Category Archives: Television

My thoughts on Television episodes

Doctor Who Event: Review of “Blink”


To pass the time between now and Christmas day, the time when there is no new Doctor Who, I decided it might be fun to view some “classic” new Doctor Who episodes together.  If you missed it, we decided to start with “Blink” and viewed it last night at 8 pm MST.  If you would like to join us for future viewings, please like my Facebook page, where we will be posting details about the “events”, or follow me on twitter or on Google +.

We decided to kick it off with a real classic.  “Blink” is the episode, I think, that people always refer new to Who viewers to watch first.  I don’t know if I agree with that, but it is a great episode, and a fun way to start off our little viewing parties.  I am going to review each of these episodes in my “Day Late Review” format, providing you with the good, the bad, and the final verdict.  Let’s get to it.

The Good

This is one of the most quoted episodes out there.  There are more memes that involve lines from this episode than any other out there.  We get the “Don’t Blink” line, “Timey-wimey, wibbley-wobbley,” “The Angels have the phone box,” which leads to Larry saying that he has that on a T-shirt, which of course has led to it actually being on a T-shirt:


An actual “The Angels have the phone box” T-shirt, available at

This story was Moffat at his best.  This was, of course, back when he was a lowly writer and not the show runner.  It was also back when he contributed some of the best stories, instead of strange, plot hole filled tales like “Death in Heaven.” (see my review of his latest here) The story is fun and very well written, feeling more like a suspenseful horror film than an adventure in space and time.  It works as a one-off episode. In this case it works really well.  I remember hearing about this episode as I was first going through the Doctor Who stories, and hearing how  it really didn’t have the Doctor in it very much at all.  I thought that was strange, and I guess it is, but it really works here.  The main protagonist, Sally Sparrow, is excellent.  She is clever and does a great job carrying the story. When I watch this episode, I don’t find myself thinking, ” I wish the Doctor was in this more.”  Not even a little bit. You don’t miss him in this episode at all. I mean, he’s there, but he is not the main character.

This episode flows so well from scene to scene and the timey-wimeyness is excellent.  People going back in time, and Sally not realizing it, and then she gets word from them, from the past, and it is just so cool.  I love when Kathy’s grandson shows up with the letter while Kathy is still in the house.  In fact, him showing up is what causes Sally to leave her alone in the house.  If he doesn’t who up, Sally and Kathy probably would have both been sent back to 1920.  Then Billy gets sent back, and she immediately gets a phone call from him, as he is lying on his death-bed 40 years later, but it is the same rain because it was really just a few minute later, just cool stuff.

The Angels are excellent.  This is the Angels at their best.  I feel like Moffat keeps bringing them back, and each time he does, they get a little cheesier and less creepy.  As a one time monster in this episode they are scary, plus you’ll never walk be a statue the same again.  What could be creepier than a creature that looks like a statue, never moves when you are looking at it, and then bam!, you’re in you current time one second, and the next you wake up somewhere totally different.  Just terrifying.

The Bad

Since last Salt Lake Comic Con, and I went to the Colin Baker/ Paul McGann presentation, the weeping angels have almost been ruined for me.  Mr. Baker has come up with an almost full proof way of dealing with the angels.  You just close one eye at a time, keeping the other eye open, in other words, don’t blink, wink!  It actually works, I think.  It’s so simple, and makes the angels less daunting.


I only bring that up because there is not a lot of Bad in this episode.  This is probably the 5th or 6th time I have seen the episode and it is just as enjoyable as the first time.  If I were to pick out any of the bad, it would be nitpicking, and I just don’t feel like it is worth it for this episode.  It isn’t perfect, but it comes close.

The Final Verdict

This is, unsurprisingly, one of my favorite episodes.  From start to finish, it is just very enjoyable.  It is the best that the rebooted series has to offer.  I can’t think of an episode I enjoy more.  There may be some that I enjoy as much as this one, but none that I enjoy more.  I would rem mend this one to watch again and again and again.  I love it.

What did you think of “Blink”? Is it as good as everyone says, or is it overrated?  Let us know in the comments.  Stay tuned for details on our next Doctor Who viewing event, which will be happening next Saturday, that is this upcoming Saturday.

A Day Late Review of “Death in Heaven”-Doctor Who Series 8


Here it is, the finale, the last part of the finale, the finale to the finale for series 8 of Doctor Who. Last week we got “Dark Water,” and you can see my review of that here. Now we get all the answers to our questions in the thrilling conclusion, is what I should be writing right now.  But I’m not.  “Death in Heaven” epitomizes Doctor Who in Steven Moffat era: Lots of build up, little reward.  It felt like so many of the Matt Smith story lines, which makes sense since it was the Doctor who changed, not the people writing and running the show.  Of course, it wasn’t all bad. Following my same format, I am going to give you the good, the bad, and my final verdict.  As always, I am assuming you have seen the episode, so there will be spoilers.  If you are trying to avoid spoilers, please don’t read on.

The Good

The episode finally seemed to have a good Clara mix in it.  It reminded me of why I used to like her quite a bit, which is a big change from the rest of the season when it seemed like they were trying to get us to not like Clara at all.  Even if they weren’t trying, they were succeeding.  This episode reminded me that for the most part, she was a fine companion, and I could almost excuse her recent not fineness.  Almost.  It wasn’t all good from Clara, but it was enough.

We did get at least one question answered.  The question everyone was speculating about.  Missy was the woman in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor’s number, all the way back in “Bells of St. John.” Thank goodness that question was answered.  Sadly, it was the only one that was well answered.

I really wish that I could say here that this episode really did a great job of wrapping up the whole series 8, and was a great finale.  I can’t say that.  The whole series had an almost obsession with robots that was not explained.  They were all looking for the “Promised Land,” and although Seb says that the cloud they are all in is the Promised Land, we don’t see the robots playing any role whatever in the finale.  Anyway, not to go on, because not wrapping up the series really falls under the bad, and not the good.

The Bad

Did you ever put off a major school project or paper until the very end?  The paper is due the next day, and you decide to start it that night?  I have a feeling Steven Moffat has done that, because it feels like that is how he does his finale’s.  The sad part is that he spends so much of the series building up to the finale and throws in so many questions for us to make us curious, and then doesn’t deliver on half of them.  This finale is classic Moffat, then.  I was hoping for some kind of connection between all the robots and the afterlife, but they were never mentioned.  I was hoping for an explanation of why the Cybermen and the Master (sorry, Mistress) were working together, and got one, but it was lame and half thought out.  These are the kinds of things that should be better planned, but they weren’t.  Missy spends all this time trying to create an army for the Doctor?  Just to try to convince him that he is just like her?  It makes the Master character look desperate and obsessive, and not at all the equal to the Doctor that the character should be.  I always wondered why Moffat never had number 11 square off against the Master. Now I get it, Moffat has no idea how to write the character.

Death.  So much needless, pointless death.  Danny Pink is probably the most justified death from the story stand point.  The unfortunate thing with that is that he dies multiple times.  So that ‘s always fun.  Then there is Osgood.  Why bring her back for the finale just to kill her for no reason.  None, whatsoever.  It was not crucial to the story, and it just seemed like a waste of a likable side character.  The Master/Mistress is another great example of dying just for dying’s sake.  Is that really how it ends for the Master/Mistress?  The Brigadier shoots her in his Cyberman form?  And then read that last sentence.  Really?  You are going to bring back one of the most beloved characters from the history of Doctor Who as a Cyberman?  Just didn’t feel right to me.

The ending.  Can we drag out Clara leaving anymore?  I mean, seriously, she’s been threatening it since “Mummy on the Orient Express,” and they have been dragging it out since.  The scene in the coffee shop at the end of the episode was just bad, and obviously it couldn’t end with the two of them lying to each other, but for a moment it appeared to.  Then Santa shows up, and gives each of us a giant lump of coal for Christmas in the form of yet another final Clara adventure for the Christmas special.  Just make it stop, already.  Let’s all just move on.

The Final Verdict

I am a big believer that you need to watch every episode to get the whole story.  That is especially true for finale’s.  I just wish we didn’t have to suffer through this one.  There were way too many things going on in the episode, too many loose ends to be tied up, and it felt that way.  The master regenerating into a woman is now part of canon, which is fine.  I just wish the character would not have been so wasted.  Is the Master really dead now?  Was that the last we will see of him/her? Plus, we don’t get word one of Gallifrey this series until this episode, and what we get here was almost an afterthought.  Oh yeah, I did mention Gallifrey isn’t really destroyed last year.  Better write it into the finale.  The whole thing was laced with good intentions, and then just poorly executed.  I would say, you are required to watch it simply because it is the finale, but you are not required to enjoy it.

A Day Late Review: Arrow Season 3: “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”


This week we got to see a little bit of Felicity’s past and a little bit of her dark side.  As always, with my reviews, please be aware of spoilers.  I am assuming you have seen this episode, and are wondering what I thought of it.  If you are looking for a review without spoilers, please look somewhere else.  I don’t want to ruin it for you.  You have been warned.

The Good

We finally get a little depth to Felicity’s character.  She has always been a nice addition to the show, but there was always a little something lacking.  She was just there, no back story, no history, nothing.  Now we know a little bit more about her, and frankly, it is a good thing she is on our side.  She played the bad girl very well, and it was interesting to see the always straight arrow Felicity breaking rules and laws just for fun.  I liked the back story, and it goes a long way to explain why she is so straight arrow now.

The very end was interesting as well.  If you haven’t seen this episode, and you are planning on watching it, please stop reading this right now.  I don’t normally offer an additional spoiler warning, but I am this time because the ending was a shock, at least for me.  Just so you don’t accidentally see the spoiler, here is a picture of one of my favorite comic book covers of all time:


Now, if you have made it this far, it is by your own choice, so I can’t be held responsible for what you read next.  What the heck?! Did Roy really kill Sara?  Is that really how it went down?  As he was having that dream, I couldn’t believe it, but he was seeing it just like it happened and it showed him as the one who threw the arrows.  That was quite the twist and the cliff hanger.  I can’t wait for the next episode to see if we start getting any answers.  This twist at the end was the best part of the episode.

The Bad

This episode was painfully predictable.  When Felicity’s mom showed up, I knew she had to be roped in with the hacker attacks on the city.  In fact, when the hacker attacks started happening, I knew 2 things:  1. It was Felicity’s super virus, and 2. It was her college boyfriend.  Even when she said he was dead, I still knew it was him.  All the twists and turns were just so painfully obvious, it was almost silly.  I really enjoy Arrow, and I know there is always a little bit of predictability in each episode, maybe more than some might enjoy, but I can usually look past it because I like the show so much.  This episode was just over the top.  I couldn’t ignore it.  The only twist I didn’t see was the one at the very end with Roy. (Again, seriously?!)

The Final Verdict

This episode helps very little to move the story along, and it interrupts Ollie’s Hong Kong story and really, other than the final twist, it doesn’t do a lot to bring us into the next chapter.  Really, all this episode did was provide Felicity with a little depth and back story.  Other than that and Roy murdering Sara, this episode could be skipped, and I don’t think you would be terribly lost.  I don’t think it will be one that I will watch over and over again.  I saw it once, got the shock, now I am ready to move on to the next episode.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it is a little better.

A Day Late Review of “Dark Water”-Doctor Who Series 8


I don’t normally avoid spoilers when I write these reviews, and this time is no different.  However, I do want to call it out for sure this time.  If you have not watched “Dark Water” yet, please be advised that there will be spoilers in this review.  If you don’t want any of it to be spoiled, then please don’t read the review.  If you have already seen the episode, or the internet has already spoiled it for you, or you simply don’t care, then read on. As always, or at least, as of late, I will not be offering a recap of the episode, but simply, the god, the bad, and the final verdict.

The Good:

We got some questions answered.  Finally.  We know who Missy is.  Some people may not be happy about it, some people (including myself) may have been totally caught off guard, but we now know who she is.  We also got a glimpse of the promised land and how Missy ties into people dying and the afterlife.  Granted, these were only half answered questions, but it gives us hope that maybe answers are forthcoming.  I do realize that this is Moffat we are talking about, and he seems to like to answer his questions by creating more questions, but one can hope right?

Missy is the Master. Major spoiler here. At least it would have been for me, if I were reading this before I saw the episode, but that would actually be impossible to have happen, since it would create a paradox loop.  In another review of this episode, on the web site Stranger Views, the author mentions that the internet blew up with people who knew Missy was the Master.  I am with Mr. Ridley on this one, I had no idea.  I just wasn’t expecting that.  Now that it has happened, I am all for it.  I think it will bring a whole new dimension and dynamic to the Doctor/Master relationship, and I am hoping Missy will be around for a while.  This also puts to rest any lingering questions about whether the Doctor could possibly change genders through regeneration.  Moffat has definitely made that a possibility.

The Bad

All the other surprises, or at least the other big 2.  Danny Pink dies. Right out of the box.  There he goes, dead.  I was shocked.  He was by far the best thing about Clara this series, so it was sad to see him go, even though that is the event that sets this whole story in motion.  Still wish it didn’t have to be this way.  Of course, this is Moffat, so the nonchalance with which he dies should surprise no one, and he could very well be back, since Moffat’s characters rarely stay dead (see Rory, Clara, Sherlock, Moriarty, etc.).

The other big surprise was the cybermen.  Of course none of us had any idea that the skeletons were cybermen. Well, except for all of us who saw the promos.  The only person who was in the dark was the Doctor himself.  Apparently he had not seen the promos or the artwork that came out prior.  Obviously, the cybermen were the worst kept secret ever, in the history of keeping secrets.  Either this was just sloppy on the part of the producers, or this isn’t really the big surprise.  Maybe Missy was the big surprise, but I feel like there is more coming.

I say that, in spite of the fact that this episode almost didn’t end like a two parter.  The only real cliffhanger was whether Danny is going to delete himself or not.  Frankly, not enough to bring me back next week.  I mean, I will be back, but I would have been back regardless of the cliffhanger.  I am just not anticipating or wondering what is going to happen, and I feel like I should be.

The Final Verdict

This was part one of a two-part finale, but it felt like it was front loaded with all the surprises.  What is left for part two?  Will it all just be resolution to the Doctor and Clara relationship?  If so, I will poke my eyes out now.  I don’t think I can sit through an hour of that.  There are still a few questions that need to be answered, like is Missy the woman in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor’s number?  Personally, I say no.  I don’t see how that would serve her purpose.  Plus, in one of the promos, Clara is saying something about how she never really existed.  What is that all about?  Maybe it will be resolved in the finale.  Or the finale could just be one big set up for the Christmas special, which will be Clara’s last adventure.  Or, it could be that Moffat asks all these questions, and never gives us adequate answers just to mess with us.  I wouldn’t put it past him.

A Day Late Review of “Mummy on the Orient Express”-Doctor Who Series 8


This episode, where to begin?  This episode was just a lot of fun for me.  I really enjoyed it, more than I have enjoyed Doctor Who in a long time.  It felt like an older new episode, circa David Tennant.  I don’t know why it felt that way for me, but it did, almost like “Voyage of the Damned.”  I suppose it was a similar concept, but with a mummy that appears and only one person can see them.  Anyway, here is my review, containing the good, the bad, and my final verdict.  Beware of spoilers, but I assume you knew that already.

The Good

There was a lot of good this time out in the TARDIS.  I don’t know if one blog post can contain it all, so I will try to sum it up.  First of all, it was a mystery.  I think the Doctor is at his best when he is solving a mystery.  The mystery format just seems to fit his particular skill set quite nicely, so any episode that is a mystery is typically pretty solid to start with.  That might be a broad statement, but just remember, the type of story sets the foundation, and a crummy house can be built on a good foundation, but a good house cannot be built on a crummy foundation.  But, since this episode had nothing to do with houses or foundations we will move on.  It was a decent mystery.  The story flowed well and moved at a good pace.  There was relatively little of the Clara/Doctor drama in this episode, which I think contributed to that good pace.  The episode also had some great nods to Doctors passed, like when he offered the Alien Mythology expert a Jelly Baby, or when he sees the mummy and says, “Are you my mummy?” Not only was that a classic pun, it hails back to “The Empty Child” story from the first series of the reboot.

I enjoyed the supporting actors quite a bit as well.  The chief engineer was great, and the type of companion I think this Doctor both needs and would appreciate.  Speaking of supporting actors and companions, this episode had very little Clara in it.  Yes, she was there, but she played a very small role, which right now was a needed change of pace.  I could not take another episode of drama between the two of them.  While this episode had a little bit of that, it was very little bit of it compared to the last few weeks.

There were also explosions, and deaths and excitement, and in the end, the Doctor solves the mystery and saves all the survivors.  It was a good happy ending.

The Bad

The bad in this episode was the little bit that Clara was in it.  I know it seems like I have been harsh on her the last couple of weeks.  Please understand, i like Clara, I just don’t like Clara and this Doctor together.  I don’t like the recent drama, and I am looking forward to a permanent change in the companion department.  All of Clara’s part revolved around this being their last adventure together.  As they discussed, I began to wonder if Christmas had come early this year to my house.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  Now she has lied to both Danny and the Doctor and she is staying on for few more adventures.  I am begging Steven Moffat (Like he reads my blog), please end our misery.  Bring us a companion that works with this Doctor.

The only other bad in this episode was the way the Doctor reacted to the people that died.  The victims of the mummy.  It was a blatant apathy.  He really did not care.  Somehow, he had worked out that he could not save them, so he simply moved on and that was it.  I could not imagine any of the newer Doctors reacting this way, and this is something I am having to adjust to.  I keep feeling like we need to give him time, and we will begin to understand him better, but it is starting to look like he really doesn’t care at a certain level.

The Final Verdict

This could be the gem of the season.  Go and watch this episode.  And you will probably want to watch it again.  Overall, the bad gets drowned out with the overwhelming good, and the episode shines.  All I have to say about that is that it’s about time.  This should be what we should expect each time out.

A Day Late Review of “Kill the Moon”-Doctor Who Series 8


We are moving pretty quickly now through series 8.  It feels like it was just yesterday that the series premiered, but here we are on the 7th episode of the series.  How do we feel about this new Doctor thus far?  Do we like him?  Do we not like him?  For me it is kind of hard.  I feel like I am on the fence.  I don’t know whether I like him or not.  Part of me thinks that my issues have to do with him simply being different than the last Doctor.  I felt the same way when Matt Smith took over for David Tennant, but eventually he grew on me and I liked him.  Part of me thinks this is different.  I am beginning to wonder if we are not supposed to like him.  I am beginning to think that Clara certainly does not like him much. Or, maybe, as Danny has implied, she is just over the whole Doctor thing.  In any case, here is the good, the bad, and the final verdict for “Kill the Moon.”

The Good

It’s in space.  I feel like a lot of this season so far has been on Earth, and I like the adventures in space part, not just the time part.  This was a big positive. In the Space adventures, I feel like we can come across some very new and different monsters, which is exciting, and we almost get there with the giant spider creatures in this episode.  For me, the being in space part was just about the only real good in this episode.  As I watched, I thought I enjoyed it, but thinking about it and pondering on it, I don’t think I did.  The only other good thing was the Doctor addressed his new regeneration cycle, and it sounds like it is not limited to just 13 this time around.  He may just regenerate forever.

The Bad

Where to start?  The spider monsters ended up being nothing more than giant bacteria.  The moon ended up being a giant egg for some giant space monster that is the only one of its kind (which begs the question, which came first, the giant space creature or the giant space egg?).  It just seemed a little silly.  I get that a lot of this show can seem pretty silly, but it usually doesn’t when it is played out.  This episode just felt silly, similar to the “Robot of Sherwood” episode, which is the only episode I have not reviewed from this series.  The biggest baddy of this episode was not the giant spider bacteria or the giant space monster that hatches from the moon.  No, the biggest baddy was the drama.  The drama between the Doctor and Clara, and something tells me that it is only going to get worse between now and the Christmas special.  These two obviously don’t like each other, and the rift between them and the continuing issues has made them both into quite unlikeable characters.  Part of me does not like the Doctor for how he treats Clara, and part of me can’t stand Clara for how much she disdains the Doctor.  It is a vicious cycle, and I think the best Christmas present I will get this year is Clara’s departure from the show.  Hopefully, a new companion will work make this Doctor more likable.  It’s called chemistry, and these two don’t have it.

The Final Verdict

This was a rough one.  If you can find a way to skip, I would. I don’t think there was any major plot line that will come back later in the series, except that the Doctor and Clara can’t stand each other, which will resurface again and again until one of them leaves.  I used to really like Clara, and I think I could like this Doctor, but watching this episode helped me realize the problem is not either one individually, but the two of them together.  Make it stop!  I will continue to watch the series, but I am looking forward to the end of the year and something new and different.

A Day Late Review of “The Caretaker”


Another week and another story from this series of Doctor Who is in the books.  The first thing I want to say about this episode is that I loved the title.  It was nice little nod and wink to Tom Baker’s role as the Caretaker in “Day of the Doctor.”  The second thing is that I was really looking forward to this episode.  Some of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who have the Doctor going deep undercover, so I was excited.  Did it live up to my excitement?  Let’s find out.

I have been wondering about the format of my day late reviews.  I don’t think I am going to continue to give a synopsis of the episode.  I am going to assume you either A. Watched it, or B. are going to watch it, so no synopsis.  I am going to give you the good of the episode, the bad, and the final verdict.  All of this, of course, is NOT spoiler free, so be warned. I hope you enjoy the new format.  If not let me know, and maybe we will tweak it again.

The Good

Lots of awkward Doctor/human interactions.  I love the episodes where regular humans interact wight the Doctor and have to try to figure out why he is so strange.  There was plenty of that in this episode, from his interactions with the other teachers, his interrupting Clara’s class to correct her, and finally his interactions with the students.  It was fun.  Capaldi pulls this off as the Doctor.  He is not goofy weird, like Matt Smith, or as smooth as a human like David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston.  His weird is a darker, more disturbing kind of weird.  My favorite example of this is the sign he puts on the caretaker’s door.  It doesn’t say “Keep Out,” it says “Keep Away Humans,’ which is just a really odd thing.

Danny also finally gets more involved in the story.  They have been flirting with this for a while on the show, and it finally happened.  Danny and Clara, on the other hand, have just been flirting.  Danny is smart, brave, good-hearted, and a great compliment to the uncaring Doctor.  IT was exciting to see him get involved.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be long-lived.  I think he will leave the show at the same time Clara does, at least, that is how the story is feeling right now.  Clara is having to choose between Danny and the Doctor more and more each week, and with her dropping the “L” word this week, it looks like she will be picking Danny permanently, and he doesn’t seem too interested in flying off with the Doctor by himself.

I also wonder if we have met the future companion of the Doctor, one of the girls at the school where Danny and Clara teach.  She might make for an interesting companion.  She is a teenage girl, so the romance thing would absolutely not be happening, which is a plus.

One last good bit, we get the first mention of River in this episode, and the way he mentions her, made me wonder if she might be reappearing in future episodes.  Fingers crossed!

The Bad

The bad guy is the bad in this one.  The robot seemed really cool, and dangerous, but ended up not being either of those things.  Really, the episode was about the Doctor meeting Danny and Clara being put squarely in the middle of the two gents, and the robot was just a way to make it happen.  Too bad, lots of potential, hardly any of it realized.

Of course, since we had a robot, and a random death, we see Missy again, and get a hint at who or what she is.  Apparently, at least in some form, she is a deity, and the place where she is looks to be heaven.  It has been hinted at subtly throughout the series, but this time, the dead police officer says “My God…” at one point in the “Promised Land,” and the guy there just responds by letting him know that she is really busy today.  Interesting to see how this all turns out.  She has also referred to the Doctor as her boyfriend, so has the Doctor been seeing God?  Just a little weird for my taste.  We’ll see where it goes.

The Final Verdict

Overall, a pretty watchable episode.  It was funny and entertaining.  IT only hinted at some real action, but did not really deliver, and I could have done without the relationship talk from Danny and Clara.  That being said, any story that has the Doctor pretending to be a regular Joe, I am on board, and would recommend.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.  Worth seeing.

A Day Late Review of Gotham


Fall is officially here, which means primetime TV is back.  One of the strongest new contenders this year is Gotham. In one of my earlier posts, I referred to Gotham as Batman getting the Smallville treatment.  I watched the premiere last night (thank you Fox Now app on Apple TV), and let me just say I was wrong.  Gotham is so much more than that.  First of all, the quality is leaps and bounds better than what we saw on Smallville.  By quality, I mean that it just looks nicer, the acting is just better, and the writing seems stronger.  Smallville always felt like a teenage soap opera with super heroes thrown in.  Gotham does not feel like that at all.  I think one of the big reasons is the fact that the main character is not Bruce Wayne.  From what I can tell, this is not the story of how Bruce becomes Batman.  No, this is the story of how James Gordon becomes Commissioner Gordon, and how he cleans up the police force in Gotham City. Jim Gordon is the main character, and also happens to be the only good guy in the whole city.  All the cops are corrupt and under Falcone’s thumb.  Gordon, alone, is trying to do the right thing and it gets him in trouble.

Spoilers: Bruce Wayne’s parents get shot.  If that really is a spoiler for you, then obviously, you know nothing about Batman, so chances are you are not going to watch this show, so chances are, it’s still not really a spoiler for you.  This leads to the best scene in the whole episode: Jim Gordon meeting and then comforting the traumatized Bruce Wayne.  It is well shot, well written, and well acted.  This is the moment that endears the viewer to both characters.  That’s a good thing, because the rest of the characters in this show are not endearing at all.  There is nothing likable about Fish Mooney, Oswald, Nigma, Bullock, or Falcone, or anyone else for that matter.  At the end of the episode, I was exhausted, just thinking about how much work Gordon has to do.  It is going to wear him out.  It’s going to wear me out as I watch it each week.

The final verdict for me on this show is a solid thumbs up.  I am not a Batman fan.  I am familiar with the basic story of Batman, I’ve read some of the essential Batman books out there, but I have never cared that much for Batman.  I know, I may the lone geek out there who feels that way, but I have just always felt that for a hero, Batman is just too dark and sinister.  I prefer my heroes to be less dark and sinister.  All that being said,  really enjoyed this show.  I think the big reason why was James Gordon’s character.  He is a good guy.  He is not dark and sinister.  He believes that light can overcome the darkness of Gotham, which makes him a better man than Batman/Bruce Wayne, who thinks the way to go is to fight the darkness with more darkness.  Gordon drives the show, and it feels more like a gritty cop show than a super hero show.  That just seems to work for me.  I would definitely say this is a must watch.

A Day Late Review of “Time Heist”


When I saw the preview for “Time Heist,” I was pretty sure I was going to hate it.  It just seemed to be par for the course so far with this series of Doctor Who.  The good episodes seem to be alternating with just plain silly episodes.  I enjoyed last week’s quite  bit, so I figured this one would be up there with “The Robot of Sherwood.” Or down there, depending on how you want to look at it. Plus, the whole idea seemed absurd.  I could not wrap my head around the idea that somehow the Doctor and Clara were going to become common bank robbers.  Then I watched this episode, and had to throw all of my initial thoughts out the window.  It was pretty solid.

The basic story is that Clara and the Doctor answer a mysterious phone call to the TARDIS.  The next thing we know, the two of them are sitting in some room holding two memory erasing worms.  They are not alone.  They are with two other people.  Each has had their memories wiped.  Next, the quartet receive a message from a mysterious figure who calls himself “The Architect.” He tells them that they must break into the Bank of Karabraxos, which has never been broken into, and is supposedly impenetrable.  They discover that each of them has special skills to help them with this task and they go through a bunch of obstacles to get to the vault.  One of the toughest obstacles is a creature they call “The Teller,” who is a telepath that can sense guilt.  Once he latches on to people’s minds, he can turn them into soup.  And, we learn, once he has latched on, there is no escaping him.  As they go through each challenge, they find that the Architect has left them some cases with helpful tools or information, like some devices they assume are atomic shredders that will painlessly kill you, as an escape route if necessary.   As they go through the obstacles, they lose the other two members of their group who use the exit strategy instead of allowing the Teller to turn their minds to mush.

In the end, the Doctor and Clara make it into the vault, and find the items on their list.  The last item they need is in the Private Vault.  On their way, they discover that the other two travelers are not dead, but had just been teleported. In the Private Vault they meet Karabraxos herself and convince her to leave the planet before a solar storm destroys everything.  A this point, the whole thing comes together, and the Doctor pieces together what was really going on, with the help of the Teller.  They discover that the Teller is not the last of his species, as they had been led to believe, but there is a female Teller locked up in the private vault.  The Doctor and his crew rescue both Tellers and take them to safety.  The Doctor, with the help of the Teller has remembered that this was the reason they broke into the vault and the bank.  He was the Architect and had planned the whole thing to save these creatures, at the request of Karabraxos from the future.

The story could have been silly, with the whole bank robber angle and monsters and whatever, but it all seemed to work.  It wasn’t silly, it was just plain fun.  There is a little bit of intrigue as you wonder who the Architect is and why he selected these four to rob this impenetrable bank, and when you find out the truth, you feel vindicated because you realize that the Doctor would never really rob a bank.  Plus, the longer this season goes and the more we get to know this new Doctor, the more I like him.  He is odd in his own way, but he is dark and serious too.  I would ever describe him as goofy, but he wouldn’t really fit in around here either.

Overall, it was a fun episode.  I would recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.

A Day Late Review of “Listen”


Well, here we are, the 4th episode of this new Doctor Who series.  Admittedly, this review is actually 2 days late instead of just “a” day late, but that’s kind of the running title for the spot, so I am sticking with it.

I don’t know about most of you, but I have really had some mixed feelings about this series so far.  I didn’t particularly enjoy “Deep Breath,” I loved “Into the Dalek,” and I thought “The Robot of Sherwood” was just beyond silly. Because of this experience so far, I have decided to go into each week with zero expectations, that way I am not disappointed.  I will say, despite my mixed reviews on each episode, I am enjoying the development of Capaldi’s Doctor.  Each week reveals more about this latest regeneration.

I tried to have no expectations for this episode, until I saw this:

Written by Steven Moffat

That always grabs my attention, and heightens my expectations.  Plus, it was an ominous one word title, not unlike “Blink,” which I still consider to be one of the best TV episodes ever written.  I was on board at that point, which was good, because the whole meditating on top of the TARDIS thing was just a little weird, but that is becoming the norm for this Doctor.

The episode begins by posing the question: What if we are never alone, what if evolution had produced a creature that was the perfect hider, and it is always there, just listening?  In those moments when we are talking to ourselves, what if we’re not?  The whole opening as he is going through and creating this theory was very interesting, and led to a very interesting premise for the episode, that unfortunately, ended up being rather disappointing.  Granted, it would have been strange to have yet another creature created by Moffat that had something to do with turning your back.  First it was the Angels, if you turn your back or blink, you’re toast (BTW, Colin Baker has a great way to beat the angels he shared at Salt Lake Comic Con: Wink.  Just alternate eyes as you are staring at them). Then it was the Silence, a species we totally forget when we turn our backs on them and can’t see them.  Now there would be the Hiders?  You can’t look at them or see them, but they are always there.  This kind of creature seems to be Moffat’s thing.  Except, the plot twist here was that he didn’t deliver.

Sure, Clara and the Doctor do go back in time and visit their new friend Rupert Pink (I don’t want to spoil his relationship to Danny, if you haven’t seen the episode yet), on the night that he has had a nightmare.  Not just a nightmare, but THE Nightmare, that apparently everyone has had about stepping out of bed, and someone grabbing your ankle from underneath the bed.  Yes, they go back and visit Rupert, and he is scared because he has heard some noises and believes there is something under his bed.  Clara climbs under his bed and he joins her, and they see there is nothing there. And then the bed creaks and there is this on the bed:


We don’t get to see who or what is under the bedspread.  The creature stays under the bedspread the whole time.  Here the Doctor gives a great speech about fear being a super power.  It really was good, and should be shared with anybody who is afraid.  He then has the three of them turn their backs on the creature, who eventually just leaves.  We never get to see the creature in the episode and no explanation is given.

The Doctor and Clara then go back to the scene of Clara’s dreadful date from earlier, and she tries to patch things up with Danny, but it does not work out, as the Doctor sends in some space man to get Clara back to the TARDIS.  The space man is from 100 years in the future and is actually a time traveller who ended up at the end of time, when nothing is left.  The Doctor believes here he will find the “ghosts” he has been looking for.  He ends up opening the door to the ship they are on, and almost gets sucked out of it.  The space man saves him, but he has been knocked unconscious.  Clara tries to interface telepathically with the TARDIS (something she had done earlier), and they end up some place new.  A farm.  She observes a little boy who is very scared sleeping out in the barn, well not sleeping, but crying mostly.  Two adults come out and they talk about why the boy is out there.  Clara is hiding under the bed.  As the two adults are talking the discuss how he will never make it to the academy to become a Time Lord, and we realize this little boy is the Doctor.

He begins to get out of bed, and Clara, for no apparent reason, reaches out and grabs his ankle, and then tells him it is all a dream, and he just needs to go back to bed.  He does, and then she whispers in his ear about how it is ok to be afraid and that fear is a super power and a constant companion, and that fear can make one kind and gentle, not mean and uncaring.  She even mentions that he will come back to this farm someday when he is very afraid, and we see the War Doctor coming to the farm with the moment, and we learn that the farm has some connection to the Doctor’s childhood.

This episode left us with some interesting questions.  We thought that Clara’s role as the one who keeps saving the Doctor was finished since “The Name of the Doctor,” yet here she is again, meddling in his past.  Will she continue to do this until the end of her run at Christmas?  We also learn that the Doctor is afraid of the dark, which my 7-year-old thought was pretty cool, since he is also afraid of the dark.  The last question we are left with is: What was that thing on the bed?

Overall, this was a watchable episode.  I would say it is  Moffat, but not Empty Child?Doctor Dances or Blink Moffat.  It had quite a few holes, and you’re left wondering why it jumped as much as it did.  It was almost like two episodes that they squeezed into one. Despite that, it was enjoyable.  I f I gave rankings, it would be a 3 out of 5.  Good enough to watch, but not a classic.