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*teazer* The Big Bang June 28, 2010

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who.
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Just watched the 2010 Doctor Who series finale! All I can say is Wow!
I will refrain from a recap for now as this site is for U.S. viewers, but here is a teazer pic.


A Starry, Starry Night for the Doctor June 27, 2010

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Well. I really liked Vincent and the Doctor, despite the rather silly monster of the week. The blind monster-chicken-thing didn’t matter really, because the heart of the story was Vincent (a wonderful Tony Curran) and a very restrained Doctor.

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer’s day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.

I’m not familiar with Curran’s work, but I will be looking into his other roles based on what he’s done here.

Vincent and the Doctor

Perhaps it’s because I’m an artist. Perhaps it was the sad and tortured Vincent van Gogh. Perhaps it was the release of emotion after last week when Rory died. I don’t know, but this episode had me in tears at the end, just as Vincent was, in a museum of the future seeing and hearing how the world loved his art. There was something very poignant about the fact that the Doctor couldn’t save Rory, knows he can’t save Vincent either, but at least he could give him that one moment of adulation and respect all artists seek.

But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

When Doctor Who can make me cry, I know it’s been a good episode.

Best Parts: Vincent

Worst Parts: A blind chicken? Really? Who cares?

Playing Identify that Alien!

My Rating: Lovely. I think this could possibly be my favorite episode of the season. A rare Sonic-Five.

The Science of Doctor Who, By Paul Parsons June 25, 2010

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I love the plethora of science shows available today that cover everything from going Through the Wormhole with actor Morgan Freeman to learning about The Science of Science Fiction with theoretical physicist with Michio Kaku. Heck, we can even go Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.

It’s no surprise then, that I gravitated toward a book about the real science [yes, there actually is some!] behind the TV show Doctor Who. Beware however; this book is not for the faint of heart or science haters. It is a book about real science, not a history of Doctor Who.

I love science, especially astrophysics and theoretical physics, but unfortunately my brain didn’t like the math. Parsons goes easy on the math, but still gets you up-to-date on some of the ideas behind the science of the show and our favorite alien, the Doctor.

Parsons covers such things as how the TARDIS may work, how it may travel in space and time, and why the Doctor and his people may have evolved with two hearts on Gallifrey, while us humans on Earth have only one. Parsons even attempts to explain why the Doctor remains so steadfastly asexual despite have so many nubile young companions.

Best Parts:
Full coverage of how all the Doctor’s sonic toys might work
How humans are learning to regenerate like Time Lords
Owning a roadworthy wormhole
Taking a journey through E-Space

“He got it wrong on the first line! Why didn’t he ask someone who saw it happen?”
—The Forth Doctor reading Origins of the Universe by Oolon Caluphid.

Worst Parts:
My only quibble (such as it is) would be that so much of this stuff has already been covered elsewhere AND in a more visually pleasing format on some of the shows listed above, most notably that of Michio Kaku. However, those shows never reference Doctor Who directly, as Parsons does, so for Who fans who want that direct connection, this book is a winner.

Sonic Rating:

Cold Blood Left Me Rather Cold June 21, 2010

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I was hoping the second half of this week’s Doctor Who episode would exceed the first part entitled “The Hungry Earth,” as the back half of two-part stories usually do. However, with the exception of the last ten minutes I was left almost as cold blooded as the Silurians and felt that much of the episode dragged on.

The shape of things to come?

Despite this, the episode did have some good points. I give kudos to the fine supporting cast in this story. The performances of Nasreen (Meera Syal), Tony Mac (Robert Pugh), Ambrose (Nia Roberts), and their reptilian counterparts Alaya/Restac (Neve McIntosh), Malohikeh (Richard Hope), and Eldane (Stephen Moore) were all top notch and managed to transcend the oftentimes-general silliness of the plot.

The idea of us humans having to share the planet with the original Silurian inhabitants should have provided a little more drama that what it eventually did and I was a little disappointed at the outcome. This idea should have provided more tension, and the whole negotiation table scene could have been truncated. We all knew they wouldn’t come to an agreement on how to share Earth now didn’t we? Humans can’t even manage to share a country or silly strip of land without wars, let alone a whole planet! It is an interesting idea that the Silurians will wake up in 3010 along with Nasreen and Tony Mac… but that’s a tale for another time.

Nasreen and Tony Mac prepare for life underground.

Oh my God, they killed Rory. You bastards!

The best part of the story came in the last few minutes with the death of Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the reappearance of the Crack. I’ve liked the addition of Rory as companion and hate that he bought it here at the hands of the Silurian She-Devil Restac. I’m hoping that it won’t be the end of Rory since Time can be unwritten/rewritten. It wouldn’t be the first time a companion “died” only to be brought back somehow. Remember that Rose supposedly died, as did Donna, but really other things happened. Whatever the outcome proves to be with Rory and the broken-up TARDIS, it was some nice work there with Matt, Karen, and Arthur at the end of this episode. Poor Rory.

Elegy for Rory.

Best Parts: The Death of Rory
Worst Parts: The Death of Rory

My Rating: First 35 minutes = 2. Last 10 minutes = 5. I guess that averages a 3.

I know I’m not supposed to break it up this way, but that how I roll.

Drilling Only Leads to Trouble June 14, 2010

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I liked this week’s Doctor Who episode, “The Hungry Earth,” but was not overly wowed by it. It’s hard to say with this one until you see the second part and how it will all play out. This episode was mostly the set-up of the story for the Doctor to encounter one of his old foes, the Silurians. I did really like the secondary characters in this episode, especially Meera Syal as Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry. How cool was it that the Doctor took her with him in the TARDIS to go under the Earth! They didn’t get specific, but I’m taking it that she was a geologist, and she instantly had that sense of adventure and discovery shared with the Doctor. Saucy too—snapping his braces! It’s those little touches that can make a character believable. I really hope she doesn’t get killed, as is often the case with “Doctor Who” secondary characters.

A saucy doctor. Relax, it's not what you think.

There was a very interesting bit about the future Amy and Rory standing up on the hillside waving. This seems to play into the ongoing series theme with the Crack.

Matt Smith showed a touching bit of vulnerability when the Doctor tells Rory, “C’mon—Please. I need you along side me.” It was nice, and not something the Doctor does often, admitting that he really does need that dose of humanity in his life. I have to say that I still love the addition of Rory (Arthur Darvill) as traveling companion. In some ways I almost see that friendship being more important than the Doctor/Amy one.

Best Parts: Some great supporting characters, especially the drill operators Nasreen and Tony but also some nice work from Neve McIntosh as the stinging reptilian-humanoid Alaya.

Worst Parts: The setup of the cameras around the church was a pointless exercise, both to the story and our time.

More suspense could have been made over the point that “While you were drilling down, someone was drilling up.” I kept expecting to see something coming, well UP, and was disappointed at the rather lackluster appearance of the female Silurian in the woods.

My Rating: Interesting, but not awe-inspiring. I give it an average 2-1/2 out of 5.

The Psychic Pollen Mystery Tour is Waiting to Take You Away June 7, 2010

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So, the Doctor’s Freudian Id is really a snarky little man who hates himself and has a penchant for redheads?

Dream stories can be an obscure and strange muddle (Jacob’s Ladder anyone) dealing as they do with the human psyche, and this one is no different. At first, I was thinking the Dream Lord (Toby Jones at his sarcastic best) was similar to, or an aspect of the Trickster as seen lately in the “Sarah Jane Adventures,” so I was actually a little surprised at the very low-key reveal of the psychic pollen at the end of the episode. In thinking about it though, it does make perfect sense. We’ve known for some time that the Doctor carries a lot of self-loathing for what happened during the Time War and the events that led to the destruction of Gallifrey. It’s a heavy burden to bear. It also forces us to ponder some interesting and uncomfortable questions about the Doctor and his relationship with Amy, the addition of her fiancé Rory (who dies in the “dream”) and the representation of Amy being pregnant. Oh my, what would Freud say!

The Doctor confronts his id.

When I first viewed this episode I was on the proverbial fence in thinking about whether I liked it or not. After a repeat viewing, I found the story much improved even though the element of mystery about the Dream Lord was removed. Doctor Who is at its best when it forces you to think just a little bit harder, and this dreamy episode hits the mark on many levels, delivering highs of insightful interpersonal relationships as well as the lows of a tawdry quirk shop.

What is scarier, geriatric aliens or this jumper?

Best Quotes:
Doctor: “No, No, No… Ice can burn—Sofas can read—It’s a big Universe.”
Amy: “If we’re gonna die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band”

Best Parts:
Elderly people brandishing lawn equipment as weapons! Priceless Doctor Who!
Toby Jones as the acerbic, one-liner zinging Dream Lord.

Worst Parts:
I think what surprises me most, is that the Doctor’s brain and psyche would be so similar to a human’s or why he would be so affected by the psychic pollen which caused him to fall asleep and dream.

The fact that yes, the Doctor really hates himself that much.

My Rating: First pass garnered a 3 out of 5. Revised rating 4 out of 5.