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Doctor Who Caretaker Review

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What happens when a dangerous killing robotic alien is lurking in London’s East End and the Doctor decides to lead it to Coal Hill Secondary School? Oddly, not very much because most of the story is about Danny and Clara. Sure the Doctor sets some traps, that plans goes up in smoke, a new plan is made but most of the episode is spent on Clara not being able to cope with dating Danny and travelling with the Doctor.

Series 8 is a funny thing. I’ve been more entertained with this series than 6 and 7. I think the story structure has improved and I think, mostly, that the characters are more balanced. I still have issue with Clara and the way she treats Capaldi’s Doctor. He is too cool to be talked down to by her. But also, I find this series being less about spacey-wacey/Timey Wimey stuff and more focus on personal story. While I’ve enjoyed the majority of series 8 this episode in some ways bombed for me, mainly because it didn’t really progress anything. I know you’re thinking ‘how can you say that when Danny meets the Doctor in this episode?’ Well, that’s just it, he does but it’s no different to the way other boyfriends have met the Doctor. Also the Doctor’s nonchalantness about Orson Pink/Danny/Clara being connected seemed silly.

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I felt like this could have been a really interesting episode, and one that could have explored  the Danny story some more and the Doctor’s past at Coal Hill, so what happened?

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It seems Moffat (and I’m going to blame him because a. he’s the show runner and b. he thinks he needs to slap his name as writer for each episode) just wants to tell personal stories. It’s not so much about the Doctor and his companion running about saving worlds  and solving mysteries as it is about Clara trying to juggle her relationship with Danny and her partnership with the Doctor. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for these types of stories but this has become the dominating theme this series. With a new Doctor I want to see more of him, learn more about him, not keep the focus on Clara and her silly relationships.

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I think the episode missed the mark when it came to the use of Coal Hill. Why hasn’t there been a single reference to the Doctor and Susan’s time there?  Or the teachers who travelled with them?! It seems so logical to incorporate this but it’s completely left out.  I’m not sure we needed another Matt Smith reference. The cameo in Deep Breath, though not needed, was nice. We now need to move on from the bowtie. Was this new guy with a bowtie there just to remind us of Smith?

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At this point it seems a little silly. This is a tricky series. For as much fun and entertainment that’s being had, there are still glaring issues. I feel this is too much of Moffat trying to leave his stamp on the show.

I didn’t really like how rude and horrible Danny was to the Doctor when he first learnt the truth. It did also remind of Micky and his first interaction with the Doctor. When can we have a male companion who isn’t jealous of the Doctor? I feel like they missed the mark again. But also, it seems that your average joe who isn’t associated with the female companion is pretty okay with the Doctor/Tardis/time travel, but the boyfriends get weak in the knees and angry. It’s time to stop the gimmick and I’m disappointed Danny is just another angry boyfriend.  And it has to be asked, what the hell was up with Danny doing that Power Ranger flip over the robot?!?! For all the grand things Doctor Who can get away with that pushed it too far for me and left me in stitches at how ridiculous it was.

Another thing I think this series is missing memorable musical themes. I picked up on the use of Sad Man With A Box theme, but I do miss the unique theme that both 10/11 did have. Musical can help give a show identity. It helped the Smith era, I think it’d do well here. Something that did catch my ear though was the mention of the Doctor and River having a fight! Capaldi is exactly the kind of Doctor I picture with Riversong when we first met her. If only her character wasn’t wasted in series 6/7. 

I did enjoy the Courtney Wood roaming and stumbling upon the TARDIS. I like the way Capaldi interacts with kids. As much as I liked Smith, I think Capaldi interacts better and makes it slightly more believable. I also like that The Doctor took her in the TARDIS.

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We get another glimpse at Missy and the promise land. We are also introduced to former The Thick of It star, Chris Addison. While the Promise Land has been quite ambiguous it’s implied here that it is what people believe to be ‘heaven’ or the ‘afterlife’. Who is Missy and what is she doing with this Afterlife? Guess we’ll find out later.

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The Doctor says Buy A Book:

Sherlock Holmes Studies in Legacy  is available from all good book stores including AmazonUSA AmazonUK, Waterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPad and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Horror of Frankenstein: A Graphic Novel is available from all good book stories including USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is kindle, iPad, and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle – A Graphic Novel. Available in paperback and ebook from all good book stores in US & UK, Amazon.com Amazon.co.ukiTunes & iTunes UK and The Book Depository! Alternatively you can order straight from MX Publishing!

Gotham Season 1 Premiere Review

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The new Batman origins begins. Fox, and not the CW for some strange reason, are taking a crack at a world before batman. Before the Joker, before Catwoman, before everything that we know and find interesting about Gotham and its protector, BATMAN.

In this corrupt city where the crime rules there is one detective who is on the side of pure justice, Jim Gordon. When Jim and new partner, Harvey, are called in to investigate the murder of Mr and Mrs Wayne we see how deep the corruption of the city goes. Punches are thrown, chases are had, blood is spilt. When a man Mario Pepper, father to a young girl named Ivy, is framed for the Wayne murders Gordon isn’t going to give up until the killer is brought to justice. Throughout it all we see young Bruce dealing with his parents death and beginning his battle with fear.

Gotham is a pretty average police procedural show. It gives you your typical good cops, bad cops, grey cops. Your typical crime lord who runs the city. The pretty fiancé with a dark history that will inevitably shake our hero, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzi) aka Sir Glares-A-lot, to the core. It’s all pretty standard in the pilot. Some fans might get a kick out of the trillion cameos in the first episode but not this guy. Episode one introduced Catwoman, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, The Riddler, and a possible Joker (the guy telling jokes obviously). I didn’t like that Catwoman was lurking in the shadows while Bruce’s parents got shot nor how Penguin was the guy who shot him (well, I’m assuming it is him – seems pretty obvious, who else had shiny shoes?), how Poison Ivy’s dad was framed for the murder and how Falcon was the instigator behind it all for some reason, again another guess but feel confident on it. I think the use of all these character so early on is a terrible waste. Not because they should bring them in later, but because I don’t like how current trends within current storytelling has to make everything to interconnected. I don’t see why all of Batman’s most famous enemies have to connected to his parents death in some way. I miss the days when bad guys just came out of no where with no previous history or connection to a hero. This interconnectedness has plagued comics for a very long time, shame to see it doing it here with Gotham.

Overall the plot was incredibly weak and predictable. It didn’t take a genius to deduce what was going to happen next and who was behind what. To me the entire episode felt like ‘How to Write A Pilot for Dummies’. The dialogue was typical and bland; trying to be gritty and dark but coming across cheap and overused. Acting wise there was some seriously wooden acting; looking at your Barbara (Erin Richards). There are some truly dull and terrible shots in this episode.The chase between Gordon and Mario for example felt sloppy, clunky, and poor. Nothing about the cinematography thrilled me or made invested me. It was a just typical bleak blah-ness. And for some reason every time there was an action scene the audio dropped significantly which I found really distracting. Lastly can we all agree that Jim Gordon doesn’t really do anything except glare dramatically?! Use the muscles in your face man!

We live in the age of Superheroes. They dominate the box-office year in and year out. Live action series have been on our tv consistently since 2001 (Smallville). There is so much superhero stuff happening anything new needs to be top notch or it won’t last. Typical to average just won’t cut it and that what I really feel Gotham is. There is time and room for the series to progress but it’s off to a limping start.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 1 Review

zaclyxgawu2r34qxokpjSHIELD is dismantled; Coulson and his team are a remnant of honest agents who are trying to rebuild. The US Government is doing its best to acquire and hold SHIELD tech and hunt down remaining rogue SHIELD and Hydra operatives. However, just because Hydra is exposed and SHIELD dismantled doesn’t mean the battle between the two is over or that the US Gov is clean! 

The premiere kicks off with a flashback to the 1940’s where Agent Carter and Captain America’s teams are rushing the last known Hydra base. They manage to acquire a strange piece of ‘technology’ and lock it away. Present day this little mcguffin is what drives the story. With SHIELD in pieces rouge agents are selling tech and secrets and Coulson and his team are trying to stop it and restore the once great organisation, but that isn’t an easy task. The risk is high as the crew have to be on top alert and stay ahead of the game to not get caught. Constantly looking over their shoulder for Hydra agents, trying to cope with unstable agents, and diverting serious threats. 

I must admit I stopped watching Agents of SHIELD after episode four of the first season. I found the series boring, the character too cookie cutter, and the stories underwhelming. There wasn’t anything to keep me interested. It was a side of the MCU that I didn’t care to see. Rumour had it the series got better long after I dropped off, but I didn’t believe it… until now.

The premier of season two is what I hoped for with season 1. A  more Mission Impossible style series where something bad is happening and the team needs to swoop in and stop it.  Finally the cookie cutter characters have outgrown their moulds. It’s no longer a dysfunctional team with silly broody tension and cheesy banter. It’s just down to business and that’s what I wanted. I thought the into of Agent Carter was great and has me excited about her spin off. There is some promise restored in this series. It’s a shame that it started with such lag and didn’t kick off like this. This is the first episode I’ve seen that has piqued my interest to actually want to watch the next episode. Whedon and co seemed to have finally honed in on what makes the show better. Proper espionage. I think Captain America 2 had really helped to shape what a SHIELD series should look and feel like. I fact I picked up a few musical motifs from Winter Solider which I really liked. My fingers are crossed that the series will continue along this track. I for one want to know what this mcguffin can do and what it will do in the future. With the series inevitably leading up to Avengers: Age of Ultron I am hoping for something really great during this next series. 

What do you think of the new season so far? Comment Below.

Now go buy my books:

Sherlock Holmes Studies in Legacy  is available from all good book stores including in the USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPad and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Horror of Frankenstein: A Graphic Novel is available from all good book stories including USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is kindle, iPad, and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle – A Graphic Novel. Available in paperback and ebook from all good book stores in US & UK, Amazon.com Amazon.co.ukiTunes & iTunes UK and The Book DepositoryAlternatively you can order straight from MX Publishing!

The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time

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Mark Haddon’s book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, has thrilled London’s West End for a while now. For months and months I’ve been told to go see the play. Having read and loved the book I was quite excited when I finally made arrangements to see the play. Nicely, we attend on their 100th performance. Not being an aficionado of theatre I am not going to attempt a professional review. I will just say that the play was done remarkably well. The staging and set design was incredible. The mixture of audio/visuals really pulled you in unlike any play I’ve seen. This was by far one of the most creatives plays I’ve seen. Running at 2hours and 45minutes you will not get bored. The book, which is clever, witty, charming, and emotional is done justice in this remarkable adaption. If you have a chance get to the Gielgud Theatre and watch it do it!
10264284_640423102745915_1123837042825314133_nWell done to the cast and crew for hitting 100 shows. It was great fun to be there for the 100th. 

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: buy tickets

Curious Incident in the Dog in the Night-time: buy the book 

or buy my books:

Sherlock Holmes Studies in Legacy  is available from all good book stores including in the USA Amazon, UK Amazon, Waterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPad and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Horror of Frankenstein: A Graphic Novel is available from all good book stories including USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is kindle, iPad, and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle – A Graphic Novel. Available in paperback and ebook from all good book stores in US & UK, Amazon.com Amazon.co.ukiTunes & iTunes UK and The Book Depository! Alternatively you can order straight from MX Publishing!

Doctor Who Series 8: Time Heist Review

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Official Synopsis: “The Doctor turns bank robber when he is given a task he cannot refuse – steal from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos.”

What is a heist story? Think Ocean’s Eleven, misfits put together to pull something seemingly impossible off with a few unexpected twists at the end. The idea of the Doctor and a group of misfits breaking in to the galaxies most secure bank seems like a good idea, but was it? 

When the Doctor gets a mysteries phone call he and Clara suddenly wake up at a round table with two other people. An altered human and a shapeshifter. A hooded figure on a video informs this misfits that they must break into the volts of Bank of Karabraxos, each one of them after their own unique item. The group witnesses first hand what happens when someone comes into the bank with criminal intent, the Teller feeds off their memories and turns them into a vegitable. The Doctor and the crew do their best to slip through and make their way into the volts, but not without a little ‘hustle’ and some sacrifice.

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When it’s just down to The Doctor and Clara they are captured and taken to Ms Delphox, who runs the banks, and she orders their destruction. In typical heist twist the Doctor gets out and is able to continue his journey to the most secure volt. Inside he finds Ms Delphox, but she’s really Madame Karabraxos and Delphox is her clone! It clicks with the Doctor, the Teller is a prisoner of the bank who was doing Karabraxos’ bidding because she had capture his lover. The Doctor tells her she’ll regret all this and want his help some day and leave his phone number for her. On her deathbed she rings the Doctor and he plans the entire operation in order to go in and free the monsters love. However, the Doctor had to wipe their memories beforehand as the monster would have known their game and it would have worked against them. 

There are some good things and bad things about this episode. Steven Thompson, who also writes for BBC’s Sherlock, tends to have some of the more criticised Who episodes, think back on series 6 The Curse of the Black Spot. However. He’s also done some pretty exciting episodes like Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, which did get some criticism as well. Bottom line, he’s not a bad writer or a bad storyteller, but there is something about his Who episodes that just don’t hit the spot. What is good is that the series continues with the no screwdriver resolve. There is plenty of great one-liners from Capaldi especially when he remarks that his new outfit makes him look like a clown, even though it really doesn’t. The general twist that it was the Doctor who set everything up for them to break into the bank is fun, but it has one massive problem: if he could break in alone and plan the break in why didn’t he just do it in the first place? Unless he needed to break in to understand the place first and that’s where it gets timey whimey. Visually the story looked pretty good and it had the look and feel of a heist film. 

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They solved the shoe problem with Clara, but they still haven’t stopped making it a fashion show! It’s not foreign to Doctor Who to sex up their companions with their getups. Since the shows revival we haven’t been too overloaded with sexy dressed companions. Sure there’s a few odd moments, but with Clara it just seems endless emphasised. I don’t think a companion has asked ‘How do I look’ or been seen getting ready more than her. Series 7 she’s the Doctor’s girlfriend and the ‘tension’ was just pathetic. Series 8 they’ve got her dolled up, remarking she looks good from the back, pestering for compliments. Whose fetish is she teasing?! While heist style worked there was a bit too much to cram into the 45min to have it all make sense. When Saibra, the shapeshifter, is disguised we’re just meant to accept it with no explanation, and as quickly as she introduces it it’s gone. There was some jumping around from past to present and not in a time travel way. However, these jumps made it slightly confusing to follow at times. Throughout most of the episode we don’t know why they are breaking in to the bank, we just know they have to. To be honest, I didn’t really care why they broke in and I didn’t care to find out either. 

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This will be an episode that get’s skipped over. Should I go as far as to say it’s the Love and Monsters of series 8? Maybe it’s not THAT bad. There is some entertainment factors but by the end I felt it all a bit redundant. Clara keeps connecting with the people they meet on their adventures and I keep thinking ‘who cares about them?’. I am a fan of the solo adventures and not all of them have to have such high stakes, but if I don’t feel invested or care about the plot/characters something isn’t right. Here’s to hoping next week puts things back on course with here the rest of the series is going.

Until next week, buy a book!

Sherlock Holmes Studies in Legacy  is available from all good book stores including in the USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPad and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Horror of Frankenstein: A Graphic Novel is available from all good book stories including USA Amazon, UK AmazonWaterstones, and Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is kindle, iPad, and Kobo.

Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle – A Graphic Novel. Available in paperback and ebook from all good book stores in US & UK, Amazon.com Amazon.co.ukiTunes & iTunes UK and The Book DepositoryAlternatively you can order straight from MX Publishing!

Rant. 004 – Deadpool

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DEADPOOL!! FINALLY! So, the internet is abuzz with the ‘greatest bestest most wonderfulest news everrrr': They are making a DEADPOOL FILMMMM OMG!

Yes, the Merc with a  mouth is going to hit the big screens and the internet is loving it. And even better news, Ryan Reynolds is still the lead!! Wait, what? And people are still excited about this? Hold on, has everyone on the planet taken stupid pills or something? I mean I feel like I woke up in a different universe. Am I the only one who remembers how terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine was? Let’s rewind the clocks back to 2009. Ryan Reynolds stared as Wade Wilson in Fox’s one and only (important to remember) X-Men solo film. Wade was, well, he was a pile a crap. A few witty remarks, a couple of twirls, then poof! Gone.

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I mean, it wasn’t even Reynolds as ‘Weapon XI a.k.a Deadpool. Not only was Reynolds NOT the finished product, but the finished product wasn’t even proper Deadpool. When Deadpool comes back he’s a mixture of Wolverine/Cyclopes/John Wraith who is controlled by a few taps on the computer with basic commands like: ENGAGE. Sure, like he’s going to know exactly what to do. My point is, not only did X-Men Origins suck and smelled like wet dog hair, but Ryan Reynolds did not bring anything special to the character of Wade Wilson, nor was he even Deadpool at the end. His Deadpool was a forgettable character.

Of course this wasn’t Reynolds last crack at a superhero. He soon came back to dazzle and bemuse us as the CGI’d costumed defender of the Galaxy, the Green Lantern. Yet again this film was a forgetting pile of excretion. Bottom line, when has Reynolds ever made an audience believe in his characters? So far, never.

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Sure, there was the leaked Deadpool test footage, but what was special about that? There was nothing in that test footage that we haven’t seen before. It just felt like watching The Amazing Spider-Man. I have no idea why anyone would be excited about this film, especially if Reynolds retains the title role. And no matter how hard they try and separate this film from X-MEN Origins: Wolverine, that is all that will be seen. Even if this ‘Deadpool’ isn’t that one. Of course if it’s not the same Deadpool then Fox is making the X-Men universe a bit more mirky, unless we all continue to believe that terrible Origin film is outside the other films continuity. Still, I stray from the point. The test footage wasn’t promising, the choice of Reynolds as the lead isn’t promising, this film just isn’t promising. But that’s fandom. Dedicated to the very end, even when it’s total crap.

Test Footage:

Guide Note 016: Public Transport – Trains

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A thrilling new instalment of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the UK! Guide Note 016 – Public Transportation: Trains.

Originally posted on hg2uk:

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You will notice that the most popular form of transportation, or at least one of the top three, the others being Double Decker Buses and small curved cars, is trains. These ‘trains’ are like giant metal centipedes that burrow in and out of the ground. The significant difference between a real centipede and these trains is that people, or ‘commuters’ as they are commonly known as, prefer to pile inside them in order to get from destination A to destination B – Zed.

Like jungles filled with wild beasts that one, if not careful, can anger quickly and loose ones life by is true of these train stations. The commuters who use these trains are, in a way, herded in and out like a form of cattle into the metal centipedes. Their tempers are on a short fuse which often result in physical outbreaks in the herding process. Guide Note:…

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