Monday, 23 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Looks pretty cool!
It is apparently going to be released on the 19th July. For a price of around £35!
Personally, I would much rather wait for the box set of the complete series to arrive, but for those obsessive fans who need to get everything I suppose this will have to do.
Wow, alot of Den of Geek posts this week! Anyway! Here is thier interview with the writer of 'The Rebel Flesh' and 'The Almost People': (be warned, there may not be spoilers for 'The Rebel Flesh' in this interview, but there are for 'Life on Mars')
It's been a few years now since Matthew Graham penned his maiden Doctor Who episode, Fear Her. Since then, he's rightly won rich acclaim for co-creating and co-writing the immense Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes.
With the adventures of Gene Hunt finally concluded, time opened up in Graham's schedule to put together another Doctor Who story, which is the two part adventure of The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People. And he spared us some time to chat about it...
Let's start with the obvious one, then. How did it come about that you've written a two-parter for Doctor Who series 6?
Well, I was hoping to do the last series, the first Matt Smith series. I had a very nice lunch with Piers [Wenger, executive producer] and Steven [Moffat] and we talked about ideas and had this storyline for a single. And we were quite excited about it, but I was whizzing backwards and forward to America a lot at that time, and I was also gearing up on the last series of Ashes To Ashes, which I knew needed all hands to the pumps.
So, I just panicked and thought I wouldn't have enough time. So, I contacted Steven and said I've got to bow out, regretfully. And then after the series went out, I got an e-mail from Steven, a typical Steven e-mail in capital letters, that read "thanks for abandoning me to do the series on my own. So what about series 2?" I couldn't say no, really!
I remember we ran a story where we interviewed you, and our lines of communication became slightly crossed...
[To clarify: we spoke to Matthew during the final series of Ashes To Ashes and we were left with the impression that Matthew was on board for Doctor Who series 6, and reported it accordingly. Turns out that he wasn't, hence we changed the story within about an hour of it going live. A very innocent mistake all round.]
That's right, of course! That's actually how the lunch with Piers and Steven started. Because Piers read that article and contacted me and said, "Oh, you're doing Doctor Who? That's brilliant!" He assumed that I'd agreed it with Steven! And I said no, that was a slight misunderstanding between myself and Den Of Geek, but while we're talking...
So, in a sort of way, you match-made that!
The story that you're doing here is nothing to do with the single that you pitched a year or two back?
It's brand new. It's totally brand new. I've just watched them, actually, and I think they are absolutely fab. I think they're some of the best writing that I've ever done. And it's brilliantly directed, and brilliantly made. And I just hope everyone likes it.
I really hope that those who maybe thought that Fear Her was too childish and too silly, I'm hoping that that will silence them. This is my response!
Can I touch on Fear Her? You're not a daft man, you've presumably gone online and seen that it's divided opinion somewhat. What are your thoughts on it, looking back? Was it the episode you wanted to do?
I'm actually thrilled with it. It's not what I'd have chosen if I'd come to Doctor Who, obviously. When you come to Doctor Who, you want to tell a story with monsters. You want spaceships. You want the Tardis in mortal peril. You want big, epic science fiction adventure. Of course, you do. That's why you write it.
But I was just so thrilled to be asked to write it, even when Russell [T Davies] said, "Look, it's going to be a more inexpensive episode, and it has to take place on a housing estate," I still said, "Fine."
I wanted to write for David Tennant, for Billie Piper, and be part of TV history. So, I said, "Absolutely." I was thrilled with it.
What we had set out to do right from the start with Fear Her was tell a story that was aimed very much at children. For children, not really for adults, not really for the older Doctor Who fans.
It was aimed at the kids, because Army Of Ghosts and Doomsday were coming up, and they were going to be very big, very dark and very traumatic. And Russell wanted a playground adventure. He said, "How old is your son?" At the time he was seven. So, he said, "Write this one for your son." That's what I did. I did something that was in primary colours, that had a scary voice in the cupboard. I always say that other people got cybermen, I got two blokes with a red lamp rattling a wardrobe!
But, to be honest with you, I didn't go online particularly and read the responses. From my side of it, the response was brilliant. I had loads of kids write to me and say how much they enjoyed it. And it was only later I realised that the older fans had reacted badly to it. So, I went, "Well, it's a shame that they have, but it wasn't meant for them."
The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People are different. As far as I'm concerned, this is proper, across the board Who. Adults, kids- if they can watch it, because it is scary. I showed it to my wife the other night, and there were a couple of images in it where she went, "Actually, that's quite scary. That's not very pleasant." And I notice that it's going out a bit later. I wouldn't be surprised if they put a warning out beforehand.
I was happy with Fear Her, but when I came back I did say, rather selfishly, "I want epic, I want monsters! And science fiction, and gadgets, and lots of stuff happening." And they gave it to me!
So, tell us about your monsters!
The Flesh? Well, all the stories in Doctor Who start with a basic idea from Steven. And I went and spent a day with him in his kitchen, and he said, "I want to do something about avatars." And I said, "Oh, Steven, are you sure?" I mean, the film was still playing at the time in cinemas. And he said, "No, no, no, this will be good. This will be like The Thing."
So, it's workers that create copies of themselves to do jobs that are too dangerous, too unpleasant. And he said, "I don't know how, but somehow, these things take on a life of their own." And I thought, "Okay, that's better," and then we started talking.
He planned to set it in a factory and I had it in my head that I wanted to do something in a monastery with a The Name Of The Rose feel to it.
I love the influences. The Thing and The Name Of The Rose are two great movies.
[Laughs] That's what it became! Let's do The Thing in the context of The Name Of The Rose. So, originally they were going to be monks, monks at work in the factory. They converted a monastery into a factory. Then we decided that look, monks, tonally, it wasn't quite right. So, we kept them as workers, but we had them in a converted factory in the twenty-second century. And basically, they're drilling for acid, and they're on a converted monastery, on an island, surrounded by water.
They use these doppelgangers to work with the acid. So, if there's a problem, and you fall into acid, your ganger melts, but you wake up, and you go and grow another one.
Flesh is a kind of programmable liquid matter. It's almost like Frankenstein. You see the Flesh turn into a person. You see how that process works.
So, basically, there's a tsunami that brings the Tardis crashing to this island, and the Doctor, Rory and Amy get caught up in this. There's a solar flare that strikes, and it shorts out the factory.
You had fun with this, didn't you?
I had a lot of fun with this! The early drafts of the script were unintelligible. There were so many copies of people running around the place. We were sitting there with magic markers saying, "Is this a ganger person?" It got confusing, so we had to do a lot of rationalising of the script. And I'm thrilled.
Julian Simpson, the director, has pulled off something quite remarkable. He's managed to work with doubling up his cast, who are sometimes monsters, sometimes like us, and somehow he made it so you can't get lost.
It's interesting you mention the directors, because they're not getting enough credit for their work on Who at the moment.
I think that's true. Everyone talks about the writing, don't they, but you have to make that a reality. Also, the producer. Marcus Wilson, he produced our first series of Life On Mars, so I go back a long way with Marcus, and he's a no-nonsense Yorkshireman, and he's brilliant. He makes things possible.
Despite the fact that Doctor Who gets a good budget, it's always trying to reach beyond its budget. Marcus and Julian together really got the maximum amount out of these episodes. I remember trying to self-censor, taking things out towards production. And Marcus would phone me up and say, No, we're putting that back in. We love that."
Sometimes they went a bit old school. Julian started talking about how a monster has to smash through a door, and they were saying it's a step too far, too much CGI. And Julian was saying, "No, I want to build a small door, a doll's house door, and I'll just punch it in. It'll look like a giant fist punching it through." I don't think that made the cut in the end, but the point is that that was what he was thinking. It got us a lot of bang for our buck.
It sounds like an ethos that goes back to the way they made The Thing a little, too?
Yes, that's right, and we used a lot of make-up effects, too.
They look really good. And that's with the monster ante already being upped this series. We've already seen The Silence which, apart from the hands, looked quite brilliant. The respectable men in black suit with the skulls.
Yeah! I think that's the same here, using the make-up effects and having them there as much as possible. I think that makes a huge difference.
Makes them scary, too.
I think you have to push things more than you used to with Doctor Who. Now, videogames are scary, and I think kids are more acclimatised. So, I think we do have sometimes to push things a little further to get [kids] to really react.
I did have to ask: have you fused any ongoing narrative bits into your story?
Yes, yes I have. But I've got two cliffhangers, which is not bad for a two-parter. I've got my part one cliffhanger, and I've got a part two cliffhanger that leads into Steven's A Good Man Goes To War.
I can say this because the premise of this final scene was given to me. I wrote [the cliffhanger scene] and I put my own dialogue in. [Steven] said, "This is what's got to happen," and it was just great. Just whoa! People are not going to be able to wait until next Saturday!
It's interesting, because, if you were being ultra-picky, and it would be being ultra-picky with the last series, it didn't do brilliant cliffhangers for the most part. The emphasis wasn't on them to the same extent of Doctor Who of old. With one or two exceptions. The first two episodes this year both had superb cliffhangers, especially the second one. It's interesting that you're going into the second episode of a two parter and adding a cliffhanger to the end of that as well?
That's right. That was basically what happened, too. I wrote the script, I said, "I'm finished," and then Steven said, "Now I know exactly what I'm doing with episode seven. I need you to do something like this." And he explained what he wanted it to include and I loved it.
I've said it before, I think, that it's like being the writer and the viewer at the same time. And you're also going, "Wow, what's going to happen next?"
What I find about cliffhangers is that there's the easy cliffhanger, which is to put the Doctor in jeopardy. And everyone knows that the next week he's not going to be dead. They used to do that in the old days as well. I tried to make my cliffhanger something that is just a ratcheting up of the story. So, at the end of The Rebel Flesh, you're not thinking, "Iis the Doctor going to die?" You're thinking, "Oh, my God. What's going to happen now?"
Do you enjoy cliffhangers?
Yeah, I do. I think they're great, and it gives people lots to talk about.
The supposed regeneration scene at the end of Day Of The Moon, I know it's got a lot of people buzzing. And I know that some people wanted it tied up, to be referred to. But I guess you just have to say hold on. You don't want these serial elements to overshadow everything.
You have to put your faith in Steven that he will have a master plan to tie it all up.
I was one of the slightly grumpy ones with The Curse Of The Black Spot, but what I think has happened with television audiences is that Lost has taken the piss out of us. When it was throwing something in, and then wouldn't come back to it until six weeks down the line. So, I suppose that was the frustration.
No, I can understand that. I think that is a natural reaction, because American television is structured in such a way that there are so many episodes, they throw endless red herrings in.
They're not even red herrings. I think they want to tie them up, they just don't know how to.
I've been on the inside of that, working with Life On Mars on the American remake. Those guys were all about, "Oh, we loved your show, but we were very disappointed by the last episode, because it turned out that he really was in a coma." And I said, "Well, yeah. We know he was in a coma, because in episode one we saw him get knocked down by a car." But they said, "We've got something even cooler."
And I said, "Guys, it's not about throwing something at you that you cannot possibly imagine." That's not good drama. I can do that. Everyone can do that. I can get to the end of a Doctor Who episode and say, "Guess what? Amy's a cyberman." And it's a surprise, because you wouldn't have guessed it. But the reason you wouldn't have guessed it was that it was irrational and stupid.
And, of course, that's what they did with Life On Mars, where they said they're all on a spaceship, going to Mars. It was farcical. They thought that they were being cleverer than their own show.
Did they get in touch after the episode aired?
I did e-mail them and say, "Sorry your show got cancelled. What did you make of the ending?" And they came back and said, "Yeah, okay. Maybe that was wrong."
But I don't feel that with Steven. Because Steven has a shorter run of episodes, he has more time to keep an overview going. Quite frankly, I think Steven's a lot smarter than those guys who run the big American shows. They seem smart, but I don't think they have the clarity of vision that Steven has. And I think Steven knew full well where he was taking those big story strands. He's been plotting them since the days of David Tennant. That's how far ahead he's thinking, putting The Silence in.
You have that other Doctor Who story that you pitched a year or two back, presumably. So, are you coming back to the show again?
I had such a good time on this run that I would love to come back and do some more. I don't think I'd go back and do the story that I originally pitched, but I'd love to write some others.
It was such good fun, and it was so good working with Steven, and Piers, and Beth [Willis, executive producer]. And then going into production with Julian and Marcus, and the cast. It was a joy, I loved it.
Have you talked about doing more?
I haven't, no. I said to Beth at the read through that if I can do any more I'd love to, and she said, "Oh, yeah. That'd be great." But I didn't push it then, because I know they've still got their heads still full of this series. But I floated it out there, that I'd happily come back.
They seem very, very pleased with the episode, so I hope that they'd consider asking me back.
Finally, then, how's your new show, Eternal Law, coming along?
Ah, Eternal Law is going great! I can't believe we're three weeks into filming already. It's looking great. It's being so beautifully made, and the cast are really bedded into their roles and having fun with it.
It's too early to say what kind of show it's going to be. It's clearly going to be a very emotional show, and quite dramatic and powerful. It's not overtly fantasy, but it does have a fantasy vein in it. It's too early to know quite the full tone is, like we were with Life On Mars. You can't tell until you see it cut together! So far, we're having a great time on it!
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
the people at Den of Geek have written a spoiler-free review of 'The Rebel Flesh' here is what they thought:
Given the reaction to the Neil Gaiman-penned The Doctor’s Wife this past weekend, the episode that followed it was always going to be facing a tougher than usual job. And with that in mind, The Rebel Flesh takes a different tack altogether, offering a far more traditional Who adventure. It's very wise to do so.
It’s a new two-parter, that opens up by heading off to the future, to an earth where the dangerous jobs in life are tackled by doubles. We discover this in the pre-credits sequence, with the help of a big bath of acid, and come the other side of the titles, there’s a bit more of the series’ ongoing plot, a big monastery, and a drop of Dusty Springfield.
We also get to meet the workers in the factory that’s occupied the monastery, including Sarah Smart, Marshall Lancaster (Ashes To Ashes) and Mark Bonnar (Paradox).
And there’s also Raquel Cassidy. You may remember her from her standout performances in Channel 4’s Teachers (amongst many other credits), and she’s delivering welcome, borderline snidey exposition in the early part of the episode. She’s one of a team of pretty disinterested contractors, just going about their business, before inevitably, things start to go not quite to plan.
In line with the usual format of a two-parter, there’s a lot of scene setting and exposition to get through, particularly in the early stages. But the two episode format does also give the story space to breathe. Naturally, too, it leaves its key narrative threads for picking up next week, ending with a cliffhanger that might just have some further ramifications down the line.
Writer Matthew Graham (of Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes vintage) likes his movies, and he cites both The Thing and The Name Of The Rose as influences on the episode. It’s the former that comes through the strongest here, especially as the monsters of the story gradually become unleashed. In line with the Moffat era of Who, every monster has a good and proper motive, and in this case, they also look spooky, too. I thought some of the make-up work did the story proud, and again, I can’t help praising the production values of the show, that continue to push the budget, and what you can do with it, extremely hard. The effects work, with one exception, is extremely snazzy, too.
Graham sets a good tone, pacing his episode well, teasing enough, and delivering a story with a very different feel to his maiden Doctor Who outing, Fear Her. Credit to director Julian Simpson, too, who appears to be a fan of the movies as well. He makes a lot of the damp, dark corridors of the monastery, building up sufficient intrigue and tension as he does so.
I enjoyed this one. And what's more, it sits, for my money, at just the right time in the series run (unlike The Curse Of The Black Spot, where I was, perhaps unfairly, crying out for more on the cliffhanger from the episode before). After this two parter, after all, we head off into the last episode before the series takes its break until the autumn, and with the ongoing build-up of the wider series-wide narrative arcs, this is the last standalone adventure for a while. And it's a welcome one.
The Rebel Flesh is inevitably lower key than three of the four episodes that we’ve seen this series thus far, but it’s right that there’s space for a good, solid, enjoyable two-part story, and The Rebel Flesh is half-way to delivering that.
Roll on part two…
From the few reviews I have read, this episode looks to be a rather good one! I am nearly 100% sure it won't be as good as 'The Doctors Wife' but then again, what is? Looking forward to Saturday more than ever!
We’re surely not too far away now from finding out the significance of River Song in Doctor Who, significantly where she first into the Doctor's life. It's been a long time coming, too, for this is a relationship that has been teased since she first made her appearance in the Steven Moffat-penned Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead two parter, back in series four of the revived Who.
But viewers of this last weekend’s story, The Doctor’s Wife, might just have caught a line that may yet have ramifications: “the only water in the forest is the river”. This, instantly, fuelled some speculation about the other female character in Doctor Who at the moment with an aquatic name, Amy Pond. And this, then, got further theories running.
So, and it’s about time we did it, let’s go through the assorted theories for just who River Song is…
SHE’S THE DOCTOR’S WIFE!
When the episode title of Neil Gaiman’s story, The Doctor’s Wife, was revealed, this played very much into the hands that River and the Doctor were once married. And that’s the narrative that’s been teased pretty much from the off. The constant calling of the Doctor “sweetie”. The kiss. The lingering looks. The spoilers. The hurt in River’s as she appreciates she and the Doctor are moving further and further apart. It does all point to a husband and wife being pulled apart.
Yet Steven Moffat rarely does this the obvious way, and as he himself has pointed out, stories rely on surprises. And it would be little surprise were River and the Doctor actually married at some point. Still, you can hardly write this one off.
SHE’S AMY POND!
Now this is where it gets interesting. Get past the hair colour, and there are other reasons why these two may yet be the same person. That would, in part, go some way to explaining the aforementioned line from The Doctor’s Wife (accepting that Amy Pond wasn’t a character in Doctor Who when Forest Of The Dead was broadcast), but more importantly, it would explain Amy’s continual longing for the Doctor.
Granted, this has been downplayed a little this series, as her and Rory seem to be getting on better, but remember the wedding in The Big Bang? Where, on her wedding day, she couldn’t have been happier to see the Doctor? That would fit River’s behaviour, wouldn’t it?
Or how about…
SHE’S A TIME LORD!
Right, this one’s got some legs. Go back to her first episodes. She knows the Doctor’s Gallifreyan name. This can, in theory, only be pronounced if you are from Gallifrey. She can write in the language too. She thus has a very, very strong Gallifrey link, and it’s not a massive leap then to conclude that she’s from the Doctor’s home planet. And that she may well, in theory, a Time Lord. Heck, she can even control the Tardis.
This fits into lots of things, too. Take the mysterious regenerating girl in Day Of The Moon. Could she be River? Or about to regenerate into her? This could tie into the Amy Pond theory too, if River and Amy turn out to be the same person.
Is your head hurting yet? Because if so, how about…
SHE’S AMY’S DAUGHTER!
Well, it’s possible, isn’t it?
We’ve met River Song at the end of her life, effectively. Every time we meet her, she and the Doctor are drifting further and further away, as time continues to play its tricks. So it’s entirely feasible, and could potentially be quite brilliant, that Amy’s daughter turns out to be River Song. Perhaps even in a parallel universe, which would explain the on/off pregnancy test that we keep seeing throughout series six?
Were we to lean towards one theory on this list, we suspect it might just be this one. There certainly seems to be a strong link between Amy and River, so is this it?
But! How about…
SHE'S THE DOCTOR’S KILLER!
We know that River Song is in prison, and we know that she is in prison for doing something very bad indeed. That something very bad indeed might just be shooting the Doctor, perhaps while dressed up as an astronaut (perhaps a parallel universe version of her)? That would make sense, and explain why River was quite so protective of spoilers…
SHE’S THE RANI!
I was never much of a fan of The Rani, the other major renegade Time Lord villain in Doctor Who, but inevitably, when people start mapping out potential paths for the character of River, The Rani is one conclusion. She’s no friend of the Doctor, certainly, and time would thus presumably get to a point where the Doctor and River Song were mortal foes. Yet while Steven Moffat is happy to dig into Who history for monsters – the Silurians, the Autons – this one strikes us a very long shot.
Still, if River Song does turn out to be The Rani, then Alex Kingston might just get a job as a recurring villain. We could live with that.
SHE ISN’T A SHE, SHE’S A WHAT!
We’ve just had an episode of Doctor Who where the Tardis appeared in the form of a woman. Surely that changes a few rules along the way? Who says River Song actually has to be a person, then? Why can’t she be a thing, or an entity? Could she be House? Could she be the Tardis? Long shots, maybe, but a more lateral way at looking at River shouldn’t be discounted…
SHE’S A MIXTURE OF ALL OF THE ABOVE THEORIES!
It’s entirely feasible, and this is the beauty of speculation pieces, that River Song is a cocktail made up of many of the above ingredients. Because lots of the theories we’ve talked about here (and this is by no means a definitive round-up) do overlap with each other. So a mixture of two of three elements (Amy’s daughter, who happens to kill the Doctor, perhaps in some Rory-inspired rage attack? Ahem…) might just be right.
SHE’S SOMETHING ELSE ALTOGETHER!
Ah, the cop out entry in the list. Could she be the Library from Silence In The Library? Could she be Steven Moffat’s ? What about that she’s the Doctor, and thus in love with herself? Why has she written everything down in the blue book? Is she the blue book? Is it her book? Is it a book at all? Have we gone barking mad?
1 It’s this season’s most trad-Who episode so far, but whereas last year’s “trad” story (the Silurian two-parter) was Pertwee era, this is straight out of the Troughton years. Appropriately Matt Smith is at his most Troughton-esque.
2 It also evokes memories of “The Impossible Planet”. There’s a lot of exposition to start with, but it soon becomes very pacy claustrophobic, creepy and full of powerful, well-written character moments for the guest stars and striking images.
3 The pre-titles teaser is frankly disturbing
4 Accident Direct could have to rethink their policies in this world
5 Rory fails to score a double
6 There’s lots and lots of shaky acting (term © Surrane Jones )
7 There’s a surprising selection of pop songs
8 The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver when simply reading would suffice
9 The Doctor reveals he’s a fan of someone
10 The Doctor pretends to be a weatherman
11 The Doctor has a great Derren Brown moment
12 Random words: “Poncy”, “cockerel”, “welly-boots”, “football”
13 The Doctor loses two of something
14 The Doctor says something again we’ve never heard him say before
15 Beware the oncoming storm
16 Someone builds a castle
17 There’s a moment straight out of The Thing, and another one straight out of Death Becomes Her
18 Someone’s first words are a big clue
19 Rory puts his foot down
2o The Doctor clearly isn’t from the North any more!
It looks like I was right about getting a 'Hungry Earth' vibe from the trailers! And I have read good reviews so I am hoping to be very impressed come Saturday!
Right, My theory (it may be too far fetched for some, but still) is that the forest is a metaphor for the TARDIS, and that what Idris was saying is that 'River Song is the only 'Water' in the TARDIS'. Which, twisted around to be less riddle-like. Could mean something like 'Amy Pond isn't real, but River Song is'. I don't know, too far fetched? I already have my theory that River is Amy's daughter, but if I was somehow right, what does this have to do with Idris quote?
Sunday, 15 May 2011
I have been meaning to post this for a while now, so lets get on with it!
The eye patch Woman, has been in two episodes so far "Day of the Moon" and "The Curse of the Black Spot", and I have to say I am more than intrigued as to who she is. We also know she has an appearance in next weeks 'The Rebel Flesh' so...
In ep 2 she opens the hatch, looks at Amy, and then turns as if speaking to someone else and says 'No, I think she's just dreaming'
In ep 3 she says something along the lines of 'Your doing fine, just keep going'
This makes me think that she is Amy's midwife, or is that too obvious? The Dreaming line is interesting, but I am completely clueless at to what it means. Oh Well, lets just see where the Moff is taking us with it (and hope its not rubbish)
SPEECHLESS! JUST SPEECHLESS! I have literally just finished watching 'The Doctors Wife'on my TV. It was, no exaggeration, the best episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen, If not, one of the best 45 minutes of television ever created!
I'm gonna start with the negative. This is gonna sound pathetically picky, but still, when Rory and Idris were connecting telepathically, the effects were bad. Thats my one negative (which is me being my criticising mode because, for some reason, I felt as if I was looking for at least one reason to not like this episode)
The beginning was brilliant. I loved the return of the Ood, I loved even further that it wasn't really an important character and that it was just there. The message box the doctor got was a nice nod to the classic series, and the doctors comment about "Him or her" had me screaming with frustration at the TV (as those who know me well will tell you, I HATE HATE HATE the idea of a female doctor!) So, the whole Idris is the TARDIS thing was an amazing plot idea, simple, brilliant. I can't believe no-one has tried this before, the personification of the TARDIS is a simply genius concept, and it was Neil Gaiman who did it! (Neil Gaiman is my daughters favourite author, and one of mines too!) so you can imagine my delight as Idris awoke with a new soul, coughing out a materialization noise and finally giving the TARDIS a body!
Wow! and that was even before the opening credits!
The idea of a junk-yard planet was inspired. More so when you realise that Gaiman put that in there because Doctor Who itself started off in a Junk-yard. It looked great, and I loved all the steam-punk elements. The main typical 'Gaiman' thing about this episode was the Patchwork people. I LOVED them, the whole concept was genius (I will be using that word a lot in this review) and the way they called themselves 'Auntie' and 'Uncle' was strangely chilling. So, The Doctor is 'introduced' to Idris (who comes running at him screaming "THIEF, MY THIEF") and we get a HILARIOUS line about Biting. Surrane Jones should win some sort of award for her performance, I found myself thinking during the programme that Helena Bonham Carter would be awesome as Idris, but now looking back, I think she would have been the obvious choice, and It's too typical a role for her, that I think she wouldn't have done as good a job. Surrane Jones obviously took alot of effort to do this role, and boy did it pay off. Her TARDIS was crazy, mad, sad, happy, sexy, and all the positive adjectives I can think of. Her interaction with the doctor was great and led to some lines that we have all wanted to hear said for years, but there has just never been an opportunity for them. for example "You never took me where I wanted to go" " No, but I always took you where you needed to go"
So, Amy and Rory are rushed off to the TARDIS where the mysterious 'House' invades it. We finally get to see some more TARDIS. I loved the corridors. They had a very 'Classic' feel, and although I would have loved to see the Swimming Pool, we got what we were given, and I have to admit, the house playing with Amy and Rory's mind was pretty awesome. Arthur Darvill as old Rory was superb, and the writing on the wall was surprisingly scary. Meanwhile the Doctor and Idris are building a TARDIS out of Idris's 'sisters'. I thought the console looked great, and props to the winner of the Blue Peter contest who designed it. We get an epic line about the way the doctor opens his TARDIS doors and then we are off in the clambered together TARDIS. I found the fact that Idris thought Rory was 'The Pretty One' Hilarious.
I love the Ood. Fact. Nephew was so cool in this episode, and I think the Ood were scarier than ever before. The green eyes worked better than the red. Then we saw 9 and 10s TARDIS. I nearly fell of my chair when I saw it. The whole scene reminded me of how much I adored that TARDIS (I think it is my favourite!) and I am thrilled that the shot in the trailer wasn't David Tennant coming back. We then get the confrontation scene. I liked how the house demonstrated what he could do to kill everyone. I'm not lying when I say I felt a little jealous of all the things he could do. It really reminded me of that iPhone game 'Pocket God'. Anyway, after the house 'Kills' everyone, they all end up in the main section of the TARDIS, when Idris dies, and the TARDIS soul gies back into the machine we all know and love. I can't say though, that I wasn't sad about it. The final goodbye, or, 'hello' as Idris put it was the icing on the cake, it had me nearly in tears, and it really showcased both Matt and Surrane acting, with it feeling as natural as possible. Once that scene is over and done with, the house is gone and we get a lovely scene at the end with the doctor, Amy and Rory concerning the TARDIS and a mysterious line about "The Only water in the forest is the River" as well as a hilarious exchange about bunk beds.
So, in short, this episode was television perfection. Doctor Who at it's best, a mad, mad adventure filled with charm, chills, great dialogue and stunning acting. It is definitely true that I will never look at the TARDIS in the same way again!
10/10 (would be eleven, but that's impossible!)
Next week we have what looks like a pretty scary Finale-ish two parter, looks very 'Hungry Earth' to me. It also looks like we finally get some answers to as who the hell is the eye patch lady (Amy's midwife perhaps)
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Lets start off with the beginning. It was awesome. I loved the beginning (despite me being a bit of a hater when it comes to pirate-y things) it was chilling, and made me actually pretty excited for what was to follow. What followed wasn't very good (in my opinion) We got cliches. WAY too many cliches. The plank. The Pirates Laughing, don't get me started on the cringworthy sword fight scene. I did however, like the first Siren sighting scene. Lily Cole looking pretty sinister (and rather beautiful) I found myself loving Rory's dialogue,and I loved how the victims just suddenly dissapear in a whisp of smoke. More positives in the story. Eye Patch Lady, and The whole post Rory's death TARDIS scene. other than that, I found everything else really bland.
Doctor Who has done hospitals before. It's also done enemies turning out to be good guys before. This whole Siren in a hospital plot line was stupid. I would have much prefered the ship to be the setting for the whole episode. And for the Siren to acctually be evil. If she owned a hospital, how come the men with tiny cuts on their hands had to goo to the hospital rather unrealistic. Also, why didn't the doc, Amy and Captain Avery end up in a hospital bed?
Captain Avery was an awful character as well. Acted nothing like a pirate. And hardly batted an eyelid when he realised his son was a stowaway on board the ship.I am sorry if this review sounds incredibly negative. There were some genuinely good moments. My favourite scene of the whole episode (and possibly even in my top ten of all time) was the scene in which Avery and The Doctor are in the TARDIS. Hilarious! Anyway, we were reminded yet again that Amy loves Rory, in a failed attempt to add last minute suspense by 'Killing of Rory'. Karen acted beautifully as well as matt smith, but Rory really is becoming the 'Kenny' of Doctor Who. Also, Space-Pirates, SO CRINGWORTHY I NEARLY DIED. Oh well, lets hope we never see them again
Overall, a really disappointing episode, after the frantically paced and amazing series opener. Having said that, we did get some tantalising hints about the pregnancy, and another peek at the eye patch lady. And the next time trailer looks EPIC!!! I love Neil Gaiman and anything he writes is genius, so next week can't come soon enough!
Monday, 2 May 2011
Wow! Seriously, I think that may have been one of the single best episodes of Doctor Who, ever! After watching The Impossible Astronaut twice, I kind of felt a bit underwhelmed, as if I was expecting more from it. It didn't click with me as much as I had hoped, but, with that in mind, I can honestly say mind was officially blown by that episode!
We start of with a pretty epic (not to mention long) pre-titles sequence. I loved it, and I like the idea of not starting with the resolution to a cliffhanger, like we see in so many an episode. Some great use of the location pieces and some great acting from Karen, Arthur and Alex. I have to say, seeing River fall out of buildings is becoming a thing with Moffat (The Time of Angels) but I still loved it. So, we see a bearded doctor in a prison, and suddenly canton is evil. It turns out the whole thing was a plan to get the team together. (By the Way, I thought the doctors perfect prison was undeniably cool!) This is followed by an epic gag involving River and a certain Swimming Pool. We see a silence in the TARDIS and the doctor puts these radio recorders in their hands. This was a great idea, and I loved the importance of them, during both the scene in the TARDIS and the orphanage.
The orphanage, this was the reason I loved this episode so much. Moffat is a genius, his creations are genuinely frighting, and I feel they are always linked with children. Perhaps like Moffat, I feel as though there is something about children that is slightly creepy. The fact that they should be innocent and sweet, but (like in the empty child) in moffats episodes, they always aren't. The sense of foreboding was extremely hard to miss, and the whole scenes in the orphanage were complete and utter genius. From the demented, and sinister Manager, to the silence hanging from the ceiling. The idea of the tally marks were awesome, and I felt kind of disgusted (in a good way) that the characters had to resort to drawing on their forehead. And yet again. I have nothing but praise for Karen Gillan who I feel is by far the most improved cast member this series so far.
The Woman with the eye patch. This has me clueless, and that doesn't happen usually.When she says "No I think she's just dreaming." Who is she talking to? and who is she talking about? Amy? the Girl? I have a feeling we will see her again pretty soon. (side point - is this perhaps linked with Amy's Choice last series?)
I think the Doctor breaking into Apollo 11 was so the doctor. And the scene in the lecture theatre had me laughing so many times. The President, River and most of all Rory, who I am starting to like so much more than last series!
Meanwhile, Amy finds a photo of herself and a baby in the room of the little girl in the spacesuit. Obviously this will get fans thinking that the girl is Amy's baby. I honestly think it is so much more complicated than that. Then, we get some resolution from the cliffhanger. And then Amy gets kidnapped, and Canton shoots a Silence.
Now, onto my literally only quibble with the episode, and despite it being a pretty huge factor, It really hardly dampened my enjoyment of the episode at all. The resolution to the silence (with the video of the silence saying "You will kill us all on sight) was, not gonna lie, lame. I get the feeling it was thought up by Moffat when he realised he couldn't figure out a really good,clever way to kill the silence. But don't worry, I am nearly 99.9% certain that the silence will be back for the series finale.
I am starting to seriously love River Song. Not only is she mysterious, she is genuinely cool, and I really loved Alex Kingston's acting when she realised with had kissed the doctor for the last time.
The ending. THE ENDING. I was speechless for about half an hour after I saw it. I knew the end was apparently a 'life-changer' but wow, I was seriously not expecting that! She flipping regenerated. Who is she? If she is Amy's child, I am pretty sure Amy isn't pregnant with The Doctors baby, I would suspect it has something to do with whatever the silence did to her in the two days they had her locked up in a coma. Anyway, easily in my top 5 episodes of all time (If the series carries on like this I may need to update my top 20 list!)
Next week we have what looks like a more toned down romp on a pirate ship. Despite it looking slightly comic, it also seems rather creepy, as I remember being terrified by 'The Black Spot' when I was little!
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Well, not too good sadly. Doctor Who achieved Overnight ratings of 6.5 million viewers. Despite being majorly disappointing, especially for a series opener, you have to remember some pretty important things that would have altered the amount of views.
1) It was a hot day:
People will want be outside in the warm rather than inside watching TV.
2) Too damn early:
For me, of course, it hardly matters because its doctor who and I'll watch it whatever time it's on. But there will be millions of people who aren't finished at their work by the time it airs, and will therefore have to opt to recording it. I know the reason the BBC are airing it early though, Britains Got Talent. The BBC are obviously scared of a ratings clash and war. And it is obvious who will win. As yet again, The world of trash, reality, brainwashing TV lands upon the UK :(
3) It's Spring/Summer Time
It's no secret that TV Ratings go down in the summer. Big Time. This is why ITV is smart, and airs Britain's Got Talent after it gets dark, so it doesn't matter whether its Autumn or Summer. I know that my sisters family recorded Doctor Who and watched it at 9.00 in the evening. The reason being is that Doctor Who is about 10X less scary when it's light outside. I am telling you I can't wait till after the hiatus when Doctor Who airs when it's dark outside!
4)The World is becoming more Internet based.
More and more people are choosing to watch things on-line. This is a reason why Doctor Who does so well on I Player.(Doctor Who is currently the most popular thing on there, and I expect it to be so for the next day or two) If you don't have access to a TV, just watch it on-line. This isn't just in Doctor Who (again I am looking at Britain's Got 'No' Talent) which got nearly a 1 million drop in viewers with this years opener from last years opener.
So, I conclude, Doctor Who will almost definitely get a huge amount of viewers from Recordings and I Player views. I know I have already watched it a couple of times again via I Player. So, lets hope for good Final Figures (they after all, are what counts) and you can help by re-watching Doctor Who again by I Player!
Sorry if you were bored by my rant!
Saturday, 23 April 2011
So, that aside, we begin my spoiler-y review. So, if you have not yet seen it, please don't read this review!
About a week or two ago, these character cards were leaked on-line, and I was silly enough to take a glance. On 'The Doctor's' card, it gave away the fact that the doctor we see is a future version of the doc. After I read this, I looked away and shut down the window. I did not want to be spoiled. So to me, I had worked the whole death thing out a long time ago. But, it still was great. It really reminded me of 'The Big Bang' when the doctor revisits his past.
I LOVED the idea that the three companions have to keep this a secret from the doctor. It really gives the episode a tension lacking from series 5, and especially series 1-4.
The Silence. What can I say. They are great. Not as great as I was expecting (that's all down to one reason, I will explain later) but without that one point they would be amazing. They look brilliant. They sound brilliant. The fact that you forget them whenever you look away, is brilliant. The way they kill people is Bri...no wait. It's awful. I am so sorry for people who can't see fault in the silence. But what on earth was that lightning way of killing. It seriously looked like a gimmicky pile of nonsense. The toilet scene was epic, and yet was seriously ruined by the almost humourous way of being killed. If they killed with no SFX, how epic would it look if the silence just raised it's arms at the woman, and silently, the woman just drops down dead. Oh Well, another small quibble, but I just had to get it out there.
I Loved the 'Spaceman' storyline, with the girl. who I found more scary than the silence but there you go. I loved Canton.Nixon.
The exchange between Rory and River towards the end of the episode is by far my favourite bit of the episode. I think it is definetly in my top 5 scenes on doctor who ever. It was beautiful done, and acted. It really makes you think how hard meeting the doctor in the wrong order is for her.
I swear I jumped out of my seat when I saw the Lodger TARDIS. Great to see that again. Knew the silence were behind it!
Amy's pregnant! I'm assuming she'll give birth at the end of this series. Which means no more Amy :( but, it has opened my eyes to a number of possibilities. Firstly, Her future baby is the girl in the spacesuit, Who she just shot. Heartbreaking, but I think it would be interesting if this theory turned out to be true. The second is that Amy's child will infact be River Song. I'm gonna leave that there.
I'm sorry this is a shockingly bad review. I am rushing this, and my mind is going a hundred miles a second so I just blurred out points I felt needed to say. Lets hope my next review is better!
Overall, an amazing series opener. I wish it was longer (seriously, someone start a petition to make doctor who an hour long!) but I can't wait till next week!
Friday, 22 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Elizabeth Sladen is dead. She dies after complications when battling Cancer. Other than the fact that I was speechless for about five minutes since I heard. I am completely in shock. Liz Sladen was an amazing actress and it is undoubtedly sad now she has gone. Not only this, but she was still rather young. Just 63 years old. She looked healthy. And looked about 15 years younger than she actually is. My heart goes out to all those close to her and the cast of SJA.
I have no idea what will happen to the show.It will probably get cancelled. I am trying not to think about how Daniel Anthony, Tommy Knight, and Anjli Mohindra must be feeling. They were in the middle of filming series 5.
There really is nothing else I can say. To Be Honest I am in total shock
Monday, 18 April 2011
Doctor Who's Karen Gillan: 'I want to be like Robin Williams'
Karen Gillan talks about Who-mania, what Matt Smith gets up to in her trailer, and where she goes from here
April is the busiest month. Not only are we celebrating a certain royal wedding but for millions of fans the waiting will be over, when the news series of Doctor Who hits our screens next Saturday. The stakes are high for Karen Gillan and the 11th Doctor Who, Matt Smith. Can they repeat the magic of the last series?
With her doll-like features and skyscraper legs, 5ft 10in Gillan is startlingly beautiful in the flesh. She has style, too. At 10am she arrives for our shoot in her own pale lace maxi-dress offset by a black sash, mannish frock-coat and chunky ankle boots. Let me guess… Alberta Ferretti? 'Noo! Noo! Get down to Zara,’ she trills. 'Everyone says I’m really overdressed today but this is significantly easier than putting on jeans and a top, I would just like to point out.’
As for that other glossily maned ingénue teaming up with a constantly regenerating British institution: 'William and Kate? Um, I’m a bit indifferent, really,’ she confesses, then hastily checks herself. 'I guess the country will go into massive celebrations. It’ll be fun and they seem nice.’ She crosses those legs – legs that caused a minor furore when her Doctor Who character, Amy Pond, first appeared, pre-watershed, in a thigh-skimming, kissogram police uniform – before delivering her final verdict: 'I won’t be having a party.’
No commemorative tea towels, then? 'A tea towel? It’s so weird, I find it really weird.’ Surely, with all the Doctor Who merchandise that’s around Gillan can empathise with the royal couple? 'I’ve got a coin with my face on it,’ she concedes. 'It is really bizarre.’
'Bizarre’ is something of a Gillan buzz word, along with 'crazy’ and 'surreal’. It’s understandable when you consider how much the 23-year-old’s life has changed since she landed the role of the feisty Doctor’s companion Amy nearly two years ago. In keeping with the arcane world of Doctor Who, the casting sessions even had their own code-name, Panic Moon, an anagram of 'companion’.
She had modelled and acted before – appearing as a soothsayer in a 2008 episode of Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii, in the medical drama Harley Street and the Channel 4 sketch series The Kevin Bishop Show. But nothing could have prepared her for the onslaught of Who mania.
Last spring was just the start as she and the newly anointed Smith – now 28, and the youngest ever Doctor – kicked off their incumbency by touring schools, emerging from a special Doctor Who bus emblazoned with their image. In July they shared the Albert Hall stage with daleks as hosts of the Doctor Who prom. In August Gillan launched the Amy Pond doll in a Glasgow shopping centre. Does she ever feel like a cross between a Blue Peter presenter and Justin Bieber? 'Ha. It’s like no other acting job because it’s almost sometimes like being a pop star,’ she confirms.
Yet she can’t afford to think about the fans – from children to legions of male admirers – when she’s acting. 'The last thing you want to do when you are about to film a scene is think, “Oh my God, so many people are going to watch this,”’ she says.
And not just Brits. The première of the last series was watched by 1.2 million BBC America viewers. On an early promotional trip to New York Gillan was shocked to see fans queuing around the block to see it. 'People had been camping out and people would dress up as me. We didn’t think anyone knew what it was over there,’ she says.
The new series will air simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic. It opens with a double episode filmed in America, which takes the characters from the deserts of Utah to the Oval Office in the late 1960s. The Doctor even wears a stetson. For all its parochial charms – everyone from Ann Widdecombe to Sir Patrick Moore has had cameos – the show is now an international commodity. 'Apparently Spielberg said the world’s a better place with Doctor Who in it.’
This can only be good news for Gillan, who has already dipped a toe in the film world. She recently appeared alongside James Nesbitt in the British horror film Outcast, a role she filmed just two months before getting cast in Doctor Who, and is set to play a New Jersey high school student in a David Baddiel rom-com, Romeo & Brittney, a sci-fi version of Romeo and Juliet.
Yet she comes across more like an excitable student than a global star in the making, whether it’s discussing the joys of vintage shopping, recounting how Billie Piper, one of the Doctor’s previous companions, made the effort to approach her at an awards ceremony, or describing how she and Smith fool around on set. 'Matt has taken to hiding in my trailer and then jumping out and screaming at me, “I’m going to get you!” It’s the scariest thing.’
The pair have a teasing brother-sister relationship. He has likened her gangly physique to that of a praying mantis and nicknamed her Plural Chin for her habit of scoffing sandwiches. She says he has 'a weird head and a weird way of walking’.
Making just one series of Doctor Who means working nine months, 12 hours a day, with only one day off every 11 days, so it’s no wonder they’ve become close. 'You disappear off the face of the earth,’ she says.
The two live in the same apartment block in Cardiff. Evenings are spent learning lines and texting each other. Gillan says she gets just one free hour to herself. 'Me and Matt were talking about this – you have this one hour that you really treasure and we always eat these Nairn’s crackers – they’re amazing. I have this image of us shovelling hummus and oatcakes into our mouths; it happens every night.’
If that sounds a little mundane, she assures me that they do sometimes venture out. Recently, Cardiff music fans were treated to the sight of Smith, Gillan and Arthur Darvill, who plays her on-screen husband Rory, at an Arcade Fire gig. Smith was recognised but Gillan slipped under the radar. 'I didn’t have any trouble. I was dancing away,’ she says, gleefully.
Gillan has been with her real-life boyfriend, the photographer Patrick Green, for five years, but is careful to keep this side of her life private. You won’t see them falling out of nightclubs, though they were once photographed by paparazzi, buying a Bonsai tree in a Suffolk garden centre. 'What’s strange is that my boyfriend’s from Ipswich so they were following him and I just happened to turn up, so that was really… bizarre,’ she says.
Her taste in music veers from the poptastic (the Spice Girls and Britney Spears) to the classic (Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, American gospel), the latter influenced by her father, John, a care worker and a regular singer at pub open-mic nights. Her mother, Marie, a housewife, doesn’t do performing in any way, she adds, sounding relieved.
Gillan may appear happy-go-lucky but she clearly has Irn Bru in her veins. Growing up in Inverness, an only child, she had musical ambitions, but was cripplingly shy. 'I was one of those weird children that just couldn’t talk to people, so I kind of had to make myself be not like that because I knew it was going to hinder me.
I was going on stage trying to sing but couldn’t get anything out. My voice was quivering but I knew that I just had to keep on doing it because you only get scared of stuff that you don’t know; you’ve just got to familiarise yourself with it and then it's fine.’
By 16 she had conquered her fears sufficiently to play Liesl in a school production of The Sound of Music ('Cringe!’ is her verdict today). She headed to drama school in Edinburgh, and then moved to London to attend the Italia Conti stage school. Three months later a part came up in the Scottish detective drama Rebus – to take it up she had to drop out of school. 'I was 18, I couldn’t resist the temptation but it was only one episode so I was taking a gamble.’ What happened next? 'Nothing happened,’ she says, with a cackle. 'It was terrible.’
On the plus side, she got a job in a south London pub, where she perfected the art of drawing a clover in a pint of Guinness. This foray into civilian life was to prove short-lived. Scouted by a model agency, she walked the catwalk for Allegra Hicks. 'I have to wear size five shoes for heels to stay on but they’d always be a size seven so I’d be stuffing tissue in.’
Assessing her modelling career, which included a stint promoting a make-up range, Gillan becomes uncharacteristically subdued. 'I didn’t really care that much,’ she admits. I just wanted to earn some cash so I could subsidise myself to live in London and go to acting auditions.’ A friend of hers lives in a model apartment, where girls sleep two bunk beds to each bedroom. 'When it’s fashion week the local models are told, “Get out of the apartment, we’ve got some girls coming over from Russia who have nowhere to stay.” It’s a harsh world unless you’re some kind of supermodel.’
One can imagine Gillan joining the ranks of Emma Watson, with her lucrative modelling contracts for Burberry and Lancôme, or Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively, the face of Chanel’s Mademoiselle handbags, but this is not in the game plan. 'That would never come if you’re not doing good work, so you’ve just got to focus on doing good work,’ she says.
I ask if there’s an actor whose career she particularly admires. Her answer is refreshingly offbeat. 'Robin Williams. I want a career like his! I want to be like Robin Williams, really. It’s all the different characters he does, all the different voices.’ What about actresses? 'You know whose career I really liked? Brittany Murphy. I thought she played quite interesting characters. She was in Girl Interrupted, and in 8 Mile she had this griminess to her, this edge, which I quite liked.’
Is Gillan yearning for edgier roles? Compared to Doctors, companions can have short shelf-lives – there have even been hints that Amy Pond is to be killed off, as a mid-series cliffhanger. She says she would like to do theatre, either contemporary 'or something really bizarre like Eugène Ionesco’.
Matt Smith recently veered off-piste to play Christopher Isherwood in a BBC Two drama, to much acclaim. Gillan will shortly play Jean Shrimpton for the BBC Four film We’ll Take Manhattan about the 1960s style icon’s first encounter with David Bailey, at a Vogue photo-shoot in New York. Miniskirts and it-girls? It’s not very Robin Williams, but if anyone can pull it off Karen Gillan can. Those character parts may have to wait.
The new series of Doctor Who starts on BBC One on Saturday, 23 April
okay, A pretty long read. But still quite interesting...