Tag Archives: TARDIS

“Doctor Who – The Bells of Saint John” review

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“I’ve never seen a Jammie Dodger so scrumptiously perfect”

It usually takes me a couple of viewings to make my mind up about the episode which heralds the return of “Doctor Who” and I suspect that “The Bells of Saint John” is no exception.

For some reason – wanting to ease the wider audience back into the rhythms of the show, to introduce new characters, to just have fun with the premise – it always seems to me as if the opening salvo of each series is a little lighter and somehow less substantial than the episodes which come to follow.  Not that this is bad or ill-advised, per se, but I never quite feel that the Tardis is fully firing on all cylinders until episode two or three (Technically, of course, this is episode seven of series seven, so my misgivings shouldn’t apply).

The story dealt with a very contemporary fear – the extent to which technology enters our everyday lives and encroaches on our freedom via our inability to deal with it, which is a notion that I’m sure strikes a rueful note for any brave soul ever charged with the dire responsibility of providing technical support for computer-averse friends and family.  The villain of the piece this time utilised dear old endlessly useful wireless internet signals and used them to…do nefarious stuff.

I’ll not go deeply into spoilers, but the methodology of the Big Bad in this episode didn’t quite ring true for me on this first viewing – it smacked a bit of that notion ‘because…science?‘, which probably plays quite well with folks who view their modem and router as terrifying technology daemons which inhabit their living rooms and blink malevolently at them several times a second for no good reason.

The villain was, it may come as no surprise at all to you, hardly a match for The Doctor but the bad guy’s machinations did give Matt Smith‘s big kid in funky Edwardian clobber a chance to meet cute again with Clara – a charmingly sparky and energetic Jenna Louise Coleman – who we last saw in the Christmas special, having just died for the second time.

Clearly, her nature and repeated appearances in vastly different times and galactic locales will constitute an ongoing mystery and its to current “Who” show-runner and gigantic brainy overlord Steven Moffat‘s credit that you do want to know what her deal is and how she’ll come to affect the Doctor’s in the rest of the season.  I’ve read one theory to the effect that Clara constitutes a kind of Moorcockian ‘Eternal Companion’ and it would be interesting to know just what Moffat would do with that idea, were it to be an accurate assessment of just how the expiry-prone Clara fits into his master plan.

"Computers - how do they work?"

“Let me update my status…”

The story rattled along nicely, sure enough, but it didn’t seem to add up to much on first viewing – save for a last-minute appearance by a malevolent character we saw quite recently, albeit in somewhat different form than the last time that we encountered them (vague enough for you?), this was essentially stand-alone, monster-of-the-week stuff.   I suppose it’s daft to feel that the Doctor is ever really going to be truly challenged by the menaces he encounters, but this was somewhat a case of the Doctor waving his Sonic about, loudly asserting his intellectual dominion and then saving the day because he’s The Doctor and that’s his gig.  No real sense of the day not being saved – and so not much dramatic tension as a result.  First episode syndrome, and no mistake.

I don’t do ratings – meaningless things, be they numeric or arbitrary and letter-based – but if I did, I’d probably say this was a solid B-plus, perhaps an A-minus.    Extra marks for Clara rushing into the fray still carrying her cup of tea.  A nation salutes you, fine miss.

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Timey Wimey Bikey Likey?

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Doctor Who” returns on Saturday March 30th on BBC 1 with new adventure, “The Bells of St John”.  And boasts totally legit, motorcycle-surfing-down-the-side-of-a-skyscraper shenanigans to hopefully distract us all, momentarily, from Clara, The Question and other matters which monopolise the thought processes of Whovians large and small alike.

Just a few weeks to go, fellow fans of awesome Tardis-based nerdery…

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“Who” 50th Anniversary Special – 3D timey-wimey frenzy!

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“A 50″ LED TV costs HOW much?!”

Hmm…shiny.

The Doctor is celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this very year and the isn’t being shy and retiring about giving the Galloping Gallifreyan his due.

"It also plays 'Words With Friends'..."

“It also plays ‘Words With Friends’…”

Cue an monster-stuffed, action-packed anniversary special blow-out of an episode which is now to be broadcast – to those with suitable televisions from the space year 3000 – in 3D.  So, yay?

Word reaches us via The Guardian – as yet unconfirmed officially by those cards-close-to-the-chest BBC folks – that this special will also be shown in cinemas, though there’s no word yet as to the extent of the release, or whether this is a 2D-to-3D conversion or your actual, native 3D experience.  The prospect of cinematic “Who” goodness is quite enticing, though, isn’t it?

Your obligatory, contractually-stipulated Jenna-Louise pic.

Your obligatory, contractually stipulated Jenna-Louise pic.

Matt Smith‘s be-quiffed visage looming large and in three dimensions?  Souffle Girl winking at you from the stalls?  Classic “Who” Monsters running amok?

I have a love-hate relationship with 3D – on one end, the Cameron/Paul W.S. Anderson/”How To Train Your Dragon” end of the scale, on the other, goofy conversions which bring nothing to the party.  But – this?  This is something that I want to be good, and that I would love to see on the biggest screen possible.  Make it happen, cash-strapped, politically on the ropes, brilliant BBC!

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“Doctor Who” – Snowy Spoilers?

If you want to witness the new Tardis interior for yourself, without resorting to vaguely spoilerific images released by the BBC, you definitely shouldn’t click on this link to the SFX story on said topic.

There’s only five days to go, after all, and we’re largely patient adults more than capable of not spoiling our seasonal surprises, are we not?

Oh, Jingle Bells to it!

“The Doctor and Clara/Sitting in a tree…”

Have a look at the Doctor (Matt Smith) and new companion/Dalek hybrid/pan-dimensional woman of mystery Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) giving it major lip-lockage in the name of audience-baiting, out-of-continuity shenanigans for a turkey-stuffed festive audience.

See you on Christmas Day, Doctor, terrifying snowmen and all…

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12/19/2012 · 5:34 pm

“Asylum of the Daleks” airdate – sooner than you think…

 

I know what I’ll be doing on September 1st 2012 at 7:20pm…

Now that I’ve been Freshly Pressed – Thanks, nice WordPress editors – I get a hint of what it’s like to write for a blog like Kotaku or The Mary Sue.   People are reading me!   Quick – look busy!

In that spirit, I’m delighted by news from dear old Auntie Beeb today, which has confirmed that “Doctor Who” will be back on September 1st for viewers in the UK and US, with the first tranche of episodes finishing on September 29th.   The season picks up again in Spring 2013 – after the Christmas special, which introduces new companion Clara, played by Jenna Louise Coleman.

 

So, new “Who” quite soon, then not so much for a while, with seasonal “Who” filling the void until we’ve seen off the Winter and it’s time to start geeking out again in the spring.  I can get with that schedule and eagerly await what else will be shown next year to mark the good Gallifreyan’s special anniversary…

 

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Gingerbread+TARDIS = awesome

Finally, a festive sweet that I can get behind.

 

This was featured over at CRAFT’s website and I couldn’t resist it –  why not find out how to make the gingerbread TARDIS above at the makers website – its the perfect accompaniment to the Christmas special, wouldn’t you agree?

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