Sunday, 28 September 2014

Got round to watching The Caretaker. The funny story of the Series. It had some predictable tropes, like a hilarious misunderstanding the Doctor had about Clara's boyfriend. And the awkward moments. Skovox Blitzer felt underused. I suppose this is understandable and better then the use of the Cybermen in Closing Time. I can often find children annoying in these shows but it was amusing seeing Courtney's (wonder if that name reference to Nicholas) reaction to seeing the stars. It was amusing when Danny used the watch of Gyges to get into the TARDIS though. The antagonism between him and the Doctor certainly enables Capaldi the opportunity to do some great acting. He does have great comic timing. The PE Teacher joke did seem a bit wearing at times, as does the Doctor's dislike of soldiers. Still, like the character of Danny. And liked the ending, with the Policeman arriving in the afterlife. I know the title Nethersphere will be important. Not among the best comic episodes but decent.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Time Heist. Doctor Who does Ocean's Eleven. Nice concept. I liked the side characters, Saibra and Psi had their powers used excellently. Timey-Wimey done well with plot. Capaldi, as ever, gives good performance. Do have some questions about bank security, like why they didn't send multiple soldier after them next to the vault instead of the Teller, but the Teller was a decent monster. Pacing was good. Keeley Hawes gave good performance. Liked twist at end with Teller's wife and who called. Suspected Doctor was Architect but that reveal was done ably.

Not very deep however and "clear your mind" does seem like one of those often-used Moffat gimmicks. Feel could have been longer. But nice to have the occasional fun standalone episode which isn't too intense. And having Abslom Daak the Dalek Killer from Doctor Who Magazine appear was a moment that delighted this Expanded Universe fan. So is the 26th century chainsword-wielding deconstructive 90s anti-hero now canon in the Whoniverse? This episode had a shapeshifter. Will a shapeshifting penguin be next?

Overall not that profound but not meant to be and enjoyable all the same.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Listen. An odd story, without a clear antagonist. Moffat seems to be reusing quite a few old ideas, with the Doctor meeting someone as a child and influencing their life, along with Clara venturing into the Doctor's past. But those ideas are combined in an interesting manner and the first reversed, now the Doctor's companion influences him as a child. It was quite a moment, seeing the young Doctor and revealing more about the barn the War Doctor went to. I liked how, like Midnight, it was ambiguous exactly what was happening. What was on Danny's bed? What was outside the airlock? It is even more unclear then Midnight, considering the end implying the Doctor may have just created this idea due to meeting Clara while a child. The story does have a similar feeling to Hide, with the time travel pioneer who is apparently descended from a character in the episode. Orson Pink has brought more interest in the future of Clara and Danny's relationship and I would like to see how it develops. We get to see a more maternal side to Clara as she talks to the young Danny and Doctor, which is quite nice to see. We effectively see more of the Doctor's character, less child-friendly then 11 and obsessing over his theory despite the dangers it causes, which gives him an antagonistic feel. I think Listen, while having Moff re-using quite a few of his ideas, was interesting and well-written. Perhaps Capaldi's best so far.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Robot of Sherwood. At last those two English heroes meet on screen, having already met in Short Trips anthology book. 12's weakest so far but understand meant to be comedic. Though quite similar to Deep Breath, historical with robots trying to repair spaceship and reach the promised land. 12 more comedic here, though his efforts to prove he is right shows more serious side. The ending with golden arrow ridiculous and why didn't Sheriff use arrow for spaceship? Understand why beheading cut but found out it revealed Sheriff was robotic so annoying as plot point lost. Nice having Patrick Troughton appear in Robin Hood data. Tom Riley and Ben Miller well cast as Flynn-like Robin and fiendish Sheriff. Amusing playing with Robin Hood tropes and interesting comparison between Robin and the Doctor. The reveal that Robin was real was quite a reveal. Overall weak but amusing pseudo-historical.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Today listened to last episode of I, Davros, Guilt. They show the origin of the word Dalek, from a Dal text where Dalek means Gods. Connection to Hitler invoking Aryan heritage? Peter Miles who originally played Nyder returns for the role as Davros's henchman and we see how he met Davros, saving him when Thals take him hostage and shooting Ral, the scientist who betrayed him. His ruthlessness and efficiency lead to Davros promoting him from Lieutenant to Security Commander. We see how Davros finally becomes too ruthless for the Supremo and Kaled society, as he demands unrestricted access to Kaled children. Over the series the Supremeo has turned from a powerful and ruthless leader to a weak old man while Davros becomes more dangerous, murdering the entire Council and taking control of the Kaleds. Based on Hitler's purge of the Government? With Davros's big ego and insanity Baran claims it's either personal or Oedipal. That explains a bit, like Davros hallucinating the Supremo as Calcula. Even though she is dead, Davros's mother still influences him greatly.

The sound also becomes similar to that in Genesis of the Daleks. And Davros's lab certainly evokes the one in Genesis, with sinister sounds from the mutated children. There is even a chilling scene where Davros decides to feed Ludella, who wants her son back, to the mutants, wondering if she will wake to see how pleased her son is to see her.

And in a nice irony a Thal becomes the first Dalek, with Davros capturing the spy Baran (who is amusingly played by Nicholas Briggs, who voices the Daleks) and transplanting him into the Mark I Travel Machine. Thus I, Davros ends just before Genesis of the Daleks, with the listeners knowing what will happen next.

I, Davros is an excellent series, with good cast, characters and plot. There are elements of I, Claudius certainly, but the ideas are put together in their own fantastic way. The special features CD was a good listen as well, talking about the actors, characters, and making off this series. Gary Russell's last work with Big Finish is a fine piece.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Yesterday I, Davros: Corruption. The death of Calcula is done dramatically and well, as she thought other Kaleds turn against her, the Supremo ordering an attack on her. But in her typical ruthless nature she dies exposing herself and her enemy to radiation. An end to this Livia. But we see the ruthless nature of Davros still, as he uses his mother's body for experimentation. This story expands on the events in the audio Davros. Shan appears, a female scientist whose work proves important in developing the Daleks. She seems the closest thing Davros has to a lover, which is effective in showing more of Davros. Shan believes eventually the war will mean the Thals and Kaleds can stop fighting, but Davros with his Social Darwinism refuses to believe they can form proper peace, and has her executed. The drama shows Davros ruthlessly gaining power, blackmailing the Supremo into giving the Scientific Elite autonomy. And the event that made Davros the twisted mutant is shown, with him hallucinating Shan telling him to find peace but his mother convinces him to live on, nicely counterpointing these two important women in his life. Like in Davros, the audience hear Davros being given another chance of life or death, being given the poison injector but choosing to carry on. Finally, in a speech illustating his views, Davros says he knows what it's like to live without fear and for the sake of his people he won't know limits. Another exciting and well-written story. I look forward to the conclusion.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Purity, second episode of I, Davros. Another exciting story. Shocking moments, like Davros meeting his mutated mentor, and Calcula drowning Yarvel. Nice foreshadowing with Magrantine hoping Davros will know how he feels. And we see how dangerous Davros is as Yarvel resorts to betraying her brother to the Thals so he can't make more terrible weapons. Great scenes with the Kaleds in the wastelands, seeing the effects of Varga Plants. Again we see Davros' devotion to his science, his flashback ending with him using his sister's body for experimentation. Certainly a great idea for a series.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Finished Innocence, first ep of I, Davros. A combination of I, Claudius and Doctor Who, so of course something of great interest to me. Turns out Davros is literally a bastard. Good start to showing how Davros becomes slayer of his own people and creator of the Daleks. And variety of interesting characters, from his calculating mother Calcula, the Livia of this story, to his tutor Magrantine, who ends up becoming an experiment. And I like the performance of Davros, as a creepy child who takes deaths casually and comes up with the idea of using wounded Kaleds as experiments. High hopes for next ep.