Empress of Mars - WNAR #113

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

'God save the Queen' has been scrawled on the surface of Mars. What are Victorians doing on the home of the Ice Warriors? And what will they find beneath the Martian soil?
 

The Good BitsAll those movie references

The Bad BitThe doctor's movie reference ‘frozen’

The whoniversal bit the design of the Victorian space suit.

The episode itself felt a pretty much a standalone piece of work, save for the return of Missy. It landed – after a pre-credits bit at NASA - the Doctor, Bill and Nardole land on Mars in 1881. Curiously, there’s a bunch of Victorian soldiers already there, complete with their stiff upper lips, their carry on chaps British accents, and a good dose of God Save The Queen.  I think Mark Gatiss and the production team have comfortably exceeded expectations, though. It’s hard not to get the flavour of a contained old-style Doctor Who adventures from it, not least because it’s a clash of very British characters against an alien foe. What other show on the planet does that?

 

Let's Do the News

Alan Cumming has revealed that he could have played The Doctor
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a830224/alan-cumming-doctor-who-rejection-russell-t-davies/

It's 10 actual years since Doctor Who scared us witless with the classic episode 'Blink'.
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a830391/doctor-who-blink-alternate-ending/

Russell T Davies has revealed he knows who's going to be taking over the TARDIS
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a830511/doctor-who-next-doctor-russell-t-davies-knows-peter-capaldi-successor-identity/

The Eaters Of Light. 
http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/doctor-who-series-10/37701/doctor-who-series-10-trailers-synopsis-clip-tease-episode-10

Are you a BBC radio iplayer user? 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b009szrh/episodes/guide

 

 

 

Lie of the Land - WNAR #112

Earth has been invaded and Bill is living alone, an isolated figure surviving in occupied Britain. The Doctor is imprisoned and appears to be on the side of the enemy, flooding the airwaves with fake news. Bill and Nardole must embark on a deadly mission to rescue the Doctor and lead the resistance against the new regime, whatever the cost.
 

The Good BitsEvil fake news Doctor was genuinely creepy

The Bad BitThe fake regeneration - lame

The whoniversal bitSome of the references were nice – especially the Magpie Electronics made me whoop a little.

I really like The Lie Of The Land, from the pen of Toby Whithouse, up to the fake regeneration. Up until then, there’s certainly lots to enjoy. Peter Capaldi’s quite creepy, different take on the Doctor, when we’re given the impression that he’s been brainwashed by the Monks is a lot of fun. We get less Nardole, although not for the first time, Matt Lucas wrings plenty out of the little screen time he gets. We get a true pervading sense of doom is built.

 

Let’s Do the News

The Paddington2 Trailer is out.
https://blogtorwho.com/trailer-first-look-paddington-2/
https://youtu.be/-RP3O7vLq3A

Ice Warriors find. 
https://blogtorwho.com/original-screen-used-ice-warrior-helmet-found/

Doctor Who Steelbook.
https://blogtorwho.com/pre-order-doctor-series-2-blu-ray-steelbook/

It looks like Doctor Who spin-off Class is no longer in session.
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a829899/doctor-who-spin-off-patrick-ness-wont-write-any-more-class/

Empress of Mars.
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a829876/doctor-who-empress-of-mars-series-10-episode-9-trailer-clip/

Eaters of Light
https://blogtorwho.com/doctor-s10-ep10-eaters-light-synopsis-date/

The Pyramid at the End of the World - WNAR #111

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

So as with all my reviews I will give the synopsis – what you mean that wasn’t the synopsis. The good bits, the bad bits. The most whoniversal bit and then my rambling musings.

An 'ancient' pyramid appears overnight. Every clock in the world begins counting down to the Earth's destruction. Three opposing armies lie ready to annihilate each other. An alien race stands ready to offer humanity a deal that could save them, but enslave them. It is a terrifying race against time to save the world. Will the Doctor be forced to accept their help?
 

The Good Bits – Bills date and its interruption from the UN

The Bad BitThe monks, humans are idiots and would recoil from such horrors, except these ones, and the doctors indifference to war

The whoniversal bit –

Two lab technicians, one hungover, one missing her reading glasses, are sleepwalking into the apocalypse, with a string of seemingly small moments threatening to unleash a biohazard that will wipe out the entire human race. After a pacey, impressive set up then, The Pyramid At The End Of The World admirably slows down to slide more things into place. The episode could quite easily have been the opening of a two-parter, as much the middle part of three. As things stand, I’m still not quite sure as to where Extremis fits in now, certainly to the degree that it seemed to a week ago. I get the story strands, and the computer simulation, but it took a whole episode to set up to that. And then The Pyramid At The End Of The Earth escalated the threat anyway, and made it a real one. The middle segment of this one I had a few quibbles with. I liked the impending sense of doom, which had a tinge of Torchwood: Children Of Earth to me. Also, as the biological threat escalated, I did make a mental note to dig out a copy of Steven Soderbergh’s thriller, Contagion, for a deserved rewatch. Furthermore, ticking Doomsday clocks are always fine fodder for building tension, and making clear the stakes. They proved to be so again. Doctor Who "brings it" once more with 'The Pyramid at the End of the World'. It's not a perfect episode – there's an occasional over-reliance on technobabble, with more than one problem solved by some nonsense tinkering, and while the Pyramid gimmick is attention-grabbing, it never really goes anywhere. (The Monks' craft could have been disguised as a Waitrose for all the difference it'd make to the plot.)

For the most part though, this is a smart and distinctive sci-fi tale, visually impressive and told with pace and heart.

 

And even if it's not perfect, well – it's not the end of the world.

 

Let’s Do the News

Those wags over at Digital Spy have ranked all the new Doctor who episodes. I am telling you just as a matter of course. I disagree with a lot of what they have said and advising you to avoid it at all costs.
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/feature/g24659/doctor-who-episodes-ranked/

Rachel Talalay will be directing the Doctor Who Christmas Special for 2017. 
https://blogtorwho.com/news-rachel-talalay-direct-2017-christmas-special/

Pearl Mackie and past time traveller Billie Piper have just been added to the growing guest list for the upcoming Wizard World convention in Philadelphia
https://blogtorwho.com/doctor-companions-past-present-head-wizard-world-philly/

Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a829504/hayley-atwell-rules-out-new-doctor-who-rumours-backs-phoebe-waller-bridge/