Episode 235 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 03

So our space madness continues. In this episode we learn that space stations of the future will have, for some reason, a lot of mirrors.

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But of egoists, I assume.

Our crew have finally made it to the t-mat station. The Doctor goes on a run for a bit and eventually convinces the Ice Warriors that he’s valuable. Meantime, Jamie and Zoe are wandering around doing things and stuff. They eventually rendezvous with the t-mat repair crew that’s also come up from Earth.

We also learn that the Ice Warriors are preparing the titular seeds of death to be sent to Earth for…reasons. I’m not entirely clear on it, though clearly it isn’t to set up humanity with their own supply of dank Martian weed.

I do find it odd the way they keep saying, “t-mat” as though it’s a proper name.  Like “T-mat has been fixed”, instead of “the t-mat system has been fixed”. Very odd.

We’re also told that foods are running out in cities and millions are facing starvation. Ok, then. But…I mean, it’s been, what, a day? Two days? Surely it can’t be that bad, that quick, stupid quotes about power outages and missing meals not withstanding.

Episode 828 – “Smile”

The Doctor and Bill arrive on a would-be utopia planet; one that’s being readied for human occupation. Surely nothing sinister or strange could happen here, right?

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Ha! Millennials, ‘mirite?

Naturally something nasty is happening. In this case, the robots who are running the place, and communicate in emojis because creativity is dead, are killing anyone who appears to be unhappy. It’s that usual, rather stupid, thing that happens in sci-fi where the AI just doesn’t quite get it and murders a few people.

This may make it sound like I didn’t like this episode, but I actually rather did. Bill and the Doctor continue to make a great couple. So far I’m enjoying them almost as much as I did the Doctor and Donna. And if the emoji thing was stupid-and make no mistake; it was very stupid-it was also handled in an entertaining enough fashion. Plus the location was just amazing! What a lovely building!

But I will say that the emoji thing really was fucking stupid as fuck. It never really works when sci-fi shows try to take modern day fads and project them into the future. Remember the Anne-Droid and Big Brother in the last two episodes of the Ninth Doctor’s season? Yeah. That aged rather terribly.

So in summary, a fun story, with shades of “Happiness Patrol”, that wound up being way better than it should have been.

Cast
Others
  • Kiran L. Dadlani – Kezzia
  • Mina Anwar – Goodthing
  • Kaizer Akhtar – Praiseworthy
  • Ralf Little – Steadfast
  • Kalungi Ssebandeke – Nate
  • Kiran Shah – Emojibot 1
  • Craig Garner – Emojibot 2
Production
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive producer(s) Steven Moffat
Brian Minchin
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 10
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 22 April 2017

Episode 827 – “The Pilot”

At long last, it’s back! No, not the blog. I’ve actually had quite a few posts lately, thank you! Not one a day, but still! Sort of. Anyhow, no, the show itself is back, and spoilers ahoy!

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I look way too much like Nardole.

This story introduces Bill, the Doctor’s new companion. She’s got a crush on another woman who works at the school the other woman attends. All things look good for the two as a couple, but soon there’s some weird alien stuff going on involving sentient oil slicks, Daleks, Movellans (!), and, of course, the Doctor and Nardole.

The story acts as something of a reboot to the series, giving us actual classroom lectures on the concept of a Time and Relative Dimension in Space machine, as well as a few other items. I rather like that. It doesn’t leave too much time for the story, but the story is rather simple anyhow, and that’s perfectly fine; we don’t always need some huge epic saga overscored by Murray Gold.

I must say the Movellans were an interesting inclusion. We don’t see more than a few seconds of them, but I rather liked seeing what we saw. I especially liked that they didn’t feel the need to update them to a more “modern” feel. Yes, the space-age disco bodysuits and dreads remain intact.

Overall I quite liked this story. It wasn’t perfect, but there was a minimum of annoying things, and it had a nice flow to it. Bill is a charming new addition to the cast, and though he was used a bit more sparingly than in the Christmas special, Nardole still worked out well. Plus there were some nice nods to the past, with the aforementioned Movellans and a brief pair of references to Susan.

If this is any indicator of how series 10 as a whole will go, I’m quite looking forward to it!

Cast
Others
Production
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Written by Steven Moffat
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive producer(s) Steven Moffat
Brian Minchin
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 10
Length 50 minutes
Originally broadcast 15 April 2017

Episode 234 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 02

And so our heroes end up on a rocket…into space!

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And, in the process, are forced to listen to Nickleback.

There are some interesting visuals during this episode, particularly during the scenes where the space mission is being launched. I quite liked the use of projections and overlays, and the one that looked quite a bit like a QR code amused me.

The story continues along at a crisp pace, as our characters try to get back to the Moon so they can get the T-mat system back up and going. The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe charm their way into a rocket, but while they’re en route, the T-Mat system “mysteriously” comes back online. It is, of course, an Ice Warrior trap.

If I have to complain about something, it’s the way the rocket launch, and mission to the Moon, are handled. I mean, this was 1969, yeah? The year we actually went to the freakin’ Moon. Real space missions were happening, they could have made this all just look a tiny bit more convincing.

But that aside, a generally good part of a generally good story!

Episode 233 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 01

We begin our latest adventure with the Doctor and friends in a familiar pose.

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Typical.

I mean, ok, this isn’t actually the first few moments of the story. No, instead we get to see various technicians minding the store at a transmat (think of the transporters from Star Trek), station. Well, two stations, actually. One is on Earth, one is on the Moon.

Trouble ensues, of course, in the form of the Ice Warriors, making their first re-appearance.

It must be said that this first episode flows very nicely. It introduces an easily-understood dilemma, presents at least a partial solution, and gives us some wonderful scenes; and not just the ones with the Doctor and his friends. No, pretty much every character feels quite authentic, which is a testament to the writer’s abilities.

It also accomplished that rather rare feat (at least for me at this point), of making me completely lose track of time! I was actually surprised when it ended. Well done!

My Thoughts on Story 047 – “The Krotons”

So. Boring. Just…so very, very boring. Even thinking about this story makes me sleepy and upset.

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Zzzzzgrrrrr…

It didn’t have to be this way. The concept of this story isn’t horrible, but it’s also not very original, and really was rather poorly executed.

Let’s start with the Krotons themselves. Basically someone took the Robot from Forbidden Planet and downgraded it by several levels. These things just look terrible. They really aren’t interesting at all. They come off as (yet another) attempt by the BBC to not have to keep forking over money to Terry Nation.

There really isn’t a single interesting supporting character, and though there are a couple of cute little moments with the Doctor and Zoe, really, everything about this is just dull, dull, dull.

In point of fact, the only good thing about this story is that it brings us one step closer to the color era.

Cast
Others
  • James Copeland — Selris
  • James Cairncross — Beta
  • Gilbert Wynne — Thara
  • Philip Madoc — Eelek
  • Terence Brown — Abu
  • Madeleine Mills — Vana
  • Richard Ireson — Axus
  • Maurice Selwyn — Custodian
  • Bronson Shaw — Student
  • Roy Skelton, Patrick Tull — Kroton Voices
  • Robert La’Bassiere, Miles Northover — Krotons
Production
Directed by David Maloney
Written by Robert Holmes
Script editor Terrance Dicks
Produced by Peter Bryant
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Special sounds by Brian Hodgson
Production code WW
Series Season 6
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 28 December 1968
Date ended 18 January 1969

Next time: The Seeds of Death

Episode 232 – “The Krotons” – Part 04

Our heroes continue their fight against the evil Krotons!

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If only they could weaponize those sideburns.

We’re getting a rather unimpressive end to a rather unimpressive story. Jamie is off doing something, the Doctor and Zoe are trying to stop the Krotons, the other people are doing stuff, and…even just describing it is boring me a bit.

There is a mildly interesting sub-plot of “do we dare fight the Krotons, or continue on as their slaves?” But that really ends fairly quickly and it’s clear that there’s only one “correct” answer. There’s also an amusing bit where Zoe and the Doctor banter about where to stand.

But really, this is another boring part to another boring story. Still, I have the Ice Warriors next, and after that we say farewell to the Second Doctor!