Watch: A Town Called Mercy

Tomorrow, the third episode of the current series of Doctor Who will air. Here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

The Doctor gets a Stetson (and a gun!), and finds himself the reluctant Sheriff of a Western town under siege by a relentless cyborg, who goes by the name of the Gunslinger. But who is he and what does he want? The answer seems to lie with the mysterious Kahler-Jex, an alien doctor (yes another one!) whose initial appearance is hiding a dark secret.

Are you excited for this episode? I’ll write a review when I can, though this time I may be a little delayed.

Review: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

WARNING: There may be spoilers ahead

Last night, the second episode of the new Doctor Who series was aired. It starred Harry Potter alumni Mark Williams and David Bradley. I won’t go through the entire story this time, like I did with Asylum of the Daleks, as that makes for really long posts. I’ll do that for more plot-integral episodes only.

First of all, I think all the characters in the Doctor’s gang were great. We had John Riddell, a turn-of-the-century explorer of the African Bush, along with Queen Nefertiti of Egypt. Their personalities clashing made for some good lighthearted scenes, which fit the tone of this episode in general.

It has been ten months since the Doctor last saw Amy and Rory, and this time Rory’s dad gets brought along. I think Mark Williams plays the character of the bumbling old man quite well. He is a cheerful and funny old man (not very unlike Wilfred Mott, in fact) who has sort of been dragged into the situation.

The monsters promised in the episode are, of course, dinosaurs. I think it was a nice throwback to the Classic Who days, but dinosaurs don’t really fit the New Who series. Luckily, dinosaurs only played a small role in this episode. The real antagonist, Solomon (played by David Bradley), is a trapped space trader who is looking to make a profit from the creatures aboard. He, too, is portrayed very well, with a little bit of spooky selfishness which comes with being trapped on the ship for too long.

Although Riddell and Nefertiti’s flirting was a little unnecessary, I thought that the characters were well managed. Where this episode misses out is the story. While there is a nice backstory featuring the destruction of the Silurians by Solomon to get their cargo, this is a rather silly episode. The dinosaurs really changed the tone from what could have been an eerie story about a trader who would do anything to save himself, to a kiddish run-away-from-the-dinosaurs episode.

I still thought that this was a good episode. The beauty of Doctor Who is that the episodes each have their own theme, and we haven’t really seen a good silly one from Moffat (except maybe the Craig Owens episodes). This episode will no doubt balance the series, since we know there are darker episodes ahead.

What do you think about this episode? Did you like Mark Williams’ portrayal of Rory’s dad? 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!

Review: Asylum of the Daleks

WARNING: There may be spoilers below

Yesterday, the series 7 premiere of Doctor Who was aired. And what an episode it was! We saw the return of the Daleks, the return of the Ponds and the Doctor, as well as someone new! Here is the plot and a couple of my thoughts:

The episode kicks off with the Indiana Jones-like Doctor we saw in Wedding of River Song meeting a strange woman on Skaro. He seems to be lying low, which is probably smart seeing as the universe thinks him dead. He is then introduced to the monster for the episode, who we’ve actually seen before. Yes! The nanogenes from the awesome gas-mask children two-parter are back!

The Doctor is kidnapped by the woman, who has been Dalek’d. We then get to see Amy and Rory, whose relationship has drastically taken a turn for the worse. They have a short argument, then are kidnapped in turn by Dalekised people. This is all rather concise, and I think it’s probably good for the pacing.

Next we have the first surprise of the season. Jenna-Louise Coleman! She plays a computer genius called Oswin Oswald in a crashed ship and trying to fend off the Daleks. We hadn’t expected to see her until Christmas, so it was really a shock to see her right after the opening theme. Anyway, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory find themselves on a Dalek ship. They are asked to enter an Asylum of crazy Daleks to disable the forcefield so that the Daleks can eliminate the planet.

The Doctor and Amy find a member of the crew of a crashed ship who leads them in. All the other crew members are dead, and it is revealed that their man is also dead, and has become a Dalek. This is a rather scary scene where the Dalekised corpses of the crew try to attack them. They take Amy’s protective wristband, making her vulnerable to the nanogenes.

Meanwhile, Rory is being guided by Oswin to a safe place to wait for the Doctor and a deteriorating Amy, who are also being led by her via an intercom system. Amy is starting to have severe amnesia and delusions. Eventually, they manage to meet up with Rory. They have a conversation with Oswin, and they have a deal in which she disables the forcefield and they get her out of the Asylum.

Rory proposes to give Amy his wristband, figuring that it’ll take longer for him because he has more love for her then she has for him. We then find out that Amy only left Rory to give him a chance to have more children, as she cannot have any more. It was unnecessary, because the Doctor doesn’t need a wristband, but he left that out in order for Amy and Rory to reconcile. I admit that I wasn’t too keen on having this sort of drama in the episode, but it was executed rather well, without taking too much from the storyline.

The Doctor continues towards Oswin. While inside intensive care, it is necessary for Oswin to delete all memory of the Doctor from the Daleks’ collective memory. When the Doctor finally finds his way, the big secret is revealed: Oswin is a Dalek! She made up her whole environment to get away from the fact that she was stuck inside a Dalek shell. We see her struggle with herself, deciding at one point to kill the Doctor, but her human-ness wins out and she sacrifices herself for the Doctor and the Ponds.

The episode finishes with the Daleks forgetting who the Doctor is and shouting ‘Doctor Who?’ over and over as he leaves.

This leaves the question: Who is Oswin and what is her relationship to the future companion, who is also to be played by Jenna-Louise Coleman? Some people think that the Doctor meets her earlier in her timestream (but that was already used before). While others think that the Doctor somehow finds Oswin and brings her back later on, I’m banking on the fact that Oswin is not the next companion but a relative, similar to Gwyneth and Gwen from Torchwood as well as Adeola Oshodi and Martha Jones. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

What did you think of the episode? Did you like Jenna-Louise Coleman’s portrayal of Oswin Oswald? What do you think the next episodes have to offer? Tell us in the comments!

Watch: Asylum of the Daleks

Tonight, the very first episode of the seventh series of Doctor Who will be aired by the BBC. It will see the return of our favourite time-travelling alien and his companions, the Ponds. Here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

Kidnapped by his oldest foe, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission – to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter… the Asylum. A planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind, the Doctor and the Ponds must find an escape route. But with Amy and Rory’s relationship in meltdown, and an army of mad Daleks closing in, it is up to the Doctor to save their lives, as well as the Ponds’ marriage.

I’m not too sure I’ll like for Doctor Who to become a romantic drama, but I guess it is good that we have more characterisation of the characters instead of just plain action.

Once I’ve watched it, I’ll do a review on this episode, so stay tuned!