Friday, December 18, 2015

Almost time for a Doctor Who Christmas

Did you (as I did) feel like there was something missing last weekend without a new Doctor Who episode?  The good news is, there's only one week left until the Christmas special!  One more week until we find out what River's doing with another husband.

Wait . . . that means there's just one week left until Christmas, and I again need to do some last minute shopping.  As I was figuring out what good gifts I could buy in time, I came across some great Whovian treats and thought I'd share them with you.  If you have Amazon Prime, you get free 2-day shipping, so you can still get these items in time for Christmas.  If you don't have it, sign up for a free 30 day trial now and you'll be able to get free 2-day shipping for your last minute Christmas shopping.

For Him

For Her

For the Kiddies

Or if they're picky, you can always give them Amazon Prime or a gift card.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Heaven Sent / Hell Bent - discussion the day after

Have you recovered from last night's episode, yet?  I think I'm still feeling the aftereffects.  I was saving my comments on Heaven Sent to combine with this week, thinking it was a two parter, but really it feels more like we had  a three story arc with Face the Raven, Heaven Sent, and Hell Bent, where each of them also feels separate from the others.

Heaven Sent - one hander
If there's any Doctor that can work in a story by himself, it's the 12th Doctor, and if there's any actor that can thrive in that situation, it's Peter Capaldi.  To be so exposed and carry so much responsibility for the success of the story is a scary thing, but he didn't miss a beat.  I was enraptured at every moment and felt such strong emotions - pain, fear, sorrow, hopelessness, hopefulness, and shock.

Who could have guessed that's how he would find Gallifrey?  And for a story that required repetition (billions of years of repetition!), they did a great job making it feel like a lot of time had passed while making us feel more strongly for the Doctor each time.  Kudos to Steven Moffat, Rachel Talalay, and Murray Gold.

Hell Bent - everything, wow, huh?, ahhhh!!!
That's the best way I can describe up where my mind is with this episode, so I'll take this discussion step by step.

The opening scene - So many tears this entire episode.  I was crying right from the beginning when the Doctor started playing Clara's theme on his guitar.  That was probably my favorite moment all series.

What a clever set up to the episode having Clara and the Doctor in that familiar diner (Or not Clara? Not that diner?)  There was so little given away, and it was presented and played in a way that allowed us to make our assumptions, but later in the episode we saw it could have been interpreted in so many different ways.

The barn - Going back to that familiar place from the Doctor's childhood held so much meaning and added another dimension to the story.  The nonverbal interaction between Peter and Linda Broughton (The Woman) was spot on.  On a related note, I love how Time Lords seem to always know who each other are, regardless of which regeneration they're in (with the exception of the Master for some reason).

The spoon! - Whovians always love little references to unrelated episodes, and who didn't love that the Doctor put down his spoon when told to put down any weapons?  Also note the music from past series and Doctors that were sprinkled in at opportune moments.

Another male to female regeneration - Moffat's on a mission!

Clara and the Doctor - Well this is the last time I'll get to rave about the chemistry between Jenna and Peter and the relationship between Clara and the Doctor.  The best acting makes us believe.  With Jenna and Peter, we really believe the love and bond their two characters have.  Of course the Doctor would put up with torture for over four billion years to try to save her.  And yes, at that point, he probably would use a gun and kill for her.  And in spite of everything both of them have gone through and are currently experiencing, they still have that same banter-y, working-as-one dynamic.  It was wonderful to see their partnering and quips one last time.

Memories - We still feel the pain of Donna losing her memories of the Doctor (damn you/love you RTD!)  And now to lose someone else . . . At least this time the memory wipe doesn't seem to be complete, and it wouldn't kill the Doctor if he wound up remembering more of Clara.  Their final exchange in the diner was so sweet.  Then seeing the TARDIS . . . (thank you Rigsy)

Yes, there may be some holes in different bits, and we have some questions, but in the end, this was a goodbye.  Goodbye to the series.  Goodbye to Jenna.  Goodbye to Clara.  And it was worthy goodbye to them all.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Face the Raven - the discussion

Sarah Dollard - beautiful writing.  Face the Raven was a wonderful episode filled with mystery, familiar friends and foes, bravery, and of course, love.  Even without its significance, it was a good episode.  With the significance, it did not disappoint.

Let’s start at the beginning.  As a viewer, I knew something heart wrenching was coming and felt apprehensive even before the episode started.  It was wonderful seeing Clara and the Doctor so happy and carefree at the top of the episode.  That last moment of joy and seeing again that they are the best companions for each other.

I was so happy that they brought back Rigsy.  He was a great character and someone I’d like to see as the Doctor’s companion.  We didn’t get to see him interact much with the Doctor last time, but this time you could feel the instant chemistry.  Of course, now that he has a wife and kid, the hopes of him being a companion are gone, but it was sweet seeing a bit of his new home life.  I also loved his tribute to Clara at the end, using his artistic skills that we knew about from before.

The mystery itself struck the right balance of being intriguing enough to draw you in without overpowering the main point of the story.  Memory loss, apparent murder, a secret world, multiple aliens, deception, and a ticking clock - what more could you want?  The more I see of Ashildir, the more I dislike her (in a good way).  I guess it shows what being immortal and living too long alone can do to you.  It’s like the Doctor if he didn’t have companions to keep him in check.  What’s interesting is that Captain Jack never seemed to have too much of a problem remaining a “good guy,” but maybe he hasn’t lived long enough yet.

Now for the big moment.  For me, the best, most emotional moment wasn’t the actual death but the last moments Clara and the Doctor had together, underscored by the brilliant music of Murray Gold.  The Doctor’s reaction to finding out that her end was coming.  Clara’s knowing that the Doctor will overreact and her determination to save him even when she’s gone.  And of course, their sweet goodbye, each expressing their love and gratitude without having to say it, each being as brave as they could be.  Watching it a second time, I still cried when the Doctor asked her to stay with him.  Then Clara’s last steps, seeing her fear but willing herself to be brave as she faced the raven.  It’s how we all hope we can react when facing fear.

It was a touching end fitting of a wonderful companion.  Regardless of Clara’s ultimate ultimate fate in Doctor Who (speculate all you want for the next couple of weeks), this episode did her justice.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sleep No More - discussion the same night

Sleep No More - our first and one of only two self-contained episodes this series.  Hmm.  After the epic Zygon two parter, a single episode was what I wanted.  I'm not sure Sleep No More was the right single episode for me, though.

I am a fan of Mark Gatiss, the actor and the writer.  I thought his Robot of Sherwood last series was delightful and had the perfect tone after Deep Breath and Into the Dalek.  The premise of Sleep No More was interesting, as was the found footage format.  Both had potential, but I felt they didn't reach it.

It felt like there was a lot of running around that didn't help bring depth to the story.  I never felt connected to anything in the episode.  The found footage format and the different camera angles, especially upon the realization that they weren't helmet cams, could have been scarier.  I wanted it to be scarier.  Maybe that was as far as they could push it to keep it family-friendly?  I also became confused when we saw things from the point of view of Chopra after the Doctor said his POV was the only one we didn't have because he had refused to use Morpheus.  Or did I miss something?

The sandmen monsters weren't scary either - psychologically or physically.  I think I understand that the point of the film was to get us to watch it to perpetuate the monsters, so the story in the film doesn't really matter in a way.  But in reality, it's still a TV show, so we do need to be interested and feel some fear when we find out that by watching it, we have allowed the monsters to spread.

I did like the "twist" in the end.  A little bit "The Ring-like."  But I wanted the whole episode to have the intrigue of the end, taken a step further.  Reece Shearsmith was also good casting.  Immediately he set the tone of something off and made me feel uneasy, but I didn't know exactly why, yet.

Apologies if my comments were difficult to understand.  I find it difficult articulating things that don't sit well with me.  Overall, this episode had elements that could have been brilliant (mysterious circumstance and monsters, a creepy not-what-he-seems baddie, and found footage format) but they missed the mark for me.

And then next week . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion - discussion the day after

My favorite episodes so far this season!  As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of the Doctor's big fan, Osgood.  She was my favorite from the 50th anniversary.  I was heartbroken when she died.  And thrilled when I saw her in the series 9 trailers.  I had been waiting for these two episodes all series, and they did not disappoint.  Here are just some of the things that made The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion so great:

The Doctor-Clara Relationship
I've been going on and on about how much I love the development of the Doctor and Clara's relationship.  They've moved to yet another level with this two parter.  The Doctor usually falls into battle situations while with his companions and they work together to avoid war.  I've always assumed that if the Doctor ran across a situation while the companion wasn't there, he'd take care of it himself.  It was great to see that in this crisis, while the Doctor was presented with the crumbling of the ceasefire, the Doctor actively reached out to Clara, asking for her help.  Just shows again that he needs her as much as she needs him.  Isn't that what we all want?

We also saw a bit of what he'd be like upon her death.  It really is heartbreaking, and I will probably cry when the time comes at the end of this series.  Not just because we're losing my favorite companion but also because of how it will hit the Doctor.  Maybe this preview was a way to help soften the blow later on.

Peter Capaldi's Brilliance
Part of why the Doctor-Clara relationship is so compelling and the impending end so devastating is because of Peter Capaldi's brilliant acting.  He is incredible at getting us to feel everything the Doctor feels.  His monologues have such depth, and his long monologue in the Inversion takes the cake.  He should be the peace envoy to everything.  And everyone in the world should be a Whovian.  The world would be a much better place.  Forgiveness.

Jenna Coleman as a Baddie
I can't wait to see Jenna Coleman play a baddie in future projects.  It was great to see a different side of her acting abilities in these episodes.  Everyone knows Doctor Who is great for actors because they get to be in different genres of stories pretty much every week, but Jenna Coleman has also had the opportunity to play more characters than probably anyone in Doctor Who history.  All of her characters have been the altruistic hero until Bonnie.  Who would've thought that sweet innocent face could be so intimidating?  And even better was seeing the guns-blazing hell-bent evil dictator maturing and having the change of heart, all in one episode.  Credit to the great team effort by Jenna and the writers.

Storytelling Marvels
Everything about the storytelling in these two episodes worked, especially the writing, editing, and sound.  The openings of the episodes immediately drew you in.  The use of the Osgoods and their videos.  There was just the right amount of deception and foreshadowing.  My favorite bit was something so small but carried so much weight - the sound of the text message being sent to the Doctor.  That entire sequence of Clara forcing Bonnie to text without her knowledge was amazing, but the best part of that sequence was how they cut away visually and the swoop of the text is all we need to know that everything would turn out alright.

Concept of Osgood
Why do I love Osgood so much?  It's hard to pin down.  Of course she's fun and clever.  From the 50th, she represented good - the person you could trust that would do the right thing, like not revealing who was human or zygon even though she knew.  Steven Moffat has talked about her representing us, the fans.  She's not only a fan but the fan that has become the Doctor's friend and been asked to join him in the TARDIS.  After this last episode, she's also just Osgood.  No species or labels.  Who she is, is more than good enough.  We don't need to know "what" she is.  People will always want to categorize you, but as Osgood would say, "I'm me."

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Woman Who Lived - discussion the same night

It was fun seeing Maisie Williams in different looks and portraying a character that isn't a daughter fighting to overcome difficult circumstances.  Already such talent at such a young age.  I look forward to seeing her in other roles after Game of Thrones.

The story this week, however, was okay - not great, okay.  I might have preferred it had last week's episode not ended with a "to be continued" and this week's episode been placed later in the series.  It does seem like Ashildr is being set up to be brought back.  That could be fun to see.  Had this episode been placed later in the series, it might have been more exciting seeing her return.

That's all I have to say about The Woman Who Lived.  My favorite bit this week was seeing that next week we'll see the highly anticipated (by me) return of Osgood!  I've been a fan of that character since the 50th anniversary episode, and I can't wait to see her return . . . if she's human or Zygon or something not quite so simple.  Let's indulge in the trailer until next week: 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Girl Who Died - discussion the day after

One word sums up the last 8 minutes of The Girl Who Died - SQUEEEE!!!!!!!!!

You could feel the excitement and anticipation building as we saw the reflections of Peter Capaldi's face in the eel tanks.  Finally, we were going to get the link back to The Fires of Pompeii.  We would see how Stephen Moffat was going to explain why Caecilius and the 12th Doctor look like the same person.

The reason itself wasn't that interesting or surprising (I do hope it gets developed more as the series continues), but the way it was explained was fantastic!  It was so beautiful how the flashbacks to Deep Breath and The Fires of Pompeii were incorporated.  Storytelling at its finest!

Who didn't gasp and hold their breath as the 10th Doctor first appeared with that look to Donna?  And Donna!  The amazing Donna and her heartfelt plea to the Doctor to save someone.  Then seeing the 10th Doctor reach out to save Caecilius.  It was better than watching that episode the first time.

That entire sequence was my favorite bit of Series 9 so far.

In the last 8 minutes, we also saw more brilliant moments of acting from Peter Capaldi.  The introspective Doctor, who we don't get to see that often, elicits such emotion.  The monologue about losing people before the flashback sequence and then the questioning of his saving Ashildr . . . I don't know what to say.  The only way I can describe it is an emotional sigh.

Finally, the set up for future adventures with Ashildr was exciting.  I can't wait to see more of it next week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Before the Flood discussion/The Girl Who Died prep

Well I'm a bit slow this week in discussing the most recent episode, but the good news is, it's almost time for the next one, so I'm going to make this post a look back and look ahead!

Before the Flood
For once I was right, the Under the Lake/Before the Flood two parter is my favorite Toby Whithouse contribution to Doctor Who.  With back-to-back two parters and such a spectacle of a series opener, it was nice having a typical-feeling Who story: TARDIS drops Doctor and companion in an unexpected place.  Doctor and companion meet locals facing an unknown monster.  Tension between Doctor and locals on how to approach the situation.  All seems lost.  Doctor outsmarts the monster.

Okay, the hologram was predictable and a bit of a cop out, but I may be willing to overlook it because it was incorporated into the bootstrap paradox, and the Doctor gave an entertaining, straight to camera explanation of the paradox at the top of the episode.  The nerd in me loves it when science fiction incorporates science.  And this Doctor's more frequent bouts of educating the audience and speaking to camera is fun.

And more rocking out by the Doctor!  I truly want Peter Capaldi and Craig Ferguson to get their band back together.

The hints that Clara's getting carried away are being layered on pretty thick.  She's challenged again on how traveling with the Doctor may have made her more callus, and her pleads to the Doctor are screaming her unhealthy dependence on him.  I do like these themes, but I hope they take more subtle forms through at least some of the episodes this series.

That said, one of my favorite moments was at the end when Clara explains how you have to keep going after losing a loved one.  Such a sweet speech.  Not over the top or overly sentimental.  It had just the right tone and delivery to indicate understanding without being preachy.  It allowed us to think of Danny, feel a twinge, but then carry on.

The Girl Who Died
Moving on - I am very excited for the next episode, featuring our beloved Arya from Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams.  The pre-series teasers have implied that Maisie Williams' character may have some previous connection with the Doctor.  I would love for it to be a connection we know and not a connection from the Doctor's past that has just been written in this episode.  Actually, it'd be nice just to have it be a connection and not have been tricked by teasers taking things out of context again.  (I fall for it every time!)

Think there's any chance they'll throw in a Game of Thrones reference?  The reboot, particularly under Moffat, loves slipping in those under-the-breath one-liners acknowledging the real world.

In case you missed it or just want to watch it over and over, here's a trailer for this Saturday's episode.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Getting ready for Halloween

Doing anything for Halloween this year?  When I was a kid, I used to go all out, but as an adult, I don't do much, or if I do, I keep it low key.  But it is getting to that time when we need to start planning if we do want to do something.

Shameless plug - If you're like me and like to keep things simple, check out the shirts in the Reboot Whovian Teespring store for easy "costumes."  Even better, you can get use out of them on normal days, too.

Below are a few recommendations.  Check out the store for all available shirts, styles, and colors.

Your costume is the 12th Doctor commenting on his own costume.  Throw a long black coat over it to add some splash without much more effort:

Speaking of just putting on a different coat.  The Doctor's impenetrable disguise as the caretaker is captured on this t-shirt:

For something topical, give a nod to the Doctor's most recent costume addition - the sonic sunglasses:

If you can't decide which Doctor to represent, why not all of them:

On the topic of previous Doctors, remember when the 10th Doctor became human?  Why can't we just be a human for Halloween:

Even the 11th Doctor tried to fit in with the rest of us by putting on a jersey and playing football.

For a bit of mystery and mischief, no one is better than River Song.

If you prefer creepy and scary, try a hand mine.

Don't think we've forgotten about the kiddies and babies.

In any case, have a wonderful Who-lloween!  Although, when have we ever needed a holiday to celebrate Doctor Who?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Under the Lake - discussion the same night

It's another two parter!  This first part was more similar in pacing and content to traditional "part ones," so there's no uncertainty about how I feel.  I thought it was a solid episode with familiar elements from past episodes and an ongoing build of the Doctor and Clara's relationship.

More than anything, I loved the tone of this episode, and a huge contribution to that was Murray Gold's magnificent score.  I've been a fan of his work throughout the reboot.  I've even downloaded some of his pieces from iTunes.  Not sure what it was about this episode, but I particularly noticed how the music enhanced the emotion and pacing of this story.

We also got another glimpse of the sonic sunglasses.  I still like them, although pushing the bridge of the glasses isn't as dramatic a gesture as pointing.  But Peter Capaldi can pull it off and make it cool.  (See what Steven Moffat says about the sunglasses.)

The Doctor and Clara's relationship and chemistry - I feel like I'm constantly talking about it, and I suspect I will continue to do so throughout this series.  It's just going to keep getting better and stronger until her demise.  Yes, I said demise.  With all this build up and the growing attachment, of course she's going to have a tragic end (or is that the pessimist in me speaking?).

Full disclosure, in case you haven't gathered - Clara is one of my favorite companions, and I think Jenna Coleman is an incredibly talented actress.  As the Doctor is getting more and more attached to her, so am I.  I want her, the character and the actress, to have a worthy end, and I've been hoping it will be something positive for the character.  More of a "Rose" than a "Donna."

The coffee shop goodbye at the end of last series was lovely.  I'd take one of those.  Or even when we weren't sure if she would make it past Last Christmas, any of those almost endings would have worked for me.  If Clara had died, but it was because she had found that fake world where she and Danny could be together, it would have been okay.  Or if she had died of old age after a full life because the Doctor was late again, I would have been satisfied.  Now though, with their full throttle behavior, I don't think Clara will slip peacefully out of the Doctor's life.

Still, until then, we can enjoy the glory days of Clara and the Doctor.  These were some of my favorite moments this episode:

  • Did everyone notice how this time, it was Clara that told the Doctor to "RUN!"?
  • The continuing theme of Clara becoming more immersed in the Doctor's world and mindset is fascinating, especially with the Doctor's awareness of it.  He worries about her going native, and yet he loves it and her.
  • The way the Doctor looks at her makes my heart melt (kudos again to Peter Capaldi's amazing acting).
  • The flashcards on proper behavior that Clara made were hilarious and cute.
  • That moment when they're trapped and the Doctor has to leave her says it all.  I loved how that scene mirrored the one Deep Breath.  In both situations, the Doctor left because he had to, and he's going to save Clara, but all the details show how their relationship has developed.  Clara now trusts him and knows he won't abandon her.  The Doctor now wears his heart on his sleeve, but is still as brilliant and focused on the task at hand as ever.

I'm looking forward to next week and seeing how the dead ghost Doctor situation works out.  Toby Whithouse has written several episodes for the reboot, including The Vampires of Venice and School Reunion, but this two parter could be my favorite of his contributions to Doctor Who yet.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Witch's Familiar - discussion two days after

Well I'm sold.  The Witch's Familiar was brilliant and made me realize my doubts about The Magician's Apprentice was due to being out of practice watching two parters.  Now I will gush about all the things I loved this episode.  Beware, there may be some divisive comments, but that's the great thing about the world of Who - we can discuss and debate at length, but in the end, we all still love it.

On the matter of Missy
I mentioned it briefly last week, but this week it was even more prominent - the chemistry between Missy and Clara was remarkable.  The give and take, the camaraderie and hatred.  From the moment Clara was upside down, through their walk back to the compound, until Clara being stuck in a Dalek (for the third time!).  You could feel the history between them, even though they haven't had much screen time together.  It also helps that Michelle Gomez and Jenna Coleman are brilliant actors.

Which brings me to potential controversial point number 1 - the Master becoming the Mistress.  When the reveal first happened last series, I was a bit upset.  Up until that point, I loved the character, Missy.  She was mysterious and crazy and colorful.  I wanted to see more of her.  But when I found out she was the Master, I thought, "Why?"

I am a strong believer that there needs to be more prominent and interesting female roles in television and film.  I wonder why there aren't more of those roles being created and written.  Taking an existing male role and casting a woman in it is not the solution to changing the industry.  It's like trying to put an ineffective band-aid on the problem.  I could go on at length about this topic, but I'll stop there and bring it back to Doctor Who.  So I wondered, why couldn't Missy just be a fantastic character that they cast as a woman?  Why did they have to muddle her brilliance with the gender controversy?  (Of course it's because they were testing out the gender change to see how changing the Doctor's gender in the future might go.)

Well, with Michelle Gomez's wonderful acting, seeing how the Master/Doctor history and dynamic is being incorporated into the past few stories, and the chemistry between Missy and Clara, I am convinced.  It doesn't matter if the Master, the companion, or the Doctor are male or female, as long as the writing, acting, and chemistry all work, just like with all productions.

On the subject of sunglasses
Oh I loved that moment!  I'm not even going to apologize or try to downplay it, even though it could be controversial point number 2.  First, the sunglasses really suit the Doctor's look and energy for this series.  Second, it was so fun seeing them bring the TARDIS back together and making the connection back to why the Doctor was so touchy about Davros touching them (it wasn't just another funny joke or 12th Doctorism!).  Third, I think it's great for the 12th Doctor to have his own sonic device, different from 11.  Yes, I know the screwdriver has been a key component of the reboot.  It got them out of an unlocked wooden door in The Day of the Doctor after all.  But it's not like how the Doctor approaches problems will change.  And it's not the TARDIS changing.  I'm excited to see how the sunglasses come into play in future episodes.  I love them so much, I made another shirt in honor of the sonic sunglasses.

For those who want their own pair, the 12th Doctor's sonic sunglasses seem to look like Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

On the development of Davros
Last week I wasn't sure if a Davros story was too intense a way to start the series, because I had no idea what might be coming, but the way it played out was perfect.  Steven Moffat is sometimes criticized for making his story lines too complicated and not giving the audience enough of a break between complicated twists.  Personally, I love things that are complicated, but I can understand wanting a bit of a break sometimes.  I may not be the right person to judge, but it felt like this two parter had just the right amount of complication for both people that like and don't like it.

When the Doctor was going to give his regeneration energy, I was thinking, "What's happening?  This is so obviously a trap.  It's completely out of character for the Doctor not to see that.  There's an error in Moffat's writing!"  But then I learned that I was the idiot, not the Doctor, because how did I not see that of course the Doctor knew it was a trap and he meant to fall for it?!?  After watching so much Doctor Who, how did I fall for that?  But I guess it's good I still fall for things because it's more fun that way.

Speaking of complicated and multi-episode story lines.  What do you think the setup of the Missy-Dalek situation will bring?

I both can't wait for more episodes and don't want them to come because it means the end of the series is getting closer.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Magician's Apprentice - discussion the day after

Series 9 has started, and the dust of the first episode has settled a bit.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about yesterday's episode, so I'll just put down my various thoughts.  Let me know what you thought of The Magician's Apprentice.

The opening - very intriguing and I loved the feel of it.  Steven Moffat also gave us some more great Doctor lines that we can quote over and over again.  I even made some t-shirts out of them.  Check it out!

When the child said his name, it was definitely a great *gasp* moment, but then I wondered, "Am I really in the mood for such an iconic enemy and likely heavy story right at the start of the series?"

Clara and Missy were brilliant.  They had just the right balance of their personalities, and you can really see Clara fulfilling her potential.  It will be so sad to see her go.

The Doctor and his axe - I wish I could see Peter Capaldi and Craig Ferguson in their punk band!  That whole "about to die" behavior was fun.  And another touching moment with Clara.  The chemistry between Clara and the 12th Doctor just gets better and better.

This whole episode, the Doctor was incredibly emotional, as he should be given the situation he was facing.  It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love emotional Doctor.  I don't want it all the time, but the once-in-a-blue-moon emotional outbursts (especially with the 12th Doctor) are such a treat and really get you in the gut.

The ending is where things get a little wibbly-wobbly for me.  I'm not saying there was anything wrong with it.  Part of me felt it was great, but another part of me felt like something was off.  I think I was thrown when I looked at the time and noticed the episode was almost over, when I felt like it had just started, and not in the "I'm enjoying myself so much that time flew by" way.

At no point did I feel the story was slow, but in terms of what was happening to Clara, the Doctor, and Missy, it felt like the "set up and developing phase" of the story, not at the "10 minutes left in the episode" point.  That unexpected realization could have been due to being out of practice watching two parters.  Or maybe it's because the reboot has never started with a two parter before.  Again, it's like the question I had at the beginning of the episode, "Am I in the mood for this at the start of the series?"

Then there's the question of how the Doctor got back to the child.  It will probably be answered in the next episode, so I'm not too worried about that - as long as it doesn't turn out to be something stupid like a dream.

Anyway, I guess I felt the episode was fine, and it has potential depending on what happens next week.  But usually when I have to mull over an episode, it doesn't turn out to be one of my favorites.  I had a definite reaction to every episode last series, so I'm just a little unsettled that I'm not quite sure about this one.

What do you think?  Oh and also feel free to comment on my shirt ideas (see my storefront at  This was my first go and I'm hoping to make more in the future and will try to incorporate your opinions.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Another post to share . . .

Here's another post from Little Things of Bliss.  I've read The Writer's Tale myself, and it's an amazing book.  It's such a wonderful feeling when you read Russell T. Davies' thoughts and make the connection to something that we all loved on screen (oh the Doctor Donna!).

Original Post Title: A tale of The Writer's Tale
Original Post Date: Friday, September 18, 2015

Lately, I haven't been posting as frequently as I'd like to on this blog.  I've been a bit busy with other things, and to be honest, when I don't have to be doing something else, I've been reading The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter.

I definitely wasn't planning to write another Doctor Who-themed post, but I've become slightly addicted to this book.  And season 9 of the show is starting tomorrow (!), so maybe I'll allow myself this indulgence?

The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter is a book that features email correspondence between Russell T. Davies, the Doctor Who showrunner for seasons 1-4 of the rebooted version, and journalist Ben Cook.  The correspondence takes place while RTD is writing and running season 4 of Doctor Who, and it gives very honest and candid insight into his writing process, what happens behind the scenes of a highly successful and much loved TV show, and the truth of how the show's stories and characters went from an idea to our TV screen.

For those of you not familiar with the TV show, I give a rough overview of it in my previous Doctor Who post.  I would recommend watching the show that was rebooted in 2005 (at least season 4) before reading this book, since it references those episodes, and it will allow you to get the most insight and enjoyment from reading it.  Also, there are spoilers about Doctor Who seasons 1-4 and another show, Torchwood in this book.  If you don't plan on watching the show but are interested in writing and TV show production, Amazon lets you "look inside" to see a bit of the book so you can decide if you'll enjoy it without being familiar with the show.

For anyone that has already seen the show and is a fan, you will love this book.  Did you know the 10th Doctor's last companion was almost going to be someone else?  You learn how it all changed. Some episodes were originally going to be completely different than what was aired, and some characters were going to be played by different actors.  You can read the early stages of scripts and ideas that were never brought to life.  For those that love gossip, you'll also see the seemingly mundane moment that gave RTD the idea to give the 10th Doctor a daughter, which eventually led to a real-life marriage.

This book is fun to read and insightful and let's me re-live the RTD years of Doctor Who.  I've never really enjoyed reading non-fiction books, but I'm actually enjoying this one more than some fiction books.  Frankly, I can't believe I put it down to write this blog post.

The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter is available on Amazon, Kindle, and iBooks.  (Right now the Kindle and iBooks formats of the book are only $4.99!)

In the meantime . . . sharing a post

While I'm still getting set up, I'll post a couple blog entries from our friend Little Things of Bliss.  Many thanks for the permission to repost on my site.

Original Post Title: Doctor Who?
Original Post Date: Friday, September 4, 2015

In 15 days, a show that has been airing for 52 years (ignoring a brief break in the 90s) returns to our screens.  Yet another recent discovery for me due to mini marathons on BBC America.  Any British person will know I'm speaking of Doctor Who, but since the show relaunched in 2005, it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Doctor Who is classified as a sci-fi show, although due to the nature of the show, it can be a drama, comedy, romance, thriller, action adventure, period piece, mystery, western, and any other genre that exists.  This range is due largely to the main character, an alien called The Doctor, and his time machine, the TARDIS, that can travel through all of space and time.

It's a bit difficult to describe - "timey-wimey," if you will.  But here goes. There is a non-Earth being, who's called The Doctor (not Doctor Who).  He happens to look human, but he is actually a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.  He has a time machine that looks like a 1960s London police box on the outside, but it's much bigger on the inside.  This time machine is called the TARDIS, which stands for "time and relative dimension in space."  Using the TARDIS, he can travel to anywhere in the universe and any time past or future.  He usually has a traveling companion, often a human.  They go on adventures that seem to always turn into them saving someone, a planet, or humanity.

How has this show been in existence since 1963?  Another core part of the show that provides flexibility - the Doctor is not human.  His species happens to have the ability to regenerate when they are about to die.  They just happen to change the way they look when they regenerate.  To date, the Doctor has had 12 different faces (and been played by 12 different actors).

Doctor Who is incredibly well-written and very well-acted.  These days, the special effects are quite impressive, especially considering the budget of the show.  The show is family friendly, although similar to Harry Potter, there have been some bits that would be scary even for adults.

Many people say, if you're new to the series, you should start by watching the episode Blink.  The odd thing is the Doctor isn't very central to that episode, but it is a self-contained story that deals with monsters and time travel, so it is a good way to get familiar with how the series works and feels without needing any background information.  Some other good ones could be The Girl in the Fireplace, Voyage of the Damned, The Fires of Pompeii, A Christmas Carol, and Vincent and the Doctor.  You can purchase single episodes on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes to see if you like it before committing to the whole series.  iTunes also gives you a 30 second preview clip of each episode.

I actually started with a complicated two-parter (Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead), and I was still able to catch on and fall in love with the show, so it doesn't matter too much how you start - just start.

Welcome Whovians (and soon to be Whovians)!

Hello sweetie . . . It's quite exciting - today's the day Series 9 of Doctor Who starts on our screens!  What a perfect day to launch this site.  Thank you for visiting, and stay tuned for lots of Doctor Who talk and fun.