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.


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.