The Woman Who Lived – New Who Season 9 Episode 6 Review

Spoilers…

We open on what looks like a stagecoach robbery and flash over to the Doctor stepping out of the TARDIS tracking something.  This is the second part of the previous episode, so I’m expecting to see out “little girl” appear again.  Think she’ll be all grown up or still a child?

As usual, the Doctor mucks things up and accidentally lands in the middle of the robbery.  Whatever he was tracking was on the stagecoach, and he let it get away while arguing with the robber.  I noticed he said something about Clara being on holiday, so perhaps she’s not in this episode, which seems strange.  Anywho, the robber is our little Ashildr, and yes, she’s still a little girl.  Turns out she’s learned how to use a man’s voice when she wants, which is creepy…

She seemed disappointed that the Doctor didn’t come for her.  Maybe we’re setting up for our next companion?  Probably just for this episode… So we find out that Ashildr is 800 years old, and simply robs people for the excitement.  She has all kinds of money and a house with a servant.  Seems she’s bored, and a companion’s life *is* full of adventure.

And quite quickly, she actually asks to go.  Says she’s seen and done it all on Earth and can’t even remember most of it.  After all, she has a human brain and has lived much longer than a human ever should.  She’s pompous and arrogant but still sad.  She also knows way more about the Doctor than she should, and come comments lead me to believe she’d be willing to steal the TARDIS if given the opportunity.

She says she’ll help him find what he’s looking for and they’ll leave in an hour.  The Doctor reads her diaries to discover that she was once a wife, a mother.  She lost her love and her children and vowed to be alone to never suffer the pain again.  To avoid the heartbreak she hardened herself, much like many of us do.  Only things aren’t exactly as they seems.  Ashildr goes and visits her creature outside and eludes to some sort of plan.

Our duo goes to break into a house to find some artifact they’re both looking for, and we see the return of the sonic sunglasses.  Damn.  I was really hoping they were gone.  We also find she’s not used the second immortality charge.  Very quickly they find “The Eyes Of Hades”, which is a pretty ominous name.

They sneak out, only to get held up at gunpoint, then get out of that.  The Doctor discovers Ashildr’s “friend” Leandro.  Leandro was stuck on Earth and needs the amulet to escape.  They need to kill someone to make it work and Clayton the servant is the planned sacrifice.  The Doctor intervenes and gets himself captured while Ashildr decides to get her sacrifice at an execution instead.  Maybe there’s a bit of good left in her.

The Doctor talks (bribes) his way out of captivity and arrives just in time to start helping the condemned man entertain the crowd, then step in with his psychic paper and claim it’s a pardon.  It worked until Ashildr uses the amulet on him… so much for the good in her.  But the portal opens and it’s not an escape but an invasion.  Ashildr realizes she’s not as hard as she thought she was.

It’s hurtful, isn’t it?  It’s infuriating.  You think you don’t care, then you fall off the wagon.” – The Doctor

The only way to stop this, to close the portal, is to reverse the death of the man causing it.  Sam Swift, our condemned man… And we have an immortality charge which hasn’t been used.  Bingo.  So is he immortal now?  Is he not?  Who knows…

The Doctor chats with Ashildr and explains that he can’t take her because they need normal people around them to keep them grounded.  We even got a nod back to Captain Jack in the conversation.  They’re friends, and she plans to clean up the mess he keeps leaving behind.  I think it’s possible that this won’t be the last time we see her.

Sure enough, in the very next scene Clara comes to see the Doctor with a selfie from one of her students.  There, in the background, Ashildr.

This episode to me was mostly a reminder of who the Doctor is.  Who he turns people into, what he causes, and how people around him die.  There seemed to be a lot of foreshadowing to later episodes where we will perhaps see the demise of Clara and another appearance of Ashildr.  This entire episode basically felt like “something’s coming”.

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The Girl Who Died – New Who Season 9 Episode 5 Review

I know, I’m so far behind it’s pathetic.  Life’s getting in the way again.  As usual, spoilers are expected here.  Time to watch an episode that *seems* to promise a dead girl…

We open with Clara floating through space with some sort of creature trying to kill her and the Doctor bouncing in and saving the day, all within the first minute.  Do we have an action packed episode in store, or are we foreshadowing to the death of Clara…?

Within the next couple minutes they’re captured by vikings and the sonic sunglasses are destroyed.  I’m *not* sorry to see those things go.  They were like the ones the theater gives you for a 3D movie.

Within seconds of showing the viking village I spot Maisie Williams (Arya Stark, for Game of Throne fans) and I have high hopes for the episode!  The Doctor seems to recognize her, so I suspect we’ll see a bit of her this episode.

The Doctor tries to pass himself off as their God Odin but the “real” Odin appears.  It appears to be some sort of invasion as the troop steals the strongest, including Clara and Arya-I-mean-Ashildr.  They’re put in a room where they’re zapped (and killed) if they leave, then the back wall starts pushing them out.  Typical brains-over-brawn kind of scene.  Next thing you know, the ladies are outside the enclosure and the men are nowhere to be seen.

Clara tries to bluff her captors into thinking that she’s a lot tougher than she is, with a lot more resources and a lot more backup.  It’s getting kind of old now, as we’ve seen this more that once previously.  It seems that Odin has been crushing up warriors to get their testosterone to drink it.  Mmmmm…

The universe is full of testosterone.  Trust me, it’s unbearable. – Clara

After a failed attempt at reasoning, Odin agrees to a war and sends the girls back down.  Not, however, before showing his true face to them (but not us).  So which baddie are we in for?  A known one or a new one?

Upon their return, Clara manages a hug out of the Doctor, and it was his idea.  I’m convinced something tragic is going to happen to her soon (this season?).  Once the villagers are filled in, the Doctor suggests running and they (the farmers who are left) want to stay and fight.  Because that seems like a good plan… So he gives up on them and Clara, as usual, manipulates him into staying to help.

That basically means a crash course in fighting, which doesn’t go so well.  It’s good for comic relief, if nothing else.  But eventually we need to get on with things and Clara gives the Doctor a pep talk to push him into figuring out what needs to be done.  As it turns out he just needed to talk to the baby to come up with a brilliant plan.

The village spends the night constructing their elaborate scheme.  Basically they steal a helmet, alter it and Ashildr puts it on and uses it to make a puppet appear to be a monster.  Oooo scared, running, threats from Odin, teleporting away and that’s that.

Only it wasn’t.  Because the little girl died.  The Doctor is quite upset, more so than normal.  But that leads him to the reason why he has the face he does (as well as some nice flashbacks).  It’s to remind himself that he saves people.  I love that we finally acknowledge that we’ve seen his face before.

With a field med kit he brings the girl back to life (feels like cheating to me).  He gave a second one to her to use on whomever she wants… I think he just created an immortal.  If the kit never stops repairing her, she can never die, right?  Would she age?  Clara seems oblivious.

Sure enough, in the next scene that’s exactly what the Doctor explains.  He gave her a second kit in case she meets someone she can’t live without.  Very unsubtley (is that even a word?), the Doctor suggests that Clara is his someone that *he* can’t live without.

To be continued… I didn’t expect it to keep going…

This one wasn’t too bad but they seem to be dropping a lot of hints about the potential demise of Clara.  What did you think?

Happy Birthday Doctor Who!

Today marks 51 years of time and space travelling goodness.  Yes, that’s right, 51 years today the first episode of Doctor Who hit the air waves.  I’ve been a fan now for about 30 years, and honestly it’s become a bit of an obsession for me… I get made fun of (not so much now that being a fangirl is cool) and many people don’t understand it, but I wouldn’t give up a second.

Thank you to the BBC for returning our show to us and thanks to all the fans that keep it going.  Happy birthday, and here’s to another 51 years 🙂

51st-anniversary

Motivation From The Doctor

It’s a handy guide to life lessons and motivation in Doctor Who

New York Restaurant

New York has a Doctor Who themed restaurant!  More details are available HERE

Capaldi Interview

From ArtsBeat:

It’s not as rare as, say, a total solar eclipse or the alignment of the planets, but the arrival of a new star on “Doctor Who” is still a significant galactic event, at least to fans of that long-running BBC science-fiction series. Last summer Matt Smith announced that he was leaving the lead role of the enigmatic time-and-space adventurer known as the Doctor, and the BBC said that he would besucceeded by Peter Capaldi, the Scottish actor best known to British audiences (and some Americans as well) as Malcolm Tucker, theexplosively vulgar government official in the political satire “The Thick of It” and the film “In the Loop.”

Mr. Capaldi, 56, has since spent several Earth months filming his first season of “Doctor Who,” which begins Saturday on BBC America, and getting to know co-stars like Jenna Coleman, who plays the Doctor’s companion, Clara, and Steven Moffat, the “Doctor Who” executive producer and lead writer. In polite, gentlemanly tones, free of any vulgarity, Mr. Capaldi recently spoke to The Times about this transition and the new “Doctor Who” season. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.

Q.
You were a lifelong “Doctor Who” fan before you joined the show. Why has it held this enduring appeal for you?

A.
Because it started when I was 5. I grew up with it. It’s in my DNA. It’s not just the monsters and this weird, Grimms’ fairy-tale feel that it has, but also this idea that you could be whisked away. It’s always been good at balancing the cosmic with the domestic. They would go out to the edge of the galaxy, and then they’ll land in a mall somewhere.

Q.
When you learned that the show was seeking a new lead actor, did you think you’d be in the mix?

A.
I never thought that I would be Doctor Who because it just seemed to me the show had nothing to do with me anymore. Even when I was playing Cardinal Richelieu in “The Musketeers,”often, the directors we had, they’d just come off “Doctor Who.” So I was always asking them: “What was it like? What’s going to be happening next season?” And one of them said that he thought Matt might be leaving, and I was in disbelief. I just didn’t think that they would be going in this direction.

Q.
What direction do you mean?

A.
Well, I guess, older. And more like me. [Laughs] When I look it at now, obviously you’d have to have a contrast. You couldn’t have another guy around Matt’s age. It was wiser to be very different from what David [Tennant] and Matt had been doing.

A.
How did you learn that Steven Moffat was considering you?

A.
I had a call from my agent, and she said, “How would you feel about being the new Doctor Who?” Which just made me laugh with joy, for about two minutes. What I didn’t know was, I was the only one being auditioned.

Q.
What was that audition like?

A.
Steven wrote these rather wonderful scenes for my Doctor. There was a regeneration scene [not used in the finished episode], in which the Doctor doesn’t have a mirror, so he has no idea he’s gotten older. He keeps asking Clara about his face. “Does it look good? It feels good. It’s very mobile, and it seems to be working. Is it good?” And she goes, “Well, it’s O.K.” I’m like, “What do you mean, O.K.? It’s got to be better than O.K.” Finally they got me in a room, and we did it. And I thought I’d really blown that. I took a picture of myself in the cab, going to my audition, and then I took a picture in a cab coming back. I was like Rocky in “Rocky III.”I was bedraggled. But I was wrong. I guess.

Q.
What directions did Steven want to take the show under your Doctor?

A.
He wanted to, I think, lose the overtly comic groove that they’d gotten into, which was working very well, but he felt he was perhaps done with that. It’s still very funny, but it’s in a slightly more acid way. It’s not cynical. It’s realistic and the universe equivalent of world-weary. Sardonic. The Doctor’s been round the block. But he’s still full of enthusiasm. If he offers you the chance to come with him, and you hesitate, he’s gone.

Q.
Did you think your work as the distinctively obscene Malcolm Tucker might disqualify you from the role of the Doctor?

A.
He’s such a vivid character that, clearly, he would have an influence on how people perceive me. I could never have played Malcolm when I was 30. You had to be knocked around by life a bit to do that.

Q.
Do you think the Malcolm Tucker character showed people you could adapt yourself to different roles?

A.
I suspect I wouldn’t be Doctor Who if it hadn’t been for Malcolm. I’d got into this groove of being a reasonably successful, very blessed actor, playing increasingly bland parts. Turning up in episodic television as the slightly untrustworthy doctor or shrink, or the M.P. with a gay secret. That was fine but quite dull. You get employed to do the thing that people think you can do. And then I met Armando Iannucci [creator of “The Thick of It”], and when I auditioned for him, I had been particularly fed up. I had an audition in the morning, for a little part in a sitcom on the BBC. I’d worked with everyone in the room, and I thought, “Why am I sitting here, going on tape for all of you guys, to do this little part?” Which I didn’t get. About an hour later, I went to meet Armando, to talk about “The Thick of It,” and I was like: “You’re supposed to be a comedy genius? Make me laugh.” It was lucky I just had the right attitude at that moment.

Q.
On the show itself, the characters are often commenting and joking about how old this new Doctor now appears. How do you feel about that?

A.
I sometimes get a bit annoyed with it. I don’t think I’m old. I’m 56. Maybe people think that’s ancient. I’m not an old man. My eyebrows, which I’ve never taken much notice of in my life before, Steven’s decided are the most amazing comic devices. Now in the scripts, as a stage direction, instead of saying, “The Doctor looks peeved” or “The Doctor looks annoyed,” they just write, “Eyebrows.” I’m supposed to do something with my eyebrows.

Q.
Does that mean you’ve got to learn some new eyebrow moves?

A.
What it means is, the character is finding its own tics and its own shape. That’s a good thing.

Fun With Food

A great idea for your August 23rd season premier party!

Lasagna