Misfits Season 2 Episode 5 Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on December 12, 2010 by watsonprime

This week’s Misfits was by far one of the most ridiculous episodes of the series so far. With one story involving the gang on the trail of a serial killer, a lighter story balanced the plot with Kelly falling in love with a mysterious new character. As the series is nearing it’s end, we also see more of the scenes that Curtis encountered in his drug-induced trip to the future as well as some of the things hinted at by Future-Simon.

Kelly’s love story greatly resembles the one that Nathan found himself in in the second episode of the first series. In fact, Nathan even recalls this as foreshadowing to the story’s climax. However, being Misfits, they’re not going to just tell us the same story again, and while Nathan’s encounter was shown as an introduction to the character, Kelly’s is made more effective by the fact that we are very familiar with these characters. While the emotional journey is the main focus of the story and it’s neatly wrapped up at the end of the episode, there are some elements that effect the overall plot of the series, mainly that we learn the storm didn’t just reach humans, which may or may not prove to be useful information in future. It seems that the Misfits will always be unlucky in love, but it seems sadder due to the fact that Kelly, the most emotionally hardened of the group, genuinely found a connection with someone. Unfortunately, due to the fact that every new character on Misfits must have a superpower, and we hadn’t learned what Bruno’s (Kelly’s new love) power was, it was a safe bet that it would be something shocking.      With foreshadowing all over the shop, it’s still pretty startling when the shy Bruno is revealed to have been a Gorilla that was transformed into a human during the storm.

The second story is also a love story of sorts, but is far darker, with Simon falling for a possible serial killer. After Nathan is savagely beaten to (a very brief) death, the gang investigate a trail of murders that lead to the athletic Jessica. Unfortunately, she’s fallen for Simon, and vice versa, which of course means he’s convinced she’s not the killer. Fortunately, at least for this episode, there is a semblance of a happy ending, at least by Misfits standards, when it’s revealed that the killer is Jessica’s dad who’s superpower is that he gets really protective of his daughter.

Overall, another great episode. While Kelly’s story could have ended the same way as Nathan’s in season 1, there was a lot more of an emotional resonance and it was a lot sadder to see Bruno go, although the King-Kong scene with him climbing the side of a building was a little bit too ridiculous, mainly because of the poor CGI. Plus, it’s always interesting to see Kelly get some screen time that didn’t involve her shouting at someone. Alisha is also becoming more of an interesting character as her affection towards Simon is growing, which comes into conflict with his new relationship. We also see more of Curtis and that teleporting girl who’s name I don’t care enough about to look up, I’m really not a fan of that storyline, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Anyway, great episode as always, long may the misfits reign!

Doctor Who 30/12/72 – The Three Doctors

Posted in 2nd Doctor, 3rd Doctor, Doctor Who on December 5, 2010 by watsonprime

“The Three Doctors” is an incredibly important moment in Doctor Who history. While written as a 10th anniversary celebration, it does feature several key moments that are huge additions to Doctor Who folklore. First and foremost, it establishes that while a Doctor may have died, it doesn’t mean we can’t see them again. It also shows us that not only can different incarnations of The Doctor meet, but they also don’t get along with each other. This also marks the last episode in which The 3rd Doctor was stuck on earth, having his ban from travelling removed at the end of the serial.

After a series of attacks on UNIT headquarters, The Doctor is forced to call upon the help of the Time Lords, who enlist the help of his two previous incarnations. As soon as the 2nd and 3rd Doctors meet, they start a delightfully antagonistic relationship, which is kept in check by the appearance of the 1st Doctor. Due to William Hartnell’s illness, which originally caused him to leave the show, he only appears briefly via the TARDIS scanner screen, but he immediately puts the two squabbling Doctors in their place with a few choice putdowns. It’s always interesting to se how different incarnations of The Doctor deal with their other selves, and while it’s great when they get along ie. “Time Crash”, it’s so much more fun when it’s revealed they don’t like each other, and it’s not really a surprise that the elegant, dashing 3rd Doctor is annoyed by the clownish, bumbling 2nd, and that they’re both a disappointment to the stern 1st Doctor, who acts like a father figure to his future selves.

As the various cast members are teleported to an antimatter universe, which looks surprisingly like a quarry, it is revealed that the attacks on UNIT are being orchestrated by someone with immense power and that The Two Doctors must put aside their differences and work together.

One negative point about this serial is that the Time Lords, who were quite intimidating in “The War Games” appear to have regenerated into a bunch of argumentative old men. However, considering the main villain of the story is a crazed Time Lord, by making them less intimidating, it makes the villain more imposing by comparison.

And what a villain! It seems fitting in an anniversary episode that The Doctor should fight a character from his past. While the energy monster thing and the hobbling lumps of bubble wrap are laughable, the real orchestrator behind the curtain is a figure that frightens even the 3rd Doctor.

Overall, it’s a fantastic celebration of Doctor Who, it’s always fun to see actors enjoying their work, and there are times when you can see Jon Pertwee is almost about to start laughing (just before the two Doctors conjure up a door on the Antimatter planet). There are moments of humour, as well as some genuine scares and while the effects are pretty ropey, they don’t detract from the quality of the story telling.

Also, the fight scene between the 3rd Doctor and Omega is amazing

Doctor Who Charity Specials – “Dimensions in Time”, “The Curse of Fatal Death” and “Time Crash”

Posted in Doctor Who on December 4, 2010 by watsonprime

For fun I’ve decided to compare and constrast three Doctor Who charity specials. The three episodes I have selected are ‘Dimensions in Time’, ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’ and ‘Time Crash’. They are three very different pieces, one being a comedy spoof, one being a serious episode with added humour and one being a, well i’m not sure what it was supposed to be. Despite all being official Doctor Who episodes, only one is canon, while one is definitely not due to it’s spoof status and the other is so awful most people pretend it never happened.

I’ll start by looking at ‘Dimensions In Time’, the 1993 Children in Need special featuring every doctor from the 3rd to the 7th, as well as cameos from a whole range of Doctor Who alumni. This is the infamous Doctor Who visits Eastenders story, and with the series having been cancelled three years previously, this could have been a chance for the BBC to show people what they were missing. Unfortunately it is a complete mess, what should have a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Doctor Who is a mixture of bad acting, worse scripts and complete and utter disregard for fans.

In ‘Dimensions in Time’, Kate O’Mara reprises her role as The Rani, presumably Anthony Ainley was unavailable and they needed a villain with a time machine. The Rani, is making a catalogue of the universe by taking a sample of every species when she reveals to her companion that she only has one species left to collect – Humans! For some reason, she can’t just take one human, like she has with the Cyberman and the ‘Gallifreyan Time Lord’, but also has to involve the Doctor in a convoluted plan that involves making him and Ace switch between his previous incarnations and companions and trapping him in in Albert Square.

I remember reading that Tom Baker didn’t want to return to Five Doctors because he had only recently left the role, however it’s apparent that he really doesn’t give a fuck. He only appears at the very beginning, recording a warning to his other selves, while sitting in front of a blue screen and clearly reading his lines of a scrip in front of him. And it’s clear that no one else involved in the production of ‘Dimensions In Time’ cared at all about the making of the episode. For some reason, the doctor keeps switching between his incarnations, now, in the world of Doctor Who, that much makes sense, but for some reason his companions keep switching as well, sometimes he’ll have two, and then one, but none of them look like they did in the classic series, they’ve all clearly just been filmed wearing whatever they turned up to the studio in. I didn’t recognise half of the actresses, the only one wearing their original costume was Sophie Aldred as Ace, the only other actress who seems to have made an effort was Elizabeth Sladen, but even then she seems to have got confused and decided to dress up as Mario.

It was clear that whoever wrote this (it might have been John Nathan-Turner, who should have known better) was about to hand the script over when they realised they had forgotten an ending and wrote in something about ‘Time brains’. However, there is one diamond in the rough, Sylvester McCoys last line “Certainly I, I mean we, are difficult to get rid of”. Unfortunately, where this could have prompted a response of “that was great, I wish Doctor Who was back on” instead it’s more likely that people will think “I’m glad that show got cancelled”.

Six years later (although 3 years after the failed revival with Paul McGann) Steven Moffat wrote “The Curse of Fatal Death”, which showed that you don’t need every single past cast member involved to make a fantastic celebration of Doctor Who. “The Curse of Fatal Death” is a non-canonical spoof of Doctor Who, that instead of ridiculing the subject matter, respects it and is a fantastic addition to the Doctor Who mythos. “Fatal Death” focuses on the 9th Doctor, played by Rowan Atkinson deciding to settle down and marry his companion Emma, played by Julia Sawalha, this prompts The Doctor to arrange a meeting with The Master, now on his slightly incompetant 17th incarnation and played by Jonathan Pryce. What follows is a story based around the two rivals attempts to out do each other using time travel, with cameos from the Daleks, and a series of regenerations which suggest a relatively logical solution to the 12 regeneration limit.

While “Dimensions in Time” could have been written by someone who had never seen Doctor Who, “The Curse of Fatal Death” is a fantastic tribute to the series. Rowan Atkinson’s Doctor is a Time Lord slightly weary of constantly saving the universe and is well aware of how much smarter he is than The Master. The scene that sees them lay traps for each other by travelling back in time and bribing the architect of the castle is one of the finest examples of the show’s the paradoxes caused by messing around in the 4th dimension. Regeneration is also addressed as the Doctor quickly goes through three bodies, played by Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant after making some rudimentary mistakes when doing some rewiring. Each incarnation is different, from Atkinson’s world weary and slightly sarcastic Doctor, to Richard E Grant’s cocky, sexy Doctor, Jim Broadbent’s nervous and bumbling Doctor and Hugh Grant’s charming and handsome Doctor. Despite reaching his regeneration limit, he is killed yet again and regenerates into a woman played by Joanna Lumley. One possible reason for this is that “maybe even the universe can’t bear to be without The Doctor” which isn’t the most ridiculous thing to happen in Doctor Who, and actually seems a decent idea.

“Dimensions in Time” and “The Curse of Fatal Death” are both very different, one is a fantastic celebration of Doctor Who, with a fantastic script, excellent performances and a fitting end to what may be the last we ever saw of The Doctor, and the other is “Dimensions in Time”. What’s also interesting is that while “Dimensions in Time” takes what is a ridiculous story, tries to play it serious and fails, “The Curse of Fatal Death” takes a serious story, makes it funny and is incredibly successful.

There are numerous similarities between the two specials; both aired in a period in which Doctor Who had not been on television for several years, the only new episode between the two was the 1996 TV Movie starring Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor. Both specials also can be seen as continuing the story of Doctor Who, in “Dimensions in Time” it is clear that the current Doctor is still Sylvester McCoy, and in “The Curse of Fatal Death”, while never referenced, it is clear that at some point McGann has regenerated into Atkinson. They are both similar in terms of their plot, both feature a Renegade Time Lord as a villain who allies with another Doctor Who enemy, they also feature a brand new human companion, in the form of Rani’s assistant and The Doctor’s fiance Emma. They both are also multi-doctor stories in which the Doctors never actually meet, which I think may be the only examples in the entire series with the exception of the regeneration episodes.

“Time Crash” takes place between Martha Jones leaving the TARDIS at the end of season 3 and the Titanic crashing in through the wall. It’s a short film set inside the TARDIS and features the 10th Doctor meeting the 5th. Again, written by Steven Moffat, it aired in 2007 for Children in Need and while humorous, is a canonical entry into Doctor Who history. While it can be seen as a means for David Tennant to work with his favourite incarnation of The Doctor, it is also a chance for newer viewers to be made aware that there were Doctors before Christopher Eccleston, as well as open up possibilities for multi-Doctor stories in the renewed series.

While previous canon multi-Doctor stories have been based around cataclysmic events that require more than one incarnation to solve, in “Time Crash” the two incarnations meet because they both forgot to put the shields up and crashed into each other, which was bound to happen eventually. What happens next is a fantastic scene as the 5th Doctor tries to work out what this skinny, grinning idiot is doing in his TARDIS, while the 10th Doctor is in fanboy heaven at meeting his favourite past self. “Time Crash” is notable for it’s self referential humour, referencing the frequently changing TARDIS interior, the Master’s questionable sexuality (which Moffat also brought up in “The Curse of Fatal Death”), the similarity in their costumes, even the fact that David Tennant is a fan of Peter Davison is commented on.

“Time Crash” is different to “Dimensions in Time” and “The Curse of Fatal Death” due to the fact that it doesn’t really have a plot other than “the 10th Doctor meets the 5th Doctor” but it has a bigger emotional impact than the previous specials, and manages to walk the line between serious and funny without falling either way. While Doctor Who is about a time traveller, there are actually very few stories where time travel is used, other than as an excuse to set the story in a different location each week, and Steven Moffat is one of the few writers who actually write stories involving the paradoxes of time travel. In both “Fatal Death” and “Time Crash” the Doctor is able to find a solution to a problem by travelling in time (this also occurs in the most recent season finale) whether it’s knowing how a crisis can be averted by having already experienced, or by simply going back in time even further than his rival to set a trap.

Another notable difference between “Time Crash” and the other two specials is that not only is it definitely canonical, it also aired at a time when Doctor Who was back on television, so while the others were trying to pay tribute to a series that some people might not remember, “Time Crash” was a show enjoying it’s popularity, looking back at it’s own history.

Out of the three, if I were to chose a favourite, it would have to be “The Curse of Fatal Death” with “Time Crash” in very close second and “Dimensions in Time” so far back it’s pretty much dropped out of the race. “The Curse of Fatal Death” is possibly a perfect Doctor Who story, with the Daleks, The Master (both absent from “Dimensions in Time”) cliffhangers, humour, an emotional core and above all a respect for the subject it’s referencing. “Time Crash” while being fantastic, is a bit different as it’s not really a story, more just a conversation, but it still has the humour and emotional core and the respect for fans. “Dimensions in Time” has none of that, I’m not sure what makes me angrier, the shitty floating wax heads of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, or the fact that they got Colin Baker back after treating him awfully and this was the script they gave him.

Misfits Season 2 Episode 4 Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on December 2, 2010 by watsonprime

I really do love Misfits. Due to the nature of it’s sci-fi plotline, it can be anything the writers want it to be, one week it can be about a character getting to know his long-lost brother, the next episode the gang are running away from a crazed gunman. While the show still sticks to it’s “new character with a superpower” episode structure, the fact that the powers can manifest themselves as anything mean that each episode can be completely different from the one before. This week was a very slight variation on this theme, with two new characters appearing, one with a traditional superpower, the one with a power unlike any I had seen before.

At first it seems that the episode will revolve around the arrival of a new young offender, a sandal-wearing, ponytailed hippie with the power to teleport, but of course, this being Misfits, he doesn’t last long (although his power does, in another twist). His quick demise being the cause of the proper new character this episode, a man who believes he’s playing a shitty GTA ripoff and spends his time driving around the estate, running over old ladies for points and hunting down the misfits after being told they were the games ‘boss’.

Due to the exciting nature of this plot, the story of Alisha and Future-Simon aka Superhoodie takes a bit of a back seat this week, although we do see Present-Simon come out of his shell a bit and start to show some of the qualities of his time-travelling counterpart. We also see the relationship between Curtis and the mysterious girl from his vision start to take form (I can’t remember her name).

I cant say much about this episode without giving a lot away, and considering that i’m writing this barely half an hour after the episode has aired, it seems a bit selfish to start throwing spoilers around, so i’ll quickly summarise; not the best episode of the series, but still far better than most stuff currently on television, Simon is getting better and more interesting as a character, and I can’t wait for the next episode.

Doctor Who 16/02/85 – The Two Doctors

Posted in 6th Doctor, Doctor Who on November 30, 2010 by watsonprime

I’m one of those people that thinks that every Doctor was good. While there were some who were better at others when portraying the time lord, I genuinely don’t think there was a bad Doctor. However, I do have favourites, and I consider the Sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker, to be my favourite. While he had a whole bunch of terrible episodes, and of course was treated terribly by the BBC, he still gave a fantastic performance as The Doctor.

In The Two Doctors, he meets the incarnation of himself that was probably the most different in terms of personality and dress, The Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton. Where Number 6 is arrogant, loud, and a bit of a dick to his companion Peri, Doctor Number 2 is friendly and has one of the best companion relationships out of all the Doctors. The Doctor had met versions of himself before, but whereas those occasions were for anniversary specials, this one was simply for the sake of making a good story.

The story starts in black and white, with The Second Doctor and Jamie in the TARDIS, but quickly turns into colour. It’s immediately noticeable that the two are older, which makes sense considering that twenty years have passed since their first appearance, but they both are clearly enjoying being back in their roles, and the fact that they have aged doesn’t affect their acting at all. The pair are investigating experiments in time travel which ends badly when a group of Sontarans invade the space station and capture The Doctor. Meanwhile, The Sixth Doctor is fishing for gumblejack while Peri wanders round in a bikini top. After failing to land a big catch, they head back to the TARDIS where The Doctor feels the effects of his capture and torture by Sontarans back in his second form.

The majority of the three episodes are set in a Spanish villa, which immediately differentiates it from the previous studio set stories. But despite the location and the fact that Patrick Torughton and Frazer Hines are reprising their roles, the serial still feels like traditional Doctor Who, as opposed to The Five Doctors which very much felt like a special episode.

Watching Patrick Troughton as The Doctor is an absolute treat. While the fact that he’s on a mission from the Time Lords doesn’t fit in with the shows continuity, it is a minor issue and doesn’t effect the story. While he spends most of the serial tied to a chair he still manages to dominate every scene he’s in and shows to the newer audiences why he is considered to be one of the best Doctors ever.

Despite the familiar faces, there are a few fresh ones with a new species, the cannibalistic Androgums, represented by a particularly nasty villain called Shockeye. Unlike the Sontarans and the scientist Dastari who’s goal is to possess a time machine, Shockeye simply wants to devour a human, which makes his scenes with Peri particularly uncomfortable, you’re not sure if he wants to have sex with her or eat her.

Considering the poor quality of some of The Sixth Doctors episodes, The Two Doctors is one of the finest in the season with both Troughton and Baker working well against each other (although, not as great as between Troughton and Jon Pertwee) in the few scenes they have together. This serial has been noted by many as one of the most violent in the entirity of Doctor Who, with shootings, stabbings and even The Sixth Doctor covering a guys face with a poisoned handkerchief, but it’s not too distracting, and it’s a small price to pay for a good Sixth Doctor serial.

Doctor Who 03/01/70 – Spearhead from Space

Posted in 3rd Doctor, Doctor Who on November 30, 2010 by watsonprime

Due to the fact that I’m still unemployed, I”m watching a lot of Doctor Who, so hear goes another Doctor Who review.

When people refer to ‘their’ doctor, they usually mean the first Doctor they watched. So, by that reckoning, my doctor is The Third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee. At some point in the 90s, the BBC showed some Doctor Who, and while I was fully aware of Doctor Who and his most important facts (the TARDIS, regeneration, Daleks etc) I had never seen an episode. So I watched Spearhead for Space, which was Jon Pertwee’s first serial as The Doctor and (unknown to me at the time) the first Doctor Who filmed in colour.

After watching the first few few serials, I stopped, I can’t remember if that was because they stopped being aired or if I found something better to watch, but I still remembered Jon Pertwee and his dashing interpretation of the Doctor. Of course then came the reboot and Eccleston and my passion for Doctor Who was reignited, so when I recently started collecting the DVDs, one of the first ones I bought was Spearhead from Space.

First aired in January 1970, “Spearhead from Space” finds The Doctor after his forced regeneration at the hands of the Time Lords in the previous serial “The War Games” and sees the start of his forced exile on Earth. We see the start of three plots: an alien invasion, The Doctor dealing with his new form, and the arrival of Liz Shaw at UNIT, which will all quickly be thrown together as the story progresses. We also see the reappearance of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
As a child I was always terrified by mannequins, even more so by living statues (the people that paint themselves gold and stand very still until money is put in their pot) so imagine my fright when my first Doctor Who villain was The Autons, creepy living plastic dolls that kill innocent civilians!

While it’s not the most dignified way to introduce a new Doctor, there have been worse and by falling out of the TARDIS and being brought to hospital, we are quickly introduced to some of the key elements about the time lord. We learn that he travels in a police box, is an alien with two hearts, has a history with UNIT and can change his appearance. While Troughton was a fantastic Doctor, Pertwee brings a whole new interpretation of the character and very quickly makes it his own. The Third Doctor is a far cry from the timid, easily panicked Second, although just as friendly and a lot more charismatic. Also, he’s taller.

The first episode doesn’t do The Doctor justice as he both starts and ends the episode while unconscious. We see that he’s crafty, as he wakes up and manages to escape a group of kidnappers by using a wheelchair, but it’s not exactly a great introduction to one of the most dynamic incarnations of the Gallifreyan. But by the second episode we see his ability to think quickly, his hiding in plain sight trick as he evades a doctor by having a shower is inspired, as well as well as the introduction to his unique dress sense and love of classic cars.

“Spearhead from Space” refers to the initial attack on earth by The Autons, which were seen more recently in the latest season finale. As a child I was always terrified by mannequins, even more so by living statues (the people that paint themselves gold and stand very still until money is put in their pot) as I always assumed they were evil for some reason, so imagine my fright when my first Doctor Who villain was The Autons, creepy living plastic dolls that kill innocent civilians! Watching them shoot innocent shoppers is just as shocking now as it was when I first saw it as a child and it really helped separate Doctor Who from anything else I watched, in Doctor Who, people die and it doesn’t matter if they’re bad guys, good guys, or just caught in the middle and it’s a frequent theme that’s brought up. At least in this serial as opposed to some others, The Doctor isn’t to blame for the killings.

In a episode full of new faces, it’s nice to see a familiar one in The Brigadier. Still the hardened military man, we see that he is fully prepared to protect the earth from any form of invader, even issuing the order to shoot any civilian who wanders near the TARDIS. While the interaction between him and Liz Shaw is based on the now classic sci-fi plotline of “skeptical scientist meets organisation that fights aliens and isn’t convinced at first”, it’s his interactions between him and a new, more confident Doctor that are a delight.

While the serial has one of the scariest villains ever, matched only, in my opinion by the Weeping Angels (which are another group of aliens that look like statues,)there is plenty of humour, and while the Doctor isn’t particularly funny or silly, most of the laughter originates from him, for example his escape via wheelchair, his hesitation at entering a “Doctors Only” room in the hospital, or his sheepish exit from the TARDIS after failing to pilot it are all pretty humorous and help break up what is a fairly slow moving plot. It also demonstrates Pertwee’s ability to not take himself too seriously, despite playing one of the more serious Doctors.

Overall “Spearhead from Space” is a pretty good serial, and one of the better introductions to a Doctor, although it takes a while to get going. It  has many of the qualities of a good Doctor Who; the villains are scary, the Doctor is intelligent, quick-thinking and charismatic, The Brigadier doesn’t suffer fools gladly and a female companion shows she can hold her own.

Doctor Who 02/11/68 – The Invasion

Posted in 2nd Doctor, Doctor Who on November 27, 2010 by watsonprime

One good thing about Doctor Who is the fact that due to it’s nature, every episode can be completely different, with new locations, timezones and characters. But sometimes it can be fun to revisit certain characters and see how they interact with a constantly changing Doctor and his companions. The best recurring character by far is, of course, Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart played by Nicholas Courtney. The Brig’s first appearance was in 1968’s ‘Web of Fear’ but it was in ‘The Invasion’ later that year that we saw him since his promotion to Brigadier.

The Brigadier is a complete badass, constantly at odds with The Doctor, due to his military nature and willingness to use lethal force. The Brigadier is also the only character to have met The Doctor in all his incarnations (although some of these happened off screen) and despite their differences, they are great friends.

The Invasion is a Second Doctor story involving the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe landing in London for TARDIS repairs only to find a mysterious company, International Electronics, in charge of everything. When The Doctor investigates the advanced technology, along with the help of UNIT, he finds that it is, obviously, alien in origin. Which aliens? Cybermen!

Patrick Troughton is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, Doctors and in The Invasion it’s not hard to see why. His interpretation of The Doctor as a man who puts up a front of being a harmless, bumbling fool while quietly evaluating people was a big departure from William Hartnell’s grumpy grandfather. One example in this serial of his ability to be underestimated is when he notes that Tobias Vaughn, the head of International Electronics, doesn’t blink as much as a normal human, the fact that he was able to get close enough to the head of the evil corporation shows just how little his enemies think of him. As the brigadier says “That man has an incredible knack of being one jump ahead of everyone”.

One of the Second Doctors qualities is the fact that he was by far one of the friendliest incarnations of the Gallifreyan, this is especially notable in his relationship with his companion Jamie McCrimmon. They’re total bros. They both look out for each other, and while the Doctor’s other companion Zoe is modelling clothes, Jamie and The Doctor go and investigate the company. That’s not to say Zoe is useless, where Jamie has the brawn, she has the brains, able to cause a sophisticated computer to self destruct from a few choice equations, she’s a invaluable member of the TARDIS crew and far from a damsel in distress. Although she does get a few good screams throughout The Invasion, but that’s just what happens when you’re travelling with The Doctor. Much like all good Doctor Who there are some scary scenes. The Cybermen are a genuinely intimidating foe, and one scene involving a insane Cyberman is particularly harrowing.

The Invasion is a victim of it’s time period in that the material is dragged out over 8 episodes, which means that there is a fair amount of filler, for example we have to watch Vaughn open the giant, sliding door everytime he talks to the Cybermen, which gets pretty repetitive and boring very quickly. But The Invasion is still a great serial, if just for the fact that we see the friendship between The Brigadier and The Doctor start to blossom.

Doctor Who 22/11/89 – Survival

Posted in 7th Doctor, Doctor Who on November 26, 2010 by watsonprime

“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.”

I’m pretty much all about Doctor Who. If you were to go into my bedroom, you would see two Doctor Who posters, a shelf full of Doctor Who DVDs, action figures, a programme from Doctor Who Live and the centrepiece of my collection, a framed copy of Jon Pertwee’s record “Who is the Doctor”.

Thanks to this blog, I’ve realised that I enjoy writing reviews (although I’m still not sure whether or not I’m any good at it) and I figure that I should write some reviews of Doctor Who. So when I can, I will write a review of one of my Doctor Who DVDs.

So which one to review? Well, why not start at the end? (To be honest, I’d start at the beginning but my girlfriend has that DVD and she lives in Birmingham)

In 1989 the last serial of the classic Doctor Who series aired, the Doctor was on his seventh incarnation, played by Sylvester McCoy, and while it wouldn’t be the last we saw of him – he returned to the role for the 1993 charity special “Dimensions In Time” and the 1996 TV Movie which saw him regenerate into his eighth incarnation played by Paul McGann – it is the last proper chance to see him in action. It’s also the last proper look at the Master, played by the increasingly camp Anthony Ainley, before he turns into a CGI snake and possesses Eric Roberts.

“Survival” aired on the 22nd of November 1989 and concluded on the 6th of December, a rather ironic name given the series was about to be put down, but then considering the series’ Time Lord-like ability to regenerate, in hindsight it seems strangely fitting.

The serial opens with The Doctor returning Ace to Perivale, the town she once promised she would never go back to, but considering the traumatic events of “Ghost Light” and “Curse of Fenric”, it’s not surprising that she might want to see some old friends. Of course being Doctor Who, there’s something wrong with the town and people have gone missing. The Doctor, being his usual enigmatic self, senses there’s something wrong and for reasons at first undisclosed to the audience, start suspecting the local stray cats. The real reason for the disappearances is revealed to be anthropomorphic, horse-riding ‘Cheetah People’ who have the ability to teleport from their home planet to Earth. Of course, being a Seventh Doctor story, there’s a greater evil behind the scenes, and after the Doctor is brought to the Cheetah Peoples homeworld, he soon comes face to face with his old nemesis “The Master” who confesses to the Doctor that he needs his help.

Overall it does seem a fitting end for the Doctor, while the Cheetah People seem a bit of a rubbish enemy, the idea of the Doctor’s last battle being with his evil counterpart seems appropriate. Also interesting is the symmetry between this and the very first episode, Doctor Who ends as it began, in contemporary London. Additionally the ending implies the Doctor continues his voyage through Time and Space which, of course, now we know continued through several more regenerations – to put a full stop at the end of the 1989 series wouldn’t have been true to the character, as the audience and the writers knew he would never stop travelling.

The Seventh Doctor is as manipulative and secretive as ever and it’s a shame that we don’t get to see more examples of his strategic ability, but the fact that we see him admit to a group of scared humans that he’s waiting for one of them to start to transform into a cheetah person so he can use them is a great demonstration of just how far his character has changed from his ‘wacky’ first appearance in “Time and The Rani”

There are some negative points, the fact that the Master has a teenage boy on a leash and then takes him shopping, seems a bit bizarre, but considering the amount of theories surrounding the Masters sexual orientation, it’s not completely surprising. The motorcycle crash in the serial’s climax is pretty ridiculous and requires some suspension of disbelief. Also the fact that the “Kitlings” are reminiscent of Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is pretty distracting. But these are minor points in a pretty decent episode.

This was the first Sylvester McCoy episode I ever saw, and when I first saw him, I admit, I didn’t like him. I didn’t see him as The Doctor, just an eccentric man, but once I watched it again after watching some more of his episodes, I realise that I was wrong and that McCoy is a fantastic interpretation of The Doctor and it’s a real shame that his run was cut short. At least he got closure with the TV movie, although his demise was far from dignified,  but then nothing could be worse than his previous incarnations death, which I’m sure I’ll cover at some point.

So in summary, a pretty good last episode for the Doctor, and now we know that the Doctor goes on to have many more adventures, his final monologue/voiceover is all the more fitting.

Misfits Season 2 Episode 3 Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on November 25, 2010 by watsonprime

“It”s peanuts… dry roasted.”

Misfits has gone to being a fantastic show that I enjoy, to quite possibly my favourite program currently airing. The latest episode pretty much secured that with it’s several Batman references. I’m a sucker for a good pop culture reference, and it was about time that a program about people with superpowers acknowledged the classics. There’s probably been some previously but this weeks stood out to me for their brilliance. First there’s Superhoodie dropping through a skylight to save Alisha from a mugging, then there’s the fact that his “base” is essentially the Bat Cave from The Dark Knight, plus throw in the fact that he likes to stand in dramatic poses on top of buildings and it’s not hard to see the Batman parallels. Also, somebody mentions Kryptonite.

Speaking of Superhoodie, we finally learn the identity of the mysterious protector. While I don’t want to give away who it is, it is of course, a future incarnation of one of the five, and considering we already know it’s a white male and only one of those two has ever gone out of their way to protect the group it seems pretty obvious in hindsight (did I just give it away? whoops). It’s Simon, from the future, and he’s a bit of a badass. While the revelation of Simon being Superhoodie isn’t the main focal point of the episode (it’s revealed in the first fifteen minutes) what is important is how who finds out and how they deal with it.

While the Superhoodie story takes precedent in this episode, there is of course the obligatory “new character who also has superpowers” plotline, which starts off a little bit creepy, gets a bit weird, and then ends in one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen in recent television. While the storyline is pretty unimportant, it does show how Simon could end up as a protector of the group.

Overall, another fantastic episode which deftly balanced a gripping storyline with some hilarious scenes, topped by fantastic soundtrack that emulated all the best superhero films. I really can’t get enough of Misfits right now.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Posted in Assassin's Creed, Video Games on November 25, 2010 by watsonprime

I first saw the trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood when it premiered at E3, apart from thinking that it looking frickin’ awesome, I assumed it would be more like a short DLC campaign than a proper game. How wrong I was (about the proper game part) Brotherhood is nothing short of amazing, it’s a full game that takes all the great stuff from Assassin’s Creed 2 and makes it even more fun. Now, considering Assassin’s Creed 2 took all the great stuff from the first Assassin’s Creed and made that even more fun, this has to be some sort of record for most consistently improving series.

If you liked Assassin’s Creed 2, you will love Brotherhood, we return yet again to Desmond Miles and his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze, whose interweaving story grows deeper as we continue the hunt for the ‘Pieces of Eden’.

For those new to the series, I wouldn’t recommend Brotherhood as it continues the story straight on from Assassin’s Creed 2 and considering that ended with Ezio fighting the pope in a basement underneath the Vatican only to meet an angel/goddess/alien thing who spoke to Desmond, who was watching the whole thing through Ezio’s memories, I can imagine it might be confusing. But if you’re a fan of the previous game, I can guarantee you will love Brotherhood.

The gameplay is almost exactly the same as the previous two, although the fighting system has been tweaked slightly that makes fights quicker and more interesting to watch, there are two new projectile weapons that can be used – a crossbow and poison darts, which work in exactly the same way as the hidden pistol but allow for a bit of variation in long distance kills. The biggest change is the addition of Assassin recruits, who can be trained up and can help Ezio fight enemies and make money. The recruits can be used in a number of ways, they can be signalled to stealthily take down an enemy, they can be called to help in the middle of a fight, or once you’ve gathered enough followers, they can shoot every enemy in the vicinity in a matter of seconds. Watching an Assassin recruit take down an unsuspecting guard never gets boring, and they prove invaluable once they’ve been trained up to their top rank. It also brings a little strategy into the game as the only way to train an assassin is to send him/her on missions, but when the recruit is away, they can’t help you, which means that you have to judge whether or not you’ll need their assistance in the near future. It’s doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but it’s a nice addition to the game.

Whereas the previous game allowed you to improve your villa and the small town within its walls, Brotherhood takes that idea even further with Ezio now charged with building up Rome, which involves a mixture of assassination missions and general good investing. Also making a reappearance are the tombs that Ezio must navigate in order to find treasure, again these include a mixture of Prince of Persia style gymnastics, as well as the odd chase sequence, which all helps break up the game and add some variety to the usual assassination missions.

Storywise, Assassin’s Creed mixes the same amount of science fiction, conspiracy theories and historical drama. Ezio is still a fantastic character, especially now as we’ve seen him grow from a teenager to a master assassin, and now we watch as he becomes a leader of an entire organisation. We also see a bit more of his romantic side as we find out in flashback missions about his relationship with his one true love (the girl at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed 2) and the impact his assassin life had on her. We also spend a bit of time with the games other lead character, Desmond, who now has gained his ancestors skills and is now a competent assassin in his own right. While he’s nowhere near as interesting a character as Ezio, it’s still cool to play as him, if only to see Ezio’s villa in modern times.

Basically, this game is amazing, it’s obscene amounts of fun and I haven’t even tried out the multiplayer yet, which I can only hope is as fun as the main game.

Although I would like to play as a new ancestor in the next game. Possibly the Russian assassin from the comics.