Tag Archives: Review

Bill – the Doctor’s New Companion (and an episode review of ‘The Pilot’)

SPOILERS SWEETIE!

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Pearl Mackie plays Bill Potts, the Doctor’s new Companion.

I like Bill. She is her own woman, and she will NEVER fall in love with the Doctor. She likes him for himself, even when she finds out he is an alien. Pearl Mackie seems to have hit the right note and is off and running as the new Companion. Did you little nod to Ace, in the sense that the Doctor is her Professor? She reminds me of Ace in that she is a fighter, and not a screamer or a whiner.

Throwing the book

There are a few reasons Bill reminds of Ace. When we first meet Ace, she is a waitress. The Seventh Doctor took a special interest in Ace’s education, and Twelve has shown a similar interest in Bill’s education. There was an ongoing rumour that Ace was a lesbian (her relationship with Karra), which an overt part of Bill’s characterization. Ace favoured jackets with patches, and so does Bill. Like Ace, Bill isn’t overawed by the Doctor, with my favourite quote  from this episode being,  “You run like a penguin with its arse on fire.”

Ace

Ace, the Last Companion in the original series.

Bill aside, I was very taken with the Doctor’s study, and the photos on his desk in particular.

Dear, darling River and his granddaughter, Susan, featured prominently on the desk. For me, seeing those photos was a high-point of the episode, as it showed who was still important to this Doctor’s hearts (two photos for two hearts, geddit?). Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have an day or three exploring the contents of that study. What are the books on those shelves? What are the knickknacks – and their significance? Why the stuffed owl? It is an owl or an alien?

 

Bill and Helen

Bill and Heather

I’m sorry if the plot of the episode seems incidental to meeting Bill and seeing the study. It was a basic ‘monster of the week’ story, with several huge plot-holes. What kind of civilised beings use a conscious fuel for their spaceships? And – for a man who knows the universe – how did the Doctor know so little about the fuel (or those aliens)?

Seriously … Daleks? I couldn’t really see any proper reason for the inclusion of the Daleks.

I did sorry for poor Heather. Incidentally, I have found out that William (Bill) Hartnell’s wife was Heather McIntyre. We all know there is never any coincidences in Doctor Who, so I am sure those names were deliberate choices.

A new Doctor Who episode …AT LAST! I hope Nardole gets the chance to do a little more snarking in the next episode. And I want a macaroon dispenser.

Twelve

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A Lady Mechanika Review by Literature for the Masses

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: the Mystery of Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez brings back the unique and incredibly well written tale of everyone’s favorite Victorian England Steampunk hero. Beautifully illustrated, this collection is sure to create another generation of fans to join the cult following Lady Mechanika already enjoys. She is Lady Mechanika, the […]

via Lady Mechanika, Vol 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse — Comic Books – Literature For the Masses

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Lisa Mantchev Book Review

I will start out by saying that this isn’t usually the type of novel that I would pick to read. For starters, the very first chapter really bored me and made it to where I kept putting it off. Secondly, I can’t get a good feel on what genre this novel would/could be classified as. […]

via Ticker By Lisa Mantchev — Blackhearted Book Reviews

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Monstress Review

The more exposure I have to graphic novels, the more appreciative I am of them. There is something quite beautiful in the way that graphic novels portray a story; you can tell that a lot of effort has gone into creating the perfect illustrations to go along with the plot itself. There are some stories […]

via Monstress: The Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu — My Reading List

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The Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016

first-look-at-the-doctor-who-christmas-special

Finally! A new Doctor Who episode and it was everything I had hoped for. Be aware, SPOILERS SWEETIE! Please watch the episode before reading this review, or I can’t be held responsible to ruining some great moments.

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The Christmas episodes are usually in a category by themselves, and The Return of Doctor Mysterio was no exception. I was particularly impressed with the way the writers linked this episode to The Husbands of River Song, and the perfection of the casting choices. And – again – London was in danger of an alien invasion and yet didn’t TURN UP on screen. Instead, the setting was New York.

For a comic book themed episode, New York is the perfect choice. It is an open secret that New York was and is the main inspiration of the Metropolis of the Superman comics. As well, it was the setting for the Watchmen graphic novel written by the famed comics writer, Alan Moore, illustrated by artist, Dave Gibbons, and given life by the colourist, John Higgins. Both these comics heavily influenced the look, the plot, and the story line of  The Return of Doctor Mysterio. 

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The Ghost, who has Superman’s powers, but his costume resembles a modernistic Batman. In personality, he reminds me of Nite Owl from Watchmen, well meaning and trying to do the right thing. He does have the classic comic book characteristic of unrequited love for Lucy.

My favourite bits were the interaction between the Doctor and Nardole. Matt Lucas is a genius when it comes to making likeable characters out of unpromising material. Nardole, originally as a character, was rather sweet and clueless, but he has grown into a lovely person with a real fondness for the Doctor. His best line: Yes, yes, go save the planet. You always do that when the conversation turns serious. I may be misquoting this, but that is the general gist of Nardole’s comment. He isn’t clueless so much as single minded. As a companion, he is probably the best ever at understanding who the Doctor really is and what his motivations are.

sushi

Lucy, our intrepid girl reporter, is more than the vapid love interest – though she does end up in need of rescue. She is less a damsel, and much more a dragon lady. And she is a single mother, happy to leave her child with a male nanny.  She has the Doctor dancing to her tune by the middle of the episode. 

However, I also enjoyed the Doctor eating sushi while spying on the alien invaders. (As a big fan of sushi myself.) The humour in seeing the Doctor snacking it what should have been a serious and tense moment was physical humour at its best in Doctor Who. There were many moments of both physical humour and witty dialogue, as it should be in a Christmas episode.

This episode did a fine job of deconstructing the stereotype of the comic book superhero, as well as adding a wistful epilogue to the previous Christmas episode. My husband didn’t like this episode, but he didn’t read comic books as a child and doesn’t particularly enjoy graphic novels (Nobody is perfect). As a fan of both comics and Doctor Who, I enjoyed this episode both intellectually and it was satisfying emotionally. You can’t ask for more than that!

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Some Thoughts About the Sexuality of Time Lords

Spoilers Sweetie!

“I think I’m going to need a bigger flow chart.”

– the Doctor in The Husbands of River Song.

The reboot of Doctor Who has never been shy about sexuality or gender issues. The Doctor loved Rose. Captain Jack was unashamedly pansexual – he is attracted to everyone, and this makes him very attractive in return. Shakespeare was portrayed as being bisexual. Clara had a romantic relationship with the Late Georgian/Regency author Jane Austen – Jane was a ‘phenomenal kisser’ and they played pranks on one another. The newly married Ponds were happy to don dress-ups as part of their sex play. The Husbands of River Song gave us an insight into the sexuality of both River and the Doctor – far more so than the Master/Missy interactions of the past two seasons.

You can’t tell me that that isn’t a lascivious look.

At one point, River lists Doctor’s other wives (that we know of). River mentions Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe, whose marriage proposal he accidentally accepted whilst at a party in A Christmas Carol, another Christmas special, and Cleopatra, who River posed as in The Pandorica Opens. They both have been married to Stephen Fry (lucky Stevie!). And River makes mention of her wives. Time Lords (and River has Time Lord DNA) must have a fluid gender identity and sexuality.

I know a few people who have a problem with this concept. In the old series, the Doctor was asexual, except for the First Doctor who MUST have experienced some form of sexual reproduction to have a granddaughter. But the beauty of a long running series is that you can allow your characters to change and grow. We knew the Doctor was changed when he developed his deep emotional bond with Rose. Surviving  a war and the genocide of your species might have that effect.

Time Lords might resemble human beings, but there is no reason why they have to share the same human obsession with sexuality and genders. To me, what is much more important is that they love each other in the same way as we human beings love each other. Love defies barriers and defines us. River might be looking forward to seeing the Doctor’s new incarnation all over, but it isn’t the sex that defines their relationship. It is the love.

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The Husbands of River Song: an episode review

Spoilers Sweetie!

True Love

The Christmas episodes for Doctor Who tend to be ‘fluffier’ – I think it is because of all that snow. This year’s episode was both humorous and touching, and was a contrast to the rather serious nature of the rest of the season. I would like to see more of this humour popping up in the future.

Now, let’s get one thing straight from the start, I am a huge fan of River Song and her ambiguous nature. So much of a fan, I own her sonic screwdriver and was thrilled to get a River Song figurine for Christmas.

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So, I found the Christmas episode a true delight. Snappy dialogue. Witty repartee. Gorgeous guest stars. Fabulous outfits for River. And the chemistry between the Doctor and River … swoon!

Best bits:

River: If either of you use my name again, I will remove your organs in alphabetical order. Any Questions?

The Doctor: Which alphabet?

And…

River: When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough or sentimental enough and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me.

The Doctor: Hello, Sweetie.

And the penny finally drops for River.

And…

River: I’m an archaeologist from from the future. I dug you up!

And…

 

And… then there was the Doctor’s excited dialogue at pretending to find the TARDIS was bigger on the inside. I could watch that over and over again.

And… finding out that River’s last night with the Doctor was going to be 24 years long (talk about sexual chemistry).

This was the penultimate resolution of the lesson the Doctor learnt from losing Clara; to cherish your loved ones while you can, because you may never know when you will lose them. He knows that River’s adventures are coming to an end (her diary was given to her by someone who KNOWS how long a diary should be.) I had a little weep when I saw River’s realization that the Doctor really did love her.

River: I hate you.

The Doctor: No. You don’t.

Remember my blog about the coded messages between friends and family? I’ll let you work out this code for yourselves.

Overall, a very satisfactory episode. It became one of my favourites straight off.

River and the Thirteenth Doctor

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