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Doctor Who 2010: A Christmas Carol

25 Dec

My first Doctor Who episode was a X’mas special, and it was when they introduced David Tennant as the 10th Doctor in 2005’s The Christmas Invasion. I misjudged the episode thinking that what a wimp of a character this Doctor is, just lying there, shivering, and what did they call it, “he’s regenerating” and could not do anything to help the poor Rose Tyler. You guessed it, I didnt finish the episode and told myself, nah, I can never get into Doctor Who. Fast forward another Doctor Who X’mas special in 2006’s Voyage of the Damned and I really dont know why as the episode was not that great either but I fell for Tennant’s charms and eventually embraced Doctor Who which will become a permanent fixture of my geekness. That’s it, when I thought I never wanted to be in the TARDIS, he locked me in and never gave me a copy of the key. That was how my love affair started with the Doctor and boy, how it has flourished.

Of the 4 Doctor Who X’mas specials I have seen & enjoyed, I must say that this is the best of them all in terms of it’s very close association with the festive season, and not just because of the title. It may however disappoint viewers who would rather see a loud, bang on action episode, probably looking for scary villains or monsters and not find them here but I feel that Doctor Who also shines and is sometimes even much better if it’s just there to tell a story, a story that even a heart of stone will touch. Remember Richard Curtis’ moving “Vincent and the Doctor” last season? A Christmas Carol worked for me on many levels and was quite impressed as to how that genius Steven Moffat has done it again by infusing time travel with another heartfelt story and interwoven with the classic Dickens tale.

Performance wise I was so pleased that the great Michael Gambon has shown for an hour what a terrific actor he really is outside of the Harry Pottter films. I wouldnt even begin to describe how great a theatre actor he is too. Katherine Jenkins was also a revelation in this episode, her talent as a soprano was just used in small measure but still effective. We see less of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) here but judging on the new season’s trailer I am sure we will see a lot of them. As for our beloved Doctor, Matt Smith, will I ever stop singing his praises? He turned me around and made me fell for him when he took over the reins as the 11th Doctor last spring. This episode is one of his best performance as the Time Lord and how confident he has become in the role in less than a year. This is a wonderful episode to end the season and herald the coming of the season 6 in the spring with the trailer to be seen here:

I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool.

And did I just see River Song? Oh joy.

Doctor Who: The End of Time

1 Jan

For what was trumped up and hyped to be a great finale, personally I thought this one failed, and quite miserably. It was just such a long goodbye that no offense to Tennant of course because I love him as an actor forever and ever until the end of time, but with this quite overdrawn episode, I just wanted him to die and regenerate already! Blinking heck!

I know I ought to be thankful to Russell T. Davies for renewing interest on Doctor Who but he really laid it on thick with this one. It was just a total mess, with way too many plotlines and like I said quite overlong. Forget about the Master and all the Timelords and Gallifrey planet taking over Earth but when the Doctor was revisiting his companions, it was a real letdown when he visited Donna (Catherine Tate), was that it? Why did they even bother? But I loved the bit when he went to the book signing and meets Joan Redfern’s (Jessica Hynes) granddaughter, and seeing Rose (Billie Piper) pre-companion days. But then when he went back to the TARDIS and said “I dont want to go” I almost lost it. Just get on with it already! Regenerate now!

I have to say the four knocks coming from Wilf (magnificently and endearingly played by Bernard Cribbins), was something that I definitely didnt see coming. I also thought that although Tennant was brilliant here, Cribbins was just as excellent. Then he regenerates! I was hoping for it to be cathartic that by the time it was all happening I have already lost the energy to feel sad that my Doctor is dying. Then that was it! He has regenerated! My geekiness came out again. We’ve got a new Doctor in Matt Smith! And he is going to be great I am sure; actually, I love him already. Spring wouldnt come soon enough that’s the thing!

Looking forward to an era of much better Who writing and this time with Steven Moffatt at the helm.


The End of Time Part 2- 3/5

Filmstalker at the BAFTAs

8 Feb


My good friend Richard Brunton, owner of Filmstalker, whose excellent blog is the only film blog I visit, will be at the BAFTAs tonight to cover the event live.

So follow the BAFTAs on telly and then join us for the live blogging at Filmstalker.

Fearless forecast: Big winners for tonight will be Slumdog Millionaire and Kate Winslet.

Gobbets- Tim Bisley

28 Jan


Life just isn’t like the movies is it? We’re constantly led to believe in resolution in the establishment of the ideal status quo, and it’s just not true. Happy endings are a myth. Designed to make us feel better about the fact that life is just a thankless struggle. -SPACED, Episode 7

Gobbets – Lark Rise to Candleford

4 Jan


My father said, there were two kinds of men in the world, the ones who left and the ones who stayed. I often wondered as I observe Miss Lane, if there were two kinds of women. The ones who married…Laura Timmins, Lark Rise to Candleford, Series 2 Episode 2

Falling Slowly

20 Jun

I don’t know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can’t react
And games that never amount
To more than they’re meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ve made it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You’ve made it now

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You’ve made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I’ll sing along

Film Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

24 May

1981. I was 11 years old and was in the 5th grade when Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was released. All I can think of was Han Solo is now Indiana Jones! I also thought Mr. Spielberg was brilliant, and I already knew that Mr. Lucas who gave me Star Wars 3 years ago was a genius.

1984. I just entered my teenage years and started secondary school when Indiana Jones & Temple of the Doom, the much awaited sequel comes out, and although it was not as good as the original, it was still a good film and had its own merits.

1989. I was 19 and was in university trying to make sense with my life when Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade graces the silver screen once more of what we all thought then was the end of the saga. Well, not quite.

2008. I just turned 38 and one of the few notable films of my childhood decides to make a comeback, this time around with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reminding me of the good old days, and of how much fun it is to go the movies, movies that will always be a part of you. I went to see this film regardless of the consensus that it will not work, that Lucas will not get the old magic back because he failed to do so in the Star Wars prequels, that Harrison Ford is way too old to play a swashbuckling character, that the moviegoing audience have had enough of trilogies, or in Indy’s case, a quadrilogy, if I had forgotten to mention what you might be thinking, then you get my drift. I went to see it because it would just be a sacrilege not to, because it would be utter disrespect, because it would be like betraying my childhood, my teenage years and my adolescence. Because this is what the Indiana Jones films mean to me if not to most of those born in my generation.

I can not explain why it’s only Spielberg and Lucas can give me that kind of childlike exciteme neven before the lights grow dim. I can not even begin to explain how John Williams’ familiar score seems to transport me in another place and time reminding me of my younger and much happier days with my family with whom I saw all the Indy films. I will not even attempt to defend why Harrison Ford can still make me believe that after 19 years of waiting, he was able to bring back to life a much loved character with such passion you seem to feel that you also grew up with him and has never outgrown him.

This Indy film scored very high on the nostalgia factor. It also felt like the beginning of a new era that left a lot of open room for Shia Labeouf who played Indy’s son to be the next Indiana Jones. It tied up loose ends when we see Indy reunited with Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen. It boasts of a great supporting cast with Ray Winstone, John Hurt and a really amazing Cate Blanchett who again proved her versatility. But then again it’s Harrison Ford who is the heart and soul of all the Indy films, and he shows us here that he’s still got it.

Once the whip’s out and the fedora’s put in place, it’s going to be one helluva fantastic ride. So welcome back Indy and thanks for restoring my faith in the movies.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 4/5

Ain’t It Cool News Harry Knowles review