Doctor Who: Last Christmas First Impressions

Can my house being gutted right now be a dream too?  ‘Cause I’d really like that.

  • Up On the Housetop: Was one of the elves driving?  ‘Cause if one of them was, they’re a crappy driver.
  • Nobody likes the Tangerines: My mom likes tangerines, I don’t however.
  • The Dancing is Working: Hell, if it’ll keep your mind of something that it shouldn’t be thinking about, I say dance your heart out sister!
  • Telepathic Aliens: Can I just say that I really liked the idea of these monsters.  Their introduction is really well done, the exposition is delivered in a way that gives us just enough information to know they’re a threat without giving the whole game away.
  • Danny is Dead: Well, that was inevitable.
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Nice entrance there Big Red, little overdone for my liking but nicely done all the same.
  • Santa Goes Badass: I liked Nick Frost’s Santa, for a (spoiler alert) dream construct, he’s not gonna put up with any crap.
  • A Second Sled: If I didn’t know any better, I’d be saying that Santa is a Time Lord.
  • Alien is Offensive: The Doctor’s never seen Alien?  You’d think that someone would have shown it to him somewhere along the way.
  • Clara’s Dream: Yup, Danny’s there and giving her everything that she wants for Christmas, gotta be a dream.
  • Danny and Clara’s Last Christmas: Interesting how even in her dream Danny’s first instinct is to sacrifice himself to save Clara.  Even Dream!Danny is still Danny.
  • We Are All Dead: I was wondering about that, and (for once) Moffat delivered a satisfying answer.
  • All the Touchy-Feely Stuff: The Doctor’s never been good with the touchy-feely stuff.
  • Missing the Obvious: And yet again, Moffat doesn’t use a cheap cop-out to explain away something that has been simmering away in the back of the viewers minds.  I’m not going to say that Moffat’s writing has turned a corner with this episode, but I like how he’s not taking the easy way out and just hand-waving everything away.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The guy with the sleigh that’s bigger on the inside of course!
  • Santa’s Midnight Ride: You know, I really love it when the show leaves the angst on the side and just has some fun.
  • Waking up from the Dream: Interesting to see what everyone’s lives are really like.  The dream could be a reflection of what they would like to be, instead of what they are.
  • 62 Years: The Christmas Cracker, just that damn Christmas Cracker.  Ouch.
  • Second Chances: So Clara isn’t leaving; okay Moffat, I’m willing to go along with you on this one, just quit with the “Clara is the answer to everything” plot resolutions please.

So that’s another Christmas Special in the bag, now the long wait begins for the next season, let’s hope it will be better than the last one.

Doctor Who: Death in Heaven First Impressions

All aboard the Feels Rollercoaster!

  • Clara is the Doctor, again: This was actually a smart move on Clara’s part, even if it wasn’t entirely clear what she hoped to get out of this gambit, it did buy her time for something to happen.
  • Selfies with the Cybermen: If you’re surprised by people taking pictures of those things instead of running for their lives, I’ve got some beachfront property in Arizona you might be interested in.
  • U.N.I.T. Surprise: Damn guys, that’s some S.H.I.E.L.D. level sneakiness right there!
  • Bowties are cool: You go, Osgood.  You go.
  • Kate Introduces Herself: Can I just talk about how much we learn about Kate from her little speech?  Character Expansion done right, people.
  • The Doctor: “Guard the Graveyards!”  Clara: *Wakes up in graveyard*  Me: …Oops.
  • U.N.I.T. is looking a lot like the British version of S.H.I.E.L.D., can we say crossover?
  • Clara in the Graveyard: This scene was just plain creepy, and I loved it.  More like this please!
  • The Brig’s Goal: I really like how Kate keeps a portrait of her dad on the plane, a friendly reminder of how important he is to her.
  • Hail to the Chief: Somehow I don’t think that you could get every country on the planet to agree on one President of Earth, even if it is the Doctor.
  • It’s Raining Cybermen: Now, this doesn’t really fit with what we’ve seen of the Cybermen, but I think that Missy did some upgrading of her own.
  • Danny the Cyberman: This can only end badly.
  • The Death of Osgood: Excuse the unladylike language but; fuck you, Missy.
  • The Inhibitor: See?!  What did I tell you?!
  • Missy vs. The Doctor Part 1: Killing Osgood, bad move Missy.  Sending Kate out of the airplane, really bad move.  Blowing up Belgium, have you ever heard of overkill Missy?
  • The Disintegration of Seb: Bye Seb, you won’t be missed.
  • The Doctor’s Intervention: Ouch, I knew that was gonna hurt, I just didn’t know how bad.
  • Missy vs. the Doctor Part 2: Okay, so Missy’s plan was to build a massive Cyber-army to give to the Doctor so he could use it to save people and worlds that he couldn’t on his own.  I know that Missy is nuts, but jeez, this is what she came up with to get him to pay attention to her?  Missy, you need some therapy girl.
  • Danny Steps Up: Danny you beautiful idiot, you will be missed.
  • A Salute for the Brig: Okay this?  This is where I teared up.  Where else would the Brig be indeed.
  • One Trip: This is such a Danny thing, we almost should have seen it coming.
  • The Parting of the Ways Redux: The more I think about this ending, the more sense it makes given everything we’ve seen from the these two.  Would they lie to each other just to keep the other one from worrying?  You bet they would.  And given the lies they told, it makes sense that they would see their partnership as over.  The lies will come to light eventually, at least I think they will, and when they do there’s going to be a lot of hurt feelings and explanations that are going to need to be made.
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Town: If they can have a Robin Hood episode, why can’t Santa show up?

And that’s it ’till the Christmas Special!  A mixed season overall, but it did get better at the end.

Doctor Who: Dark Water First Impressions

So that happened!

  • Wait, what?! : Not five minutes in, and we’ve already had a major character death.  This does not bode well.
  • Clara’s Betrayal: Clara, nothing good ever comes from threatening the Doctor.  You should know that!
  • The Doctor Cares: It would have been really nice to see a bit more of this before now, but it is nice to see that the Doctor really does care about what happens to his companions.
  • I’m Exactly What You Deserve: Given what we saw in the previous scene, and what we’ve been seeing this whole series, I’d say that’s true.
  • Danny’s Dead: *nods* Yup, that’s about the reaction you’d expect.
  • Giving the Doctor Some Attitude: I think that the Doctor is a bit weirded out by Clara’s grief and her betrayal.  He’s far more used to her being right there with him and right now she isn’t.
  • The Welcome Package: I…have no idea what to do with this.  And apparently the Doctor doesn’t either.
  • It would be a serious problem if Clara was okay: I’m gonna agree with the Doctor on this one, what with the creepy skeletons in water and the snogging androids and all that.
  • Ipads in the Afterlife: I don’t think that Steve Jobs had much to do with the Ipad, but whatever.
  • Dark Water: You almost have to wonder what’s in those thanks that you can’t see…
  • Clara Will Be Fine: Nothing really interesting to point out here, I just really liked Clara threatening to detach something from the Doctor if he spoke for her again.
  • Danny and the kid: Oof, yeah, I can see how that might haunt someone.
  • Three words: …damn.  If that were true, I would be changing my living will so fast!
  • “Be Strong, Even if it Breaks Your Heart”: Uh-oh
  • And in case you’ve managed to miss any hints about what’s really going on here, the doors are happy to give you a nice big hint.
  • So yes, the Cybermen are back!  I’m actually glad about this, I like the Cybermen a villains and it’s nice to see a classic villain getting some love this series.
  • Something Only Danny Would Say: Danny would say something that he knows will keep Clara out of danger, and that’s exactly what he did.
  • Pesky Emotions: Oh shit…
  • Missy is Short For…: CALLED IT!

So yeah, I really liked this episode.  It’s a nice, strong first part to a season finale, now let’s just hope that they can keep it up next week.

Doctor Who: Flatline First Impressions

So, was last week the start of a trend? Or just a fluke? Let’s find out.

• Good, creepy cold open. I like it.
• Methinks that the Doctor is suspicious of Clara’s insistence that Danny’s cool with her traveling with  the Doctor.
• The Readings are Ishy: That can’t be good.
• It’s the Incredible Shrinking TARDIS! With apologies to Richard Matheson.*
• Speaking of shrinking; Clara’s right, the tiny TARDIS is cute.
• A short note on tech here: I really love the way that they’ve been showing more varied kinds of tech in the show lately, not just sonicing everything and calling it a day.
• I’m the Doctor: On the one hand, good for Clara showing initiative like that. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that being the Doctor is a lot harder than it looks.
• An Inconvenient Call: Well, that wasn’t awkward at all!
• The Art and Skill of Lying: Well the Doctor would know, wouldn’t he?
• Taking Charge: Now this I find interesting; Clara is basically acting as an extension of the Doctor, which means that she feels the responsibility that the Doctor must feel for getting everyone out alive. And sometimes that means having to rhetorically smack a bitch. Which explains why the Doctor gets so pissy when people as the age old “Who put you in charge?” question.
• You know, when you start really thinking about the concept of two dimensional aliens, it’s really cool.
• Doing the “Thing”: So clever, you wonder why the Doctor didn’t think of it first.
• Also, the Doctor’s little dance, I can’t be the only one who thought it was kind of cute.
• Somehow I knew that ramming the train into the aliens wouldn’t do anything. So, yeah, Rigsy’s sacrifice wouldn’t have done anything. So, bonus points to Clara for stopping him.
• For some reason, I really like the idea of graffiti saving the world.
• Clara is a good Doctor: Yeah, more on that later.
• I am the Man Who Stops the Monsters: Oh snap, 2D aliens are going down!
• Sometimes the Wrong People Live: Ain’t that the truth.
• Goodness had Nothing to do With It: Here’s the thing, I don’t think that the Doctor likes the idea of anyone having to make the kind of decisions that he has to make all the time. So now imagine that the Doctor has seen his companion having to make those kinds of decisions twice now. The first time was by his own choice, still not sure what that was all about, and this latest time, he had no choice in the matter. Something tells me he’s trying to prepare Clara for something; I’m just not sure what yet. I’m kind of wondering though if this situation isn’t a lot like the Seventh Doctor preparing Ace for whatever he was preparing her for.
• I Chose Well: Oh, hello there “Clara is the answer to everything” sub-plot. I didn’t miss you at all.

This one was rather meh in my eyes. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not really a stand-out episode either. There was some good character stuff for Clara and the Doctor, and once again the side characters were well done and interesting. But I know Doctor Who can be better than this, and that’s the most frustrating part of this series.

Next week will either feature tigers heavily, or William Blake. Not sure which. Also, more Danny. Five bucks says he finds out that Clara’s been lying to him.

*Google him.

Doctor Who: Mummy on the Orient Express First Impressions

Ok, so this one wasn’t quite the copy of the Titanic episode that everyone thought it would be.  Was it better than last week?  Yes, and no.

  • Digging Foxes swing version of Don’t Stop Me Now.  Hope they come out with an mp3 of it.
  • Doctor, shut up and let Clara talk about her feelings.  You need to hear what she’s saying.
  • Give it up you two, you know you’re getting involved in this thing.
  • I liked the parallels between Clara and Maisie, and I kind of wish that the Doctor and Maisie could have spent some time together, it would have been interesting to see their interactions.
  • Speaking of interesting guest characters, Perkins was pretty cool.
  • Jelly Babies!!!
  • There were a lot of cool side characters in this episode, not just Maisie and Perkins, but the Mythology professor and the Captain too.  Where the heck have these guys been?!
  • Again, very good monster design.  The special effects team have been working overtime this series.
  • Now the question of who was controlling Gus; part of me thinks that this has something to do with Missy and her crew.  I have no real evidence of this, just a gut feeling.
  • And here we are again, the Doctor is acting like a dick and this time he’s dragging Clara down with him.  She has every right to be mad at him, and I’m not entirely sure why she lies to Maisie.
  • As for the Doctor, he was making that up as he went along.  Classic Doctor really.  Nice follow through on the Maisie situation though.
  • The presence of Perkins at the end tells me that the Doctor did save everyone, but it was nice to hear him say that sometime you do have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
  • Clara: Danny said it’s okay!  Me: *Facepalm* Clara, did you learn nothing from the Caretaker incident?

Overall I enjoyed this episode.  It was a nice change from Kill the Moon and it was certainly better from my perspective.

Next week looks different, not sure what else to say until I see it.

Doctor Who: Kill the Moon First Impressions

Woof, this one’s rough.  It was going for dramatic and emotional, and just ended up coming off as manipulative and dickish.  Kind of like the Doctor in this episode.

  • In Media Res opening: This does not bode well.
  • Courtney isn’t special: The Twelfth really is a dick.
  • So Much for History: That probably sounded better in Courtney’s head.
  • Red Shirts? : This series seems to have quite a few of these guys, not sure what to make of that.
  • Germs not spiders: Then how in the heck do they make cobwebs?!
  • Amniotic Fluid: That can’t be good.
  • Are there any games? : Oh come on!  There has to be an old Atari or NES somewhere in the TARDIS!
  • My Grandma used to post on Tumblr: Yes Tumblr teenagers, one day you too will be embarrassed by the stuff you post on there.
  • The Moon is an Egg: (insert MST3K clip of Mike saying “I’m sorry, we don’t buy this!”)
  • Time to take off the sidewheels: Doctor, no.  These people have but good intentions to guide them; and you’re just going to swan off and let them deal with it themselves?!  What the hell has happened to you?
  • Lights out: To be perfectly realistic, was there ever any doubt that humanity would choose its own continued survival over that of a creature that they have no idea what it might do when it hatches?  Didn’t think so.
  • Also, making Clara and Courtney the ones advocating for the creature feels kind of off.  Leaving the rather obvious abortion metaphor that this episode seemed to be going for, what reason do Clara and Courtney have for wanting to save the creature?  Other than, it’s a baby.
  • We’ll also leave the really shoddy science in this episode by the wayside, if you don’t mind.  I haven’t got it in me to pick it apart.
  • The Doctor “I totally knew it was gonna lay that spare egg!” : Someone tell me I’m not the only one who wanted to smack the Doctor in the puss.
  • Clara’s Rant: This has been coming for a long time.  The way that the Doctor has been acting this series has been really awful, especially the way he’s been treating Clara.  So it’s really no surprise that she’s had enough, especially after she’s been manipulated into making a decision that she was unprepared for and unequipped to make reasonably.  I think that the relationship between Clara and the Doctor has hit its breaking point.  We’ll have to see if they can repair it, or if they even want to try.
  • Danny and Clara: Danny was the best thing that could have happened at the end of this episode.  He told Clara exactly what she needed to hear, and most importantly, he was there for her when she needed him.

Overall, I can’t say that I liked this one very much.  It was a little too heavy handed and I didn’t like how big a dick the Doctor was.  Clara and Danny saved this episode from getting dragged down too much, but they weren’t enough to save it.

Here’s hoping that next week will be as light as I think it will be.  Even if it is a straight-up copy of the Titanic episode.

Doctor Who: The Caretaker First Impressions

This one felt kind of weak to me, I’m not sure if that because of the general tone, or because of all the “The Doctor is being pissy and jealous” stuff.

  • I think that Clara is starting to learn that the Doctor and a normal life are incompatible on the whole.
  • Fish People: I’m sincerely hoping that was an “Underwater Menace” reference.
  • The mistake that all smart people make: Somewhere John Watson is just randomly started laughing, and he’ll never know why.
  • Do the students know?  Of course they know.  I’m pretty sure the whole school knows.
  • John Smith: Deep Cover Caretaker: I really don’t get why the Doctor didn’t just tell Clara what was going on from the beginning.  I can’t think of any good reason not to.  Not to mention that Clara had a very valid question.  And the Doctor really could have used the help.
  • He read it in the back of the book: That was purely the Doctor taking a pot shot at Clara.
  • The Doctor and the P.E. Teacher Maths Teacher: I think there’s a lot of self-hatred involved with the Doctor’s disapproval of soldiers.
  • The Doctor and the Disruptive Influence: Don’t let the “go away” stuff fool you, he loved meeting her.
  • The Doctor was shipping Clara and Adrian hardcore.  More on that later.
  • Invisibility Watch: There’s no big theme with this one, it’s just nifty, and well used throughout the episode.
  • The Skovox Blitzer: There have been some really good monster designs this series; first The Teller, and now the Skovox Blitzer.  The Blitzer is a solid, all terrain design with a nasty punch.  Well done, Doctor Who Special Effects team!
  • Danny Suspects: Danny’s a lot smarter that people (or more specifically, the Doctor) think.  I think that the Doctor was more angry that the soldier messed up his plan, that said soldier couldn’t possibly have known about, than anything else.
  • Well Clara, you had to know this was coming.  Just explain it clearly to both parties, unless one party is rightly confused by what’s going on, and the other one is being a jackass about everything.  In which case, explain things to the confused one, and tell the jackass to shut up.  Which is more or less what she did, but still trying to cover everything with a lame excuse was dumb.
  • Because it’s amazing: If there’s a better reason to keep traveling with the Doctor, I have no idea what it could be.
  • Clara, Danny, and the Doctor, Part 2: Oh boy, Danny doesn’t know it, but he nailed the Doctor.  He read the Doctor perfectly, which is why the Doctor was so pissed at him.
  • The Doctor and the Disruptive Influence, Part 2: He really does like her, he’s just crap when it comes to humans.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Woods: Wow, that was really reaching with the improvement.
  • Of course the Blitzer came back during Parent’s Night.  When else would it come back?
  • Danny vs. The Doctor: Doctor, take the help.  Quit being such a jackass.
  • Danny the badass acrobat: Damn cool, nothing else to say.
  • Clara, Danny, and The Doctor, Part 3: I think Danny was wrong about why the Doctor was angry.  He wasn’t worried that Danny was good enough for Clara, he was pissed that Clara chose to be with someone that he sees as being like himself as he is now.  Angry and ashamed, ashamed of what I’m not entirely sure.  He really wanted Clara to be with someone who’s like he used to be in his previous incarnation, someone who was happy.  Granted, the Doctor was reading the situation wrong the whole time, and reading his past self wrong as well.
  • The Doctor and the Disruptive Influence, Part 3: Was she motion sick?  Is that what was wrong?  Can you even get motion sick in the TARDIS?

Danny was not used very well in this episode, and Clara and the Doctor seemed to be keeping secrets for no logical reason.  Capaldi really did prop this episode up, but he wasn’t enough to save it.

Next week’s episode is titled “Kill the Moon”.  I’m sure Strax will be happy.

Doctor Who: Time Heist First Impressions

Was anyone else disappointed that there was no Italian Job references?  No?  Just me then?  Ok.

  • The new theme is starting to remind me of the Seventh Doctor’s theme; in other words, it’s starting to sound really eighties.
  • Is Clara trying to go on a date and getting caught up in the Doctor’s stuff going to be a thing for the whole series?  ‘Cause I’m not sure that I like it.
  • Mutant Human: Can we get an X-Men/Doctor Who crossover now?  Because that would be kind of cool.
  • Who put the Doctor in charge?  The Doctor did, it’s kind of what he does.
  • Saibra and Psi: I really liked how both Clara and the Doctor got to bond a little with the guest characters.  Softens up the Doctor a little.
  • The Teller: I had a feeling that the Doctor would have to try and save The Teller, and once again I was right.  Cool design though.
  • Eyebrows: I think the Doctor may be trying to compensate for his previous incarnation.
  • Enemies closing in, the Doctor and his companions may be killed, and the Doctor is wowed by a nifty bomb.  Par for the course really.
  • Speaking of par for the course, the Doctor’s entire plan consists of “wait for a thing to happen”.  The hell of it is, that’s the plan that always works.
  • While The Teller was focused on Clara all I could think was, “Jeez Clara, just think of a blank wall!  Problem solved!”
  • Time travel heist: Not quite a title drop, but I’ll allow it.
  • Nice fake-out there with Psi and Saibra, also it gives the audience a reason to root for the Doctor getting everyone out of there.  Something that’s been a bit lacking this series.
  • Also, I liked Clara’s little “aw, yes” gesture when Psi told the Doctor about the TARDIS.
  • Shuttity-up up up: Well it’s not like they could have him say “fuckity bye”, now is it.
  • So the Doctor did it all, I guess I should be glad it wasn’t Clara again.
  • The second monster was a surprise, but I liked it.
  • I really liked the bit with Psi and Saibra in the TARDIS with the Doctor and Clara.  It was cute.

So next week will bring the Clara’s Double Life plot to a head (and maybe even an end? She said hopefully) Either way, we’ll get to see more of Danny next week and the Doctor returning to Coal Hill School.  Should be interesting.

 

 

Doctor Who: Listen First Impressions

Late again.  This will not become a habit*

  • I was right, this one was creepy.
  • Why do people talk to themselves?  Because sometimes I’m the cleverest one in the room!  Wait…
  • Danny and Clara: And the award for Worst Awkward First Date goes to…
  • I’m betting Clara is getting a little tired of the Doctor insulting her all the time.
  • I actually liked the bit in the children’s home, very creepy and atmospheric.
  • If fear is a superpower, it’s a really crummy one.
  • Dad Skills: The Doctor is the kind of Dad that would read “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to his kid and be completely unapologetic about it.
  • I liked the interactions between Rupert and Clara, it really showed off how good she is with kids.
  • Danny and Clara take two: I may have spoken too soon about that award.
  • Just come out and say it episode, Clara and Orson are related somehow!
  • Hey! Anyone remember back to The Impossible Planet when the Doctor talked about that voice in your head that tells you to do something really stupid and reason tells you not to do the stupid thing?  Yeah, the Doctor listens to the voice.  Hardly ever works out well.
  • And once again, Clara has a large impact on the Doctor’s life.  I’m kind of getting tired of this plot convenience though, Moffat keeps doing it and it’s getting old for me.
  • Danny and Clara take three: I have the feeling this relationship is going to need a counselor on standby.
  • I’m surprised the Doctor didn’t check where they had been as soon a Clara left.
  • An episode without a Missy sighting or any mention of “The Promised Land”.  It won’t last.

Overall I liked this episode, very atmospheric, and we got a little bit of the Doctor’s backstory.  Which is unusual, but very welcome.

Next week the Doctor will be robbing a bank, he really has gone darker hasn’t he?