There may be difficulties. Others may try to prevent you fulfilling my orders. You will ignore them and obey only me. You will let nothing stop you. Do you understand?

SOLIS:Yes, Master. I will obey only you.

Nothing will distract the media from obeying their Democrat Master’s command.  For example:

Since Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign exactly one month ago on June 16, ABC, CBS and NBC have aired a combined 31 evening news stories discussing his comment about illegal Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” When then-President Bill Clinton was accused of rape, those same newscasts aired just four stories mentioning those charges during a 12-month period from March 1998 through March 1999.

In the Deadly Assassin the Master’s servant created a dreamscape forcing the Doctor to fight in his reality.

4th Doctor: [bleeding from a gunshot wound in the APC net] I deny it. I deny it! [the wound fades away]

The Enemy (Goth):You are trapped in my creation, Doctor.  [the wound reappears] My reality rules.

4th Doctor:All right, I’ll fight you in your reality.

The Enemy (Goth):Then it will be a pleasure to destroy you. Be on your guard.

The MSM monopoly is the same thing, a dreamscape where the Planned Parenthood video doesn’t exist and Donald Trump & the Confederate Flag are the only news that matters and GOP candidates who play by those rules are caught up in it.

And it wasn’t just here, what was the topic the media discussed with GOP candidates on the weekend shows?  Donald Trump’s vs McCain.  What is the only story they are pushing?  The same. Consider Meet the Press this week, here is a screen shot of their main page.  Look at the lead videos.


Seven videos five GOP vs trump, one trump stupid one defending Iran deal.


For the media the story of the day is the dreamscape that you can not get out.  That they won’t let you out of.

So how do you win in that environment,  you use the same advantage that the Doctor had.

ENGIN: He’s created a mental stronghold, a dreamscape if you like. The Doctor’s got caught up in it.

SPANDRELL: So he doesn’t stand a chance?

ENGIN: A very slight one. His opponent is expending energy in maintaining the reality projection. The Doctor can employ all his own artron energy for defence.

You reject their premises like here on Meet the Press:

Chuck Todd: So let’s go to immigration. What do you do with the 11 million?

Senator Ted Cruz: You know, it’s an interesting thing in Washington. That is the question that both President Obama and Democrats love to focus on. How do you solve the problem? You focus on areas of common ground. I am long term optimistic and short term pessimistic on immigration. Long term, I’m optimistic because there’s a lotta bipartisan agreement outside of Washington on immigration. There’s overwhelming bipartisan agreement, number one, that we need to secure the borders. That we need to finally do something to stop illegal immigration.

Chuck Todd: What do you do with the 11 million people though? Do you have to send ’em back, or do you give them a way to get legal?

Senator Ted Cruz: Chuck, I don’t accept the premise that you have to solve every aspect of this problem all at once. President Obama and the Democrats focus on that issue because the question you’re asking is the most divisive partisan question in this entire debate. And I don’t believe President Obama wants to solve this.

and when the left tries, as the TimeLord leaders to ignore burdensome facts

Cardinal Borusa: The story is not acceptable. This is a very difficult, very delicate position. We must adjust the truth.

Engin:In what way, Cardinal?

Cardinal Borusa:In a way that will maintain public confidence in the Time Lords and their leadership. How many people have seen this Master since his death?

Spandrell:Apart from ourselves, Hildred and the two guards who took the body to the Panopticon vault.

Cardinal Borusa:Then we shall rely on their silence. We shall change the appearance of the corpse, Castellan. We all know the posthumous effect of a staser bolt. Within the hour, the body will be charred beyond recognition. Our story is going to be that the Master arrived in Gallifrey to assassinate the President, secretly. Before he could escape, Chancellor Goth tracked him down and killed him, unfortunately perishing himself in the exchange of fire. Now that’s much better. I can believe that.

You put them on the spot exposing basic truths like Senator Cruz does here with Jorge Ramos

Ted Cruz:  If you cross illegally into Mexico what does Mexico do

Jorge Ramos:  Of course they’d be deported.

Ted Cruz: So why should the United States not enforce our laws?

Or Ted Cruz on Chris Matthews:

or even the way that Rick Perry did on Morning Joe concerning Planned Parenthood

I threw in Perry to show showing that it CAN be done by others if they choose.

That’s how Ted Cruz beat the NYT over his Best Seller, instead of accepting their premise he counted with facts by defeating them in their own reality.

While other candidates are hitting Donald Trump Cruz is hitting planned parenthood

I am calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate – has federal law been violated? And I am calling on state officials and – any location where Planned Parenthood exists – for state district attorneys, state attorneys general to investigate criminal conduct.

“And I’ll say in addition, that I serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe the Judiciary Committee will hold oversight hearings to get to the bottom of what they did. I chair the oversight, federal rights and federal courts subcommittee, and if the full committee doesn’t hold hearings, I intend to hold hearings to get to the bottom of what appears to be barbaric practices being carried out by Planned Parenthood.”


So I ask this question of all those who would are coming after Cruz for leaving Trump alone:

What will be more likely to help the GOP win in 2016: Making headlines discussing issues like Immigration and planned parenthood and the Iran deal while politely ignoring the MSM memes, allowing Trump to sink or rise based on the actual votes of voters?. Or ignoring the issues voters actually care about and playing the media’ reality by provoking a man with a large ego a proclivity for attacking those who hit him and a billion dollars spare dollars to do so if he chooses?

You can take your time thinking about it. As the 4th Doctor once said: “I can be there five minutes ago.”

I submit and suggest that Ted Cruz has played this with the wisdom of the 4th Doctor and like that incarnation of the time lord he is content to let the media pretend he is a fool to do so. Would that the rest of the GOP was wise enough to follow his example.


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The Doctor:  (screwdriver buzzes moving frantically ) It’s all wrong.   President Obama taking questions from the press?  The press challenging him on issues?  The TARDIS taking us to Washington when we are supposed to be in Bermuda…

Rory:  You’ve got to admit that last one isn’t unusual.

the Doctor Obama and the Press Corps 9/14/2012

Last Friday we talked about the problem for Steven Moffat for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who namely how deal with a situation with a cast and a narrative that didn’t fit into what he needed to do.

As Election 2016 comes closer the MSM/left has similar problems.

Like Steven Moffat the MSM/left had to handle two potential problems, the first is to attack and weaken the GOP for the left.

Normally that would be pretty easy, you simply talk up the GOP candidate who is easiest to beat in a general election.  Call him “presidential”, experienced etc while attacking his opponents.  Then once your pigeon has the nomination sewed up, pivot suddenly & defining him has the biggest racist sexist bigot homophobe elitist of all time.

This misinformation project requires an early start because unlike Moffat’s Doctor Who audience who followed his every move religiously the low information voter that is the target of the media’s propaganda has little interest in politics.

It takes an awful lot of coverage to define a candidate to people who are paying no attention but you can’t define the target if you can’t identify him.

This GOP field is wide open.  There are just so damn many of them it’s impossible to pick one out to target. While Moffat had to deal with 8 possible living doctors out of 11 in deciding who to cast that’s nothing compared to the GOP field. Think about that for a second. The GOP field in 2016 contains more people than there have been incarnations of the doctor and that’s even if you count the Peter Cushing movies.

While the left might use the Bush’s name to target Jeb (Hard of course when GWB is outpolling Obama) there are just too many candidates of all stripes to be sure he will be the one break out.  If they put all their time into Bush and he doesn’t go anywhere the eventual GOP candidate might manage to define him (or herself) to the public before the media can do so.


That’s problem one for the MSM/left but it’s a minor problem compared to the second issue they have to deal with and like the first problem it is similar to the issue Steven Moffat had with the Day of the Doctor.

Moffat had to identify one of the doctors (either the 8th or 9th ) as the person who committed mass murder on a global scale as evidenced by exchange:

The Moment:Gallifrey. You’re going to burn it, and all those Daleks with it, but all those children too. How many children on Gallifrey right now?
The War Doctor: I don’t know.
The Moment: One day you will count them. One terrible night. Do you want to see what that will turn you into?

The Day of the Doctor 2013

How do  you pick one of the heroes of your show as the man responsible for this horror?

The MSM/left has the same issue.   Media spin notwithstanding since late 2008 we’ve seen a stagnant economy which huge numbers of the workforce simply giving up, racial tensions to the point where we have police targeted for murder and sections of American cities left to the mob,  Abroad we have defeat in Iraq,  an American ambassador left to die while others are beheaded on camera.  At the same time our enemies no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us.

And while the MSM/left have and will do their best to spin it

On first glance, the revision of U.S. gross domestic product in the first quarter to a contraction of 0.7 percent should provide a great talking point to Republicans looking to kick Democrats out of the White House in 2016 and prevent a Hillary Clinton presidency.

But the numbers are not as bad as they look and the economy is still likely to work in Clinton’s favor next year.

even a disinterested public knows all is not well and like Steven Moffat they have to assign blame and while Moffat being a writer of fiction had the luxury of creating a whole new Doctor, the War Doctor,  to do his dirty work.

“So all of this led me to the idea that if you’re going to sell to the Not-We audience a Doctor who essentially they haven’t seen before, then you have a freer hand than saying it has to be one of the ones you’ve already had

MSM can’t assign blame for America’s situation to Barack (the man of peace winning Nobel Peace Prize for just showing up) Obama while at the same they can’t critique or even acknowledge the state of the country, our economy,  the state of Obamacare or the state of foreign affairs in the world without referencing the Administration and through them Barack Obama the man in charge.

And if the MSM can’t do this how much less does any Democrat running for office dare to discuss the actual state of the country and associate it with Barack Obama, watch how Martin O’Malley deals with it:

Mr. O’Malley told the crowd that President Barack Obama made “a lot of tough decisions” on behalf of the people since he has been in office and “saved our country from a second Great Depression.

“But we elected a president; we did not elect a magician. No person can fix what was 30 years in coming, in terms of the structural problems with our economy. … We need to continue this work.”

Thirty years?  hmmm

But, as a nation, “over the course of the last 30 years,” Mr. O’Malley said, “we have seen … a growing gap of injustice between the country our children need for us to become and the country we’re in danger of becoming.” 

Mr. O’Malley cited “failed trickle-down economic theories” which have caused the “greatest concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few that we have ever seen in this country, perhaps just once before.

The past 30 years?  Trickle Down economic theories?  Yes you guessed it Martin O’Malley is blaming Barack Obama’s economy on Ronald Reagan.

Note he doesn’t actually say it aloud because even the MSM would have a hard time selling it.  The low info voter is pretty gullible but that’s a bridge too far .

Hillary Clinton can’t even use that tactic, after all if the structural problems are Reagan’s fault then why didn’t the eight years of Bill Clinton fix them?  So instead we get stuff like this:

I’m so relieved that as I travel around the country and talk with people, there is a sense that we are on our feet. We’re not running yet but we are on our feet. We can see the changes that are happening in people’s life and can put them in a context as to where we go from here now as a country. I am very grateful to President Obama for the hard work

The toughest thing she has said is this:

But now it’s not enough just to tread water.  We need to get ahead and stay ahead and people need to feel that their work is being rewarded that the deck is not stacked in favor of those at the top that they too have a chance to go as far as their hard work and aspirations will take them.


Hmmm we’ve been treading water? How bland how non-committal and how totally lacking of any mention of the person who has been in charge of an economy that is only treading water.

And if Hillary can only obliquely speak about the economy she is in an even worse state concerning foreign affairs what can she say about foreign policy

Expecting a Commander in Chief to have some kind of accomplishments that show their qualifications before getting hired for the job is reasonable, right? Maybe, just not if those accomplishments happened while serving has the head of the State Department, according to U.S. News and World Report’s Susan Milligan.

On Hardball with Chris Matthews’ Milligan said the question posed to the Iowa Democratic panel was “unfair.”

“I think most people could not look at a Secretary of State and point to an accomplishment.

Well most people aren’t reporters but neither they (or anyone else for that matter) name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.  But we can all recognize all the stuff that is going wrong.  Which is why all the candidates are being asked if they would have done anything different in 2003 but nobody is asking what they would have done different in 2010.  As Glenn Reynolds reminds us:

As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

And as for talking about 2003

I keep repeating this stuff. Because it bears repeating. In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him. Whenever you see anyone in the media bringing up 2003, you will know that they are serving as palace guard, not as press.

Of course if this was Steven Moffat’s and the Day of the Doctor with a TARDIS in hand the solution would be easy:

10th Doctor: You’re not actually suggesting that we change our own personal history?
11th Doctor: We change history all the time.

Alas for the MSM & for the left the TARDIS only appears with Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama in fan fiction.  But it will be interesting to see how they try to pull it off without creating a War Obama or a War Clinton to take all the blame.


Remember the only way I can do this type of journalism is if enough people choose to kick in to support me making a nominal living doing it.

My goal for 2015 is Twenty Two grand

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  Our June Premium for tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Elizabeth The Anchoress Scalia Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life Subscribe at $50 or more in and receive each monthly premium shipped the date of your payment. All Tip Jar hits of $10 or more will get a copy of Jeff Trapani’s excellent E-Book Victor the Monster Frankenstein.

One of the real high points of the Excellent 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who The Day of the Doctor was the performance of veteran actor John Hurt playing the previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor known as the War Doctor. The excellent story combined with him memorable performance captivated fans.

The Introduction of an extra doctor was more than a plot device, it was necessary to cut the two gordian knots that writer Steven Moffat found himself in.

The first was this:  Doctor Who anniversary stories historically involve multiple doctors, so the 50th anniversary story naturally needed to do the same, but the question became which doctors, besides the obvious choice of David Tennant (Doctor 10) to join the then current 11th incarnation Matt Smith?  Only two doctors would be quite a letdown to the fans the inclusion of Hurt’s War Doctor gave the a third.  Enough to make it interesting but not so many as to make it unwieldy.

But that problem was small compared to the big issue Moffat had.

The entire driver of the new series was the idea that the Doctor, the man of peace had chosen to fight in the Time War and ended it by destroying not only the Daleks but Billions of his own people to save the universe from them both. This is completely atypical Doctor behavior and was the big mystery and unresolved plot from the series. As Moffat described it:

in The End of Time, where the Doctor reveals the Time Lords got as bad as the Daleks towards the end, and he was as worried by them as anything else. And we know the Doctor wiped out his own people. He wouldn’t do so unless things had got pretty bad. Genocide is a big decision for anyone!

Since most of the Doctor’s history is known there were only possible choices for this disagreeable task. the first would be would be Doctor Number 8 (Paul McGann) from the movie whose finish had never seen, Moffat decided this this wouldn’t fit with McGann’s Doctor’s character however Moffat again

The Eighth Doctor is perhaps the first of the sexy, romantic Doctors. I don’t mean he’s the first sexy Doctor – he’s not. But he’s the first one who kisses a lady, for example. He’s obviously dashing, terribly handsome and quite romantic. I always found it hard to imagine him fighting in the Time War. I’d always imagined the ‘Time War Doctor’ would be more grizzled, somehow, you know?

That leaves the 9th doctor the first from the new series Christopher Eccleston and that presented two problems the largest being a practical consideration Eccleston’s unwillingness to do the show:

“Yes, but I was pretty certain Chris wouldn’t do it, although he did agree to a couple of meetings.

Showing up would of course be a sine non qua for his use but there was another consideration that would have been an issue even if he did show up, the narrative:

Asked if it would have been Eccleston ending the Time War instead: “Yes, but do you know, I was always nervous of that one, because it doesn’t fit with [2005’s] Rose at all.

“[Eccleston] is a brand new Doctor in Rose, he’s absolutely, definitely new. It couldn’t have been is who pushed the button in the Time War, cos that’s a new man, very explicitly, in that episode.

Thus the War Doctor and John Hurt’s appearance

“So all of this led me to the idea that if you’re going to sell to the Not-We audience a Doctor who essentially they haven’t seen before, then you have a freer hand than saying it has to be one of the ones you’ve already had

Bottom line, the narrative didn’t work with the characters he had, so he simply created a new character that it did work for and as I’ve already said in these pages, the result was spectacular.

Moreover even with the new grizzled War Doctor willing to end it all, they managed to solve the problem of the Doctor as a mass murder

And that’s one of the great things about fiction as opposed to reality, if you don’t like the plot or the characters you can change them.

But this possibility doesn’t exist for everyone….


My goal for 2015 is Twenty Two grand

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That gets all the bills paid. (including my writers like Fausta)  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

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Although we are in Xfinity’s “Watchathon Week” meaning that for t lest the moment I can enjoy Doctor Who on cable there will be no new Doctor Who episodes for several months. (With of course the exception of some excellent audio offerings from the) company Big Finish.

But with the 10th anniversary of the revival of the series I can enjoy this fan produced trailer celebrating the event that I first found at Life Doctor Who and Combom (which apparently and unfortunately lost its domain in the last few days)

So if audio is not enough, set back and enjoy this sample as we wait for the coming of the real thing.

Summary: Will Santa Give the Doctor & Clara what they really want for Christmas

Plot:   Clara is woken up by a crash and discovers Santa’s sled crashed on her roof.  As she cycles through that fact the Doctor suddenly appears and takes them to the North Pole where a group of Scientists are under siege by mysterious creatures.  Or are they?  And only Santa Claus can save them, the Doctor & Clara, or will Danny Pink save the day?


Writing:  This episode is as close to perfect as you can get and it reminds me of the thing that frustrates me about Steven Moffat the most.  Last Christmas has absolutely everything, a terrifying villain, a wonderful hero, comedy, poignant moments, plot twists within plot twists  and an ending that is inspiring.  Best of all he manages this without a single time paradox.  I suspect I’ll be watching this one over and over again and that’s the frustration,   It’s hard to put up with C-List episodes when he’s capable of amazing things like this.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman are absolutely perfect in this episode with more chemistry that a lab at a pharmacy company.  Combine that with an incredible performance by Nick Frost as Santa Claus and excellent supporting performances by every single cast member from Dan Starkey to Faye Marsay and you get an episode you can’t put down.

Memorable Moments: Who you gonna call?  Dying manuals , can I drive? That’s racist.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Driving a sleigh (11th Doctor a Christmas Carol)  The cracker (Time of the Doctor 11th Doctor) Tangerines (The Christmas Invasion:  10th Doctor),  There was one man (School Reunion 10th Doctor) .

Oddities:  Shouldn’t there be some reason why these random humans became involved in this adventure?

Pet Peeves:   The  Doctor’s plan to detect the dream shouldn’t have worked since as soon as the first person read the manual aloud the others should have said the same thing.  Only writing it down would have worked with The Doctor being able to override the Dream Crab’s attempt to force him to see the same thing on all the sheets.


Great Quote(s) 


Shona:Argh! Argh!
AshleyShona? Shona, what’s wrong?
Shona: We’ve, we’ve got ghosts!
Shona: Yeah, yeah, it’s a skeleton man and a girl in a nightie!


Ashley: [To Santa who has just entered] Who the hell are you?
The Doctor:Oh, take a guess, go on. Push the boat out! Tooth Fairy, maybe? Easter Bunny?


Clara:OK, Doctor, are you going to explain? What is going on?
Santa Claus:It’s an invasion, Miss Oswald.
Clara:An invasion of what, elves?
Wolf the Elf:Whoa! THAT is racist.
Ian the Elf:Elfist!
Wolf the Elf:Which is a bit hypocritical, from someone of your height.


The Doctor:You all right?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m trying to talk sense into Beardy-Weirdy.
The Doctor:You don’t seem much like a scientist.
Shona:That’s a bit rude, coming from a magician!

The Doctor:  Beardy-Weirdy.
Santa Claus:Yeah?
The Doctor:  How do you get all the presents in the sleigh?
Santa Claus:It’s bigger on the inside.

Professor Albert Smithe:They’re a bit like Facehuggers, aren’t they?
The Doctor:[Confused] Face huggers?
Professor Albert Smithe:You know, Alien. The horror movie, Alien.
The Doctor:  There’s a horror movie called “Alien?” That’s really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.

Clara:I miss you.
Danny Pink:Five minutes.
Clara: What?
Danny Pink:You can miss me for five minutes a day. And you’d better do it properly. You’d better be sad. I expect my five. But all the rest of the time, Clara, all the rest of the time, every single second, you just get the hell on with it. Clear?


The Doctor:  This makes perfect sense. The Dream Crab tries to make the dream as real as possible to trap you inside it. It creates dreams within dreams so you can never be sure if you are really awake. But your brain knows something is wrong. Your subconscious fights back. THIS is your mind, trying to tell you this isn’t real.
Santa Claus:  So it gives you me. Sweet Papa Chrimbo!
Ian the Elf:It gives you comedy elves, flying reindeer.
The Doctor:  Exactly!
Santa Claus:  A time-travelling scientist dressed as a magician.
Ian the Elf:  Classic!
The Doctor:  No, no, no. hang on. No, no, no, no.
Wolf the Elf:Living in a phone box.
The Doctor:  It’s a spaceship in disguise!
Santa Claus:  You see how none of this makes any sense?
The Doctor:  Shut up, Santa!


The Doctor:No, no, no. Line in the sand. Santa Claus does not do the scientific explanation!
Santa Claus:All right. As the Doctor might say, “Arr, it’s all a bit dreamy-weamy!”


Santa Claus:Fortunately, I know all your home addresses.

Thanks to this site for having a transcript so I could recover all I lost after hours of copying this stuff by hand.

Final Verdict:   5 stars.   As close to a perfect Doctor Who episode as you can get. Worthy of the Baker era.

Ranking of Season:   1st of 13. I thought for a short while before ranking it above The Caretaker but this episode not only had everything but actually moved me emotionally. Was caught totally by surprise by Coleman deciding to stay.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. Time Heist
10. Kill the Moon
11. Death in Heaven
12. Deep Breath
13. In the Forest of the Night

With the Season finale of the First Season of Peter Capaldi and only the Christmas Special between us and a long wait to for the next season it’s time to begin the process of passing the time as we wait for new episodes.

What better way than to pick out the best Scenes in the revived series?

Each Week we will take a look at each season and from that season pick out the three most Memorable Scenes. We will furthermore offer a poll with six choices so we can see if your picks match mine.

So lets start with Series one featuring the 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston let me give you my big three in order

3rd place:

Episode #1 Rose circles the TARDIS & enters for the first time

Given this was the revival of the series it was almost axiomatic that some moments that would later become more common. For me the opening credits and the sound of the TARDIS leaving for the first time were huge but the big moment was that very first time that a “modern” 21st century companion entered the TARDIS .

This scene is a masterful use of choreography. The danger is behind her, the Doctor has entered this blue box Rose opens the doors and can’t believe her eyes. Without showing us the inside of the TARDIS she circles until with the enemy at the gates she finally comes inside. The first of our many “bigger on the inside” scenes.

2nd Place

Episode #11 Boomtown Dinner Date with a Slitheen

The dinner with Margaret the slitheen is masterful, My dinner with Andre on steroids, Margaret after some failed attempts to poison and slay the doctor at the dinner table with trickery decides to play psychological games playing on his mercy.

Alas she has picked the wrong re-generation to try this on, this Doctor still thinks he has destroyed his home planet and he knows the game that is being played. This is one of the best moments of the season and really shows Eccleston’s range as an actor.

My pick, the most memorable Scene of Series one.

Episode #10 The Doctor Dances Everybody Lives!

This was a very close call but there are two things that makes the Everybody Lives simply wonderful. Throughout the series both old and new death closely follows The Doctor. It’s not uncommon for characters we like or admire to be killed from Jemma in The Wheel in Space to Osgood in Death in Heaven.

There are some episodes like the Horror of Fang Rock where literally every character other than the Doctor and his companions die. While some regenerations of the Doctor handle it better than others it’s a source of great pain for the character. The sheer joy of Christopher Eccleston 9th Doctor, the one nearest to the Time War to be able to shout those words Everybody lives makes it of the the greatest moments for the character of the Doctor in any of his regenerations

And the second thing? The absolutely hilarious exchange between Doctor Constantine and a patient who has just noticed a limb in much better shape that it once was.

And yes for those not familiar with the series, he does save Jack too.

And if you don’t like my top 3 choices then lo and behold I’m offering you three extra scenes to add to the list for you to pick from, and we’ll use both your list and mine separately as we go forward

Episode #5 World War Three twelve months

I thought it was something that should have been addressed more often in the original series.

Episode #8 Father’s Day Another Stupid Ape

An angry doctor who thinks he’s been used

Episode #13 The Parting of the Ways Regeneration

OK how can we do this and leave out the first new regeneration of the new series.

So vote below and let me know which three Series 1 episodes are the most memorable to you, Voting will end Friday in anticipation of the Series 2 scene choices going up.

[poll id=”3″]

And if you didn’t see your favorite choice on the poll list use this contact form to let me know what scenes you want added to this poll before it ends or scenes you want considered for series 2-8 plus the all Specials series

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

Summary: Cyberman, An Army of the Dead and the Master/Mistress more crazy than ever.

Plot:   The Doctor and UNIT find themselves trying to cope with the Master/Mistress while Clara finds herself surrounded by Cyberman trying to pass herself off as the regenerated Doctor.  The Doctor is made president of the world as the graveyards are emptying of corpses now made into Cybermen with brains downloaded from the “nethersphere” consisting of the minds of the dead from the past and future.  Is this a part of the Mistress / Master’s “master” plan or is something else going on?


Writing:  ’Steven Moffat’s writing of this episode reminds me of my infrequent attempts at Dungeon mastering 30 years ago.  I was absolutely lousy .  If I wanted a plot to go somewhere I tended to throw away all the actual plotting in order to create the ending I wanted and that’s what Steven Moffat does here.  He decides:  “Wouldn’t  it be cool if the master was a jealous crazy woman who longed for the Doctor like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction?”  and goes from there.  So what if the Cybermen one of the primary villains in the history of Doctor Who become basically an afterthought.  So what if we decide to give them the power of flight just for the sake of the resolution, so what if we kill off fan favorites just to prove the new Master / Mistress is a crazy bitch (Am I the only one who considered the whole way the “mistress” was written as kinda sexist?) So what if UNIT is reduced to a joke.  It’s as if the whole episode was dreamed up like the much better Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.  Think of a fun premise and write an episode around it and devil take the hindmost.  You end up with some cool scenes and some cool lines but it just doesn’t work.  I for example as a Doctor Who fan since 1976 have a particular vision of the Doctor that maybe one day I’ll write about but if I forced that vision on the series, it might not work.  I think that’s what Moffat is doing.  Furthermore he is not writing it for the youthful audience, he is writing it for the adult audience and that’s what killed the series the first time.  He’s a great writer but he’s got to stop writing like the guy playing with Doctor Who action figures on his desk…

…and like Harry Anderson in the Devil’s Disciple expect his soldier/actors to bail him out.

Acting: Ok lets say this out front while I think the whole Glenn Close / Master / Mistress business is a horrible idea Michelle Gomez pulls it off to the point where knowing Moffat’s obsession with the Jon Pertwee era the thought of a whole season with Gomez showing up regularly as a villain (say 2-3 or a pair of two part stories) would really work.  She & Capaldi reek of chemistry his best scenes are with her & the 51 year old me wants more. Coleman in her not quite swan song is almost an afterthought and Sam Anderson’s Danny Pink gets to make the St. Crispin’s day speech but all overshadowed by the brilliantly almost Tom Bakerishly insane Michelle Gomez.

Memorable Moments: The Salute, the Bow tie, handcuffs, St. Crispin’s day. What rate?

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Bow ties are cool (11th Doctor) The old Cyberhead (assorted) , Father Christmas A Christmas Carol (11th Doctor) The Binary coordinates of Gallifrey Full Circle, Pyramids of Mars (4th Doctor)

Oddities:  Shouldn’t every single one of the Doctor’s late companions from Katrina to Sarah Jane to Amy & Rory all have become Cybermen fighting the Cybermen? Steven Moffat lost a great chance to make the story more epic. The concept that they would try to sell the whole “Clara as the Doctor” business in the credits was fun but c’mon!

Pet Peeves:   The Master was not on Gallifrey when the Doctor saved it, he avoided the war in Human Form (Utopia), This is a kids show, there were plenty of other ways to establish the Mistress / Master is a crazy jealous murderous bitch than that (of course one can hold out hope that it was the Zygon duplicate). No explanation as to why the Cybermen would be so willing to co-operate with the Master, Making the Cybermen able to fly simply to allow the resolution of the plot was weak and does anyone really believe Human’s would make the Doctor their absolute ruler even in times of emergency?


Great Quote(s) 


Clara: Oh don’t be so slow it’s embarrassing. Who could fool you like this. Who could hide right in front of your nose? Who can change their face any time they want? Hm You see I’m not Clara Oswald, Clara Oswald has never existed.
Cyberman: Identify!
Clara: I’m the Doctor!


Osgood: Would you like a still picture, selfies are never as good are they are you’re having a lovely moment.
The Doctor: Nice Bowtie.
Osgood: Bowties are cool.


Santa Claus:  [knocking on TARDIS door in flight] Cooee… [knocking]  Hello… Doctor…. you know it can’t end like that hmm.  We need to get this sorted and quickly.  She’s not alright you know and neither are you.  I’m coming in.  [opens TARDIS ] Ah there you are, I know I’d get around to you eventually.  Stop gopping and tell me…what do you want for Christmas? 



Final Verdict:   3 stars Always a bad sign when the Pet Peeves outnumber the quotes. Enough plot holes to strain spaghetti plus a really bad ending (Even Nick Frost fun St. Nick isn’t enough to save it) equals an episode in the bottom 1/3 of the season.

Ranking of Season:   10th of 12. I haven’t been this disappointed with a finale since the first rate Utopia three parter finished with Last of the Time Lords (ironically also featuring Master). What is it about the Master that it brings out the worst in Doctor Who finales? Thank God it wasn’t as bad as that one.

1. The Caretaker
2. Mummy on the Orient Express
3. Into the Dalek
4. Dark Water
5. Listen
6. Flatline
7. Robot of Sherwood
8. Time Heist
9. Kill the Moon
10. Death in Heaven
11. Deep Breath
12. In the Forest of the Night

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

Summary: Danny Pink is Dead and Clara expects the Doctor to do something about it, or else!

Plot:  Clara is speaking to Danny Pink on the phone, getting ready to say something important to him, unfortunately he listens so intently he doesn’t pay attention as he walks into traffic.  Clara driven mad with grief attempts to blackmail the Doctor into changing the past.  After resolving some issues the Doctor plugs Clara into the TARDIS which lands at 3W and is greeted by an odd woman highly affectionate woman named Missy, while elsewhere a confused Danny Pink is dealing with his death.  Is he really dead, can he be brought back and once the Doctor & Clara discover 3W & Missy’s secret, will they be saving Danny from the afterlife or joining him?

Writing:  It’s always tough to judge a two parter from only the first part.  Additionally because of the previews and info from the very start of the season, we know what the secret of 3W is but it’s not until the very end of the episode that Moffat gives us the reveal of the actual secret (Missy) that he’s been holding back all year. I suspect it’s something he’s been dying to do as he’s been hinting at it for years.  I think that while Missy is really written well (and is, in one respect his final homage to the Pertwee years he loves) he risks playing the same social games that doomed the original series.  One final thought, it isn’t after years of complaining about a paradox every 15 minutes in the Moffat era, that Mr. Paradox himself is basing a story on trying to talk the Doctor into playing the paradox game.  He is poking fun at himself in a really clever way.

Acting: A very deep episode and both Capaldi and Coleman prove without question that they can do deep as does Sam Anderson, however the real star of the show is Michelle Gomez’s Missy.  Whatever one might think of this move there is no question that she’s taking Moffat’s writing and running with it.  While I dislike the move because of what it’s trying to do there is no question that she can go toe to toe with Capaldi and has the potential to be an excellent foil for Capaldi’s Doctor for years to come.

Memorable Moments: The call, the greeting, the keys, donated to science

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Cybermen at St. Paul’s The Invasion (2nd Doctor) Minds stored in the Matrix The Deadly Assassin (4th Doctor) Bringing the dead back Time Flight (5th Doctor) Waters of Mars (10th Doctor)

Oddities:  Since it’s apparent that they can grab minds from different eras in the time stream (see Deep Breath, Into the Dalek and the Caretaker) why would they need the minds of those who had no physical body remaining?

Pet Peeves:  OK Maybe it’s just me but if I knew someone would kill me after they said something nice, I think I’d hold off.

Why couldn’t the Doctor turn on the Tardis location stuff AFTER they landed?


Great Quote(s) 


Clara: You’re going to help me?
The Doctor: Well, why wouldn’t I help you?
Clara: Because of what I just did. I just
The Doctor: You betrayed me. Betrayed my trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I’ve ever stood for. You let me down!
Clara: Then why are you helping me?
The Doctor: Why? Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?


Clara: I don’t deserve a friend like you.
The Doctor: Clara, I’m terribly sorry, but I’m exactly what you deserve.


The Doctor: [Missy has just released him from a wall pinning kiss] Clara, is it over now?
Clara: I think it’s over, yeah.


Seb: And the Wi-Fi is better out here. Don’t know why.
Danny: Wi-Fi?
Seb: Yeah, still a bit spotty, but basically
Danny: You have Wi-Fi here? You. You have iPads in the afterlife?
Seb: IPads? We have Steve Jobs.


The Doctor: Get away from here! All of you, run! Go! Go! Get away from here! Run away! Run, run! Get away from here all of you, now!
Missy: I’m sorry, everyone. Another ranting Scotsman in the street. I had no idea there was a match on.


Final Verdict:   Four 1/2 stars. I don’t like the culture war entry here but it’s necessary to rank the episode independent of it.   Make no mistake this episode is an entry in the culture wars but that fact was diverted by the controversy concerning cremation.

Ranking of Season:   4th of 11. Always hard to rank the 1st part of a two parter independent of the 2nd part that I haven’t seen yet but even though there are themes I don’t care for there is no denying it’s really good.

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

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

Summary:  Murder on the Orient Express, in Space is staying out of it

Plot:  On what is intended as their “Last Hurrah the Doctor and Amy find themselves on the Orient Express in space for what they think is going to be a fun and relaxing few days when odd things start happening namely bodies start to pile up being killed by an Egyptian Mummy who only the intended victim can see. The Doctor eventually figures out the trip is a trap for him and other experts such as Professor Morehouse by someone or something wishing to use them to discover the nature of this creature that has been killing for millennia.  Can they solve the puzzle and even if they do will they get out alive?


Writing:    We get back to back first time Doctor Who writers, last week Peter Harness this week Jamie Mathieson and back to back linear stories.  Although it’s not a contest if it was  Mathieson would get the win.  with just the right combination of horror, wonder and memorable characters.  The episode really flows, makes great use of the confrontation from last week episode and plays on all of the 12th Doctor’s contradictions.  Not only great television but an episode that I suspect will be watched over and over again.

Acting:   All of the acting here comes in pairs.  Capaldi’s doctor finds himself grouped with Captain Quell (David Bamber), Professor Moorhouse (Christopher Villiers) and Perkins one of maintenance  (Frank Skinner)  Meanwhile when not just oozing chemistry with Capaldi Coleman’s Clara,  in what is undoubtly the sexist outfit I’ve ever seen her in, is paired with Maisie (Daisy Beaumont) whose grandmother was the first victim.  All of these characters are played to a T and when combined work even better, in fact so well they actually raise the level of both Capaldi & Coleman performances beyond what they had been which isn’t easy.

Memorable Moments:    the one liners about Maisie’s gran, Mystery shopper, lie to her

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   Are you my Mummy (9th Doctor) Orient Express in Space (11th Doctor) Jelly Babies (4th Doctor)

Oddities:   While I’ve noticed a lot of similarities with the 3rd and 4th Doctor with this incarnation I’ve finally found something that directly links him with his previous incarnation.  Doctor’s 3 & 4 could enjoy just relaxing from a game of chess, to fishing to a ride in a car, but this Doctor like his previous incarnation just can’t abide sitting around without a disaster going on.  Also given the deaths and how they happened I suspect a scene involving the promised land might have been filmed but cut.

Pet Peeves:   At the end of the Big Bang (11th Doctor) it’s implied that the Doctor Amy & Rory headed to the Orient Express in space but it appears they did not.  I want to know where they went. 

Great Quote(s) 


Clara:  There’s a body and there’s a mummy. I mean, can you not just get on a train? Did a wizard put a curse on you about mini-breaks?
The Doctor: It might be nothing. Old ladies die all the time. It’s practically their job description.

Perkins: Well, I know that when I find a man fiddling with a chair that someone died in, it’s best to play my cards close to my chest.
The Doctor: Really? Well, I know that when I find a man loitering near a chair that someone died in, I do just the same.
Perkins: Perkins. Chief Engineer.
The Doctor: The Doctor. Nosey Parker.


Clara:  You knew. You knew this was no relaxing break. You knew this was dangerous
The Doctor:  I didn’t know. I certainly hoped.   


Final Verdict:   Five stars.  Tried hard to think of something that might mark it down slightly , couldn’t come up with anything.  Next episode is by the same guy curious how he will do.

Ranking of Season:   2nd of 8.  This was the hardest episode of the season to place so far.  In a lot of ways it’s a very ordinary episode, not much different than Kill the Moon, Time Heist or Robot of Sherwood but when I thought about what I didn’t like about the episode I found I couldn’t name a thing.  That put it at five starts by default.  So what is this an example of?  A “typical” Doctor Who adventure done EXACTLY right

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


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) 



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

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?

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


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!


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

Summary:  A very interesting man is the new Caretaker at Coal Hill school, but what is he there to take care of?

Plot: Clara is having trouble coping with the demands of juggling Doctor life and real life while keeping her boyfriend Danny Pink out of the picture when the Doctor announces that he has a “thing” to do so won’t have time for a trip today. Clara is curious but lets it going offering to give Danny her full intention when Mr. Armatage introduces the new caretaker John Smith who calls himself the Doctor and has amazing eyebrows. Despite wearing a different coat Clara recognizes him and discovers a deadly alien menace is in play. Will the Doctor be able save them all from deadly danger without exposing Clara’s double life and the TARDIS to Danny, the Students and their parents while still keeping the school clean and tidy?


Writing:   Gareth Roberts & Steven Moffat both have a credit on this one and if this any indication they should simply fire everyone else and lock them in a room together until the entire season is written. This is simply one of the most enjoyable episodes since Let’s Kill Hitler. The comedy is great, the danger and the resolutions are well done, the mini prequel is enjoyable and you never are quite sure where things are going. This is one of those episodes that you show to people to introduce them to the series. It also proves once and for all that Moffat can write a spectacular episode of Doctor Who without resorting to a paradox, at least with Gareth Roberts’s help

Acting:   Capaldi absolutely rules in this episode, Coleman does a wonderful job and given the chance to shine Samuel Anderson grabs it by the horns and runs with it. He makes his presence known in every scene he’s in. The only weak link is Ellis George who’s merely above average but given this is her first television role, that’s not too shabby.

Memorable Moments: It’s all memorable, from the prequel, to dumb humans, to the bow tie, the sign, Jane Austen, PE, the play, the parent teachers meeting, I’ve got a brush, Spillage, oh hell just go and watch the whole thing.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   That Coal Hill school artron energy likely comes from the 1st & 7th Doctors.

Oddities:  The doctor jokes about having being able to come back and worries about the two minutes but he’s actually right, if he uses the fast return switch he can come back, have all the time he needs to build his machines and get it done. (perhaps that’s what he’s been doing all these years.)

Pet Peeves:  The confrontation between the kids and the cop seemed horribly contrived or it is a cultural thing.

Great Quote(s) You could pretty much put the whole episode in here so we’ll narrow it down to five:

Clara: We’re going to starve to death out here.
The Doctor:Of course we won’t starve. The sand piranhas will get us long before that.


The Doctor:Yes, no body’s taking any notice at all. Absolutely good news because it means I must be coming across just as an absolutely boring human being like you.


The Doctor: (from outside the window of a classroom on ladder) Wrong.
Clara: I’m sorry?
The Doctor: On the board. Wrong. Wrong.
Clara: Oh, no, no, no, no. You don’t do this. You are the caretaker, this is not what you do.
The Doctor:Just taking care.
Not your area!
The Doctor: Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 1796.
Clara: (to the class) This is Mister Smith, the temporary caretaker, and he’s a bit confused.
The Doctor:Not in 1797, because she didn’t have the time. She was so busy doing all
Clara: (agitated) Oh, What? I suppose she was your bezzie mate, was she? And you went on holidays together and then you got kidnapped by Boggons from space and then you all formed a band and met Buddy Holly!
The Doctor: No, I read the book. There’s a bio at the back.


The Doctor:Can’t you read?
Courtney:Course I can read. Read what?
The Doctor:  The door. It says: “Keep Out.”
Courtney:  No, it says: “Go Away Humans.”
The Doctor: Oh, so it does. Never lose your temper in the middle of a door sign.
Courtney: What was you doing in there? What’s that box?
The Doctor:  The caretaker’s box. Every caretaker has their own box.
Courtney:  It says Police.
The Doctor:  Exactly, there’s a policeman in there, in case of emergencies and children. Towels, there, g-g-go.
Courtney:  What was that green glow? There was a green glow coming from in there. What was it?
The Doctor:  Of course there was. What’s a policeman without a death ray? Oh, listen, there’s the bell. Off you go. Haven’t you got shoplifting to go to?



Danny:It’s all right, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need him to like me. It doesn’t matter if he likes me or hates me, I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doctor, am I right?
The Doctor:Yes.
Clara:What? What one thing?
Danny:I need to be good enough for you. That’s why he’s angry. Just in case I’m not.
Clara:He, er, he did just save the whole world.
The Doctor:Yeah, yeah. Good start.

Final Verdict: Five stars. Not counting the 50th anniversary special might be the single best Clara story slightly edging out The Bells of St. John back to back a few times to be sure.

Ranking of Season: 1st of Six. There is not a smidgen of weakness in this episode

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

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

Summary:  The Bank of Karabraxos has never been robbed,  then again the Doctor has never tried to rob it.

Plot: The Doctor pops in to visit Clara about to head on a date when the phone on the TARDIS.  He answers and literally the next then he and Clara know they are in a room at the Bank of Karabraxos with person augmented by computer memory & a mutant with memory worms in their hands.  After hearing a recording of them confirming they have agreed to have their memories wiped of their own free will they are told by a mysterious person in a hood called the Architect that they are there to rob the bank and if they are caught they will be incinerated.  Who has given them this mission?  How did he, she or they get the Doctor’s number?   What could have caused them to willingly wipe their memories to do it and what is it in the Bank of Karabraxos that is worth their lives?


Writing:  Straight up adventures are always fun and this one is no exception.  The Characters are all interesting, the plot and the puzzle keeps us guessing and it’s not until the very end that we figure it out.  On the other hand I’d like to lock Steven Moffat in a room until he produces a full season of the Doctor without a single temporal paradox.

Acting:   It’s rapidly reaching the point were complementing Capaldi on his acting is redundant, but there is not a poor performance in the episode from the two new companions, to the guards to the rather fetching Keeley Hawes in the role of the cold and ruthless Ms Delphox.

Memorable Moments: Given how entertaining the episode is there are not all that many memorable moments except for Psi’s big moment half way through and shuttitty up up up, what you need is me.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   Memory worms a al Matt Smith The Snowmen also a bit of Hide in terms of Birds and Bees.

Oddities:  Since Are you telling me the richest bank with the richest depositors in the universe don’t have equipment or scientists to monitor a sun to be ready for solar storms?  I think not.  By its very nature that should be covered. Why was the Gunfighter from Season 7 on the list of criminals?

Pet Peeves:  Consider that If you think about this episode for any length of time you realize that this should be a 60 second episode two TARDIS trips and done but then again if that was the case it wouldn’t happen because it doesn’t involve the bloody temporal paradox.

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor: Question One Robbing banks is easy if you’ve got a TARDIS So why am I not using it?

Clara: Question Two: Where is the TARDIS?

The Doctor: OK That probably should be question #1


Psi: Basically I still don’t understand why you’re in charge

The Doctor: Basically it’s the eyebrows


The Doctor: Big Scarf, Bow time, bit embarrassing, What do you think of the new look? I was hoping for minimalism but I think I came out with magician.


Final Verdict: Four stars. A fun episode likely worth several re-viewings.

Ranking of Season: 4th of five. Really should be a tie for 3rd but I marked it down for the temporal paradox. I think it deserves better.

1. Into the Dalek
2. Listen
3. Robot of Sherwood
4. Time Heist
5. Deep Breath

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

Summary: Will the Doctor’s Dream investigation destroy Clara’s Dream Date?

Plot: The Doctor has been thinking about evolution and dreams and decided to get help from Clara just as she is coming back from a disastrous date with Danny Pink, the Doctor Drafts her for his experiment but at a critical moment while tied into the Tardis’ telepathic circuits thinks bout something else that sends the TARDIS on a trip to the past that makes her life most uncomfortable. Will the Doctor be able to save her date, figure out the secret, save a stray time traveler and discover if there is in fact someone watching them…

…or is this all (And I mean all) Clara’s fault?


Writing: OK let’s say right up from that this was a clever story, with plenty of drama and misdirection and when all is said and done we still aren’t positive if the resolution is actually the resolution. Taken as a stand alone story this would be almost a masterpiece of scripting as you never EVER know where it is going. That being said if there was actually such a thing as time lords and the Celestial intervention agency et/al this episode would be used as an example as to why time lords are not allowed to intervene in events and mess up timelines. Furthermore the interaction of Clara with this older Doctor with no trace of possible romance has not only improved the character interaction of an older doctor but I think has improved the acting (more on that later) For God sake how many predestination paradoxes can one man write? Does he have any other string in his bow? And while you’re at it let’s point out that if you are a person who knows anything about the early series and time lord history your alarm bells are ringing off the bloody hook!

Acting: Another first rate performance by Capaldi possibly his best to date in the role, Jenna Coleman also does an excellent job. I’d say it’s clearly her best episode in this season and one of her best right along, the only distraction was her outfit which was so flattering particularly for her legs that I suspect male viewers between the ages of 16-25 missed just how good a performance she gave. Not playing the flirty girl of the Doctor has really raised her level. Sam Anderson did a good job in dual role and the child actors where more than acceptable

Memorable Moments: makeup, lotus position, digging wells

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Fear keeps you strong (11th Doctor Time of Angels) This episode didn’t so much have flashbacks (although there was one to Day of the Doctor) as they did rewrites and/or ignore key episodes (more on that later)

Oddities: Since when are the telepathic circuits of the tardis made of flesh? this episode would explain why the Doctor is so obsessed with Earth. 100 years in the future is too soon for human time travel.

Pet Peeves: OK lots of them here and they involve spoilers: 1. The past of Gallifrey is time locked. There is no way the Tardis even with shields down can get there. 2. IF a TARDIS approached space traffic control (See the Invasion of Time) the time Lords would have detected it.

Great Quote: None.

Final Verdict: Four 1/2 stars. If it wasn’t for the frustration of yet ANOTHER temporal paradox business it might have made five.

Ranking of Season: 2nd of four this proves you can’t judge an episode by it’s preview,

1. Into the Dalek
2. Listen
3. Robot of Sherwood
4. Deep Breath

The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who (a few days late due to Comcast)

Summary:  Robin Hood and his men can’t be real, can he?

Plot:   Clara is given the chance by the The Doctor to go anywhere and anywhen, she says she wants to meet Robin Hood.  The Doctor insists he is not real but heads for Sherwood circa 1190 AD anyway where he almost immediately finds Robin Hood and after the great river fight with swords & spoons vs instead of quarterstaffs his Merry Men.  The Doctor is absolutely convinced that this is not real but will the contest for the Golden Arrow reveal not only the greatest Archer in England but the truth of Robin Hood but the Sheriff’s evil plans?


Writing:  I’m a huge fan of the old 50′ Adventures of Robin Hood series so I was really curious as to how this episode would come off.  This has to be one of the most lighthearted episodes I’ve seen in years.  It’s  almost a “Doctor lite” issue.  Of course as Robin Hood is featured so strongly so perhaps it’s a “Robin Lite” episode of Robin Hood with the Doctor as the guest.  The interplay between Robin and the Doctor is amusing without being ridiculous.   It’s not often that we see the Doctor simply blind to a possibility and that is the driver for this story and for the big resolution at the end.  The tweaking of various Robinhood series and TV shows was cute.  I get the real feeling he enjoyed writing this episode more than the rest of us enjoyed watching it, but that’s OK as long as we did enjoy watching it and you should.


Acting:  This is the first episode where Capaldi doesn’t drive it with his acting.  He is good in an odd situation as the obsessively wrong and incredibly annoying Doctor.  Clara drives the episode more and doesn’t do a bad job as both Robinhood  fangirl and “commander” but in terms of performances the show belongs to Tom Riley’s whose performance carries the show and Ben Miller’s Sheriff who does his villainy well.

Memorable Moments:  The Great Spoon fight, Six months, Long Haired Ninny vs Killer Robot ,   The true ringleader,  nervous breakdown.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  The Crusades  Doctor meets Richard the Lionheart (1st Doctor) , Carnival of Monsters the  Miniscope (3rd Doctor)  The Doctor as a Swordsman (Too many episodes & doctors to count), Face of Evil (The Doctor as an expert archer (4th Doctor) The Eleventh Hour,  The Doctor now likes apples (11th Doctor)

I really liked that… the Doctor said 1190 AD none of that CE BS.

Oddities: Those robots seem rather fragile to me and wouldn’t    Then again we saw a Cyberman brought down by a Roman sword a few seasons ago.  They’re pretty stupid too.  Maybe their energy weapons were not all that effective vs the plates, but I’ll wager their swords damn would have been.

Pet Peeves:  Robin’s disguise at the Archery Contest is so bad it wouldn’t have fooled blind Blinkin from Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood Men in Tights.

I would really like to see a pure historical for a change, hasn’t been one since Black Orchid (5th Doctor)

Great Quote(s):


Clara:How can you be so sure he’s not the real thing? 

The Doctor:Because he can’t be. 

Clara: When did you stop believing in everything? 

The Doctor:  When did you start believing in impossible heroes? 

Clara:  Don’t you know? 


Clara: It is not a competition on who can die slower. 

The Doctor:  It definitely would have been me, wouldn’t it? 


The Doctor:   Robin’s one of yours !

Sheriff of Nottingham:   What did you say?

The Doctor:   He’s one of your tin headed puppets just like these brutes here. 

Sheriff of Nottingham:   Robin Hood is not one of mine.

The Doctor:  Of course he is.  He’s a robot created by your mechanical mates.

Sheriff of Nottingham:Why would they do that?

The Doctor:  To pacify the locals, to give them false hope.  He’s the opiate of your masses. 

Sheriff of Nottingham:   Why would we create an enemy to fight us?  What sense would that make?  That would be a terrible idea.

The Doctor:  Yes , yes it would ,  would it.  Wait a minute that would be a rubbish idea, why would you do that…. 


Final Verdict: Four  stars.  A fun but contrived episode.  Why do I have a feeling I’m watching a 6th Doctor Episode?

Ranking of Season: 2nd of three.  Makes into the Dalek better & Deep breath worse.

1.  Into the Dalek
2.  Robot of Sherwood
3. Deep Breath

The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who (a few days late due to Comcast)

Summary: Is there such a thing as a Good Dalek?  or a Good Doctor?

Plot:  The Doctor saves a soldier about to be killed by the Daleks, and is asked by her commanders if they can heal a wounded Dalek who has apparently turned Good,   He pops over to pick up Clara from work where she is flirting with a teacher named Danny Pink and with a team from the ship are miniaturized & injected into the Dalek.  Can they heal and save this “good” Dalek and if they do will it still be good when they are done?


Writing:  As a rule I don’t care for Dalek stories and they don’t really impress me as a villain but Steven Moffat & Phil Ford  managed to do something great with it.  The whole concept of what is good and what is evil comes into play without sacrificing any of the action that a Dalek episode implies.  It also emphasizes the new style and thought process of this incarnation of the Doctor without sacrificing wit.  I’m really starting to think that while River Song is the character that has been in Moffat’s head nearly forever this is the incarnation of the Doctor he’s dreamed of all his life.  I’m hoping to see more than the “broken solder” when it comes from Danny Pink and I found myself waiting for the School Secretary to say “Nudge Nudge wink wink say no more” but all of that stuff will likely be resolved over the next few episodes.

Acting:  I have a feeling that this section is going to be rather repetitive until Capaldi does something wrong or stupid.  For the 2nd episode in a row he doesn’t put a foot wrong.  He remains the best part of the this season and  has Moffat’s 12th Doctor down cold.  Jenna Coleman meanwhile proves she isn’t limited by which doctor she is with to shine. As I said  Samuel Anderson’s Danny Pink is almost stereotypical as the solder with regret but does an OK job with it.  The rest of the cast from Zawa Ashton to Michelle Morris do yeoman’s work and Laura Dos Santos takes her one big scene and runs with it to the point where you are delighted to see her have a cup of tea.

Memorable Moments:  Please and thank you, what are you children?,I  bet you did, , You’re my hobby,  I was  saving us, I see Hatred, you passed the test.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Shades of both Journey’s End (10th Doctor) II have seen the Dalek & Evil of the Daleks (2nd Doctor) making good Daleks in this plot.

Oddities: Why would a Dalek have an area for dead people or things?  If this is basically a Dalek’s waste does that mean Daleks have to eat and if so what?

Pet Peeves:  I seem to recall the Doctor was quite fond of soldiers his best friend being some guy named the Brigadier.

Even with the element of surprise Rusty had no business outfighting all those others.

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor:  What are those ones for? I don’t need armed baby-sitters. 
Gretchen:  We’re not baby-sitters.
Ross: We’re here to shoot you dead if you turn out to be a Dalek spy. 
The Doctor: Well, that’s a relief. I hate baby-sitters


Gretchen:   Tell me the truth. Is he mad, or is he right? I’ve come this far. Probably going to die anyway. Wouldn’t mind something to do for the rest of my life. Is he mad, or is he right?

Clara: Hand on my heart? Most days he’s both. 

Gretchen:  One question, then. Is this worth it? 

The Doctor: If I can turn one Dalek, I can turn them all. I can save the future. 

Gretchen:  Gretchen Alison Carlisle. Do something good and name it after me. 

The Doctor:   I will do something amazing, I promise. 

Gretchen:  Damn well better. 


The Doctor:   I saved your life, Rusty. Now I’m going to go one better. I’m going to save your soul. 
Rusty the Dalek:   Daleks do not have souls.
The Doctor:  Oh, no? Imagine if you did. What then, Rusty? What would happen then? 


The Doctor:  See, all those years ago, when I began, I was just running. I called myself the Doctor, but it was just a name. And then I went to Skaro. And then I met you lot and I understood who I was. The Doctor was not the Daleks

Final Verdict: Five stars.  Unusual for the 2nd episode of a Doctor to be this good.  The job of a 2nd episode is to keep you from being let down after a premiere and keep you wanting more, Into the Dalek does the job in spades.

Ranking of Season: 1st of two.   Anxious to see what the crew is going to offer to knock it off.

1.  Into the Dalek
2. 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.


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


Yes I’m completely geeked out over it:

Here is the official series trailer

And via life Dr. Who and Combom there is this interview with the new Doctor Peter Capaldi

What sort of response have you had from Doctor Who fans so far?

My relationship with fans, either when I’ve met them or when they’ve written to me, has all been wonderful and kind and positive. It’s a delightful thing when people are pleased to meet Doctor Who, because Doctor Who is far more interesting than I am. So I get his smiles. The welcome look on people’s faces is because they’re meeting Doctor Who, not me. The fans have been wonderful, those that I’ve met. I’m not a creature of the internet, so I’m not out there finding out what people are saying, but I hope we will meet a lot more people, especially with the world tour. But genuinely the fans I have met have been very positive and a great support to me. That’s lovely. I know what Doctor Who fans are like, because I am a Doctor Who fan myself. They’re good people.

That’s an important bit of self awareness, part of it comes from age and experience but having been a big fan of the show makes a difference too.

There is also an interview with Jenna Coleman (who has dropped the Louise) concerning an interesting dynamic in the season:

What can you tell us about Clara’s relationship with Danny?

She meets a man called Danny Pink, a teacher, who’s charming and lovely. He’s that perfect boyfriend and is very supportive, but he doesn’t know anything about this double life she lives. She tries to hide it from him while at the same time falling in love. She becomes very torn between the two. It’s almost as if she’s having an affair, without having an affair, but the lying becomes more and more. Basically she’s trying to manage the two, and have these two men in her life. It becomes quite a hurtful thing and quite a hard thing for her because she’s totally torn between them, and trying to have both at once without being able to do it successfully.

As we know Ms. Coleman will be leaving after this season, the only question is does she leave by choosing Danny, does she die, or does she get left behind or something else?

If you are by some miracle unfamiliar with the show I still think the best single Doctor Who story in history is, in fact a fan generated comic strip written over the course of three years which begins here.

And here.

If you want to find out more about Capaldi the actor I’d suggest this interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.

and if you want to go into a deeper geek mode than I do this article is a good choice.

If your favorite part of the 50th anniversary special was John Hurt’s performance as the War Doctor and you’ve been pining for more stories about his incarnation you’ll love the new Hardcover Engines of War, the first new story from the War Doctor years.

No word if we will see any Doctor Who audios adventures with the venerable actor reprising the role, I certainly would vote “yes” to the idea. I don’t know if Big Finish’s licence would allow them to do it but there is certainly no reason why, if he is willing, the BBC couldn’t give it a go.

By the way if you want to understand how big Doctor Who is consider if you google “john hurt” after 2 Wikipedia entries (one for a blues singer of the same name) & the IMDB listing of a career that extends beyond my lifetime with roles from I Claudius, The Elephant Man, Alien and mor. The next four results are all Doctor Who related.

Finally speaking of audio adventures if you’d rather stick with tried and true doctors from the past Anne’s Book stop of Worcester is still carrying the full line of Big Finish Doctor Who audios in including the latest 4th Doctor audio starring Tom Baker Zygon hunt and the 7th Doctor adventure starring Sylvester McCoy Revenge of the Swarm

9th Doctor: (Sobbing)   They’re all gone Rose, All of them

The Ten Doctors Page 239 Rich’s Comic’s Blog

One of the things that cemented my Doctor Who fandom as a kid was the boundless optimism of Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor.  Every new experience was treated with a cheer and an optimism.  Even as he lay dying at the end of Logopolis his last words were preceded by a grin.

When the new series came back there was an edge that wasn’t there before.  It came from the story of the Doctor’s decision to destroy his own people along with the Daleks in order to end the Time War and save the universe. While you had many upbeat stories the weight of that decision was constantly there and would be the subject of incredible melancholy from episodes from all three doctors modern Doctors.

The 9th in Father’s Day: “My entire planet died! My whole family! Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?

The 10th in Gridlock: “We lost. Everyone lost. They’re all gone now. My family. My friends. Even that sky.”

The 11th in The Doctor’s Wife: You gave me hope, and then you took it away. That’s enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me.”

One of the most important things the 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor,  did was change that dynamic of melancholy as the War Doctor (John Hurt) when about to use the sentient ultimate weapon “the moment” to kill them all is offered the chance to see the consequences of that decision:

The Moment: How many children on Gallifrey right now?
The War (8 1/2) Doctor: I don’t know.
The Moment: One day you will count them. One terrible night. Do you want to see what that will turn you into? Come on, aren’t you curious?

She sends him in search of his future selves the 10th (David Tennant) & 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) who have suppressed their memory of this previous self and are horrified by his presence.

War Doctor:  Oh, the way you both look at me. What is that? I’m trying to think of a better word than dread. 
10th Doctor: It must be really recent for you. 
War Doctor: Recent? 
11th Doctor:  The Time War. The last day. The day you killed them all. 
10th Doctor: The day we killed them all. 
11th Doctor: Same thing. 

This leads to an adventure  where they confront a friend dealing with an alien invasion put in a similar situation:

10th Doctor :  You tell yourself it’s justified, but it’s a lie. Because what I did that day was wrong. Just wrong. 
11th Doctor:   And, because I got it wrong, I’m going to make you get it right. 

The climax of the episode comes shortly afterwards when the two younger Doctors find themselves with their older self at the very moment he is about to push the button to destroy them all.  That history changing moment is set up when the 11th Doctor’s companion Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) informs Doctors 10 & 11 that their earlier self they have been with comes from a time before he did it.

How did she know?  From this conversation:

Clara:  I’m Clara. We haven’t really met yet.
War Doctor:  I look forward to it. Is there a problem?
Clara:  The Doctor, my, my Doctor, he’s always talking about the day he did it. The day he wiped out the Time Lords to stop the war.
War Doctor:  One would.
Clara: You wouldn’t. Because you haven’t done it yet. It’s still in your future.
War Doctor: You’re very sure of yourself.
Clara: He regrets it. I see it in his eyes every day. He’d do anything to change it.
War Doctor: Including saving all these people. How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think? Look over there. Humans and Zygons working together in peace. How did you know?
Clara: Your eyes. You’re so much younger.

It’s no surprise that killing  2.47 Billion children would change a person, but killing even one, no matter how small changes you forever.

And that brings me to a shorter film with a much less happy ending and Emily Letts

Her film was the winning entry in an “Abortion Stigma-Busting Video Competition” she filmed her abortion treating it as a positive good.  Since then abortion advocates have been holding her up as their poster child.

But Elizabeth Scalia took a closer look at the video and saw what those some anxious to paint a pretty picture wished to ignore.

If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story. A month after the abortion — with the dramatic change in hairstyle that so many women effect when emotions are high and they need to feel in control of something — watch Emily, then. The light is gone from her eyes. The seeming disconnect between pc-fed head and instinctive heart is laid out in breathtaking and stark incongruity, even down to the shadows, the blue note, the lack of energy. Devastating. Cognizant of it or not, she is a mother in grief.

That grief is why you will see many women who have had abortions like Patricia Pullman telling stories like this:

I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard post abortion healing retreat in Corpus Christi, Texas. A loving and compassionate team of women led me and several other women on an incredible 3-day journey of healing and reconciliation. Together we shared our stories and claimed our babies. We grieved together, some for the first time, for our lost children. We named them and we symbolically held them for a night.

and attending pro-life rallies holding signs like this:

Silent no more

The irony of course is like the Soviets who thought our pro-abortion friends this think video will win converts to their cause, Elizabeth thinks otherwise

Frankly, if I were a young woman watching this and pondering abortion, one glance at those haunted eyes, that beautiful, woebegone countenance and benumbed, vacant tone, and I would be running to my nearest Birthright, or to the Good Counsel network, or to the Sisters of Life, whose founder, the mighty John Cardinal O’ Connor of the Archdiocese of New York, once pledged to help any needy pregnant woman seeking assistance instead of abortion, and whose successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has maintained that position.

As I recall the soviets thought that CBS special on poverty in America would serve their cause too but if the image doesn’t give away the future this quote from Letts does:

“I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”

That she saved that sonogram speaks volumes. I suspect the time will come when those cheerful words will be replaced by something like this:

Guilt still accuses me, and at times I fall prey to it even at the happiest moments in my life, such as viewing the ultrasound of my third child at fourteen weeks. I was jolted again by the stark reality of my sanctioned choice. I cried as I watched the tiny arms flail and the spindly legs kick. At the births of my children, I was overcome by ‘what if’s?’ What if my first child had lived? What if I had never had an abortion? What color eyes, hair, sex?

With God all things are possible yet as it is highly unlikely that a pair of her future selves will arrive to talk her out of this decision, I suggest we pray for Emily as the Anchoress recommends:

John Joseph Cardinal O’ Connor, Pray for Emily and for us.
Servant of God Dorothy Day, Pray for us Emily and for us.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Pray for Emily and for us.
Saint Gianna Molla, Pray for Emily and for us.
Pope Saint John Paul, Pray for Emily and for us.

Perhaps with prayer, time and the wisdom that comes with age Emily will recognize what has been done and like the Doctor her regret will save many others.