Tag Archives: Doctor Who

When TV shows are like buses

I simply cannot keep up. It used to be bad when September brought all the television shows back. But I used to have maybe only four at the most, and with some of them taking breaks some weeks, you’d catch up with what you’d missed. Or I’d revert to old shows, where I am seasons behind.

We’ve spent the summer hiatus flitting back and forth between The Good Wife and Elementary. But after the new shows came back, we’ve had to leave them. So I don’t know what happens when The Bad Husband stepped outside their flat. I can imagine, though. But it’ll have to wait. In Elementary Watson is getting used to her competition, and Holmes is more annoying than ever. Thought we’d finish Due South once and for all, but there are still a few episodes left. They’re not so good, but I can’t leave a series hanging like that.

We’re keeping up with Doctor Who, although sometimes we wonder why, and with NCIS, where we mostly don’t wonder why. Yet.

We save the Big Bang Theory for when we need cheering up, or when a shorter sitting is required, so that’s less of a problem.

As I write I am one episode behind with Downton Abbey, and since I’m going away for the weekend, I will be two behind on my return. I understand there was blood. Might be a good thing to have the next episode standing by, just to be sure how bad it got. It’s getting silly, but we do enjoy it, and the relaxation makes it worth watching. And the grinning when the Dowager gets to air a few more good lines.

In between all the rest we can usually sneak in some NCIS: Los Angeles, and I haven’t even finished the first season of New Orleans, and won’t be watching anytime soon.

I understand there is something called River on BBC. Missed the first and recorded the second. I wonder how that is going to work out? As for the cinema, I looked up the times for screenings of Suffragette, amazingly on at both cinemas in town. But we had no time…

Downton Who?

Another November, another end to another season of Doctor Who. And to Downton Abbey. When they started in August and September it felt like we did nothing but watch television all weekend. It was great to get all of the Doctor in one fell swoop, though, instead of half a season here and half a season there.

As for Downton Abbey I was under the – obviously erroneous – impression it was doing its last rounds. Not only is there one for Christmas, but more is coming next autumn. Oh well. It is a soap, after all. They never stop.

Although it feels as if they are getting ready to chop quite a few of their characters, while having carefully enlisted some replacements. Have the actors had enough? Probably. I’d be sad to see Tom go, but he’s able to. Maybe Edith could too. But Mary will be held hostage forever.

I worry for the dowager, but hopefully Maggie Smith has many more years of acting in her still. And you could just see that poor Anna was in for it, almost from the word go. They concentrated too much on that train ticket.

The Doctor. Well. Peter Capaldi was OK. Ish. It’s tricky going from a jolly young man to a troubled and downright weird older one, but it can be done, and it was. I believe it’s Clara we mostly have a problem with. While I’m not 100% sold on the actress, I don’t mind the role so much.

I suppose we feel that anyone ought to be grateful to be the Doctor’s assistant and not moan so much or doubt that they are doing the right thing, but why not? She does need to think of her life and where it is going. And for a while there with the Cybermen I felt she was almost convincing as the Doctor. Maybe it’s really been her all the time?

There’s enough to look forward to. And a couple of the episodes of Doctor Who were among the best I’ve seen.

In Downton I quite enjoyed the divorce and Jewishness issues. The cousin will be interesting to watch (I take it she is here to stay). And so will her counterpart, the angry father-in-law.

Meanwhile I’ll make the most of not having a series to watch evey single day.

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.