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

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?
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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