Cult Theatre: The Deadly Mantis

More giant bug vs. stock footage action!

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Doctor Who: The Girl Who Died First Impressions

I’m beginning to get a little tired of the whole two-parter thing.

  • Another interesting cold open, why is Clara outside the TARDIS in a spacesuit?  Why does the TARDIS seem like it’s about to crash?  The world may never know.
  • Not Actually the Police: Well that’s true Doctor, but usually you do a better job than just hoping for the best.  Usually.
  • End of the Sonic Sunglasses: YES!!!
  • He Can’t Deal With Vikings: Ok, not space vikings, but let’s just see where this one goes.
  • Introducing Ashildr: Maisie Williams everybody!  She seems to remind me of someone here…*
  • Premonitions: Speaking of which, she seems to remind the Doctor of something as well.  Of course, being a time-traveller, he might be remembering things the wrong way around.
  • I Am Odin: First of all, classic time-traveler bit; pretending to be the local god to get the primitives to let you go.  But then it all goes pear-shaped when somebody else shows up claiming the same thing.  And he has better special effects.
  • Odin’s Chosen: Ok, so this guy kidnapped a bunch of viking warriors to get distilled testosterone and adrenaline so he could drink it?  I swear, some alien threats just have it coming to them.  Also, Ashildr is both badass and stupid.  So typical viking then.
  • “This is not a hug”: Yes it is.
  • The Baby is a Poet: That kid is surprisingly eloquent for an infant.
  • Handing out the Real Swords: That went about as well as you could have realistically expected.
  • “What have I made of you?”: Ah-ha!  That’s the real question, isn’t it Doctor?  How much of what Clara has become is the Doctor’s fault, and how much of it is simply Clara going too far.
  • Ashildr the Storyteller: Can I just say that I really like Ashildr as a character.  She’s a different take on the companion of the week that we usually get, and Maisie Williams does a great job with her.
  • Fire in the Water: I’m pretty sure that electric eels don’t actually work the way that they do in this episode, but it’s an interesting idea all the same.
  • Looking Happier than the Other Guy: I think there might be a bit more to it than that Doctor.
  • Pre-War Party: I’m starting to think that the current Doctor is something of a party animal.  We’ll see if that helps in the long run, I’m thinking it won’t.
  • Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow: You gotta love the classics.  Even if no one, including the Doctor, has any idea what that even means.
  • The Girl Who Died: Hmm, lot of companion of the week deaths this series.
  • “Who frowned me this face?”: Now this is interesting; as far as I know, there has never been a reason given for why the Doctor’s new regeneration sometimes looks like some minor character from a previous episode.  But I kind of like the reason that they give here, although it does beg the question of why the Doctor would need to be reminded of that particular incident, other than plot convenience of course.
  • The Price of Immortality: Good point there Doctor.  Immortality isn’t everything that it’s cracked up to be, and Ashildr is about too learn that the hard way.  As we can plainly see in the final shot.

Like I said, I’m getting a bit tired of the two-parters at this point and I would really like to see a good one-off before the season ends.  That said, I really do like Ashildr and seeing more of her next week is good.  The fact that she’s gone all Girl-Highwayman is pretty cool too.

Doctor Who: Before the Flood First Impressions

I’m beginning to think that the Doctor points and laughs at paradoxes.

  • Who Wrote Beethoven’s 5th?: Interesting opening, I was wondering how it was going to tie in to the episode.  And I did indeed end up googling it.
  • What do you say to someone who’s scared?: I find it interesting that Clara suddenly finds herself on the other side of the “everything is going to be okay” conversation.  I think she also realizes that the person on the side she’s on at that moment doesn’t believe a word of it.
  • The War Minister: Really, Moffat?  Really?  We’re gonna use the “arc words” thing again to build up the mystery of the season?  Get some new material dude.
  • It’s Bigger on the Inside: O’Donnell is such a fangirl, and we love her for it.
  • Enter the Undertaker: You really have to wonder about a race that enjoys being conquered and oppressed.
  • The Fisher King: Not sure if there’s anything to the naming here, except that it’s kind of a cool name to give something, but it’s a nice little Arthurian reference all the same.
  • The Doctor Can’t Change the Rules: Oh, come on Doctor!  You ignore the rules of time all the time!  Your relationship with the rules of time is roughly equivalent to Kirk’s relationship with the Prime Directive.  You only acknowledge their existence in passing when it’s convenient for you!
  • The Death of O’Donnell: You know, I’m beginning to think that Moffat has a vendetta against fangirls.  First Oswald and now O’Donnell.  Or maybe there’s some kind of curse on people with “O” names.
  • The Doctor wouldn’t save O’Donnell: I know that Bennett is grieving here, and he’s not in the best place mentally, but he does have a point.  The Doctor didn’t do all that much to save O’Donnell.
  •  Trapped in Time: I wonder if the Doctor being time-locked, as it were, has anything to do with the TARDIS not being happy in the last episode.
  • Cass’ Question: Has traveling with the Doctor changed Clara?  Of course.  Traveling with the Doctor changes everyone who’s had the privilege, whether or not it’s for the better depends entirely on the person.  I have a feeling Clara may realize that the changes it’s made in her are not really all for the good.
  • The Courage of Lunn: Lunn is an interesting guy; I’m fairly sure that he’s just there to translate for Cass, but he turns out to be a pretty brave person.
  • I Have no Mouth, But I’m Still Pretty Eloquent: Interesting that they gave the Fisher King such an erudite voice.  Especially since he doesn’t have a mouth that would be capable of making those kinds of sounds.
  • Where the Fisher King’s Story Ends: Another fine twelve monologue delivered with flair by Peter Capaldi.
  • Bad Vibrations: Naturally that’s how Cass would be able to tell that there’s something behind her.  Also, props for giving the audience her point of view for that whole sequence.
  • Security Protocol Seven One Two: I bet the Doctor thought that making it sound like something an airline stewardess would say was funny.
  • The End of the Fisher King: Hmm, so that’s what happened to the other power cell.
  • Morning Breath: I figured it out about a minute before the reveal.
  • The Doctor’s Sunglasses: Still not entirely sold on those things, but they did prove useful for getting those coordinates out of everyone’s eyes.
  • Cass and Lunn: You know, I figured her protectiveness of him had to come from more than just “he’s the only way she can communicate effectively.”
  • Back to the Beginning: And there’s how the Bootstrap Paradox ties in.  He knew all that because he’d already done it.

Overall I think that this was a pretty satisfying conclusion to this two parter.  We got to see a little development for Clara here, I think.  And, of course, more arc words.  Hooray.

On the other hand, next week we get some vikings and Maisie Williams!

Doctor Who: Under the Lake First Impressions

Maybe I was wrong about the ghosts not really being ghosts.

  • Taking Risks: Sure, bring the strange craft that you have no idea where it came from into your underwater base, I’m sure nothing will go wrong.
  • Moran Came Back…Wrong: Well, that’s going to put a cramp in team dynamics.
  • The TARDIS Isn’t Happy: This little sub-plot runs through the whole thing like a strange chord in the background, which helps to keep the tension of the episode nice and high.
  • Clara Wants an Adventure: Be careful what you wish for Clara, with the Doctor you just might get it, and then some.
  • The Crew in the Cage: I find it interesting that the “ghosts” (and I’m still not entirely convinced that they are, in fact, ghosts) don’t seem to deal well with electro-magnetic energy.  Not sure if that’s going to pan out in the conclusion, but it’s interesting none the less.
  • O’Donnell the Fangirl: Be honest with yourselves for just a minute.  You’d have the same reaction.
  • Token Greedy Guy: I kind of like how the Doctor brushes Pritchard off as “an idiot”.  You just know he’s going to die.
  • They’re Ghosts!: Sorry Doctor, still not buying it.  But I do kind of love how he gets all excited about something that he’s never seen before and has no idea what it really is.  Also, shoutout to the great Shirley Bassey!
  • Cards for Humanity: He needs cards now, not sure what to do with that.
  • Cabin in the Woods Thing: Cass, I like you.  Not just because you’re awesome representation for the deaf, but also because you’re just awesome in general.  I really hope you don’t die.
  • Catching a Ghost: I really like the rapid fire teamwork going on here.  I also think I know why Lenn didn’t end up joining the ghosts, but more on that in a bit.
  • The Dark, The Sword, The Foresaken, The Temple: Way to use your assets Cass!  Although, figuring out that those words were coordinates was a bit of a stretch, even for the Doctor.
  • Ear Worm: And this is why Lenn wasn’t taken.  He never saw the words on the inside of the ship like everyone else did.  Thank goodness Cass is really protective of her translator.
  • “I want to kiss it to death!”: Classic Doctor right there.
  • Speaking of Death: Given that last scene, I think the Doctor might just get his wish.

So not only do we get another two-parter, but we also get another solid set up episode!  So far the writing has been much better than last season, and I’m really hoping it will keep going strong.

And next week, we find out how the Doctor is going to evade death…again.