Watch: The Snowmen

Christmas 2012Tomorrow, the Series 7 Doctor Who Christmas Special will air. This will feature the return of the Eleventh Doctor, and the return of actress Jenna-Louise Coleman, though it is unsure how her new character, Clara Oswin is related to her old one, Oswin Oswald. In any case, here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

Christmas Eve 1892, and the falling snow is the stuff of fairytales. When the fairytale becomes a nightmare and a chilling menace threatens Earth, an unorthodox young governess, Clara, calls on the Doctor for help. But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe. As old friends return, will the Doctor really abandon humankind or will he fight to save the world – and Christmas – from the icy clutches of this mysterious menace?

Are you excited for this episode? How do you think it will stack up against previous Christmas specials? Tell us in the comments! When I get a chance to see the episode, I’ll write a review, but as it is the holiday season, I may not have time to write until a couple days after the episode airs.

Watch: Top Gear

Top GearIn North America, Top Gear is not very well known. Only people who bother to pay extra for a BBC channel, and care to listen to a bunch of British middle-aged men talk about cars would have seen it. When described like that, the show doesn’t seem like it could be a hit. But viewers who tune in every week know that Top Gear is not just a car review show. It’s a celebration of the automotive lifestyle. In fact it’s not even the cars I enjoy about the show (even though some are really, really cool); it’s watching a couple of old guys fooling around and making jokes.

The original series of Top Gear started in 1977. It was a typical review show, where they looked at different models of cars and told you whether you should buy it or not. But when viewing figures declined, the show was axed. This happened in 1999, but only three years later, Jeremy Clarkson, one of the former presenters, started the new format in which there were car challenges, races, and they would often just do random things to the car to see if it held up. Once or twice a year, usually around Christmas, they do a really epic and often treacherous race through another country in a couple of supercars.

The reason I bring this up now, is that this morning I found that some of the older series of Top Gear are being uploaded by the official Top Gear Youtube Channel. Yes! The full episodes! I’m not exactly sure when they started doing this, but most of the videos have only a couple views and were only uploaded today or yesterday.

Review: The Angels Take Manhattan

Yesterday, the mid-series finale of Doctor Who’s Series 7 aired. It featured the appearance of the Weeping Angels, one of the scariest monsters we’ve seen so far, and the return of River Song. This was also the last regular appearance of Amy and Rory Williams, who had been in Doctor Who since the start of Series 5 and the debut of the Eleventh Doctor. I’ll go through some main points in the plot and share a couple of my thoughts.

The opening scene shows a man walking to an apartment block in 1938 New York called Winter Quay where he was told by a sort of mafioso character, Mr Grayle, that ‘statues move in the dark’. He finds a room with his name on it, and when he goes inside he discovers an older version of himself. He then gets touched by an Angel and lives the rest of his life in the room.

We then see Amy and Rory with the Doctor in present day New York. They are having a picnic in Central Park. The Doctor is reading a book written by a Melody Malone and Rory was gone to get coffees when Rory is zapped back by some baby angels and the Doctor gets to a point in the book where their story starts. They learn about Rory through the book and get in the TARDIS to get him. I liked this whole Blink-esque forwards and backwards in time information. It was a bit of a throwback and yet it was done with enough new ideas that it was still exciting and surprising.

Rory meets with River in 1938 and they are taken to Mr Grayle’s house and kept there. Rory is taken to a cellar with baby angels and River is held down by a broken angel. Still in 2012, Amy continues to read from the book, but the Doctor snatches it from her, telling her that if she keeps reading then the events become fixed points.

Because of the time energy in the vicinity of the Angels it is difficult to get the TARDIS to Mr Grayle’s mansion, but eventually the Doctor manages it. They decide that chapter titles don’t have enough spoilers to create fixed points, and they learn that Rory is in the cellar. Unfortunately the Doctor sees that the last chapter features a farewell from Amelia. The Doctor tells River to get out of the statue without breaking her arm (though she breaks it anyway), while Amy discovers that Rory is gone. They locate Rory near Winter Quay and follow him there.

The four of them are in a room with Rory’s name on it, and they discover an older Rory who dies in the room. To create a paradox, they decide that Rory should run forever. Eventually, since he doesn’t die, the paradox would poison the Angels. But Rory goes to the top of the hotel and decides to kill himself, thinking it will create a better paradox. Amy says that they must do it together, and they jump just as the Doctor discovers them.

The paradox works, and it’s just as if nothing happened. But just as they are all about to enter the TARDIS, Rory spots a gravestone with his name on it, and creating a fixed point, he is zapped back to the past by an angel. Amy decides that her best bet for seeing Rory again is to get touched and despite the fact that she’ll never see the Doctor again, she lets herself be touched. The tombstone changes to show that Amy dies along with Rory at an old age.

River and the Doctor then fly away, then River says that she still needs to write the book, and that if he’d like, she could get Amy to write an afterword. In the afterword, she tells the Doctor of the great life she’d had, and tells him to find a new companion. She also tells him to tell her younger self of the great life she will have, and the episode ends with the TARDIS landing near a young Amelia Pond.

I thought Amy and Rory’s ending was great. It finishes the story of the Ponds’ with no chance of them ever coming back (such as Donna’s ending) and it was just as sad as Moffat claimed. I also thought the zapping-back-in-time angels made a nice comeback; I didn’t like the angels in The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone as they were just like any other monsters. The wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey storyline of Blink really returned in this episode and I thought that was the way it should be with the Weeping Angels.

What did you think? Did you like Amy and Rory’s farewell? Also, are you excited for the Christmas special? Tell us in the comments!

Watch: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Later today, the next episode of Series 7 of Doctor Who will air. Here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

An unmanned spaceship hurtles towards certain destruction – unless the Doctor can save it, and its impossible cargo… of dinosaurs! By his side is a ragtag gang of adventurers, a big game hunter, an Egyptian Queen and a surprised member of the Pond family. But little does the Doctor know there is someone else on board who will stop at nothing to keep hold of his precious, prehistoric cargo?

We haven’t seen dinosaurs in New Who before. Are you excited to see them? Tell us in the comments!