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TV Review: Doctor Who 10.1 “The Pilot”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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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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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.12 “Hell Bent”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.12 Hell Bent BBC America

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 12 “Hell Bent”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Maisie Williams, Ken Bones, T’nia Miller, Clare Higgins
BBC America
Air date: December 5, 2015

This week, we find the Doctor back on Gallifrey, the home of Time Lords. It’s a place of many traps, both for the Doctor and for Doctor Who. There is the Doctor’s own, occasionally troubled relationship with his own people. There is the temptation to reveal too much about who the Doctor really is. There is frequently the desire to indulge in the worst kind of fan nostalgia by summoning up key words, faces, and objects from the past.

In this week’s episode, “Hell Bent,” I think the Doctor emerges relatively unscathed, but only after the showrunner Steven Moffat leads us through some abrupt and unconvincing turns that aim high but cater to the show’s worst storytelling tendencies.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 97: Hell Bent
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Banner

On the latest episode of Doctor Who, freed from billions of years of imprisonment, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) finds that he must face the Prophecy of the Hybrid, and he knows he must face his destiny. Or does he have something else in mind?

During TARDISblend 97, we are joined by Andy Sorcini from Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down and discuss Episode 9.12 “Hell Bent,” the season 9 finale, and compare it to other finales from the television show. We also look into the implications of some of the revelations made in this episode, make some predictions for the future, and look forward to the upcoming Christmas Special.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 96: Heaven Sent
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Banner

On Doctor Who Episode 9.11 “Heaven Sent,” after witnessing one of his worst nightmares, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is teleported to a mysterious castle that seems to reconfigure and alter its passageways causing a disorienting labyrinth prison for the Time Lord. He begins to unwind the mystery of who put him here and why, only to find he must face more of his own fears and confessions.

During TARDISblend 96, we discuss the critically acclaimed episode with a phenomenal performance from Peter Capaldi – the good, the bad, and the several jaw-dropping revelations from the adventure. We also examine where our predictions were right and/or wrong!

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.11 “Heaven Sent”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.11 Heaven Sent BBC

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 11 “Heaven Sent”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Jami Reid-Quarrell
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, November 28, 2015

WARNING: SPOILERS for Season 9 of Doctor Who

This week on Doctor Who, Episode 9.11 “Heaven Sent,” we are forced to consider the myths of Prometheus, the Greek Titan. In an episode featuring only three actors, the Doctor is trapped in a prison apparently designed to both punish and tantalize him. A method of escape apparently exists, but it comes at a horrible price. It is a beautifully atmospheric piece of Gothic horror with a clockwork castle, an amorphous death-like adversary, and plenty of chills that bite deeply enough to hit bone.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 95: Face The Raven
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Banner

In Doctor Who Episode 9.10, an old friend, Rigsy aka “Local Knowledge” (Jovian Wade), calls on the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) for some help, when an animated tattoo counting down appears on the back of his neck. The alien ink leads the trio to a concealed refugee locale for extra terrestrials hiding on Earth, where they meet an old friend. But in the process, the situation is far more dire, and will call on one of our heroes to “Face The Raven”…

During TARDISblend 95, we are joined by guest Andy Sorcini of Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down, and we discuss a tragic conclusion for one of our Doctor Who characters, and the beginning of a mysterious journey for the Doctor.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.10 “Face The Raven”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.10 Face The Raven BBC

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 10 “Face The Raven”
Directed by Justin Molotnikov
Written by Sarah Dollard
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Joivan Wade, Maisie Williams
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, November 21, 2015

WARNING: SPOILERS for Seasons 8 & 9 of Doctor Who

This week on Doctor Who, Episode 9.10 “Face The Raven,” we finally start to see the end of the season in the distance. To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, we can say that now is not the end, but it is, in one sense, the end of the beginning and, in another, the beginning of the end. Both concern one piece of business that must be dealt with: the departure of Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl. One actress sets that end in motion, and another brings it to its conclusion. Along the way, both discover that while they aspire to be with the Doctor or like the Doctor, there is price to pay whenever someone who is not the Doctor acts as the Doctor does. That’s a powerful idea, but it gets lost in an episode that was merely good and not great.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 94: Sleep No More
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Banner

On Doctor Who Episode 9.9 “Sleep No More”: Arriving on a seemingly abandoned space station orbiting Neptune, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) run into a group of soldiers on a rescue mission to recover the crew. But with only one surviving crew member alive, the group soon discover that they are not alone… and that the Sandmen are coming…

During TARDISblend 94, we are joined by guest Dwayne DeFreitas of Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down podcast, and we discuss Doctor Who‘s first attempt at a found-footage episode, accompanied by the first-ever notable absence of the show’s opening sequence. We look into the confusing and disorienting nature of the episode, deconstruct it, and discuss that ending.

All this and more on the latest edition of the TARDISblend podcast!

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.9 “Sleep No More”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.9 Sleep No More BBC

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 9 “Sleep No More”
Directed by Justin Molotnikov
Written by Mark Gatiss
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Reece Sheersmith, Elaine Tan
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, November 14, 2015

This week’s episode of Doctor Who, 9.9 “Sleep No More,” seems to pose a question: Can the Doctor ever lose? In over 50 years, we’ve seen some rather pyrrhic victories (as in “Doctor Who And The Silurians” or “A Good Man Goes To War”), some inevitable stalemates (as in “Genesis Of The Daleks), or even the occasional tragedy (as in “Earthshock”), but we’ve rarely, if ever, seen him lose. What would a loss look like? Would the Doctor escape? Would anyone be hurt? How would the Doctor fail to grasp the full scope of the situation?

Writer Mark Gatiss presents us with such a situation this week. Framed as a sort of found-footage horror film, the Doctor and Clara escape with their lives but allow their enemy to achieve its goal. This raises two competing sets of issues. First, there are matters of plot convention; the twist ending that sets up an escape and/or sequel to a horror film is a pretty stock affair at this point. At the same time, this competes with the fact that the Doctor’s success rate averages somewhere very close to 100 percent of the time. An entity that defeats the Doctor had better be something pretty special, and sadly, much of “Sleep No More” is worse than average. Given Gatiss’ track record with the series, as well as his work on Sherlock and An Adventure In Space And Time, one should hope for better. This time, he pretty well missed the mark.

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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 93: The Zygon Inversion
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cGt2099   |  
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Doctor Who TARDISblend Banner

On Doctor Who Episode 9.8 “The Zygon Inversion,” the Earth is facing dark times, as a splinter group of radicalized Zygons have gone against their treaty obligations, and are threatening humanity. While Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) faces problems in New Mexico, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) join forces to try and bring a peaceful resolution to the nightmare scenario. But the Doctor may end up facing his most fearsome enemy yet: his own companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman).

During TARDISblend 93, we discuss the follow-up to last week’s episode, The Zygon Invasion, with its astounding cliffhanger. We also examine the implications made during this new Doctor Who episode, both with its social/political commentary, and with its impact on the overarching story arc for the season.

All this and more on the latest TARDISblend podcast!

...continue reading »
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