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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.9 “Flatline”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 8.9 Flatline with Jenna Coleman -BBC

Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 9 “Flatline”
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Written by Jamie Mathieson
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Jovian Wade, Jessica Hayles
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014

In her book To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee imparts a very important piece of advice: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” That moral lesson is on full display this week in Doctor Who, as the Doctor is trapped in the TARDIS and Clara (Jenna Coleman) must fully function as his proxy. She must must assess threats, uncover clues, save others, and ultimately formulate a course of action that will save the Doctor, who can then end the threat. Along the way, she discovers that being in the Doctor’s shoes is both harder and easier for her than the previously thought, and that purity is something very difficult to maintain.

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TV Review: Doctor Who 8.5 “Time Heist”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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The Doctor and Clara Prepare To Rob A Bank

Doctor Who
Season 8, Episode 5 “Time Heist”
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Keely Hawes, Jonathan Bailey, Pippa Bennett-Warner
BBC America
Air Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014

We live in a paranoid world. Cameras are everywhere. Identification is regularly scrutinized. Computers in a room somewhere are potentially checking and cross-checking our every move. Some of us are guilty and should be punished swiftly for the benefit of the community by some mysterious organ of the state. We cannot trust anyone, possibly including ourselves. This is the post-9/11 reality that Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat wish to examine this week on Doctor Who in the episode “Time Heist.”

The result is more a detailed sketch of a great Doctor Who episode than a fully realized work. The premise is interesting. The narrative logic generally holds. The performances are solid. It’s all fine, but nuance is missing. We, the viewers, are given just barely enough at every point to make it all hang together. Greatness is more than the sum of its parts and here things only just barely add up.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 61: Cold War
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Header 2013

Classic Doctor Who villains, THE ICE WARRIORS, make a triumphant return in Cold War this week, as the 7th Series of modern Doctor Who continues. In the story written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Douglas Mackinnon, the Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) take a wrong turn in the TARDIS on the way to Las Vegas, and end up materializing on a sinking Soviet Submarine at the height of Cold War tensions in 1983.

While the materialization would ordinarily be an immediate threat to the Russian sailors, our heroes arrive in the middle of a crisis, with equipment damaged on the boat causing it to sink. Professor Grisenko (David Warner), attached to the command of Captain Zhukov (Liam Cunningham) for scientific drilling in the Arctic, has discovered a surviving Ice Warrior, who begins waging bloody war with the occupants of the submarine.

During TARDISblend 61, we celebrate a brilliant return of the fantastic Ice Warriors, their first appearance in 39 years. We also commend the performances by the spectacular guest stars on this episode, and look into the possibilities for the return of these characters, and perhaps more Ice Warriors adventures in the future…

As usual, we make some Classic Who recommendations too… All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 7.9: Cold War
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Goodman   |  
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Doctor Who - Cold War Review

Doctor Who
Series 7, Episode 9 – “Cold War”
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Written by Mark Gatiss
Starring: Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Charlie Anson, Nicholas Briggs, Liam Cunningham, Tobias Menzies, James Norton, Josh O’Connor, David Warner, and Spencer Wilding.
BBC America
Air date: April 13, 2013

“It never rains, but it pours.”

It’s funny how that simple phrase so fittingly ties into the theme for “Cold War,” the latest episode of Doctor Who. Once The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) materialize on the Soviet submarine, chaos has already ensued and things continue to progress and get worse.

And then the bottom really falls out.

Written by Mark Gatiss (whose past Doctor Who episodes have been rather hit or miss), “Cold War” certainly plays into the themes and fears of the time and makes them a tangible threat that seeps through the episode like the drops of water that constantly drip through the nuclear submarine. The threat is real. And it’s here.

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