Saturday, 21 November 2015

Doctor Who- Face the Raven review

The story of Clara Oswald has turned its final page, and what a story she was! The impossible girl thought she was saving Rigsy when there was no need, it was all a mystery created by Ashildr to lure the Doctor into the trap street. 

So lets start there, the return of Rigsy sees him finding a strange tattoo on his neck that is counting down, a fake death sentence to entice the Doctor into finding out who had killed Anna, a new alien janus who has two heads.

I found it lovely to see that Rigsy has evolved and created a life for himself, a mature, loving father and husband. The story is an intelligent and fantastical driven notion of streets that house aliens that we don't know about.

The sequence of the Doctor, Clara and Rigsy walking the streets of London to find these hidden streets made the story feel more personal because I could imagine bumping into them in passing.

Everything about this episode screams creativity from its set design, costumes and the creation of some new aliens who make an immediately impact on human empathy. A particular awesome scene was when Clara almost fell out of the Tardis but loving the adrenaline and near death experience. An absolute representation of her addiction to the Doctor's lifestyle.

The trio splits up, trying to find who the real murderer is. This is what infuriated me about Ashildr, Rigsy never was going to die but she couldn't possibly believe that Clara would even think about facing the raven herself. 

There are some incredibly indulgent and witty lines from Clara,"Me and Jane Austen play pranks on each other, she is the worst I love her, take that how you like", a possible assumption to her fancy of the famous author.

Also, there is an atmosphere in this episode that is completely unique and new, I found it so magical and yet it felt so sci-fi at the same time. The fateful cliffhanger that befalls Clara, the Doctor looks on horrified as does Ashildr when they realise Clara now wears the quantum shade was daunting and terrifying.

Her fate is brought to a tragic and bound by a stupid mistake that she thought the Doctor would be able to fix her. A stupid and pointless mistake that costs Clara her life. What I loved about the emotionally draining conclusion is that she doesn't complain or fight but accepts that she needs to brave and face the raven. 

She does so with such courage and grace, her last gift to the Doctor is reminding him of who he is. Jenna Coleman has given us an impeccable performance once again with such heart and energy that I felt quite numb after watching the second time. A truly iconic summation of Clara Oswald- "I will die and no-one else will suffer".

For any fans who didn't like her because they thought she was too perfect, too like the Doctor then after this, know that there is no such thing a perfect human being but there is such a thing as extraordinary, and that's what Clara is and always will be- the Impossible Girl.

Doctor Who- Sleep No More review

Mark Gatiss helms a scary tale but it feels scattered and unsure of its objective. After watching Sleep No More, I felt very confused as to what had actually happened.
The story felt very disjointed in that I didn't feel like the story was layered enough or brought a plot that was uniquely interesting.

However, there are some wonderful unique elements that we have here. The decision to have the story from a found footage perspective was very ambitious and creative. It's purpose served the scariness of the Sandmen as they hovered in the dark and we got to feel like we were one of the characters, in direct contact with the Doctor and Clara.

Additionally, the angles and lighting was very creative in how the red/purple hues illuminated the characters only slightly to leave us wandering what could be hiding in the dark.

The Sandmen themselves were very creepy in their deficit in wanting only to digest and kill and with their stretched mouths, they were definitely gruesome. The Tardis duo have some great and funny lines with each other, especially the Doctor pondering why people put the word space in front of future technologies

The supporting characters didn't feel like they had much depth, layers or personality to them which made me feel distant from them and when they all eventually died, I have to admit I didn't really feel anything.

But the story idea of the Sandmen being sand dust and that their visual receptors are the mini cameras floating in the air makes for unusual but insightful ideas into what sleep means to us.

I thoroughly enjoyed the climax because it was unexpected and intelligent that the footage itself was the Sandmen's way into digesting people.

My concluding thoughts to this, as the Doctor says, "None of this makes any sense"!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Zygon Inversion Review

The concluding part to this incredible Zygon two parter- The Zygon Inversion is something groundbreaking and completely divine.
At the beginning, Bonnie's interrogation was fast, intelligent and tense with Clara's slices of humour and terror at not being able to lie being most gripping.
I particularly felt that the approach to how Clara interferes with Bonnie was very creative and cool.

It was a nice escape for the Doctor and Osgood to have parachutes and those scenes that they shared delved deep into the Doctor's vulnerability at the possible death of Clara and his nagging want to know if Osgood is human or Zygon. But this is the main theme of the story, it doesn't matter, it's about accepting both races and ensuring peace between them.

More so, we've been some wonderful moments to see the Zygons from a different perspective. The Zygon that was filmed by Bonnie felt vulnerable and scared and I felt genuinely sad for him because the majority of its race just wants to live in peace. It was painful to see it kill itself.

It's where the conflict takes off as Bonnie discovers that there are two Osgood boxes, who no doubt will become some kind of merchandise in the future.
This is the moment where the twelfth Doctor is given his own time to try and persuade Bonnie that war isn't worth the beauty of peace.

Peter Capaldi brought so much gravitas, truth and conviction to his performance and I felt like I couldn't breathe as I watched him sparkle. There were so many levels and I could truly feel the pain that he continues to carry with him. It was saddening but empowering and inspiring. This is why I love the Doctor and why he is my hero.

With so much that correlates with society today, I feel that these episodes should be commended for their prevalence, ambition, sophistication and intelligence in telling a rich and valuable story.

Peter, Jenna and Ingrid's performance were creative, unique and delicious to watch. I have always wanted to see two Clara's in one episode and now it's happened. I have a new respect for the Zygons and I would gladly live amongst them myself. There aren't enough good words to describe this two-parter.

Agents of Shield S3 Among Us Hide Review

Among Us Hide shows that you can never know who some people really are. We're right back into the action with Andrew having survived the explosion with his version of events explaining what happened.
May certainly isn't entirely forgiving towards Hunter as she tells Coulson that she is back on the team and ready to hunt down Ward.
There is an exciting action scene between her and Mockingbird which May was using as a test to see if she was ready to get back into the field.

Whilst this is all going on, Daisy is taking up a lead to find out who Lash really is and thinks it's something to do with Rosalind's second hand man. It was a lot of fun to see Mac, Daisy and Hunter working on their own mission as it gave us time to see them work through their issues with each other; Hunter nearly getting Andrew killed being the main focus.

In addition, it seems like everyone has got their individual missions  going on as Coulson tags along with Rosalind to see her secret base where they contain the Inhumans they capture. I wasn't surprised to see what they were doing with them as their reputation doesn't really do much for their moral values. However, I think that the audience needed to see into Rosalind's character a bit more to understand her motivations and her husband's death lends itself value.

We get a glimpse into the progression of Fitz and Simmons relationship; Fitz becomes doubtful into getting Will back as Hunter points out, there could be competition. But this is what I love about Fitz, he doesn't think that way, he's always seeing it from a unique perspective- he saved Simmons's life so he believes he owes Will. Wonderful!

As the episode concludes, the reveal of Lash was very cleverly built up as May interrogated Von Strucker as he bled to death. I had my theories that Andrew could have been Lash but I didn't think that it would be true because I always Andrew was the more human side to the team- he didn't have fighting skills or superpowers but a great mind. It will certainly be fascinating to understand how long he has been hiding this and why he has been killing all of the other Inhumans.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how May and the team try to understand Lash's identity as I could see from May's reaction that she seemed utterly terrified that she doesn't really know who Andrew is or why he's been killing the Inhumans. I don't know where the story will end up but it always does end up being the person who the plot never really focuses on.

Very clever writing, slight humor with marvelous and thrilling action sequences!

Agents of Shield S3 E5 Review

4722 Hours- that's how long it took for us to see how special Gemma Simmons is. She has a whole episode dedicated to her time on the alien planet and what we see is something I certainly wasn't expecting.

If you have a character that hasn't had much screen time to focus on, putting her in a situation where we get to see her motivations, hope, helplessness and sheer determination to get home is what makes this episode so special. Not only in storytelling but in the cinematography, pace and direction.

Elizabeth Henstridge brings a stunning performance to Simmons with her frustration at not being able to see the sun, to killing a monster plant and eating it. Her time on this planet proves what real strength really is; it's not about the fighting skills but the will and instinct and adaption to survive.

There were still so many mysteries to the planet that we didn't get to explore but I think that makes the thought of Simmons going back even more terrifying. Each scene was handled with raw emotions that went back and forth and felt truly real to the eye.

When Simmons met Will I was fascinated at where the story as going because I certainly didn't think there would be any other humans, let alone an astronaut who had been on the planet for fourteen years.

I can completely understand why Simmons would fall in love with this man- his brave, strong, courageous and smart and the only other person she had at a time where she felt completely hopeless. I did feel a punch in the stomach though because I was thinking, 'But what about Fitz'?. Then I realised, that if anyone was in Simmons situation then of course you would cling onto the only other person with you.

Marvel have managed to construct a really clever, thought provoking story about survival and love with added layers of humour with a wonderful performance from Elizabeth Henstridge. This season is seriously going somewhere new and delightfully exciting!

Doctor Who- The Zygon Invasion Review

What a stonker of an episode that was ! My god I was shrieking , literally gasping for breath at that cliffhanger!
A prequel to the 50th encounter with the Zygons, this time we see full blown Zygons, who I find astonishly terrifying; their snarls and hisses and their sneaky ways of having already started their invasion without the Doctor or UNIT realising is ghastly.

The Doctor talking to the two seven year old commanders whilst having a go in the slide and monkey bars kind of sums up the Doctor for me and was hilarious in its entry point into where the Zygons are now with twenty million of them living amongst us.

Personally, I loved that we got to see the Doctor, Clara and UNIT travelling to different points in the world, it reminded me of Torchwood a little which was quite strange but entirely thrilling.

As a lover of the UNIT 70's Earth adventures, I very much welcomed the return of UNIT as they add such an epic layer to the story that when we find out that they have been fooled by the Zygons as well as the Doctor, I got really scared for the planet.

In addition, this episode felt so grown-up but with so much sophistication and interpretation of modern day society issues regarding benefits and immigration. Something entirely new but with the blobby jokes layered within that, it makes for wonderful storytelling.

When I saw the little boy's parents dragging their son in a bag into the lift, I was really shocked at how dark that looked and really felt scared for what the Zygons were capable of. I have to mention Osgood because I love her so very much; she is the bearer for us fans, cosplaying the Doctor's in marvellous fashion.

Finally, we get to the cliffhanger, now I was so blown away with this twist that I was kind of gasping, shouting 'No' and squealing with how cool it was at the same time. Jenna Coleman plays evil so slyly like she knows that she can have fun with this.
When I look back at the little things that Clara does; tying her hair back, calling Jac middle-aged, holding a gun and saying that she's enjoying herself are all slight but in your face clues but one in particular did make me worried about Clara, and that was the middle-aged stint. When I first heard Clara say that to Jac, I actually believed that Clara could actually say that, now that she seems to be becoming more reckless and arrogant. I find that quite scary in where Clara is heading but I have hope that she will do good in the end.

And we're not even given enough time to digest that because she's already firing a missile at the plane that the Doctor's in, and he has no clue whatever! I really don't know how he is going to get out of this one but I am going to come up with lots of theories to fill the time until next week.

Doctor Who- The Woman Who Lived Review

In this week's episode of Doctor Who, Catherine Tregenna has delivered a delicious script with an integral insight into what being immortal actually is like. There has been snippets with Captain Jack where he has spoken to the Doctor and in Torchwood but with Ashildr, it focuses more on living day after day and not having enough head space to remember her family and experiences.

I adored the 16th century setting and the dark lighting was a warming change with a wonderful artistic success for the location setting and costumes. Maisie Williams delivered the script with such weight and conviction that I was compelled to her character. Being the same age as her, I was really astounded by her performance, she made every word mean something that just took the story to so many places.

These two would make a remarkable team and yet when they were having that conversation at the end, I couldn't help but feel scared. Just by their perspective on life which obviously changes the way they see people who fleet past them.

My most geeky moment was when the Doctor mentioned Captain Jack, I would love to see Jack and Ashildr together! An immortality club, I just imagine them sharing stories about the different ways in which Jack has died.

The underlying story that has the Doctor and Me search for a purple alien amulet felt like a refreshing supporting role for the overall story. The villian Leandro was a striking figure that the modern series hasn't really scene before and I was delighted at his slight vulnerability and selfish nature.

I did feel quite sorry for the Doctor though, he just thought he had saved a young woman but didn't think at the time the consequences that would befall Ashildr. I think these needed to be addressed because he does need reminding of some bad decisions he has made. But I don't think that Ashildr becoming immortal was a bad thing because she is a good person, she just forgot how to be one.

When Clara stepped back into the Tardis, I felt like I hadn't seen her for ages and I really missed her! That shot of the Doctor recognising Ashildr/me gave me so many thoughts; he seems scared and glad to see her at the same time because he now knows that she has lived for centuries, what does that do to a person?

I'm sure we'll find out because I've recently heard that Maisie Williams is returning for episode ten which is very exciting news! 

Overall, this has been a wild ride, an incredibly stunning script with some genuinely funny moments with conflict, twists and a look into the Doctor's guilt.

Doctor Who - The Girl Who Died Review

The Girl Who Died  felt like the comedy romp that presides every series in Doctor Who and then features a cliffhanger that changes the tone so drastically, I certainly wasn't ready for it.
The opening scene of Clara floating in space was so cool, I have to give praise for the special effects team who captured the visual beauty of space so eloquently.

When the Doctor and Clara arrived I was a bit confused when Odin appeared in the sky as I it took me a while to understand who he actually was as I felt like everything happened so fast, I didn't have time absorb the story.
More importantly, I think that the strength in this episode was with the comedy value between the Doctor and the Vikings.
There was also some valuable scenes with the Doctor and Clara at his realisation of what he has made of her. Their evolving partnership seems to be be building towards something huge and life changing.

Maisie William's character-Ashildr was very intriguing and mysterious especially when she tells the Doctor that she has always felt different. I did for a moment wander if she was a lost Time Lord that the Doctor thought he knew.
I was very astounded when she so suddenly died and then was brought back, leading to her immortality. This was something very new and unique in terms of story. I think it makes the story more exciting and refreshing.

I have to mention the nostalgic moments of the Doctor finally realising why he gave himself his face. It felt really weird seeing the Tenth Doctor and Donna, so long ago.
The Doctor translating what the baby was saying was outrageously funny and seeing a Viking trying to work out how to use an iphone was a fleeting moment of joy.

The story was not what I expected but in a brilliant and unique way. I loved the idea of Ashildr being a Hybrid and the Doctor becoming tired of losing people. I did find that the Mire didn't feel particularly powerful or scary really. It was no-one's fault but I just think that they didn't make much of an impact of a formidable opponent.

Thoroughly enjoyable, historical, funny and emotional adventure with a very different and exciting cliffhanger!