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A Gothic Vampire Honeymoon May 22, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Television, Television, Vampires.
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Vampires of Venice. I really enjoyed this episode!

First of all, this episode looked absolutely gorgeous! The 16th Century Venice (actually Croatia) settings, locations, and costumes were all just stunning and looked more big budget than they probably were. In fact, I think this was one of the best-looking NuWho’s I can remember over the past several seasons.

It was a good story and if not exactly a pure historical episode, it felt historical. As overdone as they are, Vampires continually make good scary/creepy story material and the twist of them being alien was cool, but not entirely unexpected. I was not expecting fish-aliens though (I wonder if they are related to the Hath?). Helen McCrory was excellent as Rosanna, Queen Mother of the Saturnynian, and I actually found myself feeling just a little bit sorry for her in the end. Really, she was just trying to help her species survive (WHY won’t these people ever listen to the Doctor when he is willing to give them a chance!). Rosanna’s face-off with the Doctor was extremely interesting to watch and showed that Matt Smith is proving more than capable in the role of the Doctor. Smith’s Doctor is proving to be a man who is a little more easily unnerved than previous Doctors. Then again, it could just be because he knows of the impending Cracks as he remembers Rosanna’s words, “We saw silence, and the end of all things…”

I’m loving the addition of Amy’s fiancé Rory (Arthur Darvill) to the TARDIS and I hope he proves to be a valued companion and not just another half-companion the way Mickey sometimes was. The Doctor seems pretty clear on not having any romantic entanglements with Amy, which is a good thing, and I’d like to see Amy and Rory become more like the Barbra/Ian dynamic of old.

Best Parts: Lots of funny moments!

The Doctor popping out of a cake at the stag party—more than once!
Dig the old library card with the first Doctor’s (Hartnell) photo on it!
Love the Steampunk-inspired goggles and the new TARDIS set.

A good twist on the Vampires, which is saying something considering how oversaturated that subject matter currently is.

Worst Parts: Yet another ending that involves the Doctor climbing a tower or spire to dismantle some alien piece of gadgetry that will advert disaster and save the day. We tend to see this ending quite a lot in Doctor Who and it should really be more original.

My Rating: Quite nice, I give it a 3-1/2 out 5.





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Aren’t We All Fairy Tales? May 16, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who, Science Fiction Television.
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Aren’t We All Fairy Tales?

Who would have thought that the creepy Weeping Angels weren’t the most important thing in this weeks concluding two-part Doctor Who episode?

The Angels make a grab for the Doctor.

Instead, as we follow the Doctor and friends through the wreck of the spaceship Byzantium while trying to evade a horde of killer stone statutes we find that the real danger is something even the Angels fear: The Crack in the Wall.

The Cracks, as they are called, have been appearing all over the place this Series and the Doctor is as yet unaware of exactly what is causing them.  They are huge Time Fields, cracks in time and space and the big one on the Byzantium exudes “the fire from the end of the Universe.” If it envelops you, it will erase all of your timeline as though you never existed.  This has been a large part of the Series overall story arc and is also connected to the repeated warning that “The Pandorica will open and silence will fall.”  The Doctor deems this warning to be a fairy tale, to which astute archaeologist River Song replies: “Aren’t we all.”

The episode reveals more hints about the mystery of Amy Pond, her missing memory of the Daleks, the duck pond, and the Doctor’s growing realization that Amy is more involved and related to the Cracks than he may have previously thought.

This episode will surely be controversial in a few respects.  The Weeping Angels, while creepy, were not as all-powerful as we thought.  River Song drops many hints about her future, revealing that she did indeed kill a man.  Perhaps the most controversial of all is the final scene in which Amy asks the Doctor to take her home, only so she can (with hilarious results) seduce the Doctor.

What's scarier, Angels or Amy?

Oh, and there may just be more than one Doctor running about.  Time, it seems, can be rewritten and unwritten.  I do so like fairy tales.

Best Quotes: Doctor: “River Song, I could bloody kiss you!”

River Song: “Maybe when you’re older.”

Best Parts: What if time could run out?

Amy deciding to jump the Doctor’s bones, and even better, the fact that it took him so long to catch on to it.

Father Octavian (Ian Glen) we wish we could’ve known you better.

Worst Parts: The Weeping Angels weren’t quite as scary as they were in “Blink.”

Verdict: Really good. Perhaps a few minor glitches, but very solid.

The Return of Angels and River Song May 10, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who, Science Fiction Television, Television.
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Saturday’s Doctor Who episode “The Return of Angels” is the first of a two-part episode where Moffat returns two of the most intriguing and popular characters of recent NewWho, villains The Weeping Angels and futuristic archaeologist River Song (the delightfully sassy and sexy Alex Kingston).

The Weeping Angels, last seen in the 2007 episode “Blink” have proven to be one of the scariest villains ever on Doctor Who, and are no less scary here, imbibed as they are with additional powers and abilities due to the crash of the spaceship Byzantium on the planet Alfava Metraxis and its subsequent radiation leak. The Doctor confronts the Angels directly in this tale, unlike in “Blink,” and yes they do prove even scarier in multitudes.

Perhaps even better than the Angels is the wham-bam return of River Song, who just may or may not be the Doctor’s wife some when in his future. The hints come fast and furious about their continued timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly relationship: she knows how to write high Gallifreyan, she can drive the TARDIS, and she can apparently summon the Doctor at will by leaving messages in a museum. Companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) catches on to their bickering banter and quickly surmises River Song is his wife. The interaction between The Doctor, Amy and River is superb with mutual respect and teasing played in equal measures. Alex Kingston seems to really revel in her role of possible future Mrs. Doctor yet there are hints that she may not be all that we first thought in this episode.

That’s not the only cliffhanger; and I can’t wait for more!

Best Parts: The famous TARDIS noise happens because the Doctor leaves the brakes on!
The Doctor (Matt Smith) doing a verbal imitation of that famous TARDIS noise!
River Song: Flying through space in five-inch stilettos!
Father Octavian (Ian Glen) in a nice supporting role.

Worst Parts: Nothing really, except that most of this episode is a setup to the cliffhanger and resolution for part two.

My Rating: Extremely Good, I give it a 4 out 5.





Find The Crack. A Message to the Doctor? May 7, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who, Fringe, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Television, Television.
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Are the writers of FRINGE sending a message to Moffat over the pond at Doctor Who?

Last night brought us yet another excellent episode of FRINGE. The episode, entitled Northwest Passage, was noticeable in that Peter (Joshua Jackson) flies solo this time in an adventure of his own. Peter is running away from his own self perhaps after realizing he was actually taken from the alternate universe as a boy [S216 “Peter” and S219 “The Man from the Other Side”]. While traveling and getting some alone time, Peter becomes embroiled in a murder case in Noyo County; and he’s seen these murders before at the hands of the people from the Other Parallel Earth. During the investigation, Peter goes from chief suspect to chief investigator, helping the local law enforcement catch a killer. Small-town Sheriff Mathis has a fancy pen with an engraved motto that reads “Find The Crack” a gift from her partner who believed in her. After the investigation wraps up, she passes the pen (and some wisdom) along to Peter with the hope he will find his place in the world as well.

Maybe I’m just a bit too much of a geek, or maybe I’ve just been watching too much sci-fi television lately, but the pointed message FIND THE CRACK seems just a little too coincidental given what has been going on over in the Whoverse. Is there a little wink wink, nod nod going on to Doctor Who? Either way, I’m loving it! FRINGE is much improved over its first season, and the last several episodes since the mid-season break have been excellent examples of science fiction writing and terrific acting from the cast, most especially from John Noble (Walter). Heck, they even got through a period-themed fairy tale story singalong last week. Whatever is happening over there in the Fringe offices (Brown Betty perhaps?) keep up the good work!

What Doctor Who Can Teach Us About Unemployment May 3, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in David Tennant, Doctor Who, Jobless, Unemployment.
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1. It’s O.K. not to have a job
The Doctor roams all around the Universe yet he doesn’t seem to have a real job; unless of course you count saving that Universe.

2. Be your own boss
Embrace the joys of being self-employed. You have no one to answer to but yourself.

3. Our actions have consequences
Really think about your choices in life. Don’t take a job simply because someone else thinks you should: if it isn’t right, it isn’t right. The ripple effect could be disastrous and you don’t need a time machine to tell you that.

Donna Noble took the wrong job.

4. Money isn’t everything
The Doctor never carries cash, and seems to do just fine. It’s amazing what you can do without and still be happy.

5. You’re never too old to learn
New experiences, methods, and technologies are fantastic; embrace them.

6. Ordinary is Wonderful
One ordinary person can do extraordinary things and one person really can change the world.

7. Never give up
No matter how desperate things may seem, there is always a way out. Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something but always believe that you can. You will find a way.

Maybe a career in medicine would be better?

8. Take your time
Our clocks are always ticking; enjoy the best moments life has to offer.

9. Chase your dream
It’s who you were really meant to be.

10. Love
Humans have short lives. Have love and friends in your life; it’s what makes us so human.

And perhaps the most important lesson of all: