Doctor Who 50th Episode The Day of the Doctor

The War Doctor (John Hurt): “Hello”         Doctor who 50th Episode Poster

Doctor Who (David Tennant): “I’m the Doctor”

Doctor Who (Matt Smith): “Sorry about the Dalek”

Clara: “Also the showing off”

Spoilers (slight ones, at least)

I used to write about Doctor Who (and even the Sarah Jane Adventures) here when I first started this blog but stopped because there was little that grabbed my attention (okay there was the Van Gogh episode and last season’s one about the haunted manor) and I wanted to focus on films and anime. All that changed with last night’s episode celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. It is worth writing about because this episode was really well done.

This episode was meant to be big. The last episode of the last season ended on this stunning revelation:

Doctor Who Season 12

News and trailers and one-off mini episodeswere steadily released by the BBC. David Tennant and Billie Piper were coming back. Ace actor JOHN HURT was going to play The War Doctor in the heart of the Time War. It was going to play in a cinema as a 3D feature.

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Torchwood Miracle Day Quick Post

Torchwood Miracle Day which is currently airing on BBC One and I am enjoying it.

Speaking as a fan of Doctor Who, I respect Russell T. Davies for dragging Doctor Who from the deepest darkest pit of science fiction and back into the mainstream. (That said I am more of a fan of the Steven Moffat era which is darker.)

When Davies left Doctor who to work on Torchwood I was intrigued but it never really caught my imagination. It was meant to be a more adult spin-off from Doctor Who but came across as a low-rent X-Files. The ideas were mostly good but the execution was occasionally lacking, dialogue could sometimes waver on terrible and the tone was uneven and they needed a bigger budget. Re-reading that I feel I’m being too mean because it was far more original than a lot of stuff on television.

When I heard it was moving to America courtesy of Starz network I was a little cynical about how it might work but with American money and the visions in Russell T. Davies’s head have a big enough canvas to be explored and enjoyed.

I think a lot of this comes down to the hiring of Jane Espenson. All of those criticisms I made earlier about the writing, gone. She’s a veteran of genre TV in America having worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica and she has smoothed the transition and now the show is set-up and the forces are in place I can’t wait to see the resulting fireworks. What has gone down so far has been a mix of the gruesome and the action-packed with a tone that is far more familiar from big-budget American sci-fi shows but with the originality that Russel T. Davies brings.

The Torchwood GangActing is brilliant and the tone they get fits well for what I think Davies has always aimed for. John Barrowman is as charming as ever playing Captain Jack and Eve Myles plays her Welshness up well as Gwen Cooper. The new cast of Mekhi Phifer (from E.R. and the brilliant Spike Lee film Clockers) as C.I.A. Agent Rex Matheson and Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond gel in nicely. The American characters fit in rather well and moving the show to the US has been well handled. Although I’ll miss Cardiff as a location the bigger scope offered by the US is welcome.

Big name Bill Pullman (Space Balls, Lost Highway, The Grudge) is the only one who doesn’t sit as easily… I can’t say I really buy into Oswald Danes, a heinous murderer, becoming the new messiah of a world without death because his crime is just too great for the public to forget but this is more a problem with the plotting. Pullman should be praised for putting in a good performance – the man really does loathsome well.

So with the Walking Dead imploding with Frank Darabont’s departure, Torchwood remains the one bright genre TV spot for me.

For more information visit the BBC’s website!

Hello Sweetie!

The first episode of the new season and I’ve fallen for Doctor Who all over again. Where the Christmas special was a gothic fairytale that was Dickensian and played with the timeline, this opener is hardboiled sci-fi with all the monster trimmings and history manipulation that played with the timeline.

Doctor Who sat in the Oval Office

Taking us from 2011 back to 1969, the plot includes Apollo 11 astronauts, the FBI and President Nixon. Moffat’s writing is as sharp as ever – both comedy and plot –

Why would anyone want to capture us?

I don’t know, I was going to wait for somebody to start trying to kill us and work back from there.

The monster is entirely creepy – slipping in and out of places and memory, turn around and you’ll forget it. It has a memorable first glimpse appearance where it blocks the sun and is indistinct but when it is seen in its full glory, it’s creepy. The fact it was also capable of violence on innocent bystanders helped a lot.

The acting is that usually assured brilliance that manages to capture the light and the dark, the extremes of emotions especially when confronting the extraordinary.

Mark Sheppard as an FBI agent in Doctor Who

A great character actor named Mark Sheppard (The X-Files, Firefly, Warehouse 13, Supernatural) is also in the episode.

All in all I’m eager to see episode two.

Trailers and Links 3 Elisabeth Sladen, RIP

On the week that the new Doctor Who airs tragic news emerged with the death of Elisabeth Sladen.

Elisabeth Sladen died of cancer at the age of 63. She’s better known as Sarah Jane Smith and was probably one of the definitive Doctor Who assistants and as a result one of the iconic figures of British television because of her part as Sarah Jane Smith and her spin off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Her death was totally unexpected and took a lot of people by surprise, especially since she was busy filming a new series of her television show.
Elisabeth Sladen, RIP.

The latest series of Doctor Who starts tonight and there will be a tribute show after it.

On to the trailers:
Behind the Walls French 3D Horror

France, 1922. A writer named Suzanne (Laetitia Casta) in need of inspiration travels to the country in order to write her new book. She discovers a hidden room in the basement. This room has a mysterious well. After the discovery of the well, she gains inspiration. And nightmares. Soon, girls start to disappear in the local region.

The music builds up nicely to a crescendo as we get images of girls with long hair, wells in basements, people hiding under blankets and children grabbing ankles. It screams, inspired by Ringu and Ju-On respectively but I look forward to seeing it. Whether it will be released in cinemas is another matter.

Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance
Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) is back with a new film and it is getting its premiere at Cannes. This is a tale of three women, a cop, a professor and a housewife are each connected in a thriller that is packed full of violence and sex.

Izumi is married to a famous romantic novelist but their life seems just a simple repetition without romance. One day, she decides to follow her desires and accepts to be a naked model that fakes sex in front of the camera. Soon she meets a mentor and starts selling her body to strangers but at home, she is still the wife she is supposed to be.One day a brutally murdered body is found in the love hotels district. The police tries to understand what happened.

Sion Sono. When I hear the name, two P’s come to mind. He’s a provocative and productive director who is interested in people with cracked mentalities. His next film is an adaptation of a manga about a schoolboy who is slowly losing his mind.

BFXR
Fancy making your own videogame sound effects? Try this. I haven’t used to extensively but it seems quite useful. It captures those grating sounds that are so reminiscent of the 8-bit era and features some neat functionality as well as the ability to export sounds made and download the entire thing.

Into the Abyss

I love films and I love reading about them so I’ll start writing about them to spread the word. This is the latest one I have found. It’s an interesting film blog written by a film-maker.

Doctor Who Christmas Special

Let me start by saying that this is the best Doctor Who Christmas Special in like… ever. Which is why I just have to post. If you haven’t seen it, watch it before reading this entry.

Matt Smith and Michael Gambon

Consider all of the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. They tend to focus on over the top alien invasions and throw in a Christmas tree.  THIS Doctor Who, by contrast, is exactly what the Christmas season calls for. Observe…

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Doctor Who – Big Bang

A quick post just to say how much I appreciated the season 5 finale of Doctor Who.

The ending was satisfying. Russell T. Davies was a genius in bringing it back and making it relevant but his season finales never satisfied me because they felt too epic and as a result they weren’t as tight as could be because too many elements were thrown in. This finale was brilliant because it was a tight, focussed story on time travel and was less reliant on increasingly outrageous twists.

Steven Moffat proves has the skill and the bravery to jump into different points along a characters time-line and join all of the elements together. All of the jumps in time were executed perfectly. This is typical Moffat but he has perfected it. Every part of the series so far has been expertly used.

Out of all the seasons of Doctor Who, 5 has to be my favourite as it has the comedy, the gothic horror, the sci-fi and the emotions. It had so many memorable elements and episodes – Van Gogh, the Weeping Angels, the Dream Master.

Furthermore, the assistants were enjoyable. The relationship between the Doctor, Amy and Rory as well as River Song powered the series and gave it a strong emotional core on top of the good ideas. Oh yeah, Matt Smith IS the Doctor.

The technology was crazy, the comedy was bang on, the emotions were there, plus there were killer lines:

Potential Spoilers

 

 

“I’ve got a future, that’s nice.”

“Hello universe goodbye doctor.”

“The footprints of the never-were.”

 Plus the fez was a good look.

 Goodbye fez.

What Now, Doctor?

What can I say about the penultimate episode of season 5’s Doctor Who that hasn’t already been said? I can’t add anything new, that’s for sure since the rivers of approving fandom have already generated enough positive energy to power a planet full of giant Care Bears.

A shot from the BBC's Doctor Who
Under-henge Anybody?

My initial reaction was:

Holy smokes! I mean… Did anybody else just see that episode of Doctor Who?

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Witnessing the Filming of Doctor Who Spin-Off: The Sarah Jane Adventures

Okay, awkward title, I know but I managed to see the Doctor Who spin-off: The Sarah Jane Adventures filming. What was more awesome was that I got pictures and an autograph from Daniel Anthony (Clyde) :

Daniel Anthony as Clyde Langer
Daniel Anthony as Clyde Langer

 

and Anjli Mohindra (Rani):

Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra)
Anjli Mohindra as Rani Chandra

 

 The two were hard at work and, despite looking like they were freezing to death, they were both really cool to the fans who showed up and stuck around. Thanks go out to the two of them.