Sunday, December 05, 2021

My Review of Doctor Who: Flux - Chapter Six: The Vanquishers


Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Azhur Saleem

Time (to the Doctor): "Your time is heading to its end. Nothing is forever."

Well, this was something of a mish mash of things, weren't it? This six part series almost made the landing but ultimately things just fell apart. Chibnall's time might be coming to an end within the next year, but his divisiveness continues to be an unfortunate trend in his storytelling.

Following Tecteun's destruction, Swarm and Azure looked like they were about to take out the Doctor, only to spend the majority of the episode lording it over her. If you're going to be an actual threat to the Doctor, talk less and do far more. A lesson that this brother and sister should've learned if they want to stop the Doctor. And they were so close to it as well.

Instead they spent too much time going on about they can kill the Doctor, baiting her to open up a certain watch and wanting to put the final Flux event on a loop as an eternal punishment. In all that time, the Doctor found herself split in three and slowly coming up with a way to deal with the Flux altogether, in a very hastily done manner.

One version of herself caught up with Bel and Karvanista while the other version also reunited with Yaz, Dan, Jericho and met up with Kate and Williamson. Add Claire into the mix and some flirting from two Doctors and it turns out you've got a means for using the Sontarans to save the day. Not to mention rescuing Vinder and Diane from Passenger too.

Anyways, aside from one choice scene in a corner shop, Chibnall has made the Sontarans a bit more effective in this series than they have been so far. In this episode, they held the Earth prisoner, used both Claire and Jericho to pinpoint the final Flux event and even managed to trick the Daleks and Cybermen as part of a scheme to make themselves immune to destruction.

However their own arrogance, a lot of characters and essentially three versions of the same Doctor along with matter over antimatter and things sort of resolved itself. The Sontarans defeated, Flux resolved (though the universe ain't that in great shape), it was also time for both Swarm and Azure to be taken care of.

I have to admit, I thought the return to Atropos and introduction of godlike Time were handled badly. Swarm and Azure were promising villains wasted throughout this episode and given a rather unsatisfying exit. The Doctor also got a foreboding warning about her imminent demise and yet again, regeneration might not be on the cards for her.

As for the status quo, the Doctor had some nice scenes with Yaz and after what he went through this series, Dan also officially joined as a companion. These three specials almost have an impossible job in seeing out this era and having the Doctor open up that watch. It didn't surprise me that she chose not to do so here, but it was frustrating nonetheless.

- Bel and Vinder reunited and are now with Karvanista. The latter was implied to be a past companion and Division came up with a way to stop him revealing the Doctor's past.
- The Sontarans ranged from killing the Lupari to having one of their generals being a bit too partial to chocolate.
- What happened to the Ood at the end? Did we really need the Grand Serpent? Why did Jericho have to die? Will Claire team up with Kate and UNIT? Diane also chose not to go for a drink with Dan.
- I definitely sensed a near romantic moment between the Doctor and Yaz and I'm not sure there's a need for this plot, given that there's only three specials left. It also seems like the Master has been set up for the final threat for this particular Doctor.
- The next special will be Eve Of The Daleks, due to air on New Year's Day.
- Chronology: December 5th 2021. They really timed the airing of this series, didn't they?

The Vanquishers really had the potential to bring this all home. I liked that Chibnall tried to be ambitious with this series and I liked nearly all of the new characters. Alas, the plot came to a disappointing conclusion and it looks like we really will have to wait nearly a year before we can finally put this Timeless Child plot to bed. Just three specials to go.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

DCEU Blog: Batgirl Finds It's Villain, Dead Boys Detectives Rounds Off It's Cast And More

Following last month's explosive DCFanDome, this month felt a tiny bit more quiet by comparison but still there was plenty revealed over the last month.

Dead Boy Detectives has officially been commissioned as a series by HBO Max, albeit with the dad roles recast. Jayden Revri will be Edwin Payne, George Rexstrew will be Charles Roland and Kassius Nelson will be Crystal Palace. Filming for the series will begin in December.

Superman & Lois second season will premiere on the CW from January 11th and will be paired with the first season of Naomi. The Flash will move to Wednesdays from March.

Darnell Metayer and Josh Peters will be the lead writers for Michael B. Jordan's Val Zod series for HBO Max.

DCFanDome was viewed by over 66 million worldwide on it's various platforms. Suffice to say, it was a success story.

Batgirl has gone into production. Leslie Grace as the title character,  JK Simmons reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon while Brendan Fraser will play Firefly and Jacob Scipio has been cast in an undisclosed role. The film will be released on HBO Max.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom has finished filming in the UK and will do some additional filming in Hawaii next month.

Blue Beetle will begin filming in early 2022. Expect more casting to be announced over the next while.

Helen Mirren recently revealed that co-star Rachel Zegler is in fact playing the third sister in Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods along with Lucy Liu. The movie has finished production.

With Patty Jenkins Rogue Squadron put on hold, it seems that Wonder Woman's third movie may be moving forward. Lynda Carter has been confirmed to be returning as Asteria. 

Black Adam may also getting some spin-offs, but then again, this has been rumoured about every upcoming DC movie.

Matt Ryan will reprise his role as John Constantine for an animated short movie, Constantine: House Of Mystery, due for release in 2022.

Meanwhile the HBO Max series is rumoured to have the title of Justice League Dark: Constantine and will apparently start filming in the second quarter of 2022.

The second half of both Legends Of Tomorrow and Batwoman's current seasons will premiere on the CW from January 12th.

A new trailer for Peacemaker will premiere on Friday. The show premieres on HBO Max from January 13th.

And that's the round up for this month. Let's see what next month has to offer as 2021 comes to a close.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

My Review of Doctor Who: Flux - Chapter Five: Survivors Of The Flux


Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Azhur Saleem

Tecteun (to the Doctor): "I'm the one who found you. I brought you to Gallifrey and raised you. I'm Tectuan. The woman who you used to call you mother."

After her introduction in The Timeless Children, I did wonder if Tectuan would resurface and after meeting the mysterious Awsok two weeks ago, some made the connection between the two. I did not, but I guess it should've been obvious. After all, she did give off the impression of a disapproving bad parent.

Following the cliffhanger from the previous episode, the Doctor found her transformation into a Weeping Angel quickly reversed as the Division took her into their possession. We learned a bit about them here. Most of it, not too shocking but finally some answers though. Yup, they're a bad bunch alright.

The Division's goal seems to involve interfering, so automatically going against the Time Lords own non interference stance. The Division also found the Doctor's morality to be problematic so not only did they wipe some of her memories, but also caused the Flux in an attempt to wipe her out and cover their own backsides.

We already knew Tecteun was an awful  adoptive mother from last series, but here she seemed to take great pleasure in tearing the Doctor apart at every turn. Scrutinising the Doctor's morality, ability to create hope among people and of course, her relationship with her companions. Tecteun didn't hold back at all. She also had a fob watch with the Doctor's redacted memories and tried to use it as a means to get the Doctor to let the universe die as well as her friends. Then Swarm and Azure turned up and the former didn't waste time in taking Tecteun out of the equation.

With Tecteun being killed off a little too quickly, both Swarm and Azure stand in the way of the Doctor getting her memories back. They also had their own plan come into fruition as Earth's defence system were weakening throughout. Right now they have the upper hand with the Flux and the Doctor definitely seems to be a serious disadvantage without her friends.

Speaking of her friends, with the Weeping Angels putting Medderton back in it's place, time passed and Yaz, Dan and Jericho left the place. I have to admit, I enjoyed the trio's globetrotting adventures as they searched for clues, avoided the Grand Serpent's various assassination attempts on them. Oh, and they also teamed up with Joseph Williamson, who was revealed to be a lot more clued in than previous appearances gave the impression.

As for the Grand Serpent, he definitely did some time travel of his own - specifically as this episode also decided to be an origin story of sorts for UNIT. However he was more keen on killing leaders who got in his way, though his attempts to take out Kate Stewart fortunately failed. Kate's return was definitely welcomed but it was more of a lowkey affair, resulting in her going dark. On the plus side, it does look like she'll have a bigger role in the finale.

- Vinder got sent into Passenger and quickly formed an alliance with Diane. Likewise, Karvanista reclaimed Bel's ship and the two also found themselves having to work together.
- Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier had a voice cameo in this episode with the actor being credited for it as well. Osgood also got a mention as did The War Machines.
- Although it was long suspected, this episode finally confirmed that the Multiverse does exist within this show's universe.
- I absolutely loved the gossip loving Kumar. His scenes with Yaz, Dan and Jericho were brilliant. I also caught Yaz pining for the Doctor in a romantic way.
- The Grand Serpent was responsible for UNIT disbanding and his snake thing reminded me of Davros's right hand man from Series 9. He also brought the Sontarans to Earth.
- Chronology: Lots here - 1904 for Yaz/Dan/Jericho, 2017 for Kate as well as 1958/1967/1987/2017/2021 for Grand Serpent.

Survivors Of The Flux might not quite hit the same ground as the previous episode but as a lead into next week's finale, there was certainly a lot to enjoy here. At this point, I'm not shocked that Chibnall has doubled down on the Timeless Child arc, but perhaps the Multiverse might take it in a less predictable direction next week.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, November 25, 2021

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 7x07: "A Woman's Place Is In The War Effort"


Written by Morgan Faust And Leah Poulliot
Directed by Glen Winter

Evil Sara (to her crew): "Those Legends might have gotten away this time but those suckers will pay."

In terms of most predictable thing that Evil Gideon could've done, having her own clone/likely android evil version of the Legends was completely expected. Not a criticism though because this will make the second half of this season a lot of fun when it returns in January.

This episode didn't exactly show us Evil Gideon but thanks to Bishop imposing on the Legends, they're aware she's a looming threat. Also with Gwyn's time machine on the crapper for the second episode on a row, this episode made a clear stance on where Bishop's loyalties were. Did he want to be a better man pr would his ego consume him again? Mostly the former, though it took a while to get there.

Bishop a good portion of the episode being a teachable moment for Nate as the latter allowed Behrad and Zari 2.0 to teach him about Persian culture, specifically taarof, which I found to be quite the eye opener as well. Needless to say that Bishop tested everyone's patience until he also stepped up and find a clever way to get Gideon to control Gwyn's machine, which worked.

Of course with Bishop actually helping the Legends escape Evil Gideon's latest attack, he also became a casualty. I had a feeling if the show redeemed Bishop, he'd get a heroic sacrifice but I assumed it would've been later in the season. I guess doing it here was probably for the best though. Bishop, you were mostly a pain in the backside but at least you came good here.

As for the main adventure this week, in a bid to get parts for the time machine, the ladies found themselves working at a factory that made planes, ran by the rather racist and sexist, Mr E. Staples, who took a venomous exception to Astra in particular. This episode was also something of a teachable moment for Astra and arguably Olivia Swann's best moment to date.

Astra didnt like having to deal with the attitudes of the time and her anger did result in Staples being frozen for most of the episode. I liked the changes that Astra made to the factory, even if they attracted Evil Gideon's attention. I also thought her scenes with older factory worker Gladys were wonderful to watch as well. Gladys definitely should come back for another episode.

- Ava was hilariously inept on the factory line, compared to Sara. It wasn't exactly subtle but I Love Lucy nod was cute. She also let slip to Gwyn about World War II.
- Gideon thinks Gary has a nice backside, which even Behrad agreed with. I'm also wondering if the writers are setting up a potential romance between Behrad and Astra. Zari 2.0 also thought Gwyn looked like John.
- We got a brief appearance from Eleanor Roosevelt in this episode.
- Chronology: 1943 for all of this episode. 

A Woman's Place Is In The War Effort did a fantastic job looking into the Rosies, especially with  Astra leading the mission this week. Along with Bishop's sacrifice and some evil Legends, I'm looking forward to what the second half of the season will bring.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sunday, November 21, 2021

My Review of Doctor Who: Flux - Chapter Four: Village Of The Angels


Written by Chris Chibnall And Maxine Alderton
Directed by Jamie Magnus Stone

Claire (to Jericho): "The Angels have the TARDIS."

Last week might mot have been my favourite episode of this Flux saga so far but it certainly landed quite the cliffhanger with the Weeping Angels taking control of the TARDIS. Of course, the Doctor along with some help from Yaz and Dan did manage to get out of that tricky predicament. Or at least that was what the Doctor was led to believe.

Remember in the first episode how we met a mysterious woman named Claire (Annabel Scholey) who seemed to know the Doctor and Yaz before being zapped by a Weeping Angel? Well, she's back and has been living in the Cursed Village, otherwise known as Medderton, Devon for the last two years. She's also been participating in Professor Jericho's (Kevin McNally) psychic experiments and it's not long before she's reunited with the Doctor while Yaz and Dan are occupied elsewhere.

There was a fun theory that Claire was going to be revealed as a Timeless Child, but that's quietly dismissed here. It turned out that not only was Claire revealed to be a seer but because she saw a Weeping Angel, it's now residing in her and the Angel in question now had a bargaining chip with the Doctor, who attempted a contact of her own in order to free Claire from the Angel.

The biggest reveal wasn't just an Angel residing inside Claire, it was the fact that that Weeping Angels themselves are operatives of The Division and like the Doctor, this one went rogue. It also had knowledge of the Doctor's removed memories from The Division and the latter was as desperate to retrieve them as she was to save Claire.

The ultimate slam dunk of the episode however was those final few minutes. Once the Doctor had sort of reunited with Yaz and Dan and some of the other guest characters and it looked like she was about to defeat the Angels, the rogue one traded her to The Division. Not to jump on the hyperbole train but seeing the Doctor transformed into a Weeping Angel has got to be one of the best cliffhangers the show has done in it's fifty eight year history. I genuinely couldn't believe what I was witnessing and I hope Chibnall can resolve it well next week.

As for Yaz and Dan, they were largely stuck without the Doctor. It didn't take long for them to go from 1967 to 1901 in the same village and the twist with missing girl, Peggy and grave counting Miss Hayward (Penelope McGhie) was executed pretty well, though expected. Yaz, Dan and Peggy got a horrible taste on the level of cruelty the Weeping Angels could dish out just for the sake of it.

Elsewhere and slightly divorced from the central plot this week, we got more of Bel looking for Vinder. Naturally she didn't find him (I genuinely wasn't expecting her to this week) but she did manage to save poor Namaca (Blake Harrison) from becoming a prisoner of Azure and Passenger. That theory about who Bel and Vinder will be revealed definitely will happen, won't it? You know the one I'm talking about.

- Claire Brown was born May 13th 1985, though claimed 1935 in order to not draw more attention to herself. Jericho also got one hell of a character dressing down from an Angel using his voice.
- For the second time in the show's run, we got a credit scene. This one involved Vinder meeting Namaca and getting a tiny bit closer to tracking Bel.
- I knew the Ood were returning but I'm surprised the trailer revealed another returning character the way they did.
- Maxine Alderton is the only other writer for this series, and both this episode and her previous one should be enough for Russell T. Davies to bring her back.
-  Kevin McNally who played Jericho here  previously appeared in The Twin Dilemma. 
- Chronology: Both November 21st 1967 and 1901 in Medderton, Devon as well as 2021 on Puzano. 

Village Of The Angels not only will be seen as the best episode of this particular series but it's undoubtedly one of the best from Chibnall's era so far. I was wary that Chibnall could add to the excellence that Steven Moffat did with the Weeping Angels but both him and Maxine Alderton truly knocked it out of the park with this one. A genuinely sublime episode.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Thursday, November 18, 2021

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 7x06: "Deus Ex Latrina"


Written by Ray Utarnachitt And Mercedes Valle
Directed by  Nico Sachse

Bishop (to Evil Gideon): "Dignity is overrated."

Well, this episode definitely happened and woah, boy, I did not see at least two things coming and the other, I was happy to have confirmed. Yup, this season definitely has shaped up to be one of the best we've had.

First of all, let's talk about the last thing first. I didn't want to get my hopes up that Gwyn Davies might be a gay character on the show but this episode pretty confirmed that he was. Last season we saw Matt Ryan and Tala Ashe portraying a couple with John Constantine and Zari Tarazi and while I wasn't a fan of that pairing, there's no denying the two of them play off each other so well.

In this episode, both Zari Tomaz and Behrad were tasked with helping Gwyn to find parts to fix the time machine. Gwhn was largely despondent and had little patience for either Behrad or Zari until the latter got him to open up about his past. Then when Zari and Gwyn got captured by Russian soldiers, Gwyn really opened up about his past.

Having Gwyn talk about his World War I days along with a clear love he had for Alun really solidified how much of an asset Matt Ryan has been to the show. The guy has incredible range and Gwyn went through the gamut of panic attacks, reliving trauma, hopelessness to a tiny bit of determination when Zari and Behrad helped in changing some history in regards to the outcome of Chernobyl. 

It took longer than usual for the episode to reveal where the Legends had landed but once the time machine was fixed and they managed to escape the other Waverider, there was a stowaway on top of the machine, strapped to a toilet. Who else but Bishop?

Now this was where the episode really took a wild turn. I already mentioned three weeks ago about not being keen on Bishop being back. I didn't want him as a villain for two seasons in a row and thankfully this show had another idea with Bishop. He's not the villain this season, it's the corrupted Gideon. Also going by what was revealed, he technically wasn't even last season's villain, it was his robot clone. 

Bishop started the episode hating the Legends and wanting them dead. He blew up their Waverider and has been responsible for the Hoover bots. Upon realising that the Legends tried to help him and Gideon 2.0 killing his favourite Ava clone, he soon change tack. The question remains - will the Legends actually trust him and are they enough to stop Gideon 2.0? More than likely I suppose.

- Gary and Gideon hooked up in this episode, which did shock me. Nate also agreed to love in the totem with Zari, so it's looking likely he will be leaving this season.
- Behrad apparently reminded Gwyn of Alun before the two of them went to war. Spooner and Astra also separated Sara and Ava for a brief time in this episode.
- The title came from the one room on the other Waverider that Gideon 2.0 didn't access to - the bathroom.
- Chronology: April 1986, Chernobyl as well as a few 1925 flashbacks here and there.

Deus Ex Latrina might have one of the most tasteless titles for an episode but this was definitely a gem though. It turned things around on who the actual villain of the season would be and Gwyn's backstory was beautifully handled as well. This season has definitely gotten it's groove back. Even the Gary and Gideon subplot was kind of sweet.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Dark Passenger Returms

It's been too long since I did one of these but again, here's a look at some of the shows I've been watching over the last few weeks.

American Crime Story: Okay, can't lie about this one. I only watched the first episode and while both Sarah Paulson and Beanie Feldstein are clearly going to receive award love for their portrayals of Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky, I haven't felt compelled to watch beyond that one episode. I might try to catch up but I'm not making any guarantees. I still have another Ryan Murphy show from earlier this year that I also should watch before the year is out.

Batwoman: It's jarring to think that we're in a third season for this often divisive show but here we are. The first five episodes of this season, introduced Renee Montoya, laid the groundwork for Poison Ivy to arrive on the scene, played around with some rogue trophies and of course, ship teased Ryan and Sophie while introducing the former's mother and brother into the mix. Alice of course does remain the main reason to watch the show but so far, it's been pretty solid stuff here.

Dexter: New Blood: It's been eight years since the original series ended on the mother of all whimpers and ten years has passed for Dexter Morgan who traded sunny Miami for cold Iron Lake and ended up with Deb as his conscience over Harry. I was initially worried about the show's return but two episodes in and the series has nearly gotten it's groove back. I wouldn't say it's as good as the first five seasons of the original series but it's definitely better than the latter three seasons for now. Dexter's o'd ways are resurfacing, Harrison's all grown up with demons of his own, Angela might be more than she seems and Kurt Caldwell has potential as the main antagonist of the season. It's good to have you back, Dexter Morgan/Jim Lindsey.

Supergirl: The moment was prepared for. It finally came and it managed to deliver in more ways than even I expected it to do. The moment of course was this show hitting it's series finale and I'm delighted that it ended on such a strong note. As a series, this show wasn't always perfect but this final season was largely solid with a good final threat in Nyxly (though Lex did insert himself into her storyline) and a satisfying wrap up of all the main character arcs, including a game changer for Kara herself and her future as Supergirl. Of course the highlight was also the return of Cat Grant and I missed seeing her character so much.

What If: Not gonna, this one has been my least favourite of the MCU Disney+ shows and I'm not sure i even want to bother watching the second season. It just dragged for too long and would've benefited overall from being a one-off animated movie. At least that would've cut out a lot of the needless filler we had to go through before getting the big team up finale. Onto the next MCU show.

  • Kathryn Hahn will return as Agatha Harkness for Disney+ in Agatha: House Of Harkness.
  • Ms. Marvel will premiere on Disney+ in summer 2022, likely after both She Hulk and Moon Knight.
  • Chucky will premiere on SkyMax from December 3rd, starting with a double bill.
  • BBC1 have bought the rights to Superman And Lois and will air it from December 4th. The series will also be available on iPlayer.
  • And Just Like That will premiere on both HBO Max and Sky Comedy from December 9th.
  • HBO have renewed Succession for a fourth season.
  • SkyAtlantic have bought the right for House Of The Dragon.
  • Derry Girls is currently filming it's third and final season.
  • Emily VanCamp has departed The Resident.
  • Family Guy's latest season will premiere on Disney+ instead of ITV2 for UK and Irish viewers.