Thursday, January 30, 2014

Capaldi Costume

Here's a look ar Peter Capaldi's Doctor costume.  Enjoy.

Modern, but inspired by the Victorian era.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: The Time of the Doctor

All things good or bad must eventually end, and Matt Smith's tenure as the iconic Time Lord from Gallifrey is no exception.  The reigns are handed over to Peter Capaldi in a tear-jerker regeneration scene you have to watch over and over again.  I honestly didn't think Tennant's departure from Doctor Who could be topped, but I am happy to have been proven wrong.

The episode opens with a narrator, who is later revealed to be the head of the Church of the Papal Mainframe, telling of a planet from which a signal is being broadcast across time and space, drawing all the Doctor's enemies to the world in fear of what that signal might mean.  Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor receives a panicked call from Clara, who "accidentally" told her relatives that she has a boyfriend and that she needs the Doctor to play the part at Christmas dinner.  The Doctor arrives in typically comic fashion and he soon takes Clara off for what ultimately will be his final adventure.


 Consistency problems, much?  Come to think of it: LOGIC problems, much?  Why does the Doctor choose to strand himself on Trenzelore when he could simply have used the TARDIS to evacuate the farming community?  Also, why and how can a farming community exist on a snowy planet where the days last only a few minutes?  Plants need sunlight in order to grow.  What the hell?

Again, some consistency from Moffat would be nice.  It's already been established in "The Day of the Doctor" that Gallifrey was frozen in time inside a pocket universe outside our own.  How, therefore, do the Time Lords manage to transmit a signal into the main universe in order to find out if it's safe to return?  Dammit, Moffat!

The hideous age makeup they used on Matt Smith.  It's even worse than that used for Karen Gillan in "The Girl Who Waited".  If they're going to make anyone appear to grow old, do it right.

The poor treatment given to Jenna Coleman's character, Clara Oswald, in the final scene.  The Doctor, regenerating and hallucinating, gives a tear-jerking eulogy to himself before transforming, and Clara is basically a bystander in the scene, rendered almost irrelevant by the appearance of a former Companion.  Bad call, Moffat!

A wooden Cyberman?  Seriously?


Sweet Jesus, was there a lot in this episode to love!  This episode should really be subtitled "The Time of Matt Smith", because he owned it.  Moffat may not be consistent as a writer, but when he writes a scene he knows how to make it work.  When the Doctor, stuck on the planet (which turns out to be a pre-war Trenzalore) for centuries, shows signs of aging, he explains to Clara that he has used up all his regenerations and is on his final life.  This combined with the poignancy of 'Handles', a Cyberman head the Doctor salvaged and reworked into a personal portable computer, deactivating for lack of adequate repair, really was touching.  And Smith's final scene really made me cry.

The matter of the Silence, the explosion of the TARDIS, the engineering of River Song, and the prophesy of the First Question...all of it is finally resolved.  Ten's partial regeneration was counted as a complete one by Moffat, who needed to explain how the Doctor can continue to regenerate with the Time Lords gone and all his regenerations used up.  Granted, the latex on Matt Smith looked as fake as it was, but his acting made up for it.  Moffat has stated that in his mind the Time Lords are dead and gone and not coming back, but even he realized that he had to resurrect them somehow in order to write himself out of the corner previous show-runner Russell T. Davies had put him in.  The way all this was resolved was actually brilliant.

The final scene in the TARDIS, when a rejuvenated Doctor must say goodbye to Clara before his regeneration, was perhaps the best Matt Smith has ever given us, and like I said, he owned it!  A surprise visitor from the past makes an appearance in the form of a pre-regeneration hallucination to send Eleven to his final rest, and despite a tearful Clara's pleas, it's time for Eleven to go.  Peter Capaldi makes his appearance suddenly and without further warning, foreshadowing the tone his tenure as the Doctor will adopt.  I'm looking forward to seeing Series 8!


Screen captures from the episode.  Enjoy!

Review: The Day of the Doctor

As promised, here's my review of the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who, "The Day of the Doctor".

As always with anything written by Stephen Moffat, the episode was a mixed bag and inconsistent, yet this time the good outweighed the bad.  I'll do straight away with the bad parts so as to get them out of the way.  WARNING!  Spoilers abound!


The metamorphic Zygons have invaded Elizabethan England circa 1562, yet the queen somehow manages to keep her head and spout off knowledge of the aliens she really shouldn't have.  Why the hell is this?  Seriously?  Moffat, I know you like to pull things out of your ass, but really, this is too much even for you.

The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) states his age as being 904, but this episode takes place from his perspective after "The Waters of Mars" and just before "The End of Time", wherein he gives his age as 906.  He was 904 or 905 by the time of "Journey's End", and presumably about a year passed between "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time".  Moffat uses a scene featuring the War Doctor, played by the legendary John Hurt, in a cell with Ten and Eleven (Matt Smith) to explain that the Doctor actually doesn't bother keeping track of his actual age and just tosses out whatever number he feels like giving, or that feels about right to him.  Yes, the Doctor lies about his age, but this is really just too confusing for the audience.  Consistency, Moffat.  Learn it.

The Zygons have infiltrated UNIT's Black Vault archive, which houses alien technology gathered over the years, and the Doctors use a memory-wiping system installed to keep visitors from remembering their forays into the vault to resolve a deadly standoff between humans and Zygons, yet this subplot is left unresolved — as usual with Moffat, he brings something up and then forgets about it.  Dammit, Moffat!


Those and other writing inconsistencies aside, there was plenty in this episode to enjoy. The subplot with the Zygons was actually fairly clever in that it offered a way out of the Time War for Gallifrey and the Time Lords: they stole Time Lord technology that freezes moments in time in the form of three-dimensional portal-"paintings", which the Zygons use to place themselves in a form of temporal stasis.  This plays out later when the time comes to save the day.

The concept of the Moment, a weapon so powerful it not only achieved full sentience, but a conscience as well, was genius.  It doesn't want to massacre an entire galaxy, which is what would have happened had it been used.  Instead, it takes the form of Rose Tyler in her Bad Wolf persona to bring the War Doctor, Ten, and Eleven together so the former can see the guilt carried by his future selves.  In this fashion the Moment hopes to change history for the better.  Ever since Russell T. Davies killed off the Time Lords at the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, we fans have been clamoring for their return, only to be teased and ultimately denied by both Davies and Moffat.  But this now brings up at least the possibility of a more permanent return.

All the Doctors working together to save Gallifrey.

The acting was superb all around.  Plenty of humor to offset the drama (Tennant keeps mistaking real people and animals for Zygons, and the banter between him, Smith, and Hurt was priceless).

A last-minute appearance by Tom Baker, who reveals the survival of Gallifrey and the Time Lords to Matt Smith's Doctor, who exits the TARDIS to stand with all his previous selves.


Here are some screen captures from the episode.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back Tomorrow, I Hope!

I got a refund check from my cellular phone service provider, so I was able to use that to get RAM chips for my computer.  With some luck and my paycheck that gets deposited to my bank account tomorrow, I'll be back online from my own computer tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

While I'm in a mood to blow my own horn, here's a music video I was privileged to be in.  I'm the guy sweeping the floor at 2:43 in.

Once I'm fully back up and running, I'll be catching up on Doctor Who watching"The Day of the Doctor" and "Time of the Doctor", and writing up a review for each episode.  Keeping my fingers crossed until tomorrow...!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

RL News

Welcome to my first blog post of 2014!  Christmas was full of food and games at my aunt's house.  New Year's Eve was spent in bed watching LAW & ORDER: SVU re-runs and listening to my landlord yell at his mentally handicapped cousin, and around midnight I got to hear him shooting his gun off in the neighborhood.  I contemplated calling the police anonymously just to shake the drunken drug addict up a bit, but thought better of it -- if he goes to jail, I lose my place to stay.

On a brighter note, it looks like the only pieces I need now in order to get my computer back up and running are new RAM cards to go into the slots on my motherboard.  I sold the old ones on eBay and am awaiting the completion of the payment processing.  So if all goes as planned, when I get paid a week from tomorrow I'll go buy new RAM cards and get my Internet back.  And then I'll be spending every free minute for the next week and a half catching up on everything I've missed, from watching "The Day of the Doctor" and "Time of the Doctor" to revamping old builds, and from writing a scholarly paper on one of my favorite films to writing up new screenplays.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed your winter holidays.  Good luck to all in this year 2014!