The Angels Take Manhattan… and My Heart

By Courtney Rowan

What an odd feeling to sob during Doctor Who, yet twice in the Moffat era this has happened. Once with Vincent and once when Amy and Rory left to live their lives.

There are SPOILERS from here on out, so either watch the episode or proceed with caution!

I laughed, I cried, I was angry and I was confused. I feel like if I don’t have 3 out of 4 of these emotions each week, I’m not really watching a Matt Smith Who episode.

After we got through that opening sequence, which I should point out seemed to be an awful waste of time seeing as it was the last of The Ponds; how dare you waste screen time, Moffat?! We opened to a pretty relaxing episode of Doctor Who – Amy, Rory and The Doctor, relaxing in Central Park reading papers and books and drinking coffee. We learn The Doctor really doesn’t like endings and that his companions getting older does bother him. What could go wrong? Rory goes to get more coffee and the confusion and heartbreak begins.

What book is the Doctor reading, though (and aloud most of the time, apparently)? Not just any paperback, although no surprise he liked the cover… he’s reading a book by Melody Malone – a private detective with ice in her heart, and a kiss on her lips. Yowza! What sets things off is while the Doctor is reading aloud he notices the author mentions a ‘skinny guy’ who has gone to get coffee for Amy and The Doctor. HUH?

Oh, this is Doctor Who with Stephen Moffat writing, save some ‘Huh?’s’ for later, dear.

Poor Rory is swept back to 1938 by the newest evil breed of angel – a cherub. A baby Weeping Angel. Seriously? I’m already deathly afraid of statues… But, to Rory’s surprise, his daughter is there to rescue him, Dr. River Song, Professor now, naturally.

The timey-wimey elements of this episode were done brilliantly. And I absolutely adored Rory, both old and young. The revelation that it was Rory in that room and the paradox needed to fix it made for a very compelling and dramatic scene for The Ponds. When Amy tells Rory that it is ‘together or not at all’, I was slayed. And adding the humor to Rory’s yet again, death scene, was clever. Finally, an admittance to the audience that Moff gets it.

I have to bring up the Statue of Liberty angel, because well, it was the Statue of Liberty. It was fun and I know why Moffat included her, but I just didn’t buy it and don’t think it worked the way he expected. Of course, that may be a very American thing to say. Perhaps, overseas they don’t realize that that Statue never has a moment when someone isn’t looking at her. Technically, in a city that never sleeps, there is no way in HELL she would be able to traipse around without being noticed. But, it was fun.

Husband – Run, Husband – Shut UP!

I absolutely loved the way River and The Doctor were together this episode. When he fixes his hair and checks his face in the mirror before going to see her, well, it may have been the cutest moment ever on Who. And River’s quote:

“When one’s in love with an ageless god who insists on the face of a 12-year-old, one does one’s best to hide the damage.”

I know their relationship is confusing and a bit of a pain point for some fans, but it’s really innocent and endearing. I am curious about the bit with him using his regenerative powers to heal her wrist, either he can do that all the time and just doesn’t unless he REALLY loves someone, or it is something Moffat is going to have to explain. Good on River for yelling at him for it. I’m filing this under ‘things that make me yell Moffat with my fist defiantly in the air’.

Now, for the sadness

So, the paradox trick works. And can I just say that the cinematography while Amy and Rory are falling was absolutely beautiful. That shot of Amy’s red hair streaming around above her while they fell from grace made a huge impression on me. That is the scene that I will go back to when I think of Amy and Rory.

The real sadness (and my inevitable sobs) begins when they are in the graveyard and I see Rory’s name on that gravestone. I realize that his death is fixed. It was there before. It is there again. And then, here comes that stupid left over Angel to send Rory to his eventual death. Oh, Amy! I’m sorry, Amelia. I’m so sorry. (nice Tennant nod there!).

Then this:

Amy: That gravestone, Rory’s, there’s room for one more name, isn’t there?
The Doctor: What are you talking about? Back away from the Angel. Come back to the TARDIS. We’ll figure something out.
Amy: The Angel – would it send me back to the same time, to him?
The Doctor: I don’t know. Nobody knows.
Amy: But it’s my best shot, yeah?
The Doctor: No!
River: Doctor, shut up! Yes! Yes, it is!
The Doctor: Amy…
Amy: Well, then. I just have to blink, right?
The Doctor: No!
Amy: It’ll be fine. I know it will. I’ll- I’ll- I’ll be with him, like I should be. Me and Rory together. Melody?
The Doctor: Stop it! Just- Just stop it!
Amy: You look after him, and you be a good girl, and you look after him.
The Doctor: You are creating fixed time. I will never be able to see you again!
Amy: I’ll be fine. I’ll be with him.
The Doctor: Amy, please, just come back into the TARDIS. Come along, Pond, please.
Amy: Raggedy man, goodbye!
The Doctor: No! [Sobbing]

And then this:

The Afterword.

“Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.”

And then, we’re left with this… The Doctor and River.  Always, there will be The Doctor and River.

“Whenever and wherever you want.”

 

The Doctor will return Christmas Day. Here’s the teaser:

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New Doctor Who Series 7 Episode Details and other Random Who-ness

By Courtney Rowan

And now back to our regularly scheduled program…

There’s been a ton of news since my last Doctor Who post, so let’s get to it, eh? Possible *SPOILERS* ahead, so if you truly don’t want to know anything about the upcoming series, skip this post!

So where to start… when last we left our heroes, we found out that Arthur Weasley Mark Williams will be on an episode this year. I can now confirm it will be Episode Two, for which the writer is Chris Chibnall. This episode will also star Rupert Graves, who you will most likely recognize from Sherlock on which he plays DI Lestrade.  It will be part set in Ancient Egypt and features Queen Nefertiti, Rory’s dad, and robots. This episode, According to Doctor Who Magazine, will have one of the biggest sets ever constructed for the show.

Episode One

This will be a Dalek story, but with a bit of a spin, apparently.  It will be featuring Daleks from many different eras of the show. Check out the pic below tweeted from Steven Moffat.

Moffat says the first episode will be a bit like the movie Die Hard and teased the title as [Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]. Most likely it will be “[Something] of the Daleks” given the title tradition and the fact they feature. Part-set in Ancient China with The Doctor is given a task to complete by the Chinese Emperor. According to Caroline Skinner, it will feature “Every Dalek known to man.”

Episode Three

Okay, this episode is already my fave because it guest stars Farscape alum, Ben Browder!! (severe fangirl attack.)  On top of that, the episode writer is Toby Whitehouse. This is the ‘gunslinger’ episode featured heavily in the Series 7 trailer released. Whithouse spoke to BBC America about this episode:

“My episode is in a genre I’ve never written before — frankly, no one has written in that genre for quite a while now. But I absolutely love it. Steven gives me a one-line pitch, and then I’ll go away and put together a story and so on. And he gave me a great one-line pitch for this, so I’m really excited about it. Doctor Who is always a joy to write. It never gets boring, it never gets dull, it never gets routine. It’s an incredibly difficult show to write because it’s remarkably complex, but it also has to have such momentum and pace. And within that there has to be room for character and humour and so on. It’s always a huge challenge but always extraordinary fun. That’s why I keep going back.”

Excited?? Yeah, a little.

Episode Four

Not really much to discuss here except that it is written by Chris Chibnall as well.

Episode Five

This is the one… the final goodbye for Amy and Rory. I know I’m going to cry, two reasons; first I’m going to miss these companions immensely and second – the Weeping Angels scare the shit out of me. Yes, Weeping Angels will be back for the parting of the Ponds.  Also, they were recently spotted filming in a Welsh graveyard were the main three characters and Alex Kingston once more reprising her role as River Song.  Oh, and the writer – Steven Moffat, who has made this statement, “Not everybody gets out alive – and I mean it this time!” Calling it now – Amy is out.  I’m mentally preparing and stocking up on tissues for this one already.  Check out this pic below:

In terms of other casting news for this episode, Mike McShane has revealed, via his Twitter account, that’s he currently filming Doctor Who and that he’s appearing in the fifth episode. His role is unconfirmed.

Episode Six – The Christmas Special

And here is where we get our new companion (pictured below). Welcome, Jenna-Louise Coleman! This episode is also written by Steven Moffat, who says this about this new time traveler, “The Doctor is going to meet someone very new in the very last place he could ever have expected…” I’m excited for the change, but she has huge shoes to fill in place of the Ponds.

Random Who-ness

A couple last things to share. So, driving home from work yesterday I see this in front of me:

What? What? WHAT?! This cannot be a coincidence, although I’m surprised that the 2 of the 100 Whovians in the States live somewhere near me. (I thought the “My other car is a TARDIS’ bumper sticker on my car was already Whovian enough.) I think I now need to upgrade my Whovian Status with an “AL0NS-Y” plate.

Last thing I want to share is actually a video my 10 year old Whovian son found on YouTube.  I loved Rose, I loved 10 and I love 11. I just thought this was a beautiful way to remind the fans that nothing is ever forgotten in the Whoniverse. So, for all you shippers out there – enjoy this one!

So what do you think of how Series 7 is shaping up so far? I’m curious for your opinions in the comments!!

Sources: Doctor Who TV, SFX and Den Of Geek

Doctor Who 6.11: “The God Complex” Review

By Courtney Rowan

Contains SPOILERS. 

As far as double meanings go, I think The God Complex pretty much nails it. Not only do you have the introduction of the newest creepy Who phrase, “Praise Him”  (still nowhere near as creepy as both,  “Are you my mummy” or “Who turned out the Lights”), but The Doctor pushes Amy to believe that having faith in him as some sort of God is wrong. And in that, saving her life…  again.

Fanboys and fangirls, I bring you The God Complex.  Yet another great installment of Who.  I know you may be sick of me saying how much I love all the episodes, but I just simply do.  This episode was written by Toby Whitehouse (Being Human writer, and Who episodes School Reunion and The Vampires of Venice), which may explain some of its inherent genius.   The Doctor and companions arrive in what seems like a classic 1980’s Hotel full with cassette tape recorders and clear homages to The Shining.  Red Rum, anyone? The concept of every room actually housing your deepest darkest fears, though?  Yeah, that goes beyond anything I’ve ever found lurking in the corners of a hotel room.

Then we meet our Hotel visitors and find out what’s really going on.  And, Rita, brilliant, could definitely be a future companion, Rita.  There’s nerdy guy  – I can’t remember his name, and Gibbis, who I remember because he was introduced in one of the best ways Who does.  I absolutely love it when The Doctor so casually calls out another alien race and their background with no real significance.  Again, this reminds us of how vast the Whoniverse is and how little we actually know about it.  The fact that Gibbis is from Tivoli, a planet that is the most conquered in the Universe and a species that really could have come right out of Douglas Adam’s own mind, is brilliant.  Even funnier is that he works in town planning, where he was in charge of a project to line the streets with trees so invading armies would have shade.  Nice.

But I digress, let’s get back to the meat of the epi.  First we meet Joe (?) who is surrounded by a roomful of dummies.  This elevated the creep factor for me. When they walked into that ballroom and every single dummy stopped and turned at them.  (shivers).  But then Joe is off about how he’s found enlightenment and starts saying “Praise Him”, the story starts to unfold.

As it turns out, they’ve been brought to Hotel Creepy As Hell to face their worst fears, which drives them to rely on their faith, which then leaves people worshiping ‘him’, then be ultimately ‘eaten’ by ‘him’ before leaving them in a worst state than they started…  namely, dead.  So it all comes down to faith.  And in order for The Doctor to save Amy, he has to break her faith in him.  (The Curse of Fenric, anyone?) This speech with Amy, again brings up the emotion that the last few episodes have been driven to and it breaks your heart.  Especially with the shadow of Little Amy in the background.

Forget your faith in me. I took you with me because I was vain. Because I wanted to be adored. Look at you. Glorious Pond. The girl who waited for me. I’m not a hero. I really am just a madman in a box. It’s time we saw each other as we really are. Amy Williams, it’s time to stop waiting.

Ultimately, The Doctor figures out the controls of this hotel in space that is basically a prison.  This poor minotaur has been trapped there and thus just trying to survive and feed, which unfortunately is on our faith.  A great quote again and some foreshadowing from the ancient minotaur,

An ancient creature, drenched in blood of the innocent. Drifting in space through an endless shifting maze. For such a creature, death would be a gift.” Then accept it and sleep well.  (the Doctor starts to walk away) “I wasn’t talking about myself.”

And then we get the end that I honestly was not expecting.  It seems that all his talk to Amy about losing faith in him reminds him that he wants to protect her and so he drops them off at their new home with a new car for Rory and says his goodbyes.  Yeah right…. like that’s going to end it.  I will say that I can see The Doctor’s point of view, but after all that emotion, the drop off was a let down of sorts, no?  Clearly this is where we leave them until they receive the blue postcards in the first episode?  Theory. Well, fact, I think.

I give this episode an 8 out of 10.  It had creepiness, emotion, pushed the story along a bit and well, a bit of homage on several levels.

Two episodes left until the wedding of the year and we get the answers we’ve been waiting for.  Cannot wait.

Doctor Who returns on Saturday September 24th with Closing Time at 9:00 PM on  BBC America.

Doctor Who Stuff: The Wedding of River Song details and Christmas in September!

By Courtney Rowan


Radio Times has been gracious enough to release even more details about the upcoming Series 6 Finale, “The Wedding of Rover Song”.   But don’t worry, there are really no spoilers, just juicy bits of teasers.  With only two episodes left until we finally see who that Impossible Astronuat actually is/was, these details are quite tantalizing.

As Radio Times’ Patrick Mulkern saunters, as he puts it, to a Press Preview for The Wedding of River Song, he passes none other Paul McGann on the way, a good omen indeed.  Here’s an excerpt what he has to share about the fate of our time traveling friends:

The Wedding of River Song necessarily leads us back to the events of The Impossible Astronaut and the Doctor’s demise at Lake Silencio in Utah, but this shocking moment acts as a pivot, not a dead end, for Moffat’s finale and a barrage of bewildering and bizarre imagery that spools forth.

Is it satisfying after so much anticipation? Well, that will be a matter for you. Loose ends are tied up and, more importantly, the series and its heroes are repositioned in line with Moffat’s vision. Sorry to be so cryptic.

A few things to look out for: pyramids, fixed points in time, “hell in high heels”, “the man who dies again and again”, a phone call with tear-jerking news, an unusual use for a bow tie, a plethora of eye-patches (surely inspired by the late Nicholas Courtney’s favourite anecdote) and a lapse in grammar when River talks of “theories about you and I”.

There’s also an answer of sorts to “the oldest question in the universe”. It’s something the Doctor has been running from his whole life. Come on, you all know what it is… I guessed weeks ago.

I dare say that I also ventured a guess at that age old question weeks ago as well and it seems some of us are on the same track.  Be sure to head over to Radio Times and check our the rest of  the article!

Doctor Who Christmas episode

Who says Christmas can’t come early?  Blastr has released 10 pictures from the set of the Christmas episode. Before we get to the pics, I wanted to share a comment from Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat who recently said of this year’s Christmas episode to SFX that:

It will be as Christmassy as Hell. I might be cleverly redeploying a known Christmas story again, sort of … but probably not the one you think! It will be massively Christmassy and moving and sentimental and sweet. It’ll be set partly on Earth, but not completely. And it might have a period setting …

Not sure how he could top last year’s Christmassy-ness, but if I trust anyone, its Moffat!

From the pics you can see The Doctor (Matt Smith) paying a visit to Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darville), and then we have a mysterious lady in period clothing played by Outnumbered actress Claire Skinner. We have no information on who the character is yet, or what role she’ll play in the Christmas special. Check these out and go see the rest over at Blastr:

So, glad to share some new exciting Who news… looking forward to the series finale and the journey there.

GERONIMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Doctor Who Episode 6.10 Review: “The Girl Who Waited”

By Courtney Rowan

Sorry for the delay on this one, I got a week behind on viewing duties (which sucked, btw) and am finally caught up on all things Who, so here’s my thoughts on…

The Girl Who Waited

This episode took a turn that I was not expecting.  Emotion.  This was Series 6’s Vincent And The Doctor in the way that I was thoroughly affected by the sentiment.  I’ve only cried twice while watching Doctor Who, which in itself is a bit weird, and both were with 11.

At first when Amy (Karen Gillan) got trapped on the other side of things, I expected some timey-wimey stuff in regarding how she was already there a week in Rory (Arthur Darvill) and The Doctor’s 10 minutes, but this really took a turn.  It went from science fiction time travel story to an extreme emotional bout between Rory and the versions of Amy whom he loves so much, and with that – the morality of the situation.

The cinematography in this episode was striking.  The stark white of the initial world against the landscape on the garden was breathtaking, very Wonderland-ish.  And I  loved seeing both Amy’s side by side through the looking-glass, as it were.  The conversation between them was absolutely brilliant and yet haunting.  There are so many quotes from just that one interaction of which my favorite must be:

Older Amy: “You’re asking me to defy destiny, causality, the nexus of time itself, for a boy.”

Amy: “You’re Amy — he’s Rory. Oh, yes I am.”

Ultimately though, this episode has to come to the decision by Rory to keep one and let the other perish.  Even after the Doctor states that he can (or the TARDIS, really) handle the double Amy paradox, this just cannot be allowed.  (The Doctor lies, after all).  Poignant was Rory’s angry pitch to The Doctor, “”This isn’t fair, you’re turning me into you.”


I dare you to say that you did not at least have a tear in your eye at that last interaction between older Amy and Rory.

Older Amy: The look on your face when you carried her. Me. Her. When you carried her away. You used to look at me like that. I’d forgotten how much you loved me. I’d forgotten how much I loved being her. Amy Pond in the TARDIS — with Rory Williams.

Rory: I’m sorry I can’t do this.

Older Amy: If you love me, don’t let me in. Open that door, I will — I’ll come in. I don’t want to die. I won’t bow out bravely — I’ll be kicking, screaming, fighting — to the end.

Rory: Amy, I love you.

Older Amy: I love you, too. Don’t let me in. Tell Amy, your Amy: I’m giving her the days — the days with you, the days to come, the days I can’t have. Take them please. I’m giving my days.

SLAYED.  Again, I dare you.  Good on you, Tom MaCrae.  Beautifully scripted.

A few other points to be made about this episode is that it didn’t lack the humor, albeit it was more scarce given the heart of the episode.  The thought of Rory balancing the two Amy’s in itself was rather amusing and of course the Doctor’s response to Rory’s ability to handle them both – “I don’t know, it is your marriage!”

Another thing I have to address is that Karen Gillan acted her ass off.  From the way she carried her older self to the slight change in her voice.  However, she was still our Amy, just a bit more pissed off.  It’s the best I’ve seen her yet.  And of course, the raw emotion.  I completely saw her as another character, not just another Amy.  That’s a huge feat for an actor.  I was immersed in the new world she had to create to survive 36 years.

All in all, an overall 8 out of 10 for this episode.  A wonderful look into the depth of the characters we’ve watched parade in front of us over the past couple years and a really amazing acting turnout for both Karen and Arthur.

Now, onward to “The God Complex”!

 

Doctor Who Episode 6.10 “The Girl Who Waited” Photos

By Courtney Rowan

Saturday’s Doctor Who episode is titled The Girl Who Waited, which gets this fangirl super stoked.  As the writer, Tom MacRae puts it – “This is the one fans of Amy and Rory have been waiting for.”  So, that’s all of us, right?

I’ve got some promo photos to share and an official description. There’s also a teaser video from Karen Gillan (Amy Pond herself) and Tom MacRae (Rise of The Cybermen and The Age of Steel) who wrote this week’s episode. There’s been a lot of really great buzz around this one and I love what I’ve seen so far, especially with these new tidbits out there. Let’s take a look at the pictures first:

Here’s more details on the episode:

Amy is trapped in a quarantine facility for victims of an alien plague – a plague that will kill the Doctor in a day – as the time-travelling drama continues.

The Doctor can use the TARDIS to smash through time and break in, but then Rory is on his own. He must find Amy and bring her back to the TARDIS before the alien doctors can administer their medicine.

Rory is about to encounter a very different side to his wife. Can he rescue Amy before she is killed by kindness?

Karen Gillan and Tom Macrae Tease The Girl Who Waited

So here’s some key phrases that stick out to me from this video:

  • Emotionally intense
  • Much older version of your character
  • Faster Time Stream
  • Accurate portrayal of Amy both young and old

So, how about you Whovians?  As excited about this episode or are you ready to get back to figuring out who that Impossible Astronaut is?

The next Doctor Who episode airs Saturday September 10th at 9:00 PM on BBC America with The Girl Who Waited. 

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who Episode 6.09 “Night Terrors” Review

By Courtney Rowan

“Today we’re answering a cry for help from the scariest place in the universe: a child’s bedroom.”   Yes… yes  that about sums it up, doesn’t it? (Contains Spoilers)

When I said that I suspected that this episode would be one of those ‘hiding my eyes behind a pillow’ episodes, I think I was dead on.  Oh, and dolls are creepy, very creepy, especially when they are life sized and have no eyes.

First, let me say that I truly think that this was a classic Doctor Who standalone episode.  I love when we get these ‘alien of the week episodes’ because it reminds me why I’m a Whovian to begin with.  I hate when people call these episodes filler, because these are the heart of Doctor Who.   Don’t get me wrong I absolutely adore the overarching story lines that Moffat puts together and love to learn tidbits more each week, but these episodes are downright awesome.  I mean, Vincent and The Doctor anyone? It also gives the audience a glimpse into The Doctor’s world and just how much more vast it is than we can actually imagine.  I mean,  we can barely fathom just how old his eyes really are.  There are so many alien races in the Universe and we’ve only scratched the surface.. in 40+ years!

What I loved best in this episode is the way that our scared little boy, er alien, George, experiences every piece of terror in his world.  Seeing and hearing the old woman walk down the hall next to him was a monster.  The sound of the lift whirling and wheezing with evilness and  then shaking his whole room.  Seeing his toys in the dark corners of his bedroom come to life in the shadows.  No wonder he was scared!  Watching this with my little guys (4, 6 and 9) was also pretty damn cool.  I saw my 6 year old bring her hands to her face 3 separate times as she felt George’s terror with him.

The scenes with The Doctor and Alex (George’s dad) were also well done.    There are a few moments when The Doctor is genuinely scared and that draws the audience into his emotion.   Watching Amy and Rory wander though the doll house added an extra level of creepiness, not to mention those dolls!  The sound of the little girl laughing and asking them to play.  Wow.  I will say that Mark Gatiss has redeemed himself in my eyes because of this episode.  Oh and, Jammie Dodgers are our new Jelly Babies then?

The revelation that George is actually a Tenza, an empathic alien who has essentially adopted Claire and Alex as his surrogate parents was pretty clever.   The one complaint I have on this episode is the use of the Perception Filter yet again.  While the concept of the Perception Filter is bloody brilliant, I can’t decide if Moffat and his writing staff overuse this or if it is just something that the audience can assume is a commonplace tool for aliens all over the Universe.  I mean, it always works, but it’s seems to be an easy out.

So overall, a great non-storyline episode.  Classic Who at its best.  Some of my favorite quotes:

“That’s what it’s called. Pantophobia. Not fear of pants though, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the fear of everything. Including pants, I suppose. In that case.” – The Doctor

“Because George’s monsters are real.” – The Doctor

Amy: It’s just a dummy!
Rory: This is weird.
Amy: Yeah, says the time-travelling nurse. Yeah, um let’s just leave that for now. Come on.

“You see these eyes, they’re old eyes.” – The Doctor

The Girl Who Waited Trailer

Next week’s episode looks especially interesting as we get to see Amy battling things in what looks like a Wonderland for Alice.  Here’s the trailer:

The Next episode of Doctor Who airs Saturday September 10th at 9:00 PM on BBC America.  Until then, I leave you with these super creepy lyrics from the dolls’ song:

Tick tock goes the clock
He cradled her and he rocked her
Tick tock goes the clock
Even for the Doctor.

*shivers violently*