The Time of the Doctor Review

So it’s the end of an era, the end of an age, the end of a Doctor. On Christmas Day Matt Smith put on his final performance in the role of our favorite Time Lord the Doctor, before hanging up his fez and handing the job over to Peter Capaldi. But what did I think of Smith’s final episode?

Doc-Who-time-of-the-doctor-4The Time of the Doctor was not only a chance for Matt Smith to bow out with a spectacular end but also an opportunity for the various story arcs surrounding Smith’s tenure to be wrapped up. Indeed we learnt the origins of ‘The Silence’, the truth behind ‘Madam Kovarian’ and who tried to blow up the Doctor’s TARDIS back in Series 5.

The storyline, like many of Moffat’s, was simple however pushed to the furthest limits of complexity. There’s this planet which is sending out a signal and for some reason every species in the Universe has come to see what the message is. Included in the masses are Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and an old friend of the Doctor’s, Tasha Lem who helps the Doctor teleport down to the planet to find out what the signal is actually saying. And then “Wahay!” its the Time Lords, broadcasting a message from one of those cracks (Series 5). What’s the message? Well it’s ‘Doctor Who?’ of course (Series 6). And if it’s answered then the Time Lords will be back, just about ready to fight all the millions of monsters parked on the doorstep. Oh dear.

????????????????????????????????????????????????Well the obvious conclusion would be for the Doctor to get the hell out of there, before he starts another time war. But Moffat doesn’t work like that does he. Moffat is perfectly content to throw away hundreds of years of the Doctor’s life for him to spend sitting in a basement, occasionally coming out to kill a wooden Cyberman or something like that. So slowly Smith gets older, with the help of the BBC’s low budget makeup department. Clara pops in now and again, always managing to hitch a lift back with the TARDIS. It’s revealed to us that Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor is going to be the last (Hurt’s War Doctor and Tennant’s Meta-Crisis both counted as regenerations) and we see the attacks on the planet (now revealed to be Trenzalore) getting more and more explosive-y.

Without going into any more detail, I didn’t like the plot. I found it a bit long-winded and confusing, aimed solely at clearing up Smith’s story arcs. However I do believe that Smiths regeneration and Moffat’s solution to the regeneration limit were very emotional and the final scenes of the episode were a good send-off for a well loved Doctor.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Peter Capaldi made a great entrance as the next incarnation of the Doctor, maybe not quite as good as Smith’s debut but the best he could do without the TARDIS falling to bits around him. What will next year bring for Doctor Who? We’ll have to wait another nine months to see!

Also, it’s nearly 2014, so Happy New Year ‘n’ all that!

Have a Poetic Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! As my gift to you, have this festive poem. I warn you, it’s terrible!

Walking along was I
when something did catch my eye.
‘twas an inflatable Santa,
looking incredibly rye.
He was flanked by a merry crew
all inflatable too.
Snowmen, reindeer, even an elf
all of them dripping with due.
Squashed they were into a tiny space,
a tiny garden of a tiny place.
Pilled were they, way up high,
the site of which did make me cry.
Excessiveness is a word that can here be used
the extent of which can not be excused.
Although this garden makes quite the story
I won’t deny it did look gory.
So that's what I wanted to say,
have a nice Christmas Day.
Please do have some fun and when you're done
look out for this display.


The Horne Section Recording – New Years Special

It seems there is nothing that gets you in a festive mood more than a couple of men in Christmas jumpers singing at you. And that is basically what I got from going to a recording of The Horne Section’s New Year special the other day.

The Horne Section, for those of you who don’t know, is a comedy band group led by Mr Alex Horne. They made their mark singing joke-filled songs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a couple of years a go and since then have been putting on shows across London and have even been given their own Radio 4 show.

???????????????????????????????The episode, which will be broadcast on both New Years Eve and New Years Day on BBC Radio 4, contained a whole host of hilarious jokey songs centred around Christmas and the New Year. These included the band’s own song ‘Manger Danger’, a melody about Christmas for parents and a tribute to Chinese Five Spice. Some great guest stars also turned up including Milton Jones being as stupid as normal, Jenny Bede singing about Christmas Jumpers and Beardyman doing some weird stuff with his voice.

???????????????????????????????What was nice about the show was that it contained lots of audience participation. At the beginning the whole audience had a massive and embarrassing game of twister (hold the shoulder of the person on your left, hug the person in front etc.). During the show a man at the front of the crowd named Chris had to record a humiliating melody of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’, I’m sure none of us would have liked to have been in his shoes. And at the end of the show the whole audience joined to sing Auld Lang Syne to celebrate the New Year.

IMG_6301 - CopyIt was a lovely show and has certainly got me ready for the fast approaching Christmas and New Year. I also got a script to add to my growing pile!

Ayres on the Air Recording – Series 5 Episodes 1&2

My friend and I are great fans of the radio sitcom ‘Cabin Pressure’ and it is an ambition of ours to meet every actor who has been in the show. So when tickets became available for a sketch and poetry show ‘Ayres on the Air’ we leapt at the chance to go, sorely to meet Geoffrey Whitehead who has appeared three times in CP.

Pam Ayres and Geoffrey WhiteheadWe arrived dreading the show (needless to say neither of us are budding poets), however excited at the chance of meeting Mr Whitehead. We were amused but not altogether surprised to find that we were the youngest members of the audience, in fact the only members below the age of 40.

So as we were headed into the theatre, preparing ourselves for the worst, dreading the two shows that were being recorded that night we were pleasantly surprised to find that the show was actually quite good.

Me and Pam AyresNow I must admit, I am the last person to admire poetry but this show definitely changed my view. Pam Ayres (who wrote and starred in the show) performed wonderfully, her poems were great and the sketches were funny. It seems that poetry can be quite entertaining. The two episodes that were recorded were centered around horse and the home. We even got to meet Geoffrey Whitehead so that was a relief.

Me and Geoffrey WhiteheadI would definatley recommend giving this show a try, even if you’re not normally interested in poetry.

Harry Potter Filming Locations Trip

So a few months ago I made a video where I went round London and visited some of the Sherlock Filming Locations.

It was great fun so I decided to do a Harry Potter one as well.

I was joined by some friends. Check out their blogs at:

Ending on a Low

This year two of E4’s most loved and praised dramas drew to a close, both ending in very different styles.

For Skins, which ended earlier this year, their tactic was to finish with three final episodes, each focussing on an old character from the show’s seven year run. However Misfits, the fifth series of which has just ended, took a very different approach. For them the plan was to have one final series which built up to an end episode.

If the intention of either of these shows was to bow out on a high, then we’ve been treated to two excellent example of failure.

Skins Series 7

Only one out of Skins’ final episodes was even remotely entertaining (Effy’s one) and even that mostly contained dialogue-free scenes showing people wandering around offices, hospitals, flats and the occasional night club.

Even this however would have been better than the episode they chose to end on. The final episode focused on Cook, a character I always disliked due to his annoying voice and tendency to **** anything on two legs. The two-part episode showed Cook working for some drug lord and actually living quite and nice, quiet life. However Cook has to go and ruin it all by sleeping with the drug lord’s wife and then practically kidnapping her when he finds out he’s been rumbled. Most of the last half hour showed Cook and the girl wandering round a forest (which was surprisingly snowy for July) and hiding whilst the drug guy went around killing everybody.

These episodes did not at all do justice to Skins which has produced some fabulous storylines in its time. If the intention of the writers was to take three of its best loved characters, put them in unrealistic situations, ruin their lives and not even look back at the past whilst doing so, then they’ve achieved exactly what they wanted.

Misfits Series 5

I do have a bit more praise for Misfits, however this doesn’t stretch very far. In fact the only way Series 5 can really be praised is to say that it was better than Series 4 which in turn is not at all hard. The series was laden with more story arcs than Doctor Who Series 6, most of which revolved around Rudy #2 hunting down people whose silhouettes he’s seen on a jumper.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any good episodes. There were a couple of great storylines thrown in there including a party marking the anniversary of the storm and also when we meet Rudy’s parents, one of whom is hiding an ominous secret. However, unsurprisingly, most of these were ended with the usual ‘stab u’m, problem over’ routine.

It was Misfit’s final episode that was the complete mockery. It contained some feeble plot about one of the main characters being sent forward in time where they meet the rest of the gang, who haven’t been doing anything with their lives and Rudy #2’s bunch of superheroes who have gone insane for no reason and now go around killing people. The episode seems to end when one of the main characters dies quite heroically but don’t forget, this is the future and none of it happened as Jess had the ability to go back in time and put it right.

Two great shows, both coming to completely pathetic ends. Please bring me some good drama or I think I might kill myself.