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Doctor Selfie: The Revenge

We had a lot of ace Who things to celebrate in 2014, but surely nowt better than this:

ENJOY

“Thanks for agreeing to the selfie, say Cheese! And don’t look like you want to murder everyone!”

selfie

 

(That’s not me by the way, I’m almost certainly a man of some sort)

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Doctor Dress-Up

Sash

It seems like the Doc is rather fond of a bit of the old dress-up, switching up his clobber more often than you might think. It’s something that @SashDoesDoodles has certainly noticed, and she’s knocked up these rather spiffy cartoons to illustrate the fact:
Ten CLothes

Eleven Clothes

twelve clothes

Lovely, ain’t they? HMMM..???

They’re available to buy, along with a bunch of other Who stuff Sash has scribbled, over at her Etsy store, or why not visit her Tumblr thingy: sashdoesdoodles.tumblr.com

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5 Underrated Matt Smith Era Stories

ElevenInShadowsTDODT

Matt Smith leaves behind him three series (and a bit) worth of televised adventures. There are several justly celebrated stories nestled in his era: people love ‘The Doctor’s Wife’, they foam at the mouth over ‘The Eleventh Hour’, and they positively fall down and have a joy-fit when ‘The Day of the Doctor’ is mentioned; but what about some of his other stories? The stragglers? The forgotten? Or even the downright despised? Here’s my little list of 5 underrated Matt Smith stories:

Beast Below

The Beast Below

It came hot on the heels of ‘The Eleventh Hour’, perhaps the greatest first episode for a new Doctor ever and, for me, an all time classic.  Beast is seen by many, Moffat himself included, as something of a stumble. Now look, I’m not saying it’s perfect, I know there are several things that just don’t seem to make any sort of sense, but there’s something about this story that just does ‘it’ for me. And it’s also completely INSANE. A whole city, riding on the back of a giant space whale? That is proper bonkers, but it works.

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Victory of the Daleks

Hey, stop throwing that garbage at me and hear me out, damn it!

And so the stumble continued. Apparently. Episode three of the Moffat era, and we get to ‘Victory of the Daleks’, an episode that has had the vitriol of many a fan spewed its way. I think that’s very unfair, and a great deal of it can be boiled down to ‘Don’t like new Power Ranger Daleks, WAH!’. Personally, I don’t mind the bright colours; they’re bold and visually interesting; it’s the hunchback that riles me. ANYWAY. This has a lot to enjoy; Daleks serving tea – the Doctors rage as he beats one of the Ironsides with a massive spanner thingy –  Spitfires! In Space! Attacking a flying saucer! – The Doctor facing down his deadliest foes with a Jammy bloomin’ Dodger!

It’s not perfect. There are things wrong with it. It really feels like it should have been a two parter. But come on, there’s plenty to love in there.

DoctorWhoNightTerrorsPromo14

Night Terrors

Another Gatiss episode. This is one of those stories that just seems to slip people’s minds completely. I remember at the time it received flak for not addressing the whole River-is-Amy’s-daughter hub-bub that just immediately preceded it, but I think it’s unfair to judge this episode solely on that. For one thing, it wasn’t even supposed to be at this point in the series, it swapped places with ‘Curse of the Black Spot’. I think if it had gone out in its originally intended slot, it would be looked upon much more fondly. That aside, it’s a wonderfully small and atmospheric tale; with Smith’s way with children at the forefront not for the first, or last, time. And those Dolls, they’re just damn freaky, okay? Time for a reappraisal, yes?

doctor-who-hitler

Let’s Kill Hitler

FUN. Come on, grouch; this one is a riot, with River Song, BOTH River Song’s, just ripping up the screen. I can understand why this annoyed some, it’s a case of foiled expectations. After the epic ‘A Good Man Goes To War’  and its revelations about the Pond baby, I think the last thing most of us expected was for it to be followed up by such a bizarre, funny episode. This is Moffat all over, zigging in the second part when you expect him to zag. Or something. And it’s why it’s so often looked down upon; a fan with expectations unmet is an arsey son-of-a-sod.

‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ is Moffat just pressing the joy button again and again. AND RORY PUNCHES HITLER.

The_time_of_the_doctor_regeneration_energy

The Time of the Doctor

YEAH. THAT’S RIGHT. This one received a lot of noisy hate when it aired, and it’s easy to see why. The expectation was sky-high, not only was it arriving hot on the heels of the hugely successful ‘The Day of the Doctor’, but it was Matt Smith’s finale. Moffat being Moffat, he didn’t write a straight-forward regeneration ep, but something a little more left-field, giving us something a bit unexpected. Even I wasn’t entirely sure on first watch, I came away a little dissatisfied, but on subsequent re-watches I discovered something wonderful: IT’S AMAZING. Yes, it needed to be longer to have more time to breathe, Moffat really did try to cram as much in as possible, but for large stretches it’s a simply magical journey and a beautiful send-off for one of my favourite Doctor’s; and since when does an episode have to be perfect to be awesome? Watch it again, maybe you’ll see it too.

So what do you think? And have I missed any that deserve a place on the list?

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Interview: Andrew Smith

Doctor Who Thing

Andrew SmithAndrew Smith is better than you, okay? Let’s just get that out of the way right now. This guy has written words that Tom Baker has spoken on screen. In Doctor Who. What THE HELL have you done that could EVEN compare? Yeah, EXACTLY. Compared to Andrew Smith you’re, at best, on a par with that thick mucus I sometimes cough up in the morning (I do not enjoy a healthy diet).

Andrew Smith wrote ‘Full Circle’ for Tom Baker’s final season, and can still be found writing Who-Stuff (and beyond) for Big Finish. Here he is being a gent and flapping his gums about Who:

2 & JamieWhen did Doctor Who first enter your Mind Palace and set up home?

The show started a year and a bit after I was born, but my first memories are of watching Patrick Troughton and Fraser Hines up against the Cybermen, Yeti and Quarks. …

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Last Christmas

Doctor_Who_Last_Christmas_review

YES MOFFAT, go on my son.

Not only was this one of the finest Crimbo specials, but it was also one of the best Capaldi episodes so far. I’d go as far as to say it enters the pantheon of Moffat classics. YAS. It can now make friends with ‘Listen’, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, ‘Blink’ and all the others. Bessie mates.

This wasn’t just a stand alone special, it was really the topper for all of season 8, a culmination of the character journeys we’ve been taken on this year. It was the Doctor and Clara dealing with the lies they told and where it left them, with Clara accepting what has happened and moving on, the Doctor mellowing to show more human emotion and even unbridled joy. Oh, I’m sure he’s still going to be rude and acerbic, but it’s clear this version of the Doctor has also turned a corner.

So yeah, by gum that was a lovely special, now let’s take a quick gallop through some of the highs and lows:

YAY!

Okay, I’ll admit it, when Santa turned up at the end of season 8, I CLENCHED. Well consider me now to be as loose as a goose. Nick Frost was brilliant in the part, his offhand matter-of-factness was perfect. And the explanation behind Santa worked wonderfully and helped elevate the episode further.

Shona dancing to Slade through the scary-ass room full of monsters. What an awesome, funny, spooky scene.

IN FACT: Shona. Just Shona. What a brilliant creation, wonderfully played. I can’t have been alone in thinking we had a new companion on our hands, she seemed perfect for it. Add the fact she referred to the Doc as a ‘Magician’, and we know the next ep is called ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, and her almost desperate desire to keep in contact, it seemed we were being presented with the latest friend for the Doctor, but… she’s not there at the end. The Doctor and Clara will return. Shona is left alone in her disappointing looking life. THIS WILL NOT STAND! Surely we will be dropping in on Shona again? I DEMAND IT! PLEASE ME AND ME ALONE, BBC!!!!!

This was, at times, pretty scary stuff. The face-hugger things were creepy as all hell, the aforementioned dance through the infirmary, being pulled through a TV screen, Clara under the bench trying to do maths in her head to distract herself; this was creepy stuff for a family show! And yay to that, cuz I like my Who a bit scary, ta.

Dream Crabs. Moffat did it again. Another brilliant monster creation. Surely they’ll turn up in another episode as a sudden unexpected twist in the tail? Think of the nightmare worlds we could visit.

Troughton’s son appeared! And yes, how nice that the slimy creep was roundly mocked, then bumped off. Sexist swine!

The monsters fooled me. All this speculation that Clara would be leaving, I totally bought it when the Doctor pulled the Dream Crab (what an ace monster name) off her fizzog and she was old; that this was it. What a sad/lovely ending. BUT THEN NO! Santa is back, the Doc is still in a dream, Clara is young and raring to leap aboard for adventure again. Past angst and uncertainties between the two are now resolved and they race gleefully towards wonder and danger.  Now some sorry souls will have been choking on their sprouts at this point, cuz weird as it might seem, lots hate Clara. They decry season 8 as being ‘Clara Who’. I know, total dumb-dumbs. Personally, I think 12 and Clara have shown themselves to be one of the finest Doctor-Companion pairings in the shows long history, and if we’re getting the chance to see more of that, then yay, and woo-hoo, and all that sort of jazz. (Aw, but Shona… Yeah, she would’ve been ace) (bah)

The sort-of return of Danny Pink. His last scene, telling Clara to feel the sadness of his loss for only five minutes a day, and to live life to the full for the rest of the time, was proper lovely stuff. But Moffat can’t write real emotion! Yeah, clear off, that complaint got old (and just plain wrong) a loooooooong time ago.

The Doctor taking control of the sleigh. JOYFUL.

‘I feed them magic carrots’.

The chalk boards, wiping away words to reveal others.

There’s just so much good, I could blather on for ages.

HMM…

This is tricky… I’m not saying it was perfect, but I’m having difficulty really picking out stuff that annoyed.

OKAY! Shona not joining up at the end. WANT SHONA, WAAA….!

I worked out early on who the patients would be, but is that a bad thing..? Nah.

I guess it was a bit heavy on the Doctor explaining stuff in big chunks..?

Errr….. nope. That’s it. I got nothing.

Final Thoughts:

A brilliant way to finish off a fine year for Doctor Who. To compliment one of the strongest seasons we’ve had, we get one of the strongest Christmas specials. How very fitting. I can’t wait to see what Moff has up his sleeve for next season (And if Shona is up there, I’ll be a happy chappy). Now hurry up season 9, I’m waiting..!

Rating: 9/10

The Doctor and Clara will return in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’

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