Tag Archive: doctor who peter capaldi


Skaro, Davros, Daleks, Missy and Clara dead or alive, so much was left with last week’s cliffhanger, and rest assured, “The Witch’s Familiar” resolves everything in a pleasantly satisfying and entertaining manner. Without further delay (please excuse me posting this after “Under the Lake” aired, I will have that review up within a much more reasonable time frame) here is the review of “The Witch’s Familiar.”

THERE ARE SPOILERS, REPEAT, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Clara and Missy apparently were killed last week, or that’s what the Daleks thought. Of course they weren’t (contracts and all that good stuff dictate they live) and we now know how they are alive. Missy tells Clara of a story when the Doctor was trapped, about to be shot by a bunch of robot assassins, and in a fraction of a second, used the energy from their laser beams to teleport out of his less-than-desirable position. Similarly, Missy uses the energy from the Daleks’ laser beams to poof her and Clara (remember, their vortex manipulators are linked) out of their situation. They end up outside the city where the Doctor is and must trek back, which is mostly done off screen, so more time for the Doctor and Davros.

An old rivalry lives on

An old rivalry lives on

It’s worth noting, Missy and Clara are surprisingly great together. Or rather, I think Missy would be great with anyone. Michelle Gomez plays the part perfectly, always keeping the viewer on edge, never quite knowing which direction the character is about to go in. Unlike Steven Moffat’s previous female “equal” for the Doctor, River, Missy actually has a personality beyond saying “Hello Sweetie” and showing up to cryptically say how everything is out of order and this is the first time or this is the last time or this is somewhere in-between. I feel like there’s a whole mystery left to unravel with Missy, such as how she escaped Gallifrey, and even though we know about a lot of her past, there’s still room to explore. If it ever is explored is another topic of discussion, but for now I’d like to hope it will be explored at some point.

The majority of the story is based around the Doctor and Davros talking. Even though Davros is evil and is destined to always be evil, it was interesting to see him act with some humanity. Attempting to trick the Doctor into thinking he was going to die soon, Davros was able to play on the Doctor’s emotions, and “trick” him into using some regeneration energy to allow Davros to see one final sunrise. However, Davros anticipated this compassion, and tried to harness the Doctor’s regeneration energy (to make Dalek/Time Lord hybrids, at least it’s cooler than human Daleks and pig people), but then the Doctor countered that, and used his sonic sunglasses to do some sci-fi stuff. Little did Davros think, the regeneration energy would go through the whole city.

While Missy and Clara trek back to find the Doctor, they are in a tunnel, that’s actually a sewer, that’s actually a catacomb, where apparently the decaying Daleks are tossed down in. So the regeneration energy also went to them, and since they were pretty annoyed for being thrown away, they used the new energy to rise up and take down the city. Yeah, it was weird, but the real highlight of the story was the Doctor and Davros talking. Throughout, parallels are again drawn between the Doctor and Daleks. At one point, Davros seems to be glad Gallifrey survived, and that both he and the Doctor try their hardest to continue the existence of their people. This continues throughout the majority of the episode, and aids in further developing Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. By the way, Capaldi is absolutely fantastic in series 9 so far. It seems the writers, or at to this point, Moffat, have figured out the way he plays the character and catered the writing towards his strengths and personality.

Glasses are cool, Clara, I have sonic glasses now

Glasses are cool, Clara, I have sonic glasses now

We also get flashbacks to “Asylum of the Daleks,” with Clara once again finding herself inside a Dalek. Though, this time she is in there as a disguise and has full, telepathic control of the movement and weapons of the Dalek. This is mainly done as a plot device, in which the Doctor has to figure out if it is really Clara or an actual Dalek, at which point he threatens to kill the Dalek and Clara makes it say mercy (note, the Daleks were created by Davros, and in turn cannot say certain things, so when she wants to say it’s Clara it translates and is conveyed as “I am a Dalek”). Of course then the Doctor has to figure out why the Daleks would be able to say mercy, and realizes he made a mistake all those years ago, leaving Davros to die. Watch for yourself what happens then, but I’m sure you can guess if you have not already watched. It’s actually a really nice scene, so yes, do watch it if you have not already.

Whereas “The Magician’s Apprentice” faltered with pacing and tonal issues, “The Witch’s Familiar” doesn’t miss a beat, and keeps your eyes stuck on the screen until the final credits role. The performances from the cast are all great and for once in a long time I can say Moffat did a very good job wrapping up a story.

Here’s to hoping next week’s base-under-siege “Under the Lake” keeps the the same high quality as these two episodes did. Here is the trailer for “Under the Lake:”

 

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What do you get when you mix the 12th Doctor with Robin Hood?  A really great time, that’s what.

I’ll be the first to admit I had reservations about Robot of Sherwood (note, there is more than one robot, so Robots would have been more appropriate).  The first two episodes have been dark, especially Into the Dalek.  The Doctor has been darker, more sarcastic, and not really one for over-the-top type humor.  The preview clips for this week’s episode gave off a vibe that could linger too much in the over-the-top silly area.  However, that has proven to not be the case.

SPOILER WARNING – THERE ARE SPOILERS AND YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Right, so the Doctor asks Clara where she wants to go and she says she want sot meet Robin Hood, who the Doctor quickly points out is not real but just to please Clara, he takes her where Robin Hood is told to be in all the legends.  Sure enough they arrive and are suddenly greeted by the man himself.  This Robin Hood is largely what you would expect

from him: energetic, optimistic, upbeat, always laughing, and having an overall merry time.  Throughout the course of the episode we learn there is more to him than what first appears, and the happy face partly acts as a way to hide from the past.  So, while Hood plays the role of the legend, he ultimately is just a man.  This continues the theme of the Doctor trying to figure out if he’s a good man or really just what sort of a man he is in general.  Which leads to a nice ending scene with the Doctor and Hood where Hood asks if he really is just remembered as a legend and forgotten as a man, and is good with being a legend.  Whereupon he tells the Doctor it isn’t bad being a legend, for it allows the people around them to strive to be something greater and that one day they will be the ones people remember.  This, of course, allows the Doctor to reflect on what he’s meant to his companions, and is likely why he wasn’t mad at Clara for telling his story.

The big concern I had this week was how Capaldi would be in a lighter episode.  I was ready to dismiss this as a filler, but it was more than that.  Allowing Capaldi to be lighter also allowed him to further expand the range of his Doctor.  He doesn’t do the silly humor of the 11th Doctor, but instead has a more subtle approach, much like the 3rd Doctor.  He’ll throw in quick little lines or have entertaining arguments/banter with characters, much as he did in a scene when he, Clara, and Hood were locked up in a jail cell.  The Doctor and Hood started arguing over who could die slower and eventually Clara told them to shut up and think of a plan, and they both claimed to have a plan.  Though, neither had a plan, which was clear when Clara made them explain their plans.  The best part here was when she told the Doctor not to include the sonic screwdriver in the plan.  Yes, it was because he was without the sonic at the time, but it was also a nice joke pointing out how the sonic became the easy out for every situation in series 7 and how it has already been used a lot less this series.

Actually, it's not as ridiculous as you may think

Actually, it’s not as ridiculous as you may think

I also enjoy how this Doctor is so sure of himself all the time and is proven wrong on several occasions.  He has this need to always be right, as if being wrong is a sign of weakness.  While darker, this Doctor is still vulnerable, he just tries to hide it in a different way.  This is one thing Moffat seems to have a good hold on, as the 11th Doctor also felt old, tired, and vulnerable despite being played by Matt Smith.  It was great seeing Capaldi come to terms with Robin Hood being a real man, not just a legend.

There was a story in case you’re wondering.  It was a fairly standard evil bad guy (redundant? sure, why not?) who gained control of a legion of robots from space and had an end goal of ruling Earth.  Nothing spectacular but it played out decently enough and had a nice Classic Who vibe to it with the castle setting, robots (Classic Who seemed to embrace robots and androids more than New Who), and story.  The robots actually had a pretty cool design both disguised as knights and with their helmets off.

Importantly, the Doctor checked the database in the robots ship and found out they were looking for The Promise Land (I believe that’s what it said, will re-watch to confirm).  This somehow links back to Missy, who was missing from this episode, which is fine, too much of her would likely result in lack of mystery and interest.  The arc so far reminds me of series 5 and the cracks, which is awesome considering series 5 remains my favorite since the show came back in 2005.

My only real issue is the lack of Danny Pink.  I’m curious to see where his story will go and what happened in his past as a soldier.  But that will likely come soon enough, so no worries there.

Overall, Robot of Sherwood  isn’t going to go down as an all time classic, but it’s a fun episode which I will not be opposed to watching again.

Next week looks to get darker again, with this trailer for Listen:

The wait for the 12th Doctor is finally over, and it has been well worth waiting for.  Peter Capaldi will be stepping into the role of the Doctor next year, well we’ll probably see a bit of him at the end of this year’s Christmas special, and it

Just the man to kick off another 50 years of Doctor Who

Just the man to kick off another 50 years of Doctor Who

will be an interesting year.

Now, I really enjoy his role as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, and obviously he won’t be playing that role for Doctor Who, but it does help demonstrate his range.  I have been going around the internet looking for clips of other show’s he’s been in and none have had me so astounded as his role as Randall Brown in The Hour.  I don’t really know the show, but what I do know is within a two minute clip in which he only talks for about thirty seconds he manages to bring an incredible amount of emotion that I do hope is shown in Doctor Who.  There’s a certain level of maturity about him in the clip, almost like the Doctor trying his hardest not to break down, trying to have restrain.  I love it, and because of that I’ll be placing it right here for you:

Now, how will he be with Clara?  Well, I never saw a big love story growing between the 11th Doctor and Clara, but maybe that’s either because I didn’t want one or because the writing gave little room for the character’s to grow and interact.  Despite the whys, I don’t think pairing her up with Capaldi will be a bad thing.  Just watch a Classic-Who episode and you’ll probably notice the Doctor never was all in love with a companion or vice versa.  I’m hoping they turn out being best of friends, kind of like the 4th Doctor and his companions, who remain some of the best in the show’s history (such as Sarah and Romana II).  I do wish this Doctor would never have to meet Strax, Vastra, and Jenny.

I’m all on board with Peter Capaldi being the next Doctor.  I really hope he gets back on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson since they both seem to be huge fans of the show.  My only concern is the writing, which has been rather on the average/weak side lately, and I suspect it is a result of a) rushing every story into a tiny episode and b) Moffat having no idea how to write a Doctor Who season arc and actually finish it and have it make sense by providing proper closure and not just waving around the Doctor’s magic wand/weapon/screwdriver.

Still, let’s not take anything away from Capaldi here.  He’s proven himself to be a very good actor (who can forget his role in Torchwood: Children of Earth?) and I’ve been wanting an older Doctor.  To me, this is a great choice, and I do hope all the fans give him a chance, as I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised come the start of series 8.

I’ll end this by saying best of luck to Peter Capaldi!