Doctor Who and the halfway point of Series 8

Doctor Who Half Face Man and Series 8

A quick stop and listen now Dr Who series 8 has reached the fixed point of half-season. Spoilers for the six broadcast episodes are guaranteed, but no conspiracy and little speculation – just as look at how The Twelfth’s bedding in… 

NO JOKE, BUT IT’S ALREADY A SERIES OF TWO HALVES.

Moffat has clearly settled on the direction for his period of showrunning

The overall impression is that it’s an outstanding series so far, but for all the great direction, cinematography and music and fine acting there are non-sequiturs and narrative glitches abounding.  The Dalek that wants to fix itself, who rates the destruction of Daleks as exclusive to killing humans, the chalk that disappears, the writing that appears, Cousin It in the bed, why Orson walked into a restaurant in full garb to beckon a girl he didn’t know and didn’t pick something up from the kitchen…

SHUT UP!

There’s no point picking on these.  Steven Moffat has clearly settled on the direction for his period of showrunning, and this series is its golden age – Like early Hinchcliffe and Key to Time Williams… It simply doesn’t matter if it makes sense.  I can see why. An irascible and hard-working writer-producer, he’s endured criticism. So you may as well pile up the plot-holes as it’s impossible to torpedo an absence of logic..  In any event, picking plot holes in a work of fiction, especially one with such a broad format, built on impossibility… Is a  thankless task isn’t it?

Strands of Time and Space

Searching for logic here is pointless

Away from that, there have been three strands to what’s certainly been an involving series.
Read more…

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Doctor Who: Change for a Time – ‘Deep Breath’ Reviewed #DoctorWho

Doctor Who Deep Breath

The Doctor Who Series Eight opener has the right name.  A deep breath is definitely required heading into one of the slowest burning openers of the new era.  Sinking its anchor into a reservoir of expanded cast and plot points, played out on well worn cobble streets, it’s a story that chooses safety to risk something new. 

The result is a tale obsessed with psychology, ambiguity, destiny and the mystery of a star Time Lord in the making who will take some time to unravel who he really is. Can we beat him to it… Is there enough oxygen to burn? 

AFTER A SET-PIECE OPENING IN THE HEART OF LONDON, FEATURING THE MOST REALISTIC DINOSAUR TO WALK THOSE STREETS IN THE SHOW’S HISTORY (ALONGSIDE SOME OF THE USUAL REGENERATIVE JIGGERY-POKERY), NEW TITLES AND A REWORKED THEME PERFORM THE ONE JOB IN TV MORE POINTLESS THAN A BRUCE FORSYTH RETIREMENT PARTY: TELL US THAT DOCTOR WHO HAS CHANGED!

The clock and time obsessed title sequence is new in the show canon – well, to those who haven’t seen some compelling fan efforts over the past couple of years. When bolted on to the show it’s a bit too quick, a bit too gratuitous in its temporality, but also it’s a fitting precursor to a feature length episode obsessed with age. From the lined face, the grey hairs, the hands pulling at a teasingly familiar strained visage… Deep Breath takes its extra-time to confront almost every issue of the Doctor’s newest regeneration clock-face first.

Regeneration

“Bed time, companion confusion and wardrobe sifting”

Regeneration stories always need to be bigger to accommodate the act, or the post-act, itself. The concept of whether a “regeneration show” is the build up or the aftermath can get muddled, but the first episode of a Doctor has been often proved a poor match to the death of the last. Not least because there’s generally a fair amount of bed time, companion confusion and wardrobe sifting. Read more…

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