Ade Magnaye

Doctor Who: Death In Heaven

The last time I’ve seen a Doctor Who finale this satisfying was with The Big Bang from way back in 2010. Death In Heaven is a fantastic, if subdued, finale that neatly ties almost all of the ideas that were introduced with Peter Capaldi’s first outing as the Doctor. Sit back, and I’ll talk about Death In Heaven and the first eleven episodes that led us here.

Warning: spoilers after this point.

One of my biggest complaints with Matt Smith’s tenure as the time travelling alien in Doctor Who was that the stories were too ambitious and stuffed with ideas while the execution suffered from a host of problems. Mainly, the BBC’s budget isn’t enough and the annoying no two-part stories imposed by the BBC in Series 7. While I believe Matt Smith is one of the best Doctors ever, his era will be largely be remembered as the “time-wimey era” – a time where bootstrap paradoxes and plot pyrotechnics took precedence over character growth. Bootstrap paradoxes are fine by me, believe me – The Big Bang is my favorite finale ever – but by the time The Time Of The Doctor rolled around that particular plot device elicited nothing but a huge groan from me.

And as I predicted when Capaldi was announced as the Doctor, he doesn’t fuck around.  The scope of the stories may be smaller – no more threats against all of space and time – but the Twelfth Doctor is a darker, more abrasive incarnation who doesn’t flinch when people die, doesn’t mince his words when he knows he’s about to kill his enemy, and doesn’t fancy himself as a big hero or legend like his predecessors. He’s just a traveler passing by, and you’re lucky if he manages to be there to save your life.

The eight season dwelt a lot – maybe a bit too much – on death. It was a major theme introduced in the very first episode when the Half-Faced Man found himself in Paradise with the mysterious Missy. Death was a constant presence in this season, and it all came to a head when Missy literally raises every dead being on earth in Dark Water/Death in Heaven.

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"Doctor Who: The Name Of The Doctor" Review

I've had a little problem with Doctor Who's Series 7. Specifically Moffat's strict "no-two parter, no story arc" rule. Unlike Series 5 and 6, Series 7 feels a bit... unfocused. I come in watching and I end up wondering where the magic went.

There's no "what the hell are the cracks in the universe" or "how will the Doctor escape his death" central mystery. Sure, there's Clara, the impossible girl, who dies and shows up in another place and time with no memories of the Doctor and her adventures with him, or the central mystery of the Doctor's name, but these story arcs are not as explicitly stated as the previous series' mysteries.

Basically, there was no build up to "The Name of the Doctor" at all. And this worried me as I had no idea how the show will address Trenzalore, the Doctor's identity, the Clara problem, and the Great Intelligence in 45 minutes.

And then I watch it, and once again I realize I shouldn't be doubting Steven Moffat.

Spoilers from this point onwards!

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“Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver” Review

For the record, I really, really loved Gaiman’s first time writing Doctor Who, the sublime The Doctor’s Wife. It dives deep into the show’s 50-year old mythology and adds something to it and takes the Doctor’s relationship with the old sexy TARDIS into another level. That episode isn’t just the best of New Who, it’s one of the best episodes of the show, bar none. With that in mind I had really high expectations coming in to Nightmare in Silver.

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The Wedding of River Song: A Satisfying and Disappointing Finale

It’s been well-documented that I have so much love for Doctor Who. It’s no understatement to say that I was looking forward for this finale since this has been the strongest story so far of our favorite time-travelling madman in a box.

To recap: this season started with the Doctor’s death. Amy, Rory, and River try to keep that a secret from the younger version of the Doctor, whose legend as a warrior who can send ships flying off at the mere mention of his name is growing. The problem is, he’s already starting to believe his own hype. This massive ego leads to one of the Doctor’s greatest failures - the battle of Demon’s Run, where Kovarian manages to trick the Doctor into thinking he’s won, only to find out that she’s stolen Amy’s baby. The child, Melody, is brought to 1969 by the Silence, raised to be a psychopath with only one goal: murder the Doctor. Melody eventually turns into River Song with the help of a couple of regenerations and a few kisses with the Doctor. The Doctor realizes that he’s believed in his own legend and that he puts Amy and Rory in danger every other time because of his vanity, hence he drops them off and says goodbye. He now bounces in time for 200 years on a farewell tour, without companions, meekly facing his own death. But we all know the Doctor, and we’re all sure that it’s not that simple.

Which brings us to The Wedding of River Song. Warning: spoilers.

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Amy Pond Finally Takes The Spotlight in "The Girl Who Waited"

The Girl Who Waited

One big complaint about the current season of Doctor Who is that Amy Pond, the girl who has been so fiery and feisty the last season, has been reduced to nothing more than a damsel-in-distress plot device. As much as I love Steven Moffat's current run on the show, it really is hard to ignore how Amy's been shuffled off into the sidelines while her formerly wimpy husband, Rory, goes out and becomes awesome.

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