DOCTOR WHO 8.05 (Current Era) 34.05 (Classic Series): “Time Heist”

Dr 12It was bound to happen: A viewer has to expect a clunker episode every now and then, and “Time Heist” landed with a thud. Ironic for an episode that relied on an intricate plan, this story seemed to have no real idea where it was going. It feels like a collection of neat ideas for scenes and a monster strung together in a very disjointed manner. I almost get the feeling that the direction was purposely muddled to try and camouflage the story’s shortcomings. It didn’t work.

Can anyone think of a more convoluted way to accomplish a very simple goal – provided you can figure out what the point of the story was; no easy task. The reveal of the Doctor’s master plan left me asking the TV screen, “That’s it? That’s what he wanted to accomplish? And he did it that way?”
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DOCTOR WHO (Modern Era) 8.04, (Classic Series) 34.04: “Listen”

listen01After going for laughs last week with “Robot of Sherwood,” show runner Steven Moffat went for chills with this week’s script – and he succeeded on a very primal level. For TV, this was a damn scary episode, with some excellent atmospherics as opposed to the usual gore seen on shows like THE WALKING DEAD or HANNIBAL. In this DOCTOR WHO universe, the scariest thing in the universe is… a bedspread?

The Doctor’s quest to discover if any creature has mastered perfect camouflage – and what such a being might want – leads to an unexpected visit to the Doctor’s childhood, where Clara again has a huge influence over his life, ironically implanting ideas about fear and “the promise” implicit in the Doctor’s name.
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DOCTOR WHO 8.02 (Reboot Era) 34.02 (Classic Era): “Into the Dalek”

into01Only two episodes into his run, Peter Capaldi already has a classic episode under his belt with “Into the Dalek,” a truly ripping yarn! Yes, that may sound like too much praise, but I’ve been thinking about it, and I really think this story stands among the best Dalek tales ever.

Viewers also saw more of this new 12th Doctor – and the view is not entirely reassuring. This is a much (much) more gruff and short-tempered Doctor. He’s very (very) funny. And, most surprisingly, I really do not know if this incarnation likes Clara (Jenna Coleman). He acts like he can barely stand her one second, but relies on her the next. The Doctor/assistant relationship has been deftly and completely reimagined, and that has introduced a palpable sense of uncertainty.

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DOCTOR WHO: What’s Up With ‘Into the Dalek’?

itd06Tonight’s episode, “Into the Dalek,” written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat, features the first appearance of Samuel Anderson as the new recurring character Danny Pink, who is a teacher with Clara (Jenna Coleman) at Coal Hill School. But, perhaps even more significantly, it pits the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) against his most persistent foes, the merciless Daleks, for the first time!

Executive producer Moffat has been dropping some pretty big hints in print about the storyline. For instance, he told Doctor Who Magazine:

What’s the most dangerous place you put the Doctor, we wondered. And then we put him there. Oh, it’s a proper blockbuster, this episode. So many explosions that Peter Capaldi came in on his day off to watch the Daleks blowing up.

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New Companion Confirmed for DOCTOR WHO

dannypinkTurns out that rumor about the 12th Doctor taking on another companion — a teacher from Coal Hill School, no less — was true! Danny Pink, a teacher and colleague of Clara Oswald, will be played by Samuel Anderson as a recurring character in season eight of DOCTOR WHO.

Like Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, Anderson is a veteran of the venerable British soap EMMERDALE, on which he played policeman Ross Kirk. His tenure overlapped with Coleman’s time as Jasmine Thomas, so the pair have worked together before.

Anderson is thrilled to join the 50-year-old series that now stars Peter Capaldi, telling DoctorWhoTV.com:

“I was so excited to join DOCTOR WHO, I wanted to jump and click my heels, but I was scared I might not come down before filming started! It’s a quintessential part of British culture, and I can’t believe I’m part of it. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, and I can’t wait to show people how my character becomes involved with such a fantastic duo!”

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