Series 8 DVD Launch

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Doctor Who Legacy Code

The “new to Who” catchup code:

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Dark Water Review

For the record, after last week’s episode I made a fan video tracking what we know about Missy so far.  I uploaded it to YouTube, and within seconds it was down for copyright infringement.  There were a couple small clips of episodes but by no means was it whole shows.  In fact, it had less than most other fan videos I’ve seen, and the entire thing was only around 2 minutes in lengeth.  I’m quite disappointed as the entire reason I was signing up for an account was to share fan videos, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do that now.  So if anyone has an alternate site that you think I’ll have better luck with, please let me know.

Now that my rant is out of the way, here we go.  Another type-as-I-watch review.  I’ve realized that sometimes sections of these don’t make much sense, but bear with me…

We start out with a very cryptic phone call from Clara to Danny.  She tells him she loves him and is greeted with silence.  Someone picks up the phone and it seems Danny has been hit by a car.  Has he met his demise?  They didn’t actually show his face, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s a “kids show” or because it’s not actually him.  But then Clara runs to the scene and I think we’ll see him but they still don’t show him.  They do show a memorial, so it seems it’s true.  My suspicions are that Danny will be in the Nethersphere, and that’s how Missy is going to get her claws into Clara.  After all, Clara must be facing considerable guilt because she didn’t get to come clean to Danny, and we now know that she’s completely in love with him.

While her grandmother tries to make her feel better, Clara seems to have a bit of a mental break.  Not something obvious, but she says she’s “owed” better.  I feel that this is a clue, and it almost feels as if this anger is directed at the Doctor, although I can’t be entirely sure.  When he calls, she acts like everything is fine and doesn’t mention Danny.  Is that because she feels as though he’ll be cold and callous and his normal seemingly uncaring self?

Wow, I write a lot more when nobody else it watching the episode with me and I can pause to type… Sorry guys, this may be a long one…  Seeing as how we’re only to the opening credits.  I’ll try to par it down a bit, but no promises. 🙂

We’re getting flashes to somewhere fiery with Clara and the Doctor, and I suspect we’ll either later this episode or even early next (depending on the timeline), so I won’t harp on it.  Now, though, Clara bounds into the TARDIS and wants to run away from her problems, even though she’s not telling the Doctor that.  She wants to see a volcano, and runs around taking all the TARDIS keys.  Hmmmmm….  She then takes a sleep patch and slaps it on the Doctor’s neck.  I feel like we’ve missed something!  And here’s our flash-forward scene.  The Doctor wakes up at the volcano from the sleeping patch.

Clara tells the Doctor he has to change history.  That he has to go back and save Danny or she’s destroying his TARDIS keys.  He explains that he can’t do it without causing a paradox.  She throws away all his keys but one.  He says no again, and she tosses the last key.  Is it really the last?  Or does she have another one hidden away in her pocket?  It certainly doesn’t seem like it.  But then we find out that the patches aren’t dream patches.  They induce a dream state, and the Doctor slid the patch onto Clara when she thought she was putting it on his neck.  Ahhh, tricky!

In a surprising turn of events, the Doctor says they’re going to hell (or the afterlife, or whatever – I suppose that means the Nethersphere) and they’re going to try to bring Danny back.  He even musters a smile for Clara.  It’s a nice bonding moment.  His personality thus far has been very alien, and he’s showing just a bit of humanity.  He’s showing that he cares enough for Clara to go get her love so she can put her heart back together, no matter what he actually thinks of Danny Pink.  He’s acting like a father, in my opinion.  He does a wonderful job talking her through taking the TARDIS where it needs to be, and off we go!

Flash to Danny, and he’s definitely in the Nethersphere.  Forms?  Really?  Anyway, we finally get a glimpse out the window.  It’s the inside of an actual sphere, which looks like a giant city.  Poor Danny is realizing what’s happening to him, and it’s not pretty.

Back to the TARDIS, we’re apparently hitting a place where Danny and Clara’s timelines intersect.  They’re in a mausoleum, where we see fish tanks full of skeletons.  Moving skeletons, apparently.  We find a little information video, which starts out with a very familiar voice… but then we get to see her.  Well, at least a version of her.  The “official 3W welcome package” is a kiss, which made for an interesting viewing.  Capaldi couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable, and it was fantastic.  We find out that Missy is actually MISI.  It stands for Mobile Intelligent Systems Interface.  She’s self maintaining…

“My heart is maintained by the Doctor” – MISI

“Doctor Who?” – The Doctor

Heehee!  Doctor Chang, which is not the answer I was hoping for.  I guess we’re going to go talk to dead people next.

“Are you okay?” – The Doctor

“No” – Clara

“Good.  There would be something very wrong if you were” – The Doctor

The dialogue through here is fantastic.  And can I just say that this whole thing is very creepy?  I mean, skeletons that move to stare at you, a creepy “MISI” and a disco ball looking thing in the ceiling…  It’s weird, right?  It feels like MISI is actually Missy after all, and she was just looking for an excuse to kiss the Doctor.

Back to it.  Danny is getting more questions from the… well… whatever he is.  We find out a bit more about Mr. Pink, and it appears he may have killed a child.  If that’s the case, it may be that he is a teacher to appease his guilt.

Meanwhile the Doctor and Clara are learning that each skeleton in the tanks are held together by an exoskeleton which can’t be seen in the water.  At this point I’m certain that means they’re cybermen.  I had my suspicions before, but now I’d be shocked if they weren’t.  So the water (the dark water) is actually x-ray water where only organic material can be seen through it.

We bounce back and forth between Danny and the Doctor/Clara to find out what is going on.  Basically your consciousness is in the Nethersphere in a “fake body” while you’re still connected to your old body in the real world.  So you’re cold, and if you get cremated or donate your body to science or something you’ll feel what happens to it.  This is an absolutely brilliant and absolutely terrifying possibility.  Can you imagine if it was true?  Maybe I should rethink my death plans…

Danny is getting a call from Clara before our annoying commercial break.  Wait, if Clara and the Doctor find themselves in this mausoleum and can call Danny, does it mean that he is a cyberman now?  Possibilities…

Okay, back on track.  The Doctor goes to check out the tanks because he doesn’t feel right about them.  When he goes to leave we see the doors close and oh yes, they do look like cyberman eyes.  Ha!  Clara stays behind to talk to Danny so she can be sure it’s him.

The dead are standing and the tanks are “activating”.  Turns out that yup, we were right and MISI is actually Missy after all and she kills off Doctor Chang as the tanks drain.  Sure enough, there’s our cybermen.  Sometimes I hate being right, but love it all at the same time.  Missy has been uploading dying minds into the “Nethersphere”, which is actually a Gallifreyan hard drive, stripping the emotions, and downloading them into “upgraded” Cyberman bodies.  Sounds like the work of an evil genius to me.  Oh look, we’re back on Earth… More of the UK again…

Clara tells Danny that he needs to say something that only she would know, and if he keeps saying that he loves her she’ll hang up on him.  He realizes that she may just kill herself to be with him, so that’s exactly what he says.  He does it for her own good, and this is the first time I’ve felt a really strong connection between the characters.  He’s willing to let her believe it’s not him to keep her safe, even though it’s destroying him.  It doesn’t last for long, because he’s given the chance to choose to delete his emotions.  He’s choosing to be a cyberman, but doesn’t even know it.

Back with Clara… they’ve arrived… and we learn more about Missy.  Mistress for short.  And the big reveal (for those who don’t want to get spoiled but for some reason are still reading):  She’s our old he.  The MASTER is back.  This is something I’ve suspected for a long time, but didn’t really expect to see.  After all, time lords don’t normally change gender without reason.  Maybe they’re laying the groundwork for a female Doctor in the future.

I found this episode went by rather quickly and actually enjoyed the episode more than the last few..  I suspect the second part of this to be more action packed than this one was.  After all, there’s a lot to cover.  I feel like the beginning of the episode didn’t give Clara enough to work with to make us feel devastated by Danny’s death, but their relationship hasn’t really been handled that well so I can certainly let that slide.  This episode was very dark and I found that (minus a few little things) was fantastic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts?  What do you think is coming next week?

Note that I’ll be away, so my review will definitely be late.

In The Forest Of The Night Review

Another write-as-I-watch review.

Right away, this feels like a little red riding hood story… then we see the TARDIS.  The Doctor compares the size of the TARDIS to the amount of sugar in a Coke, which I found interesting… He seems to be good with the random child that shows up at his door, but things are very confused.

Apparently we’re in the middle of London, but we’re in a forest.  For once, could we please have an alien planet?  We’re spending entirely too much time in the UK, too much time on Earth entirely.  *sigh*  Anyway, on we go.  A bunch of kids sleeping over in what looks like a museum with our good friends Mr. Pink and Miss Oswald.  When they leave, they discover the forest has grown up overnight… and it appears to have covered the whole world.  The child?  Well, they lost her and now the Doctor has her.

There’s some… tension… between Danny and Clara over the fact that Clara is still in contact with the Doctor, but in this case it seems to be a good thing she is.

“If you start to fall behind, don’t” – Danny Pink

Seriously?  Is this boot camp?

The kids start to notice weird thing about the trees, like no growth rings and ones with both nuts and blossoms.  Something’s definitely not right with the forest.

It appears Danny has realized what’s really going on with the Doctor and Clara, or at least he suspects it.  There’s no time to worry about that with a lost little girl running through the woods, dropping clues as she goes.  As Clara and the Doctor follow they find men trying (but unable) to light the trees on fire.  We also realize there are animals loose in the woods.

So far there doesn’t seem to be much of a story here, just a lot of filler.

Wolves.  Wolves and a girl in a hooded red jacket.  Total red riding hood.  They find Mave (our little girl – and I’m sure that’s not her name but that’s what it sounds like so that’s what I’ll call her for now) and then we find a tiger.  Danny gets to save the day and be cool for a second.  Mave tells the Doctor that she created the forest because of the thoughts she catches.  The thoughts look like lightening bugs, but more aliens?

The Doctor believes the world is going to end.  He wants to take the kids and Clara, or even just Clara.  She doesn’t want to go, but she wants him to go and save himself.  She talks him into leaving, but I don’t think he’s done yet.  Within seconds, he’s chasing the group and bringing them back to the TARDIS.  What does he do but tell them all the Earth is on a path of destruction… for a second, anyway.  Then he explains that the trees are going to save them all.

The kids want to go home, but Clara wants to see the solar event.  Danny doesn’t want to go… so Clara acts like she’s going to skip it but goes back and sees it anyway.  I feel like her exit is coming soon or the end of her relationship is.

We’re treated to another brief glimpse of Missy, where she seems shocked by the choice as well.

Everything resolves itself within a minute.  The trees go away, a missing child is returned and everyone will apparently forget everything.

This felt a little preachy.  A little soda has a ton of sugar in it, save the trees, look at what’s in front of you instead of out at the world (Danny’s speech to Clara).  I don’t know, but I really didn’t enjoy it very much.  The interaction between characters was good, and there was some camera work that I enjoyed immensely, but I wasn’t at all enthralled with the story itself.

By the way, I just looked it up – it’s not Mave, it’s Maebh.

Next week looks much better.  We see Missy as well as Clara not being, well, Clara.  We also get a glimpse of some Cybermen.  It’s part one of the season finale (I’m not counting the Christmas Special as the finale) so I’m very excited to see where things are going.  Over the next several episodes I expect some resolution to Clara’s character (whether she leaves the TARDIS or Danny), and I also expect some resolution to Missy.

What did you think of this episode, and what are your predictions for the next several?  If you’ve seen any leaked footage or anything please don’t share that though – just opinions and theories.

The Caretaker Review

Okay, okay! I know I’m late with this one, but I just got around to watching the episode.  Don’t hate me too much… I’m a busy woman!  As an extra added reminder, this site is not my job.  I have a full time job on top of this and am attempting to hold down some sort of life.  So cut me a little slack, hmmmm?

All right, with that bit of whining out of the way, on to the good stuff!  I’m writing this on my first viewing of the episode (as I’m watching), so it’s first impressions only.

We start out with the Doctor and Clara in trouble.

“Why do you have two jackets?  Is one of them faulty?” – The Doctor

Good, a little humor with our danger right off the bat.  Already I’m a happy girl.  So we get to see what Clara has been up to lately, and it looks exhausting!  She’s been balancing her adventures with the Doctor with her relationship with Danny, keeping her time travelling secret… wonder how long that will last now that “John Smith” is working at the school?

The look on Clara’s face when he shows up is priceless.*

ClaraPanic

 “Did you see those eyebrows?” – Danny Pink

So the Doctor is going to try to pass himself off as an actual person in the school.  This should end well…

“River and I, we had this big fight” – The Doctor

I love the nod to the past, without making a big thing about it.  However, it feels like 12 is sometimes making more references to the past than actually living in the present.  Maybe I just notice it more, but it feels that way.

We next see our monster-of-the-week and a death.  Just enough to show us the kids aren’t safe before heading back to the school.  The Doctor can’t keep his nose out of Clara’s class and Clara gets annoyed.  Still no real story development, but it makes for some amusing banter.  The Doctor and Danny finally meet.  It causes much panic for Clara, especially when she sees the Doctor being his usual rude self (continuously calling Danny a PE teacher) but I noticed she didn’t immediately come out and say who he was.

When the Doctor thinks another teacher is Clara’s boyfriend, he follows the couple around like an interested yet amused puppy.  It’s actually quite adorable!

The annoying kid that’s been making fun of Clara all episode has a little run in with the Doctor, but then it’s time to get some answers…

“Why do I keep you around?” – The Doctor “Because the alternative would be developing a conscious of your own” – Clara

When the Doctor pulled out his new toy, I immediately thought of Q (from the James Bond movies).  I feel like he needs his own Q…  Anyway, Clara and the Doctor finally have a conversation about her “boyfriend”.  It’s painfully apparent from the get-go that they aren’t talking about the same person, but I enjoyed watching it play out anyway.  I’m sure it’ll blow up soon.

Danny cancels plans with Clara, and I have a weird feeling we’ll see him in some sort of a non-teachery role later in this episode or soon after (military, companion, something else?).  It was very mysterious, and it made for a very awkward conversation.  Without plans, we see both Danny and Clara at the school.  Danny seems to be investigating some alien tech while Clara searches for the Doctor, who’s already gone on his mission.

Now that Danny has messed with things, the Doctor’s plans aren’t going to work out very well.  We wind up in danger yet again, but it only lasts for seconds.  I feel like the baddie wasn’t there enough for me to care about anyone’s safety or the Doctor’s mission.  I know this is mostly meant to be a character driven episode, but the lack of action to this point has been a little disappointing.  It wouldn’t be bad if I’d felt like we were advancing the overall arc more, but after the last episode I’m finding this lackluster at best.  However, with half the episode left it does have time to redeem itself.

It doesn’t take long for me to get some satisfaction… Danny realizes what’s going on and we finally get to have this out!

“You’ve made a boyfriend error” – The Doctor

Clara finally spills her feelings for Danny, the Doctor has his anger out and poor Danny is just confused.  He finally gets the truth.  He finally gets to see the TARDIS, but it doesn’t get to be wondrous or exciting.  Instead there’s a lot of anger, Clara is uncomfortable and the Doctor is demanding an explanation for her choice in men.  I actually found this part quite well done, and in my opinion the best part of the episode so far.

Clara and Dannie finally have a heart to heart about the whole time travel thing and the Doctor.  She has to express her feelings about him and why she does what she does, even if she doesn’t fully understand it herself.  More importantly, she has to realize that she’s been hiding her real self from Danny and cheating him out of an honest relationship.  He’s obviously hurt, and I can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same in his position.

As a good faith gesture she sneaks Danny into the TARDIS so he can see what really goes on.  Only the Doctor isn’t that stupid and calls her bluff.  Danny reveals himself and there’s a fight.  Now, yes, the Doctor is being a complete jerk.  Danny is just as guilty though, and poor Clara is caught in the middle.  Stuck between your friend and boyfriend.  As someone who’s been there, I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling.

Unfortunately for our teachers, it’s parents night.  It’s also the night when our baddie returns.  Clara will be our decoy while the Doctor gets his contraption working… but what about Danny?  Guess he finally gets to see Clara in action… or he gets to jump in and help.  That man can do a serious flip.  I do have a bit of an issue with nice strong Clara running straight into his arms while the danger is still going on, but I’ll let that slide I guess.

Everyone has reached an understanding, and I’ve got some of that development I wanted.  We see that Danny really cares for Clara, and the Doctor just wants him to be good enough for her… which shows how much he also cares for her.  Really, there’s a lot of love beneath all that anger.

We get another flash of Missy, but this time our dead guy didn’t die for the Doctor so maybe that’s why they weren’t meeting officially.  I felt like this was a wasted scene, as there was no progress at all.

So overall I wasn’t really happy with the episode, but I’m glad the whole secret life thing is out and the meeting between Danny and the Doctor is over.  I really do like Clara better this season, though it feels like they’re setting her up to leave the TARDIS for a life with Danny.  I find Danny to be a bit dull, but if they let Samuel Anderson give the character a bit of life (he was really charming for a split second this week) I think he could be really enjoyable.

What are your opinions?  Feel free to let me know in the comments!

*Yes.  I totally paused the ep to make this!

Listen Review

Oh how I love Who day! As usual, spoilers.

The opening speech made 12 seem a little crazy, until his chalk took on a life of its own… But it definitely had my attention!

Then we see Clara and her date with Danny.  Again, the very cool flash forward.  Again, so very uncomfortable… then to a good time… then to anger and walking out.  This relationship just isn’t going well.  You can physically feel it when things are uncomfortable, which I  think was done well.

I love the biting remarks of 12.  He is so rude and has no idea… it’s awesome, and I wish I could get away with this sometimes.  But that only lasts a moment, and then the creepy begins.  Just enough to tease, then Clara is hooked up to the TARDIS to check out her nightmares.  This is a bit of a terrifying thought.  I noticed the TARDIS doesn’t want to let her go, which makes me wonder if this will lead into something else later.

So, since Clara manages to get herself distracted, we wind up seeing Danny as a child.  Finally, we see 12 use the psychic paper to investigate things.  Note that the Doctor is drinking coffee, while Clara goes to have a chat with Danny about his dreams.  They’re right, everyone has had that dream.  Human nature,.. but what’s on top of the bed?  Whatever it is, the Doctor feels the need to lecture about adrenaline while it sits there.  We have a bit of tension, then the mysterious creature disappears.

Capaldi’s Doctor is so much more alien.  He just doesn’t have the people skills as some of the previous Doctors, and I’m really enjoying it.  Between the mean comments (that are true more often than not) and his attitude it general I just love him.  Moving on…

Clara returns to her date to apologize in her own little way, then things go back to awkward, then angry.  Then away we go to the TARDIS.  The Doctor couldn’t stay and wait 5 minutes for Clara, so he comes back with a Danny look-alike.  Then to the end of the universe, some more insults and back to the creep factor.  Not being able to see the villain is much worse that seeing them, don’t you think?  The look on Clara’s face when she receives confirmation of who Orson is – fantastic.

Okay, so we’re going to hang out for a night to see what happens in the dark.  While we wait, we’ll talk about Clara’s dating life, but that doesn’t take very long.  Company arrives quickly, and Capaldi gets to make all kinds of funny faces while he acts.  Clara does a believable job of looking afraid, while 12 just looks a little insane.  Unlocking the door doesn’t help, and neither does yelling at Clara.  You can see it hurt her feelings, so she calls him a name to try and hide it.  We have barely a hint of what happens outside the TARDIS before Orson has to go and save the Doctor.

While he’s out, Clara decides she should try to fly the TARDIS.  Of course the screen can’t be working, so Clara decides to just open up the door and go out.  What does she find but a crying child.  It seems as though we’ve found a Time Lord, and it must be our Time Lord.  It seems Clara has started all of the bad dreams all along.  There was never anything there, just like in real life.  Clara has been very good to the Doctor.  She gave him the speech from the 50th (see the tie-in for the barn), and the adrenaline speech and the ability to accept himself.

“What if the big, bad Time Lord just doesn’t want to admit he’s afraid of the dark?”

When we see her at the end of the episode, she’s fixing things up with her new boyfriend… Rupert.

In cast you didn’t know, “Fear makes companions of us all” was actually a 1st Doctor quote.  I just thought I’d point that out before moving on.

This was definitely a Clara-centric episode.  The Doctor was just there for some comic relief and some speeches.  I kind of like what was done with the whole Clara/Danny thing, but there was one thing that really bothered me.  When we first met Rupert, there’s was something hanging out under his blanket.  So what was it?

As much as I wanted to love this episode, and did in some ways, there were just enough things that bothered me about it for me to say it wasn’t as good as the rest of the season.  It had quite a bit of potential, but it just wasn’t where I wanted it to be.  Opinions?

Into The Dalek Review

I’ve been travelling, and avoiding the internet like the plague in an effort to avoid spoilers for the latest episode of Doctor WhoInto The Dalek looked promising, and I wanted to try going into this knowing nothing, since Matt Smith’s cameo was a little spoiled for me in the premier.  I was successful in my attempts, which I feel made me enjoy the episode more.

From the start, I felt that the Doctor was more Doctor-ish, more alien.  I found myself really enjoying that aspect.  (I was also reminded how far the special effects have come, but that’s a whole different thing)

“Fantastic idea for a movie.  Terrible idea for a proctologist.”

HA!  All this, and me getting giddy over a Scottish accent even before the title sequence rolled.  Seriously, when the Dalek appeared I instantly knew were this was headed (not that the title didn’t give us a clue) and got very excited.  I know this was basically stolen from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, and it’s not the first time the Doctor has been shrunken, but into a Dalek just sounds so interesting.

Although I managed to avoid spoilers for the most part, I already knew a bit about Danny Pink… but mostly just that he existed and would have something to do with Coal Hill.

Clara12Danny

Right away we found out that he was a soldier and that he has regrets.  We can also see that he’s incredibly socially awkward, at least when it comes to Clara.  It was very well done, as I found myself cringing on his behalf.  Clara handled it beautifully, which is something I’d expect from the Doctor’s companion.

“You’re not my boss, you’re one of my hobbies”

So, a good Dalek, you say?  I was intrigued.  After all… well… that’s new.  Lets just explore inside, shall we?  If you thought the inside of a Dalek wouldn’t be fraught with danger then you’re probably delusional or have never seen an episode of the show before.  I did find this part a little dull.  Being attacked, finding the problem, fixing the problem and then the Dalek turning back to its evil self was all expected.  Capaldi was still fabulous to watch though, and I loved seeing more of the dynamic between him and Clara.

The old Doctor is still there.  The lets-wing-it Doctor, except he’s even more open about not having a plan.  Yet again he lets someone sacrifice themselves for him, but he basically hands over control to Clara.  He’s using her now as his conscious, but he’s also trusting her to wing it too.  She’s proving herself to be more than capable of that.

What I didn’t see coming, was the Dalek seeing the immense hatred within the Doctor.  I didn’t see it turning against it’s own species, and I definitely didn’t see it leaving with the rest.
“I am not a good Dalek.  You are a good Dalek.”
That was an excellent moment.  It’s a reminder that as much as we’ve been shown the new face, that the old hatred is still there.  He doesn’t just hate them, but he hates himself a bit too.  He has regrets, and those regrets haunt him.  I think the bit about him not taking the soldier was due to the fact that the Daleks are soldiers.
And of course the episode wouldn’t be complete without another appearance of Missy and “heaven”…