Tag Archives: Doctor Who Series 8

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 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 “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 “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.

A Day Late Review of “Deep Breath”

Well it finally happened.  Something Doctor Who fans have been anticipating for what seemed like forever. Series 8 finally premiered.  We finally got to meet the 12th Doctor and spend more than just a couple of minutes with him and get to know him a little bit.  The question now that it’s all over is, do we want to get to know this Doctor better?

The first thing I noticed while watching this episode is that the opening credits have been upgraded.  I know they change with each Doctor and sometimes during a Doctor’s run, but this time it seemed like they put a little more budget behind the credits.  They were crisper and cleaner, and just a little more “made for HD.”  Overall, visually, I liked them.  The song for the opening credits was updated as well, and this didn’t score well for me.  It was still the same song, essentially, but they tried to vary it enough that it almost didn’t sound the same.  Like having a best friend in grade school, moving away and not seeing them for 20 years.  When you see them again, they look familiar, you can tell it’s them, but they are also very different.  Overall, the changes to the song were not needed and I wasn’t a fan.  Maybe it will grow on me.

I was looking forward to the episode.  Like many fans, i had speculated about what this new Doctor was going to be like, and I couldn’t wait to see it.  I was hoping this episode would begin to answer some questions about the Doctor’s new self.  I forgot that it was being done by Steven Moffat.  He likes asking questions way more than he likes answering them.  Just when you think you might actually get to the bottom of something, you realize it’s all just a tease and there is a lot more to go before getting to the bottom.

Before you go any further, I must warn you there will be spoilers ahead.  This is not a review that comes out just in time for the episode to premier for the public, or just after the episode has aired.  It is a “Day Late” review, so i assume most people who are interested have seen “Deep Breath” by now, but if you haven’t, maybe you have it recorded, or it’s in your download queue, or whatever, then be warned, there will be spoilers ahead.

The episode begins in almost silly fashion.  A dinosaur mysteriously appears in Victorian London.  Nobody knows how it got there.  Enter Moffat’s favorite Doctor Who characters ever, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.  It seems like these are the only supporting characters Moffat knows how to write, because they keep popping up.  All the time.  Seriously, am I the only one who is beginning to get sick of them?  Maybe I am, and that’s why they keep them around.  In any case, Vastra brilliantly deduces that the dinosaur must have time traveled.  Then Jenny notices it has something in its…excuse me, Vastra does point out, her throat.  She coughs (the dinosaur) and out comes the TARDIS.  The Doctor comes stumbling out followed by Clara and we get the classic modern regeneration episode, where the Doctor has no idea who he is or what’s going on.  He apparently also has a thing for big, sexy dinosaurs.  It’s a good thing they have arrived in Victorian London and that Vastra and Jenny and Strax are there to help Clara through this rough regeneration time.

This whole sequence began to get absurd and strange for me.  I had heard all about how this Doctor was going to be all serious and dark compared to number 11, and this was serious or dark, it was silly and strange.  He kept flirting with this dinosaur and his lack of Doctor like skill was just obnoxious.  The good news is that the episode did get better from here.

Well, not all of it was better.  Clara has seen all the Doctors, 1-11, and even the War Doctor.  This whole idea of regeneration should not be strange to her.  She, out of all the companions ever, should get it.  She has spent time with each of the Doctors, yet she cannot accept that this man is the Doctor.  She saw him regenerate, and she can’t accept it.  The whole episode is her wondering if he is really the Doctor and moping because she just doesn’t know if she knows who the Doctor is anymore.  I just couldn’t buy it.  It takes a call from 11 on her mobile at the end to convince her, and she still hesitated.  It was just confusing to me.

In any case, the dinosaur gets murdered as the Doctor is trying to figure out a way to send her home, while win his night-shirt.  The murder puts him on the case and he begins to investigate, and we begin to see that his Doctor means business.  As he is beginning to investigate, I really started to appreciate this more serious Doctor.  And, we see a moment where he blurs the lines between right and wrong, as he steals a coat from a tramp, using the line “No point in us both being cold.”  He and Clara both reply to an ad to meet for lunch in a specific restaurant.  An add they both believe the other placed in the paper, but neither one did. And as they are both discussing Clara’s egomania, they realize that none of the other diners happen to be people.  They are all robots, and  this restaurant is a front for cyborgs harvesting human parts to power their ships. (Yes, these are the same robots we see in the “Girl in the Fireplace”, and you will get frustrated as the Doctor cannot remember where he has seen it before) Clara and the Doctor get brought into the basement and meet the lead cyborg and discover what is happening.  They head for the door, and the Doctor seemingly leaves Clara behind, to face the cyborgs alone.  She tries to hide among them and escape by not breathing, but eventually gives in and is discovered.  She has a great face off with the lead cyborg and the Doctor ends up being there to save her, hiding as one of the cyborgs.  As the army of robotic men and women descend on the pair, Clara says the magic word, and Vastra, Jenny, and Starx come down from the rafters to save them.  The Doctor and the lead Cyborg break off from the group and have a great back and forth argument.  The Doctor is pleading for the cyborg to end it by jumping from his escape pod, and threatening that he might end it for the machine.  They go back and forth, and it all ends when the lead cyborg ends up dead, having either jumped or been pushed out of the escape pod and landing on a spire that does him through.  We don’t know, and it is left ambiguous, if the Doctor pushed him, adding to the intrigue of this new Doctor.

The cyborg ends up in some paradise, we don’t know what it is with a girl named Missy, who claims to be the Doctors girlfriend.  I didn’t recognize her, so I don’t know who she is, but she seems to know a lot about the Doctor and what he will and won’t do.

By and large, this episode does why it is supposed to.  It introduces the Doctor to the audience as well as his companion and cast of recurring characters.  It also introduces some of the story for this upcoming series.  It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.  We definitely saw that the Doctor has a darker side now, more serious.  We also get confirmation that there will be no flirting with Clara and this new Doctor, which is a plus for me.  Overall, I liked the new Doctor so far.  He isn’t my favorite, but to be fair, he has only been in one episode, so I need to give him some time.  I think this series will be going in a different direction.  A lot of people were saying that this new Doctor would be somewhat similar to Tom Baker, and I can see that a little bit.  Maybe a little like Colin Baker, a little darker, minus the clown suit.  I am interested to see where it goes, and personally can’t wait to watch next week.

What were your thoughts?  Love it? Hate it? Wait and see?  Share them with us in the comments, we would love to hear from you.

The Doctor 101 Part 6-Doctors 9, 10, 11, and 12

I meant to get this post written and published yesterday, in time for the premiere tonight of season 8, but due to an unforeseen trip to San Francisco, it didn’t happen, so I am here today to get it done.  This is the last piece outlining, however briefly, all the different incarnations of the Doctor.  All the Doctors listed today are post the relaunch of the series.  These are the Doctors I know the best, well most of them.  One of them I don’t really know at all, aside from him not liking the cold of his kidneys.  Starting tonight, that will be different.  Are we ready then?  Fantastic! Then Allons-y, and Geronimo!


In 2005, The BBC decided it was time to bring back Doctor Who.  This was really a second attempt to bring the series back, the first was the 1996 TV movie.  Despite the number of years it had been since the Doctor was on TV, he had never really gone away.  There were novels, comics, and audio plays, all keeping the Doctor alive for the fans out there.  At this time, the BBC hired show runner Russell Davies to bring the character back.  Wisely, Davies decided that the reboot would be a continuation of the old series, but with a new incarnation of the Doctor.  The actor brought in to play our favorite Time Lord was Christopher Eccleston.  The look of this Doctor was modern and hip.  It was a simple black leather jacket, dark T and dark pants.  No bright colors of clown costumes, just a sleek, modern look.  In addition to the new look of the Doctor, the whole series got a new look.  Better special effects and little larger budget helped with that.  Plus, the Doctor’s companion, Rose, was one of the more iconic companions in the history of the series.  All of this combined for a success for the series, and it looked like the Doctor would be around for a while. Eccleston played the Doctor in a very confident manner, but he was friendly and kind to Rose and to others.  However, when it was necessary he could be very serious and dark.  He alluded to some bad things happening in the last time war, and that he was the last Time Lord out there, which was new for the series.  He also gave us the first catch phrase of the relaunch with “Fantastic.”  I guess phrase isn’t the right term, but is catch word a real term?  Eccleston had only planned to be in the series for one season, he stuck to that.  Despite the popularity of the series, Eccleston did not return for season 2.  Infact, he also refused to be part of the 50th with David Tenant and Matt Smith.  As an actor, he has said he accomplished what he wanted to with the character, and doesn’t want to go back to it.

Since I am more familiar with these Doctors, I want to list some episodes from each to help you get started.  For the 9th Doctor, these are my recommendations:

Rose:  This is his first story and kind of sets up the whole relaunch.  It is not the best story of the first season, but it is good to start here.  We meet the Doctor, get an explanation on a lot about the series, and meet Rose and Mickey for the first time.  We also get to see the Doctor be happy, confident Doctor and scary, vengeful Doctor.

Father’s Day:  This deals with the question we all ask at some point in life, I wonder what would have happened if… In other words, the great What If question, and sometimes, despite what we think at the time, the bad stuff that happens has to happen.  Plus we meet Rose’s father.

The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances: This was by far my favorite story during this season.  It is a little creepy, but has a great ending.  Plus we meet Captain Jack for the first time.


With the show being a success and with Eccleston leaving after only one season, it was time to introduce a new Doctor.  Enter David Tennant, the 10th Doctor.  He is my favorite Doctor.  I enjoyed the passion this Doctor brought to the character.  Everything was always all out with him on screen.  I, personally liked him better post Rose.  I like Martha and Donna more than Rose, which I know would make a lot of people upset, but it’s how I feel.  The 10th was just so cool.  He was clever and fun and serious and tragic and triumphant all at once.  Plus he only wore “trainers” all the time.  When I lace up my own Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars to go to work, I always think to myself “These are world saving shoes.”  It makes me want to make a difference.  If Eccleston re-established the Doctor Who Series, Tennant made it here to stay.  He was received very well, and began to bring in a whole new generation of fans, and a whole new group of fans, the Fan Girl.  During his time, we met the Master again, lost Rose, met Sara Jane again, met the Stone Angels, and met River Song for the first time.  We also get our next catch word: Allons-y, and in Voyage of the Damned, the Doctor realizes a dream of his when he gets to say Allons-y, Alonzo.

Some must see episodes from Tennant’s time:

The Christmas Invasion: This is Tennant’s first episode as the Doctor, and right away we get to see the differences between his and Eccleston’s versions.  Plus, we are adjusting to the new character along with Rose, and probably feeling a lot of the same things.

Blink:  Chances are, if you have asked a Doctor Who fan which episodes you should watch, they always point you to this one.  This is one of the most beloved Doctor Who episodes since the series relaunched.  It doesn’t help you get to know the Doctor to well, since he’s barely in it, but it is a great episode and worth every minute of your time.

Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead-  This is a fun 2 part episode, and we get to meet River Song, who ends up not being critically important during the 10th Doctor’s time, but plays a huge role during the 11th’s.

Waters of Mars:  An incredible episode.  If you watch the whole season, do me a favor, when you get to this episode, skip Tenant’s last episode and go straight to Matt Smith’s first episode.  Pretend like The End of Time never happened.  You will be doing me and yourself a huge favor.


David Tennant and Russell Davies left the Doctor Who show at the same time, so Matt Smith comes in not just as a new Doctor, but also with a new producer at the helm of the series.  Fortunately for us, that new producer is Steven Moffat, and this ushers in one of the best runs of the series to date.  There were some great story arcs in Smith’s time.  The Doctor and his companions, the Ponds, along with River Song were like one big happy, time traveling, Family.  It was hard to see any of these actors leave the show at any point.  Matt Smith brought a new quirkiness and energy to the role.  There were some dark stories, but through it all, the 11th Doctor was all smiles.  Except when he wasn’t, and then it was really sad.  Tennant really helped to affirm what Eccelston established, but Smith and Moffat brought Doctor Who to new heights internationally.  It is now a world-wide mega-hit. Smith is my wife’s favorite, I think mostly because she knows him the best.

Some episodes to check out:

All of them from Season 5 and 6: It is hard to pick just one because you might really miss out on some important piece of information, and the really good episodes are only really good because the rest of the episodes lead up to them.

The Name of the Doctor/The Day of the Doctor/The Time of the Doctor- I really enjoyed these last 3 episodes of Matt Smith’s time, and they all lead into what is happening today, this evening, hopefully after you read all of this, when season 8 premieres.


That brings us to Peter Capaldi, who premieres tonight as the Doctor.  We know next to nothing about his Doctor, except he doesn’t like the color of his kidneys…