Jenna Coleman

Doctor Who: Guard the Graveyards

I think "Guard the Graveyards" would have been a better name for this episode, but I guess "Death in Heaven" sounds more like a finale.

I think “Guard the Graveyards” would have been a better name for this episode, but I guess “Death in Heaven” sounds more like a finale.

I’m always a little scared of finales– it means that something of great magnitude will happen and that I’ll have to wait a LONG time for my show to come back.  While the stakes were definitely high in this, the Doctor Who series 8 finale, and I cried sufficient tears, it was a relatively painless episode for me.  I did feel sad for Danny & Clara, even though you all know I hated this relationship.  Danny was the only real sad part of this episode, so I didn’t really care about his departure.  Clara’s is another thing altogether, as companions’ departures are so hard, but I know we’ll at least see her in the Christmas special before we have to say goodbye.

Let’s talk about the things I liked:

  • Kate Stewart & UNIT: It was so nice to see Kate & her team intervene when Cybermen had the city surrounded.  I was none too happy when she fell out of the plane, but I somehow knew they couldn’t kill Kate off!  Too bad about Sandy, though.  The storyline with Kate’s father was perfect.
  • President of Earth, CEO of the Human Race: This title cracked me up, but like, can they please stop saying “President of America?”  No American would ever say that.
  • Clara’s Doctor Knowledge: First off, I love what she said about she and the Doctor’s friendship to Cyberman Danny.  That’s why I’m a little horrified that she’s thinking of stopping their adventures.  (Side note: why would she not have the Doctor bring the little bracelet boy to the past?  She’s too good of a liar.)  Secondly, her Doctor knowledge during her rouse pretending she was him was great– children and grandchildren missing, presumed to be dead?  At least we’ve established that.
  • Idiot with a Box: I loved the Doctor’s realization that he is neither a good man, nor a bad man, simply an idiot, learning.  I feel like this is a larger statement.  Are we all just idiots learning?  I’m adopting this.
  • I’m literally so psyched about Gallifrey, but I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of the Master.  What do you think?

 

Guys, are we going to have Christmas on Gallifrey?!

What did you think of Doctor Who’s finale?

Questions, Comments, & Rants: Dark Water

I think Questions, Comments, & Rants might become a semi-regular thing.  For now, let’s dig into the first half of the Doctor Who series 8 finale, Dark Water.

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My first question: What exactly was Clara doing when she called Danny?  What’s with all of these post-it notes with timey-whimey words and deep emotional outpourings?  There was definitely more going on here that we never got to find out about.  I’m hoping this is one question that will get answered in the next episode.

My big problem: Does anyone else think Clara was completely over-reacting when she THREW THE TARDIS KEYS IN A VOLCANO?  First of all, she didn’t even ask talk to the Doctor about Danny’s death first.  She didn’t float the idea by him or try any gentle approach or clever trick to get him to go back in time to save Danny.  Instead she threatened him in the most extreme way she could think of.  Did she think so little of their relationship that she assumed he wouldn’t want to help her?  Did she just want to die there on the side of a volcano rather than live without Danny?  Did she kind of think that the Doctor could get back into the Tardis without keys?  ‘Cause I kind of did.

And really, how could the Doctor forgive her for that?  Does he understand emotional pain so well?  If so, this is likely a recent development.  His plan doesn’t involve changing the past, but finding Danny in the present.  So really, Clara’s threatening was for nothing.

As for the Missy story, the big question-mark of the series (season, in a vernacular that I’m more familiar with): I think she and the netherworld plot came together nicely.  It actually panned out how I thought it would.  Missy has been transporting the near-death to a dimension of sorts where they live out their afterlife.  It is not a biblical hell or anything disruptive to an ethos.  My one sticking-point is: how long has she been doing this?  I suppose a Time Lord could go back and do it to as many people as he/she needs.  In Missy’s case, it’s been going on long enough to snag Steven Jobs and the kid Danny killed as a soldier.  Her revelation as a Time Lord was interesting, and I panicked for a second that I may have missed something.  Her revelation as the Master, re-genered, let’s say for now, is actually a little less confusing for me.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out!

Aside from Cybermen being the most outdated-looking piece of technology since K-9, (whom I love, dearly,) they are sufficiently horrifying in the fact that they are shells of people you once knew, devoid of all the emotions that make us human.

 

So, lend me your thoughts on Dark Water!

Reasons to Love Time Heist

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Part Entrapment (the Catherine Zeta-Jones movie) and part Tabula Rasa (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode), last weekend’s Doctor Who, Time Heist, is my favorite episode of the season so far!

It starts with Clara getting ready for a date with Mr. Pink.  She tries to brush off the Doctor beckoning her for another adventure when the TARDIS phone rings.  Clara begs him not to answer, but the Doctor asks what the harm is in picking up a phone.  When he does, he and Clara suddenly find themselves holding big worms in a room with two others.  The are told, by their own voices, that they’ve come her and wiped their minds of how of their own free will.  The mission: to rob the impenetrable Bank of Kalabraxos.

Not only the is the episode about the heist itself, but it’s a giant puzzle hiding the identity of the mysterious Architect and the reason behind the heist.  Minimal spoilers this time, but here are a few of my favorite things about this episode!

 

Why is your face all colored in?

Clara is still so pretty all the time, and I continue to love Twelve’s banter with her completely missing the fact that she’s gorgeous!  I’m not a big fan of Pink, but I do like that date-Clara gives the Doctor the ammunition he needs for lines like the above.

 

Ms. Delphox, head of bank security

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I had to.

 

“Basically, it’s the eyebrows.”

“Robbing banks is easy from the TARDIS,” says the Doctor, as if he’s done so before.  My other favorite exchange is the above, when the Doctor is asked yet again why he’s in charge of the mission.  Basically, it’s the eyebrows, to which Clara readily agrees.  Can this be a thing yet?  Let’s talk about Twelve’s eyebrows more because I’m totally on board with this.  I also loved his recall of his outfits– the scarf, the bow tie, and the way his wonderful minimalist attire looks sort of like a magician.

 

The punishment for thinking about robbing the bank of Kalabraxos.

What will your guilty thoughts cost you?  Your bank account will be deleted, and your brain liquidated.  If that’s not enough, your next of kin is notified and then incarcerated… to ensure honest financial transactions.  Hilarious.

 

Ontological Paradox!

I love them; I’m obsessed with them.  This episode is one.  That’s as much as I can say without spoiling it for you.  Please go watch this episode.

 

What did all you Whovians think of Time Heist?!

 

Doctor Who: Listen Recap

Question: why do we talk out loud when we know we’re alone?

Conjecture: because we know we’re not.

These are the Doctor’s opening thoughts, after a lovely spell of seemingly meditating on the Tardis in outer space. He poses that evolution has made the ultimate hunters, the best defenses, but has it produced a being that’s perfected hiding? Well, we’d have no way of knowing.

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“Listen” looked delightfully scary from the preview, and at the beginning I thought I shouldn’t be watching it so close to bed!  It’s more about the Doctor’s past than you would think, with some interesting implications about Clara’s future…

 

(more…)

Doctor Who: The Three Best Friends in Sherwood

Robot of Sherwood was a bit of an odd episode for me.  It was fun, but I had none of the Robin Hood vigor that Clara did.  Instead, I was reminded of countless other things… A Knight’s Tale, most significantly.  My feelings about the episode almost mirrored the Doctor’s about the situation.  He wanted to get to the bottom of the situation, and frankly so did I.  At the end of the episode, it came together for me.  Victory came thanks to teamwork shooting a golden arrow, so let’s talk about the three best friends in Sherwood.

 

Robin Hood

I found him quite silly at the beginning.  Visually, I thought his costume was over the top… kind of like the pumped up version of Robin from Batman Forever.  (I’m going to need to watch that immediately.)  Also, he looked a lot like Amy’s brother Peter from Everybody Loves Raymond.  I don’t know.  For some reason, I didn’t want to believe he was real either.  Perhaps my opinion of him was colored by the Doctor’s.  I do love how he beat the sheriff with the move the Doctor used to defeat him at the beginning of the episode.  And I do love his below quote.

“History is a burden.  Stories can make us fly.”

Clara

She’s perfection.  She’s smart as a whip, confident, and always outsmarting her enemies.  I loved Clara’s complete fangirl moments– she’s usually so composed, and she just couldn’t help but be so excited.  I love when she got to fight alongside Robin Hood: “This hero does not come alone,” he boasts, and she pops up with a “Hi-ya!”  The slide down a banner, and Robin asks if she’s okay to, “Oh hell yeah.”  Best of all, her response when the Doctor asked her, when did you start believing in impossible heroes?  

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“Don’t you know?”

Now that was a moment that any Whovian girl can relate to.  Clara’s costume change for me conjured plenty of images, none of which were Robin Hood.  She looked to me more like an elf from Lord of the Rings.  The more I looked at her color palette– the green trim highlighted by Robin Hood’s greens– the more I thought she looked like a Christmas elf.

The Doctor

Capaldi, you’re doing a wonderful job.  The Doctor is obviously such a complex character.  He is very serious and very burdened, but on the surface he is pure whimsy and adventure.  To meld both sides can’t be an easy task.  Every new face we see on the Doctor brings us something new, but should recapture what is already there.  At this, Capaldi is winning.  Let’s see, the spoon v. sword fight and the beginning was delightful, and I was happy to see the Doctor win… even if Robin Hood got the last laugh.  The outright refusal to believe the situation was real without being cynical was good to the very end– the observational skills it took to recognize the wrong climate for the area and season was the first clue; the last ditch effort assume Robin himself was a robot, then immediately abandoning it being the cherry on top.  My favorite gag is was the blood analysis confirming said merry man would be dead in six months.  When this merry man comments that the sheriff wants to oppress them forevermore, the Doctor chimes in, or six months in your case.

So, fun.  I usually like light-hearted episodes, but meh.  It’s monster-of-the-week-y, which I also usually dig.  Next week, though, looks much more my speed!  Creepy and cryptic and sign me up!

Into the Dalek Recap

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I love dalek episodes, and I love the premise of Into the Dalek— it reminds me of that episode of the Magic School Bus where the class goes inside Ralphie, or the Rugrats episode where Chuckie swallows a watermelon seed and the babies go in to retrieve it.  Alright, now for the Doctor Who recap!

We start in a scene that’s half Star Wars, half Star Fox 64. There’s shooting space ships and shouting from the girl soldier, Blue. Her brother, he co-pilot, sits dead next to her and she’s about to join him. Her ship explodes, but Blue wakes up on the Tardis.

The Doctor, without Clara, explains that he saved her. She just wants to get back to her ship, the Aristotle. She wants go pilot the Tardis alone, but the Doctor points out, “you’d starve to death trying to find the light switch.”

The Tardis lands on the Aristotle, and the two walk out. “It’s smaller on the outside,” Blue says. “It’s a bit more exciting when you go the other way,” says The Doctor. The crew of the Aristotle initially wants to kill the Doctor, but thinking that he is a doctor, they have a patient for him… a dalek.

In a rare moment, we see Clara at work, at the school. There’s a new teacher, Mr. Pink, a former soldier who teaches math. The two have a completely awkward interaction thanks to Mr. Pink. Let me tell you, though, if I could flirt like Clara can I’d be all set! Anyway, Clara steps into a supply closet, I think, and comes face to face with the Tardis, and the Doctor, two coffees in hand. He takes her to the Aristotle to see the dalek yelling about how all daleks must be exterminated. Well, that’s a switch!

The Aristotle crew plans to shrink themselves and enter the supposed good dalek to fix the medical ailment. Clara and the Doctor along with some soldiers are up for the mission. “This is a dangerous mission and you look like a school teacher,” a soldier observes, to which Clara responds: “I am a school teacher!

Inside the dalek is more mechanical than organic, but once one of the soldiers, Ross, sends a grappling hook-type thing into the dalek’s biology, dalek anti-bodies come to attack him like an infection. They completely disintegrate Ross. The rest of the crew jumps down a chute to escape the anti-bodies and land in something that looks very much like bodily fluid. “What is this stuff?” asks Clara. “People,” says the Doctor matter-of-factly, explaining that the dalek, who he’s taken to calling Rusty, need protein which the store from the people they kill.

Rusty the dalek says that saw a start being born and realized that life is resilient. He saw beauty in the universe and that’s why he’s not like other daleks. The crew powers on to help Rusty and crawl through to his heart.

Any remarks about my hips will not be appreciated,” says Clara as they crawl. “Oh your hips are fine; you’re built like a man!” replies the Doctor. To this back-handed compliment, she utters “…thanks.”

Once in the heart, radiation is off the charts. They find a leak in the power cell and the Doctor stitches it up with his sonic screwdriver to stop the radiation poisoning. With that, the malfunction is corrected, and he is as any other dalek is. He starts exterminating everyone on the Aristotle.

Miniaturized and trapped inside a dalek, the remainder of the crew must get out. There’s a bit of a moral debate between Clara and the Doctor if there ever was a good dalek. The Doctor decides they must get to the cortex, which seems to filter Dalek thoughts and let through only evil. There, they must relocate the suppressed memory that made Rusty good.

One soldier, Gretchen, shoots her grappling hook up for Clara and Blue to get up to the cortex, sacrificing her life to the anit-bodies. As Gretchen dies, she opens her eyes to suddenly find herself having tea with Missy, who welcomes her to heaven. Guys, why do I have such bad feelings about her?

Clara hops into the cortex and starts pressing things, trying to turn the lights on that signify suppressed memories. As she does that, memories come flowing back to the dalek. The last memory is the birth of the star, the memory that made the dalek see beauty and divinity in the universe. Rusty starts remembering, but resisting. The Doctor tries to persuade him, and finally, to show him beauty. He melds his memories with his and the dalek sees beauty in the universe, he sees divinity… then, he sees hatred, hatred for the daleks that the Doctor holds. With that, Rusty is back to being a dalek-hating-dalek, and he goes on a spree of destruction, exterminating all the invading daleks.

It’s confirmed: a dalek’s nature is simply to destroy. I thought you were a good dalek, the Doctor says to Rusty. “I am not a good dalek. You are a good dalek,” he replies.

Well! I’ve got to say, as far as daleks go, Rusty has been pretty damn interesting!

The last remaining soldier of the Inside the Dalek crew, Blue, wants to join the Doctor, but he has something against soldiers. I’m kind of glad; I didn’t really connect with Blue.

I’m still getting used to Twelve. I do like Peter Capaldi, but I don’t get Twelve yet. I do love his red jacket lining! How are you all feeling about the new Doctor and the new season?

Doctor Who Series 8: Old & New

Series 8 of Doctor Who started this weekend, and goodness do I have a lot of feelings about it! This of course marked Peter Capaldi’s official reign as the Doctor, and the first time we got to see Twelve in action. Like I said, I have a lot of feelings, but I’m going to try to keep this relatively brief with a little game of The New/The Old:

 

The New: The Face

Obviously, Peter Capaldi is the Doctor now. It’s been so long since I’d seen Matt Smith say goodbye that I had to watch his regeneration again to reorient myself. Clara clearly struggled with his new appearance. I’ve been through this twice now, and I could never be as sad as when David Tennant left, so I was ready. Yes, guys, this is an older face than we’ve seen— ever, for most young fans. I happen to really dig the silver fox look, and I’m happy to see them shake things up.

 

The Old: The Doctor Himself

It’s always interesting to see a new Doctor regeneration— it’s the same character, but always with a slightly different personality. It’s so hard to explain if you don’t understand this show. In this the first episode, Capaldi certainly played the Doctor Smith-like enough for us to definitely see that this is the man we left on the Tardis. It’s clear that Twelve will be darker, and more morally ambiguous, though. I’m definitely looking forward to this! It’s also clear that he’s still incredibly silly. That’s one of the first words that comes out of my mouth when I talk about this show. It’s got to be delightfully silly!

 

The New: The Tardis Interior

IMG_0652With a new face comes a new Tardis, and I happen to absolutely love this one! It’s a drastic change, but the white interior and the bookshelves are major wins for me.

 

The Old: Strax still hasn’t learned genders

We can all rest easy, for Strax can call her “Miss Clara” and then “my boy” without missing a beat. He’s such a funny character.

 

The New: Missy

Who the hell IS she? Why the hell is she calling the Doctor her boyfriend? (Yeah okay, I like his accent too, but what?) What connection does she have to the cyborgs? So many questions!

 

The Old: The companion

I forgot how much I like Jenna Coleman. She’s so lovely, and Clara’s sense of style is so, so good. Jenna delivered quite the performance in this episode. I loved the episode’s plot line and how fitting the title was. I loved seeing Clara’s struggle and her faith during her, by all accounts, abandonment. I loved her strength in the face of threats despite her humanity and fear showing through. Most of all, I loved that she knew the Doctor had her back and that when she reached back for him, he was there for her.

I’m thinking more now of Twelve as Clara’s Doctor. Though she was with Eleven already, it was basically have a season of episodes. I will always associate Amy with Eleven. I hope Clara will know Twelve the way Amy knew Eleven.

 

The New: The opening theme.

IMG_0651A new season means a new opening theme sequence! I usually hate this, to be completely honest, but this time I’m so happy about it. I LOVE this new title sequence with the gears and scrolls. It’s sleek and modern, and reminds me a bit of Alice and Wonderland. I love it!

 

The Old: Questions.

This is old territory for Whovians. I already talked about the Missy questions, and there are many. As for the big question of the episode’s isolated storyline: Did the Doctor push or did the cyborg jump? Will we ever know the answer to this one.

Interestingly, we are left with Eleven calling Clara in the future, while Twelve, his future self, looks on. Why is Twelve so scared? We still know so very little of what mysteries Series 8 will weave and unravel. All and all, I’m excited about everything.

 

What did you all think of Capaldi’s big debut?!