Summary:  Sometimes a killer rental is just that.

Plot:   Bill and a group of friends find a place for themselves, a big old house at a bargain and she can’t wait to move etin and get her own place.  She is annoyed when the Doctor (her “grandfather) turns up but when her roommates start disappearing and dying can she and the Doctor solve the mystery of the landlord and his hidden daughter?
———————————–

Writing:  In once sense this is such a formula piece, spooky house, bargain too good to be true, twenty somethings disappearing you would think it wouldn’t work, but the strength of this story like the previous episode are the characters and their interaction and it turns what would normally be a pedantic episode into a winner for writer Mike Bartlett. I like very much that unlike Moffatt Bartlett uses Bill orientation without playing SJW.  I also love the sheer normalcy of the search for an apartment and the reality of trying to do so on a budget.

Acting:   For the first time this season the supporting cast brings their A game particular veteran actor David Suchet as the very dark yet weak landlord the rest of the young actors all do yeoman work here.  As always Peter Capaldi brings his A game and Pearl Mackie shines so well that almost total absence of Matt Lucas is not a disadvantage here. I found the supporting cast completely boring and forgettable which I think really costs this episode, but Capaldi does period pieces so well that one can almost forget it.

Memorable Moments:  Doff my cap,  Granddad, you should find another house,

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Grandad (Susan and 1st Doctor), Harriet Jones (9th and 10th Doctor)  Plenty of things to kill you on earth (Last Christmas)

Oddities: I love the Doctor helping Bill move, it’s so ordinary like the Turkey thing in the 11th Doctor’s final episode.

Pet Peeves:  I don’t see any reason for these bugs to do what they do, the idea that the kid cold train them is quite a leap.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Shireen: [Frustrated at not finding a decent place] What do other people do?
Bill: Other people have money.


Bill:  He’s my grandad.

The Doctor: Aw, come on. Father at least, please.
Bill:  All right, grand-father.


Felicity: Do you like this music, Doctor?
The Doctor: Reminds me of Quincy Jones. I stepped in for him once. The bassist he’d hired turned out to be a Klarj Neon Death Voc-Bot. What was worse, he couldn’t play. 


Harry: What’s happened to her? What’s going on? Do you think it’s like she said? A thing?
The Doctor: Maybe.
Harry: And so is it out there now? Or in here?
The Doctor: Or both.
Harry: I’m scared.
The Doctor: Don’t be.
Harry: Why not?
The Doctor: It doesn’t help


Final Verdict: 4 stars That’s more like it.  A good regular episode and almost everyone lives too.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 4  Again a little better than the last one, the trend continues in the right direction

1st Knock Knock
2nd Thin Ice
3rd Smile
4th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: The good news we’re creeping closer to the top ten, the bad news is we still haven’t cracked it. inching toward it

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

Summary:  It’s the last of the great frost fairs and something nasty is under the ice.

Plot: On their way back from the planet of the emojis The Doctor and Bill find themselves on the Frozen Thames in London at the last of the Frost Fairs 1814, but while enjoying the sights they discover something under the water that is taking people. What is going on and what do street urchins and the people paying them to get people on the ice know about this.
———————————–

Writing: The strength of this story is the interaction between the Doctor and Bill and to a lesser degree Bill and the kids which really works, but the actual plot is so repetitive, evil aristocratic capitalist exploiting people for profit is so old that you can write it in your sleep.

Acting:   As always Peter Capaldi brings his A game and Pearl Mackie shines so well that almost total absence of Matt Lucas is not a disadvantage here. I found the supporting cast completely boring and forgettable which I think really costs this episode, but Capaldi does period pieces so well that one can almost forget it.

Memorable Moments:  Save him, Pete

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Stealing from the thief (1st Doctor The Crusades episode 1) Frost Fairs (11th Doctor A good man goes to war) Slavery worries (Martha Jones Shakespeare Code 10th Doctor)

Oddities: Isn’t the Doctor worried about running into his past self since he was there with River Song and Steve Wonder at that very fair?

Pet Peeves:  The TARDIS give an alert about the alien life form in the Thames, yet the Doctor has not only visited the Frost fair several times but has visited London over and over during the periods before it and the TARDIS never noticed, never gave a word or an indication. in the past and it never give a warning.   What happened, did it forget? Was it on strike? That’s a plot hole to drive a truck through.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Bill: Yeah. Travelling to the past, There’s got to be rules. If I step on a butterfly, it could send ripples through time that mean I’m not even born in the first place and I could just disappear.
The Doctor: Definitely. I mean, that’s what happened to Pete.
Bill: Pete?
The Doctor:Your friend, Pete. He was standing there a moment ago, but he stepped on a butterfly and now you don’t even remember him.
Bill: Shut up! I’m being serious!
The Doctor: Yeah, so was Pete.
Bill: You know what I mean. Every choice I make in this moment, here and now, could change the whole future.
The Doctor: Exactly like every other day of your life. The only thing to do is to stop worrying about it.


The Doctor: You know what happens if I don’t move on? More people die. There are kids living rough near here. They may well be next on the menu. Do you want to help me? Do you want to stand here stamping your foot? Because let me tell you something. I’m two thousand years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage.


Final Verdict: 3 3/4 stars This is the only episode that I’ve given this rating to, just under 4 stars.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 3. Again a little better than the last one, we’re getting there

1st Thin Ice
2nd Smile
3rd The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Another one that Doesn’t place but inching toward it

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

Summary:  Don’t Worry be happy, or ELSE

Plot: The Doctor and Bill sneak out from under Nardole’s nose to visit one of the first human colonies where they discover a bunch of robots that run on emojis but the Doctor notices the people are missing, it turns out that being unhappy can be fatal, which might be a problem when the rest of the colonists awake and find out what’s going on.
———————————–

Writing: The first TARDIS trip is always interesting in a sense and Bill’s questions are promising.  As has been the case over the last few years there is a heavy indication of the long term season plot.   The concept of the villain is interesting as is the conflict in Bill’s practical lower middle class mind about escaping and staying escaped.  It’s a leg up over the previous episode but give how poor the previous one was, that’s not much of an accomplishment.

Acting:  The only thing wrong with the acting in this episode is Nardole in the sense Matt Lucas isn’t in it much Peter Capaldi again shines and Pearl Mackie seems to be clicking with him n   s does a more than adequate job as Bill with strong hints of even better to come but it’s Matt Lucas’ Nardole again in a lesser role really makes it all come together.

Memorable Moments:  You’re the Help line, I’m not making tea for her, the pound signs in the eyes.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  The Help line reference (1st Doctor Clara #3)  Landing at the site of the next episode (shades of Season 1 of of the original series) Migration from Earth Ark in Space (4th doctor) Beast Below (11th Doctor)

Oddities:  What exactly would the Vardis use as currency?

Pet Peeves:  Given that the Earth is being evacuated the idea that they never thought of programming the robot vardies to recognize or deal with grief or death is not credible.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Bill: It’s a beautiful place.
The Doctor: All traps are beautiful that’s how they work.


Bill: You can’t reach the controls from the seats. What’s the point in that? Or do you have stretchy arms, like Mister Fantastic?


The Doctor [OC]: Once, long ago, a fisherman caught a magic haddock. The haddock offered the fisherman three wishes in return for its life. The fisherman said, “I’d like my son to come home from the war, and a hundred pieces of gold.” The problem is magic haddock, like robots, don’t think like people. The fisherman’s son came home from the war in a coffin and the King sent a hundred gold pieces in recognition of his heroic death. The fisherman had one wish left. What do you think he wished for?
(The colonists start waking up again.)  Some people say he should have wished for an infinite series of wishes, but if your city proves anything, it is that granting all your wishes is not a good idea.
Bill: It’s okay. It’s not going to hurt you. Actually, it doesn’t even know who you are.
Steadfast: What happened? What have you done?
The Doctor: In fact, the fisherman wished that he hadn’t wished the first two wishes. You see, in a way, he pressed the reset button.


Final Verdict: 3 1/2 stars I liked it better the 2nd time I watched it but it still seemed kinda average, particularly for a first trip episode.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 2. Given how bad last weeks’ episode was that’s not a surprise

1st Smile
2nd The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place but again that’s because the previous seasons were so good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

1st  The Pilot

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

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

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

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

  1. History

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

  1. The Teenage boy fan base

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

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

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

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

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

  1. The Doctor in combat as a prisoner

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

Rape.

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

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

  1. Bringing Back those women viewers:

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

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

5…and getting out of it

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

It won’t be pretty

  1. All girls together

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

  1. The Lessons of history

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

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

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

His companion Ace/Sophie Aldred agreed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Telegraph wrote about this a year ago:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Great Quote(s)

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Ranking of Season: 1st of 1

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

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

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

Some thoughts running through my head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Locally I was very pleased to see this story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

followed by this from Bahrain’s house of representatives:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More please

First some background

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

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

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

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

and this

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

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

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

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

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

p12079367_b_v9_acBy John Ruberry

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

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

Season two of The Last Kingdom is currently in production.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit
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