REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 12: “The Doctor Falls”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 12: “The Doctor Falls”

And so we come to the end of another series of Doctor Who, this one all the more momentous as it marks the end of the last full series under star Peter Capaldi and show runner Steven Moffat. There’s a Xmas Special still to come but for all intents and purposes, “The Doctor Falls” marks the end of an era, and all that remains is a coda. The episode has a lot that it needs to…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 11: “World Enough And Time”

REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 11: “World Enough And Time”

As I have written in my reviews of the previous episodes of Series 10, the best stories of the run have attempted to recapture a classical feel while incorporating modern thematic elements. In short, this series has worked best when it’s tried to be old-school, fun and scary, straight-forward Doctor Who; when it has actively sought to distill the classic programme’s best qualities and marry them with skilful execution. And “World Enough And Time,” with…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 10: “The Eaters of Light”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 10: “The Eaters of Light”

“The Eaters of Light” is something of a milestone for Doctor Who, for it marks the first time since the series returned in the 21st Century that a writer from the classic series has come back to the show. In a way, it’s hard to see another series of the new Doctor Who where this would have been possible; part of the overall vibe of Series 10 has been the way it has embraced a…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 9: “Empress of Mars”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 9: “Empress of Mars”

After the completion of a trilogy of episodes that, although ambitious, wound up being deeply flawed and unsatisfying, the tenth series of Doctor Who returns to its more classical format with “Empress of Mars,” written by series stalwart Mark Gatiss, and directed with flair and style despite limitations by Wayne Yip. The result is a satisfying and throughly entertaining, if ultimately more workmanlike than inspired, episode. The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 8: “The Lie of the Land”

REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 8: “The Lie of the Land”

The so-called “Monks Trilogy” comes to an end with this episode, written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Wayne Yip. This episode of Doctor Who starts off strong, with a bleak and tense predicament that seems hopeless and some nice thematic underpinnings about a society ruled by the sci-fi equivalent of fake news. However, its strengths ultimately don’t overcome some narrative weaknesses and a story that is resolved in an overly familiar way and easy…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 6: Extremis

REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 6: Extremis

A good word to describe “Extremis,” the latest episode of Doctor Who, would be cryptic. As the first instalment of multi-episode arc, there is much that is left deliberately vague and mysterious in the episode. Breaking the pattern set by the previous episodes of this series, “Extremis” isn’t a standalone adventure with a refreshingly classic vibe. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, the episode is far more evocative of his most recent efforts on the…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 5: “Oxygen”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 5: “Oxygen”

I’ve been genuinely loving this series of Doctor Who thus far. It’s almost as if Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi, both in their final full series, are taking the approach that this last hurrah is going to be a greatest hits tour, crafting stories that feel as archetypal as possible. “Oxygen” is no different in this ambition from the previous episodes of the series; it’s clearly tapping into the scarier side of Doctor Who, exemplified…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 4: “Knock Knock”

REVIEW: Doctor Who, Series 10, Episode 4: “Knock Knock”

One of the great qualities of Doctor Who has always been its willingness to embrace a variety of other genres beyond simple space opera. Throughout its over 50 year history, the series has never been afraid to expand its reach, easily shifting from science fiction to simple adventure then to fantasy, or from comedy to drama. But, since its beginning, Doctor Who may have been most comfortable exploring the genre of horror. This is a…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 3: “Thin Ice”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 3: “Thin Ice”

“Thin Ice” continues the trend of this 10th season of New Doctor Who embracing the best qualities of what makes the show such effervescent fun when it’s at its best, even as Sarah Dollard‘s script improves upon the first two episodes of the season in how it manages to weave in some weightier themes and character moments along with the fun. I really enjoyed the first two episodes of this season, but “Thin Ice” might be…

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REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 2: “Smile”

REVIEW: Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 2: “Smile”

“Smile”, like “The Pilot” before it, represents a return to a classic approach to this season of Doctor Who, and just like the premiere episode, this instalment is refreshingly fun, engaging and tremendously enjoyable. Its structure in many ways is a modern interpretation of the archetypal Doctor Who story; the Doctor and his companion arrive at a  otherworldly locale, wander around for a bit, then get sucked into a conflict due either to the Doctor’s…

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