Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Who on earth expected us to like that?

Is Steven Moffat taking us for granted? I found myself watching the Christmas episode of Doctor Who with mounting surprise. ‘Is this it? Whatever happened to the idea of a special something for Christmas?’

The 50th anniversary episode a month earlier was so very, very good that I somehow imagined they knew what they were doing. Perhaps they used up every ounce of great ideas for that, and now there was none left. My loyal in-house Whovian pointed out there were some nice in-jokes. Maybe there were. Maybe the hardcore fans always get more out of an episode than the mere spectator. But even idiot viewers should be given some fun, while the experts chuckle over the cleverness of whatever they’ve come up with.

If I was Peter Capaldi I’d sue for getting such a crap entry to what should be a fantastic new job. If I was Matt Smith I’d sue for getting nowhere near the kind of exit David Tennant had. I was just sitting there willing it to be over. Die and let’s see this new Doctor and then we can all go and watch Downton Abbey.

I’m gladder than ever that I watched the 50th shebang in November. It made me pleased to ‘be part of it.’ (So for the sake of clarity; I had nothing to do with the Christmas failure. Not the 50th either, obviously, but, you know…)

My in-house fan then showed me the Peter Davison half hour programme about the other former Doctors who – supposedly – weren’t part of the 50th show. That was terrific! I could happily watch it again.

Thankfully Doctor Who won’t be back for a while. They will need time to write something we will want to watch.

The Eccleston reign

Would fish fingers and chips – bunged in the oven – have made a difference, I wonder? I’ve been informed this is how mothers coped with Saturday dinners in the olden days of Doctor Who. Because it’s astonishing quite how many episodes I never watched as the Doctor returned to the home screens eight years ago.

I think I plonked Offspring down in front of the box to watch, because it was what you did. Generations of British children watched the Doctor and the Daleks from behind their sofas. I don’t think I really expected to watch. I had no proper upbringing that led me to want to do it. So I probably watched a couple of episodes to keep people company. And I caught glimpses of the Tardis and stuff as I dashed in and out of the room.

I have long been under the impression that I watched every other episode of season one. Now I know better. I didn’t. Not by a long shot. I ‘met’ Captain Jack Harkness only by hearing him talk soothingly to Rose, as she sailed across the London sky. I have a lot of weird, half-fake memories. Sat through the ‘are you my mummy’ episodes to keep Daughter calm. But they were creepy.

In fact, I didn’t care that Christopher Eccleston stopped Doctoring, because I simply didn’t know the man well enough to miss him. And he was followed by the lovely David Tennant, so was easily forgotten by me.

Luckily the lapses of yesteryear have been rectified. I have just watched every single episode of season one, up to and including the Christmas one where David Tennant mostly slept on the job. They were pretty good, on the whole. And I’m beginning to see why some fans moan these days. They really did write them better before. They just did.

Never mind who was the Doctor. It’s who wrote the script that matters.

Going all Potter-ish over Who

Matt Smith looks like Christopher Eccleston all of a sudden, having done a Hermione Granger and cut his hair off. I suppose it can be a disadvantage having to nurse a certain amount of hair for the duration of whatever you’re doing.

It felt as if the BBC went all Harry Potter on us, making so much of the announcement of the 12th Doctor. Not Steve Cole, I’m sorry to say. I’d been hoping…

For a few moments I was disappointed when it turned out that it’s Peter Capaldi who is Who. But it didn’t last long. He’ll do fine. Another Scotsman is an asset, especially an Italian Scotsman, and an ‘older’ man at that.

At first the special BBC1 programme felt rather weak, but it got better as it went along. Peter Davison is always lovely, and the two fans were worryingly young. Nice to see so many companions, many of whom I don’t know at all.

Now we have to wait and see what Peter Capaldi gets to wear. One hopes he will wear something. Kilt perhaps?

(This is what it was like last time.)

Doctor Who – Nightmare in Silver

Wow! So that’s what it takes to have fully watchable Doctor Who? A ‘real’ writer like Neil Gaiman. Let’s do that again. Please? I enjoyed myself so much I was beginning to regret we are getting close to The End of Matt Smith.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

There was a time – admittedly a very long time ago – when I believed all writing for an important medium like television would be good by default. Likewise the efforts of the actors. They are actors, so obviously they do a perfect job. At least if they are famous. (Yeah, I was an idiot.)

Then there is the slight fear that an author can be too famous for his own good, and end up being a not terribly capable writer. But for all his fame, not to mention riches, Neil Gaiman simply does a great job whenever he writes stuff. Yes, you can hate the man and what he stands for if you like. But he can write. And he’s pleasant to talk to. That’s enough for me.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Cybermen! Because I’m not a real proper Doctor Who nerd I hardly ever muse over what is possible and what might happen. Cybermen are too scary not to let them return, so naturally they had to come back at some point. You don’t invent Daleks and Cybermen or those Angels and then ‘kill’ them off, never to be seen again.

Nightmare in Silver was a dream, and I’m struggling to think of anything that wasn’t good. The plot was excellent. The characters and their actors were all fantastic. Not a single one I would have different. Warwick Davies in particular was marvellous, as you could sense the minute he turned up.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Clara made a surprisingly good commander, and her child charges were just right. I’d be happy to have these children in the Tardis again.

It would obviously help if I understood chess, but like Harry Potter I’m happy to leave my fate to the hands of someone Who does.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Who – Hide

Doctor Who - Hide

Do they really have no idea when they’ve written a good episode of Doctor Who, and when they haven’t? Don’t they care? That could be the reason for so many merely tolerable adventures. Because once you hit facebook afterwards, there never seems to be any doubt when it’s been a good one.

Doctor Who - Hide

Hide was good. And that was good, as I’d begun wondering if it was going to be mediocre all the way now. Perhaps the Clara factor. That’s mean, actually. She is half beginning to grow on me. Even the Tardis is feeling doubtful, so I’m in good company.

Doctor Who - Hide

(I do wonder how old they thought the ghost hunter was, though. He looked a little young to have been in ‘the war.’)

Here’s hoping we’ll have one or two more good episodes. It would be ‘nice’ to have something to miss when the Doctor leaves/arrives.

The Christmas episodes

Not surprisingly, some were better than others. Although we found ourselves making comparisons between fresh new writing as was the case for older new Doctor Who seasons, as well as for the earlier season of NCIS. Downton Abbey was OK-ish. Apart – obviously – for you-know-what. NCIS: Los Angeles felt more Christmassy than its big brother did.

Although, it was very noticeable that they had decided to throw in a little from many early NCIS seasons and stir well. Except maybe the stirring wasn’t done terribly thoroughly, after all.

Doctor Who

I don’t care for the Doctor’s new assistant. She’s spunky, but the chemistry between us is all wrong. And I trust there is now a country full of children who will scream at the mere idea of a snowman.

How could they end Downton Abbey like that? They did, though, didn’t they? Someone here was disappointed it wasn’t a wintry episode, but when you’ve seen one snow scene, you’ve seen them all. And all that Scottish deer-stalking will suit the Americans just fine. Long live Mrs Patmore and her patés!

So, L A was an early NCIS medley with a Christmas twist. But at least once they’d sorted out the drugs on the ship (I just couldn’t get over the L A gang being on a boat in the first place) they went a little Christmassy. To my mind Nell didn’t need fake elf ears. Besides, didn’t she go from very sad to surprisingly chirpy very quickly?

But NCIS, oh, NCIS… What shall we do about you? This was an over sugary episode with too many cute scenes. I almost didn’t mind DiNozzo Sr being back. Again. He was almost more rational than Jr. And the sight of Junior’s bed is now forever etched on my mind. His flat was gorgeous, but was it him?

As for the goldfish… Or the snickerdoodles. Well.

Perhaps get Steven Moffat to write the next episode?

Eleven, soufflé, dead

Those were the three words I was able to say well before anyone said it on screen in Asylum of the Daleks. I must be wired in, or something. Are they simply getting too predictable?

Doctor Who and the Asylum of the Daleks

And, I have a confession to make. I don’t understand what is so scary about the Daleks. The weeping angels are scary, and so is ‘are you my mummy?’ Daleks, no. Perhaps I had a deprived childhood, growing up in a Dalek-free zone?

But it was all right, this Dalek episode, as the beginning to an end. It was good thinking to include the Doctor’s new friend. This way we’ll be more used to her when she pops up for real.

Doctor Who and the Asylum of the Daleks

And just when I thought we were meant to be thinking it won’t matter when whatever happens to Amy and Rory, actually happens, because they are embittered and out of love, they go and move those goal posts again. It has to be said, most men don’t wait 2000 years for their loved ones.

We’ll wait and see what soufflé-girl will do about her predicament.

The End

It’s quite lonely, being the only one who didn’t watch the last Who live. Especially as I ended up delaying by five days, due to a busy life. At least I have a life. I’m no slave to the Doctor.

The Wedding of River Song

You know, they could end it all now. If they needed to. But they won’t. The Christmas episode is a slight giveaway to the Doctor’s continued state of being more alive than dead. Matt Smith signing up for the next season is another one. So I didn’t expect too much in the way of final death.

The Wedding of River Song

The way they paraded a good number of former characters around, was reminiscent of farewell programmes and that kind of thing. A ‘lets get everyone together one last time’ sort of idea.

River Song didn’t get much of a wedding, did she? And risking sounding a little anti-Doctor, she didn’t get much of a husband, either. Did she?

The Wedding of River Song

I quite liked the ‘new’ Amy, and Rory did really well as a(nother) military character. Churchill was fun and so was Blue Face, but if they let Matt Smith put on another fake beard I’m going to scream.

Who’s dying?

Is he? Dying? The Doctor? Really?

It’s what he keeps saying. Looking upset about it. Tomorrow. Which I guess is next week.

Cybermen and the Doctor

I find it easy enough to dismiss these things as hype to get us all worked up, and more interested. But then I found myself thinking that maybe, really, perhaps? After all, we’ve seen it already.

But then there is the Christmas episode, and it’d be a shame if they had to cancel it due to plot inconsistencies.

I suppose there is always time travel. It could be one he made earlier.

Craig and the Doctor

Craig did well this week, and baby Stormageddon was lovely and quite wise. And the Doctor was unusually aware about normal things like the need to clear up a house that looks like a bomb went off.

I knew I knew her

Did I sit opposite her on a train recently? That was the question. I felt I ‘knew’ her so well, the woman who swept down Shandwick Place in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. Daughter and I were going in the opposite direction, but I got enough of a good look at her. I knew I knew her.

But was it the train? I sort of felt it was recently and I sort of felt she was Swedish. Or the train was, at any rate. But what would she be doing in Edinburgh? OK, so lots of Swedes like Scotland and maybe she was here on holiday. But she strode very purposefully, and alone.

If I hadn’t sat opposite her on a train, maybe she was from the television? Yes, that could be it. Once I’d decided that much, I ‘knew’ that it was a crime series. I felt she was the wronged woman, caught up in something. So, was she British after all? But what could we have watched, that was so recent? Besides NCIS, I watch very little. Surely not Doctor Who?

I discussed the conundrum with Daughter, who hadn’t noticed her. (That didn’t make the discussion any easier.) Suddenly I felt sure it was Wallander. The Swedish, Krister Henriksson Wallander. She was his romantic interest in season one. She was the one who behaved ‘badly’, letting poor Wallander down.

But which episode? It took a lot of googling back and forth until I found the right one, and then some more before deciding which was the right female. Armed with the name Cecilia Nilsson it was easy to find her photo, and then you google name and Edinburgh, and hey presto.

There she was, being praised for her one woman show performed in silence (and in the nude if the picture was anything to go by).

Cecilia Nilsson

So I was right. Except it wasn’t a train. But close.