The Husbands Of River Song – New Who Season 9 Christmas Special 2015 Review

Ah, the Christmas Special.  One of my favorites of the year.  Because it’s the last episode of the season I want to hold onto watching it for as long as I can… *But* if I wait too long it’ll wind up being spoiled.  Ugh.  As usual don’t read until you’ve watched the episode.  Well you can, but don’t get mad at me when I spoil it for you.

We start seeing a landed “flying saucer” and a caption that says we’re on Mendorax Dellora (Human Colony).  There’s snow, Christmas carols, lights, the whole works.  It is Christmas Day in the year 5343, after all.  This is going to be fun… unless you’re the Doctor, who has a sign on his TARDIS reading “Carol singers will be CRITICISED”.  We spell that with a “Z” here, Doctor.

A random person who looks lost knocks on the door of the TARDIS and the Doctor appears wearing antlers.  It seems the TARDIS had decided to cheer him up, though it just seemed to annoy him.  Anyhow, the man had come to collect a surgeon for a medical emergency and wound up with the Doctor.  They headed over to the flying saucer and a caped figure with a very familiar voice came out to meet them.  Hello sweetie.  That’s right, River Song!  The Doctor is pretty excited to see her, but she doesn’t know who he is.

This explains quite a lot, though it’s not such a surprise if you’ve been paying attention (or, like me, have been waiting for this).  If this is the first time River has met the Doctor, then they’re closer in age appearance-wise than she with his other recent incarnations.  That means that she’d be more likely to fall for him and have the relationship carry forward/back.  With me so far?  Good, now back to it.

So the Doctor asks River what the medical emergency is, and she says that her husband is dying.  We arrive to see a man in a big metal suit lying on a table surrounded by guards with swords who is *not* any form of the Doctor (that we’re aware of).  On top of that, the whole thing is being televised to 4 billion people and the Doctor is being his normal weird self.  Also, jealous.  River sent for the finest surgeon in the galaxy to save her husband (King Hydroflax), and instead was brought the Doctor… her *other* husband.

The Doctor and River leave the room to discuss the procedure.  As it turns out, the King has a giant diamond lodged in his head.  River is only pretending to love the King so that she can have the “surgeon” remove his entire head and she gets the diamond.  Her idea is that the King is an awful person and she doesn’t have to feel bad for murdering him.  The surgeon she’d actually hired had agreed to this.  The Doctor is still horrified and hasn’t agreed yet, but the King comes into the room during the discussion.  He’s a cyborg, so doesn’t actually need his head, and he proves that by removing it.  They get in a fight and River gives a speech about how he’s taken too much from too many and she will be the woman to take it all back.  The Doctor looks impressed.

River starts fighting the guards and the King’s body with a SONIC TROWEL (I just had to make sure you understand how insane this is), while the Doctor grabs his head and threatens to drop it down the garbage disposal if anyone harms her.  Of course that works and they do geek out a bit over the cyberbody before getting transported out.  Oh, they’re cute together!  Also, when River talks into her watch it looks like a Fitbit.

When they get a moment alone, the Doctor calls her out again, saying she knows who he is.  Again, she says she has no idea, then kisses her partner (the one who teleported them out).  River introduces him as her husband, Ramone.  I’m going to need to make a spreadsheet to keep track.  River asks Ramone if he’s found the Damsel… She’s actually looking for the Doctor.  She doesn’t know his current face, and thinks 11 was his current incarnation.  The Doctor asks if he could have a new face and River says it’s not possible.  So they go to the TARDIS and River says she’s stealing it.  She has a key…

Okay, so maybe steal is the wrong word.  It’s more like borrow.  She plans to return to the same spot a second in the future (when she’s finished with the TARDIS of course) so that the Doctor will never know it’s missing.  She thinks he won’t notice because “he never has before”.  Uh oh.  She goes inside and wants the Doctor to come along (but not Ramone for some reason).  He’s excited to do the “it’s bigger on the inside” bit but he’s kind of a terrible actor and way overdoes it.  She doesn’t seem to be surprised and half ignores him while prepping for takeoff.  He finishes and says he just wanted to see that done properly but again she doesn’t react.  Instead she offers him a drink from his own hidden wall compartment.

When it’s time to take off they can’t, and the Doctor “suggests” it’s because there’s a life form that’s registering as being inside and outside at the same time, tripping a safety measure.  And yet, River still doesn’t clue in.  Was she this dumb before?

Outside, the King’s body has replaced the head with the one from River’s assistant, and it lures Ramone into an alley.  It holds the assistant hostage (I’m guessing his head and body aren’t attached anymore, but it’s a guess) to make Ramone do what it wants.  Which is to replace the assistant.  The King’s body arrives at the TARDIS around the time the King’s head is telling River and the Doctor that if it’s killed the body will burn the entire solar system.  It attacks River, but they shut the TARDIS doors, fly away, grab the head and run out.  They seem to be on a ship with the TARDIS parked in baggage.  River has a staff member deadlock seal it so the King’s body can’t get out.  They also appear to be staying for dinner, as this seems to be a restaurant of some kind.

River makes a quick change into a dress and fancier hairstyle, and it comes out that she’s 200 years old.  She seems to be keeping some pretty sketchy company, as this ship is full of criminals and she’s actually trying to sell the diamond here.  When seated at their table, River starts telling the Doctor how men are easy prey while she looks through her diary – you know the one, the TARDIS-blue one.  The Doctor asks River if her diary is sad.  She looks very sad while telling him that the diary is almost full and she was given it by someone not special who was the type of person who would know how long a diary she might need.  In other words, she knows that either she is reaching the end of her Doctor interactions or will die soon.  I don’t know how old she was in Silence In The Library when she was uploaded.

River’s buyer arrives and we find out that the entire restaurant is “with him”.  He gives her payment and she puts the bag with the head on the table.  Before opening it, they all start chanting that they’re doing this in the name of their King.  King Hydroflax.  The King whose head is in the bag…

Ramone on the King’s body begged the staff member to be released.  When he arrived the King’s body grabbed him and he quickly turned on River.

In the meantime, the buyer demanded the bag, and the Doctor basically started everyone bidding on the head… I’m a little unsure of how that happened even though I backed it up and watched it again.  The Doctor woke the head and everyone bowed, so they went running… straight into the King’s body.  Guards grabbed them and the body went to the head but refused to take it because it had deteriorated.  The King’s body destroyed his own head, leaving behind dust and a diamond.  The waiter grabbed River’s diary and said this was the guide to the new head he required.  As the waiter reads the diary we’re taken on a small journey through River’s history.  It seems this is right after she’s been to Manhattan, so I’d assume this is set right after The Angels Take Manhattan.  It explains her bitterness.

There is a discussion about River being the one the Doctor loves.  She says he’s never loved her, and the King’s body confirms she’s not lying.  He looks rather sad about that.  But she also says she loves him but he won’t be there when she’s in trouble.  That they can scan the ship and not find him – she rants and raves about how much he doesn’t care… then looks over and he says “Hello Sweetie”.  They have a quick chat about escape routes, but River’s already planned this so they’re standing in what would be considered the safest spot to be during a meteor strike.  Coincidentally, one is starting.

They fall through the floor, have a quick back and forth and grab the diamond.  Close behind is the King’s body.  The payment sphere from the buyer falls as well and the Doctor sticks it where the head should go.  Zap.  The Doctor then scoops up River’s diary and heads to the bridge, where River is trying to get control.  Some banter, then the Doctor tricks River into being teleported back to the TARDIS, which she promptly materializes around him, then runs out.  He chases her, then they realize they can’t stop the crash and run back inside it.

The impact knocks them both out, but the Doctor comes to first.  He travels forward in time a touch and tells a worker at the crash site that he should build a restaurant overlooking the singing towers that are just beyond that spot.  Why?  Because River talked about wanting to go to a restaurant that was in that spot.  That they always make plans to go then he cancels.  He then he gives the worker the diamond and tells him it’s because he wants the restaurant there.  He moves forward in time again and this time the doors open into the restaurant.  He makes reservations for Christmas Day in 4 years time.  River finally wakes to an empty TARDIS, still in her evening gown.  When she goes out into the restaurant, the greeter tells her the Doctor is waiting for her on the balcony.

She puts on another dress and heads up.  Ramone (still on the King’s body) is working, although now it’s just a body with a couple different heads that swap out.  The Doctor comes out with a proper suit on and a gift for River – a sonic screwdriver.  So this is where that came from!  They look at the towers and it’s all very date-like.  River says there are stories about them, about her and her Doctor.  She says the stories suggest that the last night they spend together is at that location,  at the towers.  He doesn’t deny it, just says “spoilers”.  If you recall “Silence in the Library” you’ll remember that the last time she saw his face he was much older… This would fit well with that.  She asks how long a night there is, since they most likely only have the one night, and he responds with 24 years.

After *just* losing Clara, this just about killed me.  I cried *again*.  I do believe the intent here is that this is actually their “last night” together.  If that is the case, then we can’t see River again while Peter Capaldi is the Doctor.  This was the first time she’d seen this face, so unless he gets another face and they meet somewhere in the middle of her timeline it’s just not happening.  I can’t see them doing that, since this wraps up her storyline quite nicely.  It makes me sad, but it’s nice to see her have a “happy ending” before Silence in the Library.

Heaven Sent – New Who Season 9 Episode 11 Review

After that last episode I’m not sure how much I want to keep going, but I guess I will.  Spoilers as usual but lets hope this one doesn’t make me cry…

We start basically where we left off.  A voiceover of the Doctor talking about death and then he appears from his teleport.  He’s in a giant glass tube… and he looks afraid.  He steps out, remembers Clara and then looks sad.  He finds some sand on the floor, then gets angry.  He’s out for revenge, no matter what he was told.  He starts wandering around and talking to the person he assumes is there.  He seems to be in a castle, and finds a shovel with dirt on it.  But we don’t know if he’s still on Earth (I’m assuming he is) or who brought him there.

Eventually a TV on the wall activates and shows the Doctor looking out the window.  A figure from another window across the castle is wearing a hooded cape and watching him.  I think it’s Clara.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.  We see a bunch of flies buzzing around and a hooded figure (the same one?) advances on the Doctor, who runs.  He finds himself at the end of a corridor with a locked door.  He forms a telepathic link with the door and it opens.  He then catches himself saying “See Clara…”.  Oh there’s going to be a lot of sad… The doors open to a brick wall.

He says he’s scared of dying then everything stops in front of him.  The figure, the flies, all frozen.  The entire building shifts around like some sort of puzzle.  The entire levels shift around going different directions, along with an enclosed bridge that crosses a courtyard.  The door behind him opens and he runs through.  Now in a bedroom with fresh Lillys, a TV and a big (not to mention very old) painting of Clara.  I wonder if the figure is the Doctor, who’s been locked in the caste for centuries and is responsible for bringing himself there?  Or maybe it’s Ashildr.

Speaking of the figure, he appears again.  The Doctor says that someone’s been stealing his nightmares.  He jumps out the window and next we see him in the TARDIS,  He’s talking to the back of Clara (why not her front?) and telling her he thought quickly so that everything around him slowed down.  That he’s actually falling right now and thinking about how he’ll be in the TARDIS telling her how he escaped.  He worked out that the castle is next to salt water and the gravity and such works into a likely survival scenario.  Then he hits the water.  Underneath, he sees the entire bottom covered in skulls, no actual land in sight.  After crawling out he finds he’s in the middle of the “courtyard” (which is just the water with a small shore) and the only place to go is back inside.

He finds a fire with his own clothes drying by it.  He changes out of his wet clothes into the dry ones (the exact same ones he’s wearing) and hangs his wet ones where the dry ones were.  A time loop of some kind?  Maybe during the whole time he’s in this castle only minutes will pass.  He moves to another room with another TV along with a missing tile in the floor with sand where it should be, and a bunch of arrows pointing to it.  In his mind, he keeps talking to Clara and she keeps asking questions on a chalk board.  We only see the chalk board, which is kind of sad.  I suspect Jenna Coleman wasn’t actually contracted to be in this episode, since the back of the head we saw didn’t look like her hair and we’ve never seen her face.

The Doctor now believes he’s in a fully automatic haunted house, maze-style.  He believes the idea is to trap him inside and scare him to death.  He goes outside into another courtyard, one with actual grass.  We keep seeing a circular pattern with a hole (up until now sand) in the middle and this is no exception.  This time it’s dirt, and I think he’s supposed to dig based on the dirty shovel we saw earlier.  Sure enough, we see another shovel and he does exactly that.  Although once I get a better look at it, it almost looks like he’s digging his own grave.  It’s the right shape for it.

He digs for a while and then we see the flies again.  The figure tries to come out through the door but the Doctor jams it closed with the shovel.  The figure heads to the room with the missing tile.  I feel like that’s a way outside.  In the meantime the Doctor resumes shoveling.  Eventually he finds a large stone that says “I am in 12”.  Then the flies are back and the figure grabs him from the pile of dirt.

Now we’re back talking to Clara’s chalkboard in the TARDIS.  He realizes that he’s being interrogated and the only way to stop it is to tell truths he’s never told before.  Wait, is this to go on the confession dial?  Missy had it at the beginning of the season but I can’t remember ever being told details on how she received it or what was actually on it.  Could Missy be behind this or is it still Ashildr?  Maybe something else?  No, I can’t see that.  Anyway he says there are truths he can never tell but admits to being alone and afraid.  It’s a sad side of the Doctor that I don’t enjoy visiting but is necessary to see.  It’s like seeing a good friend or family member in pain, and you just want to make it stop.

He tells the figure that he left Gallifrey because he was afraid and it goes away.  Then the maze shuffles itself around again.  We then see the castle is basically a self contained island in the middle of nothing.  Just water in all directions.  And the Doctor sees it too.

We then see (or are told) how he spends his time.  If he draws the creature to one end of the castle then runs to the other, he can get a maximum of 82 minutes before it reaches him again.  He uses that time to eat (but where is the food?), sleep and look for room 12.  If he leaves a room long enough it will revert to the exact condition it was in when he arrived, which means he can’t set anything up to return to it later.

“Or maybe I’m in hell.  That’s okay. I’m not scared of hell, it’s just heaven for bad people.” – The Doctor

The Doctor goes to the room where he first arrived, picks up a skull and sees the word “BIRD” written in the sand.  Then a wall moves and reveals a set of steps.  He follows them and finds himself at the top of the tower in the center of the castle.  He’s surrounded by water far below.  He leaves the skull there and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see it still there later.  Heading down, we find room 12.  He opens the doors to find a blank wall.  He goes back up and the figure joins him again.  He tells it that the Hybrid moved the starts before the time war and that’s why they’re out of place.  It’s half Dalek and half Time Lord, and he knows where it is.

The figure moves away and the walls move again.  Room 12 is open.  Beyond the doors lies a long corridor with a bright wall at the end.  The word “Home” flashes on it for a moment.  The Doctor realizes he’s one confession away from his TARDIS and they want to know about the Hybrid.  He sinks back into his mind where he can talk to Clara but you can see the despair on his face when he knows that no matter what happens she’ll still be gone.  But we finally hear her and see her and she tells him to win.  And I find myself misty again… I think she’s actually gone.

The Doctor snaps out of it and tells the figure he won’t say anything about the Hybrid.  Then he starts hitting the wall and starts to tell a story.  The figure wraps its hands (claws?) around his face, he falls to the floor and then the figure appears to teleport away.

Back in the TARDIS of the mind, the Doctor explains how dying can take days for a Time Lord if they’re too injured to regenerate.  His plan is to drag himself to the top of the tower before he dies.  This place was his own personal torture chamber all along, and there were never any other prisoners.  So while he’s talking we see him drag himself to the tower, to the room where he first arrived, the one with the teleporter.  There should be a copy of him on the hard drive, exactly as he was when he arrived… 7000 years ago.  He knows from the stars.

In the room, he burns up his own body as energy to start the teleporter.  He is the skull he found in the room, and a new copy of himself appears in the teleporter… one without all of these memories.  Before he dies he writes “Bird” in the sand.  Then the room resets again with the new arrival.

Then we see he does the same cycle over and over.  But every time he does it he chips away at the wall in room 12.  For some reason that room doesn’t reset.  2 billion years at last count before he broke through that wall, before the light hit the figure and it collapsed into a shroud and a pile of gears. He walked through and found himself in a desert.  His castle collapsed into what looked like his confession dial.  He sees a boy and tells him to go find someone important and say that he’s back.  We see him run toward the city.  Toward Gallifrey.

The Doctor tells the dial that the Hybrid is not half Dalek.  That it is destined conquer and then to stand in the ruins of Gallifrey.  That it is him.

Guess we’re back to the home planet sooner than expected.

Face The Raven – New Who Season 9 Episode 10 Review

My “free time” will be coming to an end sooner than I’d like, so I’m trying to get as many of these done as I can.  So here we go, and remember: Spoilers sweetie.

We start with the Doctor and Clara running back into the TARDIS after what sounds like quite an adventure when the phone rings.  Yes, *that* phone.  She answers and it’s Rigsy.  He has a number tattoo on the back of his neck and it’s counting down.  Well we can’t just ignore something that strange now can we?  When we arrive we see that he has a child.  His wife had told him that he left the previous day before dawn and came back after midnight, but he remembers nothing and apparently skipped work.  His phone got a crack during that day, but there’s nothing on the phone to indicate that day existed at all.

After some scans, the Doctor tells Rigsy he’s had significant contact with aliens in the last day… and that he’s been retconned (TORCHWOOD!!!!  I just did a little happy dance).  He then tells him he’s going to die.  Rigsy says he has to fix it because saving people is what he does, and the Doctor says he will but I don’t feel like his heart is really in it.

They start looking for a street that’s gone “missing” because the Doctor believes this is how they’ll find out what happened to Rigsy.  This does involve a bit of a cool scene with Clara hanging out of the TARDIS wearing the sonic glasses while they fly over London, but it really is just filler.  They find three potential areas that could contain the street so they split up.  Never a good idea but they do converge on the area.  Clara runs back to the TARDIS for some things but winds up just grabbing Rigsy’s phone, on which the data was recovered.  When he touches it he starts remembering things.  Aliens, a body, and then they find the street they’re looking for.

The floor locks them in place, and some aliens in disguise (human holograms basically) come out and ask them why they need asylum.  They say this is a refugee camp… and then we see Ashildr.  She seems to be a running theme this season.  So why do I feel like she’ll be the one to end Clara’s time with the Doctor?  Maybe I’m wrong, but back to topic.  We find out that Ashildr is responsible for the tattoo on Rigsy, that he committed some sort of crime.  She said she sentenced him to death, wiped his memory and sent him home to say goodbye to his family even though he didn’t remember any of it… She also plans to wipe the memories of the Doctor and Clara.  One of the others calls Rigsy a murderer, so we must be to believe that he killed the woman we saw on the ground earlier.

The street lamps are actually causing a telepathic field which makes us see everything the way we want.  When Ashildr pinches the Doctor he sees an Ood working on a Cyberman instead of a person wrapping another person’s head.  We’re taken to a room where we see a body in what looks like a cage.  Apparently she was found at the entrance to the street, with Rigsy standing over her.  That assume he caused the head wound which killed her, but Clara disagrees.

On the street, a man begs Ashildr for his life.  He was sentenced to death after stealing medicine for his wife.  She shows no mercy, and a raven comes out of its cage and kills him painfully.  Ashildr says that if they can convince the crowd that Rigsy didn’t kill the woman she’ll spare him.  Clara finds out that Rigsy has two options.  He can get her to remove the tattoo, or he can give it to someone else if he can get them to take it willingly.  Clara’s plan is to get Rigsy to give her the death sentence.  Since Ashildr promised the Doctor she wouldn’t be harmed when they arrived, she figures she won’t have to face the raven at all.  After some convincing he agrees, and the tattoo moves to her.

Meanwhile the Doctor is questioning people on the street.  One of them says that when they found Rigsy with the woman he asked them to call him a doctor.  In other words, he wanted to call *the* Doctor.  Only they didn’t know that… But Ashildr did.  Now the Doctor knows that Ashildr knew that Rigsy knew him and she lied about it.  Follow that?  Good.

The dead woman could see people’s pasts and so could the women of her whole species.  The woman had a son so that wouldn’t help.  Only Clara knew better.  The son is actually a daughter dressed as a boy, and she can see that Rigsy didn’t do anything wrong.  She can’t see what Ashildr is doing because it involves the Doctor, but she does know that she’s afraid of something.

Ashildr had told the Doctor that the dead woman was being kept there until someone could take her home to be buried.  Their species actually burn the dead, so another lie.  At the body, the Doctor discovers that she’s actually being held in a status chamber, meaning she’s actually alive.  The machine is set up so the Doctor has to use the TARDIS key to unlock it.  When he does, it puts a metal band on his arm.  Ashildr arrives in time to say it’s a teleport bracelet and he’ll be given time to say goodbye.  She has made a deal with someone.  In exchange for delivering the Doctor her street will be kept safe.  She also takes his confession dial, but she doesn’t seem to know what it is or how it works.

Ashildr moves to take the tattoo from Rigsy but it then comes out that Clara has it.  When Clara took the lock from Rigsy it changed the way this all works.  She can’t give it back and Ashildr can’t remove the lock, at least that’s what Ashildr says.  The Doctor tells Clara he can’t fix it but then tells Ashildr that she will or he’ll destroy everything she has and put her in her own personal hell for all of eternity.  But Clara steps in and then things are just sad for a moment.  She says her goodbyes and tells the Doctor to go on and be a good person about it and not to take revence.  I don’t expect her to die now, but I’ll admit I got a bit teary.

She walks into the street, the raven enters her, and that’s the end of Clara Oswald.

The Doctor threatens Ashildr and then he’s teleported away… and the episode will be continued…

Wow, okay, I didn’t expect that at all.  I expected them to find a way to save Clara before the raven got her and I expected some quick resolution to the while lets-kidnap-the-Doctor thing.  However, I didn’t realize it was a two part episode.  I suspect that’s not quite the end of Clara, but maybe I’m wrong.  I guess we’ll see soon enough.

Sleep No More – New Who Season 9 Episode 9 Review

Over the holidays I had to actively avoid accidentally seeing the Christmas special or anything to do with it.  I *need* to get caught up on all of these episodes so that I can go on Twitter/Facebook/The-Internet-In-General again!  Having said that, spoiler alert as usual, and here we go 🙂

We start out with a very ominous video clip of someone saying something’s happened and here’s what’s happened (mostly).  Then some code appears across the screen and we see Clara’s name along with “Doctor Who” and a bunch of other stuff.  I suspect we’ll see much more information soon.  For example, right away. We’re introduced to a “rescue team”.  We’re basically told that they won’t make it so don’t get attached.  They’re coming for our narrator but we don’t get know why.  We’re told we’ll see things from their point of view.

Our rescue crew finds the Doctor and Clara wandering about babbling with their usual banter about nothingness.  They tell our heroes that the station fell silent a day ago, their going to find out why, and that the TARDIS team will now be joining the command.  Seems on par for normal.  We see some humanoid-like forms in the shadows and everyone runs.  I can’t help but notice the Doctor and Clara holding hands, and out scary figures look like two people holding hands.  One team member is separated as they run away and the rest of the group runs into a room.  The figures try to get in but then crumble to dust.  The Doctor analyzes it to find out that they’re organic… like people?

They find some pods in the room and Clara manages to get herself stuck inside one.  Turns out to be a sleep pod that just grabs people and sucks them in when they’re tired.  The team calls them Morpheus, but won’t say more than “they’re more than just a sleep pod”.  One of them isn’t empty.  It was holding our narrator.  Now we discover our sleep pods cram sleep into a teeny amount of time so people can go a whole month without actually sleeping.  The Doctor believes the creatures have something to do with Morpheus.  He thinks they are sleep dust (that crap that builds up in the corner of your eyes while you’re asleep) come to life and are eating people.  He thinks the pods and the creatures need to be destroyed.

We go out looking for the missing team member, who is trying to get into a room to hide.  Unfortunately, he locks himself in with a creature and that was the end of him.  This is supposed to be a kids show, right?

Gravity goes wonky, the Doctor fixes it while a creature attacks them and we run and lose more people.  Some filler, and the Doctor. Clara and the commander are locked in the cold storage room.  The Doctor reviews their helmet camera footage because he thinks they’re missing something.  Only thing is, it turns out they don’t *have* helmet cams.  Just when they realize this the creatures start trying to break down the door.  They can’t stay and freeze, so they hide in bags hanging from the ceiling and let them in.

Some of the creatures are distracted by a noise and go chasing after the other crew members.  In the meantime we haven’t seen our narrator in the present (just as an actual narrator).

Turns out the creatures are blind.  This allows the Doctor’s group to quietly sneak out and then shut the door behind them.  In our other group, one team member (the “grunt”, a basic soldier grown in a lab) sacrifices himself to save the other.

Back to the cameras… They aren’t cameras.  The dust is watching everyone, collecting these images.  Clara and the others are collecting images from their points of view as well, since they were in the pods.  There is no footage from the Doctor’s point of view or from the one crew member who refuses to use the machines.

Meanwhile our lone crew member returns to *his* ship.  He assumes the others are dead and plans to destroy the station.  He finds an open sleep pod, the bay doors close and we hear him scream.  Guess a creature got him too.  The Doctor has worked things out so their group heads to the ship too, finding the narrator, just as expected.  He’d already recorded his message that we’ve been watching all show.  He plans to take the creatures back to the planet to wipe out all the humans.

The narrator has moved a pod onto the ship containing a man who hasn’t slept in 5 years.  He releases the creature, then locks the group in with it.  The Doctor distracts it and they run.  The commander kills the narrator and they head for the TARDIS, cut off by creatures.  The Doctor destroys the grav shields causing the same issues as earlier and the creatures start turning into dust.  Things don’t make sense for him, but it looks like we’re about to understand.

During the whole episode it’s been shot kind of like a horror film, with little blips in the tape… Our narrator explains that the Morpheus process is actually in the blips and we’ve all been watching it so we’re infected now.  He’s going to beam out the signal to the whole solar system as soon as he’s done recording it (this would be before he was shot obviously).  He rubs his eye and shows that he’s actually one of the creatures and our narrator has been dead basically all along.  He turns to dust, and we’re next…

Interesting premise and quite creepy.

Before The Flood – New Who Season 9 Episode 4 Review

Spoilers upcoming, though I shouldn’t have to say that here.  By now we all know how this works.

I finished watching the last episode and the ending has been bugging me.  I feel as though we’re going to do some kind of timey wimey cheat, but maybe I should give it the benefit of the doubt.  We’ll see.  This time we’re going to see how the Doctor winds up dead…

We’re starting the episode off with the Doctor talking to the camera and telling a cute little story about Beethoven.  It’s kind of cute and kind of freaking me out all at the same time, if that’s possible.  But we get to see Capaldi with a guitar again so I’m happy… even if the opening didn’t make any sense.

Back to the 80s (or so the Doctor tells us) and we get to see Ms. Professional have a me-style freakout about the size of the TARDIS interior.  She also seems to drop a hint about a maybe-upcoming episode?  Anyway, I’ll skip that for now.  We’re here to visit the spaceship before the area had flooded.  Everything is intact and we find out it’s actually a hearse.  We also meet our live version of the first ghost from the last episode.  Everything seems to be “normal” and non threatening…

Flash to Clara.  Ghost-Doctor is outside the ship repeating all of their names.  Clara’s phone rings and it’s the liver version of the Doctor.  This could get confusing… She’s a dummy and tells him that he dies, thereby solidifying this as the “real” future.  He’s visibly upset, but manages to get a crack in about this regeneration  being “a bit of a clerical error anyway”, and I love that he finally addresses that.  Clara has a meltdown and I swear her eyes are bigger than the rest of her head.

The body disappears from the ship in the past and the writing appears on the wall of the inside of the craft.  The first person is killed off and (we assume) turned into a ghost.

Clara works with the Doctor to determine how he dies, but ghost Doctor comes in and lets the other ghosts loose before that happens.  Bit of back and forth and Clara’s group runs for the safe room.  Meanwhile the Doctor’s group heads outside and gets themselves cut off from the TARDIS.  O’Donnell manages to get herself separated from the group and killed.  It’s revealed (as if we haven’t figured it out) that the order the Doctor was repeating the names was the order in which they’ll die.  Clara’s name is next, and judging by the name of the next episode I suspect it’ll happen.

In the future ghost O’Donnell takes Clara’s phone (an iPhone, might I point out – product placement perhaps?) , and in the past the Doctor is only able to move backwards in time a half hour.  So he’s stuck there with himself, trying to explain to his current travelling companion why we can’t fix things.  Meanwhile they need to stay out of sight.

Clara realizes that the translator (Lunn) can walk among the ghosts because he’s never seen the writing in the ship.  She’s clever, but I figured that out when they didn’t hurt him the first time they had the chance, and I’m sure most people reading this got it too.  Does that make us cleverer?  Of course she’s correct.  That doesn’t stop them from locking him

The Doctor decides to accelerate things by chasing after the Fisher King (the guy wrapped up in the hearse).  Idea being if he can change the order of the deaths then Clara can be saved.  Only she decides to leave her protected little room to chase after the guy who hasn’t returned.  It’s very much a “Carl stay in the house” moment.  Anyway, running, filler, flashing between Clara’s group and the Doctor’s and then we see the Doctor has taken the power cell out of the ship to blow up a dam.  Guess we know how the water got there.

The wall of water smashes into the Fisher King just as his stasis chamber is opening next to Clara in the future.  Our bumbling hero bounds out of it.  That’s a time lord win I believe.  The ghost Doctor lures the ghosts into the chamber down the hall and the actual Doctor locks them in.  So I get how we have a clean type ending, but we still haven’t addressed the issue of “dead Doctor”.  3 seconds later we do.  It was a hologram.  Anyone guess that?  Come on, I know some of you did.

I’m getting a little sick of the sonic glasses.  I know they’re trying to give the screwdriver a break because it was turning into a magic want but this?  This is so much worse.  Cool for an episode or two, but not unlike the fez it’s something that should be used sparingly.

We then have a little wrap up of loose ends (like explaining how UNIT will take the ghosts), a pep talk from Clara and a declaration of love.  A basic fairy tale ending.  Not sure how I feel about that, but I guess I don’t really get a say.  I was really thinking (hoping?) Clara would die in this episode.  The season isn’t over and I’m a few episodes behind so I’m sure we’ll see it happen sooner or later.

Under The Lake – New Who Season 9 Episode 3 Review

Okay, okay, I know I’m way behind.  I don’t know what I’d do without a PVR.  Seriously I’ve had no time on my hands but have some serious catching up to do.  I’m going to try and work my way through some episodes as best I can.  I’ve even been avoiding Twitter so I don’t accidentally see anything about an episode.  Here we go with Under the Lake! – Spoilers!!!

A mysterious craft and some shadowy figures on an underwater base is always a good start to the show.  A character needs to die for us to realize we’re dealing with ghosts?  I’d like to think we’re all a little smarter than than.

Meanwhile back at my place I have a cat sleeping (and drooling) on my arm.  It makes it very difficult to type…

Après-credits (that’s right, my French is “awesome”), our heroes come along with an apparently unhappy TARDIS.  Clara wants some adventure and the Doctor seems to be right there with her.  I think this is a “be careful what you wish for” sort of situation.  But we run into the ghosts without incident and then arrive at the… ummm… spaceship?

Yes, the alien has confirmed the craft is alien.  Good.  Right.  On with it then.  So we now have ghosts that can wield weapons and in the general run-for-your-life scenario our dynamic duo meet up with the live portion of the crew.  Standard explanations ensue, and our ghosts now appear to be something else which only comes out at night.  Thankfully it’s “morning” in our dark scary underwater base and we can get on with our investigation.

On a side note, I love the fact that Clara has cards for the Doctor so he can be a little less… alien.  I’m really enjoying the back to “I don’t understand feelings” Doctor.  Also loving the fact that he gets so excited that he needs to calm himself down.  Clara seems to be getting overly excited as well.  She’s too at home as a companion, which may just get her killed this season.

We have some filler, the sub switches to night mode and we kill off an annoying character.  That means a close call with a ghost with a last second switch to day mode just in time for him to disappear.  All right, I take a bit of issue with this one.  It’s not like the group was trapped or there was another ghost blocking the exit.  They could have just run away.  But I digress…

They hatch a plan to catch a ghost but things go badly.  In the end of course the plan works out and all of the ghosts are captured.  The Doctor pops in and figures out what they want.  Some investigating leads to a stasis chamber from the ship and some more questions,  but the Doctor seems to figure it out.  Unfortunately the base starts to flood and he gets separated from Clara.  He and half he group jump in the TARDIS and head back in time to fix the issue.

Flash to Clara and the rest of the group who are waiting for his return.  We see another ghost, meaning someone died when they went to the past… and it’s the Doctor…

Okay, didn’t see that one coming.  Looks like we’re going to have plenty of multi part episodes this season.  I’d certainly rather see them do that and do a better job on the story than rush it.  And I really didn’t feel like there was a ton of filler here.  Looks like I can’t get to part 2 tonight, but I’m hoping before this week is out… and my cat is still drooling on my arm…