***THIS POST DISCUSSES THE MAGICIANS APPRENTICE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL***
Each year I say to myself I will keep a record or review each episode of Doctor Who and then something comes up or my procrastination comes into play and I never quite get around to it. This year, I am determined to do it. I am hoping that I’ll be able to get the reviews or thoughts out quicker than I have this week, but anyway, here are my thoughts on last Saturdays episode “The Magicians Apprentice”.
If I was to ask you what sprang to mind when I said the words “Doctor Who”, you, depending on which Doctor was “your” Doctor could possibly answer:
Bow-ties are cool!
Really Long Scarf’s!
Celery in the Lapel
It could be a list a mile long.
For me though it changes on a daily basis. I don’t really have a 100% firm MY Doctor… IF I am pinned down to just ONE, then it would probably have to be David Tennant. I found his performance to be everything I wanted from a Doctor, but to be honest, every Actor that has portrayed the great medic has something that the others just haven’t and makes them unique and MY Doctor whilst I am watching that story. (more…)
Something is off. If I was quoting Shakespeare, I’d say there was something rotten in Denmark. The problems is is it’s closer to home. It’s within me. You see, I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for Doctor Who.
I am a sucker for Doctor Who. There is no such thing as “Bad Who” but rather varying degrees of “Great Who”. I really have no idea where things started to go wrong, but I have been having more and more criticisms of the latest batch of shows. Not just the 3 that have been on since Easter, but pretty much since the middle of series 6. It’s just not engaging with me anymore.
When Steven Moffat took over the show I was cautiously excited by the fact that the shows strongest guest writer would be taking the helm and taking the show forward into new territory. To a degree he did just that. He introduced us to Amy Pond and the world she had created around her brief one night with her “Raggedy Doctor”. That was a genius stroke. He created a world that would unfold over the next series. For the most part Series 5 was great. A new Doctor A New Companion.. hell a new everything. The only problem was he dragged out the unveiling of the new world over to Series 6. There was no resolution at the end of Series 5… just more questions left to be answered. To a certain extent there are still NOW (series 7b) questions left unanswered (The Silence and the Fields of Trenzalore).
When, at the end of the Series 4 specials, RTD left the show everyone was screaming HALLELUJAH. Time for more story based shows over the glitz and glamour that RTD favoured. To me, what a lot of people in fandom didn’t quite comprehend is the RTD had shepherded the show through a rebirth and stellar rise to THE flagship show on the BBC. He had taken a great actor in David Tennant and made his a global superstar. It was RTD would gave Moffat the base that he could take the show down a totally different avenue and have no fears that it would fall flat on it’s butt. Yes, it is my contention that Steven Moffat is still riding on the good graces and incredible street buzz that RTD generated up to his tenure ending.
In these recent episodes there is an earthy, gritty and hard boiled style to the show. It’s not letting up. People who faithfully watch and have watched each week are tired of waiting for the big pay off. So much has been promised and only half answers have been given. I for one am sick of being teased with only half a story.
Looking at the most recent three stories (Series 7b), all three have underwhelmed me. The big monster this week, the Ice Warriors, was a great episode, but it just didn’t lead anywhere. Self contained episodes are great and I think we need more of them, but we as an intelligent viewership KNOWS there is a story that is not being told, one that is being held over to make a big bang at the end of series 7b to lead into the 50th anniversary show in November. I think Mr Moffat has forgotten about the here and now. Looking at my Facebook news feed after the episode tonight, it was obvious that people were unhappy. In what should have been a highlight of the series, it just didn’t quite make the grade. Admittedly, most comments were saying that it was the best of the current half series, but still very weak.
At the start of Series 7a and the Asylum of the Daleks, I was blown away. It was original and it took the narrative to a new place. It had that curve ball thrown in of Clara being inside the Dalek. It was great TV and it was (in my opinion) GREAT Doctor Who. I was again optimistic. I was excited. It didn’t last, the next week was a disappointment and we are left thinking.it’ll get better… it will improve, but for me, it didn’t.
I do realise that if you are still reading this you are thinking I am a whiner. Honest I am not. I stand by my original statement, “There is NO bad Who”. I am still sat in front of my TV when it first airs on Terrestrial TV. I buy the DVD’s when they come out. I have a shelf full of Toys. I wouldn’t (couldn’t) abandon Doctor Who, but Doctor Who really has to up its game and prove that there is a really worthwhile pay-off for all this teasing.
Steven Moffat is the writer of my all time favourite episode of Doctor Who (The Girl In The Fireplace). I think he is one amazing writer. Sherlock is high on my favourite show list (despite only having 6 episodes in it’s canon). Moffat was the obvious choice to take over from RTD, in hindsight, the obvious choice wasn’t the right one. I think I would have been more happy with having a couple of Girl In The Fireplace/Blink style episodes per season from him than having him stretched so thin whilst show running Doctor Who AND Sherlock.
It’s been a so so weekend, with notable highlights here and there. The weather has started to pick up and the heat is going up… I hate the summer and dread the temps going up. But Linda and I decided to air out the cobwebs and get some spring cleaning done. We chose the living room and it’s amazing how much junk two people can accumulate over a short period of time. But now it’s done (well nearly done) it feels better and a lot roomier.
Saturday night was eventfull. Dr Who gave us the classic episode Dalek. It was everything I expected from the lead up and the hype given to this episode. I should probably state that I enjoy Dr Who a great deal and I do try and keep up on the latest news but I am not a fanatic about it… I just have an uncanny knack of remembering stupid stuff so I look like a nerd. It’s the same with all things I enjoy. I suppose if I set my mind to it I could become an expert on something, I just don’t have the enthusiasm to set my mind to it.
But anywho, back to Who. The story (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it) takes you on an emotional roller coaster and turns what you think you know on it’s head and back again. Of course the ending leaves a lot of questions and other possibilities to the imagination. All I will say is that .. It Can Fly and it looks cool doing it 👿 . Each week I become more and more impressed with Billie Pipers acting abilities. It’s a shame that Christopher Ecclestone is leaving at the end of the series, but Dr Who is bigger than just the actor playing the Doctor.. kinda like the TARDIS.. it’s bigger on the inside… deep thought (yeah I am watching the BBC version of HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy 🙄 )
So yeah.. Dr Who rocked and rolled, it had me buzzing up til bed time. Up until around 02.54 this morning when I was awoken by almighty flashes in the sky. I laid there in bed wondering if the aliens had finally come to take me away when I got up the gumption to go and open the curtain and take a peek at what was occuring.
For the next 30 minutes I sat and watched the biggest Thunder and Lightening storm I had seen in this country in many years. This shit was overhead for the WHOLE time. even though the wind was up there a bit, it didn’t move. Forked lightening going across the sky and never seeming to hit the ground. It was quite special. I called Mum just after 3am to wake her up to watch the fun… she was already awake (no suprise there really.. she loves a good storm)
That pretty much caps the weekend off. A notable mention should go to BBC4’s coverage of Eric Claptons 60th birthday with a whole night devoted to him… some great music on show and I haven’t really stipped listening to the blues since…. ahhh bless the good old BBC… Dr Who and The Blues in one weekend… heaven.
It’s been announced this morning (why on a Saturday morning I have no freaking clue but there ya go) that the new Doctor Who will be David Tennant .
I’ll be honest, I haven’t really seen that much of Tennants work. I caught a couple of episodes of Blackpool and I saw some of the Quatermass live show he did a couple of weeks back, I can’t say he stood out too me but if it’s any consolation I knew who he was without having to google for him.
I am really enjoying Christopher Ecclestones Dr at the moment and Billie Piper is the stand out for me. I was a little wary of her acting chops having not seen her in anything before, but she is really helping in a BIG way to carry this show and keep it real for todays audience. I am glad she will be sticking around after Christmas.
Oh well that’s it from me this early in the bloody morning.. ok it’s nearly 11, but I have only been up an hour and I want my bed back 🙂
I mean what’s the damn world coming to when Dr Who only lasts one series. Surely the BBC dropped a clanger when Mr Ecclestones contract was originally drawn up. Who (no pun intended) signs up an actor to do JUST one series. It’s a no brainer.
Oh well at least the kids will get to see a regeneration scene… they will be able to feel the hype around it… I hope the beeb keep it a secret between now and then.