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.


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.


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.