Category: Doctor Who

There’s a madman in a blue box, and he’s coming to take you away to see the stars.

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Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in the Series 9 episode 'Under the Lake'

Throwback Thursday — Doctor Who: Under the Lake + Before the Flood

Previously on Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar.

In this two-parter opened by Toby Whithouse, we see a bit of a reset — this is, in essence, the first proper adventure after everything that’s happened. After Clara said goodbye for the first time, after Danny’s first death and then his second. Being abducted to Skaro doesn’t really count because, well, it wasn’t the Doctor that called, it was UNIT. So this is the first we see of Clara and the Doctor on the road again, wherever they went at the end of Last Christmas notwithstanding.

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Jenna Coleman, Peter Capaldi, and Nick Frost star in Last Christmas (2014)

Throwback Thursday—Doctor Who: Last Christmas (2014)

Previously on Doctor Who: Death in Heaven.

Life — you know, that thing that happens when the Doctor’s not there to fix it. I had my own bit of Life in 2015, and it wasn’t going so well. Hence, I scaled back my usual blogging activity and treaded the Whoniverse more or less incognito. But now, it’s 2016, it’s a fresh start, and I do still love this idiot travelling in a box. So I’ll use the good old tradition of Throwback Thursdays to blog about Series 9, Clara’s exit, and Peter Capaldi’s second year as the Doctor.

In this case, I know I am horribly late to the party, but do indulge me — we’re travelling back to 2014, and Peter and Jenna’s first Christmas Special together. Last Christmas. Speaking as a plot detective, one might also call it The Curious Case of Suspending Disbelief for Strange Men Distributing Gifts.

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Doctor Who: Death in Heaven

Doctor Who: the Complete Series 8 Finale.

Previously on Doctor WhoFlatline.

Prologue

Due to Comic Con and work stuff, my viewing schedule has been messed about a little — and although Doctor Who is obviously coded for weekly viewing including seven days of dread before the next episode comes along, I’ll be binge-watching and reviewing the last three episodes of Series 8 in one go. From what spoilers I couldn’t really escape, looks like it’ll wreck most of my nerves whilst saving me getting upset about a few things, too.

Good luck.

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The aliens of 'Flatline.'

“Goodness had nothing to do with it.” — Doctor Who: Flatline.

Previously on Doctor WhoThe Mummy on the Orient Express.

What I like about this series of Doctor Who is that it doesn’t make everything alright. Things are allowed to not be ok, people are allowed to not be ok. “It’s ok,” could so often have been the tagline to the denouement of the week, but not this time. Not with this Doctor. What I love even more is that this time, they truly used the Doctor-lite episode to give Clara/Jenna exemplary material to work with, and she did, even more excellently than in Kill the Moon, and that was challenging already.

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The Mummy on the Orient Express

Doctor Who: The Mummy on the Orient Express.

Previously on Doctor WhoKill the Moon.

This episode affords us one of the luxuries of time travel: the recreation of period dress, set, and costume design — in the future, in space, making it feel endearingly fallen out of time. Donna went ‘flapper or slapper’ in Agatha Christie’s own time, now Clara is stepping onto the Orient Express. A marvel in its own right, of course, but also indelibly connected to, again, Christie. And we’re dealing with murder here, too — except that the perpetrator hails from a different world entirely.

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Doctor Who: The Caretaker.

Doctor Who The Caretaker promo

Previously on Doctor Who: Time Heist.

Really, Doctor Who, really?

There’s a fine line between the Doctor acting as gatekeeper to Clara’s love life and just being concerned for her wellfare and Clara herself wanting the Doctor to like her boyfriend simply because people like it when their friends and their significant others get along. This episode is dangerously skirting that line and, frankly, introducing an Eleventh Doctor Doppelgänger and letting the Doctor believe that he is the SO, then leading to instant approval… is not the way to go. At best, it’s a really, really flat joke.

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The Doctor in Time Heist.

“There you go. Thing time.” — Doctor Who: Time Heist.

Previously on Doctor Who: Listen.

The Doctor goes classic hustle in this outer space adventure. Doctor Who has always brushed up against other genres and subgenres, and there’s been plenty of breaking and entering, but in new-Who, this is a first, and it’s clear that writers, directors, and costume and set designers alike relished the opportunity to evoke some of the coolest moments of breaking the bank in film and on television.

Let’s go rob the bank of Karabraxos.

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Impossible Heroes — Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood

Previously on Doctor Who: Into the Dalek.

Robot of Sherwood is a romp, a sassfest, and in the line-up of recent new-Who episodes, perhaps a bit of an odd duck reaching back to the Doctor meeting funny folk from history and fiction in the olden days. The only thing we’re missing, perhaps, is the lizard. Wasn’t there supposed to be a lizard? (→ Blink)

In summary: I’ve just seen the Doctor flip Robin Hood the bird, I don’t care what else happens this weekend.