Category Archives: Entertainment

Cobwebs and Spiders – Review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon

I love a good genre shift in a movie or TV series. Do you?

My favourite happens in the film “The Descent”.

It starts out as a girly buddy movie. A group of girls go on an outdoor adventure. Abseiling down cliff, pot-holing in dark caves and helping each other across deep crevasses. One of them gets trapped. Tense scenes follow until her companions free her.

About 45 minutes in the film becomes a horror movie. Suddenly the caves are full of ravenous monsters. They hunt the girls. Blood spills. Gore coats the walls of the caves.

The genre shift from buddy movie to horror shocks you and advances the plot in an unexpected direction.

Review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon

Kill the Moon has a genre shift. For the first 25 minutes we are in a remake of “Alien”.  A dark moon base. Torch light sweeping across deserted cobwebbed rooms. The sounds of scurrying in the shadows. Stolen glimpses of monstrous spiders. Sudden attacks and gruesome deaths.

Kudos to Paul Wilmshurst then. Well directed and genuinely scary you’re best watching the first half of the episode from behind the sofa.

But then the genre shifts. From horror movie to morality play. The moon is infact an egg about to hatch a creature that might destroy the Earth. Should they try to destroy the creature and potentially save the human race? Or will the hatching prove innocuous anyway?

An interesting concept but the Doctor does a runner and leaves Clara and Hermoine Norris’s character to decide. He only reappears when they make the (right) decision to allow the birth of the creature. Is this. A test for Clara or a test for the morality of the entire human species?

Whatever the Doctor had in mind Clara is unimpressed. In a scene building all season she finally tires of his new abrasive personality. She tells him to take a hike.

“Go away. You go a long way away.”

And the Doctor just thought he was helping.

I loved the horror genre section. I’m not sure about morality play. It certainly fits with the Doctor’s new persona and show runner Stephen Moffat obviously knows what he is doing. But as in The Caretaker, I find theme pushed too far.

Peter Capaldi is consistently strong but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to like him. Is that Moffat’s plan. For the softening of the Doctor’s more alien persona to be the theme of the show.

Until we like him again.

Isn’t that a bit of a risk?

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon? Please post a comment or share a link to your own review.

A Disruptive Influence – Review of Doctor Who The Caretaker

Under cover in school, wearing a brown instead of black coat, Peter Capaldi shines once again in an episode masquerading as a sitcom.

Another fun romp with many positive but I’m left feeling underwhelmed.

Review of Doctor Who The Caretaker

Funny – the scene where Clara confronts the Doctor in the staff room and he uses his broom to fend her off is hilarious. Capaldi and Coleman are excelling each week at the moment.

Exciting – when the Skovox Blitzer machine makes one of its explosive appearances. A well conceived alien spewing laser beams and death rays. But the Doctor defeats it easy – actually talking it to death.

Characters – we finally meet Courtney (a pupil mentioned in earlier episodes) who describes herself as a “Disruptive Influence”. She sees the stars in a gorgeous scene at the end but please, let’s not see her as a recurring character.

The aim of the episode to advance the relationship triangle between the Doctor, Clara and Danny Pink took up too much screen time. And whilst I am a fan of Capaldi’s more alien take on the Timelord’s personality, and I have enjoyed his grumpiness so far, he went to far this week in his “hatred” of soldiers.

Is Capaldi himself the “disruptive influence” here?

A watchable forty-five minutes but telling in that I have not gone back and watched it again. And I usually always do.

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my review of Doctor Who The Caretaker? Do you like the new direction of the show? Is Capaldi too rude and grumpy? Let me know what you think.

The Unbreakable Bank – Review of Doctor Who Time Heist

Time Heist is Doctor Who doing Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

When you have a time machine not only can you visit any era in history – and play Robin Hood Panto.

You can visit every film and literary genre too.

This time the bank heist genre. Busting into The Unbreakable Bank of Karabraxos.


We begin with a witty scene of Doctor Clara banter (“Have you grown?” “Heels”) and suddenly the TARDIS phone rings. Clara cautions that the Doctor shouldn’t answer the phone as “something” will happen.

Well it does. As soon as he grabs the phone receiver, the scene changes. They are in a dark room. Their memories wiped. The Doctor holding a slimy Memory Worm.

Over a video link the mysterious Architect informs them that they must rob the bank of Karabraxos.

A good fun episode of Doctor Who, Time Heist merges time travel into a typical bank robbery story. The Architect is of course the Doctor, having set up the heist in advance, and then wiped his team’s memories so that the monster of the week, The Teller, cannot detect their guilt and out them.

Peter Capaldi is in charge for the first time since his debut. Time Heist shows us that the Doctor is clever and can plan with meticulous detail. But he’s still more alien than Matt Smith or David Tennant.

He gave his companions suicide syringes for goodness sake. Yes, as the Architect he knows they are teleport devices, but as a mind-wiped Doctor, he thinks they’ll kill.

Keeley Hawes shines as Ms Delphox/Madame Karabraxos but needs more air time. As interesting as Psi and Saibra, the other two members of the mind-wipe gang, we don’t learn enough about them.

It only took less than 45 minutes to rob The Unbreakable Bank. It should have taken at least 60. With so much going on I feel the episode need longer to breathe.

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my review of Doctor Who Time Heist? What did you think? Please leave a comment or share a link to your own review.

This is my Spoon – Review of Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood

Three weeks into darker Doctor Peter Capaldi’s reign here’s a light-hearted fun romp which plays to the leading actors comedy roots.

It’s almost pantomime.

Review of Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood

The Doctor amuses us by believing that he’s in a medieval theme park trying to prove the inhabitants of Sherwood Forest are fakes. His heated interactions with Robin Hood are hilarious.

“I have no sword. I don’t need a sword. Because I am the Doctor and this is my spoon! En garde!”

Ben Miller’s quietly spoken Sheriff of Nottingham steels from Alan Rickman’s film portrayal of the same role. Jenna Coleman shines once again as she avoids the Sheriff’s seduction and instead finds out all his secrets.

Robin Hood and his Merry Men are… Well. Merry.

It’s well-played and funny but hardly a classic episode. I’ve not got much more to say about other than the scene they cut.

The BBC announced that they excised a scene where Robin Hood beheads the Sheriff only for the Sheriff’s head to continue talking revealing that he is in fact a robot. They performed the edit in sympathy to the brutal real life murder of a woman in London a few days before transmission.

You can find the cut scene on the internet if you look for it. And actually the title of the story makes more sense if you know the Sheriff is a robot.

But in truth the story works just as well with the edit. The Sheriff’s motivations are just as plausible if he was fully human than if he was half machine.

What I question is the BBC publicity machine’s real intention in making such a big deal about the edit in the media.

If they hadn’t mentioned it none of us would have been any the wiser. But by promoting the cut they drew attention to it and arguably upset the murder victim’s family more than had they left the scene intact but unpublicised.

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my brief review of Doctor Who Robot of Sherwood? Please leave a comment or post a link to your own article or blog.