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

Posted by rainegendron in Doctor Who, Science Fiction Television, Television.
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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.


The Return of Angels and River Song May 10, 2010

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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.

Doctor Who – The Eleventh Hour Cracked April 17, 2010

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Has there ever been a Doctor Who episode so filled with expectation? A new doctor, a new companion, a new producer and Showrunner – a writer who has written some of the most popular episodes over the last few years, Steven Moffat.

So, does the new series live up to its expectations?

In short, YES!

The Eleventh Doctor ends up in what could only be described as a glorious Eleventh Hour romp.

We had already seen Ten (the superb David Tennant) regenerate into Eleven (Matt Smith) at the end of the last series The End of Time, so the introduction of Smith as the new Doctor didn’t come as a surprise. But just about everything else did. The series has a new title sequence — the spacey wormhole now looks something like a cloudy thunderstorm wormhole — and the opening music has been slowed down in tempo dramatically while still retaining the classic Who effects. There is a crash landing of the TARDIS into a garden shed, a meeting with a young Scottish girl, a crack in a wall, and something named Prisoner Zero. Not to mention the most epic case of the munchies you’re ever likely to see — Fish Custard anyone? (I wonder how many kids have been asking for that dinner lately?)

Matt Smith aptly puts any lingering doubts about his ability to handle the role of our favorite time-traveling alien (he is the youngest actor to take on the role) to rest. He’s fast, he’s expressive, and he’s funny while still giving you a glimpse of a slightly darker side. New companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) whom the doctor meets as both a young girl and a young woman proves charming and — dare I say it? — suitably spunky. Some things never change, and the Doctor is always either late or early, and he tends to leave people waiting, including the young Amelia (so not nice to dine and dash, Doctor).

The villains in this episode, Prisoner Zero (a moray eel type creature that can take on the form of comatose people) and the Atraxi (a snowflake featuring a giant eyeball) who are hunting Prisoner Zero really don’t do much once out of the “crack” so to speak, but that’s o.k. really. The point of this episode is to introduce us to the new Doctor and companion and set the tone for their relationship. However, in true Doctor Who fashion the episode also serves up just as many new questions as it answers: What is causing the cracks in the Universe? What do you mean, silence will fall? Who is Amy’s aunt and why is she alone at night? What is the deal with Rory’s hospital badge dates? I don’t know the answers, but I sure look forward to finding out what’s in store for us, and for the Doctor.

Eleven gets dressed on the rooftop while confronting the Atraxi

Best Parts: The Doctor and young Amelia Pond. The new TARDIS (“you sexy thing luv!”) and new sonic screwdriver. Fish Custard. Amelia’s “Raggity Doctor”

Worst Parts: Prisoner Zero didn’t really do all that much once he was “out of the box.”
Eleven running around in Ten’s clothes for most of the episode: I was SO glad when he finally changed because it started to distract me after awhile and only made me miss Ten (David Tennant) and that’s not fair to Matt. Plus, the clothes really make the man, and all the more so in the Doctor’s case; it gives you a good hint of the what kind of man he will be and I was glad when he “put on” his own look.

My Rating: Only thing holding this back from a five was mediocre villains.

Come the Eleventh Hour, and a New Doctor April 15, 2010

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How geeked I am about the return of Doctor Who this week?

The moment we have been waiting for is about to arrive: The Eleventh Doctor premiers this weekend! Saturday, April 17 at 9 pm EST on BBC America!

It’s a whole new show. New Doctor, new Companion, new logo, new TARDIS set (same old time traveling blue police box), new head writer and Showrunner Steven Moffat.

For those of you not familiar with the show, Doctor Who is a television program produced by the BBC, and is the longest running science fiction show in the world (beating out Star Trek and Twilight Zone). Since 1963, the original television show has been spun off into a host of other media, including: novels, comics, related series, and enormous fan following.

The series took a break from the airways in the 1990’s but returned in 2005 under Showrunner and head writer Russell T. Davies and starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, and later David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. The Davies/Tennant team was excellent, but both announced their respective departures in 2009 with a wonderful send off of specials over Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Matt Smith takes over the reins as the Eleventh incarnation (the role of the Doctor is ever-changing as the character has the power to regenerate in the face of death) of time traveling Time Lord in the new series. If you’ve ever wondered what Doctor Who is all about, now’s the time to get sucked into the mighty vortex that is the whole Whoverse!

I am so excited!

Watch the Series 5 Preview Here: