Monday, September 26, 2011

Doctor Who Episode Review - The God Complex

Dr Who and co. end up in a hotel. When they meet some of the people staying there something turns out to be terribly wrong. I sort of enjoyed this episode - the Indian girl and the nerdy guy were nice characters and I thought that the minotaur's dilemma was touching. But style was too derivative of other recent, popular movies.

Everytime the hotel shifted it took me back to 'Inception' (it even looked similar). The surveillance footage looked like it could haveb een lifted directly out of 'Paranormal Activity' and the minotaur looked like a creature from Pan's Labyrinth.

The story was decent but as a whole this episode had too much of a cut-and-paste feel for me to get fully immersed in it. The alien character was too annoying to be funny, though I did like the Doctor telling him what's what. But even when the Doctor was convincing Amy to let go of her faith in him, it all felt too predictable.

And then, in the last few minutes of the episode I had completely forgotten about their adventure. The Doctor leaving Amy and Rory behind to save them had me in tears. Maybe I'm too easy, but their goodbye tugged at my heartstrings and made me wish for more poorly written adventures with the best recent companions. I just really like Amy and Rory. They work well together with Matt Smith's Doctor. The season is nearing it's big finale and I've got my fingers crossed that this isn't the last we've seen of the feisty redhead and her loyal husband (although I'd be surprised if it was).

Doctor Who - too complicated?

This is a response to the Guardian article, viewable here:

I don't think the problem with the current series is just the complicated ongoing plot. Although I still find it hard to believe that River is Amy's daughter, this turn of events and the characters involved have been the main reason for me to keep watching.

Generally I have enjoyed the more emotional, story arc related episodes to the standalone ones, but I think thats the main reason for that is the poor writing. In the story-arc episodes we follow familiar characters whose background we know a bit of or want to see more revealed of. This leaves time for more in-depth plot development, which for me has been the exact thing that the adventure-of-the-week episodes have been lacking.

They don't take the time to explain things or even comment on glaringly obvious situations. For example, why didn't the Doctor ever say anything about the major effect killing someone as historically significant as Hitler is going to have on the space/time continuum? Even Neil Gaiman managed to disappoint with his underdeveloped fanboy-ish fantasy story. I think maybe Moffat has put too much time into creating a complicated storyline and thereby forgot how important the more light-hearted episodes are to today's Dr Who audience.

Doctor Who Episode Review - The Girl Who Waited

The Doctor sets off to Apalapagia to show Amy and Rorty the beautiful planet, but once they arrive there they find out that the whole planet has been quarantined. When Amy ends up in a different room from Rory and the Doctor they find out that they run on different timelines and they're going to have to figure out a way to get Amy back.

I loved this episode. From the start when it seems Amy has been in her room for a week while the Doctor and Rory have only been in theirs for a few minutes you know they're going to play with the time. When they stick to the rules, this makes for some of the better stories. It's such a sad and scary idea to be all on your own for such a long time, waiting to be saved. It makes sense that Amy feels bitterness towards the Doctor. And when posed with the choice to save herself now or when she was younger, I understand that she'd feel that she is the only one with the right to exist. After all, older Amy is the one who has fought to stay alive in a dangerous, lonely world for 36 years.

Amy as her older self alsho shows why she is one of the best recent companions. She's smart and tough and holds her own against the Doctor. She doesn't just follow him but is strong minded and not afraid to feel anything besides total devotion to the Doctor.

With the help of young Amy, older Amy realizes that she's missed out on the most important thing in her life, Rory, and by heling she can at least give this time back to her younger self. But what they don't realise is although the Doctor already knows, the two Amy's can't co-exist. So Rory has to choose between the two Amy's twice. Whenever Rory has more of a central role you can guarantee there's going to be some tearjerker moments.

I love it when they explore the relationship between Amy and Rory. I think thet their love for each other is also one of the reasons why neither of them shys away from standing up to the Doctor. It's probably also why I generally like Matt Smith's Doctor more than David Tennant's. It's more evident that he is the last timelord and that while he has his friends along, he is and shall always be alone.

But I digress. While 'The Girl Who Waited' had many great scenes such as the beautiful gardem amd a sword-wielding, robot-killing Amy, my very favourite scene was when older Amy talks Rory into not letting her into the Tardis.

The fact that she's scared of dying but is willing to giv e up her existence so that younger Amy and Rory can be together is so touching and makes this episode one of the best in this season so far.

Doctor Who Episode Review - Night Terrors

When the Doctor and his companions receive a distress signal from a young boy they decide to make a house call. Once they arrive it appears that the monsters in his closet aren't quite as imaginary as his parent's think.

'Night Terrors' was a good solid monster-episode. The scenes in the dollhouse were shot beautifully. Everything was slightly-off, giving it an eerie 'what's behind the door' feel. Combined with the creepy girlish giggles and life-sized wooden dolls, I was kept right on the edge of my seat.

I always like it when Amy and Rory suddenly find themselves in a strange situation. You get a real sense of the chemistry between them and seeing them play off each other is always entertaining.

I'm glad that for once the Doctor didn't have an answer ready right away. He had to gain the boy's trust before he could even begin to find out what was really going on. The interaction between the Doctor and George was on of the best aspects of this episode.

The ending was surprising and kind of touching. There was a proper explanation and a satisfying conclusion. Maybe not one of the very best episodes, but scary and exciting nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MUSIC VIDEO: Lucinda Williams - Copenhagen

Lucinda Williams - Copenhagen

Named as the best living songwriter in America by TIME magazine, Lucinda Williams began her career in the late seventies but only really began to find recognition with her breakthrough album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" in the late nineties. This is her first ever music video, of the track Copenhagen from her new album "Blessed".

With it's pretty animation and touching story reminiscent of "the Elephant Man" and the Mr. Freeze episode "Heart of Ice" from the acclaimed Batman animated series, this music video is one of the best I've seen in recent years. It has a more intimate charm than a glamorous Lady Gaga video and probably won't get the attention it deserves on music video channels, so if you like it please pass it on to whoever you think might enjoy this hauntingly beautiful short film.

Stay tuned for 2 new Doctor Who reviews tomorrow and new make-up tutorials later this month.