Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Top 50 Doctor Who Stories Part 1

Okay, there are 34 days until the new series of Doctor Who and I'm gonna do a Top 50 list with my favourite stories from the first ten Doctors in anticipation for the arrival of Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. It's not definitive (only stories I've seen) but hopefully it's original and it'll be twice weekly as well.

46: An Unearthly Child (1st Doctor)

Of course the first ever story was going to make this list. Who thought that a story so simple would span the longest and best sci-fi series running? The First Doctor was cantankerous but interesting as was Susan, Ian and Barbara were our eyes into this crazy world and there was cavemen.

47: Blink (10th Doctor)

Is it sacrilege that I have this one so low in my list? Of course not! Steven Moffat is an amazing writer and at least one other story of his is much higher on this list. As for this one - Sally Sparrow, Weeping Angels and the use of Easter Eggs. Only a true geek could've scribed this one.

48: Partners In Crime (10th Doctor)

Opening episodes can be slightly ropey with the new version of the series but this one had a lot to love about it. Okay, the Adipose seemed more designed for The Sarah Jane Adventures but those scenes with Donna and Wilfred in his loft, the reunion between the Doctor and Donna and Rose's WTF style cameo. How could this not be on my list?

49: Planet Of The Spiders (3rd Doctor)

As a regeneration story goes, I found this one a little underrated. It might not be as epic as The War Games, The Caves Of Androzani or recently, The End Of Time (and yes, they're higher on the list) but it's a satisfying enough way to end Jon Pertwee's tenure and it's a bit of a redemption story for Mike Yates as well.

50: The Daleks Master Plan (1st Doctor)

Companions might not have died properly during the RTD era of the series but in others, some were not so lucky. This one served two deaths with two shortlived companions in Katerina and Sara Kingdom and also had the Meddling Monk in cahoot with the Daleks. It's a really long story but only three of the twelve episodes exist on the Lost In Time DVD set. Worth it though.

My Top 50 Buffy Episodes Part 8

Okay so, we're nearing the Top 10 now. Only two more blogs to go for this one.

11: The Wish (Season 3, Episode 9)

Alernative reality episodes are never going to go out of style and I always enjoy them immensely, especially this one. A Sunnydale without Buffy certainly became a rather bleaker place to live and of course, there's Xander and Willow as vampires. Gotta love that.

12: This Year's Girl (Season 4, Episode 15)

Another cliche episode is to do body swapping and when Faith realised that the cops weren't far behind, she had no problem with snatching Buffy's body. One of the wittiest episodes of the series and the Buffy/Faith scenes are bloody brilliant as always.

13: Becoming Part 1 (Season 2, Episode 21)

You probably would expect this episode to be higher (don't worry, Part 2 is) but at least it's inmy Top 20. Kendra's death was well executed but this episode is better when viewed with it's second part but it does make for an incredible penultimate episode.

14: Graduation Day Part 1 (Season 3, Episode 21)

I loved this part marginally more than the second. Build up is always important and this one set things up nicely. Again, a certain fight scene with Buffy and Faith was a highlight in this episode as was Angel and Buffy beginning to seperate.

15: Graduation Day Part 2 (Season 3, Episode 22)

Blowing up your high school - childhood dream or act of sociopathic behaviour. Let's not ask the blonde girl who goaded a snake like Mayor to his final resting place. This was a sensational way of ending the high school era of the series. And a last appearance for Cordy on this show. Good job she turned out to be amazing on Angel then.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x07: "The Wig Party"

Written by Marjorie David And David Marshall Grant
Directed by Ken Olin

Nora: “We’re here for you.”
Kitty: “I know. You’re sitting on my hand.”

Families sticking together, that’s what this show is all about, eh? Here, that always amplifies because you’ve got Kitty battling one of the hardest things in the world and her family trying the best they can to be there for her.

Chemotherapy does take a lot out of people suffering from cancer and there are times when it’s not always successful, so I can understand to a degree why Kitty considered the option of abandoning chemotherapy but I did find myself siding with Sarah and Nora more though.

Both Nora and Sarah probably could’ve handled Kitty’s reveal a little better but I don’t blame them for worrying. As options go, chemotherapy is Kitty’s best one and I’m not all that big into herbal alternatives. A lot of the times, they’re pretty much ineffectual but the episode did seem to greatly emphasise that Kitty wanted to be in control of her illness.

If this were me, I’d want to feel that way too – it’s a gut instinct not exclusive to a certain type of person (I think I tuned out when Kitty was having that type argument with Sarah) and Kitty found that out in one of the worst ways ever at that charity dinner for Nora’s research centre.

The losing her hair scene was particularly a poignant moment for Kitty and Calista Flockhart continued to sell it brilliantly, especially when Nora and Sarah both made it clear that she wasn’t alone. A lot of people have commented on certain boards that this storyline has not only seen Calista bring her A game but also Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths and it’s hard not to agree with them.

All three actresses have been brilliant this season and there was the moment where Kitty took control by shaving her hair. I don’t know if Calista did it for real or was wearing an impressive bald cap on her head but it looked convincing either way. As much as I know that Kitty will survive this, it still hasn’t affected the impact of the storyline either way.

The only quibble I could have with the plot was that it didn’t include Robert as much as it should’ve. I could easily predict the kind of reaction he would’ve had if he had known that Kitty was going to give up chemo (she didn’t in the end) but that doesn’t mean that a scene where the two of them discussed the issue at hand shouldn’t have been included nonetheless.

At least Robert has been a good support system for Kitty when they’ve had scenes together. Her illness has certainly put a lot of his political storylines into perspective and I’m fairly certain that Kitty’s illness sparked his justified castigation of conservative new rival, Barry Henderson in broad daylight.

I know there’s supposed to be a degree of severity of Robert’s rant given that it streamed on YouTube and will inevitably spark criticism from Henderson’s but it’s not like Robert said anything really damaging. In fact, Robert was surprisingly restrained, even when he was letting rip on Henderson. How much damage control is Kevin really going to have to do with this one?

Speaking of Kevin, while there was no Michelle to worry about this week, we did get another reminder of how expensive surrogacy happens to be. This plot is reminding a lot of David and Keith’s in the final season of Six Feet Under and I’m beginning to wonder why it’s so important for Kevin and Scotty to focus on surrogacy. Why aren’t other options, such as adoption or fostering being considered as well?

This plot did get something of a jolt when Scotty’s father, Wally was added into the mix as well. It was nice that he was supportive of the pair wanting to have a child and even better that he made a financial contribution as well. Don’t stick up your noses – there are plenty of people who’d sell their grandmother for a Captain America comic. Not me of course but they do exist.

The other part of Wally’s return that struck a chord was Scotty’s reaction to his parents breaking up and his father being a cheat. Bertha’s not the nicest woman in the world and while I’m not advocating adultery, I can see why Wally might have done the dirty. The episode also went to painful lengths to differentiate between Wally and William, not that it needed to.

I like Wally a lot more than I like William and I also liked that while Scotty was understandable upset, he didn’t act like a baby over it either. He felt sorry for his mother but sort of seemed to understand why his father strayed. Plus it did help that Kevin seemed to be there with some helpful nuggets as well. Plus, I appreciated the fact that baby issues aside, Kevin and Scotty weren’t arguing over anything major in this one.

As for Justin and Rebecca – look, there’s needs to be a rule for TV in general, one baby plot per season please. Kevin and Scotty got their first, so surely Rebecca being with child was something they could’ve left for Season Five. I know the writers need to come up with new ways to create tension between her and Justin but why this?

The funny thing was that Justin actually deduced that Rebecca was pregnant and she denied it, which made no sense. Why not just tell him? Why does it need to be something else to create a rift between them? I’m not becoming a shipper of this pairing but I do often get a little tired of seeing them constantly arguing as well. Unless it’s a hysterical pregnancy or Rebecca’s going to lose the baby.

Moving away from babies and onto the big ones, it’s nice to have one little scene that showed Paige and Cooper taking to Luc. That being said, Luc, do not play football in the house, especially when Sarah and Saul are discussing an Ojai business plot that other episodes have blathered on about. On second thoughts, maybe you should play football in the house, Luc.

With Luc’s only contribution for the episode being a big kid to Sarah’s, Nora at least seemed to be getting another love interest with oncologist, Simon. He’s cool with his motorcycle, flirty ways and a little young for Nora but not in the sense that a certainly wretched C word can be doled about. I’m not gonna get attached because love interests for Nora don’t last and I can’t see Simon bucking the trend either.

Also in “The Wig Party”

How long has it been since Nora opened her centre? There was talk here about it being an anniversary but surely a year cannot have passed?

Kevin: “What am I supposed to do? Steal campaign contributes?”
Scotty: “It’d be money better spent.”

I laughed when Kevin had the stuffing scared out of him by Wally in his superhero costume. Wally endeared himself by being a comic book geek.

Saul (re Luc): “The kids love him.”
Sarah: “That’s because he acts like a kid.”
Saul: “That’s okay.”

Nora (re Kitty): “My daughter has lymphoma.”
Simon: “I’m sorry.”
Nora: “Yeah. I come here and I talk about cancer, I go home and I talk about cancer. Why didn’t I try to save the whales instead?”

I don’t know, Nora – maybe you were scared of getting crushed by Free Willy? That line had me in hysterics, funny stuff.

Kevin (re Wally/mystery woman): “Oh my God, he’s sleeping with her.”
Scotty: “You’re cut off.”
Kevin: “I haven’t started drinking yet.”

Simon: “Nora, when are we gonna have that second date?”
Nora: “Second? That was a date?”

Because of Nora getting a new love interest, I’m wondering when we’re actually going to see Saul’s boyfriend on this show again.

Justin: “Are you pregnant?”
Rebecca: “Are you serious? Why would you ask me that? That’s crazy!”

Robert (to Kevin): “It’s your job. You gotta pick your battles, this one’s mine.”

Standout music: “Never Say Never” by The Fray and I’m not really a fan of them.

Sarah (to Nora): “How can you tell Kitty to risk and do scary things when you’re not prepared to do them yourself?”

Chronology: A few days since “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”.

“The Wig Party” is a satisfying episode, not the best we’ve had in the season so far but it’s keeping with the really high standard of this season and that’s a good thing of course. Now all we have to do is wait for Rebecca to reveal her pregnancy.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x11: "Getting Closer"

Written And Directed by Tim Minear

Caroline (re blowing up Rossum): “Are you sure you’re up to this?”
Bennett: “We’re in it together, right?”
Caroline: “Til the end.”

And those fan boys who wanted an episode with loads of scenes between Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau; I bet this one must have been a godsend for them. Well, at least until a certain someone got shot and not by an expected person. This episode delivered a lot in terms of shocks and thrills.

First off all, some much needed flashbacks to the friendship between Caroline and Bennett helped this episode tremendously. Okay, so Bennett being a socially awkward young lady who came under Caroline’s wing was a little predictable – most of the flashbacks/back stories we’ve gotten have been but it doesn’t stop the flow of things nonetheless.

Overall, though this episode actually did a lot more to sort of endear me to Bennett than her previous two did. She wanted someone to accept her and ultimately thought that Caroline was that person. Even when she realised that Caroline was using her to get to Rossum, Bennett went out on a limb for her.

In “The Left Hand” the flashbacks where Caroline abandoned Bennett to her fate made her look like a cold hearted bitch but with this episode, it seemed like there was a method to Caroline’s madness. In a screwed up way, she actually protected Bennett from being punished by Rossum but Bennett obviously didn’t see it that way.

Persuading Bennett to help to piece together Caroline after the wedge went missing was going to be hard work. Kidnapping her wasn’t the best choice either but putting her in a room with Topher seemed to show that she’s not devoid of human emotion.

It’s weird watching Topher and Bennett because they’re both so emotionally stunted as people and yet their flirtation with each other is surprisingly cute. They’re probably the only people who in real life could be with each other as well but even Topher wasn’t enough to get Bennett to want to help with Caroline.

That’s where Echo came into the mix brilliantly. She no more wanted Caroline back than Bennett but she knew it needed to be done and offering Bennett the opportunity for payback later on was a good way of getting the one armed creature (blame Adelle for that one) to co-operate.

But of course there would be another spanner in the bloody works. This episode wasn’t going to end without someone dying and Bennett had to be that person. In a lot of Whedon shows, we’ve had some rather impersonal deaths from time to time so the only thing surprising about Bennett getting a bullet to the head (apart from Topher’s distress) was the fact that the shooter was Claire.

She’s been absent for nine episodes and Claire suddenly turned killer and boy, did she manage to get out of that building as quickly as possible? I know security’s crap in the Dollhouse but not one person even attempted to stop her from leaving the building. Topher I could understand but surely someone could’ve made an effort?

How did this happen to Claire? Well, she’s been living with Boyd for long enough and there was ample opportunity for Rossum to get to her, especially given that Boyd is a part of Rossum. The mysterious guy who betrayed Clyde and sent him to the Attic and I can’t even get angry or disappointed about it.

I know I should because the show has gone to great lengths to portray Boyd as a good guy and also as a paternal figure to Echo but I don’t have it in me. I guess Boyd’s just better at keeping secrets and given that there are only two episodes left, I figure that he won’t be a survivor anyways.

The final scene with him and Caroline though was delightfully perfect. Adelle and Dominic thought that they were sending her to her death but instead Boyd showed some affection towards Caroline and wanted her to change things. Even when Echo was becoming Caroline again in our time, he still looked at her with paternal care. Maybe he’s Richard Wilkins like.

Apart from the all the obvious, the only other highlights in the episode was Dominic being put back in the Attic for his own good (please let him in the last two and survive) and Echo getting Tony and Priya out of the Dollhouse. I also liked that Adelle got Topher to change all the Actives back to their original selves as well.

Also in “Getting Closer”

In the final flashback, the young man talking to Caroline said that he was the fifth version of Clyde.

Echo (re Caroline): “I was glad when I heard she was missing.”
Adelle: “It’s only natural.”
Echo: “But I didn’t take it.”
Adelle: “I only considered it briefly.”

There’s been a really fantastic dynamic with Echo, Tony and Priya in these last few episodes. I love that she keeps trying to get them out and they still want to help her.

Adelle: “Damn romantic fool. I’m surrounded by them.”
Boyd (re Paul/Madeline): “He couldn’t just leave her there.”

Bennett: “I was trying to kill your Active at the time.”
Topher: “Ah, you had your reasons.”

I’m not surprised that Paul broke Madeline out of the DC Dollhouse but I was a little surprised to have her reactivated as Mellie again.

Boyd: “Are you scared?”
Claire: “Not anymore.”

Caroline: “You’re not pissed because I used you?”
Bennett: “I’m hurt because you won’t.”
Caroline: “Want to blow up a building?”

Paul’s connection to Echo was removed and we got more flashbacks on Whiskey, post being attacked by Alpha.

Adelle: “Put him back in the Attic, it’s his best hope.”
Dominic: “No, you bitch, I’d rather die.”
Adelle: “I’d rather you didn’t.”

Caroline: “And I’m just gonna trust you?”
Boyd: “With your life.”

Sci-Fi UK made the unwise decision to air the final three episodes of the series as a triple so you’re going to have to wait for reviews on the final two.

With episodes like “Getting Closer”, this show is certainly ending on a high that I didn’t think was possible during it’s debut. Even now I’m not sad about the series ending but I do love the standard of episodes we’ve been getting a result.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Expecting (Massive Doctor Who Season 5 Spoilers)

Blimey, you wait ages for extraordinary spoilers and then, bam, they all come at once.

Doesn't she look lovely? Karen Gillan in Brighton this week to promote the upcoming series of Doctor Who. The series returns to BBC1 on April 3rd.

One of Karen Gillan and Matt Smith together. Really trying hard not to ship the Doctor and Amy, especially given that ...

Amy's pregnant with (presumably) Rory's child. The 11th episode of the season by Gareth Roberts, rumoured to be titled, The Lodger shows a heavily pregnant Amy, Rory and the Doctor alongside each other. But in episode 10 (Vincent And The Doctor), Amy is not visibly showing so unless this is a similar situation to Gwen in the Torchwood episode, Something Borrowed or Amy really is with child and something's accelerating her pregnancy. It's also possible that this is episode 7 by Simon Nye as well.

Outside of that big reveal, it's also been leaked that James Cordon from Gavin And Stacey will also be appearing this season, possibly in this episode or Simon Nye's one. Nina Wadia has also told The One Show that she's filmed her scenes. Hopefully some set pictures leak of that.

More pictures can be seen here ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Live At 25

I'm so badly behind on some shows right now, apart from the ones I'm reviewing of course but are some stuff I did watch recently.

EastEnders has turned twenty five years old, four months before I actually have. Okay, live episodes are an extremely dodgy process but oddly enough, they did alright on Friday night when it was finally revealed that Stacy bumped off Archie. As a reveal went, it was satisfying and I'm sure I wasn't the only person sad to see Bradley killed off - I liked him. Plus if it had been someone like Ryan, would anyone have cared? Corrie are going to have to pull their finger out for the upcoming 50th anniversary because right now, it's dire to watch.

Susan and Katherine - how far can a rivalry go? Well, if you're Susan, you're going to do something stupid like accidentally shoot Katherine and then believe that she was the one strangling Julie. To top it all off, you'll then piss off some former cop that you teased in school and get thrown in the slammer. On a more interesting note, the Bolen plot is definitely one of the best thought out one going, it's nice to see Lynette and Tom provide a support system for Julie but the subplot with Gabby homeschooling Juanita and Bree still stuck with Orson don't match up by comparison. But at least Desperate Housewives has it's mojo back.

Lost on Friday nights don't seem right to me but at least the final season is getting off to an interesting start. So we have Others who are helping - sort of, a parallel version of the gang's lives if they had landed back in America on Flight 815, Sawyer grieving over Juliet's death and a rather feral looking Claire, who's more interesting now than she ever was. The shock of Smokey/Locke being the same was fine too. Oh and this week's episode is a Jack one. I'll keep an open mind.

I need to keep up with Skins. The fourth season so far has been good, I'll admit that. Emily's episode delved more into the death of Sophia and while the writers could've evaded going down that predictable route of making Sophia/Naomi cheat on Emily, some of the acting was absolutely brilliant. Cook's episode wasn't as good but it was a damn sight better than the unbearable one we got in the third season for him. Maybe he will change after all. Stranger things have happened.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Review of Being Human's 2x07: "Damage"

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Charles Martin

Nina: “George, you turned me into a werewolf. Taking the moral high ground about anything feels kind of ridiculous.”

And she’s back! Of course Nina’s two episode absence would be amended by her much needed inclusion in the season’s penultimate episode and it’s probably the best episode we’ve had with her since the season premiere. It’s also fair that her return would put George into something of a tailspin.

His anger over her abandoning him certainly seeped out in the kitchen when she told that she was aware of him dating another person. That was always going to be a sore point between because Nina was able to tell that George wasn’t being honest with Sam about his true identity.

To be fair, unlike George, Nina could take the moral high ground here and she did it without being a bitch about it as well. Her motives weren’t to cause George any more pain but to help and finally that meant George and Annie coming into proximity with Kemp at long last. George wasn’t best pleased with this little meeting.

I understood where George’s cynicism came from when it came to Kemp as well. He didn’t know the guy and he did point out to Nina that there wasn’t a cure for being a werewolf, something which Nina didn’t want to believe because of the decompression chamber that Kemp had been keeping her in during the full moon.

Also Kemp did set himself up as a bit of a religious fanatic by telling George that he was possessed by Satan. It’s a good job this guy never got into sales with his lousy way of trying to entice a sceptic like George to come with him. Then there was also the notion of faith and science.

George didn’t seem to believe either really. He didn’t believe that prayers would change him and he certainly didn’t buy into the scientific aspect until Kemp went into further detail. Then there was the exchange of words he had with Nina – all of which serving as an excellent prelude into his relationship with Sam decimating big time.

I’ve liked Sam in the last three episodes because Lucy Gaskell is a likeable actress but I haven’t gotten into her and George’s relationship and that’s been deliberate. George bulldozed her into living with him and then by proposing to him that their relationship was always going to come to a messy ending.

Having the ending be a result of George getting his times wrong and starting to change into the wolf during a parent-teacher meeting sealed their fate. Molly obviously caught enough to realise that George wasn’t particularly human but Sam rationed his erratic behaviour down to anger problems.

George has been something of a frustration all season but here he made the right decision by ending things with Sam. He even tried to do it as cleanly as possible but ending that relationship came when he realised that he couldn’t be normal and that unfortunately meant heading to Kemp and Lucy along with Annie and Nina.

Annie’s need to go to Kemp was a continuation from her encounter with Alan from the previous episode. She now wanted to let go and cross over and there’s a fantastic scene where Kemp and a daft medium are trying to exorcism her spirit with no luck at all. The pure boredom on Annie’s face was a riot.

But the thing I found extremely odd was that if she didn’t mind enlisting Kemp to help her leave the world permanently, why did she suddenly become so reticent when George wanted to see him? And then there was that scene where Mitchell tried it on with Annie as well. I almost hated Mitchell for that.

Mitchell had the darkest storyline of the entire episode (and far more scarier than George’s struggling with the wolf in this one). I never thought that he was going to be a casualty with Lloyd’s little bomb but I was quite surprised with how unaffected I was by Ivan’s death. I mean, he was a good character but not developed enough.

The same rule of thumb I’d also apply to Daisy as well. She’s been gone for ages and now she was back purely to seek vengeance on Ivan’s killers and aid Mitchell into flying off the handle as well. After all, it was her who quickly realised that it wasn’t the police who bombed the funeral home. It’s interesting stuff but more should’ve been done with Daisy this season.

Mitchell’s realisation that Lucy was responsible didn’t have that much of an impact when it came from Quinn but it sure as hell had one when the snarky priest George visited told Mitchell that Lucy was Jaggart. Suddenly even Mitchell was beginning to get worried and this was after some of the scariest shit he went through.

We’ve seen plenty of Mitchell’s dark side this season to keep us going a while but here we had him killing Quinn with relish and slaughtering an entire tube station as well. It’s a good thing for Lucy that Mitchell didn’t get his hands on her in this one or he would’ve ripped her to pieces. I can’t imagine that next week will bode well for either her or Kemp though.

As for sleeping with Daisy, of course he would’ve. Daisy had slightly better chemistry with Mitchell than she did with George but Mitchell is seriously going to regret the last couple of days with her soon enough. During the last few scenes, I even thought he was going to try and attack George as well.

Also in “Damage”

Flashback scene this week was Daisy and Ivan meeting for the first time in London 1941 during the Blitz. Pearl was mentioned as well.

Ivan: “And is Pearl your jewel?”
Daisy: “She cries a lot. I don’t understand her.”

Mitchell and Daisy’s little tube slaughter was done slightly better in the Buffy episode, “Crush” by Drusilla.

Sam: “You’re making me nervous now, George. I’m waiting for the other boot to drop.”

Nina (to George): “I saw your cage, what a great idea. I can’t believe you didn’t think of it before.”

I know they weren’t serious but I’m surprised that Mitchell didn’t know Lucy’s surname until after the priest had blurted it out. I usually tend to find them out beforehand.

Kemp (to Lucy, re George): “I’m sure he was devastated. No doubt the vampire seduced him too.”

George: “Does it work?”
Kemp: “You would be the first.”
George: “Right, so it’s less like an exorcism and more like vivisection.”

Who was the medium guy that Kemp brought to the house? Was he the same man we saw in the first episode of the season?

Kemp: “Annie, do you still want to do this? If you’ve changed your mind, we can go.”
Annie: “Yes, I want to.”
Medium: “She said yes. Jesus, she’s powerful.”

Mitchell (to George): “Whatever you are when you leave that place, stay out of the cities. The cities won’t be safe for much longer.”

Chronology: Because of the length of time that Ivan and Daisy were actually together, it’s 2010.

As penultimate episodes go, this one was certainly dark but slightly lacking the bite of the one we had last season. That being said, even with the minimal trailer, the finale does look exciting and we do have a third year to look forward to.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

My Top 50 Buffy Episodes Part 7

And here's Part 7 folks

16: Passion (Season 2, Episode 17)

If you're going to turn Angel into thr Big Bad for the second season, then at some point he was going to have to do something truly awful (and trying to end the world on this show doesn't count). Having him kill Jenny Calender was far the most shocking he's ever done as Angelus during Season 2.

17: Fool For Love (Season 5, Episode 7)

Crossed over with the Angel episode Darla, this was without a doubt the best crossover story the two series ever did and this one gave us a nice look into Spike's penchant for slayer slaying while he became more and more obsessed with Buffy.

18: Smashed (Season 6, Episode 9)

You know the drill - there's only so much teasing you can do and while I'm not a Buffy/Spike shipper, I will admit that Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters do have good chemistry together. And if that bored you, there's always Amy's bad influence on Willow as well.

19: Surprise (Season 2, Episode 13)

There are plenty of things you might want for your birthday but dreams of your boyfriend dying and Spike and Drusilla wrecking havoc ain't two of them. It also doesn't help that by the end of this episode, Angel's reverted to his original form.

20: Angel (Season 1, Episode 7)

When you spend half the season building Angel up as a mystery man, it is really shocking that he turned out to be a good vampire? In retrospect, not really but this doesn't lessen the reveal in any way and it was nice to have something on Darla before she got staked.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hold On Tight (Doctor Who Season 5 Trailer 2)

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then let's begin.

The latest trailer for Season 5 has finally arrived and instead of clips, it's a themey one. They're often better than the ones with clips.

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and the Doctor (Matt Smith), sitting by the stars, pointing one of them out. It's a good start, especially given that Amy's clearly Scottish and curious to know who exactly her new friend is.

Then they fall through the Earth, except it's the vortex that we saw earlier this week with the Season 5 cast and the Doctor is asking Amy to hold on tight and to trust him. Well, given the spoilers for The Eleventh Hour, she's got reasons to be wary of him. He's the man that appeared to her as a child and now as a grown woman.

The first aliens we see are a Dalek squawking and a Smiler just looking creepy. The former will be in Victory Of The Daleks and the latter's due for The Beast Below of course. Looking forward to finding out about the Smiler more, given that it's a new one.

The Doctor fighting off a Weeping Angel, which will be the main monsters in episodes 4 and 5, aka the ones to bring back River Song. This time around, the Weeping Angels are powerful compared to their scavenger like form in Season 3. The Doctor even seemed to be able to look it in the eyes as well.

I loved this shot of the Doctor and Amy because goddammit, it's so fucking shippy and I'm shipping a Doctor/Companion pairing before even seeing them. And I do not apologise for it, even if Amy does have a fiance. See, I haven't forgotten about Rory.

The last scene showed a Silurian but I didn't get a cap for it. Still there is this wonderful quote from the Doctor to Amy that I hope materialises in the new season.

The Doctor (to Amy): All of time and space, everywhere and anywhere, every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?
Easter cannot come fast enough.

My Review of True Blood's 2x08: "Time Bomb"

Written by Alexander Woo
Directed by John Dahl

Eric (re Fellowship): “They do nothing but fan the flames of hatred at us.”
Godric: “Let’s be honest, we are frightening.”

Eight episodes in and you can tell that there will be a shift in the focus of baddie behaviour. With this episode, it seemed that the Fellowship Of The Sun decided to end with a bang and yes, there was a pun in there that was meant to be intended.

Sookie from the previous episode was saved from being raped by Gabe and Godric did us all a favour by breaking the scumbag’s neck but it was Eric who tried to escape with her. Godric for his own reasons did not want to leave the Fellowship. If I hadn’t read “Living Dead In Dallas”, I would’ve found this highly suspect but it’s not really.

Godric isn’t like the rest of the vampires in the series. He’s a lot older, more world weary and thankfully not a paedophile either. He offered himself to the Fellowship because he believed that there could be a peaceful co-existence between humans and vampires. And even after Steven refused his attempts of peace, Godric did not waver in his beliefs.

When it came to the treacherous Hugo, Godric could’ve killed him. You could definitely see that Stan was just about holding back but he pitied Isobel’s feelings for Hugo and spared the man’s life. Even better was that he also intervened with a particularly nasty altercation with Lorena and Sookie.

Godric could come close to being a rather saintly vampire. He even extended a welcoming to Jason and that was something a little unexpected. But Eric questioned some of Godric’s reasons, in particular for staying with the Fellowship when he had the power to leave. I have a feeling the next episode will bring all that to light, one way or the other.

When it came to the Fellowship, there were three people to look at here. Sarah was willing to piss all over Jason because she thought he betrayed her beliefs. Nothing made me happier than the moment where Jason chose Sookie over the Fellowship and Sarah. Jason’s come a long way since the first season. And Sarah’s a fucking idiot to put it mildly.

Then there’s Steven and his usual hate filled bile. Yeah, I got that he would view Sookie as a traitor but the fact that he was willing to kill her just showed even more of what a hypocrite he really was. Both Bill and Eric would’ve killed him if Godric and Sookie hadn’t intervened. It’s probably a good thing in terms of future storylines that Steven actually lived but I do hope that somewhere down the line he gets his comeuppance.

As for Luke – suicide bomber? Not as shocking in action because it made so much sense. Cults like the Fellowship brainwash people into committing violent acts because they believe it’s the right thing to do. I’m pretty sure a lot of vampires will be killed if Luke actually gets to hit the switch but I don’t think we’ll have to worry about Bill, Eric or Lorena anytime soon. Especially given the web they’re being spun into with Sookie.

Quadrangles are a hard thing to pull off and this episode certainly mixed things around. Bill finally had the opportunity to get away from Lorena and he took. He even violently bashed her about even though he must have realised that she would survive. Bloody plasmas. However even then Lorena didn’t get the hint.

She gate crashed Godric’s party and deliberately went out of her way to provoke Sookie, even hoping to scare the shit out of her. If Sookie can survive the likes of Rene and the Fellowship, then I think Lorena is going to be out of her depth here. However if Godric hadn’t intervened in their little fight, I’m pretty sure Lorena would’ve at least badly hurt Sookie if not kill her.

Then there’s Bill vs. Eric. Eric after all did set Lorena on Bill to keep him away from Sookie and he was definitely affronted when Bill made it clear that Sookie would not go near him. Again reading the books make me want to shout, ‘yes she will’ and I’m not even really shipping this, though you can tell that Eric is getting closer to Sookie and Bill’s threatened by it.

Love was certainly a potent theme in this episode, whether it’d be platonic or sexual love. Jessica had to realise to her utter embarrassment that her hymen would keep growing because she was a vampire and I don’t think Hoyt’s words were enough to relieve her. That being said, the few scenes they get together are still eclipsing the Sookie/Bill/Eric stuff so I’m hoping that there’s more focus on them now that they’re back in Bon Temps. After all, Hoyt did tell his mother that he was dating a vampire and she wasn’t particularly happy about that.

Another thing that’s guaranteed to make anyone unhappy is being accused of bumping off their ex – especially when they didn’t. Sam really was a silly dog for going back to Merlotte’s and finding Daphne’s body. Even when Andy tried to persuade Bud and Kenya of his innocence, Sam still got sent to the slammer.

In other words, Maryann now has Sam exactly where she wants him but I’m going to assume that Sam will use his shape shifting to get out of there. Contrary to what Bud said, Sam really isn’t any safer in a cell than he would be anywhere else. That being said, not a lot actually happened with Maryann this week.

Okay she cooked up Daphne’s heart in a soufflé and served it to Tara and Eggs but that was it. Granted watching Tara and Eggs consuming Daphne’s heart was fecking disturbing but not as much as seeing the two of them succumbing more and more under Maryann’s influence. It’s only a matter of time before Sookie comes back and sends her packing though, right? Tara really does need to get away from both Maryann and Eggs now and hopefully Sookie will get her to see some sense.

Also in “Time Bomb”

Lorena was the one who grabbed Barry at the end of the previous episode. She also realised that he was different when she fed on him. He survived though.

Sarah: “You Stackhouse’s, you’re nothing but a bunch of heartless, two faced vampire fuckers.”
Jason: “Don’t you ever talk about my sister like that.”

Jason got thwacked in the balls with the paintball gun by Sarah but he got a perfect shot at Steven’s forehead in the church.

Sookie (re Godric): “He’s your maker, isn’t he?”
Eric: “Don’t use words you don’t understand.”
Sookie: “You have a lot of love for him.”
Eric: “Don’t use words I don’t understand.”

Lorena (to Bill): “Oh come now. As I recall your appetite was always insatiable. This human act you do for your girlfriend is charming and all but we both know better, don’t we?”

Lafayette was reading Tara’s fortune and instantly put it away when Eggs interrupted them. Lafayette doesn’t trust Eggs, that’s for sure.

Hoyt (to Bill): “I don’t know what you heard but those were screams of pleasure, right?”
Jessica: “Oh my God.”

Steven (re Sookie): “One more step and the girl dies.”
Bill: “And if you shoot her, everyone will die. Let her go now.”
Steven: “Honestly, what do they see in you?”

Both Steven and Lorena were keen to discuss the fuss made over Sookie, though I think Steven conveyed it better.

Jason (to Steven): “I reckon I’ve already been to heaven. It was inside your wife.”

Sookie (to Bill): “Every time I’ve needed you, you’ve always come running even in broad daylight. What kept you?”

In “Living Dead In Dallas”, both Isobel and Hugo were bound in chains as a punishment. I liked that Godric showed some compassion to them.

Jessica (to Hoyt): “I can’t believe I waited so long. We’re gonna do it every single night whether you want to, don’t you?”

Mike: “They said I sodomised a pine tree.”
Sam: “What did you do that for?”
Mike: “I don’t know. I must’ve blacked out.”

Standout music: I’ll go with Beck’s “Time Bomb” for this one.

Lorena: “You’re no more than a blood bag, you cannot win this.”
Sookie: “I’ve already won. Bill chose me and yet you still won’t give up. Don’t you have any shame?”

Chronology: Right from where “Release Me” left off with Gabe being grabbed by Godric and Sookie buttoning up her dress.

“Time Bomb” seems to be the one that has brought the whole Fellowship Of The Sun arc to an end for the time being but with four episodes left, the writers are going to have to pull out the stops to bring the Maryann arc into play. I have every confidence that they will do it justice.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x06: "Zen And The Art Of Making Mole"

Written by Brian Studler And Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by Michael Schultz

Tommy (to Nora): “Nothing is hard for you, everything’s perfect. Well, guess what? I’m not you.”

And of course, Tommy would have to return and some chaos would have to ensure. And things up until that point were actually going pretty smoothly – everyone was getting along but Nora’s knack for not leaving things alone had to kick in, didn’t it?

It’s not that I’m siding with Tommy here that much but once again; Nora should have left things alone and let him be the one to break the news about Tommy and Julia getting a divorce. There should be certain things that should be off limits for Nora to break to the family. And once again, it happened during a dinner meal.

With Balthazar Getty’s name in the credits, Tommy had to come back at some point and US wise, they were approaching sweeps so here made some sense. The reintroduction itself was played for comedic effect when Luc thought that he was tackling a burglar instead of the forgotten Walker child.

At first everything was okay as well. Tommy only got some soreness from being tackled by Luc but the news of his return sparked no anger from anyone. Even Kevin was past his issues with Tommy and there was a lot to be impressed with. Tommy seemed rather mellow, was offering to cook but he was also being evasive about Julia and Elizabeth.

You could practically see him trying to dodge a bullet when Nora was probing him about their progress and I just knew that she would turn around and phone Julia while Tommy and Kitty were out getting ingredients for mole. Needless to say, Tommy’s reaction to Nora’s phone call was predictable.

Of course he would blow up and tell her to butt out and naturally this would bleed into Nora being unable to keep her mouth closed during dinner. At this point, you would think that she would’ve waited for a private moment to tell everyone about Tommy’s lack of contact with Julia and Elizabeth but she didn’t.

Everyone else’s reactions however seemed muted by comparison. Kevin was mad but he didn’t really go to town on Tommy being so feckless and Sarah and Justin didn’t seem to say much either. In fact it was Kitty who vocalised her thoughts on Tommy’s abandonment and she did it without being shrill either.

In this week’s touching Walker moment, we had both Kitty and Tommy outside talking about a book she was compiling for Evan. The conversation more or less had Kitty encouraging Tommy into trying to play more of an active role in his daughter’s life, even if his marriage to Julia was effectively no more.

Moments like that are great for the series. No histrionics, just a simple conversation and Tommy did actually listen to Kitty. Now all he has to do is actually keep his promise to be there for Elizabeth and make up properly with Nora. It sort of felt like things were unresolved with him and Nora in this one. I’m betting however he’ll be back for Justin and Rebecca’s wedding so I can wait to see them clear the air better.

I suppose another stronger element to this episode was exploring the kind of relationship that Tommy and Nora have. Her relationships with Kevin, Kitty, Sarah and Justin do seem so defined that with Tommy, when Nora talked about letting him go to William, I bought it. Tommy and Nora don’t seem to have as strong a relationship as she does with his siblings. At least Nora acknowledged it and tried to make some amends.

It’s relationships like Tommy that also bled into the surrogacy plot this week as well. We know that Kevin’s been Tommy’s biggest critic and it was part of the reason why he wanted everything to be legal when it came to Michelle. Maybe he could’ve conveyed his intentions better but he was right.

Both Scotty and Michelle should’ve been mature enough to realise that was where he was coming from. Scotty might like the idea of having a close friend as the surrogate but he was being too naive about Michelle. Maybe she’s not the worst person in the world (still having a task buying their close friendship though) but he overreacted with Kevin as well.

Kevin should’ve told him about the document beforehand but Scotty should’ve expected one to have appeared. Of course then it took Scotty and Kevin to look at Tommy’s fractured life to get their own into perspective. On the flipside, Michelle’s still the surrogate but at least her and Kevin seem to be on the same page with each other – for now.

Speaking of Paige, I don’t often praise the kid enough but I liked how quickly she adjusted to Sarah and Luc as a couple. The reason why I liked it was because if she could adjust to her father remarrying his first wife, then why would it be hard for her to accept her mother dating someone else? Joe and Sarah have been seperated for long enough for this not to be an issue.

However when it comes to Sarah and Luc, I’m still in the maybe category. Don’t get me wrong – he’s nice enough, brings Sarah breakfast, is patient, can dance really well as the last episode demonstrated and he’s great to have around in case of intruder but he’s kind of written in a ‘too good to be true’ sort of way. Like Robert in Season One. Still he does make Sarah happy and that alone is a good thing.

Also in terms of happy, apart from feeling annoyed with Holly, Sarah did agree with her little cheap wine scheme quite quickly. Could we actually be getting to a point in the series where Sarah and Holly will argue less and less? I doubt it but for now, Holly should be glad that Sarah agreed to the cheap plonk deal.

In other stuff, this Neil bloke who keeps trying to sabotage Ojai – I’m still not really all that bothered. This week he tried to use Holly’s dire financial state to get her to sell her share in Ojai. I’d like to think that a part of Holly did refuse because he’s a loser with a grudge but even if she financially solvent, Holly would cling to Ojai for dear life. Neil had fun taunting her about continuing her involvement with the Walkers.

As for Ryan, he had a bit more to do here than his previous episodes but it’s the same crap all over. I get that he wants to get one over the Walkers and that he’s tiring of being Saul’s pet project but whatever he’s up to, I wish he’d just get on with it because while this was a great episode, his two scene contribution here was tedious to watch.

Also in “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”

Is this the first episode we’ve ever seen Tommy cook? He was talking about using Mexican chocolate in the recipe instead of coriander.

Michelle (to Scotty): “Maybe you should take Kevin to Megawatt. Looks like someone could use a drink.”

I can’t believe there would be a nightclub called Ultrasound. How weird would that be?

Kitty: “What are you doing here?”
Tommy: “I came to see you. How are you?”
Kitty: “I’m good, how are you?”
Tommy: “A little bit sore but I’m fine.”

Kitty (to Tommy): “Justin says you suck.”
Nora: “That’s nice Justin. Did you hear that?”

This episode had surprisingly very little wedding discussion from Justin and Rebecca. Justin talked more about anatomy than nuptials.

Kevin (to Tommy): “That’s ridiculous. We all know the key to health and happiness is donuts.”

Justin: “That’s it? You’re just gonna be nice?”
Tommy: “I’m proud of you.”

According to Ryan, apparently he has nothing against Holly. Isn’t that nice?

Justin (to Tommy, re mole): “Holy mole, this looks like something I pulled out of a cadaver yesterday.”

Nora (to Kitty, re Tommy): “Maybe he was so easy because I needed him to be. I had four other kids and there wasn’t any room for him to be other than perfect. And he was.”

Robert was missing from this episode. It was mentioned that he was in DC.

Sarah: “What about Coop? Do you think he’d mind a random Frenchman around?”
Paige: “Coop thinks anyone with an accent is tres magnifique.”

Tommy: “Don’t say that. You will be there for him, Kitty.”
Kitty: “Yeah I hope so.”

Standout music: VV Brown’s “L.O.V.E.” and “How You Like Me Now?” by The Heavy.

Sarah (to Luc): “You’re gonna be staying here with me and my kids. You realise the fantasy’s over. This is real life now.”

Chronology: A few days since “Last Tango In Pasadena”.

It’s not my favourite episode but even when the characters are doing stuff that I don’t agree with, I do think the season is delivering brilliant. Plus, pretty inventive episode with “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Review of Dollhouse's 2x10: "The Attic"

Written by Maurissa Tanchereon And Jed Whedon
Directed by John Cassaday

Dominic: “I guess I’m glad I never did kill you.”
Echo: “Don’t get sappy.”

Adelle told us last week that the Attic was the worst hell imaginable but I don’t think there’s going to be a viewer remotely shocked by the things that were seen inside the minds of Echo, Victor/Tony or Sierra/Priya in this episode. Then again, that was not a bad thing.

For Echo, her mind just kept jumping from one disaster to another as she found herself unable to escape the Dollhouse’s clutches and barely stay alive. Some of the imagery for her stuff was brilliant, though a lot of it dream wise confused the hell out of me.

Was her running through the snow something that Echo herself was thinking of or something from one of the 40 imprints running through her head? A part of me had difficulty keeping up because far too many of the scenes just didn’t make that much sense.

Sure there was some excellent moments where both Paul and Boyd got to taunt Echo. Paul naturally wittered on about being a ghost and Boyd was pretty happy to remind Echo that she didn’t have any friends in the Dollhouse when he wasn’t reiterating about her bringing a storm down on herself.

The best thing about Echo’s dreams however was the return of Dominic. Yes, I’ve long gotten over my initial dislike of the guy and it’s great that dream wise, he was more interested in keeping Echo alive than doing her any damage. In fact Dominic’s whole mission seemed dedicated to saving people.

Except for the fact that Dominic’s mission wasn’t going to be straightforward. This being the Attic, there was going to be some killer inside trying to bump everyone off one by one with Echo next on his list. When Echo was trying to warn that guy who was focused on enjoying himself, I did assume that he would be Arcane.

That theory got put to rest when Arcane killed the guy and decided to go after Tony and Priya as well. I knew that neither of them would be killed but it was a decent tease nonetheless. Having Echo and Dominic then band with Priya and Tony in order to take down Arcane was wonderful.

The strongest part of this episode was the switching around. As soon as Arcane was captured, we got the information dump to end all of them. Instead of being stealthy and suited up, Arcane was little more than a bumbling wreck of a man named Clyde – one of the original founders of the Dollhouse and his motives were better than expected. Also dumped into the Attic and betrayed by his unknown partner in crime.

Killing to free the Actives they’re bound into because of the Attic does almost seem reasonable but the shocking part of all this was learning more of the Attic’s purposes – humans as mainframes for example might be a little Matrix-ish but we are talking about a show created by a man who’s been obsessed with that movie for a decade now.

The other stuff with Caroline knowing the identity of the other founder should’ve been expected. Echo might like being her own person but she’s certainly going to have to access her body’s original inhabitant if she really wants to obliterate Rossum once and for all, though she seemed too enthused about doing it.

Making herself flat line in order to try and escape the Attic along with Priya and Tony did make me wonder why others haven’t tried it before but it was nowhere near as pleasant as the reveal of Adelle’s true motives after all.

Of course Adelle would be on the side of taking Rossum out. Even without “Epitaph One” that should’ve been obvious but she’s certainly had us going in the last few episodes. I just hope that after the hoops she’s put Echo through that they do manage to achieve some victories because there’s one hell of a battle ahead for them.

In other stuff, it almost seemed that setting Ivy and Topher against each other was a little pointless and this might sound cold-hearted but I wasn’t exactly all that bothered when Paul was made into a Doll in order to aid Echo. Even his standoff scene with Adelle lacked a certain something.

Also in “The Attic”

Anyone who didn’t realise that the opening scene would play out as the start of Echo’s experience in the Attic should hold their head in shame – it was too obvious.

Guard: “We don’t use Active code names here, we use real names.”
Echo: “My name’s Echo.”

Priya’s nightmare involved her sleeping with Victor only for Nolan to constantly try and terrorise her over and over again.

Topher (re Adelle): “Darth Vader kills lieutenants not storm troopers.”
Ivy: “Thanks, I’ll be right back.”

What exactly other than being the new Topher did Adelle say to make Ivy react so coldly with Topher?

Echo: “And how are you doing after Alpha?”
Paul: “I’m a ghost. You can’t fight a ghost.”

Adelle (to Topher): “If you try to keep secrets from the corporation, you may have every expectation of being chopped to pieces.”

Adelle knew about Topher’s involvement in Nolan’s death, though she spent more time taunting Boyd over his fatherly love to Echo.

Nolan (to Priya): “You know this is a scenario I never tried. Rigor mortis, the new Viagra.”

Clyde (to Echo): “This isn’t a nightmare. This is the shape of things to come.”

Tony was constantly at war with himself, literally battling himself as well. He also killed Priya to get her to flat line.

Echo: “How do you even know this is true?”
Clyde: “Because it was my idea.”

Adelle: “I don’t want to die.”
Paul: “Then one of us is going to be disappointed. Any last words?”

Clyde seemed to have founded the Dollhouse technology back in 1993 and Echo mentioned that it was currently 2010. A lot has happened for the worst his technology.

“The Attic” definitely shows that cancellation can work wonders with some shows. If this show hadn’t been axed, we’d have had to wait maybe another season or two for all this information. Here’s hoping the final three put it to good use.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Doctor Who - Season 5 First Picture/Trailer Announcement

From Digital Spy

The new Doctor Who trailer will premiere this Saturday on BBC One, it has been announced. The promo for the new series, which stars Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, will also simulcast on the official Who website.

Additionally, the BBC has unveiled a new promo shot for the series, which sees The Doctor and companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) pictured together for the first time.

The pair are pictured in a swirling vortex with some of the Doctor’s fiercest enemies including a Dalek, a Weeping Angel and a Smiler.

You hear that? Only three days for a new trailer. We must be getting Series 5 in March then.

ETA: It's looking likely to be April 3rd and the above image is also unsurprisingly going to be used for DWM 419, due out on March 4th.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Doctor Who: The Russell T. Davies Years

Season 5 is upon us. The RTD era is dead but it was a fun five years and here’s a little look back on the times we’ve had – the best as a new and exciting era of the series comes into action.

Season 1

For a lot of people, it was the beginning of the series. I didn’t grow up with it so in a lot of ways, Christopher Eccleston literally was my first Doctor and he was a bloody fantastic one at that. The first series certainly had the odd ropey episode here and there but it set a wonderful dynamic with shop girl Rose Tyler and her mother Jackie and boyfriend Mickey while slowly introducing other companions types such as short lived Adam and ongoing Jack Harkness but more than that, it was the start of lightening striking twice. The show became a mega hit overnight and with the likes of the Daleks, Autons, Gelth, Slitheen (much as I dislike them) and Cassandra, we certainly had a fair share of interesting aliens. I suppose the regeneration from Eccleston into David Tennant with the finale could’ve killed things but we all know what would happen with the Tenth Doctor, don’t we?

Best Story: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.
Worst Story: The Long Game.

Season 2

I think the more and more I watch this season, the more that it’s not as good for me as following seasons. I think it’s because it’s always repeated on Watch and also because while it’s nice to see the Doctor and Rose being closer together, often you feel that other characters didn’t get a look in. Jackie mused about being left behind by her daughter while Mickey went into a parallel world to try and rid them of Cybermen. In terms of episodes, there was some interesting attempts. More mysteries on the Face of Boe, an alien based werewolf, Sarah Jane returning, Reinette, the Beast as well as a finale that would see Daleks and Cybermen duke it out only to be eclipsed by the powerful goodbye that the Doctor and Rose ended up sharing with each other on Bad Wolf Bay. Plus there’s a brief introduction of Donna, who would become the best thing in the series fourth season.

Best Story: Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday
Worst Story: Fear Her

Season 3

For anyone who viciously hated Martha Jones, I always think shame on you to a degree. She might not have had the same impact as Rose to some people but for me, she was every bit as worth watching as her blonde predecessor. The unrequited crush was something the writers could’ve knocked on the head earlier but overall, the third season is actually more enjoyable than the first two in my opinion. This was the season that had a hospital on the Moon, gave us Shakespeare, the Face of Boe’s parting words, tried something different with the Daleks, gave us a human Doctor, Weeping Angels and more importantly had a finale that returned both Jack and the Master to mostly successful effect. The Christmas special with Kylie Minogue was probably the weakest but still in a strong line of episodes for this impressive season.

Best Story: Human Nature/The Family Of Blood
Worst Story: The Lazarus Experiment

Season 4/2009 Specials

Without a doubt my favourite season and a bit from the new series. It was a greatest hits mash up with every companion coming back. Donna Noble herself went from being an ordinary temp to the most important woman in the universe to losing her memory, briefly halting a Master clone and marrying a nice bloke in 15 episodes. Martha joined and left UNIT in the same way she went from Tom to Mickey, Jack and Sarah Jane were around when the Doctor needed them the most, Wilfred provided an awesome support system for the Doctor and Donna and Rose wound up with a human version of the man she loved. In terms of returning aliens, we’ve got Davros and the Daleks trying to destroy reality, Cybermen in Victorian London, Sontarans choking the air, air piranhas with the Vashta Nerada, giant alien wasps, Haths, two significant females for the Doctor (daughter Jenny and future wife River), water based Flood, the Swarm and of course, the Master and the Time Lords with their own designs on conquering/destroying creation. There’s also the Ood, who were instrumental in telling us that the Doctor’s song was coming to an end as well. Overall, this was the busiest and best series from RTD’s run and a fantastic ending to David Tennant’s reign as the Doctor.

Best Story: The End of Time Parts 1 And 2
Worst Story: The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Review of Being Human's 2x06: "In The Morning"

Written by Lisa McGee
Directed by Charles Martin

Lucy: “You can’t just change.”
Mitchell: “I can.”
Lucy: “You’re not strong enough.”

Doomed romances don’t come any more doomed than Mitchell and Lucy, do they? She spent most of this episode being disgusted by Mitchell that even he should’ve twigged that he wouldn’t be enjoying a future with her any time soon.

I mean, post-sex she was going to stake him and Mitchell himself wasn’t doing much to persuade her that he could change. Basically Mitchell told that she could save him but we all know that’s bollocks so to speak. Mitchell, you have to save yourself and really want to change your ways (which is more difficult for a vampire).

Trying to guilty a wavering person into being your crutch was most definitely not the way for Mitchell to go about proving to Lucy that he’s capable of better. Nor was the pretence to George and Annie that he and Lucy were in a serious relationship. The woman can barely look at you, Mitchell.

When it comes to Lucy, her conflict did interest me a lot. She’s not as devoted to this persecution of vampires as Kemp but she certainly has similar religious beliefs to him and while she was reluctant in acting, she did choose a side when pushed. She chose the side of God.

As a non-religious person, even I got that she thought that she was doing good. Kemp wanted all the vampires in the funeral home, including Mitchell and Lloyd made sure that the place went up in smithereens. It was a shocker of an end for the episode but come on, apart from some nameless vampires, what will be the big casualties?

Mitchell will inevitably survive because he’s going to have to find out about Lucy and Kemp and Ivan himself is also a likely candidate to pull through. Other remaining survivors are just more likely to revert to their old ways and kick Mitchell’s regime into touch and that’s been on the cards for a while now.

One of the joys about this was finally giving Kemp some needed back story into his contempt for the supernatural. It might not be wholly original that his wife and child were slaughtered by vampires but it does make the character more accessible to audiences as well. His overall plan will inevitably fail but at least we know why he’s the way he is, even if his actions aren’t justified so to speak.

Speaking of actions, this was a brilliant episode for Annie, even better than her one with Sykes. I’m sceptical of these so called mediums because most of the time, they are just charlatans targeting people at their most vulnerable but I did love what this episode did with Alan Cortez.

An actual medium that was having difficulties with communicating with ghosts because of some accident that happened way back was a good move for the episode. I got a kick out of the frustrated ghosts yelling to get his attention but it made sense that Annie would be the one to actually communicate with him.

In a clichéd manner, both Annie and Alan needed each other for different reasons. Alan needed to finally start communicating with real spirits instead of doing guesswork and Annie needed something of a purpose and closure on at least one important aspect of the world she’s just about a part of.

Seeing Annie direct the ghosts to Alan during the live show was a hoot. Jimmy certainly had a foul mouth on him with his cheating living partner Orla but even when he crossed over; it still provided a touching moment. Why it is that Annie can’t have that now?

Then there was Carmen. I was actually shocked that we would get Annie’s mother in the series but it was only a matter of time before it happened. Some of Lenora Crichlow’s best acting came from the scenes where Annie got Alan to encourage Carmen to try and move forward with her life. It’s stuff like this that makes me wish Annie would get more to do in this series.

Her later conversations with Alan and Robin also showcased the fact that she’s become slightly more assertive as a ghost than she ever was as a person. It was nice that when she turned down Alan’s offer of going on the road with her, that Robin took her place. I liked Robin, even if she was slightly underused.

However as excellent as Mitchell and Annie’s stories have been in this episode, the least strongest story from this one though would be George’s. I still like the guy but this season, I’ve just wanted to shake some sense into and it continued here.

I know I’m repeating myself but I’ll say it again – I like Sam but her and George are just doomed. This time I’m not thinking about Nina and solely concentrating on the way George has bulldozed into this relationship all in a bid to prove that he’s normal. So normal that he can’t even come up with a decent lie to get out of going to Molly’s parent-teacher meeting.

Molly was smart enough to suss out that George was lying to her mother and even gave him an escape route. If George had been smart, he would’ve taken it. This can only mean that within the next two episodes that Molly will either come up with a way of breaking George and Sam apart or Sam is going to find out about her boyfriend’s werewolf nature in another way. Either way, it’s going to be a messy one.

Also in “In The Morning”

This week’s flashback was London 1972, where a young priest named Kemp had to witness the brutal murders of his wife and daughter by vampires.

Annie: “Are you having a breakdown or something?”
George: “No but I think you might be.”

Annie did overreact with smashing stuff and hiding George’s things but at least she actually tried to talk sense into George. Mitchell couldn’t be bothered this week.

Annie (to Mitchell/George): “Oh you take his side. You two are so gay for each other.”

Lucy (re Mitchell): “I can’t kill another person.”
Kemp: “He’s not a person, professor. They’re not people.”

I wonder how many vampires Kemp has killed since that night in 1972.

Alan: “Am I sensing another spirit in the room?”
Annie: “There’s been one in the room for the last forty minutes you giant twat.”

Annie: “What are you looking for?”
George: “My bloody phone charger.”
Annie: “Oh that’s in the oven.”

Molly got the truth out of George when he confused toboggan sleighs with samurai swords. Also was that nightmare of hers just a ruse to create tension?

Ivan (to Mitchell): “Just leave it to me. I’ve got most of them on my Twitter feed.”

George: “You tricked me.”
Molly: “I knew you were lying.”

Was Daisy at that meeting? I don’t recall seeing her. In fact, Daisy’s been pretty underused this season, given the hype we initially got with her and Ivan.

Molly (re Sam): “You can tell her.”
George: “I can’t. I’m too scared to take the risk.”
Molly: “She loves you, no matter what.”

Alan (re Annie): “She says it’s time to let go.”
Carmen: “She’s my daughter for God’s sake. How can I let go?”

Standout music: “Sleep Alone” by Bat For Lashes.

Ivan (to Mitchell): “You should’ve said it was about love. I get it now.”

Chronology: Exactly where the previous episode left off.

Easily the best episode from the second season. I can’t wait to see how the last two tie up all the loose ends, especially with Kemp finally making contact with George and Annie and Mitchell’s little predicament. Also nice to know that Nina’s still breathing.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Top 50 Buffy Episodes Part 6

And here's the sixth part of it ....

21: The Killer In Me (Season 7, Episode 13)

An underrated episode but arguably one of Season Seven's strongest. I'm not a big Willow/Kennedy shipper but I did like them more in the series than the current eighth season comics book and this was a nice episode for them. Plus the whole Amy making Willow subconsciously change into Warren was pure nastiness on her part.

22: What's My Line Part 2 (Season 2, Episode 10)

Not a particularly pleasant episode for Angel. He spent most of it bound, gagged and being tortured by Spike and Drusilla when they weren't using him to restore the latter to full health. There's also some great scenes between Buffy and Kendra as the two of them try to iron out their differences with varying success.

23: Consequences (Season 3, Episode 15)

It's probably not that much of a coincidence that outside of Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon often wrote some huge character shifting episodes. This one finally saw Faith embrace her dark side when she decided to pledge her allegiance to the Mayor after Wesley's failed attempt to ship her back to England.

24: Who Are You? (Season 4, Episode 16)

What a brilliant episode. First off all, the reverse roles that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku had to play were excellent, both were good in them but as a Willow/Tara shipper, this was the most blatant episode to show that these two were more than just friends. Also it would take Joss Whedon to use magic as a sex metaphor.

25: Welcome To The Hellmouth (Season 1, Episode 1)

The very first episode of the series (unless you want to count The Movie but that had a different Buffy folks) and one of the best too. Granted it doesn't look good now and you can certainly critique the attire of the characters but it did give us all of the Scoobies and introduced both the Master and Darla perfectly. And Luke had such potential.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Unofficial Press Release (Doctor Who Season 5 Spoilers)

We're still weeks away from the fifth season of Doctor Who and some of the spoilers are coming thick and fast. A rumour date for the new series has been sometime in March but here's a press release that explains more about the upcoming season.

A new era of Doctor Who begins in Spring 2010. This latest series of the BBC’s flagship drama programme sees Matt Smith’s debut as the new, Eleventh incarnation of the famous Time Lord alongside a new travelling companion, the enigmatic Amy Pond (Karen Gillan).

Together they explore 16th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space.

As always, wherever the Doctor goes, his oldest enemies are never far behind – the Daleks are hatching a new master plan from the heart of war-torn London in the 1940s. But they are not the only strange creatures the Doctor and Amy must face – there are also alien vampires. humanoid reptiles, old enemies such as the Weeping Angels, a Star Whale, and a silent menace that follows Amy and the Doctor around wherever they go…

More information here ...

From Digital Journal

Actress Nina Wadia, a star of the UK’s top television soap, is to play a Doctor Who baddie in an episode set to air in the spring, it has been revealed. Wadia (41), a star of the BBC’s long-running soap EastEnders and the hit film Bend It Like Beckham plays a battleaxe named Zainab Masood in the soap, but in Doctor Who she will portray an evil psychiatric expert, playing alongside new Doctor, Matt Smith, who has just taken over from tenth Doctor David Tennant.

Wadia’s sharp-tongued EastEnders character is at war with her gay son Syed, whom she forced into marrying Amira Shah, played by Preeya Kalidas. Syed (played by Marc Elliott) has been in a relationship with another character called Christian Clarke (John Partridge). The episode in which they featured their first kiss was fiercely criticised, mainly on religious grounds because the character of Syed is a Muslim. According to the tabloid Sun, Wadia said of her Who role: “It was brilliant to be let out [of EastEnders] for a couple of days to do something else and it was great working with Matt Smith.

“I play a bit of a baddie. And yes, like my EastEnders character Zainab, she’s not a very pleasant woman – but at least I’m human and not some kind of strange alien life-form. I play a doctor – more of a psychiatric doctor than a traditional medical one.” Indian-born Wadia gained fame in the BBC comedy Goodness Gracious Me, and has been playing the strong-willed postmistress in EastEnders since 2007.

Wadia follows her Goodness Gracious Me colleague Meera Syal into the long-running sci-fi series. Syal confirmed last November that she would be joining Doctor Who in the 2010 series.

Meanwhile if you have a hankering to ask Karen Gillan any questions, you can do so here ....

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x05: "Last Tango In Pasadena"

Written by Jason Wilburn And Molly Newman
Directed by Bethany Rooney

Sarah: “I can’t believe you flew six thousand miles to see me.”
Luc: “I can’t believe you can’t believe it.”

And doesn’t that make for an interesting discussion. Is it suspicious that Luc decided to pursue Sarah so much that he flew over to America or is he really just a big old romantic at heart? Either way, this episode wasn’t particularly subtle with the impression that Luc was making on the Walker family.

Sarah herself clearly likes the guy but not enough to introduce him to Paige and Cooper as her boyfriend. There’s a degree of sense in Sarah’s logic. Both she and Luc haven’t known each other that long and it’s sensible for her to approach him with caution but at the same time, she’s also put Luc within her family’s orbit.

To try and briefly keep Luc away from Paige and Cooper, she did kind of railroad Nora into letting him stay with her. Nora had a right to be less than keen with taking Luc in and it made sense that she would be the last person to be taken in with his charms given her current worrying over Kitty’s health.

However if you’re one of those people who finds yourself watching a television series and can’t help but complain when a particular character (regardless of gender) is objectified a hundred fold, then this episode will give you a lot to complain. Or maybe you’ll think the Walker’s ogling of Luc is perfectly fine.

It’s a funny moment when Justin was being taught how to dance by Luc when Kevin interrupted them with his jaw literally hanging out. Kitty can definitely be blamed for this one, given that she texted everyone to come to the house and gaze at Luc’s manly French physique.

Gilles Marini doesn’t really do it for me and while the ogling got a little silly, there was also a fun side to it as well. Luc himself wasn’t particularly bothered with everyone eyeing him up and the Walkers themselves had fun watching him getting out of the pool. Saul even went as far as to flirt with him in French and honestly, that’s the most that Saul has contributed all season so far.

Plus there was the fun of Luc’s dancing as well. Okay, the writers here were definitely capitalising on the actor’s previous bout on Dancing With The Stars but I found it interesting that Luc had more chemistry dancing with Justin than the latter has in general with Rebecca. Similarly Rebecca herself had more chemistry dancing with Luc than she’s ever had on screen with Justin. I can’t be the only one who picked on that, can I?

Of course with everyone else being impressed with Luc, Nora’s hostility towards him wasn’t going to go unnoticed and in this week’s argument both her and Sarah had it out over Luc and Kitty. One of the things I like about this show is that you do get to see both points of views and here’s the same.

With Nora, she was right to tell Paige and Cooper about Kitty’s illness. They asked an honest question and Nora did do her best to cushion the blow as much as she did. Maybe it wasn’t her place but I do think that she made the right call. And both Cooper and Paige were able to handle it better than Sarah expected them to do so.

As for what Sarah said, she was right too. Nora needs to let up a little when it comes to Kitty. I know she’s worried about her and no-one begrudged that but Sarah’s idea of keeping things fun isn’t a way of denying Kitty’s illness either. It’s good that towards the end of the episode both women were able to put their differences aside and focus on Kitty.

Speaking of Kitty, this was probably her lightest episode so far this season. Most of it revolved around her excitement to go to a Republican bash and then being happy (after some initial disappointment) when she realised that Robert had actually planned a surprise dinner and fireworks for her instead. I can safely say that Robert is definitely staying in my good books with this episode.

As for the less engaging stuff of the episode, Ryan – why are you here? You’ve been missing for the previous two episodes and here you’re reduced to a line or two before disappearing. Unless the writers do actually have something interesting lined up for him later on, I really cannot fathom as to why Luke Grimes was made a regular this year, I really can’t.

Another thing I can’t fathom was the writers’ decision to suddenly make Holly scammed by a fraudulent. Maybe it’s a nice way to remind viewers not to put your financial eggs into one basket or maybe it was another in series of failed attempts to get viewers to care about Holly. Okay, it was the latter and no, I don’t especially care that Holly got screwed over.

A tiny bit of me thinks that maybe I should care given that Holly kept harping on about wanting to give Rebecca the best wedding ever or when she lectured David to pull his finger but I just can’t be bothered. After enjoying her scenes with Rebecca in the previous episode, I pretty much wanted to fast forward all of her scenes in this one. Figures.

Something else that frustrated me this week was Kevin and Scotty. After one episode where we didn’t have to have them arguing about having a kid, Scotty had to come up with the worst idea ever – use Michelle as a surrogate. Okay she suggested it but Scotty for some insane reason actually thought it was a good idea.

While there’s nothing wrong with him wanting to take an assertive role in his marriage to Kevin, this was the worst time to do. It’s not like I think Michelle is the devil incarnation (though after having the misfortune to watching The City, Roxy Olin definitely comes across as a pain in the arse), Kevin was right to allude to the fact that she was a flake.

I really wished for this one that Kevin had actually stuck to his gun because so far, both of them haven’t shown that they’re ready to start being parents. They should wait and obviously they should try and get a surrogate without the kind of baggage that Michelle has. This whole plot seems to have disaster inscribed all over it.

Also in “Last Tango In Pasadena”

Wow, the writers can’t even be arsed to actually show Joe on screen. He must’ve left massive skid marks when Sarah opened the door to let in Paige and Cooper.

Michelle: “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Kevin: “I don’t know.”
Scotty: “What are you thinking?”

Since her last appearance in the first season, Michelle seems to be trying to sell bags for a living. Kevin sensibly refused to finance her.

Kevin (re Michelle): “I’m not comfortable with her being our surrogate.”
Scotty: “Why?”
Kevin: “You have to admit she’s a little flaky.”

Scotty (to Kitty/Rebecca/Justin): “Oh hey, give this to Kevin.”
Kevin: “What for?”
Scotty: “The drool on your chin.”

It wouldn’t have killed the writers to have actually shown us that Scotty and Michelle were close in Seasons 2 and 3. Something about their closeness just came across as extremely false to me.

Kitty: “You never do anything halfway, do you?”
Robert: “Not when it comes to you.”

Sarah: “Sometimes men can be so stupid.”
Luc: “They’re all fools when it comes down to love.”

There was some nice continuity with Kitty and Robert’s helicopter experiences in “Valentine’s Day Massacre”.

Robert: “I’m starting to think that my surprise isn’t as my cover story.”
Kitty: “I don’t know. I guess I was hoping for a night without cancer.”

Standout music: Gotan Project’s “Santa Maria”, which was also used in the third season of Nip/Tuck.

Luc: “So who will be the girl?”
Kevin: “Her name is Michelle.”
Luc: “Good for you.”

Chronology: None specified since “From France With Love”.

It’s hard to maintain the standards that this season has been setting out so far but at least they’re trying. “Last Tango In Pasadena” was another enjoyable hour with the Walkers and Luc could be a good addition if kept on (okay, I’m aware of a certain spoiler but bear with me here).

Rating: 8 out of 10.