19 June 2017
17 June 2017
Rona Munro, who wrote the final story of the original run back in 1989 has been away from this show for far too long – her return is a triumph with a great story, a brilliantly realised creature and lots of great gags.
This is also the first story of the 12th Doctor's era to be set in Peter Capaldi's native Scotland and it works really well.
16 June 2017
10 June 2017
A fuller post on this will follow, pending post-poll studies of the actual demographics that turned out. However, some quick thoughts:
- The Conservatives remain in power to all intents and purposes. May got the highest vote share for them since Margaret Thatcher, despite leading a highly inept campaign. It is clear, however, she is not suited to the role of PM and should probably step aside for someone more competent at the top job.
- Labour did much better than expected, but whether this was down to Corbyn or despite him remains to be studied. He has taken Labour a good deal of the way there, but he may not be the person to take them back into power.
- The Lib Dems are irrelevant now. Nick Clegg's decision to go for full coalition instead of confidence and supply has cost his party dear; he has now paid with his own seat.
- The SNP are badly battered but still there – the next Scottish Parliament elections will be very interesting.
- The DUP... well, we're all going to be paying a lot more attention to Northern Ireland now, that's for sure.
Got to say that I didn't enjoy that one at all. Looked great, but the guest characters were all very broad stereotypes, the plot twists were silly (dropping one big one without warning suggested something important got lost in the edit) and the new Ice Warriors weapon seems like an excuse for the effects people to show off..
Also, that was one of the most out of left field reappearances by a character I've ever seen. I didn't even know that voice actor was still alive...
09 June 2017
08 June 2017
04 June 2017
03 June 2017
A strong episode, with Capaldi at his cold best... also, a very different episode for Missy... There were certain elements I wasn't overly keen on though, with the resolution being a bit too 'Power of Love' for my taste.
Great central idea, could have been executed (no pun intended) a bit better.
01 June 2017
31 May 2017
- CBS did their usual bulk early renewal.
- Designated Survivor, a superb show, was a natural candidate (no pun intended) for renewal. Agents of SHIELD less so, but it must have its fans in the upper management.
- Timeless getting axed was sad, but no surprise as it had middling ratings. Getting reprieved three days later was a huge surprise. The show will almost certainly be a summer one and hopefully it will get two or three more runs - it's a fun show, even if a bit silly at times. Hey, so is Doctor Who.
- The CW's DC based shows continue to do well - Legends of Tomorrow is great and the episodes of the other shows that I've watched relating to crossovers are fun as well.
- Conviction failed and failed big time. Hayley Atwell will probably be moving back to the UK soon; you don't really get a third chance to crack the US. I think the 10pm slot on Mondays for ABC may become a "cursed one", but we shall see.
- Powerless didn't even get to conclude its run before being yanked, which is a huge failure for a DC based show.
- A major drop in the number of new shows this year; the pilots may have been really bad...
- Star Trek: Discovery looks visually epic and I definitely plan to watch it, but the proof of the pudding remains in the eating.
- The Orville, Seth MacFarlane's spoof space drama looks like it could be a lot of silly fun and I definitely plan to do that.
- Think I'll pass on The Gifted. Amy Acker is a brilliant actor, but she alone does not a series make and I prefer my comic book shows with some good jokes.
- Also Valor looks too 'angsty' for my taste.
- NBC have again geo-blocked their trailers... Sarah Shahi has got her own show with Dennis Haysbert, but it remains to be clear whether it will be a Shaw-fire hit or if it will be time to Palmer off in May... with that awful pun, I'm done.
27 May 2017
An episode with an epic scope and yet still relatively small-scale, this features one of the best plots we've seen in a good while with a great cliff-hanger. The special effects are also great and it's really good to see an actor with dwarfism playing a human instead of an alien.
Next week looks really interesting, even if a bit of a remake of "The Last of the Time Lords", which was nearly a decade ago now!
26 May 2017
23 May 2017
21 May 2017
Explaining just what the Doctor has in that vault, this is a very dark episode, literally and metaphorically. The pay-off when it arrives makes the journey worthwhile, but if we're being honest, it's a bit of a slog at times.
There's some good humour (although it's rather limited) and the performances are again stellar, but there have been much better Steven Moffat episodes over the years.
What this does do is set up the next episode and kick things up a gear... what happens next will be very interesting.
18 May 2017
17 May 2017
14 May 2017
This 1974 fantasy movie based on the 1924 novel is not a bad film, but it is definitely cheesy and the imperialist overtones of the original work are pretty clear to see. The most memorable character for me is Dietz, played with relish by Anthony Ainley, who later played the Master in Doctor Who against Doctors Four through Seven.
I have to say that while this episode (which I watched in two parts separated by over a week) was enjoyable, it doesn't stick in the memory like some of the others have. Not bad at all, but certainly not a classic.
13 May 2017
A strong episode throughout with a strong horror quotient and some very dark humour – especially Velma, the AI voice of the suits. What is basically a lot of corridor action is done very well, although it does get a bit preachy at times.
Great ending though... There's a spoilery joke that I won't make.
08 May 2017
|Some of the detonations|
For ease of calculation, I will be limiting this to Topol/SS-25 ICBMs at 800kt each, going off 1000 metres above their targets - this does more damage, but produces less fallout. This will just cover the initial attack - not fallout, which is very much weather dependent.
The targets are:
Aldermaston (nuclear bomb construction)
RAF Boulmer (Air Defence control)
RAF Brize Norton
Faslane (Naval base)
RAF Fylingdales (Early warning radar)
RAF Lakenheath (USAF)
London (10 Downing Street to be precise)
RAF Menwith Hill (US/UK intelligence and communications facility)
Plymouth (Naval base)
Porton Down (Chemical Weapons)
Portsmouth (Naval base)
That is 15 ICBMs... Unfortunately, the system keeps resetting itself, but I end up with well over a million dead, mostly those in London, Plymouth and Portsmouth, but other areas will produce thousands of dead. I did not cover army bases, but it is entirely possible that the Russians could eliminate the UK militarily with 30 or so ICBMs.
However, the UK would still have a missile boat out in the North Atlantic with 8 Trident missiles and those could do a lot of damage in return... not to mention all the US boats.
06 May 2017
Now that was a nice 'base under siege', or rather 'house under siege' episode with a lot of creepiness throughout and an excellent villain in the form of David Suchet. Bill was again superb.
Not overly sure about the resolution, but you can't have everything.
03 May 2017
Who wrote this dog's breakfast of a movie? It's like someone decided to let a 7 year old plot a science fiction movie... no a 7 year old could do a better job. Plot elements turn up with no notice whatsoever, the acting is atrocious, the effects are ridiculously cheap. There are better movies with Caroline Munro wearing a bikini for no good reason, that's for sure; namely The Spy Who Loved Me, which was not actually scored by John Barry (Marvin Hamlisch did that one), whose music is pretty much the only good thing about this. Also, who calls a character Stella Star? It's almost as bad as Luke Skywalker...
Bad movies often make for the best riffing and this is no exception. Servo and Crow – it's very odd seeing the latter standing up on his own legs in the theatre – throw some real zingers, as of course does Joel. I laughed a lot at this, although they did miss a couple of obvious riffs... and I have to say that the riffs do sag a bit in the middle of the film.
Also, "Live from New York, it's the torpedo sketch!" is a superb line.
29 April 2017
27 April 2017
24 April 2017
The film itself is pretty terrible - Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow have no chemistry, the film takes far too long to get to the actual avalanche and much of it is just over the top.
The riffing however is top notch. I actually got hiccups at the end, where the bots and Jonah start giving the destroyed resort TripAdvisor reviews... Also, the skits were great.
22 April 2017
Not exactly the most original story in the show's history - the overall plot is one that has been told before, including one more than one occasion by this show itself.
That said, it's a highly enjoyable episode, helped particularly by Pearl Mackie who manages to steal scenes from Peter Capaldi on a regular basis – she says the really obvious things that a regular person would say... rather than a science fiction writer would have them say. Bill is taken us on an excellent adventure, If you know what I mean...
I'll get me coat...
19 April 2017
The 200th episode of the show is an excellent one. The movie itself is suitably of its time (no people of colour at all!) to be a rich target for jokes and they're very good jokes indeed.
The skits in the breaks were just as good – in particular the bit involving Rocket Number Nine's welcome return...
18 April 2017
Well, that was a surprise. Although it is clear from the polls why Theresa May has decided to call one.
I'm probably going to end up voting for the Lib Dems – I live in a safe Tory seat anyway. I can't vote for Labour, not now. I hope that the likely mullering it faces saves the party in the long term as they'll have tried the same thing three times (running on a hard-left platform) and failed every time.
But Hope is a place in Arkansas...
Anyway, it's on like Donkey Kong. Prepare yourself for seven weeks of British election campaigning...
15 April 2017
I am going to be doing mini-reviews of the current run of this show – as well as the new Star Trek series and Mystery Science Theater 3000 from the second episode on. I will try to do them shortly after I've watched them so impressions are fresh in my minds and I'm not too swayed by others.
Took a little while to get going this – 50 minutes was arguably too long for the episode. However, once it did get going, it was very good. Bill is a different sort of companion in that she asks the obvious questions that others haven't always asked in the past. Also, they're very upfront about her being a lesbian, aren't they?
A lot of good humour and the Doctor-Bill-Nardole team works well. Also, the trailers for next week and onwards look very interesting.