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The Doctor Who TARDISblend 123: The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kolos
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cGt2099   |  
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The Doctor Who TARDISblend

Responding to nine different distress calls, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions seek to help those in need on the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos – a dangerous place with a psychic atmosphere that affects the perception of most who visit. But there is something more sinister which awaits on the planet, and it has been waiting for the Doctor…

During TARDISblend 123, we discuss Doctor Who episode 11.10, “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos.” This includes the return of a villain from earlier this season, the incredible performance by Bradley Walsh as companion Graham O’Brien, and Mark Addy (best known as King Robert Baratheon on Game of Thrones) being a wonderful addition to this finale. All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.8: Second Sons
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 8 Second Sons

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 8 – “Second Sons”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 19, 2013

I was not impressed with “Second Sons.”

There’s normally a point each season that I reach with Game of Thrones, where one of the later episodes in the season becomes just too predictable or flat out boring. The latter certainly isn’t the case, as there are plenty of individually strong moments throughout the episode, but the sum of the parts doesn’t work to something I’m excited about. Which is sad, all things considered, because the strong parts in this episode are good. So let’s start with the good.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.7: The Bear and The Maiden Fair
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 7 The Bear And Maiden Fair
Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 7 – “The Bear And The Maiden Fair”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by George R.R. Martin
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 12, 2013

I find it rather fitting that the title of Game of Thrones‘ seventh episode focuses so much on a particular pairing, considering that the episode spends so much time on duos of characters instead of individual characters. “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” is a quieter affair, (scripted by George R.R. Martin and directed by the incredible Michelle MacLaren), that works as what will probably become the calm before the storm, leading into the final three episodes of this season.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.6: The Climb
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Goodman   |  
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 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 The Climb

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 6 – “The Climb”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 5, 2013

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love or illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Littlefinger’s (Aidan Gillen) speech is a very much on the nose, as “The Climb,” the sixth episode of season 3 of Game Of Thrones, sees various characters trying to progress forward in some capacity, but the core of his speech – that often those who are provided opportunities normally only get one chance at something – rings true for many characters tonight.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.5: Kissed By Fire
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 5 – “Kissed by Fire”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by Bryan Gogman
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 28, 2013

While we often think of fire as a heat source or a weapon, more often than not, fire illuminates our path and helps shows us what’s true. After weeks of epic television, Game of Thrones‘ fifth episode, “Kissed by Fire,” allows most of characters to look at the paths they’ve chosen before deciding (or having someone choose for them) their new fate.

Jamie’s life has certainly turned out much different than I believe he originally intended. In the episode’s strongest scene, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) explains to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) the ‘secret origin’ of the Kingslayer name, detailing the mad king’s obsession with wildfire and how he planned to burn the city down, men, women, and children all. So, Jamie took matters into his own hands. This is battered and beaten Jamie Lannister, far different from the attempted child-killer we saw in the first season. We know that version of Jamie still lurks below, but the journey and evolution of the character is very different now than before.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.4: And Now His Watch Is Ended
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones 3.4 And Now His Watch Is Ended

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 4 – “And Now His Watch Is Ended”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 21, 2013

Well. That was certainly something.

With the nature of the Internet and spoilers, I already knew about this week’s big Game of Thrones event. But as the episode progressed, I realized there was plenty of excitement to be found before Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) blows the doors clear off this season.

Continue reading for more, but beware of heavy spoilers if you’re not yet caught up.

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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.3: Walk of Punishment
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Goodman   |  
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Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 3 Walk of Punishment

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 3 – Walk of Punishment
Directed by David Benioff
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 14, 2013

“Walk of Punishment” is another keeping up with the Joneses episode of Game of Thrones, but when we’re juggling as many characters as this show does, that’s bound to happen. What’s important about this episode is the set up. Lots of fuses are beginning to be lit and by the time the episode is over, a few of them already beginning to explode.

The biggest fuse has to be Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). As the Mother of Dragons walks along the episode’s namesake, we see her gamble the biggest thing she has to lose. I use the word gamble here very specifically. I think Daenerys is building something here. To give away what she does in the manner she does it speaks to a larger plan. It’s a shocking move (in an episode with a totally shock ending) that will have some real consequences.

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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.2: Dark Wings, Dark Words
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones: Dark Wings, Dark Words Review

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 2 – Dark Wings, Dark Words
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Written by Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 7, 2013

Trust has always been a common thread throughout Game of Thrones, and that theme takes center stage in “Dark Wing, Dark Words.” This second episode of Season 3 checks-in with the rest of the cast missing from last week’s episode and works as the second part of that premiere. So much so that I wish HBO had just put the two episodes together. Alas, we’re finally ready to move into the season proper now that all the pieces are seemingly in place.

First and foremost, Arya (Maisie Williams) continues to be one of my favorite characters. The young Stark finds herself far out of her league when she run across the Brotherhood Without Banners. I have a feeling this is where she’ll stay for most of the season, which is interesting considering how strong I find her interactions with the group to be.

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TV Review: Game of Thrones 3.1: Valar Dohaeris
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Season 3 Premiere - Valar Dohaeris - Review

Season 3 of Game of Thrones premiered tonight on HBO after a long year of waiting. What’s the latest in the Seven Kingdoms? Hit the jump to find out.

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 1 – Valar Dohaeris
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: March 31, 2013

Due to the sheer number of characters and plots that Game of Thrones juggles at one time, it’s not entirely surprising that we didn’t check in with everyone in this premiere episode. And that’s fine, considering how strong the material was that we were shown tonight, I’m perfectly all right with the fact that next week’s episode will probably highlight some of my favorite plots and characters (Arya and Jamie storylines come specifically to mind).

That aside, tonight’s quieter season premiere was very, very strong.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 2.10: Valar Morghulis
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Goodman   |  
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Game of Thrones Review

Game of Thrones
Season Two, Episode 10 – Valar Morghulis
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Carice van Houten, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright

When I reviewed the Season 1 finale of Game of Thrones, I felt that episode played more like the first episode of the second season, more than it felt like a closer. There were too many hanging plots, with few elements drawing to a close. In retrospect, part of that feeling may have come from the fact that I truly felt that Ned Starks’ death would have been an amazing way to end the season, but I understand wanting to provide some sense of finality to that first season and Ned’s death would not have been the way to accomplish that goal.

After “Blackwater” last week, I was concerned that the show might pull the same trick twice (considering the ending structure for both Season 1 and Season 2 played out in a similar fashion – huge, event, water-cooler worthy penultimate episode, followed by a slower, picking up the pieces episode to close out the season). However, I was glad to see the show draw some of the various plots to pause, rather than an end.

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