Doctor Who: Hell Bent First Impressions

Ok, but seriously though, WHO WAS THE HYBRID?

  • A Random Diner Appears: Hmm, this seems familiar.
  • A Random Shed Appears: Speaking of familiar…
  • What’s He Doing?: I’m starting to wonder if even the writers know what he’s doing at this point.
  • Changing Faces: I see Rassilon has moved on from his Timothy Dalton phase to his Grumpy Old Man phase.  Not much of an improvement really.
  • “Get Off My Planet”: The Doctor is pissed.  I wouldn’t push him if I were you Rassilon.
  • Extraction Plan: Ah, so that’s what he was doing.  I think this may turn out to be a bad idea.
  • Back to Normal: And we’re one step closer to getting a female Doctor.  I, for one, am okay with that.
  • Into the Matrix: Good, creepy stuff.  That said, I really think the Time Lords need to clean up their database.
  • “Why Would You Do That?”: Put simply Clara, the Doctor in the new series seems to be a bit of a masochist.  He really does seem to like hurting himself.
  • Back to the Beginning: Nice to see the classic console room make a comeback.
  • Answerable to No One: Ah, I see The Time Lord Victorious has made a comeback as well.
  • At the End of Everything: And Me is there, just hanging out.
  • *Looks at the Top of the Article*: No but, was the Hybrid Me?  Was it Clara?  Was it the Doctor?  GIVE ME A CLEAR ANSWER SHOW!
  • Forgetting Again: Somewhere there’s a Donna Noble fan grumbling about “just desserts”.
  • Remembering Amy: Nice little callback there, I was wondering when he would notice.
  • The Diner at the End of the Universe: Oh, the fic that is going to come out of those two gadding about together.
  • Return of the Sonic Screwdriver: I was wondering how long those glasses would last.

And that’s it until the Christmas Special.  I have to say, I was very pleased to see the writing improve for this series.  It wasn’t always perfect, mind you, but it was much better than the writing for series 8.

And next time…the return of *heavy sigh* River Song.  Yay.

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Doctor Who: Heaven Sent First Impressions

You’ve heard of Doctor Light episodes?  Get ready for a Doctor Only episode!

  • Carry That Load: I always knew that Capaldi was good; it’s just that last season, the writing didn’t come up to Capaldi’s level.  I’m glad to see that the writing for this season is considerably better.
  • Who’s Stalking Who?: Clearly the Doctor is the stalkee in this situation and not the stalker.
  • Be Nice to Doors: You can unlock a door by being nice to it?  Who knew!
  • Stealing the Doctor’s Nightmares: Considering some of the things that the Doctor has faced over the years, that might not be a good idea.
  • Nothing Without an Audience: I find it interesting that the Doctor keeps talking to Clara throughout this episode, I know the loss is still fresh for him, but it makes me wonder if he isn’t a bit scared to be alone.
  • “Must be Christmas”: Only the Doctor would find being trapped inside your own personal torture chamber intellectually stimulating.
  • Gold Score: If you listen carefully to the score for this episode, you’ll find that it not only echoes Classical works quite a bit, but also some of the show’s history as well.
  • Dig It: I don’t think that it’s coincidental that that hole looks quite a bit like a grave.
  • Confession Time: You know, to a thoughtful person; that might be a clue.
  • Lines in the Sand: At first I thought that might be referring to the raven that got Clara.  Boy was I wrong.
  • One Last Confession: Clearly the Doctor knows something about this “hybrid” thing.
  • “Get up off your arse”: Sometimes, all the Doctor needs is a little kick in the pants.
  • How Many Times?: Man, that was painful to watch.
  • Pecking at Mountains: I figured out what the Doctor was doing about half-way through that sequence.  What can I say?  I’m slow.
  • Homecoming: Well, he found Gallifrey.

Overall, this was an interesting episode.  There were some points that could’ve used a little clarification, but it was still a very interesting episode to watch.

Next week is the season finale so we’ll just have to wait and see just how the Doctor screws up Gallifrey this time.

Doctor Who: Sleep No More First Impressions

Shoutout to Mark Gatiss for giving me a totally new random thing to be afraid of.

  • Found Footage: You know, I actually kind of liked how they did this.  They managed to make the format add tension without resorting to the whole “shakey cam” method of hiding the monsters.
  • Stress Assessors: I would have thought that Gatiss would have gone all the way and made a joke at the end of the “stress assessors” thing.  Too on the nose maybe?
  • GRUNTS: Leave it to humans to find a way of actually genetically engineering a lower class of people.
  • Morpheus Machine: Crap, now I’ve got that song stuck in my head.
  • Pop Up Professor: Would that be the equivalent of hiding under the covers so the monsters won’t see you?
  • Even the Doctor Sleeps: This from the man who once said that sleep was for tortoises.
  • Mr. Sandman: You have to admit Doctor, Sandmen is a bit catchier than Dustmen.
  • Blind Man’s Bluff: It makes sense that the Sandmen are blind, that said, I don’t really like the design all that much.  I know they can’t all be winners, but I would like to think that they could have done a little better than “Clayface Melting”.
  • Where Are the Cameras?: I have to say, I didn’t like this particular plot twist.  It felt a little contrived to me.  I know that they had to explain how we could see things through Clara’s eyes, but really if they had dropped that necessity and left the whole thing as being filmed by the rescue team’s helmet cams, I think it would have made things a lot better.
  • Just As Planned: Now that’s how you end a creepy episode!

Aside from the design of the monsters and a little awkward plot-hole filling, this wasn’t a bad episode at all.  They seem to be going for the creep factor of late, and I (for one) like it.

Next week we get what seems to be a Doctor Who in Diagon Alley story, and was that Maisie Williams I heard in the preview?

Doctor Who: Inversion of the Zygons First Impressions

Talk about your wham episodes!

  • It Was All A Dream, Or Was It?: I have to say, I like that the show seems to be going back to what it always did best, scaring the crap out of the audience.
  • Camoflage: Somehow I don’t think that a Union Jack parachute is particularly subtle Doctor.
  • Taking Control, Piece by Piece: That’s the one thing I will say about Clara, she’s a fighter.
  • Alas, Poor Random Zygon: You know, I have to say that the whole “Make all the Zygons visible” plan seems kind of counterproductive.  It just feels like it would do more harm to her own people than it would help.
  • London…What a Dump: Better than New Jersey, amiright?
  • Personal Interrogation: This is interesting in terms of what it says about Clara, as much of a fighter as she is, she still knows that you can’t win if you’re dead.
  • Alas, Poor Random Zygon Part 2: Ok, so this brings up an interesting point.  It would seem that most of the Zygons on Earth just want to live in peace, it’s just this fringe group that’s causing the trouble, so again the whole plan seems kind of counterproductive if most of the people you’re trying to recruit end up resenting the control that you put them under for your own ends.
  • The Osgood Box: Ah-ha!  I have the feeling that this is all playing right into the Doctor’s hands.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Kate, you are your father’s daughter.  That’s a good thing by the way.
  • The Doctor’s Big Speech: Ok, so aside from the phenomenal performance that Capaldi turns in here; this makes so much sense character wise.  Think back to when this whole thing started, it was basically the worst day ever for the Doctor and he has to try and broker a peace while he’s busy mulling over killing off his entire race to stop a war, so what’s the one thing he’s going to do to make sure that these two races don’t go down the exact same path that he feels he’s being forced by circumstance to walk?  Well he certainly isn’t going to hand them the tools to ensure their own destruction for one thing, but he makes them think that he has, it’s the same idea that kept the Cold War from getting out of control; mutually assured destruction.  But he knows the truth, there’s nothing in those boxes, so they can’t really hurt each other; but hopefully just the knowledge that the boxes exist will bring them to the table to start talking; and if the Doctor hadn’t been able to persuade first Kate and then Bonnie to not push the buttons, the whole plan might have fallen apart and Bonnie probably would have killed all of them.  And then every other Human and Zygon on the planet.  It was a pretty big gamble, but it did pay off in the end.
  • What Does TARDIS Stand For?: He’s just making that up.  But for those of you who really don’t know, it stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.  And it was thought up by the First Doctor’s granddaughter (who was his first companion), Susan.
  • “Do You Want to Come?”: Dammit, so close to Osgood being a companion.
  • The Other Osgood: Hmm, I was wonder what was going to happen to Bonnie.

I think this might be the first satifying second part I’ve seen all season.  But so far, overall, this has been a very strong season.  And I’m grateful for that.

Next week is more scary stuff, which I approve of, this time with what looks to be a Found Footage twist.  Let’s hope they keep the camera steady for some of it.

Doctor Who: Invasion of the Zygons First Impressions

How fitting that one of the most disturbing episodes of the season so far airs on Halloween.

  • The Two Osgoods: You know, I don’t think anybody remembered that there were two of them at the end of the fiftieth.  Well, except for the writers apparently.
  • Amazing Grace: Well, the Doctor is Scottish now; makes sense that he’d be playing that song.
  • Doctor Disco: I’m not sure where that came from, and I’m not sure I want to know.
  • Easter Eggs!: It was sort of a “blink, and you’ll miss it” moment; but there was a picture of the First Doctor in the UNIT Safe House.
  • The Zygon High Command: It is sort of ingenious that they made themselves two little girls, nobody’s really going to think of that.
  • 127 Missed Calls: I think the Doctor’s a bit scared right now, and his first priority is making sure that Clara is safe.  Interesting.
  • He Once Snogged a Zygon: Yeah, not sure you want to bring that up again Doctor; it’s kind of weird.
  • Truth or Consequences: In light of what happens later on in this episode, that’s a very interesting line Clara has there.
  • What Lies Underneath: Hmm, strange elevator rides and people dragging what might be bodies around in sacks; that can’t be good.
  • Doctor Funkenstein: Doctor, stop.  Please!
  • A Navy Doctor: And suddenly, a wild classic Who reference appears!  And I have a hard time believing Harry Sullivan could come up with anything that gruesome.
  • “It’s not paranoia when it’s real”: This whole episode has been nothing but paranoia (as it turns out, paranoia on both sides), and it’ll only get worse from here.
  • You’re Not My Mom!: Oof, the Zygons are good at manipulating the people with UNIT.  It makes me wonder how they got this information, was it Osgood (which I doubt), or are they reading the minds and memories of their enemies?
  • Osgood and the Doctor: They have a very interesting relationship don’t they?  Hard to tell what it is at the moment, but I really hope we get to see more of it.
  • Hybrid: Ok, maybe I was wrong about “The War Minister” being the arc words for this season, but my point about Moffat reusing his own plotlines still stands.
  • The End of the World: It does feel like things are irreparably damaged this episode, we’ll have to see if the Doctor can get things back on an even keel again.
  • Will the Real Clara Please Stand Up: Oh man, I did NOT see that coming!  And it makes everything that’s happened up to this point even worse, because the false Clara has been in on the plan from the beginning.
  • The Plane is Never Going to Land: It’ll be interesting to see how the Doctor gets out of this one.

And yet another two parter, I know I complained about this before, but I think this story does need the breathing room.  So much happened in this first episode, but we’ll have to see if they can tie up all these plot threads in the next one.

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.