It can’t just be me, right?
Doctor Who S08E06 - “The Caretaker”
"John Smith’s the name — but here’s the thing: most everybody calls me the Doctor."
Spoilers from here!
This season continues to be a pleasant breath of fresh air. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy and love the Eleventh Doctor, but the last half of season 7 left a lot to be desired. Clara has absolutely blossomed in season 8, however, transforming from the plot device mystery girl to a smart, clever companion who has a mind of her own. The evolution of Clara’s relationship with the Doctor from flirty quasi-girlfriend to competent companion with the Doctor’s regeneration from Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi has really set a completely different tone for the Doctor-companion dynamic.
From the moment that we met Danny Pink, we knew that there would inevitably be a confrontation between him and the Doctor. After all, the Doctor has said many times this season that he doesn’t like soldiers, and what is Pink? Well, he’s a Maths teacher at Coal Hill School, but he used to be a soldier. Samuel Anderson does a great job of holding his own as Danny, managing to keep up with the Doctor and Clara despite the initial shock of finding out that the Doctor is an alien. By the way? The whole scene is brilliantly written and acted. The absolute look of horror on both Clara and the Doctor’s faces when Danny says, “[You’re a space woman… and] he’s your… dad. Your space dad” is just priceless.
Writer Gareth Roberts, who co-wrote the episode with Moffat (who has co-written a lot of episodes this season, actually), didn’t focus a lot on the alien aspect, but rather on the character development and interaction. I mean, if you think about it, the big bad of the week is little more than Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons with death lasers.
Roberts does a great job of building up the moments between the characters; we can see not only the immediate dislike between the Doctor and Danny (which, by the end, becomes grudging respect), but Peter Capaldi and his eyebrows do a wonderful job of showing how angry and upset the Doctor is with Clara. Capaldi’s Doctor has a wonderfully brilliant mix of emotionally vulnerable and crassly irritable alien — while Clara is increasingly becoming more and more human now that the mystery of who she is has been solved. Danny is a good man and is already a hero even before he starts to “prove himself” to the Doctor, and this episode seems to solidify his place on the show. For as long as Clara is around, anyhow.
There are a lot of fun bits in this episode. The scene in the staff room between the Doctor and Clara was sterling. I especially liked the Doctor’s interaction with Courtney Woods, self-proclaimed disruptive influence; I hope she makes a cameo again. I also quite enjoyed it when he name-dropped River Song; I would love to see Alex Kingston and Peter Capaldi on screen together, just once, because you know that the dynamic between the Twelfth Doctor and River would be fantastic. Also, the Doctor totally has an Apple Watch.
At the end of the episode, we’re introduced to Chris Addison, whose enigmatic character seems to work for Missy — yet another mystery character whom we’re not quite sure what to think about. We haven’t seen Missy for a few episodes, so it was about timet for Moffat to remind us that the latest “mystery of the season” is still lurking. It will be interesting to see what happens when the two finally meet — especially since Missy seems to think that the Doctor is her “boyfriend.”
Overall, this was a pretty great episode. Not as action packed as some of the others this season, but there were a lot of fantastic moments between both Clara and the Doctor (and I’m kind of glad to see them have a proper row instead of the usual squabbling), some very unguarded moments between Clara and Danny, and some extremely visceral moments between the Doctor and Danny.
How to Get Away With Murder - S01E01: “Pilot”
"This is Criminal Law 100, or as I prefer to call it, ‘How to Get Away with Murder.’"
My husband is out of town, which is probably the only reason I decided to check out the pilot episode of How to Get Away With Murder. It didn’t feel like the type of show that we would usually watch, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. I don’t know if my husband would like it or not, but since he’s a law school student, I’d certainly be interested in his take on things.
When you get past the over-the-top drama of the “nighttime soap opera” genre that ABC seems to love so well, the show has set itself up to tell quite an interesting story. From the moment that Viola Davis appears on screen as Professor Annalise Keating, she commands your attention, and makes for a strong yet somewhat enigmatic character. Annalise is obviously very good at what she does, but it’s not immediately clear that what she does to win is all aboveboard. I’m interested to know what thelegalgeeks and geekattorney think about that!
Part of the pilot takes place in what I’m going to call the “future,” which helps introduce us to the five main characters (other than Annalise): Wes, the nice guy; Michaela, the teacher’s pet; Connor, the go-getter who will do whatever it takes to win; Laurel, the quiet but determined one; and Asher, the privileged Ivy-league boy. This sets up a fantastic dynamic and very quickly gives us a depth of character that’s hard to establish in most pilot episodes. This is largely due to the fact that we see these characters starting their first day of law school together in the “present” and working together to cover up a murder in the “future”; because of this dichotomy, you can’t help but wonder how these five students get from one extreme to the next.
And it seems that not everyone is exactly what they appear to be. The scene between Annalise and Wes, for example, shows us a vulnerable side to Annalise that she has shown nowhere else in the rock-steady badass lady-lawyer she presents herself to be. Was this vulnerable apology just a manipulative act, or are we seeing that this tough woman has some cracks in her veneer?
Overall, I’d say that Pete Nowalk has given us a strong start with this first episode. Yes, there are those crazy soap opera moments, but Viola Davis shines in a way that very few actors or actresses do, and the characters have a little bit more depth than one might expect right out of the gate. There’s a lot of grey area going on in this show, and that might be the most appealing part of it all; I think that many of us are tired of being spoon-fed plots that take us from point A to B with predictability. How to Get Away With Murder certainly promises to avoid that trap.
Doctor Who S08E05 - “Time Heist”
Spoilers beyond this point!
I don’t have much to say about this week’s episode of Doctor Who other than that it was a fun episode, and it’s nice to have something that’s fun, self-contained, and very Doctor Who without having to be earth-shattering or game-changing.
After last week’s episode, “Listen,” I think it’s nice to have something a little lighter - though “Time Heist” is not light in the same way as “Robot of Sherwood” was. It’s light in that, well, it’s just not meaty. It’s a heist episode, and we’ve all seen these — whether it’s movies like Oceans Eleven, or television episodes like the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang” — so there’s no surprise: the Doctor is thrown in with some others and tasked to rob a bank, so he robs a bank.
Of course, in this case, the difference is that he doesn’t remember agreeing to rob the bank, or how he came to be involved in the whole thing. This is one aspect I really enjoyed about this episode — turning the heist trope on its head by having the Doctor and his other bank-robbing partners have no idea what the plan is and forcing them to figure it out as they go along. Then, at the end of the episode, we see the stereotypical montage that sets up the plan for the heist. Usually, things are reversed: we see the research, planning, and practice for the heist (usually accompanied by a voice-over explaining what’s going to happen) and then the heist itself.
And, of course, there’s the thing that I really like about this episode:
It’s so rare that the people that get caught up in the Doctor’s adventures make it out alive (aside from whomever is his companion, of course), so it was really nice that both Psi and Saibra made it out alive. Speaking of which, what a great set of characters. Both Psi and Saibra were some of the most thought-out, well-developed stand-alone characters that have come out of a Doctor Who story in quite some time. I hope we’ll see more of them in the future.
"Time Heist" was co-written by Steve Thompson, and it has some of the same flaws that Thompson’s previous Doctor Who scripts suffered from. Thompson wrote both "The Curse of the Black Spot" and "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS" — both Matt Smith episodes that sounded like they would be quite a bit of fun, but fell a little short. Unlike much of what we’ve seen this season thus far, "Time Heist" just isn’t concerned with the characters involved. Little about what’s happening has to do with reflecting on the person the Doctor’s become, or the strengths and growing character we’ve seen in Clara since season 8 began.
That isn’t to say, of course, that either the Doctor or Clara were lacking. Both were in fine form, Capaldi especially, who seems to have become quite comfortable in his role as the Doctor quite quickly. And, again, Psi and Saibra were wonderful and wonderfully-acted characters that really made you care about them more so than your average Doctor Who extra.
Overall. this wasn’t the best episode of Doctor Who, but it wasn’t the worst, either. It was a fun adventure that definitely had some great moments. So far, for this season, I’d rank the episodes as such:
2. “Deep Breath”
3. “Into the Dalek”
4. “Time Heist”
5. “Robot of Sherwood”
I’m looking forward to next week, when we see the Doctor infiltrate Coal Hill, possibly to find someone — or something — else that is there that shouldn’t be, but possibly also to be nosy about Clara’s personal life.
Also, is it just me, or does the Doctor look like he’s ready to join the Ghostbusters? See you guys next week with “The Caretaker”!
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Doctor Who S08E04 - “Listen”
What is that in the mirror,
or the corner of your eye?
What is that footstep following,
but never passing by?
Perhaps they are all just waiting.
Perhaps when we are all dead,
out they will come a-slithering,
from underneath the bed.
Spoilers past this point!
I spent a lot of time thinking about “Listen” last night after watching it. Hours later, I was still thinking about it and sending kidmanproject messages in the middle of the night at 4:00 am his time (thank goodness his phone was off!), rambling with theories and conspiracies and other crazy talk. But now it’s morning. Things look different in the light of day than they do in the shadows of night, don’t they? And the truth is that I am now certain I was just really, really over-thinking it.
Brilliant at writing contained stories
Whether you feel like Moffat’s days as show-runner should be numbered or you feel like he is the best thing to happen to Who ever, you have to admit that he’s really great at writing single, stand-alone stores that explore the psyche of our deepest, unexplainable fears. He’s done this before, many times: the weeping angels, the vashta nerada, Prisoner Zero and the “thing in the corner of your eye.” So, it’s surprising, then, that Moffat can take the same idea and turn it into something so completely original.
Moffat excels at writing in this episode; there are plenty of funny moments, great character interaction (some almost forget that Moffat got his start writing for the show Coupling), the sweeping monologues, and the big reveals that are mind-blowing yet somehow so perfect.
So much of Doctor Who is about how the monsters we aren’t afraid of — because we don’t think they’re real — actually exist and will destroy us. Instead, in this episode, we see that creeping, crawling thing that makes us scared of putting our feet on the floor in the middle of the night isn’t real. We forget sometimes that this is actually a show that began as geared towards children; so it’s brilliant that Moffat can take a moment to show kids watching — and yes, even adults — that it’s okay to be afraid.
Even in the light of day, when things are different than the shadows of the night, I love this episode. It was so complex, yet brilliantly simple.
I’m quite pleased that Clara has come into her own. She’s gone from being a bland cardboard character as the “Impossible Girl” to really grow into her own. I’m not sure why Moffat is so fixated on making her such an intricate part of the Doctor’s past, but he seems to be weaving different parts of the Whovian canon — whether his own or bits from the show’s 50 year history — together quite nicely.
Despite the fact that I really did enjoy this episode, I do have a few minor quibbles. One of them is the aforementioned use of Clara to shape the Doctor’s life and destiny. It seems much more excessive than anything we’ve seen before with any other companion, and the introduction of a romance with Danny Pink — not to mention Orson Pink, possibly Clara’s great-grandson — it feels like Clara is about to make an exit from the show sooner rather than later. Why build her up only to let her go?
The other minor quibble is the thing under the blanket on the bed. It couldn’t have been a child. If a child Rupert’s age and size sat on the bed, it wouldn’t put as much weight on the bed as it did to make it dip down so low. Not to mention that if the Doctor was in the room, wouldn’t he have seen a child crawl under the sheets? Wouldn’t there have been footsteps of the child running away as it left? I don’t buy that it was a child playing a prank on Rupert, and if I know Moffat, we may find out that what Clara calls nothing but fear of the dark actually was something. But then again, none of us really know Moffat — every time we think we’ve figured him out, he takes us on a wild ride in a way we least expected it.
I enjoyed this story a great deal. It was an excellent stand-alone story with a closed-loop time travel story that wraps things up quite nicely despite not quite answering all of our questions. I think that the characters are really growing much more than they did last season, and I am completely and utterly in love with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. He has so many shades of Tom Baker without being a caricature of past Doctors.
The Last of Us Remastered
I never played the original The Last Of Us when it came out last year, mostly because I didn’t own a PS3. However, I do own a PS4 now, and so picking up The Last of Us Remastered was a must-do after all of the praise from people like my friend kidmanproject. I don’t usually really get into survival/zombie apocalypse games like this, so I decided to rent it via GameFly.
First of all, I have to say how blown away I was by the graphics. The game was just beautiful. Also, I may have spent way too much time in camera mode.
The story was excellent, and this was largely due to the fact that both Joel and Ellie were such complex and well-rounded characters. They were forced together due to circumstances that were beyond their control, but over the course of the game, they came to care for each other — so much so that Joel possibly dooms mankind to save Ellie. The story was wrapped up very well, but not in a “they lived happily ever after” kind of way. For two characters so imperfect, the ending fit so well.
I sucked at actually playing the game, but that has more to do with my lack of being good at playing survival type games. Despite my many deaths and do-overs, I did highly enjoy the game, and I’m definitely going to add this one to my collection.
Now offering #LOTR wedding invitations at my Etsy shop. Now my #DoctorWho invites won’t feel so lonely.
They are mighty eyebrows indeed, sir.
Fem!Ori - Katsucon 2014
Made and modeled by me
Photography by Yenra
I just wanted to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for the overwhelming positive reaction I’ve gotten for this cosplay.
When I was twelve I first saw Fellowship after having read the Hobbit. I was a deeply introverted kid who regularly picked books over people, and middle school wasn’t always the best of times. Tolkien is so much more to me than my just first fandom. It was the first time I found a community of friends (like me!) who all loved the same thing and who had the imagination to make up stories and characters of their own. Adults who didn’t think being obsessed with dwarven culture was all that weird, who I could talk to about lore and self-identity and how those come together in fandom. As a very awkward pre-teen girl, this kind of support and encouragement was completely life-changing.
Ten years later, I knew as soon as I saw Unexpected Journey that Ori was the dwarf I would cosplay. My craftsmanship and sewing skills were finally at a point that I knew I could make a Tolkien cosplay and be happy with how it turned out. I don’t look like a dwarf in any way (I’m like 5’8), but I just knew I had to go for it.
I was making this costume for my twelve year old self. I was not in any way expecting for it to be popular or well received in any way. I honestly can’t believe how wrong I was.
And you know, that’s what this whole fandom thing is all about. Loving something SO much that at first you can’t even begin to imagine there are other people out there who love it as much as you do. But then there are! So, basically, I love all of you who ever added a nice comment or sent me a message or anything at all. Because ten years later it still means the freaking world to me that I’m not the only one out there who’s into this dumb stuff. (｡♥‿♥｡)
I love this!!