Monthly Archives: October 2014

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

Horror Express

horror express movie

To get you in the mood for this weekend’s Mummy On The Orient Express, here’s the movie that probably provided the inspiration. Horror Express was a 1972 Spanish low budget horror movie starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and has the same basic premise of a monster on a train. It’s enjoyable low-budget early seventies horror and it’ll be interesting to see how similar this week’s episode is to this. Enjoy.

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Series Eight Ratings So Far…

With Kill The Moon having a similar overnight figure to The Caretaker [4.2M versus 4.8M] it looks like things are staying pretty stable ratings-wise at around 7 million viewers each week. Halfway through the run, here’s how Series Eight is shaping up so far:

Capaldi Ratings Series Eight Part One

and if you compare Capaldi’s first series to that of each of his predecessors, things look like this:

ratings comparison first series by doctor

Three things worth noting before we all start to panic over these consistent, but still relatively low viewing figures:

1] we’ve just come off the back of the Fiftieth, so there may be a bit of Who fatigue among the non-fan audience

2] this is the first season to start transmission in the Autumn, whereas all the others TX`d in the Spring

3] the Average Audience for these first six eps is 7.3M, which is consistent with what every previous series has achieved.

 

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Hamlet & Mestor

It’s been a while since Hamlet, the regular strip in The Stage, mentioned Dr Who but sure enough…

Hamlet by Harry Venning The Stage Dr Who

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CGI Who? It’s closer than you think…

Take a look at this video.

Now if you were anything like me your reaction will have been as “WTF? OMG!” as mine was. I had no idea photo-realistic CG humans were this far advanced but the possibilities for recreating all those Missing Episodes of Classic Who are immediately obvious. And surely that photo-CG would be more achievable – and cheaper – in greyscale?

Once this sort of thing becomes affordable, I can’t imagine that it won’t be long before the technology moves outside of the gaming industry to Hollywood.  Sure there will be all sorts of legalities to be sorted out regarding using the likenesses of dead Hollywood actors but they did get Laurence Olivier into Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow ten years ago so they are clearly not insurmountable even now.

Laurence Olivier recreated via CG in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow [2004]

Laurence Olivier recreated via CG in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow [2004]

Any dead Hollywood icon could be CGI’d, there’s already software that can create 3D models from photos so you could combine that with motion capture to recreate anyone from Humphrey Bogart to William Hartnell. And that means you could finally create a version of The Three Doctors that includes Hartnell in the mix. My photocomic version of the story shows how it could have worked and the idea of a full motion version sends my inner fanboy straight to Squee-ville. We’ve already had the colour Hartnell made for the Fifty Years Trailer so let’s hope we get a photo-CG Hartnell version of The Three Doctors for the Sixtieth Anniversary – who knows where this technology will be in 2023!

Maybe this is why the release of The Underwater Menace hasn’t been announced yet…

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Capaldi’n the Tardis

The recently released teaser trailer for the soon to re-open Dr Who Experience features Twelvy in his predecessor’s Tardis console rooms – first up is the Hartnell recreation for An Adventure in Space and Time:

capaldi hartnell tardisThis really works, evokes a real Season Eight vibe – and I still say they should have used this for the War Doctor!

Next up is the Copper console room for Smiffy:

capaldi matt smith tardis

This one kind of works too, but not so well. Of course, if the Beeb hadn’t moved studios then this would probably have been Capaldi’s console room too!

And finally, the Eccles/Tennant console room, where Twelvy whacks the console with that rubber mallet. This one doesn’t suit him as well I don’t think.
capaldi tennant tardis

Can you imagine just how much fun shooting on all these must have been for Capaldi, his inner fanboy must have been squee-ing with delight!

The Doctor Who Experience re-opens October 24th, with tickets on sale from this coming Tuesday, the 7th.

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