Lewis: Well that was easily one of the best episode of Doctor Who in years. Right up until the point where the Doctor was knocked out. It started strong and creepy, but the ending just didn’t do it for me

Ben: My thoughts exactly, when I saw Moffat was writing it and how cool the advert looked I was expecting it to be a return to the glory days of the first weeping angels and the Vasta Narada (the one with the carnivorous shadows), but the ending didn’t live up to my expectations

Lewis: The first half of it was extremely creepy, and I was really excited about the fact that we finally got another scary episode, but the ‘none of it was real’ thing really pissed me off. I would’ve much preferred there to be creatures like the Doctor explained, but I also didn’t want to see them, that’s what made them so creepy. And even if you can’t remember a dream where something grasped your ankle, everyone has nightmares from time to time, and I couldn’t help but connect with the creepiness of this episode and the sheer terror the characters felt.


Ben: I think the idea behind it was to leave the viewer wondering and having to make their own mind up about the creatures, as it is never really explained. You see something but at the same time you see nothing, meaning the viewer has to imagine what could be under the bed. I think leaving a sort of cliff hanger ending as to whether something could be there would have been a suitable ending to the brilliant start.

Lewis: Yeah I got that, and I’m all about a bit of ambiguity, but the ending kinda spoiled the mystery and creepiness that was built up, which is a shame because it had so much potential. It was still a good episode though!

Ben: I completely agree, but I wouldn’t call it a good episode with an ending like that. I feel that the writers are trying to over humanise The Doctor and in doing so we end up with the endings we get which look like they have come from one of Aesop’s fables.

Lewis: Alright then, I’ll compromise, it was a good episode until the Doctor got knocked out

Ben: Yeah, can’t say I disagree with you there. And as you said it is a shame because the first 35 minutes took me back to the Moffat stories of old. One other thing, I’m not a big fan of Doctor Who romance, they aren’t written cleverly and they just tend to get shoved in my face. The budding relationship between Clara and Danny is unfortunately following that same trend.

Lewis: It was indeed a shame that it had to end that way. As for the romance, it’s definitely being dealt with a lot better than previous attempts, and to be honest I really like the character of Danny, so it doesn’t bother me as much as the previous ones. I can definitely understand your prejudice against them though. On the subject of next week’s episode, it doesn’t look that promising to be honest…

Ben: We had high expectations for this week. Maybe if we set the bar a little lower we will be pleasantly surprised.


Deep Breath


Before we start this joint-review, we just want to remind everyone that we don’t want to hate Dr Who, and we really don’t enjoy ripping it apart… much. We’re just disappointed by it, because something that was so incredible to begin with has turned into something that could really be a lot better.

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Lewis: When that averagely-animated dinosaur first appeared on the screen I immediately thought ‘Here we go, more of this crap.’, and to be honest, I don’t think I was wrong, at least not for the majority of Saturday night’s episode.

Ben: I think it was hard to judge. My full opinion of series 8 won’t be formed ‘til after a couple of weeks. But these are my initial impressions. Firstly, I want tosay that the first 15-20, for me, were pretty uncomfortable to watch. Starting with the woeful new opening credits (the music made it sound like Christmas and the clock thing was just stupid, what happened to if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The previous opening credits were good) It was like Capaldi was trying to emulate Matt Smith and for me it didn’t work. However, as the episode continued, a doctor developed that I quite liked.

Lewis: I definitely agree with you on the first 15 minutes being a bit painful. To be honest, it just felt like the writing was a bit stodgy. Also, I’m not a massive fan of Steven Moffat’s 19th Century crime fighters; they get on my nerves a fair bit. As for the opening credits, I actually didn’t mind the song; it felt new but also sounded a bit like the older theme songs. The one nit-pick I have is about the graphics for the opening sequence. They were awful. The old one definitely had better CGI, and so why downgrade it to this cartoon-like image?

Ben: The delivery of dialogue was much improved, especially from the Doctor’s end, but I still don’t know what to think about the Clara character. I think now that the endless flirting (which did happen all the time) is over I may grow to like the character.

Lewis: Same here in terms of Clara, she seemed a bit more likeable in this episode (Which I thanked God for). So, for me, the episode had two characters that were far more likeable than they used to be, since while Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, the character is the same. However, in my opinion, this doesn’t save the episode.

Ben: Yeah, the story was pretty standard for the below par ideas that have seeped into episodes ever since the loss of T. Davies. The script itself was good while the story pretty poor. I think Moffat managed to write a script which was; funny at the right times, showed the audience that this doctor will be darker in character, and also assured us that there will no longer be any of this hugging crap (hallelujah). I also appreciated the mentions of previous Doctors (the long scarf bit amongst others), they were done in a tasteful way that poked fun without humiliating them (thinking back to Skyfall, which failed to do this, and how the older Bond films took a real battering at the hands of the pouty blonde man).

Lewis: I quite like Skyfall… and Daniel Craig…

Ben:  I am not saying I don’t like Skyfall, I am saying that after the first few funny comments, the remarks about previous got pretty vicious. I don’t like Daniel Craig, but I think that could be an argument for another day. The story on the other hand was a rip off of the Madame Du Pompadore episode, which I for one was able to suss out pretty quickly. It again shows the uninspiring and dull stories have to be improved.Also, the series already seems to be developing one of the long-running storylines that Moffat is such a big fan of, an Americanism that I really cannot stand, especially when they are so frequently shit (And this one looks to be one of those crap ones).

Lewis: I for one quite like a long-running story, but only if it pays off at the end. And Moffat just doesn’t seem to be able to give us the pay off that the show deserves. He’s pretty good at writing a one-off script (Blink comes to mind), but as for a season-arcing plot-point, it’s just not worth it.

Ben: I said that about his writing in my earlier Doctor Who piece. Going back to what you said earlier, I really hoped that the lizard and her team would be left behind with Matt Smith, unfortunately not. I can see them coming back at least once a series which is really irritating because none of them are really that likable.

Lewis: I can’t agree with you more there, and Mr Moffat, the next time you want to find an excuse for a cross-species lesbian kiss, either make it a good one or just do it without it.

Ben: I liked Peter Capaldi;but I didn’t really like much else. On the plus side the old non-Teletubbies Daleks are coming back in the next episode, and I think that it is from this point a proper opinion will be formed.

Lewis: Indeed, It wasn’t the worst episode I’ve seen, but it could’ve been a whole lot better. Anyway, thumbs up to Peter Capaldi, and bring on the Daleks.

Thanks for reading! If you want to call us idiots or other more explicit names, please leave a comment.

-Ben and Lewis

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news


Benportrait1I am sorry for my lack of writing, but I have a job now. Yes my friends I have a job, I get paid for it and everything. Granted I am sticking labels on boxes, which isn’t the most arduous task in the world, but at least I am earning money.  In case you were wondering about the title of this piece, isn’t about Robert Palmer’s 1979 hit ‘Bad Case of Loving You’ (this gives you an insight into my musical taste), rather, it’s about Doctor Who.

I don’t think there is any doubt in my mind, or in fact in the mind of anybody who knows me, that I am a Doctor Who fan, I do have DVDs. I am an unashamed fan of Doctor Who and always have been. In fact there have been entire days at University dedicated to watching the Sci-Fi hit. As a result I think I have earned the right to comment on the show. And as we build up to the new series I can’t think of a better time to get things off my chest.  Are you ready? Are you sure? Here we go.

First things first, I want to start with the previous 3 seasons which saw Matt Smith taking the lead role as the Time Lord from Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. The team behind the 11thincarnation of the Time Lord had an almost impossible task following the departure of many people’s favourite Doctor (I want to add here that he isn’t my favourite) David Tennant. And also the loss of Russell T. Davis. The previous head writer and master mind in bringing Doctor Who back to life.

In my opinion, the team behind seasons 5 to 7 of (read in a sarcastic voice, I will be coming back to this) ‘New Who’ almost failed. Starting with the first episode ‘the 11th hour’, which was a nice idea but was, in my opinion, poorly executed, which was an all too common occurrence in seasons 5 and 6. To my shame, I blamed Smith for the poor quality of the new series.

I think this was because Matt Smith played the Doctor in a very similar way to his very popular predecessor, and as a result comparisons were made and Tennant’s doctor was better in every way. Smith accentuated the crazy and eccentric surface layer provided by the 10th Doctor. David Tennant built on his predecessor Christopher Eccleston’s performance by teaming the bitter (the guy just lost his planet, he had every right to be pissed) 9th Doctor with his own eccentricity, providing a very Funny Doctor on the Surface while maintaining deep emotions, providing audiences with a very likeable and relatable character. Smith failed to carry out any real character development. Instead he focused on accentuating the barmy surface. To me the 11th doctor didn’t have any depth of emotion and as a result didn’t become at all likeable until the loss of Amy and Rory. Only at this point did Smith develop his incarnation of the Doctor’s emotions. It was only then did I begin to enjoy watching Doctor Who again. It wasn’t until the end of series 5 that I saw the real issue with the new Doctor’s tenure.

Following the departure of Davis, the quality of the writing seemed to take a real nose dive. The group of writers providing the story lines hadn’t changed much, so who was to blame? Steven Moffat, that’s who. It almost seemed that Moffat was too lazy to properly edit the scripts, allowing dull and stodgy lines to seep into every episode.

In the rare case there was a decent story, my mind immediately jumps to the one with the Daleks in World War II London, it was ruined by some pretty woeful casting epitomised by Karen Gillan. I can’t even say or type her name without scowling. The Scot was dreadful and I really do mean dreadful, failing in almost every case to say a line of dialogue without sounding like she should really be presenting the lottery. In all honesty, the obnoxious Colin Baker (the 6th doctor) and his screaming companion Peri, portrayed by Nicola Bryant, are more likable than Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond.

Moffat had an unhealthy obsession with River Song, a character of his own creation, and I was desperate for him to let her death in the Silent Library stick. However the new head writer decided he would drag the character into every possible story. Giving her a really dreadful link to the companions of the time and her own catch phrase. Kingston’s delivery of dialogue was almost as bad as her on screen mother’s (Gillan again). The character became more of an irritant than anything else. Also, the whole conceived on the TARDIS meaning she gained Time Lord traits is, for want of a better word, absolute Bollocks.

However by the end of Smith’s time as The Doctor, the irritating characters had finally departed, either through death or by the touch of a Weeping Angel. The writing team seemed to have settled into their new roles, producing some good story lines. Which were portrayed well by the competent pairing of Smith and his new on screen assistant, Clara (Jenna Coleman). I do still have one remaining bugbear with the ‘New Who’ (I hope you can still read the sarcasm). It’s that the companions, assistants or whatever you want to call them, are always given a back story that is followed throughout their time on the show. I can list them if you want;

Rose – Bad Wolf

Donna – Doctor Donna

Amy – The Girl Who Waited

Rory – the Last Centurion

River Song – The Doctors Wife/ Killing the Doctor etc.

Clara – That Whole recurring cycle of death thing

When these back stories work, like ‘Bad wolf’ and ‘Doctor Donna’, they are brilliant and worth having in the show to add something extra that links the episodes together. This is also down to the T. Davis factor and his undoubted ability to create a story. However the recurring stories under Moffat have been odd and confusing in most cases. In Rory’s case it seems to be put in just to actually get him involved, as throughout the previous episodes of season 5 he may as well not be there. I think this underlines Moffat’s skills and short comings. He can write a brilliant one off story, ‘Blink’ being a prime example, but as a head writer I don’t think he is up to scratch. The back story isn’t needed to make a good series. Looking back to the original Doctors Whos there is only one recurring story, which is during the 6th Doctors tenure ‘The Trail of a Time Lord’, and the less said about Colin Baker’s irritating incarnation the better.

My Favourite Doctors are Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy. I do like a dark Doctor. One of the reasons I like the original episodes… Wait, before I continue, here is a bit of a tangent rant for you:

Not ‘Classic Who’… This is another thing I really dislike about modern TV. These irritating groups of people who call themselves ‘fan girls/guys’. Get a life you sad people. I am talking about the kind of people who spend hours poring over Tumblr laughing at gif files from Doctor Who episodes and will go out and ‘cosplay’. Why can’t they just watch it because they want to? Why do they have to shout out to the world that they are a fan? These are the people that have coined the terms ‘Classic’ and ‘New Who’, and that is why I dislike them and their ‘Fandom ways’.

Anyway back to the original point. I like the original Doctor Who episodes because the Doctor is a more Distant Darker Character. None of this Kissing malarkey which Paul McGann did in the Doctor Who film. I didn’t think the steampunk Doctor Who effort was half bad. It was a bit stupid, but I would have liked to have seen it continued in a series as was planned. I am very excited about the upcoming series, no matter what you may think. In a recent BBC interview Peter Capaldi described his 12th Doctor as not being ‘User Friendly’. Music to my cynical ears. I hope that Capaldi takes elements of the darker, more distant older Doctors while still making the character his own and up to date to ensure that the program grows in popularity.