Let the pointless speculation begin!

Wow. The hype has already started for the two-part series eight finale with a trailer that has more WTF? moments in it than you can shake a perigosto stick at. Fans love to speculate on What’s Next, that’s half the fun of it and you only have to cast your mind back to The Day of the Doctor to recall the last time we all went nuts over something like this. So let’s jump right in, shall we?

1] THERE IS A CHARACTER CALLED MISSY IN NIGHTMARE IN SILVER which is probably just co-incidence or maybe Missy from the finale is this Missy, back to wreak one of those terrible revenge things… but then in the trailer she says “you know who I am”, and we assume she’s saying that to the Doctor but maybe not…

2] YOU WILL NEVER STEP INSIDE YOUR TARDIS AGAIN. Okay so, Clara appears in a puff of smoke like some panto baddie, approaching Twelvy with the words “do I have your attention?” and holding the Tardis key. How does her having a key stop Twelvy getting back into the Tardis? Is this part of the thing why the Tardis doesn’t like Clara? And I don’t know about you but that looks suspiciously like the inside of the Doctor’s timeline to me, although knowing Moffat that’s probably a deliberate misdirection.

3] TIME CAN BE REWRITTEN. Cybermen are not only stomping down the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, but the dome opens up and the buggers start flying out of it. Why does Clara want to rewrite time? To stop Danny from being converted into a Cyberman? They attack the UNIT equivalent of Air Force One [where Missy puts in an appearance to blow out the wall and plunge Twelvy to his apparent doom]  and are in some sort of museum-y type place, obv meant to evoke their Telos tomb, where Missy says her “you know who I am” line.

4] CLARA OSWALD HAS NEVER EXISTED. Whiiiiiitt????? Okay, so this could be a bluff to deal with the Cyb who is clearly pointing a gun at her, and she does step out of one of those display case things that have RIP above them… but is Clara really Bad Clara? Why did Missy “choose” her? For what? Has there been another one of those Flesh Swap things like they did with Amy/Amy’s baby? Or is Bad Clara another one of the iterations of Clara like the Snowmen and Asylum versions? Or did something happen to her when she entered the Doctor’s timeline that we don’t know about?

And we still don’t know who it was that stepped out of the Gallifrey Falls No More painting. Was that another Clara? If so, did either of them go to The Promised Land and get sent back by Missy? Or did one of them escape via the painting? Why did Missy choose Clara? Is Missy manipulating her into trying to rewrite Time to stop her mother dying? Is that it?

No idea. But I can’t wait to find out!

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Filed under Clara Oswald, Doctor Twelve, Series Eight

In The Forest of the Night – 5/10

Forest Night titleI wasn’t particularly looking forward to this story, mostly due to the fact that it was clearly going to be full of brats. Child actors are invariably the pits and their use should be restricted to musical theatre, where their lack of acting talent is no hinderance. Also, the central idea seemed a bit “so what?” so I was anticipating a humdrum so-so episode before the excitement of the Cyber-Finale and the Doctor/Missy face off.

And in the end I wasn’t far wrong. The kid who played Maeve was good but the rest of the brats were just as annoying as I’d hoped they wouldn’t be. It was a strangely unengaging episode, but the Gaia adherents will be chuffed that the “living planet” is still looking after us. Maeve in a red jacket, yeah, get it. Rationale for fairy stories, yeah, that’s rather neat but it was all a bit… bleh. Like the “fairy dust” depositing the missing sister at the end for no good dramatic reason, all too sugary for my taste. But it’s still better than Listen

And who’s  going to repair Nelson’s Column?

NEXT TIME – Dark Water. OMG! WTF? etc etc – so Clara is really Bad Clara? Wadafuq?

SATISFACTION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 6/10

FRUSTRATION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 2/10

ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR NEXT EPISODE – 12/10

SERIES EIGHT SO FAR?

Mummy on the Orient Express by Stuart Manning Radio TimesFlatline by Stuart Manning Radio Timeskill the moon by Stuart Manning Radio TimesCaretaker by Stuart Manning Radio Timestime heist by stuart manning radio timesRobot of Sherwood by Stuart Manning Radio TimesForest of the Night by Stuart Manning Radio TimesInto The Dalek by Stuart Manning Radio TimesDeep Breath by Stuart Manning Radio TimesListen by Stuart Manning Radio Times

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Filed under Doctor Twelve, Series Eight

Lynda Bellingham is dead. RIP.

Such sad news today that Lynda Bellingham, The Inquisitor in Trial of a Time Lord has died today from colon cancer, aged just 66.

lynda bellingham dr who inquisitor

Her book, detailing her cancer battle, was published recently and is available on Amazon. Whopix would encourage all Dr Who fans to buy a copy.

Lynda Bellingham book

RIP Lynda.

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The Doctor and The Dalek game

Doctor and the Dalek CBBC Coding Game

A new game from the Beeb aims to get kids coding by making it fun, and what could be more fun than a Dalek! According to this report in The Daily Mirror the game goes online this coming Wednesday.

Personally WYSIWYG is about the extent of my coding abilities but I do like the artwork on that poster!

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Filed under daleks, Doctor Twelve, Games

Flatline – 9/10

Flatline titleWhatever came after last’s week’s brilliant Mummy on the Orient Express was always going to fall short but this came pretty close. It had Moxy from Auf Wiedersehen Pet doing his best Gollum impression and a story that pretty much worked despite the lack of Capaldi. Speaking of which, was this story recorded in two halves? If you look at Capaldi’s hair it suddenly changes from the longer, Doctor-ish, style of most of the run to the shorter Tucker-esque cut of the first three episodes. So wtf happened there then?

I’d always thought that it was long past time when the show should have done a “toy tardis” story, where the ship gets shrunken down to the exact same dimensions as the Flight Control one that kids all over the country, if not the planet, have in their bedrooms. If I was eight years old that would have been cool as fekk! So all those publicity photos of Peter and Jenna clambering about with the Logopolis-sized Police Box were great to see. Just a shame that they nicked my story idea [mine would have had the Celestial Toymaker responsible for the toy tardis though].

Clara doing her female Doctor turn showed why that is such a bad idea that it should never,ever happen. To be honest, she reminded me more of Sarah Jane and made me quite nostalgic for dear Lis Sladen. Damn shame, Sarah would have rocked this ep.

The only real problem with the episode was that it felt rushed, as if there was too much story for just the one episode but that was all they had. For instance, Moxy suddenly makes a grab for the toy Tardis for no readily apparent reason other than to make have a reason for it to fall onto the railway tracks.  Here’s another – why was Riggsy, who I kept wanting to call Rigsby, so willing to sacrifice himself? Where was the character set-up for that then, or did I miss it? And then there’s the bit where The Boneless zap the Tardis, which has assumed the shape of a little Gallifreyan Puzzle Box, which I suppose it is really, isn’t it – at first I thought I was one of those Thought Cube things from The Doctor’s Wife until I realised what it was. Having the Boneless zap the puzzle box was all well and good, but it would have worked better if we’d seen them do that before. Having not set that up properly beforehand, it looked contrived even though it wasn’t, so they lose story points for that.

As for The Boneless, they were a great idea and were pretty well-realised faux-zombies that only went to show what a good story Fear Her might have been if only these had been the monsters instead. And yeah, I got The Addams Family bit too – the Doctor doing a Thing. Literally.

And then bloody Missy turns up, being even more cryptic than usual. And using an iPad. What does she mean, she chose well? It’s clear she’s The Woman From The Shop, as if we didn’t already know that from Deep Breath, but why Clara? Not long now til we find out!

NEXT TIME – The Forest of the Night. Oh fekk, more brats! Let’s hope they’re not on a par with those two from Nightmare In Silver. Bleh. Still, it’s by Frank Cotrell Boyce so should be good.

SATISFACTION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 8/10

FRUSTRATION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 1/10

ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR NEXT EPISODE – 7/10

SERIES EIGHT SO FAR?

Mummy on the Orient Express by Stuart Manning Radio TimesFlatline by Stuart Manning Radio Timeskill the moon by Stuart Manning Radio TimesCaretaker by Stuart Manning Radio Timestime heist by stuart manning radio timesRobot of Sherwood by Stuart Manning Radio TimesInto The Dalek by Stuart Manning Radio TimesDeep Breath by Stuart Manning Radio TimesListen by Stuart Manning Radio Times

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Mummy On The Orient Express – 10/10

mummy orient express titleFollowing all the  brouhaha over Kill The Moon‘s implausible science, I was looking forward to getting back to something much more escapist. An old-school Universal Pictures egyptian mummy, on the Orient Express, in space, what’s not to like? And with Capaldi looking very much like a Season Seven Jon Pertwee, I was really looking forward to this one. Along with the prospect of no Clara, who has really gone down in my estimation. Okay so we know she’ll be back and she’s still in the show at Xmas but I find all that Tegan-esque complaining really tiresome – if you don’t like it, bugger off with Sergeant Pinky and stop yer moaning.

The Clara situation was a bit muddled pre-transmission, with photos of Coleman in her flapper outfit alongside Capaldi on the train set but no mention of Clara in the cast listings in the Radio Times, although Pinky was listed. Then they put out the Stuart Manning poster and then replaced it with a version that didn’t credit Coleman.To be perfectly honest, I would have been quite happy if we’d never seen the little madam again after her rant in KTM – if it was my Doctor, I would have gone back for Sarah Jane but there’s no way I would have come back for her, she could be the girl who waited and waited and waited…

This one didn’t hang about with the Mummy seeing off Miss Hardaker from The Curse of Fenric pre-titles. There must have been a tight edit on this one as they cut the titles short to get back to the story that little bit quicker than usual, which is why the title lingers for that little bit longer over the opening scene than before. And if you’ve seen Horror Express then you know how this goes, with people getting bumped off left right and centre before the monster gets stopped. When she stepped out of the Tardis, part of me hoped that Clara would be one of them.

With all the shennanigans over Clara’s involvement in the story, part of me wondered if the Clara in this story would turn out to be another iteration of The Impossible Girl like in Snowmen and Asylum so realising that it was “proper” Clara disappointed me somewhat. That said, she looked well do-able in that flapper frock and the “one last hurrah” scene with her and Twelvy in the corridor was electric. A little over ten minutes in and this ep was already vying for the title of Best One Yet, and all the more so when Twelvy went off without her to investigate!

Okay, so it sags ever so slightly when Clara and the blonde burd are go off together because you just know that they are going to have a conversation that will end up being about the Doctor, without ever mentioning him, which of course they do. But hey, they at least acknowledge that they’re failing the bloody Bechdel test so I’ll let that one pass. And I did like the hard-light hologram line, quite appropriate since Howard Burden used to do the cossies on Red Dwarf!

Things take a slightly unexpected turn when things switch to the lab but it’s here that Twelvy really comes into his own and it’s nice to see that the game Moffat has been playing has actually led somewhere. The resolution when it comes isn’t entirely unexpected and it’s great to see Twelvy do the right thing for the wrong reason, if that’s how you choose to see it.

His complete lack of social skills is a character trait we haven’t really seen since the Fourth Doctor, and it’s brilliantly endearing the way Capaldi plays it when it could have been as irritating as Clara tried to make it seem last ep. And the reason it isn’t, the reason Capaldi makes it work is that he manages to give you the sense that this is a Doctor too busy paying attention to what’s really important to bother with all that bedside manner nonsense, in the way that really clever people tend to lack the social skills the rest of us have. But they can still be endearing and sometimes that can be the very thing you like about them. Which is probably what makes Clara change her mind about him. And in that case, I’m prepared to change my mind about her too. She can stay.

With all the deaths in this ep I was waiting for another appearance from the mysterious Missy but she was a no-show. Frank Skinner’s turn as Perkins was enjoyable and was I the only one just a little bit disappointed that he never went for at least one trip in the Tardis? Still, at least we can add him to the list of Almost Companions and I hope they bring him back. As for who GUS is, it’s clearly connected to Missy as Twelvy said it phoned the Tardis and, as we know, there are very few people in the Universe who have the Doc’s number…

I can’t think of a New Series episode that I’ve enjoyed as much as this one for a helluva long time, and it’s the only one so far I’ve gone back and immediately watched again. With each episode – except for Listen, which was shite – this series has got better and better and I have high hopes for what’s left now that Clara and the Doctor are back to normal. It’s at this point in the run that I can safely say that it’s only now that David Tennant can move over. Twelvy rocks and he’s now my Top of the Docs. Yaldi Capaldi!

NEXT TIME – Flatline. Ooh, now this looks good. Lots of dimensional funny business, Clara doing her best Sarah Jane impression, and this is the one with the shrinking Tardis. Yay!

SATISFACTION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 10/10

FRUSTRATION LEVEL FOR THIS EPISODE? – 0/10

ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR NEXT EPISODE – 9/10

SERIES EIGHT SO FAR?

Mummy on the Orient Express by Stuart Manning Radio Timeskill the moon by Stuart Manning Radio TimesCaretaker by Stuart Manning Radio Timestime heist by stuart manning radio timesRobot of Sherwood by Stuart Manning Radio TimesInto The Dalek by Stuart Manning Radio TimesDeep Breath by Stuart Manning Radio TimesListen by Stuart Manning Radio Times

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Peter Capaldi IS Jon Pertwee!

If Twelvy’s outfit for Mummy On The Orient Express looks familiar, that’s because it is!

pertwee capaldi

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Filed under Doctor Three, Doctor Twelve