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Showing posts from May, 2006

Who Review: The Idiot's Lantern

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I always remember Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis, the co-creators of that other great time-travelling series Back to the Future, saying that an audience needs someone like Michael J Fox (as Marty McFly) to go on a time-travel adventure with, someone they trust, someone who is "reassuring". In short, a figure who can take you to the strangest, darkest places and still make you feel safe whilst you're in their company. David Tennant's Doctor is that figure. As the series has progressed (we're now past the halfway mark) I've seen Tennant take to the role with relish and make it his own, so much so that it now seems impossible for him to ever leave it (but I know he will, of course, but please, David, give us another series at least!) This week's episode was eight parts Fifties romp and two parts "scary movie". The scary parts were proper scary, too - for kids, at least. I'm in my mid-thirties now, but I can imagine if I was a youngster watching thi…

Who Review: The Age of Steel

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Well, it’s been almost a week since viewing ‘The Age of Steel’, and I’m undecided as to whether it was great or just good. To be honest, my appreciation of most new episodes has improved considerably on second viewing (with the exception of ’New Earth’ which is still my least favourite episode of this second series). I’ve not had a chance to watch ‘Age of Steel’ a second time which is probably why I feel unsure of how good it really is. The episode provided some great moments, although the way our leads escaped the cliff-hanger was a little too convenient. (But then, aren’t they always?) That aside, the story was action-packed and ticked all the boxes of a good Doctor Who adventure. The armies of Cybermen marching through the streets at night was fantastic. Lumic’s transformation into the Cyber Controller was brilliantly done (“No! I’m not ready!” cried the evil genius.) The scene in the tunnel filled with ‘sleeping Cybermen’ was suitably eerie, and the escape via airship was a rousin…

Who Review: Rise of the Cybermen

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The relentless thud-thud-thud of steel boots. The Doctor’s fearful, “It’s happening again!” The iconic silhouettes. The Cybermen are back and they’re beautiful!
Just like the resurrection of the Daleks in season one, the Doctor Who production team have brought back one of the Doctor’s most revered enemies and they’ve done it with style. The art-deco look of the new Cybermen is a sublime rendering of an iconic figure. When you look back at past incarnations of the Cybermen - always a variation on a theme - the new version beats them all hands down. It is the integration of all production departments on this series which makes it work so well. The Cybermen are not designed merely to look cool (which they do), but because it fits with the overall look of the episode, the universe they exist in. This episode (the first of a two-part story) sees The Doctor, Rose and Mickey inadvertently falling into a parallel world, very much like ours but one which has numerous echoes of the 1930s - for …

Writing is such sweet sorrow...

Feeling very frustrated at the moment. Three of my leading stories are out of circulation because I'm unhappy with them in their current forms. The thing is, the rewrites aren't going well at all. In fact, it's like pulling teeth. The problem is the endings. They just aren't satisfying on any level. I don't know if it's because I'm tired (getting up at 6:30am every morning with the baby is pretty draining, especially when you've a full day of work ahead, too!) or because my degree studies are demanding so much of my mental power (what's left of it, anyway!), but the burst of inspiration which set these stories in motion has fizzled out and left me fumbling about in the dark like a fumbling-about-in-the-dark-type-person. I can't remember the last time I sat down to write feeling refreshed, invigorated, and with all my synapses snapping away like good synapses should. What happened to the guy who wrote a 120,000-word novel in thirty days? Anyway, …

Who Review: The Girl in the Fireplace

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Steven Moffat’s critically-acclaimed Doctor Who writing debut 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances' last season was always going to be a hard act to follow, but I'm glad to report that he has produced another fantastic and totally satisfying Who adventure. The story involves a group of sinister clockwork robots from the 51st century who are pursuing a young French aristocrat called Reinette Poisson from the 18th century. Why? Well, why indeed. The Doctor forms a very quick relationship with the young French girl who he first meets through a time portal on the spaceship which opens up on the girl's fireplace. The ship is full of such portals which enable the Doctor (and the evil robots) to flit in and out of the girl's life. In the space of five minutes, the Doctor has visited her three times and sees her growing up at an alarming rate, until she is a beautiful young woman who he realises is the renowned Madame de Pompadour. "How could you be a stranger to me?&qu…