Sunday, 5 January 2014


Doctor Who
33x16 The Time of the Doctor [Christmas special; 2nd watch]

This definitely plays better second time round, I felt, when you're not racing to keep up with all the tiny little throwaway details and work out what the blazes is going on. It has some funny bits, some exciting bits, and most of all some emotional bits: the death of Handles, Clara's grandmother's anecdote, and, a little to my surprise, because I only felt it on second viewing, the Eleventh Doctor's final moments.

That said, it's still an almighty mess in other areas. Things we've been wondering about for years are "explained" with half a line of, "that theory you had? Yeah, that's probably it" -- or, to put it another way, not really explained at all. Kovarian & co blew up the TARDIS? OK, thought as much... but how? And when, exactly? And how was it stopped again? Then there was all the stuff in the episode itself, which was a flood of ideas rushed through without due weight or attention, at times.

And don't get me started on the 13th regeneration explanation. There was such potential for story there, and yet Moffat introduces it as a needless obstacle about halfway through, and then around 20 minutes later solves it with a hand wave. It didn't need to be resolved now, it could've waited -- could've waited for someone who had a decent story based around it -- but no, Moffat must manage and control Who's canon, and so he must engineer a way in which he can sort out the 12 regenerations limit a whole two lives early. Grr.

A mixed bag, then. Hopefully Capaldi's reign will signal a fresh start and a return to a more consistent high standard.

3x02 The Sign of Three

I enjoyed that a lot. Seems there were some complaints online about it going nowhere and being unfocused... but it all came together at the end, which is a lesson in watching something through rather than judging it based on the first 20 minutes. Morons. I imagine some will still have objected to the lighter-than-usual tone, but I thought it was both fun and funny, and had a clever reveal at the end too. Top stuff.

[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

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