Sunday, September 27, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: The Crimson Horror

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved. I don't mean liked. I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time. It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode. I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things. I mean give a bona-fide negative review. Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express). Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night.

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required. I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut. What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying. I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 26 of The Nerdist as Whore: The Crimson Horror. My 'translations' are in red.

Oh, Victorian times. They are always something at which the BBC excels.

Oh, Victorian times.  They are almost always the only time in Earth’s history Doctor Who ever visits, even more now with the Pater-nauseating Gang rolling around then.

Period costume drama is like its bread and butter, which is why I always look forward to Victorian episodes of Doctor Who.

So, if a Doctor Who episode were set, say, in Roman times, or during the Scottish wars, or on the Eve of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, you wouldn’t care?

This episode, “The Crimson Horror,” was a good deal different than most such stories in a number for very interesting ways.

They got a genuine acting legend to appear in it: Dame Diana Rigg.  Apart from that, we got a pretty uninteresting story.  No, I take that back: an episode that shows a giant red leech sucking on an old woman's tit MUST be interesting.

I always applaud when chances are taken and can more or less be said to pay off.

I always applaud when 'analytical critics' are on the take and can more or less be said to be paid off.

This is Mark Gatiss’ second episode of the series and, while I was quite critical of “Cold War,”

No, no, I GOT to read that sentence again. 
"and, while I was quite critical of "Cold War"...

Let's pause here for just a moment and use the Wayback Machine to find out just how "quite critical" Kyle Anderson was in regards to Cold War.  The following quotes are directly from his review of that episode, the one he was "quite critical" of.

"“Cold War” is claustrophobic, tense, and pretty harrowing..."
"Gatiss does a lot of great things in this episode, not the least of which is getting the Ice Warrior out of its bulky armor so that it can scurry around the ceilings and walls of the submarine and slaughter people silently."
"So, in the end, masterful direction with a great monster help solid but uninspired performances in an interesting but ultimately troubled script. Mild “like” from me. It’s an episode I’ll definitely watch again."

Color me cynical, but calling an episode "tense and pretty harrowing" and saying that you'll "definitely watch (Cold War) again" doth not suggest "quite critical" to me.  Then again, I never claim to be an analytical critic, just an honest one. 

I have much less to nitpick this time from a structural point of view.

I got my payola check faster this time than I did when I covered Cold War.

This may be one of his best scripts, actually.

And how could you not love an episode with Vastra, Jenny, and Strax?

I could not love an episode with Vastra, Jenny, and Strax quite easily.  Unlike Andy here, I a.) don't want a series about a lizard and human having sex, and b.) want a show where The Doctor isn't just a guest character.

And a Monty Python reference?

This episode is as logical as a dead parrot.

This is one of the more atypical stories in terms of its structure.

This is one of the worst episodes we've seen in terms of its structure.

We’re introduced to the narrative through the aforementioned Victorian Detective Squad who have been tasked with finding out what happened to a man’s reporter brother in Yorkshire in 1893 (Gatiss’ last episode took place in 1983… coincidence?).

We spend a good twenty-odd minutes on Doctor Who showing just how irrelevant he is on this show.  Gatiss' last episode took place in 1983, and this one in 1893, showing that he made a whole episode out of a typo.  Next episode will take place in 1389, where the Doctor will find himself in the middle of the Battle of Kosovo. 

We see that something horrible has happened to him and his wife at the hands of the sinister Mrs. Gillyflower, played by the excellently wicked Diana Rigg. Rigg can currently be seen as Lady Tyrell on Game of Thrones, and she is killing it.

Rigg is appearing on two shows that appeal to nerds, and I, self-proclaimed King of the Nerds (or at least a Functional Nerd) can see her on both (though it is unclear if I get to see Dame Diana's tits on Game of Thrones).  In truth, Game of Thrones, with its dragons, rapes, and wanton killings, is actually more rational than anything on Doctor Who, but why quibble when the loot's so good?

The brother is all red, which the rather grubby undertaker gleeful calls “The Crimson Horror.” In his eye is the image of the Doctor’s face. Dun, dun, a-dun.

First, the rather grubby undertaker gleefully calls it "The Crimson 'Orror", as Cockneys drop the "H".  Second, what song is he quoting: Chopin's Funeral March or the theme to Dragnet?  He could be quoting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, but all of them sound a bit bizarre considering that he is signaling this is a mystery. 

We then get quite a long sequence of the trio traveling up to Yorkshire and beginning the investigation.

We then get quite a long sequence of the trio traveling up to Yorkshire and beginning the investigation.  I was bored with how this was playing out as some sort of The Lizard & The Lady spinoff, though same-sex bestiality always turns me on.  I can't wait for that 'very special episode' where Jenny finds out she got pregnant with Vastra's Silurian secretions. 

Jenny, being the only human one, tries to infiltrate Mrs. Gillyflower’s fire-and-brimstone sermon about the end of the world and the best being chosen to live in her perfect community of Sweetville, named after her silent partner, Mr. Sweet. Nobody has seen Mr. Sweet, least of all Gillyflower’s daughter, Ada (played by Rigg’s real life daughter, Rachael Stirling), who was blinded by her father many years earlier.

Is it just me, or is Anderson making some sort of awful and insensitive pun about the blind Ada being the least of all able to see Mr. Sweet?  I'm sure Mommie Dearest told her the truth: she keeps Mr. Sweet close to her heart.

We also see that Ada has befriended something she calls “The Monster,” which lives in a locked room and has red arms.

Jenny breaks into the mill and finds it not to be a mill at all, but a place with vats of red liquid. A Clamato factory?

Hardy har-har...

Jenny eventually makes her way to the Monster’s room and unlocks it, revealing… the Doctor! All petrified and red-skinned. I was certainly not expecting that.

Jenny helps him get to a chamber wherein, with the help of the sonic screwdriver (aka magic wand),

Well, at least he admits the sonic screwdriver is indeed now basically a magic wand.  #Progress.

he emerges as good as new, ready to jump around and kiss Jenny, much to her chagrin.

Because she’d much rather make out with a female lizard.

I’m not sure I’m okay with all of this kissing Matt Smith’s been doing lately.

Odd.  It didn't seem to trouble you when Tennant was doing it.

Innocent or not, it’s very bizarre. It appears that he’s been like that for weeks, and now he has to find Clara, which takes us to my favorite section of the episode.

Because it gives me another chance to masturbate to Jenna-Louise Coleman.

The flashback section, in the narrative, speeds its way through showing us things we need to know but don’t really have time to see play out.

Rather than actually pace the episode and try to set things up, Gatiss decided that we needed to rush through important information to get to promoting the Paternoster Gang.  Oh, yes, Anderson has much less to nitpick from a structural point of view.      

It also allows us to guess what’s going on before actually knowing what’s going on.

It also allows us to guess what's going on before actually knowing what's going on.  It's not like audiences need to follow a 'plot'. 

I loved director Saul Metzstein’s choice to make this sequence look like an old film strip, complete with popping and flickering sepia tones.

That is because the audience can't be trusted to figure out we're in Victorian times and we have to have these little gimmicks

There are some terrific little jokes in there, not the least of which being, upon Clara’s acknowledgement that they don’t always go where they set out to go, the Doctor saying it took him ages to get a “Gobby Australian to Heathrow.” This was such an excellent reference to the Fifth Doctor’s rather ridiculously long attempt to take air hostess Tegan back to her job throughout the entirety of Season 19.

What I'd ever do to you, mate?

Personally, I don't see why Anderson gets his knickers in a twist over that story arc.  It's not like we haven't had some cringe-inducing ones on NuWho, right?  How many times has the Companion been OH SO IMPORTANT?  How many times has The Doctor COME TO DIE?  And you go off on Tegan?  

Also, the Doctor, in his Yorkshire accent, says “Trouble at mill,” which is almost surely a reference to the opening line of Monty Python‘s famous “Spanish Inquisition” sketch.

Given Doctor Who has become a joke, one wonders why Gatiss would quote from the Spanish Inquisition sketch (though I confess I didn't think of it at the time).   

One joke that I did not like at all was the “Thomas Thomas” kid. I don’t know why that was in there, save the “oh, ha ha” moment, and really took me out of the story for a moment.

It's not funny if you have to explain it. Explain it though, I will.  Thomas Thomas was a joke about the TomTom GPS used in Europe.  Get it: Thomas Thomas was giving Strax directions like TomTom does now, and instead of "Tom Tom", we get the formal "Thomas Thomas".  GROAN! 

It's odd that for a show that people say caters to Americans, whoever heard of TomTom here in the States?  Even if I had gotten the joke, I wouldn't have had "oh, ha ha" moment, more like a "OH DEAR SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY" moment.

I think the idea of turning people into, essentially, living stuffed critters, complete with glass cases, is very creepy.

I scare easy.

Leave it to Gatiss to employ something so insidious for his story.

Leave it to Gatiss to employ something so idiotic for his story.

While the revelation that Mr. Sweet is actually a parasitic creature that secretes paralyzing venom from the Jurassic period is a bit silly, it was explained well enough within the confines of the story.

How they built a rocket ship is totally beyond me, but that, oddly, is something I can overlook.

Oh, my dear Kyle...I get the sense you can overlook a great deal...provided the price is right. Now, is it me, or is that plot exactly like that of the James Bond film Moonraker (which I, Rick Aragon, openly admit to liking.  Guilty pleasure.  No shame)?

Gatiss has the tendency to put too much story into his episodes, thus necessitating the need to move too quickly through resolution.

Gatiss has no editor to trim the fact off his stories.  Therefore, he puts in a lot of set-up leaving no time for resolution (or at least a coherent resolution). 

His setups are almost always amazing, but they fall apart due to lack of time. If each Doctor Who episode were the length of a Sherlock episode, I think he’d be much more at home.

How I long for Wholock (logic be damned).  If maybe he had a two-part story, or maybe if a story were the length of rubbish like Genesis of the Daleks or Caves of Androzani, you know, something B.M.: Before Moffat, we could have something.  However, no one watches that old stuff because it doesn't allow for catchphrases. 

That being said, “The Crimson Horror” gets around a great deal of that, partially through the flashback portion and partially because of not having extraneous characters.

That being said, "The Crimson Horror" gets a around a great deal of that, partially through nonsense and partially because of not having extraneous characters like The Doctor or Clara be a big part of this.

Ada is a great character, and her plight is very relatable.

Kyle Anderson is blind to any faults in Doctor Who, only unlike Ada, his blindness is willful.

Her mother is a nutter and does eventually just become a frothing Bond villain,

Hugo Drax from Moonraker.
His master plan was to kill people on Earth and 
launch spaceships w/a 'master race' to repopulate it.
Glad to know Gatiss is highly original.

but Rigg plays it so well, it doesn’t bug me very much.

Dame Diana Rigg did what she could and played her part so well, though it doesn't bug me very much that an old woman can get tossed off a flight of stairs and still be able to monologue...or have a big red leech sucking on her tit.   

I never dislike seeing Vastra, Jenny, and Strax and it was great to see them take point for the first act of the story, though they do sort of fade away toward the end.

This episode of The Lizard & The Lady got bogged down by the unnecessary character of The Doctor.  What was HE doing on this show, anyway? 

The lack of a spinoff (like Torchwood or Sarah Jane Adventures) this year is lamentable, and I will again state how much I would adore watching a show with those three. Love them to pieces, I do.

Scissor-Sister Indeed.
Prime-Time Family Viewing At Its Finest.

The ending of this episode… Hmm. I’m not particularly looking forward to the kids Clara nannies being part of the next story, and possibly more.

I already know that the next episode is going to suck because these kids are so annoying.

I actually rather liked having a companion whose family dynamic was never really much of the narrative, save the Doctor learning about her folks. Having the two kids find weirdly Photoshopped pictures of Clara and the Doctor (taken when they couldn’t possibly have been) and confront her about it seems out of place. Who needs them?

GREAT!  We're going to be saddled with these meddlesome kids for next week.  Who needs them?  Also, where exactly did these kids get photos taken from a secret Soviet sub?  I know a lot was revealed at the end of the Cold War, but really, with a giant Ice Warrior pounding away, someone was going to run around saying "Cheese"? 
That scene was almost surely a Moffat addition, so I’ll refrain from talking about it too much.

That, my friends, is as close as Kyle Anderson will EVER get to criticizing Steven Moffat.  Let us treasure this very rare moment. 

Suffice to say, “The Crimson Horror” is easily my favorite Gatiss story since “The Unquiet Dead,” and he has more or less redeemed himself for the conceptually fantastic but narratively flawed “Cold War.”

The same "Cold War" that you'd watch again, right?  Is it me, or is there something flat-out odd about watching something that is 'narratively flawed'? 

It’s not a perfect script by any means, but it’s a great deal of fun and has amazing elements to it. This makes me very pleased. More stories like this, please, Mr. Gatiss!

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!
Next week, we have Neil Gaiman’s return story, “Nightmare in Silver,” which sees the return of the proper universe Cybermen and takes place in a creepy-ass theme park. It’s directed by Stephen Woolfenden, who doesn’t have many directing credits, but was the second-unit director on the last three Harry Potter films as well as the first assistant director on the TV adaptation of Gaiman’s Neverwhere.Also, Warwick Davis is in it! How cool!

Next week, we have Neil Gaiman's return story, "Nightmare in Silver," which I PRAY will be better than this Victorian freak show.  It's being directed by someone who worked on the last three Harry Potter films and who knows Gaiman personally.  Also, the guy from Willow is in it!  Well, with credits like THOSE...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Lost Boy of The Doctor


You foolish Whovians. Who has bewitched you?  Perhaps that is apropos given that the second part of this two-part story is titled The Witch's Familiar.  However, that's for another time.  Right now we are discussing The Magician's Apprentice, the ninth season/series opening episode of Doctor Who.  A lot of people, even Classic Whovians (for the record, I don't find the term offensive or horrible), are in thrall of The Magician's Apprentice.  OLD SCHOOL DALEKS!  TOM BAKER (VIA ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE)!  DAVROS!

However, it takes more than a few nods to the past to get me pumped up and forget that I'm watching something that leaves much to be desired. 

There's a war going on, and in that war is a little boy trapped on the battlefield.  He finds himself trapped in a hand-mine field (a field where hands with eyes on the palms reach out from the ground and drag you down).  In comes The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) who offers to help the boy, even throwing him his sonic screwdriver to help him out of this dangerous situation.  The Doctor asks the boy his name. 

It is Davros, who will create the Daleks, the greatest Doctor Who antagonists of all.

The Doctor disappears, and he disappears for quiet a bit of The Magician's Apprentice.  In the interim, a snake-like being named Colony Sarff (Jamie Reed-Quarrel) is now searching for "THE DOC-TORR", with the cryptic message, "Davros knows.  Davros remembers".  Still, the Doctor cannot be found.  Davros, dying, tells his Boba Fett to go seek the Doctor's friends.

We then go to present-day Earth, where the Doctor's part-time Companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) spots something strange in the air during her class (where she tells her students that Jane Austen was a great kisser...obligatory gay reference, check).  The planes are all frozen in the air, the pilots incommunicado.   Clara rushes to UNIT HQ, where for reasons the story doesn't state Clara, public school teacher, gives orders to UNIT head Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) who does as she's told.

One thing Kate doesn't do is mention who her father is, so perhaps that deserves a point in itself.

I ain't Missy you at all...

Anyway, the maker of all this mischief is Missy (Michelle Gomez).  I honestly don't know whether to refer to Missy as a transgender version of The Master, but in any case, there she is, taunting UNIT (complete with a 'boing' sound effect when her head digitally pops out from the screen).  Missy tells them she wants Clara to meet with Missy somewhere.

In a little plaza Missy tells Clara that Missy has possession of The Doctor's Confession Dial, the Time Lord equivalent of a last will and testament.  Of course Missy would have it, since Missy is the Doctor's best friend (never mind that the Third Doctor referred to The Master as "my greatest enemy" in Terror of the Autons if memory serves correct). This dial was given to Missy on the eve of the Doctor's final day. Missy now needs Clara's help in finding The Doctor, and with a little help from UNIT, track him to 1138 A.D.

Ah, ye olde England (in a rarity, they opted for a time period in British history that wasn't either Victorian or the Blitz).  The Doctor is going to do battle with ax-man/follower Bors (Daniel Hoffman-Gill), but he's going to do it his way.  That way is to enter the arena on a tank while shredding some mean electric guitar.  The Doctor is in a particularly frenetic turn: not only does it not bother him that there's a tank in medieval Britain, but he's managed to introduce the word 'dude' into the lexicon.  Well, wouldn't you know it: Colony Sarff finds the Doctor by following Missy & Clara, and now demands that the Doctor return with him to meet Davros one more time.  The Doctor declaring Davros his greatest enemy takes Missy by surprise, and despite his insistence Missy and Clara insist on going with the Doctor and Colony Sarff.

Missy and Clara are locked up, and the Doctor meets a dying Davros (Julian Bleach).  He reminds the Doctor that he left Davros to die on that field, and insists that the Doctor admit that compassion is wrong.  Missy and Clara, and the Doctor who is watching them, discover they are not on a space station, but on Skaro, the lost-and-found-and-lost-and-refound Dalek homeworld.  Missy attempts to bargain with the Daleks, saying Missy could be of great help in using the Doctor's TARDIS (which they have procured from their agent Bors, a Dalek clone) rather than destroy the TARDIS.  No dice: Missy is 'exterminated'.  So is Clara, and the Doctor somehow ends up back at the hand-minefield.  Little Davros asks if he's going to rescue him.  No, says the Doctor.  He's come to 'exterminate'.

Reflecting audience attitude...
After watching The Magician's Apprentice, a few words came to mind.


I am going to be quite clear here to all those insisting The Magician's Apprentice is some sort of television miracle.


The Doctor is dying...again.  Wasn't the whole of Season/Series Six all about how the Doctor was going to die at Lake Silencio? Then there was Season/Series Seven, all about how the Doctor was going to die on Trenzalore. Now, I'm suppose to believe that The Doctor is going to face his mortality yet again.

He's now going to really, REALLY die because he gave his Confession Dial to Missy, which I guess means that when he was going to die at Lake Silencio he knew he wasn't going to die, and when he was at Trenzalore he knew he wasn't going to die there either.  After all, this Confession Dial didn't play a part in either of his previous deaths.

Then there's the issue of Missy and Clara getting exterminated.  Call me cynical, but by now death on Doctor Who is such a non-event that there simply is no sadness, no excitement, no suspense...nothing, really.  It's now rote, routine, repetitive.  Death is a joke on Doctor Who.  My Rory Williams Death Count has him dying SEVEN times. 

And for the record, it isn't just Steven Moffat who once again rewrites Doctor Who Canon to suit his own ideas (and suggests that he thinks he invented it all).  Death (And How to Avoid It) was present in the Russell T Davies era.  It just didn't become a full-on comedy routine (and a tired one at that) until Moffat got to over (show) run Doctor Who.

Take a look at the exchange between Clara and Missy.  Missy bitchily asks Clara if her boyfriend is still dead.  Clara tells her coldly that her boyfriend (Danny Pink) is still dead. 

As a side note, I tweeted to my favorite bete noire, Kyle Anderson of The Nerdist, about how Orson Pink being possible if Danny was killed off in Dark Water/Death in Heaven.  Here's the exchange:

Kyle Anderson (@FunctionalNerd): I showed my girlfriend "Listen" in anticipation for the Fathom Event this week. Her first words after it was over: "That was confusing."
My Reply: @FunctionalNerd: If Orson Pink is Clara/Danny descendant, how's that possible since Danny's dead & we've no sign Clara's pregnant?
His response to me: @RXCafeTX: Time can be rewritten. Or Danny isn't dead. Or Orson isn't Danny and Clara's descendant. Lots of things.

Sorry, oh Analytical Critic Anderson.  Danny is Most Sincerely Dead.  Either that, or we're going to come up with something more outlandish (like another Twitter suggestion that Orson isn't Danny & Clara's descendant, but THE DOCTOR'S!  Oh sure, why not...anything goes). 

One last point on death.  I note with disgust that Missy is back, and Missy is not dead 'because death is for other people'.  I think that's as close to an explanation as to how Missy bounded back for another go-round.  Given it's Moffat, perhaps we should be thrilled that we got something of a rationale to the irrational.
Well, as it stands this "Death Is NOT The Final Answer" bit has gotten just so awfully trite and dull.  However, there's something else in The Magician's Apprentice that made me think, "Hold on, I'm not buying this".


It has to do with the sonic screwdriver.  Let's just go along with Moffat's plot and say, Little Davros had himself a sonic screwdriver ALL THESE CENTURIES.  Am I suppose to believe that not once did he ever try to figure out what this thing this old guy gave him was?  Davros has had quite a few encounters with The Doctor, and my Spidey-sense tells me that Davros must have known of The Doctor's sonic screwdriver.  I know that one grows more senile as they get older, but somehow, the idea that Davros, brilliant mad scientist, had this sonic screwdriver just lying about and only now, as he lays dying, does he put two and two together is really just stupid.

His curiosity about the strange object that allowed him to escape the hand-minefield must have overtaken him at one point or another in his long existence.  Therefore, this whole "I've had this in my attic and only now do I remember that the Doctor brought me to this state" plotline is just so inept that it makes me wonder why so many people think it's brilliant.

Also, I kept wondering why at the conclusion of the episode The Doctor wouldn't rather attempt to reform Davros into a good being rather than the evil figure he grew to.  Why run off if you have a golden opportunity to save Davros and train him in the right way? 

Just a thought.

There was just so much wrong with The Magician's Apprentice apart from the overall story.  Granted, at least even those who loved it concede that the "Doctor Hendrix" moment was embarrassing.  It takes away from whatever seriousness we're asked to give the episode if your main character is so willing to make a fool out of himself.  Whom was he playing Oh, Pretty Woman to, I wonder (and shudder)? Another awful thing is Murray Gold's penchant for overscoring.  My goodness, does he get instructions to fill EVERY SINGLE MOMENT with music?  I've heard operas that have less music in them than the typical Doctor Who episode.

And before I forget...that damn "BOING" sound effect when Missy's head pops out.  NO, NO, NO.  That was bad, kids.  Just bad in every way possible.  Moffat and director Hettie MacDonald should be taken to task for such idiotic blundering.

Now, let's go into the few good things in The Magician's Apprentice.  First, Peter Capaldi.  One knows he is so above the material, but he gives it his all to convey the anger and sadness and almost devil-may-care attitude of a man re-facing death.  I thought that by the end, he couldn't muster enough interest to keep me interested.  Bleach was excellent as Davros (though I sometimes found him hard to understand).  As illegitimate as I consider the whole concept of Missy, Gomez is committed to making Missy into a full-on crazy-ass...

Coleman still makes for the most blank and uninteresting Companion (and given her competition, that says enough).  Her performance is already bad, but again, why is CLARA OSWALD in charge of UNIT?

One thing I did like that apparently most didn't was Colony Sarff.  Yes, his speaking came across as a parody of a Doctor Who villain, but apart from that I thought the Snake-Man visually was well-done and a good idea.  I admit that when he came apart, I was surprised.

As this is a two-part story, I can't give a full score until next week.  However, for this part, I, like my bete noire Kyle Anderson, am a bit of a broken record.  He with his enthusiastic praise, me with unenthusiastic disdain.  We've seen all this before, and after finishing The Magician's Apprentice, I can say that I really don't care what happens next.  I just don't.

As the Great Oscar-Winner Bob Dylan said, "I used to care, but Things Have Changed". Steven Moffat has changed them, but about the only thing he doesn't change is his writing.   If it's broke, why fix it?


Next Episode: Davros' Revenge Parts 1 & 2 (The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved. I don't mean liked. I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time. It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode. I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things. I mean give a bona-fide negative review. Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express). Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night.

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required. I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut. What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying. I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 25 of The Nerdist as Whore: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. My 'translations' are in red.

In 1978, there was a six-part Doctor Who story featuring the Fourth Doctor called “The Invasion of Time,” in which the final two episodes took place within the bowels of the TARDIS itself, which was really shot in a disused hospital.

Is it me, or is there something just a bit odd in saying that there is a Doctor Who 'featuring' the Fourth Doctor?  I mean, he's the main character.  You'd think he'd be more than 'featured'. Also, while it's nice to be told the actual location shoot for The Invasion of Time, are such details really necessary?  Or is Anderson just showing off how much he got out of Wikipedia?  Just a thought.

Since then, while portions of the ship’s massive interior have been seen or mentioned, the full impact of what’s actually inside the Doctor’s space and time machine had yet to be visualized, until this week, of course.

Of course.

Steve Thompson’s “Journey to the Center (or Centre) of the TARDIS” did exactly what it said on the tin, and even gave voice to some of Clara’s (and the audience’s) concerns or confusion about what might be going on.

It was full of wonder, mystery, suspense, and awe.

It was full of crap, nonsense, idiocy, and shocking ineptitude.

More than a few times I said “holy shit!” out loud to the nobody in my apartment with me. Is this the same guy who wrote “Curse of the Black Spot?”

More than a few times I said, "Oh, Sweet Mother of Mercy!".  I can't believe the same guy who wrote "Curse of the Black Spot" was given ANOTHER Doctor Who script.   In answer to your query, yes, I CAN believe it was the same guy, because both stories were CRAP!   

This episode is absolutely wonderful.

This review is absolutely disgusting.  I seriously question whether Anderson was drunk when a.) he watched Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, b.) he reviewed it, and c.) now.  I might go so far as to question his sanity, but why beat a dead horse?

There’s so much going on for something that’s essentially limited to one location (albeit an infinite one).

It's rushed, like a lot of Doctor Who episodes nowadays, even if it takes place essentially in one location.

We learn a lot about what kinds of things are in the TARDIS, we learn a little about the Doctor before it gets bled from Clara’s memory, there are monsters that are explained incredibly well,

there is a family drama (which is probably the weakest link in the episode),

Semi-broken clock: while the family drama was a really weak part of the episode, by no means was it the worst part.  Want a hint about what really WAS the worst part?  Well, try this on for size...

Without finishing Anderson's review, do you think he'll mention the "Big Friendly Button" and how stupid that all was?  Let's find out...

and we finally, again, get to see the swimming pool, which has been spoken about forever and was only seen once in the aforementioned “Invasion of Time.” This is an episode written by someone who clearly loves and respects the history of the show, but also knows how to weave drama specific to the current regime.

This is turning out to be not just Anderson's most lap-doggish review, but also his most laugh-inducing.  Even I, long a critic of Kyle Anderson AS critic (analytical critic's mind my tuckus), am aghast at how thick he pours it on for this one.   

I’d expected a lot of references, but I didn’t expect so much revelation.

I'd expected a good episode, but I didn't expect that Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS could be demanding a place among the Worst Doctor Who Episodes of All Time.

While trying to get the TARDIS and Clara to get along, the Doctor puts the ship in basic mode, which leaves it wide open to a trio of scrap dealers to try to salvage. This does not do the TARDIS any favors and causes a pretty catastrophic engine leak. Clara gets lost somewhere in the ship and the Doctor tricks the three junkers into helping him find her. There are also very creepy ash-covered people with red eyes, you know, in case things weren’t tense enough.

As Clara makes her way from room to room, she passes an observatory and the pool before hiding in the massive library.

Maybe, if Clara ever bothered to stay on the TARDIS full-time rather than just get dropped off at the end of every adventure, she'd have time to wander around the TARDIS.  Given she hasn't bothered to do so, I wonder whether she even cares to see anything of the TARDIS outside the console.  No wonder the TARDIS doesn't like her. 

In this library are volumes of the “Encyclopaedia Gallifreya” as well as a book about the Time War. Yeah. Just a book containing everything we’ve ever wanted to know about the most catastrophic event in the entire Doctor Who universe. Clara seems to have found something of interest (she says, “So that’s who,” which probably refers to the Doctor’s name which she later claims to have learned), but she gets distracted by impending death.

OK, let's stop here for just a moment.  So in this massive library, Clara conveniently finds the Encyclopedia Gallifreya and The History of The Time War. Given that the Doctor is the only known survivor of the Time War (at great personal cost, I might add), who actually wrote this tome?  Who could verify the facts about this war if there are no witnesses save The Doctor (and as far as I know, he's not granting interviews)?  If the Doctor's name is such a big mystery that he entrusts it to only River Song (Rassilon knows theory, the sexual techniques she learned in a Chinese brothel), who else would be privy to this information to include it in a book that I figure has been published in many worlds?  It isn't like there is only one copy of The History of The Time War, is there?  If there isn't, then somebody, somewhere, not only knows The Doctor's name, but actually wrote it into a book that would be seen by perhaps millions of beings.  Further, given the Doctor has a copy of this book, why would he so willingly let a book that contains his greatest secret exist out there?  

I'm not for book-burning, but why would he not take any steps from stopping this information to leak out? Now, if The History of the Time War wasn't written by someone else (say, Professor Song), then the Doctor himself wrote it, or at the very least, agreed to be part of it.  I can see it now, "Oh, let me include in a book anyone can get their hands on, my greatest secret: my name, for all to read".

Leaving aside the convenience of Clara finding that information so quickly, why do we have to have another "Doctor Who"? joke in this.  If no one thinks "So that's who?" isn't a pun, then that person just isn't paying attention.    

The Doctor and the scrappers also come across a room with the various circuitries that the TARDIS has at her disposal to make anything mechanical. This proves too enticing to pass up for the leader and most reprehensible of the scrapping brothers (who makes their little brother think he’s a machine for fun!?!? What a wanker!) and he takes a piece of it. The TARDIS responds by creating a labyrinth that not even the Doctor can get through.

There are so many great concepts in this story.

Among them, a human too stupid to not know he wasn't a robot and the Big Friendly Button that serves as the most obscene deus ex machina in Doctor Who history. 

One being that the Doctor and Clara are in the same space but slightly off in terms of time, like a light switch. Another is the way time overlaps itself the closer they get to the leak.

Timey-wimey, timey-wimey, timey-wimey...

They see echoes of what they’ve done and, we later find out, echoes of what hasn’t happened yet.

The Ghosts of Doctors Past and Future.

We also get to see the Eye of Harmony itself, which gives the TARDIS its time travel power. It is pretty amazing. A quantum-locked sun nearly going supernova; it’s really a wonder they don’t burn up immediately.

Finally, the biggest and best surprise to me in this episode is that the Doctor finally confronts Clara with what he knows about her.

Well, they had to justify the running time somehow.

It was bound to occur sooner or later, but honestly, I had expected later. She’s very confused but doesn’t get bent out of shape or too freaked out about it. In fact, when the Doctor says once everything is back to normal that she’ll probably forget everything, she expresses how much she’d rather that not happen. She’s such an interesting, well-rounded, and complex character.

I feel like Clara is a real person, albeit a mysterious one, and not just a personality with plot attached like I sometimes felt Amy was.

This is of course assuming that Amy or Clara had personalities to begin with.  And as for the idea that Clara, "The Impossible Girl" is not a plot device, oh, perish the THOUGHT!  Wherever did you get an idea like THAT, Kyle?

And, to be a broken record yet again, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith are the best.

And, to be a pathetic ass-licker yet again, I masturbate to Jenna-Louise Coleman.  Anderson might masturbate to Matt Smith for all I know, but I'm not one to judge.  After all, in the history of Doctor Who, there has never been a Doctor/Companion team that has worked as well as Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. 


The. Frigging. Best. I’m constantly impressed by how well they play off each other.

Yes, Smith and Coleman are The. Frigging.  Best.  We've never been impressed by another Doctor/Companion team, ever.

I hope Clara sticks around for a good long while.

I hope Clara continues to be the center of my sex fantasies.

I really don’t know what to make of Steve Thompson as a writer.

I do: pretty crappy.

So far, between this show and Sherlock, he’s written four episodes that have aired. He wrote “The Blind Banker” in series one of Sherlock, which is fine, but is easily the weak link of those three episodes.

You forgot to mention, 'racist', Kyle.  Racist.  Unless you think Asians really are like that in real life: all heavily-accented 'dragon lady' spies or delightful victims. 

Next, he wrote “The Curse of the Black Spot,” which was boring, poorly paced, and obvious.

"Back to the matter at hand, “The Curse of the Black Spot” felt very much like a diversion, probably purposely so.  It certainly was not a bad episode, in fact I even enjoyed watching it on second viewing, but it was kind of just a bit of fluff to hold us over until next week when we get to see Neil Gaiman’s episode, something I’ve been looking forward to for two years now."

Direct quote from Anderson's own review for The Curse of the Black Spot.

Google Never Forgets, Kyle.  Amazing, ain't it?  An episode he 'enjoyed watching on a second viewing' now is 'boring, poorly paced, and obvious'.   

If Series 6 of Doctor Who represents Moffat’s weakest year so far (which I think it does), then that episode is the weakest of that.

Sorry to disagree here, kid, but didn't Series 6 also have Closing Time in the mix?  You really think Curse of the Black Spot was worse than "I blew 'em up with love"?

Then, Thompson turned it way around for “The Reichenbach Fall,” which ended the second series of Sherlock, and which was absolutely excellent.

The Reichenbach Fall was rubbish from start to finish.  I know it got a lot of praise, but that damn thing has so many plot holes and idiotic turns it makes my head spin to think how people can go on about it being so brilliant.

Now he writes this, about which I can’t say enough good things.

Now he writes this, about which I can't get paid fast enough to say good things about. 

You’re baffling, Mr. Thompson. I don’t really know what to make of you.

I may not get Mr. Thompson, but I know exactly what to make of you, Mr. Anderson.

You're a tool.
You're a fraud.
You're a sycophant.
You're a disgrace to real reviewers/critics.
You're a hopeless, shameless lackey.

All of which I don't mind, really, so long as you're up-front about it.

So very much to chew on in this episode, but overall, I loved it.
SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

The direction by Who newcomer Mat King was excellent and made the various hallway sets feel like they were part of a massive network of corridors in an infinite ship. The look of the exploding engine room was also very spooky and cool. Really, the only thing I didn’t think worked was the relationship story of the three brothers.

Oh, THAT didn't work, but the Big Friendly Button did?

It wasn’t awful, it just didn’t need to be there, especially when there was so much else going on in the episode. I’d have been perfectly happy if they didn’t have the brother-is-a-not-android storyline.

I'd have been perfectly happy if they didn't broadcast this episode altogether, but we can't always get what we want.

Minor nitpick, though. Otherwise, great job, everyone!

About the only nitpicks you know.  Otherwise, lousy job, Anderson!

I could also talk about all of the many references to things, but the BBC has gone ahead and listed them all very nicely for you.

Next week, we go back to Victoriana with Mark Gatiss’ “The Crimson Horror,” featuring Strax, Jenny, and Vastra as well as guest stars Diana Rigg and her real-life daughter Rachael Stirling.

Oh, damn...ANOTHER story where the Paternoster Gang is shoehorned in because Doctor Who can't find anything else to do.  Now they have to drag TWO generations into this, including Dame Diana Rigg. 

Mr. Gatiss loves gothic horror,

I would have thought he'd prefer emo, but that's for another time...

so what I hope we get from him is a story with limited plot contrivances.

He has director Saul Metzstein, who’s done a lot of great episodes this series, at the helm, so it could definitely be a cracker.

I bet Kyle Anderson will give The Crimson Horror another positive review, bringing a total of 21 or 22 out of 26 positive reviews.  Let's leave aside that most reviews for Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS were negative.  We can almost always trust our buddy Kyle to be ebullient...or drunk...or insane...or handsomely paid-off...or maybe a combination of all of them. 

And the answer to our question: NO, he never did mention the Big Friendly Button.
Wonder why...   

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: Hide

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved.  I don't mean liked.  I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time.  It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode.  I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things.  I mean give a bona-fide negative review.  Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express).  Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required.  I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut.  What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying.  I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 24 of The Nerdist as Whore: Hide.  My 'translations' are in red.

The last two Doctor Who episodes were a bit conflicting.

The last two Doctor Who episodes were a bit convoluted.

While I enjoyed “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Cold War,” there were huge gaps in logic and massive plot conveniences that kept me from loving them, despite the elements that worked.

While I was paid to promote "The Rings of Akhaten" and "Cold War", even I think they were so dumb, with huge gaps in logic and massive plot contrivances that kept me from being honest about how terrible Doctor Who has gotten.  Still, since I'm record as thinking that an episode not having a plot is not necessarily a bad thing, I'm not about to bite the hand that feeds me. 

As this week’s episode, “Hide,” was written by “Rings” writer Neil Cross, and that he’d actually written this one first, I was cautiously optimistic that a good, old fashioned ghost story episode would be just what we needed. As it turned out, I didn’t need to be that cautious.

As this week's episode, "Hide," was written by "Rings" writer Neil Cross, and that he'd actually written this one first, I was cautiously optimistic that it might be better than what his first (or is it second?) go-round.  As it turned out, I am eternally optimistic...and well-paid by the BBC.

“Hide” was a beautiful episode in every category and gave a very sci-fi reason for a very Gothic phenomenon.

It employed elements of The Haunting, Evil Dead, and the excellent time travel series Sapphire & Steel, and gave us an episode that was poignant and exciting. There really is nothing like the high you get from watching a good story told well.

It ripped off The Haunting, Evil Dead, and Sapphire and Steel, which I confess to never having heard of, and gave us same-old, same-old.   Personally, I thought it ripped off Poltergeist, but maybe Anderson hasn't gotten around to seeing that one. There really is nothing like the high you get from whoring yourself out to Steven Moffat and Chris Hardwick.     

A haunted house in the ‘70s with a psychic girl and a middle-aged scientist with gadgetry trying to prove the existence of ghosts? How many horror movies have there been like that?

Let's see how many times Hide can rip off something from something else, like how The Phantom Menace ripped off the chariot race from Ben-Hur.  Oh, sorry, it was an 'homage'...

It’s a scene which immediately evokes films like The Legend of Hell House and The Stone Tape, which was written by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale.

I'll take his word for it, since I've never heard of The Legend of Hell House or The Stone Tape.  Do they have a Criterion Collection edition? Therefore, it doesn't immediately evoke anything, except perhaps a tinge of sadness to see how Doctor Who is sinking, and how Anderson shills for a song...

In fact, this story had a lot of Quatermass elements in it as well. We immediately get the relationship between the young psychic Emma (Jessica Raine) and the weathered Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott). There’s a lot to be said for economy when introducing the guest cast, and as so much of the story focuses on them and the way they interact, it’s important to get that out of the way as quickly as possible.

As we don't get a great deal of the guest stars in Hide, might as well introduce them and pretty much forget to develop them much during the episode.

They were both terrific.

Broken clock time...

I loved the back-story of the professor being a spy in WWII and feeling immense guilt for having sent people to their deaths. It explains his resistance to getting close to Emma, or anyone.


Fun fact: Jessica Raine will be playing producer Verity Lambert in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time this November. After seeing her in “Hide,” I think she’s an excellent choice.

Fun fact: I'm going to take this opportunity to promote another program which I'll declare a masterpiece sight unseen.

The Doctor is also quite the liar in this story, pretending to be from the Ministry to get involved in the ghost hunting (or “busting,” as Clara called it).

...because he couldn't come up with another way to get involved (which curiously has never stopped him from getting involved in things before, but I digress).  I forget...The Doctor Lies.

I love episodes where the Doctor knows what’s going on but doesn’t tell anyone until the time is right. I also miss those episodes where he just saunters in and people believe him, or at least think he’s not a crazy person.

I love episodes where the Doctor is an idiot.  I also miss those episodes where he actually does something sensible and solves problems logically, not through timey-wimey. 

He seems to know right away about the ghost and figures out pretty quickly that it’s a caught time traveler. This is very in keeping with the spirit of Doctor Who, which is that there’s always a scientific explanation for the supernatural.

How exactly he knows we aren't sure, but that's irrelevant.  My question is, does this spirit of Doctor Who also have us believe that the Doctor would go to a psychic to get answers about Clara?  Seems rather unscientific to me.

And isn’t it just like the show to immediately turn the scary thing into someone who needs help from another scary thing, and then to turn the second scary thing into something else that needs help?

And isn't it just like the show to get repetitive with its tropes?  Seriously, we get yet another "the monster is not really a monster, just a creature who wants a hug" bit.  And while I can't remember, is this monster "the last of his kind"?  

It’s pretty ingenious, and quite effective.

It's pretty pathetic, and quite dull.  Then again, Kyle Anderson probably would think spoiled milk was brilliant if it had Doctor Who stamped on it.

There’s some absolutely great stuff going on between the Doctor and Clara in this one.

“Hide” was the first episode Jenna-Louise Coleman filmed as Clara (after being Oswin and Victorian Clara), and it’s astonishing how well she understood the character at that early stage.

Clara is a boring, one-dimensional character.  What's so hard to understand about that?!

Clara has such a sense of adventure (as in the moment when she tells the Doctor to dare her to go into the dark hallway), but is also very sensitive to things.

Clara has such a sense of adventure...she gets dropped off home at the end of almost every story rather than just travelling on with the Doctor from Adventure A to Adventure B.  She may be the first part-time Companion.

The exchange regarding the Doctor being cavalier about seeing the Earth being born and dying and not flinching is particularly good. I also like how the TARDIS isn’t taking to her very quickly, or at least being more outwardly snide toward her than to the other companions.

Reflecting general Whovian thinking. 

This likely has something to do with her being somehow outside time, or messy within it; Remember how the TARDIS reacted to Captain Jack in “Utopia.”

Little technical thing here: you don't capitalize a word after a semicolon; in fact, the semicolon signals a new sentence despite a lowercase word.  And in answer to your query, no, I don't remember Utopia because I haven't seen it yet.  I boycotted Doctor Who from Fear Her to The End of Time due to just how awful Love & Monsters was.  Little did I know...

With next week’s story being about her lost in the TARDIS, I’d bet some stuff will happen there.

At the risk of sounding like a Whimsical Dandy (the term I’ve made up for someone whose tastes change depending on whatever’s newest… use it with your friends), I think Clara might be my favorite new series companion, bar none.

At the risk of sounding like a sycophant (the term created for someone who goes along with anything his master says), I think he doth protest too much regarding Clara.

Quoth the Anderson, "I adore Jenna-Louise Coleman.  She is the absolutely perfect Companion." (Rings of Akhaten).

Quoth the Anderson, "I don't think I've liked a Companion this immediately in...ever. She's absolutely fantastic." (The Snowmen)

Quoth the Anderson, "Having never seen her was very refreshing and exciting to know she's so great this early." (Asylum of the Daleks).

Somehow, I get the sense Clara was his favorite new series Companion...since the last new series Companion, who happened to be his favorite new series Companion...since the last new series Companion, who happened to be his favorite new series Companion...since the last new series Companion...

The direction, by Jamie Payne, a newcomer to the series, is terrific. He gives “Hide” the required creepiness and knows all about contemporary period drama, having directed episodes of Ashes to Ashes and The Hour. Manor houses are inherently creepy, but Payne is able to up this quite a bit.

Broken clock...if anything, Hide did know the conventions of Gothic horror and used them to full advantage.

The sudden flashes of either the “ghost” or the “boogeyman” are quite effective and very chilling. I’m especially reminded of a shot where the Professor and Emma are standing at the window and there’s a blink of light and we can see for an instant that the “ghost” is standing right behind them. There’s another of a hallway and a sudden glimpse of the weird thing, called in the credits “The Crooked Man,” though I suppose this one was “The Crooked Lady,” which made me say “Whoa! What the fuck was that?” to the nobody in my house.

The alternate universe was also very well realized, it falling apart due to entropy, and the misty forest was sufficiently ominous, doubly so when the creepy whisper-laugh was added.

This episode also had references to old Doctor Who, which made the fanboys-and-girls happy I’m sure.

Guess again, Kyle.

One was the Doctor wondering what became of the hat rack after the TARDIS’ interior changed. He’s always got one, so it must be around there somewhere. The other, more prominent and one that will cause the most controversy, is the need for a blue crystal from Metebelis III. The Third Doctor retrieved a crystal from that planet in “The Green Death” and then had to give it back, the trauma from which ultimately led to his regenerating in “Planet of the Spiders.” Some people I’m sure will complain about him either not having one anymore or needing to go get it again, but probably more people will complain about the way Matt Smith pronounced it.

Seriously, you think fans will get hung-up over pronunciation, but NOT over plot holes, contradictions in Canon, or that repulsive River Song?  THAT won't cause controversy?  The fact that this was thrown in JUST to have a nod to Classic Who and for no other reason somehow escapes you, don't it?

In the ‘70s, Jon Pertwee pronounced it “Meta-BE-lis,” where as Smith pronounced it “Meh-TEH-bel-is.” I’m a huge fan of the series, as we all know,

I’m a huge fan of the series, as we all know,

but I hope this isn’t a stick up everybody’s ass.

No, Anderson, this isn't a stick up everybody's ass.  YOU, on the other hand...

So he said it differently; so what? Tom Baker pronounced the Doctor’s homeworld “Galli-FREE” instead of “Galli-FRAY” and nobody seems to care too much.

Because Classic Who fans cared about plot, story, performances, not on trifles like you keep harping on about.

I adored this episode, easily my favorite of this half-series, and possibly for the whole series, but we’ll have to see about that.

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

It had everything I love about Doctor Who and did something different. Sure, the end went a little soft, but it never got stupid or implausible, which is truly commendable.

If you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go watch it again.
"It's an episode I'll definitely watch again." (Cold War).
"So, to sum up: very good episode, would watch again. +++++ (The Bells of Saint John).
"Until then, I'll probably watch The Snowmen a bunch more times." (The Snowmen).
"Probably Chibnall's best.  Not a great episode, but one I won't mind watching again when the DVDs come out." (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship).
“Night Terrors,” on the other hand, is one I probably will watch multiple times. (Night Terrors)

Do I sense a theme?
Next week, “Journey to the Center of the TARDIS” by Stephen Thompson and directed by Mat King. Get excited.

Gee, what the hell is wrong with Kyle Anderson?  How often does he end with how excited he gets over the next Doctor Who?  He gets as excited about that as he does about masturbating to Jenna-Louise Coleman.

"Very excited for it."  His reaction to the upcoming Hide from his Cold War review (and the last line from it).
"I am excite."  His reaction to the upcoming Cold War from his Rings of Akhaten review (and the last line from it).
I hope next week’s mid-series finale, “The Angels Take Manhattan,” can keep it up. From the looks of the trailer, we’re in for some scary-ass, sad-ass, exciting-ass television. Cannot wait." His reaction to the upcoming The Angels Take Manhattan from his The Power of Three review (and the last line from it).

It's getting to where spoofing Kyle Anderson's Doctor Who reviews is getting harder and harder, because Anderson does a good enough job of ridiculing himself without my help.