Viewing posts tagged capaldi

Mummy on the Orient Express Review

Right. Haven’t even looked at Twitter or e-mail, because they’re both slightly overwhelming, but GallifreyBase, well after both UK and US airings, is 82.66% in the 8-10 range, with 9 being the most popular pick, so this is apparently a popular one. To me, it is, in many regards, something of a baseline episode. It’s not a season highlight, largely because nothing in it ever soars to outright greatness. But it keeps things lively and never screws up. It’s the sort of episode that’s why I ultimately opted against letter grades - because any season of television is going to have a few like this.

What’s interesting to me, though, is that there’s been virtually nothing this season that seems to set out to be baseline. There are things that work better than others, but everything has at least tried to do something new. The only episode you can really accuse of trying to be ultra-traditional is Robot of Sherwood, and it came early enough in the running order that it was innovative ...

Kill the Moon Review

This review is brought to you by 166 lovely people at Patreon. If you would like to join them in supporting these reviews, please do.

Let’s try something different. 

Let’s write this flat-out, without any reference to GallifreyBase, to second watchings, to anything. I have opened up the laptop the moment I finished it, and I am writing first impressions, as an honest, open review. I’ve not looked at Twitter reaction. I’ve not looked at comments. I am making an honest stab at staking out a critical position without any lens of history whatsoever. Because I don't really care. I don't want to contexualize this in the immediate critical reaction. I want to charge out all guns blazing and make a point, fully cognizant of the risk that I might turn out to be in a lunatic minority. 

This was the single best episode of Doctor Who ever.

I am using that sentence with perhaps an odd degree of precision. It is better at being Doctor Who than any previous episode, given that so much of what makes it work is that it is an episode of Doctor Who. It is unapologetic ...

The Caretaker Review

So, since it seems to be the standard opening rhythm for these things, twenty minutes past transmission we’re at 59.7% at 8-10, with 8 being the most popular pick at 29.25%. Thread titles include "this years arc sucks," "A thing! again," "Clara's skirt!," and "Peter C was on fire tonight," which, really, seems so utterly standard it's hard to draw any conclusions. Twitter seems positive. For my part, I liked this a lot, although it definitely took the second viewing for me to really grok it, because I was busy being surprised by its tone on the first pass. I suspect it will watch much more smoothly to people who weren’t foolish (or fannish) enough to have expectations, however.

Ah, yes. Expectations. You know what, let’s take stock of where we are. First episode of autumn proper, halfway point of the season. It’s a good time for taking stock. 

In the UK, it’s well past night-time, to the point where this review is posting after people are largely gone to ...

Time Heist Review

This review was brought to you by 155 backers on Patreon. If you like it, please consider joining them - the campaign is just $5.25 in pledges away from giving every backer free copies of my first three books.

Right, so, circumstances mean I can get this review up very quickly, and I’m taking the temperature of the fans who rated it on GallifreyBase within ten minutes of it airing. Two hundred and sixty-one raters, 55.55% of which are rating 8-10. Another 22.22% at a 7. About an hour later, and it’s still running right around there. For comparison, that puts it roughly in line with where the polls on Journey to the Center of the TARDIS and The Bells of St. John settled down, which suggests this one is going to be somewhat harshly remembered (although Rings of Akhaten got something more like 35% 8-10, so it’s merely a rough ride, not a drubbing). I politely disagree - I rather liked it. Although I can see the faults, on the whole, they were not unduly distracting for me. 

Still, it’s notable that this is by one of the less popular recurring writers. If ...

Fear Makes Companions Of Us All (Listen)

Thanks to the 153 backers at Patreon who made this review possible. If you enjoyed it, please consider joining them in their support for the project
The best cosplay I've ever seen at a convention was a gender-
swapped Link and Navi in which Link led her partner around
on a leash, having scrawled "no you listen" on his chest.
It’s September 13th, 2014. Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz are at number one with “Prayer in C,” while Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, and Script also chart. In news, Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide, the US has been finding a new way to announce that it’s at war with ISIS, and it’s down to the wire with the Scottish Independence referendum, although really, we should save that for next essay.
While on television, Doctor Who does Listen. At the moment, and I’m writing this paragraph about ninety minutes after transmission, this seems set at near universal praise. 85% rating it an 8-10 on GallifreyBase, with a staggering 42.6% giving it a ten out of ten. The immediate post-episode reviews all seem to love it. Blog and Twitter comments are raving, although people who ...

Robot of Sherwood Review

This review exists because of the generous support of 149 backers at Patreon. Please consider becoming the 150th. Or 151st, or whatever, if someone beat you to it. In any case, you can contribute here. Also, a second reminder that once the comments section gets a certain length, displaying all comments requires you to hunt and click the "load more" link. It's right above the ad at the bottom of the page.

Right. Top-line assessment is that this one's a bit more polarizing than the last two, which seemed to be widely liked with an inevitable pool of detractors. The first comment on the episode to come through declared it to basically be the worst thing ever, and GallifreyBase currently has it at 55.48% in the 8-10 range. Which is on the whole still pretty good, but clearly the most mixed reception of the season to date.

For my part... well, look, this was never going to be my favorite episode. I'm not a huge fan of Gatiss, the celebrity historical is not my favorite Doctor Who subgenre, and I've seen enough Doctor Who at this point in my life that the business as usual ...

Into the Dalek Review

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There is a certain perspective from which, going in, this looked like the most cynical thing imaginable. Since every Doctor requires a Dalek story, they get it out of the way up front, treating it as something to get over with instead of something to anticipate. Accordingly, you take the Daleks and an unapologetically high concept premise and basically give Capaldi a second episode of having lots of other stuff going on to cover as he beds into the role. And with Gatiss having finally cracked the problem of how to pander to the sorts of fans who want a return to the classic series without losing the other 100% of the audience last season with Cold War, an unabashedly straightforward "just like you imagine Doctor Who being" episode becomes the order of the day. Fair enough, but equally, the sort of episode that a segment of fandom (by which I really just mean myself) looks at and (along with next week) goes "well, at least there's a proper Moffat episode coming on the 13th ...

Deep Breath Review

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If anyone cares, the number one single is Nico and Vinz's "Am I Wrong."

Let's work from Cardiff, shall we? It's a late summer day, with the temperature peaking at 16 degrees, and not really moving far off of that. The episode starts at 7:50, a carefully chosen timeslot that sits ten minutes before even the earliest of childrens' bedtimes, making it nearly impossible to keep them from watching. Twenty-nine minutes in, just as the Doctor is realizing that he's Scottish and the story finally starts to bother with the plot, the sun sets. (In London, it's twelve minutes earlier, just as Clara is seeing through Vastara's veil and the Doctor is climbing up on the rooftops.) Fifteen minutes from the end, as the Doctor asks the cyborg what he thinks of the view, civil twilight gives way to nautical twilight. (In London, it's right as Clara passes out because she can't hold her breath anymore.) US transmission skews later - I'm typing this bit ...

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