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.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Looking - HBO Release Trailer/Airdate

It's one of the few new shows to air in 2014 that I am anticipating and it seems now that promotion for HBO's upcoming gay dramady, Looking has gone into full swing.

The trailer definitely seemed to focus pretty heavily on Jonathan Groff's gamer character, Patrick as we learn pretty fast that he's only had one serious boyfriend and it seems that he's waiting for the right guy to sweep him off his feet. If the trailer is anything to go by, his quest for the right guy is certainly going to be a lot of fun to watch over the eight half hour episodes.

Other highlights in the trailer (aside from the love lettering aspect of San Francisco of course), included Russell Tovey's British character, Kevin and a focus on Murray Bartlett's Dom, who is turning 40 and still stuck waiting table. I did say that in some respects that this upcoming show reminded me of HBO's other hit series, Girls but I'm hoping the writing and characters won't be as polarising as that show can be at times. I think I'll also be reviewing this series as well if I have the time. I'm definitely watching it. That's certainly not up for debate.

Season 1 Trailer:

Looking airs Sundays at 10.30pm on HBO from January 19th 2014 and on SkyAtlantic shortly afterwards.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x05: "The Thirteenth Floor"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Paul Murphy

Lexi: "But I am your enemy."
Tom: "Not anymore."

Had things been different, The Thirteenth Floor would've been a story that audiences would've seen in The Sarah Jane Adventures but instead, it's a story that has now emerged on this show and quite the story it turned out to be. If ever there was a turning point for this show, then it certainly had to be during this one.

The Neverside/way/whatever it's been called has been mentioned so many times this series, I thought we were going to have to wait until the last story of the series to actually see it. Instead a meddling gatekeeper by the name of Mervyn kept tricking people into entering Floor 13 in the Psyke Games building and for Tom, Lexi and Varg, it turned out to be one hell of an experience.

I always suspected there was a bit of an attraction between Tom and Lexi and when the latter's latent desire to be human meant that she became one during her stay in the Neverway, it wasn't too much of a shock that her and Tom got closer. I was however a little surprised that they'd end up having a child together and that in a more monstrous form, we'd see a tender side to Varg.

Of course what happened in the Neverway remained there, so when both Lexi and Varg returned to their usual selves, Benny Jr also disappeared. My ambivalence towards the Nekross still remains but after this story, the writers really cannot simply have both Lexi and Varg going back to their usual ways. A part of me hopes they don't either as well.

As for Tom - I definitely think this was one of his strongest stories and stuck in a magical environment, he managed to adapt to the situation pretty quickly. The idea both him and Lexi might forget their experiences together isn't surprising but it is rather sad as well.

- Benny might have gotten him a girlfriend in the shape of the bubbly but geeky, Alicia.
- Both Michael and Ursula only appeared in the second part of the story and Randall Moon was absent.
- Lexi is actually the same age as Tom - 17 and Nekross don't seem to care for meat.
- No secret plotting meetings this week with Jathro and Kooth.

This was a superb story. I have to admit, it did make me want to cry in parts and like I said earlier, it definitely seem to be a turning point story for both Lexi and Varg. I could easily see one of them becoming human and the other doing something heroic.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Review of Doctor Who's 7x15: "The Day Of The Doctor"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Nick Hurran

Tenth Doctor: “What we do today is not out of fear or hatred. It is done because there is no other way.”
Eleventh Doctor: “And it is done in the name of the many of lives we are failing to save.”

I know it’s been two days since this episode has actually aired, so I apologise for the delay in the review but I really felt I needed to watch this one a few more times before even attempting a review that could do justice to what I watched on Saturday evening.

Anniversary episodes are always going to be tricky to write and when they’re monumental ones like a fiftieth, they’re going to be even harder. Surely, this episode is going to be the most scrutinised and debated thing that Steven Moffat will have ever written in his career, right? The question though for me was whether or not the episode actually succeeded in what it set out to do and I’m going to say yes, it bloody well did.

The audacious idea of restoring Gallifrey and locking it in a frozen moment of time might have been met with some derision by the anti-Moffat brigade but it was actually a smart way of unburdening the series from the Time War plotline without invalidating a single thing Russell T. Davies did with the storyline in the first place. Ideally, it’s a best of both worlds type of situation and also gives us a future arc for the Twelfth Doctor as well.

I also thought that actually having thirteen Doctors be the ones to do it – the twelve we know and John Hurt’s War Doctor was a great way of doing it as well. I literally got a shock when I briefly saw Peter Capaldi on screen and it was a delightful moment in which to be a fan of the series as well.

Of course, while Capaldi made the briefest of appearances in the episode, it was the appearance of Tom Baker that really floored me. Was he really a kind Curator of the Under Gallery, an older Fourth Doctor or a future Doctor looking like one of the favourites? I absolutely think there’s an argument for all three scenarios but the sheer unbridled joy of seeing him and Matt Smith interacting on screen will go down as one of the most iconic moments in the show’s fifty year history.

As for the main plot itself – the Time War. We already saw in a prequel how the Eighth Doctor became the War Doctor and here we had him declaring war on both the Daleks and Time Lords alike by nicking the Moment – a device with a conscience, which lead to another thing too – Rose Tyler.

I know some fans weren’t exactly jumping for joy when the character was announced to be appearing in this episode but in all fairness, Moffat managed to use Rose without actually having her really there or invalidating her own personal history with Doctors Nine and Ten. While a part of me would’ve liked to have seen the real Rose, the Moment using her form and mainly interacting with the War Doctor was a satisfying compromise nonetheless.

As for the Doctors themselves – I had forgotten how much fun multi-Doctor interactions can actually be (and funny considering I watched two certain stories before this one last week). Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt all played off each other brilliantly. We had the conflicts, the pithy nicknames (Matchstick Man, Chinny and Granddad), the angst of the Time War and the exuberance when they came up with a solution to change the outcome of the Time War. I can’t single any of them out because they all complimented each other so well.

Speaking of compliments, while this episode totally wasn’t UNIT at their best, I did like seeing Kate Stewart again and I do think her own companions/scientists Osgood and McGillop have the potential to be interesting recurring characters. As for Clara, she was also on fine form but in some ways, she did play a more supporting role but a very effective and affecting one as well in places, especially given her interactions with the Doctors.

If anything did however let the episode down a bit, it probably was the use of Elizabeth the 1st and the Zygons, both of whom had a plotline that could’ve easily worked in another episode. The Zygons kind of improved on repeating viewing but they were still overshadowed by the Daleks and Liz’s scenes were one too many at times, though I did like her at least taking one of the Zygons out. She gets points for that at the very least.

Also in “The Day Of The Doctor”

We got a brief glimpse of the title sequence from the first episode with a BBC logo and Clara is an English teacher at Coal Hill.

Eleventh Doctor (to Clara): “I’ve had many faces, many lives, I don’t admit to all of them. There’s one life I’ve tried very hard to forget.”

While we didn’t get any Classic companions in the episode, we saw pictures of many of them and at least Jack, the Brigadier and Ian were mentioned/alluded to onscreen.

Rose/The Moment (to War Doctor): “Look at you – stuck between a girl and a box. Story of your life, eh, Doctor?”

Elizabeth 1: “Tell me, Doctor, why should I waste my time on you? I have wars to plan.”
Tenth Doctor: “You have a picnic to eat.”

UNIT have a Black Archive that is both TARDIS proof and contained Jack’s Vortex Manipulator as well. Did Clara actually give that back?

Clara: “Someday you could just walk past a fez.”
Eleventh Doctor: “Never gonna happen.”

War Doctor: “Good afternoon, I’m looking for the Doctor.”
Tenth Doctor: “You’ve certainly come to the right place.”

I did like that Moffat had the good humour to actually poke some fun of his own use of timey wimey in the episode as well as the Doctor getting snogged a lot too. Also the use of 3D paintings/Time Lord art was pretty neat as well for the episode. Gallifrey Falls No More indeed.

Kate/Zygon (to Clara): “Dear me. I really do get into character, don’t I?”

Tenth Doctor: “For once I would like to know where I’m going.”
Eleventh Doctor: “No, you really wouldn’t.”

This episode had many nods to the past but seeing the various TARDISes and the Doctors reaction to them was another priceless moment I felt.

War Doctor (re kissing): “Is there a lot of this in the future?”
Eleventh Doctor: “It does start to happen, yeah.”

Rose/The Moment (re War/Tenth/Eleventh Doctors): “You clever boys.”

If you enjoyed this multi-Doctor special, you might want to check our The Five Doctors Reboot on the BBC website. It’s bloody hilarious.

Clara: “Look at you, all three of you – the warrior, the hero and you.”
Eleventh Doctor: “And what am I?”
Clara: “Have you really forgotten?”
Eleventh Doctor: “Yes, maybe, yes.”

War Doctor: “Bad Wolf girl, I could kiss you.”
Rose/The Moment: “Yeah, that’s gonna happen.”

We got a brief trailer for the Christmas special and spoilers (including the official poster) have already leaked. Looks like Trenzalore is getting a revisit then.

Eleventh Doctor: “Is that what I’m supposed to do now? Go looking for Gallifrey?”
The Curator: “It’s entirely up to you, your choice.”

Chronology: Mostly 2013 London, partly Time War led Gallifrey on it’s last day and 16th Century England as well.

I wasn’t sure about this episode at first, but having watched it enough times now, I can honestly say that Steven Moffat did justice with “The Day Of The Doctor”. Whether it’s better or worse than previous anniversary episodes, I’m still not sure but it was fun, epic, emotional, brave and fan pleasing in every way possible. I think it could be possibly the best thing he’s ever written for the show.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Review of Doctor Who's "The Last Day"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Jamie Stone

Soldier: "He was right, nothing can get past the sky trench but if just one Dalek made it through, it could destroy this entire city. That's all it would take, one Dalek. One Dalek acting alone and we're finished."

After The Night Of The Doctor, I think a lot of us were assuming that a prequel called The Last Day might have been something that would see a regeneration from John Hurt to Christopher Eccleston. Perhaps it was too much to expect (or perhaps it's something we might even see in The Day Of The Doctor) that after all but I have to admit, after some initial reservation, this was a better prequel than expected.

While it might not hit the heady heights of seeing Paul McGann once more, it did offer us some further insight into the lengths the Time Lords themselves went through during the Time War. The prequel was told from the viewpoint of a soldier (Chris Finch), who we then learn is uploaded with a head cam along with another soldier.

Mainly this prequel discusses about being fitted with new technology, dealing with hallucinations and the possibility of the Daleks invading Arcadia. It's then not much of a shock when this little moment ends with a few Daleks showing up and subsequently blowing things up in their usual fashion.

- Arcadia was previously mentioned by the Tenth Doctor in Doomsday.
- I know I'm far from the first person to point this out, but this scene did feel like it could've came out of Halo, didn't it?
- iTunes really did annoy people with that blunder they made on Wednesday with it's initial release. Thank goodness for other sources in getting to see this. It's now on the official BBC YouTube page though.
- This technology did seem a little like the Time Lords were verging into Cybermen territory as well. I don't know why anyone would've agreed to this. The soldier himself will be in tomorrow's episode.

Okay, not as compelling as The Night Of The Doctor but The Last Day turned out to be a fun diversion nonetheless and at least we did get to see some Daleks and Arcadia, so that worked pretty well in this prequel's favour.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of An Adventure In Space And Time

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Terry McDonough

Verity Lambert: "It's like C.S. Lewis meets H.G. Wells meets Father Christmas. That's the Doctor."
William Hartnell: "Doctor who?"

Now that's the question that has still be gripping us for five decades now. Mark Gatiss's biopic was always going to be one of the biggest jewels in the crown for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary and with such high expectations for it, it's amazing that not only did this 83 minute delight rise to the occasion, it also managed to surpass it brilliantly.

At the heart of it, this was a three hander of a story. On one side you had William Hartnell, played to absolutely perfection by David Bradley, who had grown tired of being typecast as hardmen and wanted a challenge and on the other hand, there was also a nice girl named Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine) and her Indian born director, Waris Hussein (Sacha Dhawan) who wanted to make a successful programme in spite of the odds that were stacked against them.

While this biopic did a good job of exploring the fact that Doctor Who was in danger of being scrapped before it had barely begun as well as the show's quick impact on cast, crew and audience alike, the heart of the story is always Hartnell, Lambert and Hussein but mainly the first two. The bond between Hartnell and Lambert is beautifully explored throughout the film and was made all the more poignant when Lambert herself stepped down from the programme and Hartnell was unable to contain his dismay at losing the woman who had encouraged him for the role of a lifetime.

However, it's the last few minutes of the movie that are the most exceptional. You have to made of stone not to have shed a tear when Hartnell was forced to hand over the reins to his successor, Patrick Troughton (Reece Shearsmith) and the use of a certain cameo towards the end only enforced just how much of a legacy this show has truly left on the world in general.

- There was a lot of clever use of catchphrases and dialogue from the series in the episode. Especially with the uses of 'I don't want to go' and 'Braveheart'.
- Did anyone spot some of the companion cameos in this? I at least saw Carole Ann Ford, William Russell, Jean Marsh and Anneke Wills.
- One of the deleted scenes in this was Mark Gatiss playing Jon Pertwee.
- BBC2 aired a short documentary called, William Hartnell: The Original after this had aired. A lovely little companion piece to this biopic.
- I did like seeing the recreation of various stories from Hartnell's era throughout this story as well.
- I think a good 80% of the cast for this alone was comprised of people who have been in Doctor Who or will be in the near future.

This was simply stunning. An Adventure In Space And Time was a gorgeous, faithful, stirring, heartfelt and enchanting look at the making of the best show ever to have surfaced on television. It was an amazing piece of drama with so many exceptional performances (David Bradley and Jessica Raine especially) and it made me cry as well. Mark Gatiss should be extremely proud of himself and William Hartnell would be delighted that his show continues to live on and capture so many people to this day. Sheer perfection.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - The Dead

Still at the halfway point of American Horror Story: Coven and this was certainly an intriguing turns of events type of episode as well to boot.

Written by Brad Falchuk
Directed by Bradley Buecker

Not Feeling Quite Herself: Last week we saw Madison become the latest character (along with the Axeman) back from the dead and this week, she's feeling a little melancholy about it. There's a great scene at the start of the episode filled with a commentary about the youth of today and Madison did manage to bond with Kyle sexually as he's the only other person in the house to know what she's going through. Speaking of Kyle - a decent flashback for him as well but I'm not exactly enamoured with a whole Madison/Kyle/Zoe threesome antics. Overall, I do like that Madison is back properly into the mix and now that Cordelia and everyone is aware of Fiona's murderous ways, it'll be interesting to see how she's dealt with in later episodes.

Switching Sides: You could say that Queenie is easily manipulated. Fiona was able to get her to become part of Myrtle's downfall a while ago and here, both LaLaurie and Marie played their part in manipulating her as well.  Even if LaLaurie is remorseful for her actions, that flashback where she murdered an innocent woman's baby as part of her beauty regime meant that she deserved to be captured by Marie, betrayed by Queenie and subjected to the same tortures she happily inflicted on those who were unfortunate enough to be her slave at the time. That being said, Marie continues to be somewhat unsympathetic as well, which doesn't help this plotline in parts.

BAMF Alert: Ever since Cordelia became a seer, it's like she's become a much stronger character and this episode continued that trend. Not only did she continue to give Hank the cold shoulder, but she quickly realised what happened to Madison and confronted Zoe about both her mother and the Axeman as well. It is starting to look like Zoe really is the Supreme but it's hard to deny that both her and Cordelia are growing impressively as characters. Marie might want to be very afraid soon. Fiona and Delphine are one thing but does she really want to start a war with Cordelia, Zoe and perhaps Misty? The latter sadly being a no show in this episode though.

Bye Spalding: Now I love Denis O'Hare and think he's bloody fantastic. He's certainly given Spalding plenty in his episodes but for some reason, I am hoping that his death sticks for a few reasons. Mainly because there needs to be some consequences for siding with Fiona and also because it was a great moment for Zoe when she restored his tongue, got him to confess about Fiona bumping off Madison and then killed him. Seriously, how brilliant has Zoe become as a character? It might be a shame to lose Spalding as a result of it though but them are the breaks though.

Life Stalking: If ever a man had to fall deeply in love with Fiona, of course he'd have to be a fecking serial killer like the Axeman. The fact that he's been actively stalking/protecting her for all of her life and knows her darkest secrets just makes their whole relationship that extra bit macabre. The relationship is twisted but it was a good way of keeping Fiona out of the main action this week and she's probably safer with the Axeman at the moment than she will be when the likes of Zoe and Cordelia get their hands on her.

In two weeks time, it looks like Fiona is screwed, Misty has a target on her and both Zoe and Cordelia continue being BAMFs. I have to wait two weeks for this?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x04: "The Curse Of Crowe"

Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Mark Everest

Ursula: "I'm waiting."
Randall: "What for?"
Ursula: "For the greatest power in the universe."

Every week it does seem like this show does play with the most familiar of tropes and while it often doesn't always do anything too radical with them, they still manage to be a lot of fun. This week, we had to have a story where Tom and Benny's friendship was erased and they were barely on speaking terms. All because Gemma Raven wanted to save her mother from being fed to the Nekross.

I do like that without Tom and Benny's friendship and the use of Ursula's bloodline, there was some near danger that threatened the Crowe bloodline and while the story did resolve itself nearly at the last minute, this was a nice exploration of Tom and Benny. They might be very different people (not just the magic vs. science stuff) but clearly this story highlighted the importance of their friendship.

Back in the first series, I doubt we would've had the likes of Quinn or Katie trying to get Benny and Tom to patch things up and both Ursula and Michael also seemed to know the importance of their friendship as did the Nekross as well (which is why they agreed to let Gemma cast that spell in the first place).

Speaking of Gemma - I thought she was a pretty decent character. She might have done a bad thing but it was for a reason. As much as I am enjoying some of these guest wizard characters from time to time, I am starting to wonder if we'll ever see any corrupt ones on the show. Surely, it has to happen at some point, right?

- Why did Gemma and Madeline just use their magic to teleport out of the ship when the defenses were down?
- Are we ever going to get some continuity on Chloe? It does seem like an important plot strand that's being ignored now.
- Both Benny's mother and Ursula seemed to have similarities to Benny. I also found Ursula being briefly a Neverwas fairly effective.
- So, Jathro is in cahoots with Kooth from the opening story then? Whatever they're planning, I wish they'd just get on with it.

Nice story and overall, a good examination of Benny and Tom's friendship. This series has certainly been stronger than it's first run and the next story certainly looks like it could be the show's best one yet.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x08: "Secrecy"

Written by Sallie Patrick And Jasheika James
Directed by Colin Bucksey

Emily (to Daniel): “I’m great. As it turns out, I’m pregnant.”

Considering what exactly went down in this episode, it’s a safe assumption that Emily is not with child, folks. Instead she’s just using that infamous trope of faking a pregnancy to keep her man from leaving her.

Usually this would be a source of irritation but considering that Emily doesn’t actually love Daniel and needs him just a tiny bit longer to ultimately frame Victoria for murder, I actually think it’s a rather clever if dastardly thing for her to do. After all, Daniel came pretty close from slipping out of her fingers in this episode.

I don’t know what it says about me but I am actually delighted that Daniel has begun to fall out of love with Emily. I know the current affair he’s having with Sara is completely rushed but it’s actually doing wonders for Daniel as a character and the fact that Sara has managed to be a pretty sympathetic character as well certainly helps matters.

I also like that while Sara might have fallen for Emily’s manipulations, at least she’s wise enough not to fall for Victoria. Victoria yet again tried to expose Emily and it backfired on her spectacularly but more to the point, Sara earned a lot of respect by merely calling Victoria out on her obsessive hold on Daniel as well.

As for Emily and Victoria – I did like the constant back and forth with them this week. Emily managed to use her past marriage of convenience to Rohan as a means of exposing Victoria’s pettiness and Victoria got to rub in Emily’s face about Daniel’s growing attachment to Sara. For the time being though, Emily was the one who came out on top here.

As for Emily and Jack – anyone else getting frustrated with the latter? I know Emily’s scheming has cost him and I don’t dismiss his anger but his constant dictating to Emily has been tiresome and it was finally nice to see her tell him to back off a tad as well this week. Unfortunately, it looks like he might be onto something with Aiden though.

I don’t like the idea of Aiden becoming a liability for Emily but given that he was a bit of a dick to both Nolan and Jack and used a blackmailing situation involving Charlotte to his advantage, I can’t help wondering if he’s suddenly going to be a problem for Emily. I hope not but I am noticing that some viewers do seem to be warming to him a lot less this year than they were last season.

Speaking of problems – Lydia, really? Didn’t she die in a plane crash at the end of the first season? I guess not after all. I’m surprised that she was the one who got in contact with Margaux. For some reason I was actually expecting it be Ashley but I guess this could be a lot of fun and another spanner in the works for Emily to deal with before tying the knot with Daniel.

Also in “Secrecy”

Conrad had a little secret club that the Grayson men inherited. I wasn’t too shocked when it became clear that Victoria was aware of it.

Sara: “What if your mother hates me?”
Daniel: “She won’t and even if she does, I’ll protect you.”

Victoria’s comments about Emily being a gold digger are odd, considering that Emily has always been wealthy since she’s been in the Hamptons.

Emily: “You gave me a deadline to end this. You don’t get to pass judgement about what I do when it’s done/”
Jack: “You’re right, I don’t.”

Conrad (to Daniel): “The secret to staying happily married is secrecy.”

I loved seeing Nolan posting post-it notes all over the place when it turned out that Aiden was moving in with him.

Aiden: “I’m the future.”
Jack: “Are you trying to convince me or yourself?”

Rohan (to Emily/Victoria): “I am on pins and needles for you and Daniel. It means excitement, yes?”

Rohan was another one of Takeda’s students, Emily married him so he could get a green card and he’s in love with a guy named Benny.

Victoria: “You cannot be fooled by that girl.”
Sara: “You think you’re protecting your son but your psycho obsession is hurting him. Let him go, I’m gonna do the same. Goodbye Victoria.”

Standout music: Noah and the Whale’s “Silver And Gold”.

Emily (to Jack): “You know what I used to wish for? That nothing would ever change.”

Chronology: A few days since the events of “Resurgence”.

Now this was a brilliant episode. “Secrecy” felt like a far bigger episode than we’ve had for a while and while I’m still a little flummoxed by Lydia’s return, I am looking forward to seeing her and Emily going toe to toe pretty soon.

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Canary Appeared

And here is the second TV jumble blog ...

Arrow: These last few episodes have been a joy to watch. It's kind of a shame that Black Canary was quickly written out though because I've enjoyed her quite a lot and Oliver certainly has more chemistry with her than he does with Laurel at times. Of course, I do like that we got to see the League Of Assassins, had an allusion to Ra's Al Ghul and of course, I am loving the fact that Roy is getting more involved with helping Oliver and that Diggle has had some focus on him too. Overall, this is shaping up to be a great season for the show.

Devious Maids: Yeah, this show is still a guilty pleasure for me and halfway through it, I'm still enjoying it. I'll admit that while I'm warming to Carmen a little more, I am finding Rosie extremely annoying at times though. I don't really care that much about her affair with Spencer either for that matter. I am however enjoying learning more about Marisol's relationship with her son and while the Powells are awful people, they are also by far the strongest characters on the show as well. I think it's obvious though that while they're hiding something about Flora's death (and she really wasn't likeable in flashbacks), they're overall not responsible for it. I'm guessing here, I promise.

Homeland: Have the writers really decided to go down the pregnancy route with Carrie? Ugh, if there's one story we didn't need this season, it's probably this. In fact, we could also probably do with some more of Brody as well. The last episode I watched on Channel 4 was pretty decent and it was nice to see Saul being something of a BAMF but this season has become largely hit and miss at times too. I'm starting to wonder if commissioning a fourth run was a wise idea though.

Misfits: The fifth series is an improvement on the previous year but like Homeland, I kind of find myself drifting with it this year. It also hasn't helped that it's airing against the more entertaining Gogglebox (that will be blogged about soon). The last few episodes gave us an innovative backstory for Abby, showed a better side to Alex, brought Jess and Rudy closer together, more or less outed the probation officer, had Finn as being somewhat more likeable and threw more hints about things to come. Overall, while the show's heydays are behind them, this has been a better show to watch compared to last series.

Sleepy Hollow: I almost wish Universal had waited until next year to air this show as so many are airing right now and it's taking me a while to catch up with them all. However, while this show is mostly lighter compared to others, I do think Ichabod and Abby make for a great pairing and it's nice that we're learning more about them with flashbacks with the former and the latter's sister being more prominent as well. The Horsemen plot while not entirely perfect or sustainable for future runs has also gotten a little better too over the last few episodes.

- Anna Gunn will be joining the cast of Gracepoint (aka the US version of Broadchurch). She'll be playing Ellie Miller while David Tennant's character has been renamed as Emmett Carver.
- Aly Michalka will be playing a love interest for Amber Tamblyn's character on Two And A Half Men.
- Jason Ritter will be returning to Parenthood.
- Brooke Shields will be guest appearing on The Michael Fox Show.
- Melissa Rosenberg will be scribing for Marvel's Jessica Jones series on Netflix.
- USA Network have picked up a six episode action adventure series called Dig from Tim Kring and Gideon Raff.
- Alan Alda will be appearing in The Blacklist.
- Mad Men's seventh and final season will be split in two, airing in both 2014 and 2015.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x08: "The Furies"

Written by Julian Jones
Directed by Alice Troughton

Jason (to Arcas, re Pythagoras): “He’s the kindest man I’ve ever known.”

Thanks to this episode, that is a sentiment that I feel does not change how Pythagoras should be overall viewed as well. I’ve wanted a centre piece episode for Pythagoras for a while now and finally this episode was obliging. More to the point, it was actually great with some lovely character moments in it as well.

Having it revealed that Pythagoras inadvertently killed his abusive father in order to defend his mother certainly didn’t lessen my view on the character. It was clearly something that Pythagoras regretted and was even willing to allow himself to be killed by the Furies if it meant his friends were spared as well.

While we didn’t need Jason to tell us that Pythagoras was a good man, nevertheless I was glad that he did say it and encouraged Arcas twice to forgive Pythagoras for killing their father as well. I also liked that Hercules too was quick to rally to Pythagoras’s defence as well. It’s because of this that I’m starting to believe in their friendship a lot more as well.

As for Arcas – I thought Will Merrick did a great job here. His acting has certainly improved since his days on Skins and overall he was far better utilised here than he was on Doctor Who a few months ago as well. More to the point, in spite of the character’s hot headed behaviour, I did at least understand his anger towards Pythagoras lying to him all these years as well.

While the forgiveness was a little rushed by Arcas, I do think that at least if the character returns for another episode, there are other avenues that they can explore with both him and Pythagoras as well. Overall, I certainly think this episode had a lot going for it.

First of all, while the Furies were a little quickly defeated towards the end, they actually managed to be pretty effective as a force. Plus, the fact that it was something unconnected to Pasiphae for a change probably helped cement my like for them just a tiny bit more too.

However the highlight of this episode was Robert Emms. Out of the three leads, he’s had the least amount to do so far but has been the strongest actor of the bunch. This episode worked extremely well because not only was Pythagoras well written and given an interesting enough back story but also because Emms did great work with the material given to him as well. I just hope now that this means Pythagoras will be more prominent for the remainder of the season as well.

As for the rest of the episode – I think we could a nice enough team of characters here. The legend with Baicus and Philemon was given a different twist here (though that could’ve done with a bit more fleshing out) and Nilus and Otus were decent enough supporting characters in a crisis/. However, out of the four characters, Baicus was probably the strongest of the bunch, even if some of her dialogue was a bit heavy handed in parts.

Also in “The Furies”

With the exception of Baicus and a brief appearance from the Oracle, this was probably the most male centred episode we’ve had so far.

Hercules: “Why did you have to wake me? I was having the most glorious of dreams. Medusa and I -,”
Jason: “- I really don’t want to know.”

For an episode that was mostly set in the desert, I’m surprised they resisted the urge to actually have one shirtless scene with Jason this week.

The Oracle: “I sense a darkness in your heart. Do you wish to share it?”
Pythagoras: “No. It is my burden to live with and mine to die with.”

Aside from being a cryptic mouthpiece, we still know naff all about the Oracle as an individual. This would want to change sooner rather later I think.

Pythagoras: “You should be careful how you judge people. I’ve put all of that behind me. You need to do the same.”
Arcas: “Yeah, thanks.”

Philemon: “I owe you my life.”
Baicus: “And a drink.”

I quite liked that Hercules had suspected Baicus and Jason had shown that he was listening to him too. Again, a good sign of character development for both characters.

Hercules (to Jason): “I’m gonna kiss you. You don’t have to kiss me back. Come on, come on.”

Pythagoras (to Arcas, re Otus): “It wasn’t him, it was me. Please, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to kill him. I swear to you it wasn’t my fault.”

This episode did not feature Medusa, Ariadne, Pasiphae or Minos.

Baicus (to Arcas, re Pythagoras): “People make mistakes and should be punished but people should also be forgiven.”

Chronology: Not sure how much time has passed since “The Rules Of Engagement”.

Now this is more like it. Seriously, if “The Furies” is anything to go by, then it’s proof that the writers can actually write something that’s character driven, emotionally engaging enough and something that strengthens the friendships with our three leads. Less contrived humour and more writing like this and this show can be as excellent as it’s predecessor became.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Let's Twerk No More

Okay, it's been a while but here's a look at some of the things I've been watching for the last while. Another blog will surface on Monday.

Bates Motel: This has truly been a wonderful series to watch. For ten episodes we've seen the origins of Norman Bates and his dangerously toxic relationship with his mother as well as a nicely handled delving into his inner workings and this first season finale left me wanting more. The winter dance setting was nice and the ending with the death of a main character all served as a nice build up into the next season. This show was an unexpected delight to watch. I will definitely be tuning in for the second season.

Downton Abbey: For the most part, I've liked the fourth series of this show just fine but Julian Fellowes really does need to learn how to write finales. Once upon a time he could do it well but for this year, we had a mainly uneventful 90 minutes where all the potentially interesting storylines were barely dealt with at all. Seriously, did anything really significant happen here? Green was bumped off offscreen, Thomas's hold on Baxter still wasn't explained and the Blake/Mary/Gillingham triangle was thrown in at the last minute along with Violet becoming privy to Edith's plight. Hopefully the Christmas special is made of better stuff.

Glee: It's been a month since the tribute episode for Cory Monteith and the first two episodes since then have been largely fun and lighthearted ones. Even though this show's commentary on things such as twerking and the meaning of being either a Gaga or a Perry were mostly pointless, I did like the handling of Unique being bullied, Kurt and Rachel going wild and of course, Adam Lambert's appearance as well. This show will never be perfect but this run of episodes have been fun to watch though.

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D: I have to admit this show is improving. I'm not sure if it's going to become gripping television for me, but I did like the last two episodes. I particularly thought in the last episode alone that Ward and Fitz made for a decent team, Melinda continues to kick ass, Skye has her moments, I'm softening a little towards Simmons and I like that Coulson is more suspicious of how he really came back to life. I also liked the fact that Saffron Burrows was added into the mix as Victoria Hand and I'm hoping that we'll be seeing more of her in later episodes. As well as the set up for a certain crossover as well.

Once Upon A Time: Forget the antics of Wonderland. The producers should just set up a detective agency spin-off with Belle and Ariel and audiences will come in their droves to see it. These two teaming up together was pure fun to watch but Ariel in general just seems to have sparked off with every character she's come into contact with. I am seriously hoping she becomes a regular by the second half of the season. As for the Pan stuff - it's still interesting but needs to move up a notch and I do that the Neal/Emma/Hook triangle isn't too dragged out for long though. Oh and an appearance from Ursula again would be lovely.

- Aisha Tyler will be appearing in Ryan Murphy's Open.
- Stevie Nicks will also be appearing in an upcoming episode of American Horror Story: Coven.
- SkyAtlantic have bagged the rights to HBO's True Detective and will air it shortly after US transmission in 2014.
- The US version of Come Dine With Me will air in December on Lifetime.
- There are rumours that a certain DC character will be appearing in Arrow soon, played by Steven R McQueen. Nightwing anyone? Take with a pinch of salt.
- HBO are working on their own version of Danish political drama, Borgen.
- How I Met Your Mother will be getting a spin-off called How I Met Your Dad.
- Netflix have commissioned a final season of six episodes for The Killing.
- Drew Goddard will be writing for the upcoming Daredevil series for Netflix.
- The Originals, The Tomorrow People and Reign have all been given full season orders by the CW.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Review of Doctor Who's: "The Night Of The Doctor" (Massive Spoilers)

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by John Hayes

Cass: "I'm trying to send a distress signal. Stop talking about Doctors."
Eighth Doctor: "I'm a Doctor but probably not the one you're expecting."

It was rumoured for ages that Paul McGann would appear in a prequel for The Day Of The Doctor in a bid to help explain John Hurt's presence and I have to admit, I refused to believe it. Given that Steven Moffat seemed so adamant about not involving any Classic Series Doctors, it just sounded too good to be true. How glad am I to be wrong in this case? Very much so.

This little seven minute scene was absolutely a joy to watch as the Eighth Doctor and pilot lady, Cass met each other with her ship crashing and she took an immediate dislike to the Doctor upon seeing his TARDIS. It seems that the Time Lords really are coming across as badly as the Daleks in the Time War - the same war that this Doctor has been avoiding like the plague until now.

Upon the ship crashing, Cass dying and the Eighth Doctor being on his last legs, it seems the Sisterhood Of Karn had their own ideas for the Time War. Realising that he can't avoid it no longer, the Doctor chooses to drastically change and stop the Time War - but not in his own name. No, he wants to be a warrior.

The regeneration from McGann to Hurt is a great sequence and certainly a lot different than regenerations past and present (and presumably future as we've got Smith to Capaldi next month to look forward to). It's a stunning sequence and more than a worthy lead up to The Day Of The Doctor as well.

- Today is actually Paul McGann's birthday so the release of this prequel is even more appropriate as well.
- Big Finish is officially canon with the likes of Charley, C'Rizz, Lucie, Tamsin and Molly all referenced in this episode.
- The Sisterhood Of Karn have also previously appeared in The Brains Of Morbius as did the elixir of life.
- John Hurt's Doctor is officially known as the War Doctor, so the numbering will not be damaged it seems by his presence.

Well, this was spectacular, wasn't it? For those of you who thought that Steven Moffat didn't care about the Classic Series during the 50th year, this little scene proved you all wrong. It's been seventeen years since Paul McGann has lasted played the Eighth Doctor in a televised scene and The Night Of The Doctor was another healthy reminder of his brilliance. Paul, you are wonderful.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - The Axeman Cometh

Okay, now we're getting to the halfway point of American Horror Story: Coven and things certainly got a lot more interesting in this rather sobering installment.

Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Beware The Axeman: Every season of this show enjoys having a serial killer and after the likes of Rubberman and Bloody face in the first two seasons, this episode introduced the Axeman, who actually was killed by a coven in 1919 but then inadvertently brought back by Zoe in this episode. He also ended the episode by coming onto Fiona in a bar after the episode made it clear she was desperate for one last romance. I'm not sure if this character is particularly needed but Danny Huston does make a rather unsettling impression, so I'll keep an open mind here.

Back Again, Madison: It's amazing how in six episodes how much stronger Zoe is getting as a character. I know she hasn't impressed viewers so much and her deal with the Axeman to find Madison was reckless but damn it, she is improving. I liked her taking charge with getting Misty to raise Madison from the dead, keeping Kyle secured and also in interrogated Spalding along with Nan and Queenie. This is basically a sign of good things but I'm still not sure if Zoe really is going to be revealed as the next Supreme or if there's something else afoot here.

Mr Witch Hunter: Three cheers for Cordelia seeing through Hank's cheating bullshit and even more so for the fact that it was revealed in this episode that he was a witch hunter working with Marie for the last six years. Sadly, while it does seem like Hank might have some genuine feelings for Cordelia, Marie has now become just as bad as LaLaurie (a no show in this one) in that she wants Hank to kill everyone in the Coven. Fiona I can understand but the fact that Marie wants innocent women to be murdered just makes her a monster though.

He Broke Stevie: One of the things you should not do when in Misty's company is to wreck her Stevie Nicks on the radio. Kyle learned that the hard way when his welcome at her shack was revoked but more to the point - Misty finally visited the school and helped bring Madison back from the dead. After having her being in only one scene last week, it was nice that this episode was more generous with the screen time for her. I think it's obvious that Misty is the new Supreme, isn't it? We'll probably know for certain when her and Fiona finally meet methinks.

In Other News: Given that it was revealed that Hank was a witch hunter, perhaps it wasn't too shocking that it was also revealed that Kaylee from the previous two episodes also turned out to be a witch. The thing I don't get though is how Cordelia didn't recognise her when she was seeing things. She recognised Myrtle being burned at the stake and got a frightening encounter with the Axeman at the end of this episode too. Oh and Madison conveniently has no memory of Fiona killing her but that looks set to change in the next episode though.

Next week, it looks like the shit is going to hit the fan for Fiona while Queenie and Marie also meet up.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x03: "The Cave Of Menla-Gto"

Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Mark Everest

Ursula (re Tom): "You need him, Michael. Magic needs him. I'll give him my life force, he'll live."

We're at the halfway point of this series and we get a two parter where we learned a little more about magic and Tom's life ended up being in mortal danger after one of Benny's experiments went wrong. I liked this one and I especially enjoyed having Tom, Ursula and Michael going to Tibet to see the cave of Menla-Gto and it's spiritual keeper as well.

I did worry a little that we were going to lose Ursula in order for Tom to fulfill his mission to stop the Nekross but having the spirit lady actually sacrifice herself for Tom did stop that though. The caves scenes certainly had their moments, more so with Lexi nearly faltering at her mission. I hope that's something that is explored in later episodes too.

Of course while half the good guys were on the side of the world, it was up to Benny and Randall Moon to team up, leave the house and prevent Varg from shattering the shroud of magic and that was actually the better plot of the week.

It was nice to literally take Moon out of his comfort zone and the bond that got forged with him and Benny worked pretty well when they both discussed the benefits of using both magic and science to outsmart Varg. It's just a shame that science seemingly has no place in the Chamber, but at least something was retained from the time that Benny and Moon spent together.

- Seriously, still nothing on Chloe? Isn't Tom just the tiniest bit concerned about her not being in contact with him?
- Jathro's scheming scenes are fine but it would be nice to actually see who he's reporting to at this point.
- I don't think I could handle three versions of Moon but it did serve a nice way of tricking Varg as well.
- Stickley's still around then.

Overall, another satisfying story for the show but again, I do feel if this show gets to go to a third series, perhaps we need something other than the Nekross as enemies? I can't be the only one, right?

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x07: "Resurgence"

Written by Christopher Fife
Directed by John Scott

Emily: “It was fun being your wingman.”
Nolan: “I taught you well, grasshopper.”

Okay, this was an interesting role reversal. For once it was Nolan with the revenge mission and Emily helping him out and while I doubt the show is planning to change direction anytime soon, this was a lot of fun to watch.

So, who deserved Nolan’s wrath? Why it was only Ana Ortiz of course who decided to take a break from Devious Maids (anyone else watching that show? It can’t just be me, right?) to pop up in this episode as a PR guru named Bizzy Preston. It seems that Bizzy was bust outing Nolan in the past and sabotaging his relationship with his father in the process.

Usually Nolan is the one talking Emily out of getting even, so it wasn’t too much of a shock when Emily was more happy to assist than deter Nolan from his quest to get even on Bizzy but even after wrecking her business and pissing off her client list, Nolan still managed to show Bizzy enough compassion to not blab to her husband about an affair she was having.

I like seeing Nolan’s more ruthless streak and given the nature of what Bizzy did to him, I definitely think he was fair in taking her down and the episode did end with the potential for Bizzy to pop up again at some point as well. I’m sure with her PR skills and loose tongue; she can cause more chaos in the Hamptons at just the wrong moment.

Of course when Bizzy wasn’t having her career incinerated by Nolan, Emily was using her in some bizarre scheme about a first husband that Victoria was inevitably told about as well for good measure. I’m sure really sure Emily pretending (if she was) that she had been married before was a great idea but then again, neither were Victoria’s attempts of forcing a reunion with Emily and Aiden as well.

You know Victoria might be losing her touch when even Charlotte had to point out that the best chance of breaking up Daniel and Emily was to get Sara back in Daniel’s life. Charlotte already made sure Sara was working at the Stowaway and this episode had Sara becoming the cake lady for Daniel and Emily and made sure that Victoria tried to push Sara and Daniel together.

I’m not really sure why Charlotte and Victoria are even bothering anyways. Daniel managed to do a great job himself nearly kissing Sara during the fireworks at the Fourth Of July party but it didn’t stop Emily and Nolan getting wind of their near kiss as well. I’m always for Emily ensuring that the Graysons get their due but I do hope that Emily doesn’t destroy Sara in the mix though. Mainly because she’s actually nice enough and hasn’t deserved to be used as a pawn by everyone as well.

Last but not least Margaux got a little more interesting in this episode too. Personally, I’m not that bothered about her and Jack and their sex scene didn’t do much either but I do like the fact that Margaux seems to be keen in unearthing the real story behind Conrad. I doubt she’s going to succeed without being eventually bested by Conrad but at the same time, it’s amazing how a tiny plot point can suddenly improve a character too.

Also in “Resurgence”

Why would Victoria admit to writing a letter to Patrick in front of Conrad? That just seemed really stupid on her part.

Jack (to Margaux): “Don’t let the Graysons take over your life.”

We saw Amanda’s grave in this episode for a moment. She was born on June 11th 1984 and died on September 2rd 2012.

Emily: “I’m sorry, Nolan.”
Nolan: “Bizzy’s the one who should be sorry and we have to stop your becoming the victim of her next PR machine.”

Emily: “This can’t get out.”
Bizzy: “I’m a gravedigger, babe. I bury things bigger than this every day.”

I found the fact that Daniel wasn’t threatened by Aiden at the party amusing because it did seem like Emily was genuinely irritated by it.

Charlotte: “Wake up, mother. I’m sure Daniel still has feelings for Sara and she has feelings for him. They just need help remembering that.”

Nolan (re Bizzy): “If it’s a surprise you want, I’m more than happy to oblige.”

Aiden got kicked out of Grayson manor this week but he did manage to help Emily with her frame up plan and got a goodbye kiss as well. I don’t think he’s going anywhere for too long though.

Daniel: “Hope you’re not hiding from my mother.”
Sara: “She doesn’t scare me anymore but man does she try.”

Aiden (to Emily): “At least I get to say goodbye this time.”

Standout music: Ellie Goulding’s “Tessellate”.

Bizzy: “So, why are you here?”
Nolan: “Payback.”

Nolan (re Daniel/Sara): “Looks like they were about to rekindle their past.”
Emily: “Then I have to make sure they have no future.”

Chronology: Fourth Of July for most of this episode.

I’m not sure why this episode was actually called “Resurgence” but overall I liked it and it was an amusing enough diversion. I do feel that we’re sort of treading water a tiny bit until the wedding episode but at least Nolan had some truly fab moments in this one.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x07: "The Rules Of Engagement"

Written by Richard McBrien
Directed by Declan O’Dwyer

Pasiphae: “You really think you can defy me?”
Ariadne: “I’m not afraid of you anymore. I’m not afraid of anyone. Today has taught me that.”
Pasiphae: “Then you are even more stupid than you could possibly imagine.”

As much as I’d like to not agree with Pasiphae here, perhaps she is right about Ariadne to a certain extent. I mean, towards the end of the episode, Korinna is killed in broad daylight and it takes Ariadne ages to clock onto the fact that perhaps her rejection of Heptarian wasn’t key to her chambermaid’s death. Okay, then.

I really want to like Ariadne as a character and there are flashes of moments where I do but the writing is not helping the character and I hate to admit it but Aiysha Hart’s performance has come across as a little wooden at times. This is the second episode that has supposedly been a big one for Ariadne and I find myself more frustrated with the character than sympathetic.

Don’t get me wrong – Ariadne was right for the time being to tell Jason that a relationship between them wasn’t possible and I certainly didn’t mind her using the events of the Pancratian to end her engagement with Heptarian but at the same time, I just don’t think the writers are doing a great job with developing the romance between Jason and Ariadne at the moment.

It’s not helped by the fact that both Jack Donnelly and Aiysha Hart don’t really have any chemistry together and the fact that both Jason and Ariadne barely know each other as well is a fact that even they were forced to acknowledge. The only thing their attraction has so far managed to achieve was poor Korinna’s death and Pasiphae arguably being more of a bitch than she actually needs to be as a character.

The Pancratian stuff itself was largely a mixed bag as well. I don’t mind seeing shirtless men battling it out but even I was getting bored through this episode that Jason and Heptarian’s duel felt more like a blessed relief than anything really dramatic though. Still, at least Heptarian showed some smarts by not actually killing Jason and the latter threw the fight as well. Both of them were desperate to impress Ariadne and only one of them really succeeded.

Of course now that we’re halfway through the series, it was time for some better scheming on Pasiphae’s part as well. I thought when she was initially getting the poison from that mysterious old fella, it was another attempt to get rid of Jason. The fact that it turned out to be for Minos though was a lot more interesting.

I like the fact that Pasiphae is using a subtle, slow burning poison to eventually wipe out her husband. It’s actually a rather smart move on her part and while I am starting to like Minos a bit more as a character, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to actually kill him off early in the show’s life. This show’s predecessor might have benefitted from bumping off Uther a series earlier than it did. The fact that Pasiphae is making the moves to seize power in Atlantis (along with Heptarian) is one of the things the show is actually succeeding with at the moment.

Also in “The Rules Of Engagement”

I was hoping we’d see Circe in this episode or get some continuity on the deal Jason struck to kill Pasiphae. I can assume these things are being left for the finale then.

Jason: “Don’t go ahead with this marriage, please Ariadne, I’m begging you.”
Ariadne: “It cannot be. It cannot.”

Was it me or did it seem like Medusa forgave Hercules a little too quickly in this one? I do like that Hercules revealed more details on his past though to her.

Hercules (to Jason, re Pancratian): “They don’t just die. They get bits cut off and then they die.”

Hercules: “You have no idea how the human heart works, do you?”
Pythagoras: “Actually, I’m very interested in anatomy.”

This is the bit where I usually note that Pythagoras had bugger all to do. At least next week, he’s getting his own episode.

Medusa (re Jason/Ariadne): “But he must know that’s hopeless.”
Hercules: “When you’re in love, there’s no such thing as hopeless.”

Heptarian: “Anyone you’d like to say goodbye to?”
Jason: “Just you.”

This episode didn’t feature the Oracle either. Hopefully she’s working on a way to break the deal between Jason and Circe.

Heptarian: “You’re lucky Jason, but luck doesn’t last forever.”

Chronology: A couple of weeks since the events of “The Song Of The Sirens”.

It’s getting somewhat better. “”The Rules Of Engagement” was definitely enjoyable, even if the Jason/Ariadne plot needs some serious sparking up. It’s a good thing this show’s renewal has already been confirmed because if something doesn’t happen with Jason’s destiny any time soon, I can see more people not sticking around.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Doctor Who - The Day Of The Doctor First & Second Trailers

The Doctor: I've had many faces, many lives. There's one life I've tried very hard to forget.

This trailer was meant to air first later on this evening on BBC1 but has been released a few hours earlier due to it leaking on BBC Latin America. So here it is, the first and second trailers for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary episode, The Day Of The Doctor ...

The Two Doctors: For those of you hoping for lots of moments with the Tenth (David Tennant) and Eleventh (Matt Smith) Doctors, this episode certainly looks like it's going to be a treat in that regard. In the trailer we see both of them meeting up with John Hurt's Doctor and inside their respective TARDISes as well as they do battle to save the universe once again.

The Hurt Doctor: Yes, John Hurt is the Doctor or is he really? There have been so many rumours floating about the place, it's hard to know for definite if he's the genuine article or perhaps a 'road not taken' version of the Time Lord we've known and loved for the last half century. In the trailer, he manages to interact with both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor, can be seen on Gallifrey and is even instructed by Rose (Billie Piper) to use the moment too. He even has his own TARDIS as well for good measure.

A Rose By Another?: So what exactly is going on with Rose Tyler in this episode? Her look is overall similar to the first series and her eyes certainly make me think she's in Bad Wolf mode but is it really our Rose or 'a road not taken' version to accompany Hurt's Doctor as well? There are rumours that Rose does at least share a scene with both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor but personally I also hope she gets to interact with Clara as well. Speaking of which ...

Clara Disappears: Well in the trailer and preview clips when she's not looking at strange paintings with her Doctor and meeting two others, it seems that she's acquired a vortex manipulator to get out of dodge, doesn't she? Actually a lot of the clips and trailer seem to have Clara merely reacting to things but hopefully she does play an active role within the episode itself.

Let's Do The Time War Again: Or ever really. I suppose for those who were always hoping we'd get to see the Time War onscreen, this is going to be the closest we'll get to see it with Hurt's Doctor guided by Rose to use the moment and Daleks destroying everything in sight. It certainly looks suitably epic but even I feel this is something that really should be featuring Paul McGann's Doctor more than John Hurt though. Still, I can't wait to see it actually played out on screen.

Zygons Will Be Zygons: Yes, they're back for this episode as well and we've got some romantic scenes with both the Tenth Doctor and Queen Elizabeth the 1st (Joanna Page) to see, a return of Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and UNIT and to be honest, who else knows when it comes to this episode? Really, it's actually impressive how little even now with a trailer we seem to know? Are there really no other former companions or Doctors returning? I guess we'll know for definite in a fortnight's time but either way, I am certainly looking forward to this episode.

The Day Of The Doctor Trailer 1:
The Day Of The Doctor Trailer 2:

Doctor Who - The Day Of The Doctor will air Saturday 7.50pm on BBC1 on November 23rd and An Adventure In Space And Time will air Thursday 9pm on BBC2 on November 21st.

Friday, November 08, 2013

DaVinci's Demons - Season 2 First Look

It might have divided viewers upon it's debut on both Starz and FOXUK back in April of this year but DaVinci's Demons did manage to do enough to merit a second season and at the New York Comic Con last month, a trailer for the second season was released, along with some interesting cast pictures.

The trailer starts with the fallout of the attack on the Medici clan and DaVinci (Tom Riley) being chastised by Al Rahim (Alexander Siddig) for abandoning his destiny while hints of a force more ancient and dangerous than the Vatican are emerging. As the trailer progresses, it's made clear that both DaVinci and his crew, including Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) along with Riario (Blake Ritson) are destined to touch on the New World.

The season is set to introduce a few new characters, one of whom includes Incan princess, Ima (Carolina Guerra) and there are clips where it seems like her and DaVinci will connect. Other interesting clips include both Lucrezia and Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin) walking the plank, Riario hooking up with a mysterious woman, DaVinci sword fighting on a boat, a few grisly torture scenes, some sex scenes involving Clarice (Lara Pulver) and someone being hanged. The most interesting clip though comes around the end where it looks like our hero might be getting sacrificed as well as a comment on tempting fate. While I still kind of wish this show would make an effort to flesh out DaVinci's sexuality more, I do think the second season could be an improvement on the first one, which was a bit ropey in places. Here's hoping I'm right in that regard.

Season 2 Cast Pictures:
Season 2 Trailer:

DaVinci's Demons second season will air in April 2014 on both Starz and FOXUK. The first season is available on DVD for US viewers now.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - Burn, Witch, Burn!

Let's continue on from the madness of the previous episode where Cordelia got attacked in the bathroom and some trick or treaters turned out to be er, zombies. It's another episode of American Horror Story: Coven, folks.

Written by Jessica Sharzer
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa

Let's Burn A Witch: It was always going to end in someone getting literally burned between Fiona and Myrtle and it made sense that it would be the latter getting scorched on the stake. As much as I can understand Myrtle's hatred for Fiona (and despite the frame job), she didn't do herself much favours in this episode by letting her obsession with taking Fiona out of the equation be known. I'm not sure now though if she was the one who really did attack Cordelia or if Fiona just used the situation (and Queenie) to take Myrtle out of the equation. Of course then the episode to end with Misty reviving Myrtle as well, which does make me wonder if any character this season is going to stay dead.

Night The Zombies Came To The House: Compared to last week, this wasn't a great episode for Marie. Mainly she just spent her time controlling her zombie army and got royally pissed off when it turned out that Zoe was able to actually nuke the lot of them with some new powers. Does this make Zoe the Supreme? I think it's an indication sure but there's also the possibility of either Nan or Misty being the Supreme as well. Sadly though, Queenie is being manipulated by Fiona into thinking she's the next one in line. I do hope they reveal the new Supreme pretty soon now. I don't want this plot strand to drag out.

Just Kill Her Already: All Hallows Eve in 1833, several months prior to LaLaurie being cursed with immortality and losing her family, we're given yet another reminder as to why she's an evil bitch with her sadistic parties scaring off suitors for her daughters. This episode also showed that LaLaurie wasn't above punishing her own daughters when their talk of murdering her resulted in them being imprisoned in her attic for nearly a year. Seriously, I know in the present day LaLaurie's shown guilt with her zombified daughters coming after her and that she showed some concern for Queenie as well but this season better end with her suffering an unimaginably painful death. Like Arden from Asylum, she really does make my flesh crawl.

I See Everything Nearly: Two of the upsides to Cordelia's accident/attack in this episode was the fact that Fiona's concern for her daughter was actually genuine and despite her hypocrisy, I did like the fact that she tore Hank a new one in this episode. I also liked the fact that despite being blinded, Cordelia seems to have acquired some seer type powers and knew that Hank was sleeping around. Now if she can figure out why he murdered Kaylee from the previous episode, that would be good too. Either way, this seer plot is a lot more interesting than any baby plot, so I hope it stays for the remainder of the season.

The Cute Guy Survived: Oh, come on - Luke is cute, isn't he? And thankfully, despite a few choice moments, actually survived a zombie attack, so the chances of him and Nan having a romance is still there. Just look at how delighted Nan was when Fiona said that he could stay at the house to recover. Now let's hope that for the remainder of the season, Luke manages to stay a decent guy too. As for the rest of the episode, well Kyle was a no show, Spalding continued to play dress up and accidentally ripped off one of Madison's arms and did Fiona actually revive a grieving mother's baby during her scenes in the hospital?

Next week, the Axeman is a coming and it looks like Zoe and Queenie are talking to spirits as well. Oh and the show has been renewed for a fourth season. Yay.