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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Doctor Who 'World Enough and Time' Review

The penultimate episode to series 10 charters a new path for Missy as the Doctor enlists Bill and Nardole to act as her companions while she pretends to be 'Doctor Who' for the day. But before the titles even role, we're bombarded with the image of the Doctor glowing a glow that misty, golden regeneration energy signalling an end to his current incarnation.

Rewind to Missy's mission and we find a 400 mile long spaceship emitting a distress signal when Missy mockingly arrives and surveys the situation with as much sass and mischief as you'd expect but with a bucket load more.

 Doctor-Who-World-Enough-And-Time.jpg

Michelle Gomez is dazzling and wickedly naughty as she switches between cunning scientist to arrogant Time Lady. More so, the direction from Rachel Talalay as the Doctor explains his past history with the Master in correlation to Bill getting shockingly killed in so short a time, is a effective use of distracting us from her unexpected death.

As Bill is escorted away by 'the patients' to be repaired, the trepidation of Bill's recovery to the Doctor's explanation of how time moves slower the closer you are to the source of gravity added suspense and fear. In particular, Bill following the echo of the word 'pain' repeated incessantly by one of the Mondasian Cybermen was an unnerving and extremely horrifying moment.


10 Teasers for World Enough and Time | Doctor Who TV

As she befriends The Master in disguise, her solitude counteracts the Doctor's reconciled friendship that he begins to form with Missy. Once they reach the lower half of the ship, The Master reveals himself to Missy with sinister delight and satisfaction. John Simm performs  with a slightly more mature menace with a goatee beard not too unlike that of Roger Delgado's Master. 

The ship's conversion is absent throughout most of the episode yet subtly hints at Missy's personal evolution while prompting the question of whether survival holds any meaning when your humanity is exploitatively removed. 

 World Enough and Time | The Doctor Who Forum

 Peter Capaldi is vividly creative in his performance; his desperation at Bill's sudden death and resistance at feeling hopeful of Missy's evolution are both touching and tragic.

World Enough and Time is a suspenseful, tense, gripping and stomach-achingly funny episode that leads into the final episode; headlining a strong position as one of the best episodes if not the best of series 10.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Aftershow- Producer Brian Minchin

What an episode! Just..... omygodhowdidBillnoMissyMastertwoofthemDoctorBillCYBERMAN! Yep, that was my reaction. Anyway, moving on, this week The Aftershow speaks to executive producer Brian Minchin about World Enough and Time

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Doctor Who 'The Eaters of Light' Review

The Doctor and Bill argue over who knows more about the Ninth Legion as they land in Aberdeen, Scotland, 2nd century AD. The mystery of what happened to the Ninth Legion has baffled many people over the centuries. And now we have the answer- Interdimensional Locusts! As The Doctor and Bill go searching for the Romans, Bill stumbles upon an alien creature with biolumiscent tentacles and the Doctor meets the Picts who are at war with the Romans.

Writer Rona Munro- who is the only writer to have written an episode of Doctor Who from the classic and revised series- returns with an historical piece that explores the complexity of war through one of the guest characters, Kar.

Rona's first story was the last episode of the classic series, named Survival, back in 1989. Both of her episodes contain historical and tribe like mythology that blends wonderfully with the Doctor and companion of today.

 Doctor Who The Eaters of Light

The script is poetic and mysterious as a music melody becomes centre to Missy's continuing development in this episode. The tense atmosphere of the Romans and the Picts remind us of the richness and devastation of the countless wars that have been fought for thousands of years. 

Director Charles Palmer makes full use of the Scottish dampness and vast landscape (Wales doubling for Scotland) as he creates a frantic and unpredictable world; pulling the camera backwards as Bill stumbles from Kar's wrath and the chaotic confrontation with the creature and the Romans is an turbulent and exciting experience.


Doctor Who: "The Eaters of Light" Review - IGN


Actress Rebecca Benson's portrayal of Kar is beautifully real and creative as she explores the grief, regret, sorrow and fear of the position that she's had to uphold as gate keeper. Her character's complexity elevates the emotional scenes with the Doctor exceptionally well.

Bill's role as peace maker is another strong element of the story as we discover her growth as as a person and companion. Pearl Mackie brings some joyful moments of comedy and intelligence to the story. 


Doctor Who: "The Eaters of Light" Review - IGN

The creature itself is a curious and original design with the biolumiscent tentacles and prehistoric aesthetic giving it a ancient and lost quality to its appearance. It would have been great to have learned more about the creatures; how do they communicate? Where are they from? 

But their presence gave the episode a mixture of threat, danger and savageness. The Doctor and Bill's argument that he can't fight every fight was an interesting theme to include as it fitted perfectly within the context of the story. Does the Doctor feel an obligation to sacrifice himself? Is it guilt, bravery or both? 

Missy's continued transformation is one of the most fantastic moments; her frustration at feeling waves of remorse and her amusement at being the maintenance worker for the TARDIS is such a new path for her character to travel towards that her friendship with the Doctor seems to be becoming even more complex and messy.

Rona Munro's return to Doctor Who has been a successful one; she's given us a rich, historical drama with an imaginative creature who's aesthetic is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Missy's story arc is shaping up to be one of the highlights of series 10 and as we head into the finale it looks like the Doctor and Bill are going to have their hands full with two Masters on the loose!








Saturday, 10 June 2017

Doctor Who- Empress of Mars Review

NASA is interrupted by The Doctor, Bill and Nardole as they observe a bird's eye view of a statement made by Victorian residing on Mars, 'God save the Queen'. And when the TARDIS trio arrive on Mars in 1881, they encounter an Ice Warrior who plans to awaken his Ice Queen from her hibernation.

Writer Mark Gatiss takes inspiration from H.G Wells and the Edgar Rice Burroughs to conceive a camaraderie of savage Victorian British soldiers and the return of the almighty Ice Warriors! These iconic antagonists role influences their own development as the lone Ice Warrior, Friday, forms an alliance with the humans to ensure both species continue to survive.

 Doctor Who: "Empress of Mars" Review - IGN

 After the Monk trilogy, this story is satisfying in how it shows the Ice Warriors as more complex beings who are willing to learn and adapt to ensure peaceful alliance with other species. The Empress is intimidating, commanding and yet has nobility and is strategically tactful.

I was slightly disappointed with how The Doctor and Bill weren't given as active a role as I would expect. After the countless wars The Doctor has witnessed and contributed to I thought he might have used his intellect and brilliance to stop a potential war from coming to fruition. 

At that moment, he and Bill were the only two who would have had the respectability and resourcefulness to prevent a war. They were easily defeated which left me wondering why they were just letting events happen.

 doctor-who-empress-of-mars-promo-pics-9.jpg

With a war initiated, Catchlove was menacing and selfish enough for us to believe in his greed. But, he and the other guest characters weren't given enough time to connect or relate to the audience.

As the story began to draw to a close, the Commander, who is revealed by Catchlove to be a deserter of the state, proves himself to be brave, loyal and yet continue to show signs of weakness. That weakness is vital to his growth at being a potentially interesting character because he is the only one of the soldiers to show multiple nuances of human nature. 

Nardole's sub-story reveals to be an important addition to the story as Missy is revealed to have piloted the TARDIS; saving The Doctor and Bill and agreeing to venture back into the vault. Her compliance and calm stature is becoming more disturbing.

Empress of Mars is a satisfying action adventure that provides the Ice Warriors with further developments but doesn't bring as many new ideas or themes to the table that could be considered original or new.













Sunday, 4 June 2017

Doctor Who 'The Lie of the Land' Review

Bill begins to believe the Monk's lies especially after the Doctor leads humanity towards further oppression. But an unlikely ally provides the answers they need,  one that marks the end for Bill.

The concluding chapter to the 'Monk Trilogy' is provocative in it's ability to incite the uprise of humanity against the Monks. The notion that humanity will not resist oppressive forces if they know it's always been that way showcases the unique trait which separates the Monks from other invasive races.

 Doctor Who The Lie of the Land

Writer Toby Whithouse's script follows Bill's journey as she tells her Mum the story of her reunion with the Doctor and Nardole. It's crisp, confident and tense and as Bill makes the hardest decision she will most likely ever make- killing the Doctor- to ensure humanity has a chance to fight back against the Monks, the story superseds into complete lightness and humour. 

Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi deliver stunning performances as they bounce off each other's anger, frustration and desperation. Director Wayne Yip takes an opportunity to deliver some amitious and stylish shots; the flashes of the Monks lies flittering in front of the screen and the slow motion cuts are aesthetically fracturing, emphasising the fake world humanity now lives in.


Doctor Who: "The Lie of the Land" Review - IGN

The Monks defeat was concluded strongly; the intricacies of the human heart against political miss fire battled against the truth. Bill needs to deal with the fact that she shot the Doctor, even if it was as an act of betrayal and bravery. This one choice could challenge her understanding of her capabilities and how much the Doctor has come to mean to her.

Murray Gold's music is light yet intimidating and has a spy tinkering quality to it that's dramatic but sophisticated.  Bill's thought of her mother was the metaphorical scissor that cut the link between Bill's mind and the Monks power. 


Doctor Who The Lie Of The Land

This pure and raw thought was beautifully woven into the climax as Bill gave her mother a voice. This theme of love and trust being more powerful than any benevolent force is both liberating and what makes the show unique. The majority of defeats is the strength of one human and their memories, experiences and relationships rising up against the most intellectual and universal antagonists.

Missy's development was poignant and powerful; she still has that razor sharp wit and accent bursts but the writers are beginning to investigate into why she has led such a destructive and selfish existence. 

 Doctor Who: "The Lie of the Land" Review - IGN

 Michelle Gomez proves she can make us howl with laughter and weep as hard as stubborn toddler. The lasting image of her recounting the lives she has taken and being surprised at how much it hurts her is a testament to how much more there is to explore and learn about her character.

The Lie of the Land is a provocative, tense, powerful and unique exploration of an invasion story. The 'Monk Trilogy' has been a consistently strong set of episodes that have experimented with imagination and relevant issues.  Combine the two and you get a collection of adventure, tragedy, bravery, liberation and waves of memorable humour. 


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Doctor Who 'The Pyramid at the End of the World' Review

As Bill's date with Penny is interrupted (again) by the secretary of the UN, The Doctor is brought to a 5000 year old pyramid that wasn't there yesterday. The Monks are ready to take the Earth, but first they need our consent...

The second chapter to the 'Monk trilogy' is an aesthetically grand and politically tense story as the Doctor wages a debate with the Monks and the three leaders of the most powerful armies in the world.

Factoring the Doctor's blindness into the plot, this vulnerability gives him an idea to blind the Monks so they can't view one of the many human weaknesses that will ultimately cause the end of the world. Their unusual and rule abiding reason for taking the Earth, only when humanity asks for it, is an original twist on a well-worn invasion concept.

 Doctor Who: The Pyramid At The End Of The World geeky spots and Easter ...

The biochemical plot thread that runs alongside the Doctor's shenanigans with the Monks grows in importance as the story progresses. Writers Steven Moffat and Peter Harness have created a reverse logic to the Monks as they watch humanity's weakness, so that they can be asked to save them.

The Doctor's lack of explanation at how the bacteria kills the human body was thrown away far too easily. It almost made the cause of the end of the world rather silly when the Doctor described the bacteria turning people into 'gloop'. 

Next Time: The Pyramid at the End of the World | Doctor Who TV


But, this small misshap didn't even register once the episode reached its cliff-hanger. At the crucial moment when the Doctor needs to be at his full strength he isn't and makes a mistake by telling Bill he's blind.

His honesty is gallant but motivates Bill into giving her consent to the Monks so they can take the reigns of Earth. Even though Bill has shown great admiration and care for the Doctor, here she demonstrates complete faith in the Doctor that he will be able to bring her world back. This development shows how far their friendship has come; almost reminiscent of a granddaughter making a huge sacrifice to save her grandfather. 

The Pyramid at the End of the World is tense, gripping and unusual in how the Monks conquer Earth. The Doctor's personal struggle and Bill's sacrifice was shocking and moving. This episode only adds to the stack of amazing and brilliant stories this series has produced.














 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Neverless, She Persisted' Review

As Season 2 draws to a close, Supergirl has to sacrifice a life with Mon-El to save humanity after her combat with Rhea doesn't quite go to plan. Unfortunately, the concluding chapter to this season doesn't deliver enough high stakes or original conflict to make it a successful finale.

With Superman being infected with silver kryptonite, Supergirl's battle with her cousin felt a rather blatant attempt to zombify him and his presence didn't really fit into the fight between Supergirl and Rhea.

 supergirl fights for her city superman returns supergirl melissa ...

But, his emotional support for Kara after Mon-El's departure does provide some moving scenes, further strenghtening their bond. The final duel between Supergirl and Rhea wasn't as exciting or powerful as I thought it would be. There was a lack of dynamics within the fight sequence itself.

However, as the Daxamites began to attack multiple areas of the city, the rising threat posed was built-up well; propelling Supergirl to use Lena's intelligence to convert Earth's atmosphere to a poisonous lead substance that would kill very Daxamite, forcing them to flee. 


Supergirl season 2 episode 22 review: Nevertheless, She Persisted ...

The sudden return of M'gonn didn't slot within the context of the story but the addition of the white martians did give team Super a higher chance of defeating the Daxamites. I was disappointed that Lena, Alex and Maggie didn't have more of an active role within the last episode, seeing as they've been such a huge part of this season's success.

It was wonderful to see Alex propose to Maggie, I can only hope their relationship continues to grow and evolve. Lena's involvement was such an important part to the saviour of Earth, and I cannot wait to see where her friendship with Kara will venture into and what challenges lay ahead for her. 

Supergirl — “Nevertheless, She Persisted” — SPG222b_0059.jpg ...

One of the strongest moments had to be the last scene with Supergirl and Mon-El. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood performed remarkably well; showcasing a hugely emotional and powerful scene full of tragedy and sacrifice. 

Neverless, She Persisted managed to highlight how strong Supergirl really is, and that the most personal moments prove her real strength. This season has given us some brilliant characters; Lena, Maggie and M'gonn and succeeded in developing the main characters stories to new territory. 

The show has got a handful of complex and fantastic characters, and it's these that the writers should focus on because they really are 'super'!















 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Doctor Who 'Extremis' Review

The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole are asked to read the Veritas, an ancient text held at the Vatican, which causes whoever reads it to commit suicide. But what is this mysterious truth? Well, it's one that we can all relate too- Are the world and ourselves real or are we just a computer simulation?

This philosophical debate is not a new subject but it's introduction into Doctor Who works extremely well. The historical period is full of fascinating art and artifacts that juxtapose wonderfully against the pixelated remains of Bill and Nardole, as their simulated bodies glitch out of the computer program.

 Doctor-Who-Extremis-2.jpg

Writer Steven Moffat's sophisticated script is buzzing with clever puzzles and terrifying revelations as Bill and Nardole venture through a finely crafted selection of holographic simulations. 

There's even time for some cracking snippets of comedy; Bill asking Nardole if he's secretly a 'bad-ass' was a defining moment in his development. The Vatican and the Oval Office, last seen in series six's The Impossible Astronaut & Day of the Moon, were beautifully realised by the production team. As Bill puts it as she gazes upon its structure- 'Harry Potter!' 


The official story synopsis for Extremis , the sixth episode of Series ...

The sub-plot with Missy being executed by the Doctor was a smart way of revealing more to about the Doctor's oldest friend, and how she could potentially be if she had a conscious. As of yet, it's unclear why the Doctor swore an oath to watch over her in the vault for a thousand years, but the mystery certainly adds to the excitement of Missy's return.

It was wonderful to hear some of River's diary being read aloud; Nardole stating that River had given him permission to kick The Doctor's arse being one of the most memorable of her entries. Her presence was warmly felt; adding a richness to the continuity of the series.

Michelle Gomez's performance was slightly more nuanced and emotional which was fantastic, as it deepens the complexity of her character. Another excellent element of the episode was seeing Bill's life on Earth continue to grow and change.

 Doctor Who S10 Ep6 Trailer of “Extremis” – Vatican’s secret ...

It provides some wonderful moments; Bill's date retreating after the Pope stumbles out of her bedroom is simply hilarious! The quick transition between such familiar human activity to a time machine full of priests is one reason why the series is so fascinating.

The plot builds to a disturbing and dark cliffhanger as The Doctor explains to Bill that she's not real, that none of the world is and his perception of Super Mario is more horrifying than you could ever imagine!

With the mystery of who is in the vault revealed (You should know it's Missy by now), another manifests in the form of the rotting and grotesque Monks who have been creating simulations as a test to experiment on how best to conquer Earth. 

It will be interesting to discover why the Monks want to invade seeing as the concept has been attempted so many times before. Extremis is a mysteriously dark and profoundly sophisticated story that challenges the rules of what the show can achieve to create something truly unique.

















































Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Resist' Review

The peultimate episode to the season 2 finale sees National City overrun by Daxamite soldiers, Rhea threatening Lena and Mon-El to marry and Lillian Luthor teams up with Supergirl to save her daughter.

Resist also welcomes back Cat Grant who provides a wayward hilarity to the situation. I'm not sure if it was the right decision to bring her back now as it left little room for the main characters to develop.

TV Review: SUPERGIRL: Season 2, Episode 21: Resist [The CW] | FilmBook

The plot felt awfully familiar to the season 1 finale except that there's more than one main antagonist facing Supergirl's wrath. Rhea's development seems to have taken a step back as she now appears to be a one-dimensional evil queen intend on controlling and invading humanity. 

Cat's speech to the citizens of National City were again recycling Supergirl's inspiring speech from last season. Even though, this speech was in itself empowering, it didn't provide depth or emotion within the story.

 SUPERGIRL: Season 2, Episode 21: Resist Images [The CW] | FilmBook

However, Lillian coming to Supergirl to help her save Lena was a far more interesting development. It seems a shame that she is beginning to show more depth and complexity at the very end of the season and not before.

Alex/Kara's relationship seemed to lack the emotion and strength which has made their story so powerful. There was an underlying distance between them which deflated the emotional beats of the episode.

Also, Rhea's defeat felt far too easy for Supergirl to achieve and Mon-El's exit felt very out of character. His calm departure held no emotional investment to show how far his and Kara's relationship has evolved. 


 SUPERGIRL: Season 2, Episode 21: Resist Images [The CW] | FilmBook

Unfortunately, Resist fails to bring the season to a satisfying and exciting conclusion, simply because the antagonists haven't been developed enough to portray them as real people. The emotional connections Supergirl has with her family were distant and the plot felt more of a rejurgitation of the season 1 finale. 

I sincerely hope that the last episode of season 2 fairs better because I really adore this show, and want it to succeed but in order for it to do that, the writers need to address the weaknesses found in their antagonists. 









 

















Saturday, 13 May 2017

Doctor Who 'Oxygen' Review

The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole follow a distress call in space where spacesuits are killing the astronauts. As they learn more about the events that transpired, they discover too late that it's the price of oxygen that will lead to their deaths!

Writer Jamie Mathieson delivers a high adrenaline, on the edge sci-fi horror story where Capitalism in space is the villain. The political themes that are incorporated into the plot are substantial to the value of human life that the crew's bosses put upon them. 



The official story synopsis for Oxygen , the fifth episode of Series ...

The inclusion of The Doctor's teachings about the dangers of space cleverly set the tone of dread that the TARDIS team begins to experience. There is an unrelenting level of danger that gives the episode a terrifying and claustrophobic atmosphere.

Also, Bill's apparent death was spectacularly powerful as she screamed out to her Mum. The emotional resonance that Pearl Mackie displayed was grindingly painful to watch because of how vulnerable she became. 

 Doctor Who: "Oxygen" Review - IGN

The Doctor's speech about having a good death, which is the moment we wait for since the day we are born, was beautifully brave and honest. There is a moment where you can believe that this is truly is the end.

But The Doctor's extraordinarily intelligent plan is both unpredictable and comforting. The shocking revelation of The Doctor becoming blind was startlingly unexpected but ties in poetically with the overall plot. The crew took their oxygen for granted and paid the price, here The Doctor may have been taking his sight for granted and suffers for it. 

This is an intensely significant development for him as it raises questions of how his adventures will be affected both psychologically and physically. The restriction will pose new and interesting challenges for The Doctor which could explore his deep connection to the universe.


Doctor Who: "Oxygen" Review - IGN

Murray Gold's music and Director Charles Palmer's work on this episode adds to the versatile and thrilling aesthetic and sound. Oxygen is an incredibly charged story with genuine horrors that are political and disturbing.

The script is blazing with humour, terror, beauty and conflict that will leave you needing to inhale extra oxygen just to stop yourself from falling into unconsciousness, due to the sheer genius of this episode!














Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'City of Lost Children' Review


As a telepathic alien mother is taken over due to the energy of Lena's operational portal, James forms a bond with the mother's son, as he attempts to help the DEO find her before her powers grow.


But as Lena continues to work on the transportation portal, she is unaware of Rhea's plan to transport surviving Daxamites to Earth, hailing it 'New Daxam.' Supergirl's role lingers in the minority as the focus shifts towards James continuing to develop his hero complex.

 Supergirl Season 2 Episode 20 "City of Lost Children" Photos

Unfortunately, James's storyline continues to fail to engage or invest any valuable development that is liable or truthful. There is simply no justification for him suddenly forming this unique bond with the alien boy. 

The connections to his father feel forced and don't inhabit emotional value to keep the audience invested in his development. This causes the episode to suffer greatly in terms of character development.

However, Lena's partnership with Rhea is far richer in emotional drama and complexity. Even though Rhea's plan are hideous and horrifying, her admiration for Lena is clearly genuine which emphasises her devotion to her people.




Supergirl 2.20 – City of Lost Children – Geek



Mon-El's emotional connection with his mother is another stronger moment which becomes the platform for Rhea's lies about her husband's death to fall upon Mon-El with as much twisted anguish as you'd expect.

The climatic scene of the Daxamite spaceships hurtling above Earth's atmosphere added excitement and an epicness to the threat Supergirl has against her. At this point, the crux of the season finale are becoming clear. Rhea is definitely a charming and lethal antagonist but it's the relationships Lena has formed with Supergirl and her that are the most anticipated elements of the finale.















 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Doctor Who 'Knock Knock' Review

Bill's on the search for student accommodation with a clinging Doctor who becomes very curious about an unnerving but beautiful house where the floorboards creak, even the walls.......

Writer Mike Bartlett delivers a raw, creepy and devastatingly emotional story which sees the Landlord feeding people to what The Doctor calls the 'Dyrads' (wood lice insects that work on a cellular level), becoming a part of the house itself.

This element instills the fear that makes this episode more horror based. The inclusion of the binaural sound adds a richness to the creaks and other spooky sounds, highlighting the importance of sound and its effects. 



Doctor Who series 10: Knock Knock review | Den of Geek

 Bill's potential housemates don't provide enough depth to make them feel like fully realised characters. This may be because of the duration of the episode. There is simply not enough time to invest into their characters.

David Suchet's charming and sinister performance is undoubtedly mesmerising and emotionally powerful. The change from sinister wise man to a child who's afraid of losing his mother provides a charming and harrowing performance. His character explores the idea of a child who was too afraid to leave his childhood behind, causing him to make terrible decisions.


Series 10: Knock Knock Advance Review | Doctor Who TV


The concluding moments where the wooden lady turns out to be the Landlord's mother, not a daughter, is a sorrowful and harrowing plot twist, as she realises what her son has done to keep her alive. 

The plight of the Landlord's pain and ignorance was fascinating and makes him one of the more deeply interesting antagonists of the series. Knock Knock was a spooky mystery horror house episode with classic scares and a beautiful flourish to the antagonist's story.













Saturday, 6 May 2017

Doctor Who 'Thin Ice' Review

Writer Sarah Dollard returns with a sharp and powerful story which sees The Doctor & Bill visit the last Frost Fair of 1814. There they discover strange lights under the ice and a hungry creature lurking beneath.

The plot isn't the main focus of this episode but more about The Doctor & Bill forming their friendship, giving Bill the opportunity to prove she how fantastic a companion she is.

 10 More Teasers for Thin Ice | Doctor Who TV


The story lays the foundations for Bill to realise the risks and dangers involved traveling with The Doctor. The atmosphere and setting are exceedingly splendid and utterly realistic of the period, providing an engrossing backdrop.

Bill's amazement continues to be real and unique to her believability of the situation.  Her and The Doctor's friendship have the most subtle, charming moments that they alone are all it takes to keep you firmly gripped. 

But the grittiness of social discrimination and racism stand firm throughout the episode. It allows Bill's heroic actions to filter out the diabolical social conventions of the time. Bill questioning The Doctor on how many people he's killed is a standout moment. The Doctor's honesty shows how much Bill has to learn about him.


Promo images for Doctor Who Series 10 Episode 3 – ‘Thin Ice’

The legitimacy of the sea creature is a strong one as The Doctor never truly understands how it grew to be so large. But evolution would more likely play a huge part. The supporting cast added layers of comedy and energy that played off The Doctor & Bill's feud marvelously well. 

Bill's personal development throughout is powerful and highlights the choices The Doctor's companions have to make. It's tough and sometimes cruel, but The Doctor wouldn't have been able to save as many people as he has without making the toughest decisions. 

Nardole's scene with the knocking echoing within the vault was mysterious and intriguing. It certainly leaves you guessing about who or what is in there. Thin Ice is an emotional and charming adventure with a powerful script, excellent plotting and an exceptional production that together makes for another compelling episode.









Thursday, 4 May 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Alex' Review

Alex is the focus of this episode as she is kidnapped by an old classmate who wants Supergirl to release his father from prison. The plot allows Maggie and Kara's relationship to take precedence over how they deal with her kidnapping. 

It's a straightforward set-up and the kidnapper has a strong enough motivation for wanting his father to be released from prison- he was the one who saved him from his abusive mother. 


 Image result for supergirl season 2 episode 19

The themes of this episode follow a more powerful and darker route as the compelling nature centres around the emotional connection Alex has with Kara and Maggie. Their differing methods to getting her back offers some fascinating insight into how their characters differ.

Chyler Leigh performs with resourcefulness, strength, and versatility as she fights against the rising water in the tank she's being held in. She proves what an adaptable and intelligent character Alex is. 

The kidnapper's preparation didn't provide enough weight as there were some unanswered questions about how he could resist Jonn's mind reading abilities and he couldn't have found a place to take Alex that his father wouldn't know about. 

But, there were some powerful moments between Maggie/Alex when she believes this may be the last time she gets to speak to her. Another is the discussion between Maggie and Kara where Maggie brings to Kara's attention that she thinks she has more say over Alex than she does.



Image result for supergirl season 2 episode 19

Supergirl and Maggie's choices are reversed towards the end of the episode, showing how their methods have influenced one another. The conclusion comes together quickly but the reunion between Alex, Maggie and Kara is nevertheless emotionally moving.

Elsewhere, Lena becomes a pawn for Rhea's plans to open a portal that will allow her to return home and possibly bring Daxamites to Earth. Rhea has enough charm and demeanor to keep us intrigued about her plans. 

This episode sees a huge stride in Alex and Maggie's relationship and produces positive developments in Kara's friendship with Maggie. The tension and change in dynamics were gripping and exciting. 

However, with the season finale approaching it's still unclear what the ultimate threat will be that Supergirl and the rest of the team have to face. But that in no way diminishes the strength of what this episode has to offer- hope, love, family and strength.






















 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Ace Reporter' Review

Episode eighteen focuses primarily on Kara reestablishing her career as a journalist. Her unemployment brings some great moments for Kara as she tries on several attempts to make her own baked goods. 

The friendship between Kara and Lena is one of the most charming as their genuine fondness of one another is compelling but it feels like it won't always be this way. As Lena reunites with an old partner, Jack Spheer, who has created a form of nanobots that can repair and heal wounds, Kara becomes more involved as she discovers the human trials were conducted on Jack, turning him into a swarm of nanobots. 









 Promo images for Supergirl Season 2 Episode 18 – ‘Ace Reporter’


There's strong chemistry between Lena and Jack which makes his demise more emotionally engaging. Once Kara shows Lena the footage of Jack testing the nanobots on himself, this leads her to believe he was the one who killed the human trial patient and the fired company worker.

I felt the revelation of the real culprit, Jack's co-parter in the company, Beth, wasn't justified enough to make sense. She had hardly featured in the episode at all and then suddenly appeared. This caused the conclusion to make less of an impact but as Lena overrode the nanobots, killing Jack in the process to save Supergirl, this does allow for potential conflict between Kara and Lena.

 Promo images for Supergirl Season 2 Episode 18 – ‘Ace Reporter’

 As Kara comforts Lena's loss, Kara promises that she will always protect her, which is when Lena learns that Kara is Supergirl. Seeing as Lena had to sacrifice Jack to save Supergirl, that provides a strong motivation for her to become revengeful towards her.

Ace Reporter focus on Kara's career and her friendship with Lena feels pivotal to her development as a reporter, opening up further potential threats for Supergirl which may come from the most unlikely of people. The script offers some charming and funny moments and the nanobots prove to be one of the strongest villains the show has produced.












 












Monday, 24 April 2017

Doctor Who 'Smile' Review

In this week's episode, The Doctor and Bill venture into the future, arriving in a city where there is no-one to be found apart from a group of emoji robots. As The Doctor grows increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of the colonists who were meant to make the city their new home, Bill continues to ask questions about The Doctor, helping to cement the pair's friendship.

Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce explores how humanity uses technology and how that evolves and develops. It's a fascinating subject and used to great effect. There are similarities to how artificial intelligence's works; in order to achieve their goal, they can create new actions in which to achieve them, developing a self-evolving process. 



... on the run – Smile – Doctor Who: Series 10 Episode 2 – BBC One

The script is sharp, intelligent, witty and flows wonderfully. Bill continues to ask the questions many of us have always wanted to ask The Doctor. Why the police box? Shouldn't we call a helpline? 

Indeed, these questions provide much of the engaging conversations between The Doctor and Bill. Their friendship is unique, charming, eccentric and warm. Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie perform with creativity, intelligence, imagination and spontaneity. 

Doctor Who: Pearl jellies out - Smile - Series 10 Episode 2 - BBC One

'Smile' is a disturbing yet engrossing story that leaves The Doctor faced with an impossible situation. The consequences feel raw and emotional. Technology can never truly be trusted because the bottom line is: they are not human.  

The plot was harrowing and gave us an exciting new twist with regards to why the microbots were killing the colonists. Grief as a virus gave new insights into the perspective of technology and how it perceived the situation. 

 Doctor Who series 10 episode 2 Smile: when is it on? Who's in the cast ...

There were some smashing moments of comedy especially when The Doctor and Bill had to keep smiling as they were escaping from the emoji robots. Bill's enthusiasm and joy were infectious; making me love her even more. 

Episode 2 has taken a global communications phenomenon and explored its form producing give a dark, funny, smart and gripping story that questions the future of technology and our relationship with it. 

Watch out for the elephant!




























Saturday, 15 April 2017

Doctor Who 'The Pilot' Review

After sixteen months since series nine, Doctor Who finally returned with The Pilot, its title being one that would let new audience members know that this is where they could start their journey as a viewer/fan.

Even though I've been an obsessed fan since I was nine-years-old, I still felt like I was watching the show for the first time because even though I know about the mythology and what came before, the show has completely rejuvenated itself, much like the Doctor himself. 

10 More Teasers for The Pilot | Doctor Who TV  

As Bill encountered the Doctor for the first time, there was a clear difference to their relationship. One that factors into the Doctor wanting to guide and teach Bill about the universe and show her her own potential. 

The set up of Bill's life was shot beautifully; the cutting between the Doctor explaining the TARDIS anagram interceding with Bill locking eyes with a girl she likes was really cool. Writer Steven Moffat has done a fantastic job creating Bill. She has a youthful cheekiness and sincerity to her which makes her feel real and relatable. 


Doctor Who spoiler-free review: "The Pilot explores afresh the key ...

The plot was very imaginative and explored the idea of reflections and something being on the other side of it. However, I felt the motivation of the alien threat wasn't explained which made their role feel less threatening than they could have been.

But having said that, there were some creepy moments, when the creature inhabiting Bill's love interest Heather's body, the constant dripping made me wonder if they were connected to The Flood, last seen in The Waters of Mars. 

The scene where Bill returned home and realised it wasn't her foster mum that was having a shower was atmospheric and effectively creepy and tense. Bill's reaction really added to the surreal moment when she sees an eye looking back at her from the plug hole.  

Whatever life forms they may be, it's possible we'll see them again in the future. Another aspect of the plot which left me unsure was The Doctor travelling to Australia, then to a planet in the far future and into the midst of a Dalek War. I presumed he was testing if the creature would follow him across time as well as space. I think it's a positive thing that the audience can be confused yet engaged and interested enough to analysis the story further. 

Doctor Who Series 10 Opener The Pilot to Feature the Daleks – The ...

The script was fast, witty, emotional and explored new ways of introducing Bill as the companion. Bill and Heather's separation was tragic yet beautiful in the sense that the alien who killed Heather had latched onto the emotional connection Heather felt towards Bill, almost like it was something new that it wanted to hold onto. 

Seeing Bill take her first step into the TARDIS was moving and funny as she compared the console room to a 'posh kitchen.' The glee and wonder in her eyes were clear, allowing fans new and old to rejoice in the beginning of the show's magic all over again. 

The Pilot succeeded in introducing Bill to the Doctor's world and gave a clear sense of who she is and how she's going to test the Doctor through their travels together. The alien threat didn't feel like much of a threat but did give the episode some intense and scary moments. The raw emotional beats were engrossing and the music certainly uplifted the atmosphere and wonder of the episode.


Rating: 9/10
 















Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Distant Sun' Review

Distant Sun leaves season two with some unanswered questions as to where the season is heading as a whole. This episode left us with multiple threats which could ultimately culminate towards this season's final threat. Could it be Cadmus, the alien disguised as the President or Mon-El's vengeful mother, Rhea?

Firstly, this episode explored the fractured relationship between Mon-El and his parents as his mother, Rhea, places a bounty on Supergirl's head. Her motivation certainly gives a relatable context to her paternal control and dominance.





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From a wider social perspective, Rhea's beliefs that Earth's cultures have poisoned Mon-El is an interesting avenue to analysis how certain social groups may believe in something even if it's immoral. 

Supergirl's hope to change Rhea's mind about allowing her son to remain on Earth was an inspiring moment, proving the difficult situations Supergirl has to contend with everyday.

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Even though Alex/Maggie's drama didn't connect with the main plot, it was really engaging to learn more about Maggie and her past. The awkward confrontation of Alex meeting Maggie's ex-girlfriend lead to an important development in their relationship, strengthening it for the better.

 Likewise, Kara and Mon-El's separation and reunion was emotionally apt and proved Mon-El's acceptance into the 'Super' family. The themes of change and Mon-El questioning whether people can ever really change provided the foundations for his mother's decision to murder her husband, because his perception began to shift.

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It raises questions as to the people who are willing to change, whether other members of a social system will retaliate because they are afraid of the new change. In this case, Rhea felt betrayed and sought to avenge her family's split by taking revenge on the Earth, her fear evidently propelling her into revenge mode. 

Finally, this episode gave us some wonderful moments between Kara/Mon-El and Alex/Maggie as both explored the strengths of their relationships. There was engaging drama involving Mon-El's parents which raised questions of patriarchy and whether people can really change. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review

The live action version of the much-loved Beauty and the Beast has finally arrived, but was it worth the wait? A resounding YES!

The film follows the basic structure of the animated original but adds its own flaw of relevant themes that continue to affect our society today. Belle's thirst for adventure and something more than 'this provincial life' is something many can relate too. 

Emma Watson's portrayal is gracious, strong, intelligent and curious, which in comparison to Gaston's egotistical and selfish nature, is sublimely an inspiring character for everyone to look up too. 


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 More so, the musical elements are simply beautiful, voracious and funny, culminating in one of the most addictive and heartwarming soundtracks. The soothing rhythms and tinkly softness of the music sets a rich atmosphere to the character's stories. 

Belle and the Beast's relationship is portrayed beautifully and truthfully; the progression of their feelings towards one another is true of the song, 'Just a little change/Small to say the least.' The lyrics movingly describe the relationship with clarity and rawness.









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One character that added a fantastic diversity to the fairytale community is LeFou. His undying love for Gaston was sweet and tragic, especially when Gaston led his hideous march to the Beast's tower, hell bent on destroying his adversary. The positivity he brought to every scene was lovely; his happy ending was much deserved!

 The ultimate battle between Gaston and the Beast was an epic and incredibly emotional story as Belle pleaded her love for him before his last breath. As the sorrow intensified, the uplifting vision of the Enchantress (who was actually Agathe) brought new life to the Beast, making him human again. 
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Belle's friendship with Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts was endearing and further explored the deeper meaning of how social status can make people only feel 'useful' if they serve others.  

It was wonderful to see all the characters have a happy ending; to see them all dancing in the most dazzling ballroom was like watching melting chocolate falling into pieces of gold.

Personally, I think it would have grounded the theme of beauty coming from within more powerfully, if the Prince had remained the Beast, because the juxposition was that once he fell in love with Belle, he was no longer a Beast and so his appearance didn't matter.

Disney's live action of one of the most beautiful and inspiring musicals is an elegant masterpiece of beautiful storytelling, playful humour and teaches an important theme of self-value and that beauty is not about not being what you are but who you are. 

 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Star-Crossed' Review

'Star-Crossed achieved some enticing emotional moments with Kara and Mon-El as his Daxamite parents- the King and Queen of Daxam, arrived on Earth searching for their Prince. 

What this episode allows is for Mon-El to confront his hidden identity; forcibly admitting all to Kara around a rather civilised dinner. More so, Kara and Mon-El's relationships falls into a mess of unknown certainty; one that is both relatable and truthful.

 

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This episode lacked the richer moments between what could have been a compelling piece of drama, between Mon-El and his parents. As of yet, their true intentions are faded but it felt right that they weren't another couple who wanted to invade or destroy Earth.

The decision to balance the episode's drama with Winn and Lyra's relationship felt out of sync with the main themes of the story, but it was interesting to learn more about Lyra's character, however, she still doesn't feel like a fully rounded character.







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 Lyra's betrayal led to strengthening her relationship with Winn, as he believed a woman who would sacrifice herself for someone she cared about was worth forgiving. (Yes to that!) I'm not sure where I see their relationship heading but I praise the writers for establishing a interspecies relationship.

Certainly, there's potential for their relationship to be a truly unique and amazing one; especially if they explore the cultural and psychological aspects of both characters.



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There were some subtle and brilliant moments with Alex and Maggie, an example being Maggie intentionally scaring Winn, and another, with Alex bargaining with a guy at the alien bar with Hamilton tickets. 

Kara's decision to end her relationship with Mon-El felt like it was an incredibly difficult decision, one that made the last scene heartbreaking for the both of them. I do agree with Kara that she deserves better, but I did admire Mon-El for standing up to his parents and even without Kara, begin to develop into the hero he's always wanted to be. 

This episode was a mixture of great relationship development and subtle humour but failed to balance Winn's relationship effectively to make his story as engaging as the rest. 


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Exodus' Review

This week, Supergirl struggles to contend with Catmus's plans to deport the kidnapped aliens and Alex goes on her own mission to find her father. 'Exodus' delivers a relevant and compelling story as Catmus's diabolical mission to capture every alien and deport them from Earth explores the need for heroes like the Danvers sisters.

Immediately, there is a tense atmosphere as the DEO follows the abductions as they happen, propelling Kara to write her own news story to warn the alien community. At this point, Kara's career as a journalist doesn't seem to fit in with her role as Supergirl, but after following her own instincts and getting fired, it may be a good opportunity for Kara to write her own stories away from Catco.

 Image result for supergirl season 2 exodus

This episode was definitely Alex focused as her emotional turmoil over Jeremiah caused her to go on her own mission to find him, and with the help of Maggie, she does, resulting in an emotional and complicated confrontation, beautifully played by Chyler Leigh.

The emotional strain of her father's betrayal has definitely given her character lots of fantastic scenes where hope and loss have conflicted. Her rage against Catmus was strongly felt and the scenes with Alex/Maggie were both funny, sweet and empowering. 

 
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Alex's suspension at the DEO added to her faded logic but gave her the means to prove how resilient, strong and courageous she is that she would risk her own life to find her father and the alien community.

One of the most emotional moments was when Supergirl had to stop the spaceship, containing Alex and the aliens, from entering into space. The silent exchange between the Danvers sisters, and the Supergirl theme, blended to form a heartwrenching scene of self-doubt and support. 

 'Exodus' achieved some beautifully emotional scenes with Alex and her father. Her solo mission of self-discovery, bravery and love for her family showcased what a vivid and complex character she is.