Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sense8 - All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Dan Glass

Lila (to Wolfgang): "I'm going to enjoy scraping you off my shoe like the dogshit that you are."
Kala: "Bring it bitch!"

Ah, yes - one of the most standout moments in the Season 2 trailer for the show and it appeared here when Wolfgang chose not to go with Lila's insane plan to have Berlin become a sensate only hotspot. Kala certainly chimed in with her hatred for Lila but it turned out to be justified considering that Lila and her Cluster are absolutely nuts.

This show continues to deliver on the action sequences and the sparring Clusters (minus Nomi, who knocked herself out, I kid you not) at the restaurant with the ensuing gun fighting was truly a stunning moment to behold. Lila's certainly exposed herself to be as big a threat to the gang as Whispers/BPO. On the plus side though, at least Wolfgang has seen Lila and her Clusters for who they truly are though.

Of course when we weren't getting that stylishly choreographed shoot out, we also had the issue of Whispers to deal with. Both Jonas and Wolfgang managed to talk Will out of doing something reckless while the former also revealed that he made his own deal with the devil to stay alive. It seems that Jonas is more useful to the BPO alive than dead, which for some reason isn't that surprising. Though truth be told, it's just more that he's on borrowed time than anything else.

Speaking of Whispers, he might have gotten out of dodge with his family, but it's become more evident that he's rather screwed himself. I do wonder if the writers are setting up a scenerio where our Clusters are going to have work with Whispers for the greater good or something in the last few episodes?

As for the rest of the episode, there was a huge focus on Lito's depression. Parts of the episode really upped the ante on him mourning his career with even Sun somewhat side eyeing him a little but there was an added poignancy when he fully explained to Hernando and Daniela about his dream dying during a viewing of From Here To Eternity. Hopefully though the next episode will see Lito making some moves to try and relaunch his career though.

- Riley and Amanita technically met in this episode when Nomi knocked her out. I also continued to enjoy the Will/Riley/Diego team up as they looked for the BPO contact from last episode.
- Capheus's political aspirations this week involved a smear campaign and a guy pointing a gun at him for good measure. Sun meanwhile was hiding out in a love hotel.
- I liked that Kala talked to Will about his heroin use in this one. Also, the show is really making Rajan look more and more dodgy, aren't they?
- Chronology: From where I Have No Room For Hate In My Heart left off.

All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet definitely delivered on that final confrontation alone. Seeing two groups of Clusters going at each other was brilliant and while Lito's plot felt too comedic at times until the last bit of it, I did enjoy it along with the Capheus moments.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 3x20: "Pretty Hate Machine"

Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
Directed by Danny Cannon

Bruce: "Gotham must fall."

Well, going by the end of this episode, it's certainly going to get close to that. Thanks to a combination of our two main protagonists losing their minds, Tetch's virus has gone airborne and chaos is about to ensue. Oh and there's more gang war stuff too.

First though - our heroes. I was really hoping that Bruce was playing the long game with that Temple Shaman bloke and that he had a plan in mind but given his final scene with Alfred, it does seem like he was well and truly under the guy's spell and even though Temple was killed off, Alfred is certainly going to have to do his best to snap Bruce out of his current state.

Then there's Gordon. He tried to reason with the newly infected Leslie, who in turn decided to bury him alive with a sample of the virus in order to save himself. Because Gordon himself is now infected with it, it's definitely a safe bet that a cure will be found in the finale. As for Leslie, this bad girl thing the show is doing with her now kind of works. I almost don't want her to be cured but the show has enough baddies as it is at the moment.

Speaking of the baddies, Nygma went into full kill Oswald mode in this one as himself and Butch had Oswald and Ivy cornered, only for the two of them to escape and Tabitha to strong arm Selina into setting a trap for Oswald though. However, for a guy so determined to kill Oswald, Nygma was more obsessed of having his new moniker said to him more than shooting the man who killed his girlfriend earlier in the season.

Of course, the bigger thing to take away is how amateurish Nygma, Barbara, Tabitha and Butch really are. The constant backbiting and snide comments means that they're going to become their undoing more than Oswald or anyone else but the return of Fish near the last minute does show that none of them can be yet taken seriously as villains.

Fish's return for the finale was certainly timely and it was nice to see both Oswald and Butch delighted to see her while Barbara, Tabitha and Nygma looked on in confusion (Ivy too for that matter). However it seems that Oswald might have to be the one adjusting to whatever scheme Fish herself is cooking up rather than her being a pawn in his scheming.

- Ras Al Ghul was set up for next week then. Oh and I guess the Court of Owls are possibly no more for now.
- The finale basically feels like it's lifting off Batman Begins. Then again, that didn't stop Arrow from doing that with at least two of their finales, so I'm not complaining.
- No Lucius, Barnes or Jervis this week but it definitely seems like there will be roles for all three of them in the last two episodes along with Freeze and Firefly.
- Chronology: Not long from where All Will Be Judged left off.

Pretty Hate Machine did it's job in setting up the finale and it certainly had fun with our protagonists compromised and our antagonists all splintering in their own ways too. Here's hoping the last two bring this virus storyline to a good conclusion though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, May 29, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x07: "The Pyramid At The End Of The World"

Written by Peter Harness And Steven Moffat
Directed by Daniel Neittheim

Bill (to UN Secretary-General): "I don't know the President! I wouldn't even have voted for him! He's orange!"

It was inevitable that we were going to get an episode that took a dig at the US's current president and to be honest, in an episode co-written by Peter Harness, this was the right place to do it. It was funny, to the point and felt truthful coming from Bill too.

Keeping with the politics, this episode certainly is the most polemic so far this series, making both Smile and Thin Ice's commentaries look mild but also keeping in line with Oxygen as well, politic wise as the Monks are a bigger presence in this episode when their pyramid shows up in the middle of Turmezistan as US, Chinese and Russian forces also mobilise and there's a Doomsday clock that is now every clock to contend with as well.

So far, the Monks don't seem to be messing about the place. They show the Doctor, Bill, Nardole and the military types that the world will end in a year and only they can save humanity but they need consent in order to do so. It's an interesting little twist for the usual invasion storyline and this episode plays with the idea neatly as well.

At first, everyone is resisting the idea of giving the Monks any consent and even the Doctor and Nardole band together to realise there's a group of scientists who will inadvertently release the killer virus that will doom the world and the Doctor even came close to saving the day, only for things to seriously escalate and Bill to be forced into handing over consent to the Monks due to her association with the Doctor.

I knew Bill was going to be the one who would end up signing over consent to the Monks. All of the military characters were so poorly drawn and given little of substance that it wouldn't have had the desired effect and Bill's desire to save the Doctor made her the obvious choice for that final moment and it certainly packed one hell of a punch.

This episode didn't go out of it's way to explain why the Monks wanted to take over the planet in particular, so hopefully the dystopian like world that Bill's actions have now sent the planet into will do so. That said, I am liking the Monks. They're creepy enough and it's been a while since we've had a truly memorable original threat and while a lot of Extremis feels irrelevant to a point, I am finding the pace of this three parter pretty good nonetheless. It's certainly helped to curb the mid-series lull and add a little danger into proceedings as the Doctor's regained his eyesight but now become a slave to the Monks.

As for the scientists of the episode - the ones whose actions nearly ended the world, they're a mixed bunch. Tony Gardner's Douglas is mostly nursing a hangover and comes across as a bit useless while Rachel Dennings' Erica on the other hand is a far more engaging character that even the Doctor seemed quick to offer her a TARDIS trip to boot. If Erica makes it out of the next episode alive, I'm hoping the Doctor does actually deliver on his promise to her.

- Bill's other date with Penny before being interrupted by the UN Secretary General was spliced in with the Previously On bits, which I thought was a clever move.
- The fact that Kate/Osgoods/UNIT were missing from this story seemed very odd to me. It also made me more suspicious about a certain finale rumour being true.
- Is this the longest episode title we've had on the show?
- The Doomsday Clock is very much a real thing, people. Though fortunately, not on all of our phones as of yet.
- Nardole's a cyborg but he's got human lungs. The character is growing on me. I don't love him but I certainly am starting to like him more though.
- Chronology: I'm assuming it's 2017, right?

The Pyramid At The End Of The World might have been the middle bit of this Monks trilogy but it genuinely felt like a starter (whereas the previous episode was more of a prelude) and with the world gone to hell and Bill and Nardole about to rope in help from an unexpected ally, I can't wait to see how this trilogy will conclude next week.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x18: "Toil & Trouble Part 2"

Written by Ilene Chaiken & Joshua Allen
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Lucious (to his family): "Who are you?"

If there is one thing Empire can certainly deliver upon, then it's a finale. The previous two have seen Lucious arrested for his crimes as well as Rhonda and Anika going over a roof. This one went for a car bomb and a bout of amnesia for Lucious and as soapy and cliched as that sounds, it's actually worked well for now.

This episode almost seemed to go out of it's way to try and redeem Lucious. First of all, he kicked Giuliana to the curb and chose Cookie and when both of them met up with Barry and Michelle (not them, Cookie's ex-boyfriend and his wife), it was enough to motivate Lucious to actually hand over the keys to the kingdom to Andre.

While Cookie might have been successful in calling off her potential act of sabotage for Lucious's Las Vega gig, Andre fared less successfully as Shyne went ahead and blew up the car, which didn't kill Lucious but certainly put him a coma with Nurse Claudia (Demi Moore) watching over him and of course, the old amnesia plot.

I think with this plot, we're going to see the Lyons struggle to keep Lucious onside, the DuBois's up their campaign against the Lyons and of course, that creepy doctor also getting her claws into Lucious as well. Speaking of the DuBois lot - Diana revealed that Anika was in on the Bella storyline all along while Hakeem is now under their thumb along with an unwitting Jamal though.

However while Anika was happy to play along with Diana's revenge plan and use her own child as a tool in it, Leah managed to frame her for Tariq's murder. I just love how delightfully evil Leah was with Anika in the episode and her scheming certainly paid off big time. It'll be interesting to see if Anika's alliances with the DuBois will be able to get her out of this one though.

- Another member of the DuBois posed as a singer and managed to seduce Jamal. Damn and I was hoping Jamal was finally gonna get a decent love interest.
- Given the rumours of Nia Long being a nightmare on set, I take it this is the last we'll see of Giuliana, though I'm hoping we'll see Charlotte again though. I did laugh that her husband was called Mitt.
- Standout music: Warren's (Terrell Carter) Born To Love U, Lucious's Dream On With You and Jamal's Mama.
- Not long from where the first part of this one left off. The show will be paired with Star from September onwards and will be getting an 8pm timeslot for FOX viewers.

Toil & Trouble Part 2 definitely delivered as a finale. While the show's ratings have noticeably slid this season and inevitably, that was always going to happen, I do think the quality while shaky to begin with, did manage to get back to the same levels as the show's first season. This was a great way to end this season while setting up next year for viewers.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, May 26, 2017

Sense8 - I Have No Room For Hate In My Heart

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Jamie McTeigue

BPO Contact (to Riley): "That voice never shouts, it only whispers."

Well, this one ended on another shocker, didn't it? Riley's trip to Chicago saw her meeting up with Will's former partner, Diego and encountering that rather cryptic BPO contact who gave us a bit more information on Whispers while Will encountered Jonas just as himself, Wolfgang and Sun were about to take out Whispers. I didn't see that one coming to be honest.

I guess Jonas being alive though shouldn't be too shocking as we didn't really see him graphically die but him appearing at the end still surprised me. It seems though like Angelica, perhaps Jonas is now under Whispers influence too, giving our Clusters one more disadvantage to contend with as well.

I quite liked Riley going on her own and meeting up with Diego and then the BPO contact in Chicago. I also liked that while Will was naturally worried about her, everyone else believed that she would be fine and even the tension with Diego and Will too was nicely handled. However Riley's excursion to Chicago wasn't the highlight of the episode.

If anything, it was Sun who had the highlights for this particular one. First of all, there was the poignant scene where she visited her parents grave with the other Clusters offering her advice on her brother and then there was the rematch between herself and Detective Mun.

Seriously the flirting and fighting with those two was off the charts to watch. Immense chemistry between and it's great that Mun genuinely seems to believe in Sun's innocence as well. However I can't help but think that Sun is going to end up considering Wolfgang's advice in how to deal with her brother than wait for Mun to arrest him though.

Elsewhere we had some conflict between Capheus and his mother when Zakia let slip out about the former getting into politics while Kala and Rajan also conflicted over the latter's lack of ethics with shipping off dangerous drugs to other countries. While I'm glad the show is giving Rajan a little more of an edge, I don't want him to become a baddie though.

- Some nice downtime scenes with Nomi and Amanita as we got more scenes with the latter's mother and three fathers. Some rather pointed comments on terrorism, which in light of recent events stuck out more.
- Todd, the Cluster member that didn't want to be one shot up a church on Whispers orders. The Old Man from Hoy also made another appearance this week.
- I loved the subplot with Lito/Hernando protecting Daniela from her abusive ex and awful parents. The hot guy who hugged Lito in the lift after the latter lost his agents was another high point of this episode.
- Not long from where Isolated Above, Connected Below left off.

I Have No Room For Hate In My Heart delivered on the beautiful moments, the topical moments and certainly the shocks. It's also become one of my favourite episodes from the season and with four more to go, I really don't want this show to end.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sense8 - Isolated Above, Connected Below

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski

Lito (to Sao Paolo Pride): "This is Hernando. He is the love of my life. I am a better and braver person because of him."

I know the Sao Paolo Pride scene was actually a smaller plot than the hype for the season led viewers to believe but without a doubt, it was also the best moment from the episode. Lito has come quite a long way in regards to his sexuality and this episode highlighted that as himself, Hernando and Daniela attended the Pride event.

Seeing him on stage confessing his fears before talking about his love for Hernando and embrace being a gay man resonated beautifully onscreen and while it was a smaller story in a far bigger and longer episode, it was also my favourite bit in this one.

Of course the bigger strands of the episode involved Riley and Will meeting up with the lecherous Puck and the Old Man from Hoy once again. While the former was annoying cryptic about blockers (as was Lila with Wolfgang), the latter turned out to be somewhat more useful to Riley by actually giving out some information.

Having Sylvester McCoy join the show was a nice move for this Doctor Who fan and I really liked the scenes between Hoy and Riley as the pair of them began to trust one another. While we didn't actually get the name of the Cannibal revealed to us, we do know that Riley has to go to Chicago alone for more answers.

However given a flashback scene involving Angelica and her Cluster from beforehand, I guess we really aren't going to like what could be revealed to us. Even Angelica herself seems to be showing something of a dark side given the flashback scenes we had in this episode while Will had a rather unsettling body experience with Whispers in this one too.

As for some of the other smaller plots - Zakia opened up to Capheus about her bisexuality and the two of them I guess are now a couple with her encouraging him to run for politics while Sun left her mentor and Kala and Wolfgang also did the deed this week. The scene with Rajan being somewhat caught in the mix though was another highlight for the episode.

- We had scenes with Capheus's mother and Nomi's sister in this episode too. The latter is called Tegan, so another reference to a certain show there.
- We met a member of Lila's Cluster, who also thought Wolfgang was hot. I loved the whole 'viral' scene where Hoy was getting information for Riley. Oh and beautiful Highlands too.
- We learned what happened to Raoul in this one and saw Metzer in flashbacks.
- Chronology: Few days from where Fear Never Fixed Anything left off.

A very strong episode, Isolated Above, Connected Below had some gorgeous characters bits, sex scenes galore (Kala/Wolfgang, Capheus/Zakia), few good action sequences, that beautiful Pride sequence and the last few minutes certainly upped the ante rather nicely too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x17: "Toil & Trouble Part 1"

Written by Diane Ademu-John & Eric Haywood
Directed by Craig Brewer

Charlotte (to Andre): "Your family is very interesting."

Interesting might be an understatement there, Charlotte but yeah, being around the Lyons does tend to be an experience or something else. This episode, the first part of a two part finale was also something else too.

On one hand, we strayed into Ocean's Eleven territory with Cookie, Carol, Candace, Becky, Porsha and Thirsty all banding together to gatecrash the Leviticus Vegas night in order to steal Giuliana's dodgy ledgers and that provided a lot of amusing hijinks, especially when both Becky and Carol had to swap their assigned roles in order to pull off Cookie's genius heist.

However, with all the effort the gang made to get Giuliana out of Lucious's life, it didn't really pan out as Lucious managed to pay off Charlotte to look the other way of his current flame's dodgy dealings, much to Cookie's annoyance, although with Charlotte being rather sweet on Andre, Cookie still has an ace in her sleeve though.

I did like that this episode gave us a little more scope into Charlotte. We learned that she's a Mormon with seven children and doesn't approve of the tug culture that can come with the Lyons. However the hook up between her and Andre might have been a little more shocking had we not need it in the trailers though.

As for the rest of the episode, I hated that Giuliana's influence resulted in Lucious actually firing Thirsty but I loved that the latter threw in his lot with Cookie though and while Jamal came around to his album being postponed for a few months, Lucious is being rather reckless with Giuliana, especially considering that he was wary of her not so long ago.

Of course the biggest shock of this one was actually seeing both Lucious and Tariq working together in order to find Bella and actually seeing the pair of them bond with one another. It was a nice moment that was cut short when Leah decided to murder Tariq in front of Lucious before the latter could reveal Bella's whereabouts. Leah certainly knows how to pick her moments, doesn't she?

- The episode opened with casino antics before going back to "two weeks earlier" leading to Cookie being banned from the opening night.
- Becky can be somewhat hit and miss in the way the show writes for her but this was really one of those episode where the show utilised Gabourey Sidibe well.
- Standout music: Jamal's We Got Us and Dean Martin/RJD2's Ain't That A Kick To The Head.
- Chronology: More or less from where Absent Child left off.

Toil & Trouble Part 1 was a good start to the finale. I loved the casino antics and Leah murdering Tariq certainly provided a decent shocker but I am hoping the Bella storyline is actually resolved in the last episode.

Rating: 8 out of 10

My Review of Gotham's 3x19: "All Will Be Judged"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by John Behring

Barnes (to Gordon): "The word will go out. No one will escape from the Executioner's blade."

Yeah, except when said blade ends up being shot off one hand but up until that point, Barnes had something of a point. Complete with a ridiculously OTT new look, Barnes had succeeded in capturing Gordon and even came close to enacting justice on him.

Of course, Barnes was also destined to fail because he actually let Gordon talk instead of just getting on with the execution itself. If you're a bad guy on this flipping show, just don't let Gordon get a word in at all and you might stand a chance of actually outsmarting him.

Still though, while Barnes's whole Executioner thing isn't really that riveting, it did take up a lot of the episode's screen time as his team up with Kathryn came to a swift end when the latter ended up losing her head. I'm actually shocked that Kathryn lasted as long as she has and at least they gave her a memorable exit before Gordon shot off Barnes's killer blade hand.

With Kathryn out of the way though, we still have Temple Shaman as the main figurehead for the Court of Owls and while Other Bruce's identity was exposed to Alfred by Selina, the real Bruce seems to falling into Shaman's influence all the more as the two of them made their return to Gotham this week. Going by next week's episode though, it seems like we might be lifting stuff from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises as we head into the finale.

Elsewhere. Oswald and Nygma found themselves having to work together in order to get out of their cages. The bickering between the two of them as they engaged in some petty mind games before grudgingly teaming up was a lot of fun to watch and while I don't doubt they'll both do their best to try and kill the other next week, we all know they're both going to fail as well, don't we?

As for Leslie, this was a dark episode for her. She started things up with a chilling nightmare sequence involving Mario, got the worst sense of 'clarity' from visiting Jervis before getting into another slanging match with Gordon and infecting herself with the Tetch virus. I mean, there's potential with a virus infected Leslie for the remaining episodes this season but what a monumentally stupid thing for her to do. Are the writers planning to kill her off in the finale? It certainly feels like she's got a death wish at the moment.

- Barnes escaped being brought back to Arkham, so I wonder if either Oswald or Nygma will try and recruit him in the next episode.
- Bullock really needs to do with getting some actual security for the GCPD now.
- No Ivy, Barbara, Tabitha, Lucius or Butch in this one.
Chronology: From where Light The Wick left off.

All Will Be Judged was as filler as you could get, episode wise but it was entertaining enough filler. The Oswald/Nygma and Leslie scenes added a little more bite into the episode than Barnes could've done but I'm definitely keen for the Court of Owls to be retired in the next three episodes though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x06: "Extremis"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Daniel Neittheim

Missy (to the Doctor): "I am your friend."

One of the things I was hoping for with the tenth series was that Missy would resurface in a mid series episode to bolster the series a bit and it seems Steven Moffat was thinking a similar way. This is why this episode is the first of a three part story as Moffat seems determined to beat the mid series lull that sometimes happens to the show. Remember RTD pulled a similar tactic in Series 4 with both The Doctor's Daughter and The Unicorn And The Wasp.

In this episode we quickly learn that Missy is the one in the Vault, which is great because we all deduced that about three or four weeks, so at least it's out of the way and the episode itself can actually concentrate on why she's in the Vault. That answer was to prevent her execution on Carnathon where a group of people seemed determined to kill her off with the Doctor's help, once and for all.

Of course, the Doctor decided to actually save Missy's life and something tells me he intended to do that before Missy herself played the friendship card and considered being good (please, Missy, don't) and with Nardole's help sentenced her to the Vault. However in the present day this episode made it painfully clear that Missy's imprisonment is about to come to an end as the Doctor needs her help with a much bigger problem.

With the Missy stuff being relegated to flashbacks and being clumsily tied into the present day problem, that problem itself arose with the arrival of the Monks. The love children of the Pyrovilles and the Silence by the look and sound of them, this lot seem determined to take over the world by running some simulations to understand it first and this was where things got a bit confusing to be honest.

It seems for most of the episode that wasn't flashbacks, it didn't really happen. I mean the Doctor is still currently blind but between trips to the Vatican and it's secret library, the Haereticum, the White House and CERN all the while a dangerous book named the Veritas forced people into mass suicide upon reading it's deadly content while Bill and Nardole themselves took part in a rather volatile countdown before dying.

Then it turned out that none of this happened and the Doctor was testing the Monks, who going by the next episode will absolutely mean business for the TARDIS. This episode just gave us a taster for them and it was a decent enough one with them proving to be a rather genuinely exciting enough menace. 

I have to admit that while the simulation scenes had their moments and it was rather nice bouncing between different times and worlds for this one, I'm not sure if the flashbacks and the simulation tied as well as they could've done. I get that Missy will play a role in stopping the Monks and inevitably escape to set up the finale but it felt like it could've had a little more finesse. Other than that though, this was a great return episode for the current Master.

- Bill's 'date' with Penny was interrupted by the arrival of the Pope Benedict IX (played by the same actor who played Rocco in Turn Left) and Moira seems oblivious that Bill is gay.
- We got no continuity from Missy's last moment in The Witch's Familiar. Surely, her 'clever plan' is going to be seen later though.
- This episode might have killed the current US president but it didn't really though.
- Some nice references to Grand Theft Auto and Super Mario Bros in this one too. I also like that the Doctor's current predicament now means the show can actually justify those sonic sunglasses.
- River's diary showed up in this episode and she was the one who sent Nardole to look after the Doctor and to give him an ass kicking if needed.
- Chronology: 2017 Bristol for Bill's real scene at the end. Also the flashbacks with Missy were set in between The Husbands Of River Song and The Return Of Doctor Mysterio.

Extremis certainly seemed like a return to the Moffat we know and are sometimes divided upon/really love after the previous five episodes played it more straightforward like. The episode itself was purely set up and while both flashback and simulation scenes could've meshed a little better, this was still a great set up for the Monks, who really do have the potential to be a great bunch of monsters.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, May 19, 2017

2017-2018 TV Season: Shows To Watch

It's that time of year again. Amid the news of shows being cancelled and renewed, we also have a current selection of TV series waiting in the wings for the upcoming 2017-2018 television season.

1: 9-1-1 (FOX, mid-season)

Following the expected cancellation of Scream Queens, Ryan Murphy hasn't let go his association with FOX as both himself and Angela Bassett have teamed up for a mid-season show on the channel. The series will be a fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders – cops, paramedics, firefighters – the people who put their lives on the line to save others with Bassett herself taking on a leading role in the series. Whether or not this series will rule her out for the upcoming seventh season of American Horror Story, I'm not sure but here's hoping we'll see Angela in both shows.

Press Release:

2: Black Lightning (CW, mid-season)

Adding to the CW's already packed DC TV roster, Black Lightning will also be making it's debut in early 2018. Starring Cress Williams in the title role, the series will focus on Jefferson Pierce, who retired from his superhero persona Black Lightning nine years ago, is forced to return when his daughter Jennifer (China Anne McClain), who is hellbent on justice and a star student, gets recruited by a local gang. Despite having the same producers and showrunners, the series will not be connected to the current Arrow universe, which is a pity as the trailer certainly impressed.


3: Dynasty (CW, Wednesdays 9pm)

Another year, another reboot and following the likes of 90210 and Melrose Place, the CW are probably hoping their version of popular 80's soap Dynasty will be as successful as the former rather than the one and done of the latter (which I suspect is a fate that will befall this show). The trailer was a little better than expected, mainly due to wayward brother Steven Carrington (James Mackay) copping up with Sam Flores (Rafael De La Fuente) - a gay male version of the character Sammy Jo from the original series. The rest of the trailer sees a marriage between patriarch Blake Carrington (Grant Snow) and the scheming Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley) as well as a rivalry between the latter and daughter,  Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies). It looks okay but it feels like it should be on something like ABC rather than the CW if I'm being honest.


4: Inhumans (ABC, Fridays 9pm)

Oh dear. This one really could be a non starter, couldn't it? First of all, like Once Upon A Time and Quantico, it's being dumped in the Friday night death slot as a precursor to Agent Of Shield's fifth season and there are only eight episodes. The trailer so far has only been a cryptic voice over of doom but at least the cast look with Anson Mount as Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Serinda Swan as Medusa and Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon: to name a few. The first two episodes will get an IMAX cinema airing before their television debut in September.


5: Krypton (Syfy, mid-season)

Um, is this really a prequel anyone wanted? I know both Gotham and Smallville have shown that prequels can work for a good amount seasons and be pretty compelling in their own right but seeing as both shows had characters we generally knew and cared about, it made watching them a little easier at times. Krypton on the other will mainly focus on Superman's grandfather, Seg El (Cameron Cuffe) and Lyta Zod (Georgina Campbell) in the early days of the planet's life. Produced by David S. Goyer, there was rumours that the series was meant to have a link to the current DCEU but it seems that this will be a standalone series. It looks decent from the trailer but I kind of feel that Supergirl has us covered at the moment.

Trailer Description:

6: Roseanne (ABC, mid-season)

You didn't think Will & Grace was going to be the only sitcom to get revived this season, right? Well, there's also Arrested Development getting a fifth season on Netflix but it seems that ABC will also be bringing back 90's sitcom Roseanne in 2018 with nearly all of the original cast returning to the series. Sarah Chalke will play a different character and Johnny Galecki hasn't been confirmed yet.

Press Release:

7: Star Trek: Discovery (CBS/CBS All Access, tbc)

I know I highlighted this one last year when there were no cast members announced but with all the main players announced, Bryan Fuller stepping down and an increase from thirteen to fifteen episodes, it finally seems like we're on track here. Former The Walking Dead actress Sonequa Martin-Green takes on the role of USS Discovery officer Michael Burnham, the protagonist of the series along with Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs and Rainn Wilson to name a few. It seems now that the series will be set ten years prior to Star Trek: The Original Series. The trailer certainly impressed and here's hoping it fares a lot better than Enterprise did at times. UK viewers will be able to see the show courtesy of Netflix.


8: The Gifted (FOX, Mondays 9pm)

And now we've got another X-Men linked series here. Following Legion on FX, Fox will be airing The Gifted, starring Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker as a couple - Reed and Caitlin Strucker with two mutant children, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lynd) and Andy (Percy Hynes White) whom they will do anything to protect from the government. The pilot episode is also directed by Bryan Singer, who serves as an executive producer to the series.


9: The Orville (FOX, Thursdays 9pm)

When he's not lagging with both Family Guy and American Dad, Seth Mcfarlane is back on the live action front with this Star Trek (more like Galaxy Quest) inspired space series, this is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. I have to admit it looks funny enough.


10: The X Files (FOX, mid-season)

Let's be honest - this one wasn't a shocker. While the tenth season wasn't the best (albeit an improvement on previous seasons) and a little too short for it's own good, it was however a success and proof that audiences still hungered for the truth and in particular, Mulder and Scully. With the 25th anniversary of the show looming in 2018, the show will return for an eleventh season of ten episodes and hopefully a strong resolution for that dicey cliffhanger we were left with last season.

Press Release:

11: Will & Grace (NBC, Thursdays 8pm)

Following it's successful Election special scene from last year, the show is back once again for twelve new episodes and even in it's own original-ish timeslot as well. To really get things into motion, NBC have released a musical themed trailer as Will, Jack and Karen all do their best to persuade Grace to embrace the return. While I felt the show had ended well enough back in 2006, I am actually looking forward to seeing the gang once again.


12: Young Sheldon (CBS, Mondays 8.30pm)

Did we really need a spin-off on a younger Sheldon Cooper of all characters? I mean, I like the character enough on The Big Bang Theory but I wasn't clamouring for a spin-off with him and I imagine others weren't either. The trailer for this prequel series sees the young genius, played by Iain Armitage as a nine year old in Texas dealing with his religious family and the pressures of school as well. The trailer was a little better than expected but again, it feels a little unnecessary as a series though. The show along with it's parent show will move to Thursdays during November though. Jim Parsons will also be involved with the series.


There's a list of the potential big hitters for the next television season. Now we just have to wait for some UK transmissions and see how they fare.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sense8 - Fear Never Fixed Anything

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by James McTeigue

Wolfgang (to everyone): "Fear never fixed anything."

A very true sentiment there and here we got an episode where courage a little to the forefront for several of the Clusters. For Will and Riley, it was about them reaching out to other Clusters in a lovely public event, while at the same time putting themselves further into Milton and the BPO's cross hairs.

It was a reckless thing for them to do, but it's not like they didn't have a choice. Reaching out to other Clusters isn't a guarantee that the BPO can be taken down but at least the gang are actually trying to do something and seeing them come together during that moment while the introduction of another sensate in the form of Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy was a sublime little moment.

Of course while this main plot is still advancing slowly enough we did have Bug introduce Nomi and Amanita to The Guy who was able to give them the tech to make them both "e-dead" while at the same time indicating that she will own the mystery person a favour at some point in the series. On the other hand, at least Nomi and Amanita can breathe a little easier for the time being.

Elsewhere Capheus found himself being singled out by a political party who wanted him for their group while learning a little more about Zakia from some of the most obnoxious interns going. Having read the spoilers for this season, I already know that what we learned about Zakia won't stand in the way of them getting together but it was hard to gauge how Capheus actually felt about the news itself though.

Meanwhile Sun had a lovely reunion with both her dog and former mentor while punching the television when her horrible brother appeared on it. I'm loving the more vengeance oriented Sun at the moment and the inclusion of Detective Mun, who might be more of an ally than a problem for Sun is also a nice twist. Also shallow note, he's bloody gorgeous too.

As for Lito - I did sympathise with him getting offered so many dud roles but at the same time, I also liked that a past encounter he had with a bar manager resulted in something positive and that he found the courage to accept an invitation to a pride event in Sao Paolo as grand master as well. Not to mention the fanboy moment between him and Bug made me howl with laughter as well.

- I'm sensing a lot of in family fighting between Kala and Rajan's respective clans at the moment. Wolfgang also tried to distance himself a little from Lila this week.
- The Guy was wearing a V For Vendetta mask when they met Nomi, Amanita and Bug in the cinema. I see what you did there, Lana.
- Standout music: Nice use of What's Going On once again.
- Chronology: From where Polyphony left off.

Not quite as strong as the previous episode but still rather impressive though. Fear Never Fixed Anything certainly saw our group conquering some fears but Milton is still pretty determined to take them out and he's getting creepier with each passing episode too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x16: "Absent Child"

Written by Attica Locke & Malcolm Spellman
Directed by Millicent Shelton

Diana (to Angelo, re Bella): "They ruined one of mine so I took one of theirs."

Well, I guess that rules out my theory about Andre being the one to snatch Bella. I guess that's a good thing, even though we had that really tense scene where he physically attacked Anika and revelled in her suffering over Bella being taken off her.

Much as I hate Anika as a character and want her to suffer over what she did to Rhonda, even I have to feel bad for her and Hakeem over the Bella situation. Oh well, at least this episode didn't waste too much time in revealing that Diana actually was responsible as she showed her hand to Angelo at the end of this one when Bella was in her possession.

As revenge schemes go, it's definitely taking things way too far but this war between the Lyons and the DuBois has definitely escalated. Cookie even got Shyne and his men to beat Angelo for information, even though he was unaware of his mother's misdeed during that particular scene. With the two part finale coming this week, I think Diana is going to regret going after the Lyons through Bella though.

Speaking of the Lyons though, the in fighting didn't really stop enough for them to get their shit together over getting Bella back. Andre kept backbiting when Cookie was trying to cook up a deal for the When Lucious Met Cookie album while Lucious and Jamal did clash a little over the mix for a song for the Inferno album.

However while Andre and Cookie still clashed and the latter delivered one hell of a smack down on Nessa (who then turned on Andre), at least Jamal and Lucious managed to sort out their differences and come together with a better version of the song they had been fighting about. I guess for that bit though we had Leah to thank for. She thinks there's an angel in Jamal, so I guess she's spot on there.

- Giuliana continues to be in the way of an inevitable of Cookie/Lucious reunion and it's like she's aware of it too.
- No Tiana and Becky this week.
- Standout music: Hakeem's Elevated and Jamal and Fetty Wap's The Father, The Sun.
- Chronology: Not long from where Civil Hands Unclean left off.

Absent Child is another strong episode and it certainly had it's moments. The feud with the Lyons and the DuBois has certainly gotten nasty and I can't wait to see how it unfolds in the last two episodes, especially with Bella caught in the mix.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of Gotham's 3x18: "Light The Wick"

Written by Tze Chun
Directed by Mark Tonderai

Barnes (to Kathryn): "James Gordon is guilty and I will be his executioner."

Is it me or is the Court of Owls just basically snatching all of the male cast at this point? With Gordon in their pockets of sorts and Nygma's hubris getting himself snatched by them along with Bruce in the middle of nowhere, this week two more men ended up in the Court's hands.

First of all, Barnes got snatched during a transfer from Arkham gone. Barnes is hardly the most interesting of characters for me and his Executioner act just hasn't been as interesting as it could've been. Here though we saw him getting captured by Talon while Jervis Tetch looked on in amusement and then we saw Kathryn giving Strange the go ahead to extract parts of the virus from Barnes for her own little experiment.

The experiment at first being some random test subject getting a little rabid before moving onto bigger things such as a bunch of socialites being endangered by the Court's whole scheme to cleanse Gotham and whatnot. Needless to say all the effort Gordon made to get into Kathryn's good books went out the window when he teamed up with Oswald (that reunion was particularly delightful) to cause more headache for the Court.

This lead to Kathryn realising that Gordon was a liability. She should've picked up on that bit a lot earlier but the end scene with Barnes breaking out of his restraints and vowing to kill Gordon didn't really inspire much. Can we just lose Barnes already? We need to lose some cast members and Barnes truly is expendable if I'm being honest.

As for Oswald, well he spent his time away from Ivy this week to hook up with Gordon in his mission to get back at Nygma. The only thing Oswald achieved was that he antagonised the Court by having Firefly roast Talon a bit but at least he got the reunion he wanted with Nygma. Except for the bit where they're both in cages but the reaction the two had to seeing each other was simply the best bit about the whole episode.

As for the rest of the episode, Leslie somewhat tested my patience in this one and I was kind of glad when Gordon snapped at her while Ivy briefly interacted with Tabitha and managed to break Selina out of her coma. Seeing Ivy having Selina's back was one of the highlights of this episode along with the latter in full on revenge mode too. Bruce on the other hand seemed to be in more training mode and while his scenes were good, they didn't really progress anything to be honest.

- Strange somehow managed to cure Fish before they got seperated from each other. She'll be back in two weeks time.
- No Barbara or Butch in this episode and I liked the parallels between Barbara/Tabitha and Ivy/Selina here.
- The show has been renewed for a fourth season but will be moving to Thursdays when it returns in the autumn.
- Chronology: Not long from where The Primal Riddle left off.

A solid episode but not entirely the best we've had. While I did like some of the returns we had in Light The Wick, it was really the last scene and the Ivy/Selina bits that made the episode for me. I am liking the Court stuff but I'm also eager for it to come to it's messy ending too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: Eurovision 2017

And it was that time of year again. Fresh after Doctor Who and dominating social media for at least three and a half hour to the confusion of Americans, the Eurovision was back.

And the winner turned out to be Portugal this time around. The song, Amar Pelos Dois (Loving For The Both of Us), performed by Salvador Sobral was something of a divisive win, going by social media. Clocking in 756 points, the song certainly had it's fans and represented the country's first ever win but at the same time, I found myself more drawn to songs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Cyprus to name a few that might have been somewhat more deserving. Still though, while I found the song a bit overwrought for it's own good, I do think we've had worse winners in the past (and obviously better ones too). The male and female ratio of contestants seemed pretty on point with no real awful entries but there were some weaker ones in the mix too.

Of course with a male winner we also had a rather male dominated presenters with  Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko taking the reins. I have to be honest, while I definitely can see why there was a commentary about having three white male hosts amidst the Celebrate Diversity banner this contest was trying to have, they were okay enough as hosts. I do think maybe two of them would've sufficed to an extent and to be honest, they only really came to life in one moment.

The spoof scene where the trio were being coached on being the best host by 2015 winner and 2016 presenter, Mans Zelmerlow, who managed to be his usual charming and fun self, if not quite as shirtless as he was when presenting with Petra Mode last year. That's three years in a row the guy has had a presence on the Eurovision and to be honest, I wouldn't object if they came up with a contrived reason to include him again next (and Petra too).

As for the rest of the night, we had a streaker who managed to get on stage during last year's winner Jamala perfoming again, which was annoying while the UK pulled in respectable numbers with Lucie Jones scoring 111 points this year. As for Ireland, once again our entry didn't make it into the final (we have got to stop using Louis Walsh, people), Russia bowed out of the contest itself and there was also the fact that our grown up hosts were somewhat upstaged by a little girl from Junior Eurovision. It was an interesting enough night but compared to last year, not quite as spectacular as it should've been though.

The Perfect Host Sketch:

See you again next year when Portugal host the ceremony.

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x05: "Oxygen"

Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Charles Palmer

The Doctor (to Nardole): "I still blind."

Okay, gonna be slightly controversial here but compared to some of the more hyped reception this episode received online, I found myself not really feeling it and to be honest, even I'm perplexed by this.

On paper, you've got a tense, claustrophobic base under siege thriller with some genuinely scary moments, a life or death peril for Bill, something happening to the Doctor that isn't magically fixed and plenty of scenes for Nardole that do wonders for his characters and yet, none of this stuff compelled me as much as it should've done if I'm being candid.

The episode started with a lecture about dying in space and then soon enough, our TARDIS trio were aboard a space station where most of the crew had been transformed into space zombies and the remaining ones - Tasker, Abby and Ivan were on borrowed time along with a blue skinned alien named Dahh Ren on the Chasm Forge.

This series and to be honest, every series since 2005 has had episodes with a political and a social tinge and most of the time they work perfectly. So far this series, this has been our third episode with something of a social commentary (both Smile and Thin Ice having their moments) and while the sentiments on capitalism are noteworthy, the delivery in which the episode goes about with them just fell very flat for me.

The idea of abusing a human work force by using the suits to cut off the oxygen at any given point (mainly when the works would outlive their usefulness) had potential and the tension certainly got ramped up when Bill herself fell victim to the dangerous suit, even though her dire predicament was also handy in actually solving the main problem itself.

The resolution to this particular plot point was probably the most unsatisfying we've had and the crew themselves were fairly underdeveloped to care about. It's a shame because Mathieson is an excellent writer and he's done with past characters like Perkins, Maisie, Gus, Rigsy and Ashildr but none of his guest cast here really stand out to be honest.

On the plus side though, Nardole came a little more into his own here. I spent a lot of last year not thrilled by the idea of him being a large presence this series but now I'm starting to warm more to the character and while his attempts of keeping the Doctor to commit to his promise to guard the Vault haven't been too successful, he's certainly engaged more now than he did at Christmas, which is good.

As for the Doctor, when we weren't getting lectures on the evils of capitalism and that fun lecture at the start in St Luke's University, we also had him going blind. Granted there was a moment where the episode looked like he had been cured but by the end of Nardole's castigating of him abandoning his Vault duties, we learned the Doctor was still actually blind. I know it's gonna sound terrible, pun wise, but damn, I did not see that one coming.

- Nardole has an interface ex-girlfriend named Velma. He does seem to go back and forth between being hostile and liking Bill as well I noticed.
- Charles Palmer who directed this episode previously helmed Smith & Jones, The Shakespeare Code and Human Nature/The Family Of Blood.
- Nice use of a Star Trek quote to open the Doctor's lecture with as well.
- The racism commentary between Bill and Dahh Ren didn't work as well as it could've done to be honest.
- I genuinely thought the episode would end with the Vault being opened but it looks like that will be in the next episode though.
- Chronology: Present Day Bristol and also whenever the Chasm Forge was meant to be based in.

I don't really want to go against the grain as such but Oxygen despite some great little moments here and there, was somewhat the weakest episode for me this series. I do however like that the Doctor's blindness wasn't magically cured and the consequences of that in the next few episodes should be interesting to see unfold.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Torchwood - Series 5 Is A Go (Courtesy of Big Finish)

Yeah, not quite the Series 5 I imagine most of us were hoping for but life post Miracle Day for Jack and Gwen is still happening, at least in audio form for now.

A twelve part series with the subtitle of Aliens Among Us, Torchwood's return will see both Jack and Gwen (with support from Rhys and Andy) rebuild Torchwood back in Cardiff and they won't be alone either. Joining them for the new series will be Mr Colchester (Paul Clayton), Ng (Alexandria Riley), Tyler (Jonny Green) and the enigmatic Orr (Sam BĂ©art).

It seems that things are getting much darker in Cardiff these days and the new recruits will play some role within Torchwood's future as the city has become much different since the last time we've seen it. Other potential surprises include the return of a character that should be dead and considering the amount that have died, it really could be anyone, right?

The first volume, comprising of the first four stories are titled Changes Everything, Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy, Orr (by Juno Dawson) and Superiority Complex (by AK Benedict) and will be released from August while the second and third volumes will be released from October and February 2018.

On one hand, I'm happy to see Torchwood getting a fifth series and I love the idea of it bringing it back to the Hub with new recruits alongside Jack and Gwen and given that the series will be overseen by Russell T. Davies, it's certainly canonical for now but I'm still hoping at some point, the show does make a television return.

Meanwhile an official picture has been released of the not so newly redesigned K9 (John Leeson) from the upcoming movie, K9: Timequake - or the one where our favourite metal dog faces off Omega supposedly. I had completely even forgotten about this movie to be honest and the redesign doesn't look that much different from the K9 series we had back in 2010. I think this movie is meant to be released sometime this year to mark the 40th anniversary of K9's debut but finding information on this has been scarce.

Torchwood - Series 5 News:

So, thoughts anyone on the Torchwood audio series or the K9 redesign?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sense8 - Polyphony

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Jamie McTeigue

Raoul (to Lito): "There are people you meet in your life and for no logical reason, you feel connected to."

On this show, we know that's quite a literal thing. The previous episode saw Wolfgang meet another Cluster member in Lila as well as showing flashbacks to Lito's previous involvement with Angelica's fellow Cluster member, Raoul and this episode somewhat went into more depth with the latter and quite brilliantly too might I add.

From the last episode, Lito and Raoul met one another when the former was still closeted but there was definitely a nice connection with the two of them as we saw in flashbacks. In the present day though we met Raoul's father, who took to Lito and showed him a rather gruesome video of Todd being zombified by Milton while another flashback showed a heartbreaking moment where Raoul called his father in a near catatonic state with Angelica assisting him.

Right now, Raoul seems to be missing, so there's a chance he might actually show up in the present day and I certainly hope he does. Meanwhile Wolfgang told the rest of the gang about Lila and had a pretty interesting three way conversation between her and Kala in the bathroom. As for Lila, she did admit that she's somewhat working with Milton and told Wolfgang to find a way of getting the BPO onside. It's interesting that Lila isn't hiding her shadiness from Wolfgang.

Elsewhere we had Anamita in a pretty stunning sequence (in an episode that had plenty of them) where she had to avoid the overzealous Agent Bendix from getting to her while Nomi and the gang also experienced a protest in Mumbai (Kala's scenes with her mother) and Nairobi (Capheus being interview by Zakia again) as Riley went to a guy to learn more about the drugs that Milton uses to suppress being found by other Clusters. Lito and Kala's reactions during that particular scene were priceless.

As for Sun, she mostly had some great scenes with Ming-Jun but it didn't take long for the law to actually catch up with the pair of them. While Ming-Jun was prepared to go back to prison, Sun did try to escape and her rooftop hand to hand combat with Mun brought about some nice flashbacks as the two of them have a previous connection with each other that should make later encounters more interesting to watch.

However the real shocker of the episode came at the end with Jonas actually being killed and Milton making sure that Will and the gang saw it. It was brief but brutal enough and while I guess Jonas being killed was always inevitable, I'm surprised they did it here though. That being said, it really does go to show just how dangerous Milton has become now for everyone.

- No Hernando in this episode or Daniella. Bug's reaction to learning about the Sensates was as hysterical as the Lito/Riley hysterics used to help Will escape the museum.
- I'm surprised that Kala wasn't able to sense Lila during that scene but Lila could somewhat sense her though. I guess maybe Lila just wanted to make sure only Wolfgang could interact with her.
- Not really any sexy moments in the episode aside from Lito/Raoul briefly in flashback.
- Chronology: Exactly where Obligate Mutualism left off.

Easily the best episode so far. While I've enjoyed the first two episodes of this season, Polyphony was the one that really propelled things for me. The last scene was a shocker but the main plot is definitely ramping up a gear and as usual the character moments continue to be beautiful to watch as well.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 3x17: "The Primal Riddle"

Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

Nygma (to Gordon): "I'll admit I didn't see this coming."

It was only a fortnight ago that the Riddler had an episode with his name in it and now we've got another one after he skipped out on last week. This time around though there isn't a fun reprise of the Nygma/Lucius rivalry but a more muted and slightly predictable round of Nygma vs. Gordon as the pair clash over the Court of Owls this week.

Barbara's desperation to know more about the organisation who truly hold all the power in Gotham led her into acquiring Nygma's services to unravel this mystery sees the newly appointed Riddler going into full theatrical mode by killing a performance of Hamlet (literally, he does) and of course announcing his plans to kidnap Mayor Aubrey James.

On one hand, it's impossible to care or feel an iota of sympathy towards the grossly annoying and incompetent Aubrey but on the other hand, isn't endangering him just a tad boring for any aspiring villain, despite him being the mayor and garnering the right amount of attention? I did however find it rather hysterical that despite publicly announcing his intentions, Nygma was still successful in actually snatching the Mayor from under the GCPD with relative ease.

I also liked the scenes between Ed and Barbara in this episode as the two of them seemed to be mostly on the same page while Butch was doing his level best to drive a wedge between Babs and Tabs and when the latter sabotaged Nygma by helping Gordon, it seemed that a wedge between the two Sirens fell in place there.

As for the stand off with Gordon and Nygma, it was pretty decent. Both managed to outsmart the other while Aubrey remained background noise and then the Court of Owls came into play. The episode ended with Nygma being in their custody and Gordon cementing himself a membership for good measure.

Keeping with the Court, their plans to destroy Gotham led Other Bruce to show some conflict as well. Aware of the fact that he was dying and the city would soon perish, he went out of his way to persuade Selina to leave the city. Needless to say, that went down badly and resulted in Selina being chucked out of a window when she turned on Other Bruce. The moment totally went out of it's way to recreate that iconic scene from Batman Returns and it worked pretty damn well to be honest.

Meanwhile after taking up a fair chunk of screen time last week and being the best thing about it, both Oswald and Ivy have a reduced role this week but it was mainly for building up Oswald's army of freaks. By the end of this one, both Mr Freeze and Firefly joined the team and they all retreated back to Oswald's abandoned manor for good measure. Now we just need to add Fish into the mix again.

- Firefly has been recast with Camilla Perez now in the role. The animosity between Firefly and Freeze is still there though.
- Leslie is also going to stick her nose into the Court of Owls, which nearly all of the cast are now involved or seeking answers about this lot already.
- No real Bruce in this episode and Alfred seemed a little too slow on the uptake of Fake Bruce taking his master's place.
- Chronology: More or less from where These Delicate And Dark Obsessions left off.

The Primal Riddle certainly had it's moments. Nygma in full theatrical mode was amusing enough, though I am curious as to what the Court of Owls will do to him now they've got him. Barbara and Tabitha falling out has some interesting potential along with Selina's own transformation and the little army that Oswald and Ivy are currently building up.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, May 08, 2017

Sense8 - Obligate Mutualism

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski

Croome (to Will): "What I want from you is time and trust."

And we're back. Five months ago, we were a prelude to the second season with a two hour Christmas special that was high on the feels factor but somewhat low on actually advancing anything with the ongoing Whispers plot. After the opening episode, this episode still has some of the feels but it's mainly focused on giving us a far bit more with Whispers though.

First of all, the episode began with Will and the rest of the Sensates reading Milton the riot act and making a few demands so they could see Jonas once again. The episode also lead down the path of believing that Milton's days were numbered with the seemingly more cooperative Croome stepped in and Milton was taken away.

Then the episode ended on a far different note. With Will and Croome actually coming close to striking a mutual trust and assurance that the BPO could go back to being more benevolent towards Clusters, Milton had to show up at the last minute with an unknown female assassin to royally wreck things but thanks to this episode we did learn a little more though.

Thanks to Jonas, we now know there are possibly tens of thousand of Clusters actually out there and this episode alone, we also learned that Lito met one of Jonas's former Cluster mates while Wolfgang has now also gotten involved with one himself, named Lila along with an embezzling storyline involving Felix and some other guy that Lila is working for.

Going by the trailer for the new season, Wolfgang's involvement with Lila is not going to be good for him or the gang. If Wolfgang and company are the nice Clusters, then Lila and her lot are the baddies of the piece and that's going to lead to one hell of a smack down later into the season itself.

Outside of learning a little more about Whispers and Clusters, another focus of the episode was Sun getting out of prison. Namely because of another hit on her life and easily the episode's most intense four minutes going but seeing Sun finally get out of there was nice, even if she is a wanted woman and had to break her older prison mate out too, but considering how the latter saved her along with the rest of the gang, it's only far she gets to come along for the ride.

As for the rest of the gang, not too much happened with them. Both Kala and Capheus had little to do outside the Sun and Jonas bits and when Lito wasn't dealing with career rejection, he was also playing house with Hernando and Daniela while Nomi and Amanita were craving a date night of their own as Will and Riley met with Jonas.

- Aside from Wolfgang and Lila, the episode was a little lighter on the sex than expected. Lito did have a thing with Raoul in flashback as did Jonas/Angelica.
- Lovely moment in the episode with Jonas and his father too and I do like Bug's comparing Nomi and Amanita to Charlie's Angels.
- How many of Jonas's Cluster are actually alive? Could both Todd and Raoul still be out there perhaps?
- Chronology: Not too long since the Christmas special I imagine.

Obligate Mutualism was a good way of opening things up further. Not quite as amazing as the back half of the first season or the Christmas special, but it certainly piqued a lot of interest, serving as an excellent reminder that Milton is serious trouble, showing new Clusters and furthering the connection with the Cluster we know and love the best.

Rating: 8 out of 10

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x04: "Knock Knock"

Written by Mike Bartlett
Directed by Bill Anderson

The Doctor: "Right you lot. Back to the estate agents. Better luck next time."

So far this series we've had space oil puddles, killer robots with emojis and a creature under the Thames but for something truly a little sinister, what about a hungry house that eats people? Oh, right, previously done about four series go with The Doctor's Wife but it's given another go with this spooky enough installment though.

When Bill isn't spending her days travelling with the Doctor in time and space, she's doing what every other student is doing and looking for somewhere to live. The opening scene sees Bill and her mate Shireen along with Harry, Pavel, Paul and Felicity all looking for the perfect place while the cute estate agent is showing them dump after dump.

Then steps in a rather odd looking Landlord, played by Poirot himself, David Suchet and all of a sudden, Bill and her new mates have all the answers to their prayers. They get to live in a lovely but creaky house and the rent is dirt cheap. Surely, they wouldn't be any kind of catch, right?

Of course there would be one and the episode didn't waste too much time in showing it as Pavel found himself being eaten by the wall and Bill's attempts of keeping the Doctor seperate from her housemates ended up with everyone trapped in the house and being picked off one by one by a group of woodlice like creatures named Dryads at the behest of Suchet's creepy Landlord.

Unlike last week where the death of a child stuck, while this episode did kill off Bill's housemates one by one  - Pavel, then Paul, then Felicity, then Shireen and finally Harry, by the end of the episode all of the above were brought back to life. That part is something we've seen a lot within Steven Moffat's era but it doesn't detract from the episode as such.

Another thing we've seen is the relationship between the Landlord and the rather wooden Eliza (Mariah Gale giving a more livelier performance though). At first we're meant to believe they're father and daughter but it's soon revealed that it's a mother/son dynamic the episode is working with and it's a pretty twisted one too.

The Landlord's determination to keep his mother alive at any cost ranged from being rather heartbreaking to utterly demented, given his willingness to murder innocent people in order to do it. I definitely think so far that Suchet has probably been the best utilised guest actor of the series and he certainly played a blinder in here with his scenes with Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie.

However while the episode might have reneged on the student deaths, both the Landlord, his mother and the house all came crumbling down, which means both Bill and her mates are back to square one looking for digs. Better luck next time, kids.

Outside of the main plot though, we got another brief Nardole moment where the Doctor gave him the night off so he could have takeaway with the prisoner in the Vault. At this rate, can we all just assume the prisoner is the Master/Missy and be happy that the next episode or two will have them break out of the Vault? Other than that, I'm still enjoying the mystery though.

- Harry (Colin Ryan) is actually the grandson of Harry Sullivan but the scene was cut from the episode itself, which seems odd considering the latter has been referenced in last series Zygon two parter.
- Did Bill lose all her belongings at the end? I loved the bit where she was talking to her mother's photo and letting Paul know she was gay when he tried to ask her out.
- There is a binaural version of this episode currently available on the BBC site.
- Were Little Mix sponsoring this episode because we got a lot of their music here? Don't worry, Bill, I kind of like them too.
- I'm thinking the mystery is less about who is in the Vault and more about why they're being kept in there to be honest.
- Chronology: Currently 2017 for this episode.

Knock Knock was creepy and atmospheric with some engaging guest characters and a lovely performance from David Suchet. While the resolution slightly lets things down a bit, it's still a strong one and I wouldn't be opposed to having Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett come back for another one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Sense8 - Who Am I?

Written by Lana Wachowski & J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski 

Will (to Milton): "You think you're hunting us? We're coming for you!"

First of all, apologies, I got the episodes mixed up and accidentally reviewed the second episode of the new season before the first one. Realizing my error, I'm now making the right alterations and posting the correct review but again, apologies though.

It's been a while since the events of the Christmas special and things for Will certainly haven't been a barrel of laughs. His attempts of using drugs to blot out Milton's presence is starting to have an adverse affect on him and Milton certainly seemed to be having fun in taunting Will. 

I have to admit the back and forth with the two of them is certainly a highlight of the episode with Milton really proving his nastiness throughout their scenes together. As a villain, he's certainly getting more and more menacing as he made his intentions to recapture Riley pretty clear when he was gleefully taunting Will during their exchange.

Of course with Will getting more intel on Milton, we also saw both Nomi and Amanita doing their bit to learn more about the baddies of the piece. Seeing the two of them in investigative mode with the college professor was excellent along with Wolfgang telling Riley not to give up on Will (not that anyone doubted she would) while Kala herself came up with a secret weapon of sorts to give Will an advantage over Whispers.

As for moments that weren't too plot related but important to the overall characters, we had Lito facing a grilling from an obnoxious journalist about his sexuality. That scene really set my teeth on edge as the contempt the journalist showed towards both Lito and Hernando seemed palpable. I did however like Lito's response as well as the seguing into Capheus's own storyline.

Capheus too was interviewed by a journalist named Zakia who seemed to question his Van Damme nickname before later apologising for her hasty comments. Unlike Lito's journalist, the episode went out of it's way to portray the character in a sympathetic light and it seemed that there was also a rather nice spark between the pair as well.

- The mystery of Sarah intensified in this episode with Nomi/Amanita talking to her mother and learning about Sarah's interactions with Jonas, Angelica and Milton.
- Nice flashbacks with Wolfgang and I liked his scene with Sun as well (who didn't have much to do here). Both Wolfgang and Felix are now dealing with Sebastian Fuchs as they now have a nightclub.
- Kala's father in law is running for Prime Minister, we also saw Riley with her father again while the episode ended with us meeting Milton's boss, Richard Croome as Milton freaked out about being exposed.

Who Am I? might have had that rather anvil hitting speech about identity and loss with each of the sensates during the interview scenes but it was a nice reminder of what has been at stake for the characters as the episode managed to give them an advantage over Whispers. As an opening episode, it was a great start for bigger things to come I think.

Rating: 8 out of 10