Doctor Who: You've Really Got to Listen to "Listen"

Categories: Doctor Who

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I can honestly say that "Listen" is probably the most difficult episode of Doctor Who I've ever had to review. Even aside from the fact that it's probably the most atypical episode since "Blink', it's nearly impossible to discuss it without revealing major plot points. To that end, I'm going to try to keep to generalities on page one, but page two is definitely only for those who aren't worried about having the episode's revelations discussed at length.

Capaldi gives us a very interesting look at his Doctor on his own. It's actually pretty rare to see The Doctor without a mirror in the form of a companion. Ten did so with terrible loneliness in "Partners in Crime" and Eight showed off his hyperactive jabbering really happens whether there's anyone around to listen or not in "Storm Warning", but Twelve is something very sinister when he broods in his solitude.

"Listen" is about nightmares. At its heart it is an exploration on the very nature of fear, and while I still think Steven Moffat's ability to execute his ambitious idea has fallen below par writing-wise you can't take anything from the fact that "Listen" has a pretty brilliant premise.

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Doctor Who: Prince of Stories

Categories: Doctor Who

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I make no bones about the fact that the first couple of episodes of Series 8 did not exactly move me, even declaring "Into the Dalek" the worst outing in the revived series of the show. Most of that centers around what I still feel was incredibly weak writing on behalf of Steven Moffat and Phil Ford determined to establish Peter Capaldi as the dark Doctor, the edgy, never-going-to-be-snogging-companions Doctor that they forgot to write an actual plot that made sense.

Mark Gatiss' "Robot of Sherwood" threw all that away and for the first time really let us sit back and look at Capaldi just being The Doctor without force-feeding an opinion on him. And you know what? It was absolutely fantastic.

The Doctor takes Clara to meet the legendary Robin Hood after offering her any choice of trip. He's reluctant because he says Robin Hood is just a story, but grudgingly obliges. Once they land, they fall straight into a fight between Robin and his Merry Men against the Sheriff of Nottingham and his robotic allies.

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Doctor Who: "Into the Dalek" Is Just Terrible

Categories: Doctor Who

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I don't think a single episode of Doctor Who has ever been quite as terrible as "Into the Dalek" was. Maybe "Love and Monsters," but not in the same way.

I'll leave aside the most obvious complaints. Peter Capaldi's Doctor is for some unknown reason needlessly cruel to Clara, constantly harping on her appearance, which was funny when he was newly regenerated and confused her with Handles but has since become a boorish attempt to solidly divide him from romantic connections. The special effects looked as if they were borrowed from Paul McGann's movie, and this is the third Dalek episode in the last four of the show.

All that aside, and it is a lot to lay aside, the problem with "Into the Dalek" is that it makes absolutely no sense in the slightest.


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Doctor Who: Does the New Doctor Stick the Landing?

Categories: Doctor Who

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A major spoiler is revealed, so click away if you want to avoid that.

Let's get this out in the open at the beginning; Peter Capaldi is already an amazing Doctor. He is literally the best possible candidate to embody the classic and rebooted series and take it into its second 50 years of life. It is impossible not to see what made Tom Baker's first several seasons so memorable in Capaldi's mannerisms, but there is also that iron edge of Eccleston's that captured a new audience. In Capaldi's Doctor there is little fault.

Little, but not none.


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Doctor Who: 12 Time Lord Reasons Peter Capaldi Is Going to Be Great

Categories: Doctor Who

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This Saturday Doctor Who returns for Series 8 (or Season 34, if you like) and with it we get a new Doctor. I think it's safe to say that the revived series has never had anything like the excitement that is surrounding the debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. When Christopher Eccleston debuted, no one knew what the new show would bring, then he left so abruptly no one could really prepare for David Tennant. Then, when Tennant announced he was leaving, the huge sea of fans he'd brought into the TARDIS screamed bloody murder.

Matt Smith alone is the modern Doctor about whom people seemed to understand and accept that it was time for him to move on. Not that he was hated or disliked by anyone other than the last of the rabid Tennant fans and the odd classic series holdout that disliked him for his romance and youth. It's just, well, he said it best himself: "Times change, and so must I."

Ever since we all spent Christmas in tears over the loss of Smith, every Whovian has been eager to get as many glimpses as we could of Capaldi's Doctor, and with just days until the premiere, it's clear that he already embodies the best of all that has come before. He's got...

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Doctor Who: 5 Best "Day of the Doctor" Re-Edits

Categories: Doctor Who

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Stu Crouch's retouch of the ending scene of "Day of the Doctor" for the box set, includes corrected heights and a complete new head model for Nine
I don't know if I will ever watch something as personally exciting as the 50th Anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor". On one hand the Zygons were kind of a bust, Eccleston refused to take part, and I still say Tennant phoned his performance in.

But on the other hand every time I hear John Guilor as the First Doctor say, "Calling the War Council of Gallifrey, this is The Doctor" and see William Hartnell lead the Tardises of the known ten incarnations into the battle with the Daleks I honestly get goose bumps. It's not a perfect scene by any means, but it is an unforgettable one. It was magic.

Over half a year later many super fans have taken to their computers to try and tweak the special to be even more magical. Today we salute them.

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Doctor Who: 5 Reasons the Tenth Doctor Wasn't All That Great

Categories: Doctor Who

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Now, don't get me wrong. I love the Tenth Doctor. I love all the Doctors. What I'm addressing today is the fact that on any given list of favorite Doctors Ten is nearly always tops. His only real competition for the number one spot in popular opinion is Tom Baker, who managed to be everyone's favorite Doctor for more than three decades. Not a bad piece of work for our Ten.

But that acclaim has always baffled me, especially as I go back and rewatch the series in anticipation for August 23. Ten is good, but is he really great? I don't think so because...

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Doctor Who: Interview With Paul McGann

Categories: Doctor Who

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While he was here for Comicpalooza, Paul McGann, the Eighth Doctor, talked with us about what it was like going from one of the least regarded and almost forgotten Doctors to becoming a huge crowd favorite following his triumphant return to the modern show in "Night of the Doctor."

For instance, he actively tried to turn down the role over and over again. He would tell producer Philip Segal how he wanted to portray The Doctor as darker, melancholy, and not at all as he had appeared in the classic show. Segal agreed, paving the way for many of the aspects you find since the show re-debuted in 2005.

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Doctor Who: We Need Purely Historical Stories Again

Categories: Doctor Who

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Netflix recently added Series 7 of Doctor Who onto the streaming service, so I've been re-watching some of it. In doing so I've realized two things. The first is I was a little harder on the season than was strictly necessary. The second is that it's definitely time to start doing purely historical stories once again.

What I mean by that is adventures in the past which don't feature any aspect of science fiction outside the Tardis and The Doctor. No aliens, no out-of-place technology, nothing but the dangers you'd get simply from being there.

Such stories used to be a staple of the series. The very first serial "An Unearthly Child" was nothing but The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan getting caught up in a political struggle between members of a cave man tribe. Sure, right after that the Tardis crew met the Daleks for the first time, but then it was off to gallivant with Marco Polo.

As is often stated, Doctor Who was meant to be somewhat educational. History in one adventure, science in the next. I'm not sure what anyone actually learned from "The Aztecs" except that pasty British people make poor American warriors on screen, but their hearts were in the right place.

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Doctor Who: A Series 8 Rumor Round-Up

Categories: Doctor Who


Yes, it's a fan trailer. I don't care. It's brilliant!

In addition to being my favorite show of all time, Doctor Who has re-introduced me to something I'd forgotten I loved since back in the day when Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on the air. Namely, rumors. I love trolling the internet for glimpses of things to come.

With August still painfully two months away I thought I'd dig for some of the most badass possibilities that has been mentioned or leaked so far. Possible spoilers ahead, but possibly not. Here's what we may know about the first round of Peter Capaldi's adventures in the Tardis.


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