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

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

Summary: Can the Doctor Save a Viking Village from Alien Invaders without the cost of his soul?

Plot: The Doctor & Clara are captured by Vikings and while Trying to pass himself off as Oden to escape is interruped by aliens who do a better Oden imitation than him.  Clara & a viking lass named Ashildr (who the Doctor remembers in reverse)  declares war on the invaders after they slay the best Viking warriors, meaning the Doctor & Clara have 24 hours to figure out how to stop one of the deadliest warrior races in the galaxy with a bunch of farmers / fishermen and no TARDIS.

———————————–

Writing:  This episode has all the aspects of the best of the doctor who stories.  Mathieson & Moffat weave an excellent tale with drama comedy pathos and for good measure throw in the Doctor remembering where he got his face.  It’s a memorable scene but not as memorable as the character they are creating,   but that’s for a later review.

Acting: A lot of fuss is made about Maisie Williams in this episode but I think the supporting cast of Vikings do even better here.  This episode allows both Capaldi & Coleman range to play.  It’s said that Brian Blessed was supposed to play Oden in this episode but could no do to illness.  I confess that knowing that made the episode a little less fun because I keep thinking how much better he would have made it.

Memorable Moments: When it comes to memorable moments It’s Loaded!  Not dying, Yo Yo, You will beg for mercy, don’t believe that false Oden, Benny Hill, The Doctor remembers, To hell with you , the fire.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Reversing the polarity, literal flashbacks to the fires of Pompeii and Deep Breath.

Oddities: Given the time travel of the Doctor it’s less likely he is remembering in reverse than that he’s actually seen her somewhere but didn’t place her till now.

Pet Peeves: Granted that the doctor adjusted the medical kit but that doesn’t mean a piece of machinery isn’t going to wear out, after all bits of the TARDIS are constantly doing that.

Great Quote(s)

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

Nollarr: You’re coming with us.
The Doctor: No, I’m not. Do you want to know why? On my face, right now, more advanced technology than your species will manage over the next nine million years. (The Viking breaks the sunglasses) Clara?
Clara: Yeah?
The Doctor: We’re going with the Vikings.
********************

The Doctor: [As the village burns] Well, that could have gone better. Morning.
Heidi ; [waking up] What happened?
The Doctor: The Big Bang, dinosaurs, bipeds, and a mounting sense of futility.
Clara: More recently, Chuckles hit Lofty over the head, on his helmet, with his sword, which knocked him out. There was a little blood, which you saw [Heidi faints] and did that. Only, the first time you did it, you knocked a torch onto some hay, which spooked a horse, who kicked open a gate, and er, I’m sure you can fill in the rest.
*********************

The Doctor: I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do. Nothing. But I’m not supposed to. Ripples, tidal waves, rules. I’m not supposed to. Oh. Oh!
Clara: What? What’s wrong?
The Doctor:: My face.
The Doctor:[Flashback Deep Breath]: Who frowned me this face? Why this one? Why did I choose this face?
Clara: Doctor, what’s wrong with your face?
The Doctor: I think I know why I chose it.
The Doctor: [Flashback Deep Breath]: It’s like I’m trying to tell myself something.
The Doctor: I think I know what I’m trying to say.
Donna Noble: [Flashback The Fires of Pompeii] Just someone. Not the whole town. Just save someone.
10th Doctor:: [Flashback The Fires of Pompeii] Come with me. [reaches out to Lobus Caecilus who bears a striking resemblance to actor Peter Capaldi]
The Doctor: I know where I got this face, and I know what it’s for.
Clara: Okay, what’s it for?
The Doctor: To remind me. To hold me to the mark. I’m the Doctor, and I save people. And if anyone happens to be listening, and you’ve got any kind of a problem with that, to hell with you!

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

The Doctor: Immortality isn’t living forever. That’s not what it feels like. Immortality is everybody else dying.

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

Final Verdict: 5 stars. Don’t miss this one.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 5. This one was tough but I really don’t care much or the Daleks so I rate it above the Witches Familiar but it could have gone either way.

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

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 3rd

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