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.

Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar First Impressions

This one went in a different direction than I thought it would.  That’s a good thing, by the way.

  • Consider the Doctor: Interesting opening.  Missy is in top form, and the story she tells is definitely something I could see happening to the Doctor.
  • Missy and Clara Hanging Out: More awesome Missy and Clara interactions, love it.
  • How Does the Doctor Get Out: As simple as the statement “He assumes he’s going to win” is, it also makes a lot of sense.
  • Dalek Nightmares: A pissed off Doctor wheeling around in Davros’ chair?  Yeah, that’s gotta be pretty high on the Daleks biggest fears list.
  • Where’d He Get the Tea: I think “I’m the Doctor, just go with it” sums up the show as a whole pretty well.
  • Throwing Stones: You know, as soon as I heard Missy ask how far down that hole went, I knew Clara was going to get pushed in to it.
  • The Sewers of Skaro: Well, that’s not utterly awful at all!
  • Missy Pokes a Dalek:  That has to be one seriously strong brooch.  And no one should be surprised that Missy taunts the thing the whole time she’s doing the poking.
  • The Only Other Chair: They keep it around just for the Doctor.  Don’t even try to convince me otherwise.
  • Full Circle: Clara in a Dalek.  Something tells me this won’t end well; either in the short term, or the long term.
  • The Doctor and his Shades:  Sunglasses are the new fez.  You heard it here first.
  • Davros and the Doctor: Why are you trying to make me feel sorry for Davros show?  I’m not going to feel sorry for the guy who created the universe’s most evil pepper-pots!  Also, I can’t be the only one who thought that Davros opening his “real” eyes was just wrong somehow.
  • Missy and the Daleks:  I really do wonder what Missy was trying to do here.  Is she just playing to give the Doctor time to come up with something?  Or did she have some plan of her own?  At any rate, it’s all a moot point because…
  • Davros’ Real Plan: Ok, show of hands.  Who was expecting this little plot twist?  It couldn’t have been only me, right?
  • “There’s a Prophecy”: Oh dear, we have another season spanning plot here, methinks.
  • Second Word…Sewers: Oops, don’t think Davros thought of that.  This is why it pays to think of as many contingencies as you can.
  • “I Show Mercy”: Here’s the thing, remember when Missy said that Daleks sort of “weaponize” emotion?  When Clara calmed down a bit at the end there, she was able to get her meaning across more clearly.
  • Sonic Sunglasses: I’m…not really sure how I feel about this.  I guess we’ll have to see if it ends up being kind of a stupid idea or not, but right at this moment?  Not a fan.
  • Daleks Don’t Know Mercy:  Bit of a plot hole here.  If I’m remembering correctly, (not very likely, but still) I think we’ve heard a Dalek or two use the word mercy before.  I can’t remember which episodes, but I’m fairly certain that we have.  At any rate, the Dalek wasn’t in that case, it was Clara; so whatever systems govern the speech coming out of the case just searched for the closest word that would get Clara’s meaning across.  At least I think that’s what happened.

So next week we appear to have underwater ghosts.  Of course they won’t be actual ghosts, but whatever.

Daredevil: In the Blood First Impressions

Well, that ending happened.

  • Russian prisons are no joke apparently.  Witch would make Hell’s Kitchen a definite step up.
  • More Claire!  I was hoping we’d see more of her!
  • The dynamic between the two Russian brothers is interesting.  Anitoli seems to be the more sensible of the two, at least he’s more aware of just how much damage Matt is doing to their business and how much Fisk could help with that.  Also, glasses guy has a name!  Wesley!  Sounds suitibly dorky.
  • Urich seems to know just how dangerous getting involved in the Union Allied thing could be, but of course as we saw in the last episode, letting it go just isn’t an option for Karen.
  • I think that the scene with Fisk and Vanessa is more interesting in light of what happens at the end of the episode, but more on that later.
  • Claire and the Russians: Damn good scene, from beginning to end.  My favorite part?  “You want to know his name?  As him yourself.”
  • Apropos of nothing, methinks I see something of a romance blooming between Claire and Matt.  Not sure if want.
  • Speaking of romance, the date between Fisk and Vanessa is somewhat endearingly akward.  Even if it does end rather badly.
  • There’s an interesting parallel between Matt and Fisk that I want to point out.  They both say that they want to make the city better.  Of course, they ways that they go about making it better are wildly different, at least in terms of morality.  In terms of methodology, they’re surprisingly similar.
  • Now then, the ending.  It’s brutal, really brutal.  I didn’t even think that you could decapitate someone with a car door.  Just goes to show what I know.  And all because Fisk got embarrassed at the restaurant.  Clearly Fisk needs some anger management classes.

This was a very villain-centric episode.  It gave us a little more insight into how the villains of the show think and how they view the world.  I think that that makes them more interesting to watch and I’m very much looking forward to how things will pan out.

Daredevil: Rabbit in a Snowstorm First Impressions

Episode three and things are getting interesting.

  • Won’t Jam, Guaranteed: So, of course, in the very next shot, it jams.
  • The fight that came after that was brutal; I actually like that they make the fights as brutal as they are, it grounds the whole series.
  • Enter the Priest: I really wonder what’s going on between Matt and the priest.  Clearly they have a history together, and not just in the confessional.
  • What happened to Matt’s eye: I like how they didn’t just hand-wave away how beat up Matt got in the last episode.  Again, realism for the win.
  • Fair Compensation: I know the guy who hires Foggy and Matt has a name, I just haven’t heard it yet.  That said, this scene was really interesting just from a story telling point of view.  It managed to get a lot across with just acting and what has been already established about the characters in the scene.
  • Foggy’s Interview: Is it just me, or does Foggy not do as well when Matt isn’t around?  Still, we again get to see that Foggy isn’t as mercenary as he seems.
  • And once again I get to gush about character interactions, this time between Foggy and Matt!  I really like how they’ve made the character stuff that has very little to do with the plot just as interesting as the plot stuff.
  • Karen’s Choice: Typical corporate lawyer stuff, but it can only end badly for Karen.
  • Signs of the Times: Ben’s sub-plots in this episode might as well have been titled “Ways in Which the Modern World Sucks”.
  • I get the feeling that aside from Foggy and Matt being clean, they were also being tested throughout the trial.  It should be interesting to see what the bad guys gleaned from all of that.
  • “Bang on the Router”: It’s always the simple fixes that are the most effective.
  • Healey’s Slip:  So maybe I should call Fisk “He Who Must Not be Named” for the rest of the series?
  • Speaking of Wilson Fisk, I knew D’Onofrio was going to be good, but just that little bit of him at the end really made me want to see more.

Overall, this was an important bridge episode to the rest of the series.  Now that the major players have been established, we’re ready for the plot to really start moving and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Daredevil: Cut Man First Impressions

Hooray for well done character development!

  • This is what I meant when I was talking about Matt getting the crap kicked out of him.  He’s a normal human, he doesn’t have super strength or a healing factor, but the fact that he can still keep fighting when another person has given up makes him the best kind of superhero.
  • Foggy’s singing: I didn’t quite catch what Foggy was singing about (pirate ships?  I think?) but Karen was right, he did not sound good.
  • Claire the Nurse: I really hope that we see more of her as the show goes on.  She’s an interesting character.  Also, I can’t help but wonder who Mike was.
  • Karen’s Fears and Foggy’s Humanity: I really liked the interactions between Foggy and Karen, they felt real and authentic.  Karen’s fears about the city are totally understandable given what she’s been through.  And Foggy staying with her and taking her bar hopping so she didn’t have to go home was really sweet.
  • Speaking of character interactions, I also liked the interactions between Matt and his father.  Jack Murdock did whatever he had to to make his son’s life just a little bit better, but in the end what he decided was more important was that Matt was proud of him.  I think that there’s a lot of his father in Matt, and not just the getting beaten up part.
  • Rooftop Interrogation: I have to side with Claire on this one, I think Matt might have gone a bit too far, but then again there was a child involved and time was of the essence.  Good scene either way though.
  • Final Fight: Wow this was good.  It was real while still being impressive and I was genuinely worried about our hero at certain points, damn good stuff.

And that’s episode two!  I’ll try to get to episode three tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath.  Also the rest of the series might have to wait until later next week.  But I’ll do my best.

Daredevil First Impressions: Into the Ring

So here we are with the first of Netflix’s Marvel shows.  And so far, I’m pretty impressed.

  • Foggy: He’s going to be the breakout side character that everyone loves, I can pretty much guarantee it.
  • I like how they show off Matt’s abilities.  Bringing up the sound of the things he’s listening for gives the audience a way to get Matt’s perspective across in a visual medium.
  • Speaking of Matt’s abilities, other than his exceptional hearing he doesn’t have any “super-powers” per se.  Which means that he gets beaten up a lot during the course of the episode, and I liked that.
  • Bad Guys: Typical Corporate Douche (I forget his name) being less worried about the vigilante taking out his partners because superheroes are good for business was amusing.
  • I also liked how Kingpin stayed off-screen for the entire episode.  D’Onofrio is probably the most recognizable name in the cast, and I know that he’s a phenomenal actor and keeping him out of sight for the first episode gives the rest of the cast the chance to shine.
  • I liked that Karen joined Team Nelson & Murdock (can someone please come up with a catchy nickname for our heroes please?) at the end of the episode.  She seems to be a good balance between Foggy’s slightly mercenary attitude and Matt’s overwhelming desire to do good.

So that’s the first episode in the bag.  I have to admit that I’m interested in seeing how well this grittier take on the MCU gels with the rest of it.  The good thing about having it on Netflix is that I don’t have to wait a week to find out.