Monday, December 30, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x13: "Touched By The Gods Part 2"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Jeremy Webb

Pasiphae (re Jason): “Who is he to you?”
Tychon: “He’s our son. He is touched by the gods as you are. He’s your blood.”

I will give the show credit where it is definitely due – I did not see that particular reveal coming at all. After the annoying missed opportunity that was otherwise known as Circe, this show has another chance to layer Pasiphae as a character now that we know that Jason is her son and that Tychon was the man who fathered him and became a leper at Pasiphae’s hand. Howard Overman, please milk this for all it’s worth.

The reveal might have been done in a style that wouldn’t have been out of place in any soap but it’s an excellent storytelling possibility as well. Tychon needled Pasiphae about whether or not she’d be able to kill her own son and the Oracle seemed to delight in pointing out that Jason would bring about her downfall.

The question now remains – will Pasiphae kill Jason? Will maternal love overrule the desire for total power of Atlantis? Whatever path Pasiphae ultimately ends up taking, it’s nice that might finally mean that Sarah Parish will get more to do for the next series. I’ve wanted Pasiphae to become a more interesting villain and now it looks like I might get my wish after all.

Of course there’s still work that needs to be done with Pasiphae. In this episode alone she failed twice to kill Ariadne and incurred Minos’s wrath as well when her attempts of bumping him off were stopped at the last minute by Melas. It’s going to be interesting to see what Pasiphae’s standing within the kingdom will next series. I’m sure attempted murder on your stepdaughter is more than enough grounds for either execution or perhaps divorce. I guess it will depend on Minos’s mood though.

Speaking of Minos, I was actually shocked to see him survive this episode. I was certain he was going to be a goner but then the episode only went and bumped off both Ramos and Heptarian instead. I liked that Ramos’s loyalty to the kingdom helped save the day partially, even if he died because of it.

As for Heptarian – he might not have been the nicest of characters but it’s a shame we’re losing him though. I enjoyed his rivalry with Jason and while I was glad it was the latter who killed him off, I do think the character’s death at least could’ve been held off until the second series. Oh well, hopefully Jason will get another rival next series but at least Heptarian’s death was an actual shock though.

The least shocking things about the episode though happened to be Ariadne surviving, which was actually fine by me because she was both likeable and actually pretty useful in the episode and the reveal of Tychon as Jason’s father. The trailer had pretty much ruined the latter having any shock value but at least he survived the episode and was wonderfully played by John Hannah as well. Bonuses on all counts then.

As for Pythagoras and Hercules – there wasn’t really much they did that stood out individually. Mainly they were there to support Jason, help rescue Ariadne, befriend lepers and do battle with some soldiers and even Ariadne was better at that than they were. However instead of that being a problem, I think it actually helped the plot just this one. That being said, Pythagoras does need to do more next series though.

Also in “Touched By The Gods Part 2”

What the odds that Ione will end up being killed at the start of next series? Pasiphae will definitely shift the blame onto her.

Hercules (to Jason): “You think you’ll die a hero’s death? You will achieve nothing and die a fool.”

Hercules’s ranking of likes – 1) Medusa 2) wine and pies 3) Pythagoras and 4) Jason. I think that’s about right, isn’t it?

Jason (to the Oracle): “Keep praying. Chances are we’re all going to die.”

Jason: “Are you hurt?”
Ariadne: “I thought I’d never see you again.”

The brazen bull method of dying was actually a real thing. Ariadne should count herself lucky she didn’t get to suffer that fate after all.

Hercules: “Thank you Hercules for saving my life again.”
Pythagoras: “I fear you will take my life if you don’t get off me.”

Tychon (to Pasiphae): “I don’t believe you can kill your own son.”

It’s lucky that this show’s renewal was already made weeks before because the ratings for this last episode was less than four million.

The Oracle: “It is your own future that should concern you?”
Pasiphae: “What do you see?”
The Oracle: “Your paths are as one. The day will come when Jason will destroy you.”

Chronology: From where the first part of this episode more or less left off.

Let’s be honest – this show as a collective whole has been a largely mixed bag with some flashes of greatness and a lot of moments that were a source of contention. In some ways, “Touched By The Gods Part 2” really should be the start of the show coming into it’s own and improving but unless the writers address a lot of what went wrong with the series and fast, it’s chances of going beyond the hastily commissioned second series probably aren’t high.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of Sherlock's: "Many Happy Returns"

Written by Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss
Directed by Unknown

Lestrade (re Sherlock): "He didn't solve all of my cases."
Anderson: "He's out there. He's hiding but he can't stop himself from getting involved. It's so obviously him if you know how to spot the signs."

You wait nearly two years for the return of the great detective (not you, Vastra, the other one) and the BBC decide to give us a prequel during the Christmas period in order to whet our appetite a little bit more. Consider this a success then.

The seven minute is delightful in it's simplicity as it's Anderson of all people who's been spotting clues to Sherlock not being dead. It's amazing that Anderson has gone from being somewhat bad at his job in the first two series to actually piecing together vital clues to Sherlock being alive, even if both Lestrade and Watson themselves are still convinced that Sherlock is dead.

Perhaps the most effective and affecting part of this prequel was that video scene. Having Watson watch Sherlock's birthday message certainly tugged at the heart strings, I won't lie but the end scene where it looked like Lestrade was starting to become convinced about Sherlock being alive after all was a nice ending.

- Anderson lost his job and spotted that Sherlock had helped out in a monastery, in New Dehli and a juror in Hamburg.
- Watson's friends seemingly hate him, according to Sherlock.
- The use of Sherlock in a lit shadowy moment was actually pretty effective too.
- Um, who actually directed this minisode? Why aren't they credited it for it?

Overall, a fun little scene with some good character moments (especially from Anderson, which surprised me). The game is definitely back on alright.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Review of Doctor Who's 7x16: "The Time Of The Doctor"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Jamie Payne

The Doctor (to Clara): “I will not forget any line of this, not one day I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”

As final lines go, I think this will be one that will generate far less criticism than “I don’t want to go”. Regeneration episodes are interesting beasts. They can sometimes be too long or risk being too short. While I do think this episode probably should’ve been allotted an extra ten or fifteen minutes, it’s hard not to love it.

In some ways, this happened to be a two sided affair. It was both a simple adventure with the Doctor spending three hundred years on Trenzalore in the town of Christmas protecting the people from all sorts of baddies (Daleks mainly) and it was also a story that had to tie up the Eleventh Doctor’s era while setting up events for the Twelfth Doctor’s tenure as well. Overall, I think it mostly succeeded with it’s aims.

Finally resolving the plotline with the exploding TARDIS/Silence/Trenzalore etc by introducing the Papal Mainframe herself, Tasha Lem was a good idea but a lot of what was revealed here was stuff that we already knew. I wasn’t shocked to learn that the Kovarian chapter were the ones to blow up the TARDIS and the reasons behind the Doctor not being allowed to speak his name were pretty obvious too.

Of course, obvious as they were, they still worked thematically though. At some point, the Time Lords are going to find a loophole and get back into our universe and it’s pretty obvious that will happen during the next era for the show. After all, there does have to be some consequences for them giving the Doctor a whole new regeneration cycle, doesn’t there?

Speaking of the regeneration cycle – I find the online criticism from some fans about Clara appealing to the Time Lord to help the Doctor downright laughable. Mainly because it emphasised just how desperate certain fans are becoming to criticise the show and also because it’s obvious that helping the Doctor benefits the Time Lords in the long run (or will do). That should’ve been obvious to anyone watching this episode and being aware of the show’s history.

As for the monsters of the episode – the idea is somewhat of a rehash of the events with the Pandorica but overall it’s fine really. Only the Daleks and the Cybermen really make an impression while the Silence are actually allies in this episode (also revealed as engineered priests too). The appearances from the Sontarans and Weeping Angels are merely window dressing by comparison though.

As for Tasha Lem – overall, I think Orla Brady gave a great performance and while I’m not one who takes massive exception to Moffat’s depiction of women (though I’m aware he tends to overuse certain tropes at times), she was practically River 2.0. Not a terrible character as such and certainly handy in a Dalek confrontation (she did become one ala Darla) but overall, I didn’t find she was enigmatic as she could’ve been though.

On the other hand, Clara was absolutely brilliant from start to finish in relation to this episode. Her frantic attempts of getting Christmas dinner done were amusing but her support for the Doctor throughout the episode (even after being sent home twice) truly endeared her all the more to me. I’ve made no secret of enjoying Clara as a character and it seems like I’m going to love her with the Twelfth Doctor as much as the Eleventh.

As for the other highlights of the episode – the brief appearance of Amy felt completely right. It was a nice little surprise and a great lead into the rather abrupt way of exiting Matt Smith and debuting Peter Capaldi as well. Waiting until the final quarter of 2014 to see the new Doctor in action is going to be a hard one but I have no doubt it will be worth it too.

Also in “The Time Of The Doctor”

Considering all the online content we’ve gotten this series, I was surprised we didn’t get a prequel or two for this episode.

Clara: “Why are you naked?”
The Doctor: “Because I’m going to church.”

In this episode we met Clara’s grandmother (Sheila Reid previously appeared in a Sixth Doctor story), her recast father, Dave and his girlfriend, Linda (who voiced ATMOS). Oh and the Doctor had a Cyberhead companion named Handles.

Tasha: “Is that a new body? Give us a twirl.”
The Doctor: “Hush, this old thing? Please, I’ve been rocking it for centuries.”

Clara: “How can a town be called Christmas?”
The Doctor: “How can an island be called Easter?”

Technically the Doctor was naked, bald and older for a lot of this episode. Interesting how all the above was written into the episode.

Clara: “You didn’t even say goodbye.”
The Doctor: “I am furious with you.”
Clara: “Well, I am not even speaking to you.”

The Doctor: “Everything ends.”
Clara: “Except you.”

The fact that the Master was mentioned in this episode (possibly twice) does seem to indicate that we’ll meet him again during Capaldi’s era.

Tasha (to the Doctor/Clara): “Oh, I died. It’s funny the things that slip your mind.”

Clara: “Hello Doctor.”
The Doctor: “Were you always so young?”
Clara: “Nah, that was you.”

I had a theory that Clara was an English teacher and this episode confirmed it. She also seems to have a flat around the Powell Estate as well.

Clara (to the Time Lords): “His name, his name is the Doctor. All the name he needs, everything you need to know about him and if you love him and you should, help him. Help him.”

The Doctor (to the Daleks): “Love from Gallifrey boys.”

Standout music: There was some nice new music in there but there was also a lot familiar music there as well.

Amy: “Raggedy Man, goodnight.”

Twelfth Doctor (to Clara, re TARDIS): “Just one question – do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

Chronology: Christmas 2013 on Earth and no idea in relation to Trenzalore.

I watched “The Time Of The Doctor” three times and each one of those times, it made me cry. I’m not going to say this will be the greatest regeneration episode going (the Smith/Capaldi change was a bit swift) but damn it, it was enjoyable, tied up the needed loose ends, told a story that was both quietly intimate and epic in scale and made me excited for the future. Matt Smith, you were a wonderful Doctor and you are going to be missed and Peter Capaldi – welcome aboard.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Review of A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens
Released in 1843

I was debating about what to review on this particular day and then it struck me - how about the most influential book of all time? I've always liked A Christmas Carol and it's becoming a tradition for me to actually read it during this time of year, so it seemed perfect to actually review as well.

The story at this point is known to every generation - miserly Ebenezer Scrooge doesn't like Christmas and especially seems to take exception to anyone who embraces it (his nephew in particular) and throughout the course of the book (or five staves), he's visited by three spirits to change his whole stance on the matter after former business partner and friend Jacob Marley urged him to change his ways.

The first spirit - Ghost Of Christmas Past gave us a great insight into Scrooge's younger years. It's actually hard not to feel sorry for Scrooge throughout this story, especially when you see how lonely he actually is as both a child and an adult. Sure, a lot of it is self inflicted, but I still find myself feeling bad for the guy from time to time in this book.

The second spirit - Ghost Of Christmas Present only adds to some of the sympathy I actually feel for Scrooge. Seeing his own nephew speak of him in a pitying way definitely leaves a sting, even if the moment where Scrooge encountered two starving children did feel a little much in parts but still worked well.

The third and last spirit - Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come needed to be the bleakest one of the bunch. It showed Scrooge his fate if he didn't change his ways it naturally led to the miser having an epiphany and becoming more embracing of the festive period. When he wasn't helping a poor kid named Tiny Tim as well as spending time with his actual family for good measure.

Overall for a book that's been around for 170 years, it's one that still holds up and it's one that has gone to deserve the iconic status awarded to it over the years. A wonderful, timelessly entertaining and beautiful book. If you don't own it, you really should.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x12: "Touched By The Gods Part 1"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Jeremy Webb

Ariadne: “I would help anyone who would see you dead.”
Pasiphae: “Then you have sealed your fate.”

Oh, dear – it seems the only thing that is consistent about this show is the characters annoying habits of being stupid in order to facilitate the plot. In this week’s one, Ariadne basically cemented her own death and gave Pasiphae the advantage that she had been looking for with very little effort.

Why didn’t Ariadne get rid of the evidence of Jason being in her chambers early? Why did she decide to trust Ione without barely knowing her with her secret harbouring of the assassin and why didn’t she just denounce her maid as a liar during her trial?

Doing any one of those things would’ve both helped her and ensured that Pasiphae didn’t have an advantage over her but again, any of those things would’ve made common sense and the writers seem to be against that at the moment. I do enjoy this show but Overman and company certainly don’t make it easy at times though.

Then there’s Jason himself. If not killing Pasiphae was supposed to cement him as a good man with a conscience, then this episode failed especially given that he has killed lesser baddies in previous episodes. Ultimately, Jason should’ve just bumped the queen off (though maybe not on the latrine) and Ariadne’s life wouldn’t be hanging in the balance. Because of his own indecisiveness, she now is.

Not that I believe for a second that Ariadne is destined to die at the Brazen Bull though. No, she’s the love interest and she will survive but someone other than Minos needs to die in the next episode in order to push this show just the tiniest bit forward. At this point, it might as well be Pasiphae.

Another source of contention for this episode was Circe. It’s a shame the writers introduced a character with such potential and then bumped her off in such an unsatisfying manner as well. Not only did Circe respond as a predictable psychopath when Jason failed to kill her sister but Circe herself died in a pretty poor fashion as well.

It also begged the question – what was the point of her? Overman had a brilliant opportunity of another interesting female antagonist with a decent back story and one who could’ve helped develop Pasiphae as a character and he chose to kill her off before the two of them even got to interact onscreen. You genuinely have to wonder what goes on in his head. Even the least skilled of writers would’ve seen the potential for some great future material there.

As for Pythagoras and Hercules – well, they were a support system for Jason and little more. As episodes went, a few comedy scrapes here and there and one or two more serious scenes, there wasn’t much that either of them did that was really interesting.

Also in “Touched By The Gods Part 1”

Like it’s predecessor, it’s nice to see that this series seems to be going for the two part finale approach. I just hope something meaty happens in the second half.

Circe (to Jason): “The time has come for you to kill Pasiphae.”

For all her dislike of Pasiphae, why isn’t Ariadne suspicious that her stepmother might be bumping off her own father?

Jason (to Hercules, re Pythagoras): “When he wakes up, we’ll tell him he’s not an idiot.”

Pasiphae (to Heptarian): “Sometimes I struggle to believe I had such high hopes for you.”

Pasiphae seemed sincere enough when she was talking to Ariadne about her father’s death. If only the writers would show more of that side to her. It would make her a more interesting villain.

Ariadne: “To take a life is not an easy thing. The tables were turned, Pasiphae would not think twice before killing either of us.”
Jason: “We’re not the same as her. Surely that’s a good thing?”

Hercules (to Pythagoras): “Alright, let’s go and get killed together.”

The skeleton battle in Circe’s cave was actually pretty well done. I have to give the episode points for that alone. I’m still not feeling Jason/Ariadne as a couple though.

Jason: “Kill me.”
Circe: “As you wish.”

Chronology: Seriously, how long has Jason actually been in Atlantis at this point and why hasn’t he made some allusions to his former life?

To say that “Touched By The Gods Part 1” was better than the previous episode would be stating the obvious but as an episode, it still could’ve been better than it actually was. Even Ariadne’s fate at the end of this one doesn’t really feel like we’ll lose her as a character.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Review of Man Of Steel (2013)

Written by David S. Goyer & Christopher Nolan
Directed by Zack Snyder

Superman: "Let's put our cards on the table. You want to control me and you can't, but that doesn't make me your enemy."

I took my time in watching this movie. Not because I didn't want to watch it but just because I had other things to do but having rented the movie last night on DVD and ignoring everything else that everyone told me and that I had read about this particular take on Superman, I approached it with an open mind. That was a wise decision on my part because this movie certainly has it's moments.

To focus on it's faults first, I have to admit the first quarter of this movie did feel like a slog to get through. While the scenes with Jor-El and Lara trying to protect their newborn son and succumb to the wrath of General Zod along with the destruction of Krypton was vital, it lagged a bit and some of the flashbacks with a younger version of Clark just didn't grab my attention, essential as they were supposed to be to the main plot.

Then there's Henry Cavill himself. He looks the part, has a great costume and there are certainly some memorable scenes he gets throughout the movie but for a character that got so many flashbacks to expand on his story, I just didn't feel that either Clark or Superman himself was as fleshed out as he should be. I don't know why that is.

The relationship between Superman and Lois Lane is another thing as well. Amy Adams is actually quite likeable as Lois and thankfully, a pretty assertive version of the character as well but the chemistry between her and Cavill, while nice doesn't exactly radiate off the screen and their interactions lack a certain oomph factor about them. Hopefully in the sequel, they will be much better developed and fleshed out because here, they are certain lacking a bit.

As for the destruction throughout the movie - Metropolis really did get a going over by both the US government/army types and General Zod and his men trying to recreate Krypton with terraforming the Earth. The battle sequences ranged from being impressive in some parts to being rather slapdash in other parts. It's certainly a mixed bag overall.

That being said, as critical as I am about the movie, namely the script and characterisation, one of my favourite parts of the movie happens to be the cast. On the parental front, both Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer are great as Clark's birth parents, Jor-El and Lara while Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are similarly brilliant as Jonathan and Martha Kent. There's also some great supporting performances from the likes of Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Christopher Meloni as Colonol Hardy as well for good measure.

However the standout performance for me (and arguably more so than Cavill or Adams) turned out to be Michael Shannon. As Zod, Shannon flipped between a maniacal tyrant and a man desperate to save his own planet. There are even times in this movie where I found myself siding with Zod more than I did with Superman and that certainly took some doing.

Overall, this is definitely not a bad take on the legend of Superman. It's not exactly going to overshadow Christopher Reeves version of the character and I wouldn't be quick to say it's better than either Brandon Routh's brief movie outing as well but it's definitely good in huge parts. It's just sadly half as spectacular or as epic as it tries to be though. It's a shame because the ingredients certainly seemed to be there. Hopefully the sequel will be a marked improvement.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Friday, December 20, 2013

Three Ghosts

It's been a while since I last did this one, so any show I miss out on is probably one that I need to catch up with (namely Sleepy Hollow at the moment).

Arrow: Wow, the last two episodes that formed the mid-season finale/winter ending were brilliant, weren't they? The show has gone from being a great watch to being rather unmissable and the latest twist with Slade was another good one but more to the point - Barry Allen. Immediately in two episodes, he won me over and I can't wait to see him return and to see him in action as the Flash. Oh and it's also amazing that it took Oliver 32 episodes to invest in a mask as well. Better late than never I suppose.

Bad Education: Every now and then, BBC3 award one of their comedy shows a Christmas special. Last year, it was Him & Her and this year, it was Bad Education's turn (as well as Bluestone 42) and let's just say, it was certainly a fun episode alright. The Robocracker production aside, I don't think I'm ever going to look at donkeys again thanks to this one. Oh and Frances Barber was a hoot as Alfie's mother, though a little underused.

Devious Maids: This show is moving along rather nicely but I am eager for the Flora mystery to be over and done with now. I like that it's taken a few twists and turns and I've certainly enjoyed seeing Marisol and Rosie working together as well but some of the more interpersonal stuff is a lot more interesting like Alejandro's love, Odessa's recovery and anything involving Peri and the Powells as well. At least with two episodes left, we should probably get the answer to who actually bumped off Flora then.

Glee: This show and Christmas episodes have been a distinct mixed bag. However this was the best one going, especially given that the show's cheesiness during the holidays was slightly dialed down and there was an equal emphasis on both McKinley and New York for good measure. The New York stuff was still the best and I can't help hoping that Rough Trade Santa, Cody crops up in a later episode.

Homeland: I've been dipping in and out of the season because much as I hate to admit it, the show is no longer holding my interest. The finale however was probably one of the better episodes they've done in a while but the decision to kill off Brody is either one that could rejuvenate the show next season or blow up spectacularly in the writers faces. I just hope that whatever the outcome is that the show and Showtime are smart enough not to attempt to take this show to eight seasons like they did with Weeds and Dexter.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: I still think this show could benefit from Arrow at times but I did enjoy the mid-season finale nonetheless. It's just that after ten episodes and despite some interesting moments with recurring characters like Mike and Rayna and Coulson being handed over to the baddies, it's hard to deny that the show is still lacking something. Still the mid-season finale gave me some hope that things might get more interesting when it returns in 2014 though.

Misfits: It's been over a week since the last episode aired and I have to admit, I think it was a good way of ending things. We got some elements of timey-wimey, gross out humour, Greg finally admitting he was gay (and being marginally less creepy for a bit), the jumper gang becoming corrupt and our gang actually/possibly becoming actual heroes. Honestly, I really think this show ended a lot better than I expected it to.

Once Upon A Time: What a brilliant episode. I said somewhere else online that if the last minute didn't happen, this easily could've been a series finale. It had tonnes of tension, brilliant character moments, heartfelt sacrifices from both Regina and Gold, finally got rid of Pan and Storybrooke in one fell swoop. Of course, I'm glad the show is coming back next year, especially now that I know who Rebecca Mader is playing but overall, had this been an actual series finale, it would've been superb.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

First Look: Penny Dreadful

Vanessa: I believe in curses, I believe in demons. I believe in monsters. Do you?

It might be a few more months before Showtime and SkyAtlantic's co-production, Penny Dreadful airs for both US and UK/Irish viewers but at least we're getting some teasers for the upcoming series nonetheless and they're pretty decent.

The two teasers so far seem to be focusing on Eva Green's character, Vanessa Ives, the composed heroine of the piece as one trailer sees her on her knees praying while the other talks of her beliefs of curses, demons and monsters. As I've reported in previous blogs the cast also includes Josh Hartnett, Billie Piper, Timothy Dalton, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory to name a few.

Hopefully a trailer with some clips from the episodes and other cast members will be imminent but if this show is a success, it looks like American Horror Story might have some competition in the anthology stakes.

Season 1 Teasers/Trailers:
Official Site:

Penny Dreadful will air on both Showtime and SkyAtlantic in Spring 2014.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x10: "Exodus"

Written by Sunil Nayar And Karin Gist
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Daniel: “Two years! I bet you laughed at me every time I questioned you and you just fed me more of your lies and why? Why did you tell me I was gonna be a father?”
Emily: “I’m sorry!”

What. The. Actual. Fuck? Of all the people to shoot Emily (there went my Charlotte/Ashley/Lydia theories), it had to be Daniel to do it? I’m not mad but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen and that’s taking into the account that Daniel has previous form with shooting people. I guess he really is as bad as his parents after all.

I know a lot of fan could see Daniel’s motives for shooting Emily. After all, he had just overheard her gloating to Victoria that she faked a pregnancy and was actively targeting the Graysons for the last two years but still, if Daniel ever had any redeeming quality about it, he blew it here with his attempted murder on his new bride. Has the guy never heard of an annulment? It would’ve saved him a lot of hassle in the long run.

Emily might have succeeded in getting Daniel to marry her and even in getting Conrad and Patrick to make sure Victoria attended the wedding of the year (aside from a certain red wedding that is) but she royally fucked things up in this episode for herself. Not only was she stupid enough to gloat in front of Victoria before completing her frame up but she also allowed Lydia to outsmart her. That in itself was pretty bad going.

I knew Lydia wouldn’t just be happy with having the beach house back in her possession. There was no way she was going to resist in confirming Victoria’s suspicions about Emily and that’s exactly what she did with handing over the New Year’s party photo to Victoria. Now that Emily’s in rough shape and Daniel knows about her scheming, she’s going to have to be a lot more in avenging her father’s death after all.

Yes, I said rough shape because it’s obvious that Emily wasn’t going to actually die in this one. Daniel might be able to shoot but he hasn’t mastered the killing bit and we still have another twelve episodes to go with this season as well. However, I wouldn’t want to be in Daniel’s position when Nolan, Jack and Aiden get their hands on him. I can’t see that ending well for Danny Boy in the slightest.

As for the rest of the episode – it was definitely about rekindling and destroying connections as well. Emily’s attempts of offering Jack some comfort with Amanda practically blew up in her face and Sara herself coped badly with losing Daniel to Emily as well. That being said – did she really try to kill herself? I’m not entirely sure I buy that for some reason.

As for Conrad and Lydia – I’m not really sure I care too much about them getting back together. Does he really love her or is he settling for her because he and Victoria are done with? I don’t know but I do think Lydia’s love for Conrad seems sincere enough, though her hatred for Emily and desire to usurp Victoria will probably backfire on her again at some later point in the season.

Nolan and Patrick on the other hand – I was glad to get some actual scenes with them in this episode and more so for Nolan’s snarkiness about Patrick’s over attachment to his mother. However I do things with them still need to be ironed out and it’s obvious their loyalties to Emily and Victoria alike will cause more problems for them in the second half of the season. That and the fact that Patrick managed to find Nolan’s not so secret safe as well.

Also in “Exodus”

Another shocking thing about this episode was having no opening and closing narrations from Emily this week.

Aiden (re Victoria): “You know there are more direct ways of dealing with this problem.”
Emily: “She isn’t getting off that easily.”

Trust Conrad to resort to blackmailing Victoria and Patrick into attending the wedding. I kind of admired him for it a strange way.

Emily: “I lost Amanda too.”
Jack: “You’ve taken everything from me, even this moment, this goodbye.”

Lydia: “It helped being next door to land a Grayson didn’t it?”
Emily: “It’s yours. Just please don’t ruin my wedding.”

I sense a future alliance of sorts with Margaux and Victoria, given their little moment in this episode.

Nolan: “Only you can make vengeance so beautiful.”
Emily: “Let’s do it.”

Emily (to Daniel): “I’ve looked forward to this day since I was a little girl. Thank you for letting me into your life, into your family. Through you, I’ve become the woman I’ve always wanted to be. The woman that I needed to be. From the moment I met you, I knew that this moment was in our destiny. We share a bond that is unbreakable, until death parts us.”

Emily gave Jack back Amanda’s locket and we got some flashbacks to the first two seasons during the wedding. Daniel’s middle name is Edward while Emily’s was Rebecca – an allusion to Brothers And Sisters, perhaps?

Emily: “What is it that you want, Lydia?”
Lydia: “I want you to get exactly what’s coming to you.”

Standout music: Phosphorescent’s “Song For Zula” at the wedding reception.

Victoria (to Lydia): “And they say no-one ever thinks about the mother of the groom?”

Chronology: August 8th, the day that Daniel shot Emily.

Well, that was certainly a doozy, wasn’t it? “Exodus” certainly provided the most excitement all season with Emily making the classic mistake of counting her chickens before they hatched. I have no idea where they’re going to go in the second half (aside from a fake amnesia plot) but the consequences of Daniel’s little murder attempt should be fun to watch nonetheless.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x11: "Hunger Pangs"

Written by Julian Jones
Directed by Alice Troughton

Pythagoras: “What were you thinking?”
Jason: “I was hungry.”

There are only two ways this episode is going to remembered and only one of them is somewhat satisfactory-ish. It can be remember as the episode where Jason spent more time out of clothing than usual or it can be remembered as the episode that also highlighted a lot of this show’s problems. I’ll let you the readers decide on this one.

Keeping with the latter though – what were the writers thinking? I’m all for a comedy episode as much as the next person but it’s like Capps and Murphy seem to think that they cannot be funny without writing their main characters into complete idiots for cheap laughs. This was often a problem for the early days of Merlin and sadly, it seems that Atlantis is also not immune from it as well.

For someone who can be savvy enough about Greek mythology, Jason managed to be surprisingly stupid this week when he ate some sacrificial meat and ended up becoming one of Hecate’s hounds for a good portion of the episode. That of course when he wasn’t acting like a prized dolt or losing his clothing in the process.

I suppose seeing as we’ve had enough episodes where Hercules has been an idiot, maybe Mark Addy was relieved that in this one aside from getting a bit drunk, Hercules managed to be mostly smart. After all, he had the good sense to lock Jason underground and even get him away from Ariadne when he wasn’t moping about Medusa.

Speaking of Ariadne, I know I’ve been pretty indifferent towards her at times, but I actually cannot fault her in this episode. Maybe it was because the episode didn’t heavily focus on her or because the scenes with her and Jason didn’t feel as forced as previous ones (well, aside from the forced comedy) but either way, I liked her in this one.

Granted all Ariadne really did in this episode was get some silver for Pythagoras and Hercules to help restore Jason but her concern for the latter came across as well and overall, I did feel a little bad for her when Pythagoras and Hercules kept blowing her off with lame excuses instead of explaining what was really happening with Jason.

As for Jason himself – well he did get cured and nearly murdered by a priest until Pythagoras saved him but aside from that, this wasn’t a great episode for Jack Donnelly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor bloke was embarrassed filming this one. I certainly found myself cringing more throughout this episode than Jason did when he finally came around.

Also in “Hunger Pangs”

Jemima Rooper was credited for this episode but Medusa didn’t appear. Judging from the previews/spoilers, I don’t think she’ll have a role to play in the last two episodes either.

Pythagoras: “We will find a cure for Medusa, I promise but it isn’t going to be at the bottom of a flagon of wine.”
Hercules: “I already had a cure for Medusa. I was happy to give my life for hers. She should never have stopped me.”

I know he’s upset and drunk but I thought Hercules was a total dick when he had a go about Pythagoras’s history with women. I don’t doubt Pythagoras will get a love interest next series though.

Jason: “Our job’s to guard them, not eat them.”
Pythagoras: “But I’m starving.”

Hercules: “Do you wanna tell us what’s going on?”
Jason: “I don’t remember.”

The guys screwed up looking after food from rats until Pythagoras used his theorems for a solution.

Minos: “You are so good to me.”
Pasiphae: “It’s no more than you deserve.”

Ione: “You can trust me.”
Ariadne: “There’s something I must do for a friend. No-one must know.”

Pasiphae is continuing to poison Minos, Heptarian made a brief appearance and Ione seemed a little too eager for Ariadne to trust her.

Jason (re Ariadne): “I may have growled at her.”
Hercules: “You’re done for.”

Chronology: Not long from “The Price Of Hope”.

I’ve been pretty open minded and fair with this show but “Hunger Pangs” was an absolute chore of an episode to watch. The stupidity for cheap laughs almost set the show backwards after the progress it was making in the last three episodes. Thankfully the finale looks like it might be a lot better though.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Saturday, December 14, 2013

True Blood - Season 7 First Batch Of Spoilers

With the announcement of the seventh season being the last for True Blood, some spoilers are finally beginning to emerge for the last year and most of them sound pretty interesting as well.

1: Eric is getting a love interest named Sylvie. As an anti Sookie/Eric shipper, I'm actually pleased about this one. The only thing we know about Sylvie so far is that she's gorgeous and speaks French, which is nice but doesn't tell us a great deal though.

2: Warlow is back. I don't know how or even why, but yeah, it seems he'll be resurfacing yet again. I didn't mind him, but is he really needed, assuming this spoiler has any truth to it?

3: Stephen Moyer is directing again. Well, he's done it a few times on the show and he seems to be rather good at it, so good on him really.

4: Someone dies in the opening episode. I wonder who. I think there's still a few tertiary characters we could lose but it's rumoured to be an important character who croaks though.

5: Lettie Mae will have a bigger role in this season than she's done in past ones. Not sure how I feel about that one. On one hand, it means more stuff for Tara, which I like but at the same time, Lettie Mae really is one of those characters who works in small doses (at least for me she does).

6: Lafayette is actually getting a vampire boyfriend in the final season. Well, he's been single and largely aimless for two seasons, so it's about flipping time he got some action again. The man in question is described as a cross between Jim Morrison and James Dean, this brooding and insanely good-looking vamp is a compassionate protector with a poet’s edge.

7: The Hep V vampires are different to the usual vampires we've known over the last few seasons. Because they're weaker, they're driven to eat in a way that regular vampires are not. I just hope there's an actual figurehead/Big Bad in the final season and that it's someone we haven't met before.

More Stuff: and

True Blood's seventh season will air on HBO from June 2014.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Misfits - Season 5 Review

A few months prior, this show's BBC3 counterpart, Being Human came to an end after five series so when E4 announced that Series 5 would be the last for Misfits, I don't think anyone was really shocked by the news. Some thoughts on the final eight installments then and yes, there are spoilers.

Episode 1: Something of a ropey opening episode with Alex gaining one of the most inappropriate (but actively used throughout this final run) powers of the bunch - fucking someone's powers out of them. Add a subplot about Finn getting possessed by Beelzebub and it's business as usual for the gang.

Episode 2: We finally get to meet Rudy's parents and his father is something of a prize pillock. Of course, we soon find out that father and son have more in common and when the strands of another superhero aren't being sown with fly guy Sam's introduction, Rudy is also developing feelings for Jess.

Episode 3: Abby's mystery finally got solved when we learned how exactly she came to be and her connection to Laura while Greg's sexuality is made abundantly clear to Finn in a way that's nothing short of creepy, even by this show's standards.

Episode 4: A good episode focusing on Rudy Two becoming more of his own person and also the one that introduced electro girl/electrician Helen into the mix as well as her and Rudy Two start to connect with each other.

Episode 5: Finn gets his own stalker when Rudy takes him to the support group to get over Jess. As episodes go, it was probably one of the weaker ones, while the prime Rudy continues to get closer to Jess at the same time.

Episode 6: The episode introduced camouflage girl Karen and had plot where a dying guy kept sucking the life out of others, including Finn at one point in the episode. The better plot involved a lesbian gypsy placing a curse on Alex though.

Episode 7: This episode marked the first year of the storm by having a predictably disastrous party at the community centre. A party where Greg danced like a loon, Rudy/Jess had relationship difficulties, Sam/Helen/Karen banded together and a potential love interest for Alex went psycho and murdered the turtle of Abby's that briefly became human.

Episode 8: A bit of a timey-wimey series finale, mainly focusing on Jess having to prevent things from going pear shaped while dealing with a pregnancy from an encounter with an obsessive man named Luke. Something of a low key episode, the last scene did hint at something interesting that we might never get to see on screen though. Oh and Sam/Helen/Karen got a little murderous as well.

Overall, a pretty solid enough final series. The show's best days really were gone and they were times when the gang could grate (Finn mainly and Alex to an extent) but at the same time, there were some great ideas executed well enough and the final episode rounded things fine enough for the show.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - Head

It's winter finale time and while past seasons of American Horror Story have given us something festive themed to go along with the macabre offerings, this one stays away from the festivities and focuses on just the macabre.

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Howard Deutch

He Shoots, He Causes Gore: Ever since it was revealed a few episodes back that he was a witch hunter, Hank has spent most of his time either pining for Cordelia or being both his father and Marie's whipping boy. This episode not only delved into his fairly obvious history with his father and revealed that he tried to kill Misty, but Hank also got pushed that tiny bit too far by Marie and ended up killing most of her allies and nearly her until Queenie intervened. I don't know why but I'm kind of a little bummed out to lose Hank and despite Marie being forced into an alliance with Fiona at the end of the episode, I cannot sympathise with her at all. She essentially caused the deaths of her own friends because of her own hubris and the first chance she can get something over the coven, she'll inevitably take it as well.

An Eye(s) For An Eye(s): Okay, finally this episode properly confirmed that Myrtle did not blind Cordelia. Instead it was one of Hank's father's associates who did the deed. That being said, Myrtle was both determined to prove her innocence and to give Cordelia back her sight and did both in this episode. The fact that she paralysed the other two council members before taking an eye each from them (and killing them) both scared me and kind of impressed me as well. I've been somewhat lukewarm with Myrtle as a character but this episode was clearly her best yet. Now if she can tone down the Fiona bashing a little bit, we'll be good. And no, I am not forgetting Fiona's multitude of crimes as well over the last nine episodes.

Guard Dog: Let's be blunt - being a bloke on this show is not good for you. This episode alone killed three main male characters, which effectively means that Kyle really is the last man standing now. I thought this was a better episode for him though (minus accidentally killing Fiona's guard dog) and I did like that Fiona played cards with him and spruced him up a bit as well. She's done more good for him in two scenes than either Zoe or Madison have done in nine episodes and she certainly didn't waste a great deal of time in pointing that out either. Actually on the whole, I could do with some more interactions with Fiona and Kyle. It's almost like a slightly healthier version of Constance and Tate from Murder House, isn't it?

Talking Head: You gotta love Kathy Bates. Even as a literal talking head, she's still has remained a highlight of the season and this episode had Queenie going to extremes in order to redeem LaLaurie.I'm not sure why Queenie is even bothering and I'm not sure if the idea of LaLaurie being redeemed sits well with me. However it did seem like Queenie's methods were having some kind of impact on LaLaurie but then again, so did hearing a bunch of people being massacred not far away from you would also do the same thing. I do wonder if she'll be restored to her body in the final four episodes before being killed off altogether.

Everything Else: Well other things did happen in this episode too. For instance, both Cordelia and Misty working alongside each other was just wonderful to watch. I can't be the only one to notice that Cordelia had more chemistry with Misty than she did with Hank, right? Oh and we found out that Joan murdered her husband and tried/probably succeeded in killing Luke as well for good measure. As for Madison, Zoe and Nan, this really wasn't their episode. All three of them didn't have a great deal to do and I kind of wish that Nan had put up more of a fight with Joan as well. Why was she brought back from the dead again?

The show's final four episodes will air from January 8th, where a figure from Marie's past will emerge, Stevie Nicks pops up and hopefully that never ending debate about who the Supreme is finally resolved.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x07: "All Out War"

Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Joss Agnew

Tom (to Varg): "The wizards won."

Well, they certainly got as close to properly winning against the Nekross as we've seen them do for a while now. As a finale, this was certainly a superb one and in some respects, almost could serve as a series finale if the show has the misfortune of not getting picked up for a third series as well.

I liked that after weeks of scheming together that both Jathro and Kooth finally pitted Varg and Lexi against each other to try and take out Tom and his friends while at the same time, declaring open season on the royal family themselves. My only disappointment is despite some brilliant moments, both Varg and the Nekross King lived to see another day. After all, if this story could find a satisfying of bringing Lexi to an end, there's no real reason to keep them on either.

Getting to the Lexi bit - did anyone not expect her to turn human and live with Benny Jr? As soon as Tom became all Bad Wolf/consumed the 'salute'/raw magic, her fate was practically sealed and she had already chosen Tom over her family as well. While it's a shame to perhaps lose Lexi as a character, this was a great and dignified way of exiting her from the series.

As for Benny - I kind of had an inkling that he might be gay but even I was surprised when he outright admitted in front of Tom. I know the CBBC intended to have Luke come out during The Sarah Jane Adventures but I'm pleased it happened here as well. It was a beautifully written and acted moment and everyone involved should be involved for the way it was handled as well.

- We had another misguided bunch of wizards (Bizme and her family) being forced to help Varg with his plans to destroy Tom once and for all.
- Ursula, well I was convinced that she was going to die but I'm actually glad she didn't, even if was a bit of a copout how she survived the explosion of the chamber.
- Perhaps in least surprising news, we found out that Kooth and Jathro were mother and son. Kooth also ended up being eaten by the Nekross King as well.
- No Katie or Quinn in this story. What are the odd both of them will be love interests for Tom and Benny next series?

Personally, I thought that was an excellent finale. Series 2 has certainly been something of an improvement and if the show is picked up for a third run, it could easily be the best we've got. Though I still think the Nekross need scrapping as main antagonists though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x09: "Surrender"

Written by Joe Fazzio
Directed by Jennifer Getzinger

Victoria (to Emily, re Nolan): “He’s welcome to my spot. I won’t be in attendance.”

Aww, just when Emily thought everything was going swimmingly, Victoria managed to pull off the ultimate act of thwarting her plans by refusing to show up to the wedding. I wouldn’t worry though – I’m sure Emily will still conjure up some way to make sure that Victoria is framed for murder. She only has another day to make sure her plans come to fruition after all.

Victoria deciding not to come to Emily and Daniel's wedding might possibly mean that Charlotte’s words about not causing Daniel any more grief might have had an affect but I can’t help thinking that Victoria is probably just trying to come up with one last ditch attempt to stop the wedding of the year.

After all, she was pretty sceptical about Emily’s pregnancy and didn’t exactly hold back in her words with Conrad and Daniel about Emily’s scheming as well. At this point, I really can’t see Victoria rolling over and admitting defeat, so I’m going to assume that she’s up to something until the next episode proves otherwise.

However the big plot of this episode mainly centred on Lydia’s return to the Hamptons and the fact that her history with the Graysons and Emily clearly hasn’t taught her a single thing. Margaux advised her to be discreet and Lydia not only went to antagonise both Emily and Victoria but it also took her very little time to be won over by Conrad as well.

I’m surprised that Conrad hadn’t been aware of Lydia surviving that plane crash and while a part of me isn’t convinced he loves her, I do think his delight in seeing her alive was sincere enough though. However if Lydia starts making trouble for him, I don’t doubt he’ll try and get her out of the way for a third time though.

Of course the only smart thing Lydia managed to do in this episode was find that picture of Emily from the New Year’s Eve but I wouldn’t bank on her getting to use it though. Mainly because I’m pretty sure that she’ll end up being the one who scuppers Emily’s frame up by shooting her in next week’s winter finale.

Speaking of the would be shooting, it’s nice to see that Emily and Aiden were getting the final pieces together and the proposal scene was actually quite nice too. I don’t know if Emily and Aiden can realistically live a happy life together. I’d like to see them do it but you just know that this show is going to end with her either with Jack or alone altogether.

Speaking of Jack – I kind of admired the underhanded way in which he got Margaux to drop the story on Conrad and even Nolan’s contribution to it. However, I preferred that he was honest enough to tell her about what happened with Amanda and Declan as well. I have to say that while Jack can still be polarising at times, I do like him with Margaux but the latter in general has gotten a lot more interesting as a character anyways.

Also in “Surrender”

The wedding shoot scene with Emily and Daniel at the start was delightfully cheesy and a tiny bit creepy as well.

Victoria (re Daniel): “I was showing him the truth.”
Conrad: “Just let him be. Your other son became a murderer after only six months with you. The time has come for you to stop this foolish interfering.”

Predictably enough, Daniel broke things off with Sara after she found out for herself that Emily was pregnant.

Emily: “Lydia?”
Lydia: “Don’t just stand there, zip me up.”

Emily: “Sorry, Victoria I didn’t want you to find out this but you’re going to be a grandmother.”

I found Lydia’s little shove to Emily pretty hysterical but it was a great way of Emily using the situation to her advantage nonetheless though.

Conrad: “You look like no time has passed.”
Lydia: “I’m not falling for this. We were engaged, Conrad and you sent me to my death.”

Lydia (re Conrad): “He’s not the man I remembered.”
Margaux: “Are you playing me to reunite with an old flame? You’re of no use to me if I can’t trust you. Consider our arrangement terminated.”

Standout music: Shout Out Louds “Walking In Your Footsteps”.

Aiden: “Amanda Clarke, will you marry me?”
Emily: “Yes.”

Chronology: Pretty much August time at this point in the Hamptons, the day before the events of “Fear” and “Exodus”.

Overall, a strong episode with some fun moments. Lydia’s return certainly had it’s highlights in “Surrender” and will be interesting to see if she’s the one who actually shoots Emily. However, there could easily be another surprise in that one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, December 09, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x10: "The Price Of Hope"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Alice Troughton

Atalanta: “You lied to protect him?”
Pythagoras: “If I told Hercules what I know, he would give his life in an instant. As much as I hate to lie to him, I cannot see him die.”

The above quote is probably why I actually find Pythagoras the best of the three main male characters on this show. As much as Hercules had the right to know what would have to be done to cure Medusa, I do think Pythagoras’s intentions were noble. Though on the other hand, would the show work better without Hercules and Medusa kept on instead?

I have to admit it took me a while to like Hercules as a character and while some of his buffoon moments are often still too juvenile at times, he has improved a fair bit over the last few weeks. I liked that he didn’t want to give up hope in saving Medusa and the fact he was willing to risk his own life in order to do it spoke volumes.

Sadly though, by the writers actually going there with Medusa’s transformation so early in the series, I think any other hope of curing her is probably doomed to failure. The fact that Jason himself can see her without turning to stone also indicated that the time for him to come and kill her might be a lot sooner than later as well. As long as Pasiphae dies first, I’ll be happy.

It’s a shame though because I still maintain that Medusa is the best character on the show and unless Overman and company properly flesh out the likes of Pasiphae, Ariadne and the Oracle (who still did nothing interesting this episode, though Jason seems to be aware she’s not telling him everything), we’re in short supply of strong female characters on the show. On the other hand, there was some hope given this episode with the introduction of Atalanta this week.

I was a little surprised to see the character so early but definitely relieved too. Not only was she able to take out Scythians much better than Jason but she actually saved his life and got Pythagoras to open up about the cure he had found as well.

In less than a few scenes, I felt that Atalanta was a lot more detailed as a character than any of the other females we’ve had so far. The fact that it was mentioned pretty urgently that she was destined to cross Jason’s path again does make me wonder if she would be a better fir for him than Ariadne as well. There was definitely more of a spark to them than he’s had with Ariadne but just having another well written female character on the show now would be a relief.

As for the rest of the episode, the journey to Medusa was alright. The Scythians and their crazy manhunt provided some standard action sequences but the episode suffered from feeling too short at times. In fact the end scene itself felt strangely abrupt as well. I think another few minutes might have helped give this one a punchier ending.

Also in “The Price Of Hope”

Can we have Robert Lindsay’s Daedalus back for another episode? I thought he was absolutely amusing, especially given his attitude towards Jason.

Daedalus (to Pythagoras, re Jason): “I don’t like him, not one bit. Brains of a monkey and face of a goat.”

Much as I tend to gripe about the palace stuff, it is amazing that we’ve had very little continuity about it since the seventh episode.

Hercules: “How do I look?”
Jason: “You look cleaner.”
Hercules: “How do I smell?”
Jason: “No, no, why do you always insist that we smell you?”

Pythagoras: “Is she dead?”
Jason (re Scythian): “No, she isn’t a she.”

Hercules managed to point out that ever since meeting Jason they’ve gotten into more and more scrapes. I’m surprised it wasn’t Pythagoras to be honest.

Pythagoras: “That was amazing.”
Jason: “It doesn’t feel amazing.”

Atalanta (to Jason): “Our paths are destined to cross again in the future.”

The CGI for Medusa’s snake hair did look a lot better in this episode compared to the previous one. I think we saw it for longer too.

Medusa: “How is it possible for you to look at me?”
Jason: “I don’t know.”

Chronology: Some time has passed since the events of “Pandora’s Box”. We even had the box as part of the plot in this one. I wonder did Jason give it back to the Oracle afterwards.

Not quite as good as the previous episode, but “The Price Of Hope” at least earned it’s points for at least examining the fallout of Medusa’s transformation and the introduction of Atalanta as well. However, it was incredibly rushed and could’ve done with some extra time to have fleshed things out.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Doctor Who - The Time Of The Doctor Promo Pics/Airdate Revealed

It's less than three weeks to go for Matt Smith's final episode of Doctor Who as the Eleventh Doctor (numbering be damned) and with the title of his last adventure revealed as The Time Of The Doctor, some promotional images have been leaked as well.

Poster Time: Keeping with Series 7 movie poster theme (I wonder if that will be carried into Capaldi's era), it's appropriate that Matt Smith's last story gets one with the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) returning to Trenzalore when it looked a lot less graveyard like. Also returning are the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, the Silence and even some Sontarans as well. Of course one thing I am extremely intrigued about concerning this episode ....

Tasha Who?: Orla Brady is the main guest character for this episode and she's playing the mysterious Tasha Lem. Press releases have indicated that she's someone from the Doctor's past and other sources have cited her as the Papal Mainframe mentioned back in A Good Man Goes To War. Considering that the Silence have something of a prominent role in this episode, it would make sense that she would be involved with them. It's also one of many plot strands from the Smith era that Steven Moffat will apparently wrap as well during the hour long special.

Wooden Man: Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you. Just when you thought every aspect of the Cybermen has been explored, Moffat decides to throw a wooden one into the mix. I'm not sure how this will work exactly but considering that the Doctor supposedly befriends another Cybermen which he later calls 'Handles', this episode could be another one that doesn't utilise the Cybermen very well.

More Daleks: Yup, it wouldn't be fair if the Daleks didn't show up for Smith's last hurrah and given that the Cybermen/Master/Great Intelligence have popped up in past Christmas specials, I guess they were overdue an appearance as well. I do find this picture with Eleven donning a Pertwee-esque cape rather amusing as well. Overall, it seems like it's going to be one hell of a bumpy ride for Smith's final episode and with certain allusions to future events, this will definitely be the highlight of the Christmas period.

The Time Of The Doctor Trailer: 
Promotional Pictures:

Doctor Who - The Time Of The Doctor will air on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - The Sacred Taking

It was gone for a week and FOX UK are now about two episodes behind FX, but either way, American Horror Story: Coven came back with a solid if not spectacular episode.

Written by Ryan Murphy
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Join Hands Now: Taking in the title of the episode, it seems that everyone - Cordelia, Zoe, Madison, Nan, Myrtle and Misty have all joined forced to perform the sacred taking in order to oust Fiona once and for all. Like various online petitions, this wasn't quite the success story the ladies had been hoping it would be but at least Madison and Myrtle got to have fun by wrecking Fiona's head for a good portion of the episode. Also, I'm not sure if this episode actually confirmed Misty as the new Supreme or if like Madison, it was just widely assumed/red herring. We've got five episodes left (and one of them for this year), so I wish they'd just answer that question and be done with it already.

Supreme In Waiting: This episode really wasn't Luke's, was it? Most mothers would be relieved that their son survived a zombie attack but Joan managed to be as reprehensible as Alicia was by brutally punishing her son. I'm glad we didn't have to see a too graphic depiction of that Ajax Enema scene because what was seen was gruesome enough. Then Luke was left bound and gagged in a closet until Nan rescued him and he got shot saving her. On the plus side, at least Joan was killed off (briefly though) and given what she subjected her son to, she pretty much had it coming. More to the point and on watching this episode again, did this episode allude to Luke having powers of his own? Could he now be a candidate for the Supreme?

Don't Lose The Head ... Oh Wait: Anyone else a tad disappointed that Queenie defected to Marie's side and declared open season on her former friends so quickly? It can't just be me then, right? I guess I'm kind of sick of seeing Queenie manipulated and in this episode, both LaLaurie and Marie still were trying to exert some influence over her with the latter coming out on top. I'm oddly relieved that LaLaurie let her mask slip with her pithy comments towards Marie but if Entertainment Weekly's recent cover hadn't spoiled it, the final scene where Fiona and Cordelia received a mysterious package in the mail would've been a hell of a lot more shocking.

Not Gone Yet: You gotta almost admire Fiona's stubbornness here. While she might have had her wavering moments of almost succumbing to her declining health, both Spalding and to a lesser extent, the Axeman managed to give her the fight to live on just that tiny bit more. It was oddly nice to see Fiona bounce back and confront her would be assassins and it did seem like her and Cordelia made some kind of progress at the end of the episode as well. Oh God - do I actually want Fiona to survive? Not sure, folks. Really not sure.

Triangle Tedium: Does anyone actually care about this whole Madison/Kyle/Zoe triangle? Anyone? Nope, didn't think so. Kyle is slowly getting better but both Madison and Zoe are better as reluctant allies than two girls fighting over the same boy to be honest. Not that it's much of a triangle anyways, considering that Kyle admitted he loved Zoe, much to Madison's despair in this episode. It's not the worst plot line on the show but it's so weak in comparison to everything else at the moment.

Next week, it's the winter finale and it seems like everything is coming to a head in some respects.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x06: "Endless Night"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Joss Agnew

Ursula: "This won't just be a war between wizards and aliens, Tom. This will be a war like no other."

Actually this was more of a prelude to a war that the trailer for the finale showed looked suitably epic. It was also a story where the Nekross actually had a decent that was hampered in the last minute. More to the point - some actual continuity and fall out for Tom and Lexi and the life they had made for each other in the Neverside.

I'm glad the show actually had the both of them remember they had a son and more to the point, I'm glad that it seems that Lexi has started to side with Tom as well. Back in the first series, she wouldn't have been that bothered about her father wanting to extract his magic raw. Here she very much was bothered and I have a feeling that she might end up helping Tom in the finale next week. Even Varg could see her feelings for Tom shifting in this episode.

As for the moon blocking the sun and putting the wizards in a vulnerable position - I do think it was nicely handled but more from the perspectives of giving Benny's parents and Katie and Quinn a tiny bit more to do. It really didn't take Benny too long to suss out that the stones from last series were key to scuppering the Nekross's latest plot.

As for the creepy stones - very apocalyptic, right? It does seem like instead of actually teasing some danger, the show might actually show some legitimate danger instead. I'm probably asking for too much here but aside from one casualty I can see coming a mile off, can we please be a Nekross or two down for next series?

- I'm not shocked that Benny seems to come from a family of star gazers but it was nice to see this story try and flesh out his parents though.
- Katie wants to see the Northern Lights - snap! Quinn wanting to be newspaper photographer was interesting too.
- Lexi shifted into human mode briefly and Tom referred to her as Lucy as well.
- I think Randall Moon being affected by the moon shifting was overdone a little. I did like that the stones were voiced by Gabriel 'Sutekh/the Beast' Woolf as well.

Overall a great story. Not as thrilling as the previous one and definitely more of a set piece for the finale but pretty entertaining nonetheless though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, December 02, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x09: "Pandora's Box"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Declan O’Dwyer

Hercules: “Why would you hide from me?”
Medusa: “I’m a monster.”

I don’t want to jinx anything just yet but this show actually be improving for the better? The last episode focusing on Pythagoras was the best one we had so far and this one would easily come in second place. I really do hope that after something of a lacklustre start this show has finally found it’s groove and we’re gearing for more solid storytelling.

At some point, Medusa’s fate was always going to happen and while the Oracle managed to convey that in the most annoying of ways to Jason, I was actually surprised the writers decided to go there this quickly with it. Perhaps they weren’t initially sure they would get a second season before deciding or perhaps this show only intends to run for two or three series but either way, it was quite a surprise.

The thing about Medusa is that she’s been the only really well written female character we’ve had on the show aside from Korinna and Jemima Rooper is such a charismatic and likeable actress, that Medusa has also been a joy to watch. In some ways, Medusa being cursed should’ve been obvious given that both she and Hercules seemed very much in love and we did after all get a mission to Hades for Pandora’s Box.

Knowing those facts though doesn’t disguise the fact that this could either be a wonderful turn of events for the show or a case of the show revealing it’s hand too quickly. I liked that when she became cursed, Medusa automatically didn’t resort to being evil either. She might have turned a few soldiers to stone but she was adamant about protecting Hercules and told him not to find her either.

More to the point, even though Jason made his awareness of Medusa’s fate known to Pythagoras and Hercules, I liked that he still wanted to help Medusa nonetheless. Although the scene where he lost his temper with the Oracle felt entirely flat, at least he’s not trying to accept his destiny all too quickly either.

However I do wonder though if the writers will actually come up with a temporary cure for Medusa or if this really is it for the character. If it’s the latter, then this show really does need to step up several gears and improve their female characters. Both the Oracle and Ariadne are in desperate need of personalities and Pasiphae herself is in need of some nuances as a villain. Either that or we need some newer female characters.

As for the Hades stuff – well, it was nice getting a chance to see Cyrus again and I liked that he helped with distracting Campe in order for Jason and Hercules to retrieve Pandora’s Box. The fact that Hades looked so appropriately gloomy and dark as well certainly worked in the episode favour too, so there’s that as well.

As for Pythagoras though – he did have the important task of guarding Jason and Hercules’s bodies while they were in Hades and the running about to retrieve them was amusing enough as well. I do however hope though that after the previous episode, he isn’t relegated to barely doing anything else though.

Last but not least – Hercules himself. Aside from his desperation to save Medusa – first from loan shark fella, Kyros and then from her fate, I actually am starting to like him more as a character. When Mark Addy is given decent material, he can be good and this was certainly a great episode for him. I would’ve liked to have seen a more natural progression from Medusa forgiving Hercules to starting a relationship with him but at least they have chemistry with each other and it did make her fate the more unfortunate because of that.

Also in “Pandora’s Box”

This is two episodes in a row without the likes of Minos, Pasiphae, Ariadne or Heptarian. I’m starting to think works better with them in small doses.

Medusa: “I hear so many stories.”
Hercules: “So many stories about my good deeds and heroic acts?”
Medusa: “Stories about your gambling, your drinking, your debts, your fondness for women.”

Is there anyone in Atlantis that Hercules doesn’t owe money to? Even the woman who woke up Pythagoras said that Hercules owed her cash.

Eunapius: “Who are you?”
Jason: “I’m a man who would anything to save his friend.”

Hercules: “So this is what it feels like to be dead? Different to how I thought it would be.”
Jason: “What did you think it would feel like?”

I think a lot of the CGI in this episode went to the look of Campe as Medusa with snake hair was only briefly seen.

Campe (to Jason): “You will not open the box. If you do, it will cause great suffering.”

Hercules: “Why in the name of the Gods are we in a grave?”
Pythagoras: “It’s a long story that involves a lot of running and a lot of digging.”

That’s two episodes in a row with an obligatory shirtless scene from Jason. I think the show is slipping there.

Jason (to the Oracle): “Curse you and curse the gods. Do your worst.”

Chronology: Not that long since the events of “The Furies”.

While “Pandora’s Box” was another story to get something of a creative retelling, this also turned out to be quite an interesting episode. It does make me hope that the series is heading into a more interesting direction with the more trite comedy moments being toned down and some actual darkness to slip through. The remaining episodes of the season should be the decider though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Russell T. Davies To Return With Two Gay Themed Dramas For Channel 4 & E4

I should have mentioned this one last week but yes, it's true - Russell T. Davies is back (excluding Wizards Vs. Aliens for a moment) and he's got two new dramas lined up for both Channel 4 and E4.

The first one, set to air on Channel 4 is titled Cucumber and will focus on a gay couple - 46 year old Henry and his boyfriend on a disastrous date while the second one, due to air on E4, titled Banana will focus on the younger characters that feature in the main series. Both series then also will have a web series called Tofu, which has been described as "an anarchic online guide to sex inspired by the dramas each week".

Each of these series will run for eight episodes and will focus on the pitfalls of 21st century gay life and the titles for the shows themselves do stem from the stages of the male erection - with one being tofu, two being peeled banana, three being banana and four being cucumber itself. Channel 4's Head Of Drama Piers Wenger (who worked on the fifth and sixth series of Doctor Who) has said on the upcoming projects -

"No-one can look into the heart and soul of modern relationships quite like Russell and across Channel 4, E4 and online, he paints an unflinching and forensic portrait of how our sex lives affect us all. It might be 15 years since Queer As Folk, but he has made it more than worth the wait.

I have to admit I'm really looking forward to seeing these shows next year and I can't wait to see who ends up getting cast in them as well. Welcome back to the television fold, Russell.

Press Release:

Filming for all three series will begin in Spring 2014 in Manchester. A transmission date has yet to be confirmed.

Downton Abbey - Season 4 Review

It's been something of a strange series for the folk at Downton Abbey. The show at it's best, I am not sure but definitely a show that can survive some big cast changes at the very least.

Episode 1: An episode that largely revolved around Mary's grief for losing Matthew, barely bonding with her young son, George and also one where the nanny from hell got her just desserts when Cora caught wind of her attitude towards Sybbie. Oh and O'Brien departed off screen. February 1922.

Episode 2: Mary is moving on from her grief and becomes a sole heiress while Rose gets up to some antics at a tea party and we have to endure one of many moments centering on Molesley's series of misfortunes as well. 1922.

Episode 3: The big episode where Anna was attacked by Green during the events of another party. Also lesser known for introducing the first of Mary's would be suitors in, Anthony Gillingham. Despite the subject, it's also the strongest episode of the series. April 1922.

Episode 4: Gregson and Edith's relationship intensified a bit, Anna began to distance herself from Bates, Mary turned down Gillingham's declaration of love, Edna thankfully got the boot and Rose was introduced to jazz singer Jack Ross for the first time in this episode. April 1922.

Episode 5: Tedium with more focus on the Daisy/Alfred/Ivy triangle but some great scenes with Violet and Isobel and at least Bates finally became aware of what really happened to Anna as well. Oh and the arrival of Baxter too.1922.

Episode 6: One of the duller episode with Edith searching for Gregson but we did get the introduction of Mary's second suitor Charles Blake, Alfred decided to become a chef as we had a surprise party for Robert in this one as well. 1922.

Episode 7: Easily another brilliant episode from this series. The connection with Mary and Blake came across as more suited to each other than her and Gillingham, we found out about Edith's pregnancy and even had Isobel taking care of a sick Violet. 1922.

Episode 8: An overblown and overall disappointing finale where Green was predictably bumped off screen, we were none the wiser about what really happened to Gregson, Edith still hadn't told the rest of her family about being pregnant and we got the making of a triangle with Gillingham/Mary/Blake. July/August 1922.

Series 4 certainly had it's moments here and there but some of the better plots were poorly resolved and any amount of time dedicated to the likes of Molesley or the insufferably dull Jimmy/Ivy/Alfred/Daisy quadrangle is a waste of time for me. Not bad in parts but certainly lacking too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sherlock - Series 3 Airdate Confirmed

It might have been a long wait but it's a wait that is finally over. After weeks of speculation, not only were we given a trailer for the upcoming third series of Sherlock on Saturday last but the BBC have now confirmed the airdate as well.

The third series will air on New Year's Day 2014on BBC1 with the opening episode, titled The Empty Hearse. Written by Mark Gatiss, the episode will reunite both Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) and focus on how exactly the former survived the fall from the previous series.

On the 5th of January, the second installment, The Sign Of Three by Stephen Thompson will air before the finale, titled His Last Vow airs on the 12th of January. The final story, written by Steven Moffat will also introduce Lars Mikkelson's Charles Augustus Magnussen into the mix and will end on another cliffhanger. For now though, I guess the great detective really does live.

Press Release:
Series 3 Trailer:

Sherlock's third series returns in January 2014.