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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 105: Extremis
cGt2099   |  

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On the latest episode of Doctor Who, “Extremis“: after returning from space, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) must face a new challenge, one he has never encountered before. But before coping with his new circumstances, he is sought after by the Pope, who needs him to translate a mysterious text called Veritas. Recruiting Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) on the mission, the trio quickly find out that not everything is what it seems to be…

During TARDISblend 105, we enter the midpoint of the season and begin discussing the secret of the Vault and the return of a familiar villain. We also examine the writing style of this episode, both the highs and the lows.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.5 “Oxygen”
Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  

Doctor Who Episode 10.5 Oxygen

Doctor Who
Season 10, Episode 5 “Oxygen”
Directed by Charles Palmer
Written by Jamie Mathieson
Starring Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, Kieran Bew, Mimi Ndiweni
BBC America
Air date: May 13, 2017

Ah, now that’s more like it. After a somewhat tepid attempt at atmospheric haunted house horror last week, Doctor Who brings us a full-throated example of zombie horror in Episode 10.5 “Oxygen.” Drawing on a diverse series of film influences that use horror and jeopardy to entertain as well as launch social and economic critiques, experienced Doctor Who hands Charles Palmer (“Smith and Jones,” “The Shakespeare Code”) and Jamie Mathieson (“Mummy On The Orient Express,” “Flatline”) create a tense, kinetic episode that is much of what Episode 10.4 “Knock Knock” wasn’t and raises the average quality of the episodes this season to a very respectable place. More about the episode and its influences after the jump.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 104: Oxygen
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Taking Bill (Pearl Mackie) for a trip into space, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is also followed by Nardole (Matt Lucas) where they find themselves on a seemingly abandoned space station. But after investigating a little, the trio find themselves in a precarious situation, that could have severe consequences… one breath at a time…

During TARDISblend 104, we celebrate writer Jamie Mathieson‘s return to Doctor Who delivering one of the strongest (and creepiest!) stories of the season. We also examine THAT plot twist (Spoilers, Sweetie!), and drill down into the acting force of Capaldi, Mackie, and Lucas.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.4 “Knock Knock”
Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  

Doctor Who Episode 10.4 Knock Knock

Doctor Who
Season 10, Episode 4 “Knock Knock”
Directed by Bill Anderson
Written by Mike Bartlett
Starring Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, David Suchet
BBC America
Air date: May 6, 2017

What do “normal” days in the world of Doctor Who look like? It’s an interesting question. Exposure to the Doctor and his magic box seems to create a hyper-real existence where you meet aliens, humans, leviathans, and gods. Embarking on the hero quest, one cannot help but be changed by it. Does that mean that the TARDIS is a Pandora’s Box? Once that box is opened, the forces unleashed do not seem to be something that can simply be turned on and off like a switch… or can they? In Episode 10.4 “Knock Knock,” we see Bill try to have an ordinary day, with the Doctor along for the ride as little as possible. Luckily for us, she fails.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 103: Knock Knock
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On Doctor Who Episode 10.4, echoing experiences from the Seventh Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor, our current Doctor (Peter Capaldi) discovers strange “haunted house” happenings in Bill Potts’ (Pearl Mackie) house that she is renting with new students for the new semester. The Doctor’s concerns about the house become reality, and a new mystery is presented before our heroes, that may prove to be fatal…

During TARDISblend 103, we discuss Mark Bartlett‘s first story written for Doctor Who, examine which previous episodes mirror this experience of Episode 10.4 “Knock Knock,” and take a glance at the new friends hanging out with Bill before her next semester begins.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.3 “Thin Ice”
Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  

Doctor Who 10.3 Thin Ice Peter Capaldi Pearl Mackie

Doctor Who
Season 10, Episode 3 “Thin Ice”
Directed by Bill Anderson
Written by Sarah Dollard
Starring Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, Nicholas Burns, Asiatu Koroma, Peter Singh
BBC America
Air date: April 29, 2017

This week, Doctor Who Episode 10.3 brings us a veritable melange of different topics. We get some costume drama. There is also some criticism of the class structure of British society. There is even some [gasp!] confrontation of race issues. Yet somehow, we also get to have a good deal of fun. The show feels quite sure of itself and is willing to take a few risks (albeit small ones). Those gambits largely pay off and take the Doctor and Pearl to a few places the show rarely goes. It’s thin ice, in more than one sense.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 102: Thin Ice
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On Doctor Who Episode 10.3, after attempting to return back home, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) find themselves at one of the last great Frost Fairs on the Thames in 1814. Aside from dealing with an elephant on the ice, the pair find something more sinister afoot, with lights under the ice and a beast below…

During the TARDISblend 102 podcast, we examine the ongoing character development and chemistry between Capaldi and Mackie on-screen, the quality of the writing so far this season, and dive into the parallels between this new episode and other episodes long gone.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.2 “Smile”
Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  

Doctor Who 10.2 Smile BBC

Doctor Who
Season 10, Episode 2 “Smile”
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Starring Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas
BBC America
Air date: April 22, 2017

What is the meaning of history? What is happiness? How do humans survive in an automated society? These are some of the weighty topics examined in Episode 10.2 “Smile,” the new installment of Doctor Who this week. With so much potential ground to cover, this episode could easily bog down in a mess of tangled subplots and ideas. Instead, thanks to some strong direction for the second week in a row, director Lawrence Gough turns in some classic “meat and potatoes” Doctor Who that covers ground that is at once fresh and familiar at the same time.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 101: Smile
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Following Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) entering the TARDIS with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), the pair head into the future, visiting a new human settlement on Gliese 581d. But where are all the people? And what are these strange robots that talk in emoji?

During TARDISblend 101, we dive into the beginning of the new Doctor Who season, explore the dynamic character development we are seeing in the first two episodes, and drill deep into the subtexts and themes explored in this second chapter of Series 10.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.1 “The Pilot”
Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  

Doctor Who 10.1 The Pilot BBC

Doctor Who
Season 10, Episode 1 “The Pilot”
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, Stephanie Hyam
BBC America
Air date: April 15, 2017

At last, at last, Doctor Who returns to the airwaves regularly for the first time since December 2015! The long wait is over. We finally get to see Peter Capaldi kick off his last season playing the Doctor. We also start to find out what Steven Moffat has in store for his sixth and final tour through the Doctor Who universe. To top it off, we are introduced to new companion Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie. The result is fairly wonderful introduction to a textured new companion, told with a grace and charm that highlights the strengths of the show.

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